Poverty is a major issue in the world and should be solved as quickly as possible. However for that to happen, all of us need to work hard to help the poor. There are a variety of practical ways you can contribute to alleviating poverty. Needy and poor people die because of a lack of basic amenities. Lack of proper caution and improper knowledge can certainly be hazardous to humanity and mankind. Allah says:
وَلَا يَأْتَلِ أُولُو الْفَضْلِ مِنكُمْ وَالسَّعَةِ أَن يُؤْتُوا أُولِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينَ وَالْمُهَاجِرِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَلْيَعْفُوا وَلْيَصْفَحُوا أَلَا تُحِبُّونَ أَن يَغْفِرَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
“And not let swear those of virtue among you and the amplitude of means that they give (to) the near of kin, and the needy and the emigrants in (the) way (of) Allah. And let them pardon and let them overlook. (Do) not you like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah (is) Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah An-Nur 24:22)
Helping the poor and needy should be the prime objective of every human! Countries across the globe are suffering from extreme poverty issues with subjects degrading down to below the poverty line! The great barrier and space between the rich and the poor are widening and it becomes imperative for every person to lay aid to the issue. It is omniscient that helping our society can bring vast changes to the current scenario. Allah says:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ
“O mankind! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female and We made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, (the) most noble of you near Allah (is the) most righteous of you Indeed, Allah (is) All-Knower, All-Aware.” (Surah Al-Hujurat 49:13)
In the ideal form of society, all resources should be divided equally for everyone in society so that there are no rich and poor. But, sadly, the fact is nothing close to those. The distribution of wealth and money is not equal. So that there are many needy people in our surroundings. If we happen to be luckier than them, we have to fulfil the rights of the needy. It could also be considered a good deed. Allah says:
وَإِذَا أَرَدْنَا أَن نُّهْلِكَ قَرْيَةً أَمَرْنَا مُتْرَفِيهَا فَفَسَقُوا فِيهَا فَحَقَّ عَلَيْهَا الْقَوْلُ فَدَمَّرْنَاهَا تَدْمِيرًا
“And when We intend that We destroy a town, We order its wealthy people but they defiantly disobey therein; so (is) proved true against it the word, and We destroy it (with) destruction.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:16)
Along with the poor, the needy is one that should be given attention by society. The needy are often powerless, abused, and their rights are violated. As a religion, Islam encouraged all Muslims to be kind to the needy and treat them equally. To fulfil their need is our obligation as a good Muslim and a good person.
Following are the few ways to help the poor and needy people:
- Right to defend himself from wrongdoers
- Right to fight for his financial struggle
- Right for the basic needs to be fulfilled
- Right to be helped by the rich
- Right to be equally treated
- Right to become a leader
- Take legislative action
- Better understanding
- Hold a benefit concert
- Donate groceries/eatables
- Right to reject unfair leadership
- Helping the poor through activism
- Help create a dialogue about poverty
- Try to help them find a place like a shelter
- Pledge to give up some treat for a month
- Imparting knowledge can help the poor and needy
The rich people in society have a moral responsibility to fulfil the basic need of the needy. If the rich neglect this duty of theirs and do not share their fortune with the needy, Allah SWT takes this into account and they will be punished on the Day of Judgement.
Ways to Help the Needy
It is clear from the explanation above that we should treat the needy with kindness and justice. And as obedient Muslims, we can follow the Sunnah by doing good deeds to help the needy. Here are some ways to help the needy in everyday life.
- Join the Volunteering Community: To help the needy we can volunteer our time and do good deeds. It’s the best way to help the needy. We can establish a volunteering community that focuses on helping the needy such as arranging a health camp, providing them with free medical check-ups and doctors.
- Fund Raising for the Needy: There are many organizations that strive their focus on helping the needy by raising funds for them. Engage yourself in such activity, join as an active member so you can donate too.
- Raising Awareness: In the internet era, make use of social media by raising awareness by connecting to various charity organizations to help needy people.
- Provide Counseling for them: When they are in poor condition, all they need is moral support. Be there to provide them with the support they need.
- Educating Them: Share your knowledge with the needy, especially the children since they may unable to afford formal education.
The needy have the right to oppose the unfair leader who mistreats them. But the needy requires a lot of support so that their voice will be heard. Simply opening up discussion in your local community, and on a global scale, can help work towards alleviating it. Challenge your friends and family’s assumptions about poverty. Allah says:
وَالَّذِينَ فِي أَمْوَالِهِمْ حَقٌّ مَّعْلُومٌ
“And those who in their wealth (is) a right knew.” (Surah Al-Ma`arij 70:24)
It is nothing new that the poor and the needy are struggling financially. Due to their powerlessness, they are often misused and exploited at work. In many cases, many employers are not getting their wages regularly and right on time. And they have the right to fight for it until their right is fulfilled. Allah says:
وَإِمَّا تُعْرِضَنَّ عَنْهُمُ ابْتِغَاءَ رَحْمَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكَ تَرْجُوهَا فَقُل لَّهُمْ قَوْلًا مَّيْسُورًا
“And if you turn away from them seeking mercy from your Lord, which you expect then say to them a word gentle.” (Surah Al-Isra` 17:28)
There are many areas where the need for sustainable development is required! The best way would be to enrich your knowledge about the various rights that people are deprived of and to garner information as to where to utilize your time and energy. A good deal of research may help you to better link to the rights and betterment of people. Reproductive rights, environmental rights and workers’ rights, when learnt properly can certainly turn out to be bliss for needy people. Allah says:
وَلَمَنِ انتَصَرَ بَعْدَ ظُلْمِهِ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَا عَلَيْهِم مِّن سَبِيلٍ
“And surely whosoever defends himself after he has been wronged, then those not (is) against them anyway.” (Surah Ash-Shura 42:41).
A large number of women die every year due to a lack of reproductive rights. The time has come to take a stand in this matter and save our mothers and sisters! Learning and then distributing knowledge to the local villagers about the birth complications and the nutrition required by a mother can help lower the infant mortality rates to a great extent! Environmental rights along with the workers’ rights can ameliorate the scene, but the foremost thing would be to educate yourself, allied to utterly knowledge. Allah says:
وَنُرِيدُ أَن نَّمُنَّ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اسْتُضْعِفُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ وَنَجْعَلَهُمْ أَئِمَّةً وَنَجْعَلَهُمُ الْوَارِثِينَ
“And We wanted to bestow a favour upon those who were oppressed in the land and make them leaders and make them the inheritors,” (Surah Al-Qasas 28:5)
The best leader in Islam is those who follow the sunnah and Syariah, not defined by wealth or anything else. Which means the poor also have the right to become a leader. The needy are often being mistreated and experienced many injustice events. While justice is equal for everyone, the needy have the right to defend themselves from the wrongdoers and get the right treatment.