Blog Action Day '08 POVERTY!

Blog Action Day'08 POVERTY

As I mentioned in my previous post, is joining the race within the blogosphere to help a very important cause; the eradication of poverty worldwide. Individuals, celebrities, organizations, and even nations have attempted to salve this problem faced by millions of people around the world, yet unfortunately no significant results are realized.

How can we truly answer this problem once and for all? Is there not a manual that addresses such conditions in any environment? With all of the world’s super powers, wealth, and support for such a cause, why don’t we see progress? Perhaps there’s a fault in the systems implemented in past years. A system that has not been practiced on a macro level for some time now which has proven results in the past is that of the Zakah (‘alms for the poor’) system; the 4th pillar in Islam.

Such a simplistic system that answers the needs of all the needy:

إِنَّمَا الصَّدَقَاتُ لِلْفُقَرَاء وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْعَامِلِينَ عَلَيْهَا وَالْمُؤَلَّفَةِ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَفِي الرِّقَابِ وَالْغَارِمِينَ وَفِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ فَرِيضَةً مِّنَ اللّهِ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيم

As-Sadaqât (here it means Zakât) are only for the Fuqarâ'[] (poor), and Al-Masâkin[] (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds); and for to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islâm); and to free the captives; and for those in debt; and for Allâh’s Cause (i.e. for Mujâhidûn – those fighting in the holy wars), and for the wayfarer (a traveller who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allâh. And Allâh is All-Knower, All-Wise. (At-Tawbah 9:60)

Zakah is an obligation on Muslims to pay; 1/40th (2.5%) of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year is to be collected for distribution to the poor and the needy. If such a ‘tax’ or ‘collection’ was to occur on a mass scale, a collection of ONLY 2.5% of every person wealthy enough to share, is collected and stored within a treasury dedicated specifically for addressing the issue of poverty, I truly doubt that our brothers & sisters in humanity around the world would suffer from this disease much longer.

Praise be to Allah for guiding us to a ‘way’ that addresses every aspect of life; marriage, business, social-dealings, manners, politics, sex, health, education, poverty, and so much more have been addressed through the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Alhamdulilah for having been guided to the truth through the mercy of Allah. It is simply a matter of us applying this noble manual to our life.

There have been times such as that during the time of the Khalifah Umar Ibn AbdulAziz (may Allah reward him) when the treasure house was so full they did not know who to give money to anymore.

Fearful of being tempted into bribery, he rarely accepted gifts, and when he did he promptly deposited them in the public treasury. He even pressured his own wife–who had been daughter, sister and wife to three caliphs in their turn–to donate her jewelry to the public treasury. (source: Wikipedia)

So what is my call? What’s my message on this day that is dedicated to helping the world rid itself from Poverty? My call is specifically to the Muslims. Fear Allah in your wealth. Fulfill the 4th pillar of Islam, and experience one of the many benefits of this act of worship; help your poor brothers and sisters. If until now you have not paid this minute fee, ask Allah for forgiveness and begin today my beloved. It is never too late to return to Allah, and to join this race to the afterlife. May Allah reward you. Ameen!

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