thoughts on poverty and Islam

3 min readJan 27, 2021

First, the term ‘eradicating poverty’ is nonsense. Why?

Before answering ‘why’, I need to talk a little bit about the term ‘poverty’.

Mostly we describe poverty in terms of economic condition. So if you do not have much money you are a poor. The term is relative and the millionaire is poor when compared to a billionaire. Hence we need to have a some sensible way to describe a poor. The best way is to talk in terms of having the resources (money or otherwise) to meet the basic needs of a shelter, food and health. If a person does not have a steady flow of money to keep these basic elements then we can consider him or her as poor.

Now, let me come back to the first question. The UN wants as part of SDG 1 to ‘eradicate poverty in all forms everywhere by 2030’. This goal has four problems:

  1. the word ‘eradicate’ is radical and goes against human nature, God’s objective and history. A human society must have poverty because it is the nature of this word to have poor and rich and the poor is tested for poverty as the rich is tested for being rich, and that is God’s masterplan for this world to be a testing ground before rewarding and punishing in the world hereafter. Human history comes as a testimony to this fact, and utopia is this world is only fiction.
  2. the word “all form” is arrogant. What does the word “all” mean in this context? Human being is by design and nature a ‘poor’. Physically he is not the richest of animal when it comes to the six senses of seeing, hearing, muscle power, testing, sensing or smelling. Thus, it would have been less arrogant for UN to instead of ‘all forms’ to say ‘economic form’, just to rule out the impossibility to eradicate the biological poverty of human being.
  3. the word ‘everywhere’ also goes against the Western philosophy of the WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants). The WASP wants to always have poor third world countries at its backyard and keep them enslaved in some form or other and plunder their natural resources. Various WASP apparatus are working in tandem towards this goal. IMF, World Bank, WTO are just few names.
  4. “by 2030” is just an insult to the intellect.

Often the elders who claim to guide the world, such as UN, are very intolerant to critically discuss certain fundamental believe that can be attributed to ‘enlightenment creeds’ under an assumed atheistic and secular worldview. They can be tolerant and open to discuss other peripheral issues on logistics and mechanics as long as the fundamental beliefs are kept untouched.

The “problem of poverty” is not a problem at all when you bring “the problem of the rich” at the fore as THE main problem and start to solve it. The main problem today is the main problem that always have been and that is the minority group of arrogant elites who extends their influence on the majority of the population through corrupt and unjust distribution of money and resources. A quick scan of the Quran (and history books) confirm this issue.

It is very difficult to talk about poverty when the ruling classes are the capitalist masters with the neoliberal mindset. When corporate capitalist lobby the neoliberal political power, the negative energy generated by this evil alliance engulfs the population and creates a perpetual poverty that can not be broken except through revolution and paradigm shifts on all fronts.

The Quran can give a lot -both tenants as well as mechanisms- for such a paradigm shift. Not only that, Islamic history is a live testimony for a society that lived a near utopian life when these Quranic solutions were implemented on earth. The Quran brings in: i) Allah (or God) in the center of the matter and brings ii) the world hereafter as the permanent address and sets this world as a temporary place for testing. Under such worldview, when a community abides by iii) set of rules and ethics of Islam the world development comes as a natural by product. The ruler ensures then an ethical distribution of resources and everyone has both a stick and carrot in his own mind, before even the need to bring that from the state or authority.




We have certainly sent down to you a Book in which is your mention. Then will you not reason? [Quran 21:10]