The Solution to the Problem of Wealth and Poverty

Al A’llaamah Abdur Rahmaan As-Sa’dee The aims and politics of people have varied greatly regarding the issue of wealth and poverty according to their personal ambitions not in accordance to their following the truth and looking for the comprehensive good of all. All of them erred from the beneficial way in as much as they were not restricted by the directives of the Islamic religion. Their ideas varied and they acted accordingly whereupon far reaching evil and tremendous trials occurred between those who claimed to help against poverty, the impoverished, the laborers and those miserably holding on to the wealth and money. Allah guided the believers to the straight path in all of their affairs in general and concerning this issue particularly. The religion came with what is for the good of the rich and poor according to what is possible in as much as that Allah ruled in His decree and pre-destining that the creation are

different levels, some are rich, some are poor, some are noble and some are ignoble for the purpose of tremendous aspects of wisdom and secrets that would be difficult to fully express. He connected them to one another with strong bonds and subjected them to each other whereas balanced interests are exchanged between them and they need one another. The Wise Law Giver legislated firstly: that they be brothers and not exploit one another for personal exploitation, but rather it instructed them to undertake towards one another their legislated obligations by which their harmony would be completed and life would be established. It ordered everyone to direct themselves in their entirety to the general interests that would benefit both parties such as the bodily acts of worship, charitable projects, struggling against and confronting the enemy and repelling their enmity by every means while each person does according to their ability and strength. This person does so with his body and money, another does so bodily, another does so monetarily; another does so with his influence and direction while still another does so with his learning and teaching. This is because the ultimate goal is one and the interest are shared. The goal is noble and the means to it are noble. Furthermore, He mandated in the wealth of the rich the obligation of Zakah according to what has come of legislated details. He made its payment to repel the needs of the needy and to facilitate the interest of the religion which establishes

the affairs of the religion and the world. He encouraged kindness at every time and every occasion and mandated warding off the dire necessities from those in dire need, feeding the hungry and clothing the unclothed. Likewise he obligated particular expenditures upon family and children and all connected to them and to establish the obligations of interpersonal dealings that occur between people. Along with that he ordered them not to merely rely upon their might or power and not to look at their possessions with an unchangeable or tranquil outlook, but rather their outlook should always be to Allah, His favor, His making things easy and to seeking His assistance as well being grateful to Him for what He graciously bestowed upon them and specially gave to them of richness and wealth. He mandated upon them to stay within the bounds and not submerge themselves into luxuriousness and extravagance in such a manner so as to harm their morals, character and all of their circumstances. Rather they are to be as Allah the most high said:

{ ‫والذين إذا أنفقوا ل يسرفوا ول يقتروا وكان بي ذلك قواما } [ سورة الفرقان‬ 67 ‫] : الية‬
Along with that He ordered that their seeking of richness and the world be a noble, clean endeavor such as that they not be

polluted with unclean earnings which lay between usury, gambling, cheating, treachery and deception. Rather, they are to restrict themselves with the fair restrictions of the religion in their transactions just as they restrict their selves with it in their worship. Also it ordered them to look at the poor with mercy and kindness, not with an outlook of harshness, cruelty, selfishness, pompousness, gluttony and arrogance. With these wise instructions the wealth in the religion is in the epitome of nobility and perfect consideration and so richness in this aspect is a praiseworthy characteristic and a perfect, high and lofty quality on account of the religion having disciplined and cleaned it. It encourages distancing ones self from its vileness and encourages the acquiring of its virtues. As for what Islam does with the poor then it orders them and anyone who has not reached his personal likes to be patient and pleased with Allah’s decree and control and to recognize that Allah is All Wise thus having various wisdom in that as well as assorted benefits:

{ ‫وعسى أن تكرهوا شيئا وهو خي لكم وعسى أن تبوا شيئا وهو شر لكم وال‬ 216 ‫] يعلم وأنتم ل تعلمون } [ سورة البقرة : الية‬
Their having this outlook will cause the departure of sadness that occurs in hearts which causes incapability and laziness.

Furthermore it ordered them not to look at the creation to ward of their poverty and need and not to ask them except when asking is unavoidable in dire necessity to do so and that they are to seek the warding off of poverty from Allah alone without partners with what He has made as means to repel poverty and acquire richness. There are various deeds and means and each person is to busy himself with the means that apply to him and are befitting of his circumstance. In doing so he benefits from being free of the yoke of the creation and trains himself on strength, activity and combating laziness and inactivity. Alongside that, no jealousy falls into his heart for the rich over what Allah gave them from his bounty.

{ ‫ول تتمنوا ما فضل ال به بعضكم على بعض للرجال نصيب ما اكتسبوا‬ } ‫وللنساء نصيب ما اكتسب واسألوا ال من فضله إن ال كان بكل شيء عليما‬ 32 ‫] [ سورة النساء : الية‬
Also He ordered them to be sincere in their actions, transactions and industries and not hasten sustenance in getting dispicable earnings that do away with the worldly life and religion. Also it ordered them with two matters that will help them against the difficulty of poverty: Moderation in the management of ones livelihood and being satisfied with Allah’s sustenance. Therefore little sustenance alongside wise moderation will be much and satisfaction is an unexhaustable treasure and is richness with no money. How many poor persons have been divinely guided in favor of moderation and satisfaction, not envying the luxurious wealthy or being disturbed by the scarcity of what he has of little sustenance?

When the poor are guided with the directives of the religion such as patience and being attached to Allah, freedom of the yoke of creation, hard work and striving in noble beneficial actions and satisfaction with Allah’s favor, the downtrodden feeling and hardship of poverty will ease up for them. Along with that they don’t cease striving to get wealth, hope in their lord and await His promise. The are to have taqwa of Allah for verily:

{ ‫ومن يتق ال يعل له مرجا ويرزقه من حيث ل يتسب ومن يتوكل على ال‬ 3 , 2 ‫] فهو حسبه } [ سورة الطلق : اليتان‬
So these are the religious teachings and directives from Allah and His Messenger to the wealthy people and the poor that will facilitate goodness for them and repell them from evils and harms. They will produce the most beautiful fruits for them in the immediate and the eventual sense. This is the only solution from The Glorious Lord for the problem of wealth and poverty and whatever there is besides that is hardship, wretchedness, harm and destruction. And Allah alone is the True Guide.