Author(s): Dr. Ömer DÜZBAKAR

This study explores the ways the Ottoman State treated beggars. The status of beggars in the Ottoman Empire can be understood by looking at the dynamics of Islam as well as the internal dynamics of the Ottoman society. Islam provided important means of social assistance and solidarity such as zekât (distribution of one’s revenue by 1/40 to the poor and destitute) and sadaka (alms-giving). The internal dynamics of Ottoman society have also largely contributed to the elimination of poverty by such mechanisms as the mutual responsibility of the neighborhood people, the collective fundraising among professional guilds to be used for emergency cases occurring to members, the entitlement of a child to certain inheritance rights as early as when he/she was yet an unborn fetus, tebennî (the temporary adoption system) in case of parental death or lack of caring capacity, payment of maintenance allowance or alimony to mother and child in case of divorce plus their protection by the state, parents’ demand from their children for maintenance allowance during senility and the supply of social assistance to the poor by pious foundations 


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