The Friday Message – Issue No: 278 - Wealth in Islam


Issue No: 278
20th January 2017
21st Rabi al Thaani 1438 A.H.

Salamun alaykum,

Meeting point: Davos city:

A record 2500 delegates drawn from business, politics, civil society, science and culture sectors have descended in the picturesque ski-resort city of Davos, Switzerland this week from 17th – 20th January, 2017.The record turnout at this show piece assembly includes 1,500 top business leaders from over 140 countries and more than 300 heads of state /government to attend the 47th edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual meeting.
The WEF is a non-profit organization, founded in 1971, to unite international political leaders, business leaders and journalists from across the globe to discuss and shape global, regional and industrial agendas with regards to economics, health and the environment.

Wealth: concentrated in handful:

Oxfam; the anti-poverty charity released a report : An Economy for the 99%. The research warned of an ever-increasing concentration of wealth by a handful of rich men. It found that the world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth as 3.6 Billion people, who constitute the poorest half of the globe’s population. It is more than grotesque that as growth continues to benefit the richest, the rest of society, especially the poorest, suffers. The report added that since 2015 the richest 1% of people own more wealth than the other 99% combined on the planet.
Obviously this rising inequality in wealth ownership is dangerous and definitely has ramifications on numerous agendas affecting man including peace, governance, happiness and living standards of the global citizen.

Divine Message:

All the distinguished Messengers of God realized the severity of the concentration of wealth in a few, the crisis of poverty and its impact on people. They instilled seeking an honest and fair living and exhorted to be charitable. They treated the poor with mercy and kindness, supported the poor and even lived amongst them.

Wealth in Islam:

Wealth in Islam is considered as n’imah-gift- from Allah SWT and man as the khalif- steward- of Allah SWT is a trustee of this gift and other numerous Divine gifts. Islam neither opposes material pursuit nor does it promote obsessive accumulation of wealth. The doctrines of Islam have set into place a check whereby the material development of human being does not eclipse the spiritual development. Further in order to mitigate the effects due to inequality prevailing in the society it rewards in abundance the spending of wealth on individual, family and the society.

A cause of poverty:

A tradition from the 6th Imam J’afar As Saadiq a.s. reports that a cause of the people falling into poverty, becoming needy, hungry and naked is due to the wrong doing of the persons having wealth.
This indicates that the state of poverty and inequality in wealth is a consequence of concentration of wealth without due attention to responsibility towards its ownership.

Reflect:

  • How covetous are you in pursuit of accumulating wealth?
  • As the steward of Allah for the n’ima of wealth are you discharging your responsibility towards your family, community, society, the nation and the world?

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat

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