Monday, September 2, 2019

Muslim views on wealth and poverty Essay

The topic wealth and poverty is very important in Islam. Humans naturally love wealth and possessions, but Muslims believe that all wealth is created and given to us by Allah and so it belongs to him. Humans can only work hard but any wealth that is given to them is from Allah. Because of this, Muslims believe wealth should be spent on family and also on those who are in need. What is poverty in Islam Muslims believe life is a test from Allah, and we can either choose to follow him or follow the path of Shaytan (Satan). Muslims believe nothing can happen to them that is outside the plans of Allah. Suffering and pain are part of his plans to test the faith of people. There are two different types of evil according to Hindus: Natural evil which is a result of natural processes. Death comes as a result of committing natural evil. And moral evil. Hindus believe that Hindus just need to commit moral evils such as incest, theft, adultery, lying and murder. They believe this comes from the law of karma. If a person suffers in this world, it is because of bad karma in a previous life. Muslims believe life is a test of obedience to Allah; therefore poverty is a test of patience from Allah. They belief that they are in a wining position because if they don’t have wealth, they are being rewarded for their patience. Non believers do bad things yet they live luxuriously, but Muslims do good and still are poor. This is because they believe that the aim in life is to obey Allah, and their patience will be rewarded, where as non believers, believe that the aim in life is to get as much wealth as possible, which takes them away from the path of Allah, as it says in the Qur’an verse â€Å"To Allah we belong and to Him is our return† (2:156). What is Wealth in Islam and how does Islam deal with it? The Muslim ummah is very important in Islam, as we should treat every Muslim as our brothers and sisters so everyone is responsible for one and other, helping the neighbors and being kind to each other. â€Å"O mankind! We made you from a single (pair) of a male and female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that you may despise each other) Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)† (49:13) Life is a test for the rich and he poor. The rich will usually have nice lives as Allah has blessed them, but they must not let greed take over their soul. â€Å"Riches are sweet and a source of blessing to those who acquire them in a way: but those who seek them out of greed are like people who eat but are never full†¦Ã¢â‚¬  (The Prophet S.A.W hadith). They must use their wealth in the right way and Allah is testing them. The wealthy should give charity and zakah and earn Halal money. The poor are tested in Islam by their patience. Muslims believe if you are patient then Allah will reward you. They also know that nothing in this life belongs to them; it all belongs to Allah so they should focus on their faith rather than their wealth. â€Å"and know that your possessions and your children are but a trail and that surely Allah is a mighty reward† (8:28) Allah has given us wealth and Muslims know that it doesn’t belong to them. The wealth is not ours; therefore, we should share Allah’s possessions with the poor. Muslims do this by giving charity, such as zakah, sadaqah, sadaqah jariyah etc. What is Zakah? Zakah is one of the pillars of Islam, in which we must give at least 2.5% of our income to the poor. It is compulsory to all Muslims who have enough money to pay zakah, they must have had the money for year, they cant be in debt, they cant be mental and they must be past the age of maturity. â€Å"And (in the daytime and at night) establish the prayer and pay Zakah and [for the cause of your religion and state] lend to Allah a befitting loan, and remember whatever good you send forth for yourselves you shall find it with Allah better than before and greater in reward.† (73:20) The Qur’an demands that individuals take material responsibility for poverty and suffering in the Muslim community (ummah). That is why the Qur’anic revelation above demands that each person give up a certain amount of material wealth to support the poor. We must give zakah to the poor, the indigent, the sick the blind, orphans, the suffering etc. The following table shows the rates of zakah: Wealth Amount Rate Cash in hand or bank Our value of 595g silver 2.5% Gold and silver 85g gold, 595 g silver 2.5% Trading goods Value of 595g sliver 2.5% Cows and buffaloes 30 1 Goats and sheep 40 1 Mining produce any 20% agricultural Per harvest 10% from rain watered land 5% from irrigated land camels Per 5 1 sheep or goat Zakah al Fitr? Zakat al fitr is given at the end of Ramadan, before the eid prayer. It is necessary for who ever is capable to give it. It is to purify your soul, make up for the errors committed during Ramadan and it is also to help the poor on the holy eid day. It is estimated that approximately 3 pounds should be given from each member of your family. Aqiqah? Seven days after the birth of the child comes the aqiqah . it is a celebration where friends and relatives to come and eat and the baby is named. During this celebration the babies’ hair is shaved and by tradition, the same weight of hair in gold or silver is given to the poor, other Muslims offer a sacrifice. The meat is often shared with the family, the visitors and the poor. Sadaqah? Not every one is rich so how can the poor give charity? Charity comes in many forms weather it is giving money to the poor, building a mosque or even smiling at someone. To clean the streets of hurtful things is also a charity. Every one in the world is capable of doing charity as Abu Dharr (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (S.A.W) said â€Å"there is no person who does not have the obligation of (doing) a charity every day that the sun rises.† He also said â€Å"smiling in the face of your brother is a charity†¦ and pouring out from your bucket into your brother’s bucket is a charity.† Sadaqah jariyah Sadaqah is on going charity. The reward for this type of charity benefits the donor even after they have passed away for as long as people receive the benefit from the donor’s charity. Forms of charity can be many things such as providing a well for clean water or even building a hospital. The prophet (S.A.W) said â€Å"when a man dies his action comes to an end except for three: an ongoing charity, knowledge that benefits others and pious offspring who pray for him† Riba/Interest Riba is the Arabic term used for usury. In Islamic terminology interest means effortless profit or that profit which comes free from compensation or that extra earning that is free of exchange. Riba is haram in Islam. The reason for this is because it is concerned a form of injustice, and exploitation. The economy today is debt based, and only does risk transfer, where as the Islamic economy is asset-based and doe risk sharing, it is all about fairness to all parties. The prophet (S.A.W) said † a dirham of usury a man devours with knowledge is greater than thirty six fornications† and it is also reported that he said â€Å"cursed the devourer of usury, its payer, its scribe and its two witnesses, and he said that they are equal (in sins).† Conclusion In conclusion wealth and poverty are very important matters in Islam. As Muslims we should know that life is given to us by Allah, therefore every thing in or possession belongs to Him so we must share our wealth. It is our duty as Muslims to help the ummah, and giving zakah and sadaqah will pure us from our greed and help our ummah. Also everyday friendly gestures such as smiling, helping can be a form of charity so you don’t ever need wealth to give charity.

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