Muslims are permitted to have wealth, but are not permitted to show it off in an extravagant way. Out of this wealth they must help the poor and needy in certain ways such as paying Zakah, which is obligatory upon every Muslim man and woman whom possesses more than the nisab (threshold). The rich can also help the poor by giving Sadaqah, which is charity. It is given as a gift from a person's own wealth. Allah reminds us:
'' O you who believe! Shall I leave you to a bargain that will save you from grievous suffering? You are to believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive hard in Allah's cause with your possessions and your lives: this is for your own good-if only you had known it.''
Zakah is necessary to help create an economically balanced economy. Zakah will necessitate the rich paying a small part (2.5%) to help those designated, so the rich get richer with blessings and the poor get richer financially. The original meaning of Zakah means to 'purify' and through paying Zakah a Muslim's wealth becomes pure and blessed. It also helps to purify the giver of Zakah from greed and stinginess. Zakah is paid after the nisab has been reached and is only paid once a year. Allah in the Quran determines the distribution of Zakah:
'' Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer the funds: for those whose hearts have been recently reconciled to the Truth; for those in bondage and in debt in the cause of Allah and for the wayfarer Thus is ordained by Allah. And Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom.'' Al-Quran 9:60
Sadaqah is not compulsory, but is greatly blessed as the giver is making a sacrifice of their wealth. Sadaqah can take on many forms and need not be just a gift of money, everyone can give Sadaqah. A kind word or a gesture is an act of Sadaqah. The Prophet once said:
''Each person's every joint must perform a charity every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings is a charity; a good word is a charity; every step you take to prayers is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.'' Hadith-Bukhari
It is a duty for all Muslims to strive towards the truth and it is quite often the case that a desire or greed for this world will cloud this judgement. Wealth plays a large part in this. The Prophet said:
'' If there was a valley of gold for the son of Adam, he would long for another one. A man will never be satisfied, only death will stop him from being greedy. Allah returns to him who repents.'' Hadith-Muslim
The need for world development is vital, as equality is not present in the world today. The capitalism system has taken over the world, especially the rich countries. This is whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It is devastating based on an Islamic point of view. The people today are blinded by this system and little is done to reduce the difference between the rich and the poor. This is why certain countries today have been labelled as third world countries. Poverty is immense in the world and the poor require a lot of help from the rich they depend on the rich.
Different countries have educational levels, health facilities, water supply and infrastructure. This is all depending on their financial status. The world is separated in different categories and because of this mankind has lost the basis of its creation which is equality. The poor are treated differently not like any average human being. The differences between the rich and the poor should be reduced because this is the core of development. The world is for everyone and for this reason the rich should help the poor in aspects that they are more superior at. Every human being should have a taste of comfortable life. The poor have the right to be assisted by the rich and provided by the rich. The rich should make the poor feel equal to them and help them as they rely on the rich.
Nowadays there are issues involving LEDC's and MEDC's. There is a large gap between the rich and the poor countries because the rich only associate themselves with other rich countries, without having a concern for the poor countries and the suffering they face. The lack of resources that the poor have makes the people greedy and desiring. They desire the luxuries and easy life that the rich people enjoy. This causes the Governments of these countries to become corrupt. Because the people of these countries are so uneducated due to the lack of resources they have, they cannot speak out against these Governments. Therefore these people become oppressed and insufficient. They cannot provide for their families and others who rely on them.
The rich countries also put pressure on the poorer countries infra structure by buying things off them for extremely cheap prices. The poor countries cannot stop them because they are so in need of money that they give in to them. They are unaware of the fact that they are being taken advantage of. The rich countries are also responsible for the civil wars and tragedies that strike these many poor countries. They promote puppet leaders who give in to these richer countries, rather than concerning about the welfare of their own people.
These leaders are then in turn disliked by their people so the people rebel killing many people. Many people lose everything that they have, which makes them reliant on other people. When the poor countries become reliant on others, the rich countries sell goods to them for high prices that the poor countries can just about afford, before charging interest on the loans that they also give out.
Islamic Relief is a Muslim agency working for world development. It takes great care to direct aid where it is needed most, by meeting needs quickly and efficiently. Islamic Relief aims to be community focused enabling donors to see where their money is spent. It trains people who are then sent to deprived areas to assess the actual needs. Islamic Relief see that the money they receive is helping those in need and is not only sent to local governments is stricken areas. There will always be ongoing projects that can be funded with long term action plans.
It is not always possible for Islamic Relief to predict where aid is needed, where disasters will often hit, whether natural or not. Due to its international network, it can react quickly to disasters such as earthquakes. It does not get involved in political issues, as human suffering is not a political issue. Islamic Relief will set up key projects that are proven to work and great emphasis is placed on getting a community back on its feet.
Longer term planning is essential, immediate relief is given. It gives interest free loans that enable afflicted people to rebuild their communities. Suffering people are not always necessarily in need of charity but prefer to re-establish their rights. Islamic Relief provides this longer-term support to enable these things to happen. The organisation will strive to ensure that the needy do not become dependant on begging.
Islamic Relief works worldwide to provide for the needs of the people who are less fortunate than us. They provide people with opportunities to gain an education and become self-reliant. They do not only give loans but also help communities by giving them money that has been donated by people. This part of Islamic Relief allows Muslims to carry out acts of charity (Sadaqah) and also Zakah.
This is worship for Muslims who pay the Sadaqah or Zakah and for the people who receive it. This helps to bridge the differences between the rich and the poor because the rich can purify their wealth and the poor can feel appreciation and love for the rich. This also removes any jealousy and desire from the hearts of the poor.