09 July, 2006
Poverty was almost extinct during the time of early Caliphs. Islam offers a built-in system to alleviate poverty. But the trouble in our country is that Islamist parties themselves live on the life support of donations and collection of sacrificial animal skins. The Qur'an emphatically states that God owes to all living creatures their "daily bread". The Americans started life proclaiming that God has given two hands to fill the belly. But in Islam there is great thrust on spending on welfare and uplift of the society. God promises to multiply the amount spent on welfare by seven hundred times. This decree alone can reduce poverty to the bare minimum. Again there is a "Hadith-epQudsi" that those who recite the Sura Waqia in the Qur'an every day will never have his wants in life unfulfilled. Again Allah has kept "Berkat" in honest practices in trade. Few people care honesty in trade and commerce. It is Islamic values that can alleviate poverty. Take the system of Zakat. The Islamist parties can cooperate with the government in establishing the system of "Zakat" and its distribution. But what a shame that each Islamist party is hungry and thirsty itself to eat the "Zakat" and even the small amount of "Fitra" which is compulsory on each Muslim of means for the welfare of very poor people in one's locality. Somebody should create proper awareness in the masses about true values and practices of Islam.