Poverty starts at home

September 14, 2011 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

By Mohamed Mohamed

As prices from all over the world increases, we are finding it more difficult day by day to afford the things we used to be able to buy without thinking twice. Everything has increased in terms of prices from food, to living expenses, university fees, petrol and even travelling by public transport. The effect that this has on the people is immense, as it means people will no longer be able to live in peace and could potentially lead to a life of stress and worry on how one will be able to provide for his or her family.

As a Muslim I believe it is against my religion to involve any of my wealth in riba (interest). It is a command from Allah who says in the Quran “That which you give in usury for increase through the property of people will have no increase with Allah: but that which you give for charity seeking the countenance of Allah, it is these who will get a recompense multiplied.” What we can deduce from this ayah is that giving charity does not decrease wealth as Allah says it will instead increase your good deeds. Even at times like that we are in now where you have poverty on the increase as well as homeless people on the rise; it does not justify indulging in interest.

With all this it brings about fear to families about living in poverty. So what is poverty? Here is an ongoing debate about what ‘poverty’ means and how to measure it. However, most commentators agree that poverty needs to be understood in relation to typical living standards in society.

Here is a widely-used definition from Professor Peter Townsend “Individuals, families and groups in the population can be said to be in poverty when they lack the resources to obtain the types of diet, participate in the activities, and have the living conditions and amenities which are customary, or are at least widely encouraged and approved, in the societies in which they belong”.

There are a number of things which contribute to poverty. Unemployment has risen again over the past three months; low wages are also a concern, especially in single income households.

Also a contributing factor is benefits and tax credits, that are supposed to act as a safety net, are too low to protect families with children from poverty. Their value remains significantly below the poverty line.

So what are the consequences one may ask? We know it has an effect on children in terms of underperforming on the education level, poor health and also causes a lack of social interaction with the community.

When we consider we are living on the border line poverty or in poverty itself, one should not despair and always look at the people who are less fortunate than you as this is the teaching of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The situation of those living in the UK cannot compare with those in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

We must learn to be grateful, appreciate what we have, and abstain from interest as it has a greater consequence in the eyes of Allah, and most importantly give of the sake of Allah as it will protect you and your family from all calamities.

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Entry filed under: Charities, Our Community, Uncategorized, Unity. Tags: , , , .

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