THE MENACE OF POVERTY: THE ISLAMIC SOLUTION (PEOPLE AND POVERTY)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIFTH KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF RABI’UL-AWWAL 30/R.AWWAL/1438AH (30 /DECEMBER/2016CE)

THE MENACE OF POVERTY: THE ISLAMIC SOLUTION (PEOPLE AND POVERTY)

Praise be to Allah, the lord of the worlds, the sustainer of the heavens and earth, the disposer of the affairs of all creation who honoured man with the best prophet. I praise and thank Him for His grace and honour and beseech Him for more. I testify there is no god but Allah alone, the compassionate, the merciful, the generous, the Perpetual Forgiver. I testify that our leader- Muhammad (pbuh) is his servant and messenger, his beloved and chosen one among his creation, the leader of the children of Adam.  He is the leader of the messengers, the seal of prophets, the mercy offered to the universe, the illuminating lamp. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, companions and whoever follows them till the day of recompense.

Having said that,

Dear Muslims, I enjoin you and I to fear Allah in accordance with the verse:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ ( آل عمران : 102 )

O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].” (3: 102) .

Today being the fifth sermon in the month of Rabi’ul- Awwal our topic is on THE MENACE OF POVERTY: THE ISLAMIC SOLUTION. It is actually divided into two parts thus: Peoples Opinion of poverty and the Islamic view. Today, we shall treat the first part while we shall take the second next week, Allah’s willing.

Dear honoured Muslims, verily the topic of our sermon is taken from the book by Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi titled- The Menace of Poverty and how Islam rendered solution. Sheikh Qaradawi elucidated the menace of poverty and its solution concisely in the following manner:

People’s stand concerning menace of poverty:

  • Position of sanctifiers of poverty: Among them is a group of ascetics, mystics who claim that poverty is no evil to be sought freedom from, or a problem to seek solution for, rather it is a favour from Allah driven towards whom He likes among His servants, in order that his heart remain attached to the hereafter away from the world, connected with Allah, kind to mankind, in contrast to the rich who transgresses and unmindful, leading to recklessness and tyranny.
  • The Jabariyyin- the fatalist: The second group are oppose to the former- who sees it as evil and trial- in their view of poverty, but this group sees it as a destiny from heaven which could not be cured by drugs or medicine. Poverty of the poor and the affluence of the rich is the will of God and might, if Allah had wish, He would have all men rich, granting each person the treasures of Qarun, however, He wish to elevate a group over the other in rank, He extends provision for whom He wills and restricts it for whom He wills in order to test them out of what He gave them, no rejecter of His favour, and no reviewer to His judgement, … and so on, of good words but with bad intent. The only solution this group could offer is to appeal to the indigent to be pleased with the destiny, and be patient over the trial, to be contented with the gift, for contentment is inexhaustible treasure, … contentment to them is acceptance of the reality, no matter the condition.
  • Proponent of individual kindness: The third group aligns with the second group in the summary of its concept about poverty, it sees it as evil and trial as well, it regards it as a problem which needs solution, only that the solution is not limited to admonishing the indigents on being pleased, contentment like the second group. Rather it recommend to the rich to be humble and kind and be charitable to the poor, promising them beautiful rewards before Allah if they heed the call, and it warns them of an evil end if they are wicked to the poor and indigents.
  • Capitalism view: The fourth group views poverty as one of the evils of life and its challenges, but the one to be held responsible for it is the poor man himself, or the portion, or the destiny, or whatever you like, but not the State, not the government, and nor the rich one, every individual is responsible for himself. He is free in his disposition, He is free in his wealth. The leader of this school of this movement is Qarun, who was among the people of Musa (AS) and transgressed against them. Allah gave him of treasures whose keys would burden a band of strong men: Allah says: (﴿وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَلَا تَنْسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَحْسِنْ كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ﴾ [القصص:28\77]) But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters.” (28: 77). His clear response as reported in the Qur’an is: (﴿قَالَ إِنَّمَا أُوتِيتُهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ عِنْدِي أَوَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ أَنَّ اللَّهَ قَدْ أَهْلَكَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ مِنَ الْقُرُونِ مَنْ هُوَ أَشَدُّ مِنْهُ قُوَّةً وَأَكْثَرُ جَمْعًا وَلَا يُسْأَلُ عَنْ ذُنُوبِهِمُ الْمُجْرِمُونَ﴾ [القصص:28\78]) “He said, “I was only given it because of knowledge I have.” Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him of generations those who were greater than him in power and greater in accumulation [of wealth]? But the criminals, about their sins, will not be asked.” (28: 78). The followers of the Qarunite thinking belief as well that whatever they have acquired of wealth is from their intelligence alone, and that the owner of wealth is more deserving of his wealth than any other than him, he has freedom to spend as he wills …
  • Marxists’ Socialism: They proclaim: Verily there would be no end to poverty and justice for the poor except by putting an end to the rich class of the society, and the source of their income, and to block them from their wealth from wherever direction it comes from, and in the process it is necessary to incite other classes in the society against them, fuel the fire of envy and hatred in their hearts, leading to conflict amongst the classes until the highest in number comes out victorious in the end, and that is the labour class called the Proletariat. The exponents of this ideology were not contented with the wipe out of the rich class and the source of their income alone, they further moved to wage war against the concept of ownership itself, they forbid ownership for all people whatever the source, especially, land, factories, machinery, etc referred to as the resources of production. These are the exponents of revolution communism and socialism … there are certain concepts agreed upon by all the factions of socialism- the extremist and moderate, which is hatred and war against individual possession, describing it as source of every evil, despite difference in the manner of fighting it …

ISLAMIC VIEW OF POVERTY

  • Islam is oppose to the position of the sanctifiers of poverty: Islam dislikes the opinion of the first group to poverty specifically, and to the good life in general.

Islam denies the first group’s view on poverty in particular, and to the good life in general, and denies the Sufis position of acceptance of the ideas that came to the Muslims from the Persian Manichaean, Indian Sufi, and monastic Christianity and Indian mysticism, the extremist, and that there is no verse of the Qur’an which praises poverty nor the hadith of the Messenger of Allah.

Islam on the other hand views wealth as a favour from Allah which deserves gratitude, and views poverty as a problem to seek refuge from Allah against and it has place several methods to solve it.

Suffice it to mention here that Allah bestows riches upon His Messenger as He says: “And He found you poor and made [you] self-sufficient.” (98: 8). He also made giving out money an act worthy of rewards thus: “nd said, ‘Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers ( 12 )   And give you increase in wealth and children and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. (71: 10-12).

The prophet – pbuh- said: “Suffice as mercy is a good wealth granted a righteous man” Narrated by Ahmad, Tabarani
– Poverty is a threat to the faith:

  • Poverty as a threat to behaviour and character
  • Poverty as threat to human intellect
  • Poverty as a threat to family
  • Poverty as a threat to the society and its stability

SECOND KHUTBAH

All praises are due to Allah who says:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

 Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]. (30:41). We praise and thank Him, believe and depend on Him. I testify there is no god but Allah alone and I testify that our leader- Muhammad (pbuh) is his servant and messenger.  May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, companions and whoever follows them till the day of recompense.

We register our disagreement, dismay and disapproval to the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill being raised by Senator Christine Olujimi From Ekiti State which seeks to eradicate the teachings of Islam even Christianity regarding Inheritance, Islamic Education, and Etiquette as it concerns the two sexes. We call on the President of the Senate back down on the passage of the bill – which have passed the reading- as it will create disagreement in the land.

Oh Allah descend peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations. O Allah accept the worship of the pilgrims of hajj and Umrah, and grant us all Your pleasure, And the last of our call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!”

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