“With a light touch, Amira Mittermaier brings her astute ethnographic sensibilities to bear on pious charity, revealing the surprising, even radical, possibilities it affords. This book is a true pleasure to read and a highly original provocation to thought.”—Webb Keane, author of Ethical Life: Its Natural and Social Histories and Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter “Amira Mittermaier has written a brilliant ethnography. A rich and complex account of Islamic ideas and practices of charity in Cairo during and after the 2011 uprising, Giving to God invites the reader to contemplate the different ways that people inhabit the Islamic tradition. But this book is not only a highly sophisticated description of the way people belonging to different classes live in their religious world; it is also a challenge to serious thought about the possibilities and limits of the ethics and politics of poverty in the contemporary Middle East—and beyond.”—Talal Asad, author of Secular Translations: Nation-State, Modern Self, and Calculative Reason??
“The revolutionary moment in Egypt seems to have redirected, as it has so much else, Amira Mittermaier’s vivid ethnographic meditations on the everyday practices, sites, and intentions of pious charity. Drawing from friendships across Cairo with ordinary/extraordinary individuals dedicated to giving to the poor, she challenges the familiar paradigms of humanitarian care, revolutionary justice, and neoliberal self-help, offering up a remarkable alternative animated by such unforgettable concepts as ‘a divine minimum wage.’”—Lila Abu-Lughod, Joseph L. Buttenwieser Professor at Columbia University and author of Veiled Sentiments