All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servants and Messenger.

Dear Servants of Allah! First of all, you should know that poverty is a social condition that is characterised by the lack of resources necessary for basic survival or enough to meet a certain minimum level of living standards expected for the place where one lives. The income level that determines poverty is different from place to place, so social scientists believe that it is best defined by conditions of existence, like lack of access to food, clothing, shelter, education etc.

People in poverty typically experience persistent hunger or starvation, inadequate or absent education and health care, and are usually alienated from mainstream society.

Poverty is a consequence of the uneven distribution of material resources and wealth on a global scale and within nations. Sociologists see it as a social condition of societies with unequal and inequitable distribution of income and wealth, and the exploitative effects of global capitalism.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! You should also know that this subject of poverty is a long and very wide one and many books and researches were published in its regard, hence it is not possible to discuss this matter in details in this Sermon. However, I may say the following:

Islam is especially distinguished for connecting the worldly matters with the Hereafter, and it confirms that both richness and poverty are a test and trial from Allah to His Servants, and a person will be rewarded or punished according to his reaction. When a poor person realises this fact, prescience becomes easier for him and thus he will have a good fate in this life and in the Hereafter.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! You should know that, in Islam, the reasons of poverty are various: poverty might be a pure test from Allah, and it might be a punishment for some sins, and it could result due to unemployment and due to stripping the people from their jobs. It might also be due to a given group of people exerting a monopoly on the money and preventing others from it; or it might also be due to the governments withholding the riches and wealth of the land from reaching the hands of citizens; or from the negligence and bad policies of governments; or from the wickedness of the politicians. Corruption, poor programme implementation and monitoring among others has contributed immensely to poverty especially in Nigeria. Also, poor accountability and lack of transparency in resource allocation have become the order of the day and this has created a dwindling pattern in the lives of the people. Good Governance can generate a viable society with the basic needs of the people being taken care of and adequate provision of resources and infrastructure that will raise the standard of living and reduce poverty; there are many other reasons.

In Islam, poverty has bad consequences: it could lead to many bad, dangerous social and moral circumstances, like the spread of theft, bribery and corruption, armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, insurgency, assassination, prostitution, adultery, hatred, enmity, envy and so forth. The poor hating and fighting the rich is yet another bad consequence of poverty.

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Again due to poverty, there is lack of proper parenting. Even parents can’t afford for healthy diet to their children. Hence in countries with poverty, we can notice children with mal-nutrition and related diseases. Many diseases can be prevented by vaccination during childhood. These vaccines are quite expensive and those with poverty may not be able to afford. Hence they tend to suffer from diseases. Children in families with poverty and discouraged from education. Instead, they are instigated by parents to take up small wage work or jobs to keep up the expenses. Hence, these children can be deprived of proper education. Many parents take divorce due to poverty. Hence the children may become orphans as neither of the parents wish to care for them. Wealth is a type of strength and can act as a moral booster. Hence we can see that children who suffer poverty are more pessimistic. Poverty encourages corruption. People try to make money in all the illegal means to be rich. In doing so, those in power or official jobs will engage in corruption. Poverty affected societies have high amount of violence, ethno-religious crisis and criminal activities. There can be theft, robbery, murders and attacks here and there, etc. The recent study of youth transitions and crime found that poverty had a significant and direct effect on young people’s likelihood to engage in violence at age 15. Young people living in a family where the head of the household was unemployed were also more likely to participate in criminal behaviour. Even poor individuals with “low risk” backgrounds were more likely to engage in violence. This means that for certain types of young people, living in a poor household increases their risk of engaging in violence beyond what one would expect.

A society happiness is directly linked to wealth. So we can expect that people from those societies with poverty will be less happier. Health is an aspect related to wealth. One can take a good food, good water and reside in neat places with sufficient wealth. Also if one falls sick, they can expose themselves to the best of technology and health care with sufficient money. Education and research requires sufficient grants from the government. In countries with poverty, we can notice that there is lagging in education and research.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Islam legislated many solutions for poverty, the most important of which is to be steadfast on the Religion of Allah and encourage people to work and abandon unemployment and to avoid zaman kashe wando.

Among other solutions for poverty as well, is legislating Zakah and encouraging people to give charity so that the money will not be monopolized by the rich. The donations from the public Treasury [Bayt Al-Mal] or the government’s gift to it’s citizens is also another solution which was practised during the brilliant ages of the Muslims, and this has had a good effect on the Muslim society at that time.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The words for poverty [Faqr, Faqir (plural form of) Fuqara’] are mentioned in the Qur’an twelve times. When these verses are examined, it is seen that:

There are two categories of poverty:

1. Spiritual poverty.

2. Material poverty.

The majority of these verses deal with material poverty.

1. Spiritual poverty. It means that:

● Men are [Fuqara’ Ilallah], i.e.: they are unable to sustain themselves and their absolute need for Allah.

● Allah Himself is al-Ghaniy, i.e.: He does not need anybody.

Poverty [Faqr] to Allah means to have no need of anything or anyone except Allah. With this meaning, the poor [Faqir] is not a person who is far from material things and without daily food, but one who lives keeping constantly aware only needing Allah.

Two out of twelve verses speak about [spiritual poverty]. Allah says:

“Men, it is you who stand in need of Allah. Allah is self-sufficient and self-Praiseworthy.” [Qur’an, 35:15]

And:

“You are called upon to give in the way of Allah. Some among you are ungenerous; yet whoever is ungenerous to this cause is ungenerous to himself. Indeed, Allah does not need you, but you need Him.” [Qur’an, 47:38]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! One of the most beautiful supplications in the Qur’an is the supplication of the Prophet Musa (Moses). As he said:

“My Lord, I am poor enough to accept good You may grant me.”

One day, Prophet Musa (Moses) saw two men fighting, one of his own people and the other of his enemies, then, the one belonging to his own people, i.e.; the oppressed man, asked his help against the one belonging to the enemy, i.e.; the oppressor man, then, Prophet Musa gave him a punch and the man dropped dead. After that a man came hurrying up from the further end of the city; he said:

“The councilmen were holding a consultation (meeting) to kill you, clear out! I am giving you sincere advice.”

Then, Prophet Musa left Egypt in a state of anxiety and fear, feeling helpless. He made his way towards Madyan. As he arrived at the water of Madyan, he found a large crowd of people watering the flocks. Among them he found two women to keep back their flocks, he asked them:

“What is your trouble?”

They said:

“We can not water our flocks. Until the shepherds have driven off their flocks, and our father is an old man.”

Musa watered their flocks for them, then turned away to the shade and prayed:

“O Allah, My Lord, I am poor enough to accept good You may grant me.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! After leaving Egypt in a state of fear; after a long trip, during which he was very tired and lonely; and after doing a great effort for watering the flocks of the two women, Prophet Musa laid down beside a tree, and invoked Allah. In such state of weakness Musa directed his face towards Allah. First Musa gave his thanks to Allah, because Allah protected him from those people who were planning to kill Him. Second, Musa expressed his poverty to Allah, because he has no family, a tribe, or friends to help him in this new country. Prophet Musa gave thanks to Allah who granted him with good and then asked Allah his help for livelihood:

“O Allah, My Lord, I am poor enough to accept good You may grant me.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! This case, in which Prophet Musa was in, is the same case for every human being. Every one who lives in this world has to feel that he is in need to Allah in all of his affairs. He has to communicate with Allah, expressing his poverty and need to Him, and let Allah to be the best witness for his situation. Every man has to ask Allah to solve his problems because He (Allah) is the Ghaniy [The Self-Sufficient]. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“Whoever has trust in Allah, He is enough for him.”

“Whosoever has Taqwa of Allah ‘fears Allah’ in whatever he does, Allah will grant a way out of his difficulties.”

“Allah makes His matter easy for anyone who has Taqwa of Allah ‘fears Him.’”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Allah asked us to express our poverty to Him, why? Because, when some people have power; either physical body, wealth, authority, education, etc, then such people feel that they are in no need to Allah; they forgot their creator; they feel that they are powerful than anybody; they feel that they are too strong to accept an advice from anybody. This is the case of Qarun and Fir’aun:

Allah the Almighty said:

“Qarun belonged to Musa’s tribe, and he treated them unjustly. We had given him so many treasures that their very keys would have weighed down a band of strong men. His people said to him; do not exult in your riches; Allah does not love the exultant. But seek, by means of that which Allah has given you, to attain the abode of the hereafter. Do not forget your share in this world. Be good to others as Allah has been good to you, and do not strive for evil in the land, for Allah does not love the evil-doers.” [Qur’an, 28:76-77]

What was the reply of Qarun? He said:

“I am in no need to Allah; This is mine, not Allah’s; These riches were given to me on account of the knowledge I possess.” [Qur’an, 28:77]

I am an expert in my field. I am a smart. I am a business man. I am an astute politician. I am a President. I am a Governor. I am a King.

Then, what was the consequence?

Allah replied:

“We caused the earth to swallow him, together with his dwelling, so that he found none besides Allah to protect him; nor was he able to defend himself.” [Qur’an, 28:81]

Allah the Almighty said:

“However, man acts so arrogant, for he sees himself self-sufficient.” [Qur’an, Al-alaq, 6-7]

This means that man transgresses in thinking himself his own master, when he has a power. But righteous men used to say, on entering the Mosque:

“O Allah! I am your servant at the gate of your house. I am the poor, standing before your house.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Nowadays, Humanity is more than seven billion. If Allah wills to remove them and replace them with a new generation, it is not impossible for Him.

Some people say that I am in no need for Allah. I have money, offspring, authority and so on. I have all means of power. I have all means of livelihood. For such group of people, Allah said:

“It is We Who have created you; will you not believe then in Our power? Behold the semen you discharge: did you create it, or are We the Creators? It was We who ordained death among you. Nothing can hinder Us from replacing you by others like yourselves or transforming you into beings you know nothing of. You surely know of the first form of creation. Why, then, do you not celebrate His praises? Consider the seeds you grow. Is it you that give them growth, or We? If We pleased, We could turn your harvest into chaff and you would then be left lamenting. We have incurred penalties!Ah, we are undone. Consider the water which you drink? Is it you who send it down from the clouds, or are We the senders? If We pleased, We could turn it bitter. Why, then, do you not give thanks? Observe the fire which you light? Is it you that create its wood, or are We the creators? We have made it a reminder for man and an advantage for the wayfarers of the desert. Praise, then the name of your Lord, the Supreme One.” [Qur’an, 56:56-74]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! When Prophet Musa asked Allah, Allah responded to his call:

“One of the two girls came towards him and said: my father calls you. He wishes to reward you for watering our flocks. And when Musa came to him and narrated the story, he said: Fear not! You secure from the unjust people. One of the two women said: O my father! Hire him! Surely the best of those that you can hire is the strong man, the faithful one. He said: I desire to marry one of these two daughters of mine to you on condition that you should serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten, it will be of your own free will, and I do not wish to be hard to you; if Allah please, you will find me one of the good.”

This is what happened. Now Prophet Musa had a wife, a job, security and shelter. Then after a while he became a Prophet.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! We have to live in the shade of this small verse:

“My Lord, I am poor enough to accept good You may grant me.”

We have to believe in it, ponder upon it, and act according to it. There is none but Allah alone:

“Every hardship is followed by ease. Every hardship is followed by ease.”

2. Material poverty:

It means helping, protecting, and sheltering poor people.

Ten out of twelve verses are related to material poverty. In these verses, those who are not rich have material needs and require other people’s help.

Servants of Allah! Now what is the concept of poverty in the purified Sunnah:

The words for poverty in the Hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) are generally used in the same way. There are many Hadiths related to poverty and the poor in the Zuhd and Riqaq chapters of Hadith sources.

In these Hadiths the poor mainly refer to [material poverty] as it is in the Qur’an.

First, we have to know that Islam is not against gaining property and commodities. As long as property does not become of a source of pride, arrogance and oppression or cause people to be enslaved to it (Abd ad-Dinar), Islam does discourage but actually encourages people to gain property.

On this point, the Qur’an reads as follows:

“O Muhammad, ask them, ‘Who has made it unlawful to maintain beauty and to eat the pure foods which Allah has produced for His servants? Say, “They are made for the enjoyment of the believers in the life of this world, but they shall be theirs alone in the Day of Resurrection [such articles and objects, material and immaterial, were given to both believers and disbelievers in this world]. Thus, do We explain the signs in detail for those who know.” [Qur’an, 7:32]

Again, according to the Qur’an: “women and offspring; hoarded treasures of gold and silver; splendid horses, and (wealth of) cattle and plantations” [Qur’an, 3:14] are not accused in and of themselves, but because of causing greed and passionate desires in people. Thus, when prosperity does not cause them to have these negative behaviours, it will be a means of blessing both in this world and the next world.

Second, we have to know that Islam considers that struggling for a living by producing something or by commerce is a meritorious job. In order to sustain humanly life in this world, working and having enough property is imperative for everyone in Islam. Moreover, working to obtain property and maintain a good life is accepted as a valuable effort and worship.

It is stated in the Qur’an that while the night is created for the rest, the day is created for the maintenance of life [Qur’an, 28:73] and it is accepted as a principle:

“That man can have nothing but what he strives for.” [Qur’an, 53:39]

Furthermore, the Qur’an, in the Surah Jumu’ah, commands that when Muslims finish their (Jumu’ah) prayers they should disperse through the land and seek the bounty of Allah. [Qur’an, 72:10]

Also the Saying:

“A person does not eat anything better than what he earns by himself.” [Bukhari]

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also indicated the importance and holiness of working.

Third, it must also be noted that while Islam encourages Muslims to work and to gain their livelihood, it has also brought some regulations and restrictions related to gaining income and ownership.

In this context, it has brought two important principles:

* Gaining income and ownership should be by legal means.

* Income and wealth should be spent on legal aims and the common good.

Islam is against those who accumulate property for the purpose of greed and oppression as well as those who gain thorough unlawful business practices.

Fourth, Islam does not have any negative attitudes towards property; instead it places great value on prosperity as long as it is used properly.

Again, Islam basically does not see poverty as a virtue, but as a social anomaly that must be alleviated or eradicated, and a situation from which a Muslim should pray to Allah to be protected from its bad consequences.

In addition, Islam provides some guidelines to eliminate its negative effects. In fact, other world religions also try to solve this serious problem by establishing some regulations and giving advice to their followers such as: ‘protecting the oppressed people from the oppressor’s cruelty, helping needy persons, and maintaining the lives of aged, orphan and other handicapped persons in the society.’

Fifth, there are no verses in the Qur’an nor any Hadith related to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) that advocates poverty.

Indeed a devout person is a person who has adequate wealth, but never puts it into his/her heart. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) indicates this when he says:

“Even if I had had gold as much as the Mount of Uhud, I would not have kept it in me.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Additionally, the Prophet says:

“Worldly wealth is sweet and attractive.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

However, He meant by this Hadith that everyone could not behave as he did in terms of property. Indeed, He approved that Muslims should have property and saw richness as a grace of Allah as long as they fulfilled their responsibilities towards other people and society. In this context, He said:

“A clean property (goods) that is acquired by legal means is a beautiful grace for a devout Muslim.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Although the Prophet Muhammad states that a true richness is the richness of heart [Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi] it should not be understood from this that He is saying that He does not reject the property of the world, for he says:

“Allah loves those who are devout, rich and vow themselves to worship.” [Muslim]

The issue of poverty is spoken more comprehensively in the Hadiths. The authentic Hadiths related to the Prophet indicate that poverty is an important danger and threat for both individuals and societies.

The Prophet clearly points out that poverty is an unwanted situation from which every Muslim should protect himself/herself. [Musnad Imam Ahmad, Al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah]

Indeed, while He himself prayed:

“O Allah, I seek refuge in you from the evils of poverty.” [Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa’i]

He advised his Companions with the following prayer:

“Seek refuge in Allah from the evils of poverty, hunger, famine, degradation, oppressing and oppressed.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

It is also known that some serious precautions were taken to hinder poverty and to maintain the prosperity of the society during his lifetime. Making the needy people brothers and sisters with those who are rich, freeing of slaves, encouraging the Islamic foundations for the common good, atonement, giving alms for the poor, and voluntary spending etc. are just a few examples.

Dear Servants of Allah! Although Islamic sources approve of benefiting from the world and of being rich, and see poverty as a social illness and threat that must be eradicated, it cannot be said that this has been properly understood or applied by Muslim societies in history.

The historical events show that while a part of society lived in luxury, forgetting the Islamic teaching of modesty and the middle road, others preferred to live in poverty and withdraw themselves from any of the benefits of the world.

Islam, revealed to humanity over 1439 years ago, came with the most just and easy solution to the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation in this world.

Islam is the religion and way of life that was revealed to humanity by our Creator, our Lord, Allah.

Islam was revealed as a practical religion that covers all aspects of our lives, and it is intended to be implemented in our lives. When implemented honestly, correctly and sincerely, Islam provides solutions to all problems that are faced by humanity.

One of the most widespread and dangerous problems faced by humanity is that of poverty, hunger and starvation.

There is nothing more horrifying than the realisation that as we live our happy lives here, millions of our fellow human beings live in hunger, poverty and face starvation. The majority of the world population today lives in poverty.

It is clear that the world system we have set up today is unjust and inhumane. Otherwise, how can we allow this situation to continue with less than 10 percent of the world population controlling over 90 percent of the wealth and resources on this earth?

The most recent studies show that 98 percent of the world’s wealth is owned by two percent of its population. This means, only two percent in this world own as much as the 98 percent own. But Alhamdulillah, the good news is that oxygen is not included among the studied wealth. Your soul, life is also not included. These are asset no one can have ownership to, except its Creator, Allah.

If Islam is implemented in the world today, the problem of poverty, hunger and starvation would be completely eliminated within a year.

Respected Servants of Allah! Islam makes it obligatory on every Muslim to pay a certain “tax”, called Zakah, on their accumulated wealth. The money collected from this Zakah is to be distributed among the poor and needy.

The Arabic word “Zakah” means both ‘purification’ and ‘growth.’ One of the most important principles of Islam is that all things belong to Allah, and that wealth is therefore held by human beings in trust (Amana). Our wealth is purified by setting aside a proportion for those in need, and, like the pruning of plants, this cutting back balances and encourages new growth in our wealth.

Zakah is due on accumulated wealth that has been in the possession of a person for at least one year. There are rules on how to pay Zakah on each type of possessions, such as gold, animals, crops, shares and so on. A certain percentage of each type of these possessions is to be paid as Zakah. Note that the Zakah is taken from excess wealth that a person is accumulating and has had in their possession for over a year. It is not paid on income. Therefore, people whose save nothing after covering their expenses with their income do not pay Zakah, and in fact may be eligible to receive Zakah money from others if their income does not cover all their needs.

The Zakah is to be distributed among people of the following categories, depending on need:

1. The Destitute: Those who don’t have material possessions nor means of livelihood.

2. The Poor: Those with insufficient means of livelihood to meet basic needs.

3. The Indebted: Those who are in debt and have difficulty repaying it.

4. Stranded Traveller: The traveller who does not have enough money to complete their journey.

5. To Free Slaves: Zakah money is to be used to purchase slaves and free them.

6. New Muslims: Those who are new to Islam and require help to integrate themselves into the Muslims community.

7. In the Path of Allah: Zakah money can also be spent in the path of Allah. This can include many things, basically any project that helps Muslims or Islamic causes.

8. Zakah Workers: Those whose job it is to collect and re-distribute Zakah money get their salary from the Zakah money.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Wallahi, no doubt, if Islam was implemented in the world today, starvation would be eliminated from the planet within the first year. The Zakah due on agricultural products ranges from 5 percent to 10 percent of the produce. There is also Zakah due on various types of animals such as sheep, cows and camels. Imagine if 5 percent to 10 percent of all agricultural production in the world, plus the required amounts on animals are distributed among the hungry and starving people of this world. The problem would be solved immediately.

In the system we have today, some nations intentionally spoil a part of their agricultural production in order to maintain high prices for their produce. Please, can you see the difference between the system driven by human greed and the Islam which was imposed by Allah (SWT), the Most Gracious and Most Merciful?

In addition, Islam can solve the problem of poverty. Consider the Zakah due on money. Zakah is due at 2.5 percent on money that has been in one’s possession for over a year. Now consider this simple fact: Forbes Magazine reported that in 2004 there were 587 billionaires worldwide, with a combined net worth of $1.9 trillion dollars. If in 2004 these 587 richest people in the world paid zakah, we would have had $47.5 billion dollars distributed among the poor.

This calculation has just considered less than 600 individuals on this earth. What about if everyone contributed to a global Zakah fund in the same way?

The total world GDP (summation of gross domestic product of all countries in the world) was estimated in 1999 to be $27,357.9 billion dollars. The 2.5 percent Zakah on this would amount to $683.95 billion dollars annually. These are just ball park figures to give the reader and the listener an idea of how much money Zakah can generate.

This Zakah money should not only be distributed for immediate relief to the poor. It can also be given in the form of small business loans. For example, poor farmers can be given loans or even grants from this Zakah money to enable them to purchase the equipment and materials they need to lift them out of poverty. The same can be done for small business owners, or for the poor to set up small workshops or factories to lift them out of poverty once and for all. Within a few years, poverty would be eliminated, eradicated or at least greatly reduced.

Servants of Allah! As discussed earlier, the obligatory Zakah imposed by Islam can easily solve the problems of poverty and starvation in the world. However, in addition to that, Islam greatly encourages Muslims to give extra charity. For example, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once said that the person who sleeps full while his neighbour sleeps hungry is not a true believer.

Islam also always encourages charity in all situations. For example, for the persons who are not able to fast in Ramadan, they are required to feed some poor people for each day they do not fast. And there are many such examples.

Allah the Most High said:

“And be steadfast in prayer and regular in charity.” [Qur’an, 2:110]

Allah said addressing the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon him):

“Of their goods take alms (charity), so that you might purify and sanctify them, and pray on their behalf.” [Qur’an, 9:103]

When the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), sent one of his Companions to call the people of Yemen to Islam, he asked him to tell them the basics of Islam, among which was:

“… and tell them that Allah has made obligatory on them a charity that is taken from their rich and given to their poor…” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Allah the Almighty said:

“So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), and (in all sincerity) testifies to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Bliss. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, And gives the lie to the Best, We will indeed make smooth for him the Path to Misery; Nor will his wealth profit him when he falls headlong (into the hell fire).” [Qur’an, 92:5-11]

Allah the Most High said:

“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, Allah knows it well.” [Qur’an, 3:92]

Allah the Almighty said:

“O believers! Cancel not your charity by reminders of your generosity or by injury, like those who spend their substance to be seen of men, but believe neither in Allah nor in the Last Day. They are in Parable like a hard barren rock, on which is a little soil; on it falls heavy rain, which leaves it (just) a bare stone. They will be able to do nothing with aught they have earned. And Allah guides not those who reject Faith.” [Qur’an, 2:264]

Allah the Most High said:

“Who has fed them against hunger.”

Meaning, He is the Lord of the House and He is the One Who feeds them against hunger.

“And has made them safe from fear.”

Meaning, He favours them with safety and gentleness, so they should single Him out for worship alone, without any partner. They should not worship any idol, rival or statue besides Him. Therefore, whoever accepts this command, Allah will give him safety in both this life and the Hereafter. However, whoever disobeys Him, He will remove both of them from him.

Allah the Almighty said:

“And Allah puts forward the example of a township, that dwelt secure and well-content: its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it denied the favours of Allah. So, Allah made it taste extreme of hunger and fear, because of that which they used to do. And verily, there had come unto them a Messenger from among themselves, but they denied him, so the torment overtook them while they were wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 16:112-113]

Lastly, Dear Brothers and Sisters! Let me conclude my today’s Sermon (Khutbah) with some important quotes from the famous people about the bad effects of poverty in society, as follows:

– “Extreme poverty anywhere is a threat to human security everywhere.” — Kofi Annan, Seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations

– “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.”. — Aristotle, Greek philosopher

– “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”. — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

– “Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit.” — Eli Khamarov, writer

– “In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of.” — Confucius, Chinese teacher and philosopher

– “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” — Plutarch, Greek historian

– “History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.” — Jeffrey D. Sachs, economist

– “Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth…these are one and the same fight.” — Ban Ki-moon, Eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations

– “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” — Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist

– “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.” — Edmund Burke, author and philosopher

– “Failures are divided into two classes — those who thought and never did, and those who did and never thought.”. — John Charles Salak, author

– “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”. — Martin Luther King, Jr., Baptist minister and civil rights activist

– “When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.” — Mother Teresa

– “There is enough in the world for everyone’s need, but not for everyone’s greed.” — Frank Buchman, Protestant evangelist

– “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

– “As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality exist in our world, none of us can truly rest.” — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

– “There are people in the world so hungry that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” — Mahatma Gandhi, Indian political and spiritual leader

– “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” — John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

– “Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.” — Muhammad Ali, professional boxer

– “Child labour and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labour of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labour to the end of time.” — Grace Abbott, social worker

– “Poverty does not belong in civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum.” — Muhammad Yunus, entrepreneur

– “Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.” — Nelson Mandela, Former President of South Africa

– “It would be nice if the poor were to get even half of the money that is spent in studying them.” — William E. Vaughn, columnist

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadal-Ula 2nd, 1439 AH (January 19, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.