October 17th is World Poverty Day – How do Muslims Fare?

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty – AKA World Poverty Day – nearly faces its 30th anniversary. Since its inception by the United Nations in 1992, there has been notable reduction in extreme poverty. According to the UN, “…most recent estimates, in 2015, 10 percent of the world’s population lived at or below $1.90 a day. That’s down from 16 per cent in 2010 and 36 percent in 1990. This means that ending extreme poverty is within our reach.”

In light of heinous global injustices occurring these past few years, “Acting Together to Achieve Social and Environmental Justice for All” is this year’s theme. Though easily misunderstood and overlooked, social and environmental issues are leading causes for poverty.

What causes poverty?

This short video simplifies some of the issues the billions of people living in poverty face.

Due to zakat and the well-known blessings of being charitable, Muslims are generally very charitable. They are often even statistically cited as the most charitable group. But from an Islamic point of view, why is there poverty?

Do some people “deserve” poverty?

Poverty

“Why Does God Allow Poverty?”

“The message here is that both wealth and poverty are tests. Neither one of them is a privilege. We do not know how people may be performing in their tests. We do not know their rank with God or the results of their tests.” (READ MORE)

October 17th is World Poverty Day - How do Muslims Fare? - About Islam

“Why are There Fortunate and Unfortunate People?”

“The Prophet is reported to have said that God bestows this world’s goods upon whomever He pleases, but knowledge only upon those who petition Him for it.” (READ MORE)

Do you know that the Prophet (pbuh) regularly made dua that included, ““I seek refuge in you from disbelief and poverty”? Omar Sulieman briefly explains what is meant by poverty being a difficult test to a person’s faith:

How should Muslims manage their “wealth”?

Poverty asceticism

“Does Islam Encourage Poverty and Asceticism?”

Someone was telling me a while ago about a Prophetic Hadith where the noble Prophet (peace be upon him) praised the destitute on several occasions, such as the Hadith whose meaning is “The poor will be the first to enter Paradise…” (READ MORE)

What's Islam's Stance on Poverty and Wealth?

“What’s Islam’s Stance on Poverty and Wealth?”

“…it is not strange to witness disparity in people’s income and wealth; since such distinction exists in other highly valued gifts of grace, like intellect, beauty, physical strength and other things that characterize every individual.” (READ MORE)

Giving charity is at the core of Islam, explains Abdal Hakim Murad:

“In the end only dust will fill our mouths.”

A reminder on giving…

Zakat and Sadaqa

“The Hand That Gives: Etiquette of Zakat and Sadaqa”

“Our Prophet did not condone or encourage beggary as a routine source of income. However, we are not, as Muslims, supposed to be harsh with beggars either.” (READ MORE)

An important thing to remember on World Poverty Day and everyday is what the Prophet (pbuh) said about poverty: “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while his neighbor goes hungry.” (Al-Mufrad) Be sure to belong to and act as one of the most charitable groups.