POVERTY AND THE PREVALENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESS AMONG MUSLIMS IN NIGERIA
This study is aimed at critically reviewing the issue of poverty, its relative economic factors (including low income and education), and impacts to common mental health illnesses and financial difficulties faced by Muslims in Nigeria. The paper also analyses the relationship between these two aspects - poverty and the prevalence of mental illness. The study used content analysis of secondary data obtained from journals, newspapers, magazines, annual report from the state and the Federal Government of Nigeria, as well as, from international and non-governmental organizations. Through the analysis of a number of studies focusing on explaining the factors, status, and condition of Muslims suffering from common mental illness, most common causes are found to be poverty and social economic problems, which contribute to various emotional and behavioral abnormalities. The paper revealed that, the pervasiveness of poverty is increasing among the Muslims in Nigeria and the cost of living is increasing continuously; mental health illnesses are increasing as cost of living is going higher. Corruption is perceived as one of the cause of poverty and increasing living costs in Nigeria. The study concludes that, as a means of contributing to the realization of the social objectives as well as alleviating poverty in the society, a number of institutional arrangements unique to the Islamic system are required to be put in place and sustained. This would include establishing the institution of zakat, Sadaqah, and Mirath (inheritance), among many others. Out of these, the scope of this paper has been confined to zakat only as it is one of the most important measures to overcome poverty.