Home

ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

33.4 POVERTY, al faqr

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

33.4.1 NATURE and CAUSES OF POVERTY

The Qur’an refers to poverty as faqr, masknat, and ‘imlaaq. Shaitan uses human fear of poverty to frighten and control people. Poverty can be a form of punishment. Poverty has its own merit. The majority of the inhabitants of jannat will be the poor. The main causes of poverty are family breakdown, non-payment of zakat, social injustice, and physical disasters.

 

33.4.2 EFFECTS OF POVERTY

Poverty is associated with malnutrition and ill-health. It destroys human dignity and self-worth replacing them with despair and loss of hope. Poverty undermines self-confidence and assertiveness making it difficult to resist temptation to sin and crime. People may resort to crime to meet basic human needs. Social instability results when the deprived fight the well to do.

 

33.4.3 POVERTY MITIGATION by SOCIAL WELFARE, takaful ijtimae:

The Qur’an has taught many ways of mitigating or eradicating poverty. The target groups for poverty programs are the weak and needy: the maskiin, the faqiir, orphans, widows, and the elderly. Their needs are food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and education. The main sources of resources are zakat al mal, zakat al fitr, and sadaqat al tatawu’u, kaffarat, adhahi, ‘aqiiqah, and waqf. The institutions involved in social welfare are the extended family, waqf institutions, the government, and social insurance.

 

33.4.4 ERADICATION OF POVERTY

Equitable distribution of the world resources will eliminate much of the poverty existing at the moment. However concerted international action is not possible. The primary role of the government is to ensure just economic distribution, employment opportunities, infra-structure, and a non-riba economy. Conditions of peace and stability will enable the community build safety nets for the most vulnerable citizens. Stability and continuity of the nuclear family protects children from poverty. Open migration will enable people to move from places with no economic opportunities to others where they can help themselves.

 

33.4.5 MISUSE OF WEALTH, taraf

Taraf, waste of food, and a hedonistic lifestyle waste resources that could have been used to help the poor.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004