Ignorance, poverty, and disease (fighting poverty)
In fulfillment of what we promised, we meet with our readers in the field of fighting poverty to wtiness the proofs from the Islamic Shari`ah chasing poverty, need, and wretchedness. Islam made some procedures to fight poverty, hunger, need, and wretchedness and you have to become aware of the wise plans sound systemswhich Islam depicted and kneated to eliminate poverty and kill its sysmptoms before they destroy the body of Islam or spread sluggishness in the country.
Islam came down from the heaven to reform the social affairs and screamed in the face of poverty resonantly and wrote the covenant of social reform which is still written in sacred books, challenging the haughty people and declaring for the world that Islam is the religion of richness, easiness, and prosperity as it is the creed of power, policy, glory, and supramcy.
Here are some of the pillars which Islam has established to fund the poor, defend their rights, and to eliminate poverty from among Muslim:
1- Reluctance of poverty, seeking refuge against it, and prohibition of asking people for money.
2- A Muslim is exhorted to seek richness and take his share of the world.
3- Dispraising misery and misers.
4- Exhortation to giving and spending especially for the sake of Allah, the country, and people.
5- Imposition of Zakah on properties and crops as a fixed amount for the needy and the poor.
These five streams flow from the river of the Islamic Shari`ah to turn poverty, difficulty, and destituteness to easiness, prosperity, and richness.
The proofs are as follows:
A- Many people believe that Islam protects poverty, call to it, and spread sluggishness; this is not correct because Islam protects the poor not poverty and exhorts people to console the needy not wretchedness because poverty is a disease not a medicine, and sickness not healthiness. So, how it is possible that Islam exhorts people to seek diseases and leave the sickness spread in the body?
Naturally, man empathizes with the sick, consoles him, and invokes Allah for him with speed recovery, consequently, Islam hates the aches of sickness, so what about the sickness itself?
Likewise, Islam takes pity on the poor and consols him, and the pillars of Islam call to escape poverty. Moreover, the social nature of Islam exhorts to seeking refuge from poverty, making averse to it, and exhorts to richness, as it forbids weakness and difficulty.
Imam Muslim reported in his Sahih from the invocation of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him): Allahumma Inny A`udhu Bika Min Zawali Ni`mataka, Wafaja'ata Niqmatik, Watahawwula `Afiyatika[O Allah! I seek refuge in You against the declining of Your Favors, Your sudden punishment, and passing of safety ]. Of the Prophet's invocations also:"Allahumma Inny A`udhu Bika Minal `Ajzi wal Kasal, wa A`udhu Bika Mina Al Faqri Wa`dhabil Qabr [O Allah! I seek refuge with You from helplessness, laziness, and I seek refuge in You from poverty and the torment of the grave]. Of the Prophet's invocations also: "Allahumma Inny A`udhu Bika Minal Ju` Fa Innahu Bi'sad-Daji` [O Allah! I seek refuge with You from hunger, for it is the worst bedfellow ]. He used to say: "Allahumma Inny As'aluka Al Huda Wat-Tuqa Wal `Afafa Wal Ghina [I beg You for guidance, devoutness, chastity, and richness]." He (peace be upon him) said: "The upper hand is better than the lower hand [the giver is better than the taker]." Abu Dawud and Ibn Hibban reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that he said: "Hands are of three types: Allah's hand is the upper one; the bestower's hand is the one near it; the beggar's hand is the lower one. So bestow what is surplus, and do not submit yourself to the demand of your soul."
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah loves the slave who is pious, rich, who is not known." He said: "Allah has hated for you three things: 1. Vain talks, (useless talk) that you talk too much or about others. 2. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need). 3. Wasting of wealth (by extravagance)."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "If one of you would keep begging (of people) until he meets Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) his face will be without a shred of flesh."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "He who begs (from people) when he has sufficient for lunch and dinner is simply asking for a large amount of Hell-fire."
There are other Hadiths which made poverty dislikable to us and commanded us to avoid it because poverty is humiliating to people, a infliction to the society, disaster over the heads, and humiliation for nations. Poverty do not lift a head or soul, and do not build a glory, and do not give a status to weakness. When we want to state all narrations said about poverty and its evil and harm from the mouths of religion and wisdom, we will speak lengthy.
B- Therefore, Islam guides a Muslim to the reasons of richness by commanding him to seek provision on earth and construct the earth north and south, east and west, and to oppose his dominance over it. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And seek not mischief in the land." [Surat Al Qasas: 77]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "So walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision. And to Him will be the Resurrection." [Surat Al Mulk: 15].
Allah (Exalted be He) says: "He it is Who created for you all that is on earth." [Surat Al Baqarah: 29].
Allah (Exalted be He) says: "You may disperse through the land, and seek the Bounty of Allâh (by working, etc.)" [Surat Al Jumu`ah: 10].
At-Tabarany reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, Allah loves the believer who has a profession."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The best among you is the one who does not leave his world for the sake of his Hereafter, or leaves his Hereafter for the sake of his world, but a Muslim should take from this and that."
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Work for your world as if you live forever and work for your Hereafter as if you die tomorrow."
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "One would rather cut and carry a bundle of wood on his back than ask somebody who may or may not give him."
It was reported in the authentic Hadith: "You would better leave your inheritors wealthy rather than leaving them poor, begging others."
So, the message of Islam is clear in calling to richness and accumulation of wealth because that raises the standard of the society and its establishment, and makes the nation powerful through its prosperity, great with its richness, and feared by others by its wealth, and happy in its living.
C- When misery oppresses the right of the poor and niggardliness eats up the share of the needy, Allah prohibited miserliness and niggardliness and warned misers against a painful torment. Moreover, Miserliness and niggardliness are destructive to nations, corruptive to the society, and preventive from goodness and benevolence. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allâh has bestowed on them of His Bounty (Wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakât). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things which they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allâh belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allâh is Well-Acquainted with all that you do." [Surat Al `Imran: 180].
Ibn Majah and An-Nasa'y reported on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There is no one who does not pay Zakah on his wealth,but a bald-headed snake will be made to appear to him on the Day of Resurrection, until it encircles his neck." Then the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) recited the following Ayah to us confirming that from the Book of Allah the Most High: "And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them.""
Abu Dawud and Al Hakim reported: "Beware of avarice. It destroyed those before you. They shed one another's blood and broke off relations with their relatives. Injustice will appear as darkness on the Day of Rising."
Al Bukhari reported: "What is evil in a man are alarming niggardliness and unrestrained cowardice."
By this powerful style, Islam fights niggardliness as it is obstruction of goodness that kills a righteous society and spreads corruption therein because it incites the poor against the rich.
D- In order to protect the society from chaos and confusion, maintain the common ties between the rich and the poor, and stressing the right of the poor in life, Allah (may He be Glorified and Exalted) commanded the rich and well-to-do people to spend on the needy and the weak and to give them a fixed share and right which Allah nominated them as successors therein in order to comfort their hearts and maintaining their love. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Believe in Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), and spend of that whereof He has made you trustees. And such of you as believe and spend (in Allâh's Way), theirs will be a great reward." [Surat Al Hadid: 7]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allâh and fears Him, * And believes in Al-Husnâ. * We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness)." [Surat Al Layl: 5 - 7]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "Who is he that will lend Allâh a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allâh that decreases or increases (your provisions), and to Him you shall return." [Surat Al Baqarah: 245]. "And spend in the Cause of Allâh (i.e. Jihâd of all kinds) and do not throw yourselves into destruction (by not spending your wealth in the Cause of Allâh), and do good. Truly, Allâh loves Al Muhsinûn (the good-doers)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 195]. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allâh, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allâh gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allâh is All-Sufficient for His creatures' needs, All-Knower." [Surat Al Baqarah: 261].
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Spend (O man), and I shall spend on you." He also said: "Allah's Hand is full, and (its fullness) is not affected by the continuous spending night and day." He also said: "Do you see what He has spent since He created the Heavens and the Earth? Nevertheless, what is in His Hand is not decreased, and His Throne was over the water; and in His Hand there is the balance (of justice) whereby He raises and lowers (people)."
Al Bukhari and Muslim reported on the authority of Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "Abu Talhah had more property of date-palm trees gardens than any other amongst the Ansar in Medina and the most beloved of them to him was Bairuha' garden, and it was in front of the Mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to go there and used to drink its nice water." Anas added, "When these verses were revealed: - 'By no means shall you Attain righteousness unless You spend (in charity) of that Which you love.' [Surat Al `Imran: 92]. Abu Talhah said to Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) 'O Allah's Messenger! Allah, the Blessed, the Superior says: By no means shall you attain righteousness, unless you spend (in charity) of that which you love. And no doubt, Bairuha' garden is the most beloved of all my property to me. So I want to give it in charity in Allah's Cause. I expect its reward from Allah. O Allah's Messenger! Spend it where Allah makes you think it feasible.' On that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: 'Bravo! It is useful property. I have heard what you have said (O Abu Talha), and I think it would be proper if you gave it to your kith and kin.' Abu Talha said, I will do so, O Allah's Messenger.' Then Abu Talha distributed that garden amongst his relatives and his cousins."
At-Tabarany reported with a good chain of transmission on the authority of Abu Umamah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "Good deeds avert bad deaths and the charity of secret extinguishes the Wrath of the Lord, and maintaining the ties of kinship increases lifetime."
Truly, we had not witnessed a great religion like Islam which exhorts to spending for the sake of adding pleasure to the poor and respecting their dignity for the glory of the world and the honor of the Hereafter.
E- As for the fifth principle, it is the flowing stream which does not cease and the source which does not end, therefore we shall stand before it for a while and discuss it in details to realize the care of Islam for man. In order to speak about the regulations and resources which Islam has prepared for the poorto ensure sustenance and good life to them we have to know that Islam set some regulations and arranged them in profound order, distributed, and estimated in a correct way that does not harm money owners. At the same time, these regulations opened gates for goodness and flowing resources to provide sustenance to them, reform their needs, and meet their needs.
You will be amazed when you read with me the book of fighting poverty in Islam and read its basic items which outlined by the Glorious Qur'an and depicted by the Prophet (peace be upon him) then Muslims applied them in their countries to live in prosperity and goodness and to have firm faith and certainty in the perfection of this Shari`ah in regard of the principles of sociology which is the Shari`ah of the good society in every time and place.
This book which Islam laid down to fight poverty and to entertain the poor emerges from twelve items of which the poor take their needs and their sustenance come to them in an honorable way.
Read with me the Ayahs of that book which the All-Knowledgeable and All-Expert sent down. He sent it down in order that we bear the testimony of the truth that nothing can reform humans and reform the society but Islam and its teachings:
, Zakah paid on money, business, vegetables, and cattle are fixed as Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ' (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islâm has forbidden); they perform As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât) and give the Zakât." [Surat At-Tawbah: 71]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And those in whose wealth there is a recognised right * For the beggar who asks, and for the unlucky who has lost his property and wealth (and his means of living has been straitened)." [Surat Al Ma`arij: 24 - 25].
At-Tabarany reported on the authority of `Ali ibn Abu Talib who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Verily, Allah ordained on rich Muslims in their properties a fixed amount that encompasses their poor. The poor will not suffer hunger and nakedness except if their rich withhold that; indeed Allah shall reckon them severely and punish them painfully."
Second, Al Fitr charity which is called the Zakah of the body because it is obligatory on every able person even if the conditions of fasting are not applicable on him and to be paid to the poor and the needy on the day of `Eidul-Fitr of each year. Abu Dawud, Al Hakim, and Ibn Majah reported according to the conditions of Al Bukhari on the authority of Ibn `Abbas who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prescribed the sadaqah (alms) relating to the breaking of the fast as a purification of the fasting from empty and obscene talk and as food for the poor. If anyone pays it before the prayer (of 'Id) , it will be accepted as zakat. If anyone pays it after the prayer, that will be a sadaqah like other sadaqahs (alms)."
Third, expiation for oath for those who perjured in their oath. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Allâh will not punish you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He will punish you for your deliberate oaths; for its expiation feed ten Masâkîn (needy persons), on a scale of the average of that with which you feed your own families, or clothe them or manumit a slave." [Surat Al Ma'idah: 89].
Fourth, expiation for Az-Zhihar and Zhihar (a man likening his wife to an unmarriageable relative) is a type of divorce that is forbidden by Islam and ordained for its doer to pay an expiation. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And those who make unlawful to them their wives by Zihâr and wish to free themselves from what they uttered." [Surat Al Mujadalah: 3] until Allah says: "And he who finds not (the money for freeing a slave) must fast two successive months before they both touch each other. And he who is unable to do so, should feed sixty Miskîn (needy persons). That is in order that you may have perfect Faith in Allâh and His Messenger. These are the limits set by Allâh. And for disbelievers, is a painful torment." [Surat Al Mujadalah: 4].
Fifth, atonement of the one who deliberately breaks his fast during Ramadan: It is a major atonement exactly as the atonement of Zhihar. Imam Muslim reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: "A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "I am ruined!" The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "What is the matter with you?" He said, "I had sexual relation with my wife (while I was fasting) in Ramadan." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Have you got enough to manumit a slave?" He said, "No." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Can you fast for two successive months?" The man said, "No." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Can you feed sixty poor persons?" The man said, "No." Then the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, "Sit down," and he sat down. Afterwards an 'Irq, i.e., a big basket containing dates was brought to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and the Prophet (peace be upon him) said to him, "Take this and give it in charity." The man said, "To poorer people than we?" On that, the Prophet (peace be upon him) smiled till his premolar teeth became visible, and then told him, "Feed your family with it."
Sixth, expiation in Ramadan for those who are unable to fast due to incurable sickness, old age, or a pregnant who fears for herself or her child. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskîn (needy person) (for every day missed)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 184].
Seventh, booty of war which are the properties of the enemy which we seize by fight and the poor has one fifith of them. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain, verily, one-fifth (1/5th) of it is assigned to Allâh, and to the Messenger (peace be upon him), and to the near relatives [of the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him)], (and also) the orphans, Al-Masâkîn (the needy) and the wayfarer." [Surat Al Anfal: 41].
Eighth, Fay' which the money which are taken from the enemy without fight, and the poor should have part of it. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "What Allâh gave as booty (Fai') to His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him) from the people of the townships - it is for Allâh, His Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him), the kindred (of Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him), the orphans, Al-Masâkîn (the needy), and the wayfarer, in order that it may not become a fortune used by the rich among you." [Surat Al Hashr: 7].
Ninth, ransom of a pilgrim who performs `Umrah then waits for Hajj or when he violates one of the duties of Hajj. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And perform properly (i.e. all the ceremonies according to the ways of Prophet Muhammad SAW), the Hajj and 'Umrah (i.e. the pilgrimage to Makkah) for Allâh. But if you are prevented (from completing them), sacrifice a Hady (animal, i.e. a sheep, a cow, or a camel, etc.) such as you can afford, and do not shave your heads until the Hady reaches the place of sacrifice. And whosoever of you is ill or has an ailment in his scalp (necessitating shaving), he must pay a Fidyah (ransom) of either observing Saum (fasts) (three days) or giving Sadaqah (charity - feeding six poor persons) or offering sacrifice (one sheep)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 196].
Tenth, when a poor or a needy attends the distribution of inheritance, they should be given part of it to please them and comfort their hearts. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "And when the relatives and the orphans and Al-Masâkîn (the needy) are present at the time of division, give them out of the property, and speak to them words of kindness and justice." [Surat An-Nisa': 8].
Eleventh, general charities: They are the voluntary charities which are not obligatory. Allah (may He be Exalted) says: "Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it, and invoke Allâh for them." [Surat At-Tawbah: 103]. Allah (Exalted be He) says: "As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allâh and fears Him, * And believes in Al-Husnâ. * We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness)." [Surat Al Layl: 5 - 7].
Imam Ahmad reported with good a chain of transmission on the authority of `A'ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "O `A'ishah, save yourself from fire even for a half a date."
Twelfth, buried treasures in the ground, minerals, inheritance which has no heir, found money, money blood which has no heir to take, and money which has no owner; part of all these types is given to the poor and the needy as stated by jurists.
By these principles and these resources, Islam opened the door of goodness to the poor in order to live secure under the shade of Islam and of which we realize the concern of Islam with the problems of the poor and that it laid a practical solution to end the problem of poverty. If Muslims follow the rulings of Islam, you will not find among them a poor or a needy under the name of poverty.
O rich, it is a word we say it for the sake of Allah and we would like you to hear: If you obey, that is the utmost goal because we will benefit from your good and benefit, but if you disobey, Allah is greater than you, and it is a warning to you and Allah shall reckon you.
"Today's world is surging in the middle of materialism and communism, the ideas which aim to destruct happiness pervailed, the heart of the poor is filled with raging, the social ties have cut, and the poor classes have looked to the world with a black glasses. They got prepared to lite fire in the body of the social system and declared their intentions, in addition to the establishment of a state that nurtures these poisonious principles and spread these types of aberration if we do not stop that matter and impose the law of Zakah, regulate the resources of benevolence, establish social institutions and care centers to revive the poor, give them their due rights, eliminate that psychological diorder, execute the social insurance law, and maintaining the social justice between classes. If the rich ignore these matters and Muslim rulers overlook these troubles, we expect destruction, annhilation, corruption, and misery that will destroy the happiness of the world.
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