Who is poor ? Islam’s solution…

Investors showed their frustrations at the falling index by vandalizing private vehicles and other properties. An act of rage from the ‘have nots’ for failing to “catch up” in the wealth ladder.

Bets failed when share prices plunged making small investors poorer than their starting points. They did not enter the share market to become poor. They wanted to become rich, overnight. Rich means big bank accounts, nice cars and platinum cards. Poor means not enough money, struggling with bills and constantly broke. Quite obviously, under this definition, poor youngsters want to be rich, they want respect for their wealth and they want to enjoy their life.

For rest of the society such definitions give rise to the classical “cut throat” capitalistic theory where each man is for himself. He does not care what happens to his neighbor, as long as he gets what he wants. Social harmony gets replaced by ‘get rich quick’ kind of concepts. For those who can climb up that ‘wealth ladder’ this is a beautiful system, empowering their economic freedom to realize individual dreams. But for majority of people, this system narrows down to an extremely individualistic view point for life. Its effect is felt in general anarchy, depression amongst ‘have nots’, rise in financial crimes and an overall increase in criminal activities.

Parents will struggle to transfer values, morals and ethics down to their children, when they will observe the social class differences between “rich” and “poor” in a capitalist society (aka market driven, open competition or global economy). Children will want to study to get a certificate which fetches a rewarding job. Hospitals will be privatized. Schools will be segregated. Such a society holds its ideological concept on GREED. Is that what we want?

If we really want such a greedy society, we must also be prepared to accept its ‘cause and effects’. We can’t pick up one end of a stick whilst denying to hold its other end! But if we don’t want such a society, we would need to find an alternative system to not only promote certain values in society but also to protect them.

What did our Holy Prophet Syedena Muhammad (swm) say about being poor….

One day the Prophet asked his dear companions whether they knew who was poor?

They answered that poor was one who had no dirham or dinar (money)’, He said:“In my Ummah, the poor is that man who would appear on the Day of the Judgment before Allah; he had offered prayer; he had paid Zakat ; he had observed fast; but he would have abused somebody, he would have falsely accused someone; he would have unauthorisedly taken some one else’s property; he would have murdered someone; would have hit somebody.

All his virtues would be given to his victims. If his virtues are finished before his wicked deeds are finished, then the errors and sins of the victims would be given to him and he would be thrown into the Hell.” (Muslim)


Dinars, Dollars and Pounds don’t make us rich or poor. It is our conduct with “people” which makes us rich or poor in Islam. A Muttaqeen will do good to people and avoid harm to people because of his awareness of Allah swt and the Day of Judgement. Islamic society is based on Taqwa, Goodness, Righteousness and Piousness. Muttaqeen will have no need to gamble or steal from others to become rich because definition of rich in Islam is completely different. He will concentrate on doing good (maroof) and avoiding evil (munkar), to become rich. An Islamic society would indeed be a very very wealthy society.


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