Merit-Making Rationales and Motivations

  • Christopher M. Joll
Part of the Muslims in Global Societies Series book series (MGSS, volume 4)


This chapter considers the range of rationales that motivate Muslims in Cabetigo to generate, accumulate and transfer merit. Merit-making rationales relate to beliefs about a Muslim’s obligations to Allah and the deceased, and the efficacious operations of merit in dunio and alam al-barzakh. Those who fulfill their ritual obligations to Allah are rewarded with merit. Merit accumulated in dunio contributes to the one’s comfort in the grave. A second set of merit-making rationales relate to both obligations to the deceased and the ability for bun or pahalo to be transferred to those in the grave. A major concern in this chapter is to highlight the lack of consensus in Cabetigo concerning the correct and effective means for assisting the dead. The third and final merit-making rationale considered below is the operation of merit in dunio to assist the living. The generation, accumulation and transference of merit in Cabetigo resemble an economy of merit which I compare with conventional economic activity. This chapter concludes by delineating the Thai influences and Islamic credentials of Muslim merit making in Cabetigo.


Islamic Bank Deceased Parent Islamic Education Islamic Tradition Petty Trader 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Muslim Studies Centre Institute of Asian StudiesBangkokThailand

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