Despite the possibilities afforded by advances in technology, poverty continues to be one of the major problems in the world today. According to the report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, for the year 2000, 826 million people are undernourished.
It is well known that poverty is the lack of food, shelter, clothing, health services, and the other basic needs, due to a low level of income. Despite the possibilities afforded by advanced technology, poverty is today one of the most serious problems the world faces. In Africa, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, many people live with hunger every day. Imperialism and unrestrained capitalism has prevented the distribution of income throughout the world and the advancement of under-developed and developing countries. While there is a happy minority that has more than it needs, there are a considerable number of people struggling with the problems of poverty and destitution.

In the world today, poverty has reached grave proportions. The last report by UNICEF stated that one in four people of the world’s population lives in “unimaginable suffering and want.”12 1.3 billion of the world’s people survive on less than $1 a day. 3 billion people in the world today struggle to survive on $2 a day.13 Approximately 1.3 billion people lack safe water. 2.6 billion people are without access to adequate sanitation.14

According to the report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the year 2000, 826 million people around the world do not get enough to eat. In other words, one in six people are hungry.15

Over the last ten years, the injustice of income distribution has increased more than one can imagine. United Nations reports show that, in 1960, the 20% of the people of the world who live in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20; by 1995 it was 82 times.16 As an example of the collapse of social justice, the wealth of the world’s 225 richest individuals is equal to the annual income of the poorest 47%.17


The basic reason for social injustice and its consequent gap between the rich and the poor is that the moral teaching of the Qur’an is not followed.

The current statistical data point to what the Prophet (saas) said about the increase of poverty. In the hadiths, it is revealed that poverty and hunger will be among the signs of the first period of the End Times.

The poor will grow in number.
(Amal Al-Din Al-Qazwini, Mufid Al-'ulum
Wa-mubid Al-humum)

Gains will be shared out only among the rich,
with no benefit to the poor.

(Tirmidhi)



Those of you possessing affluence and ample wealth should not make oaths that they will not give to their relatives and the very poor and those who are refugees in the way of Allah. They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love Allah to forgive you? Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
(Surat an-Nur: 22)
Obviously, that period indicated by the Prophet (saas) describes conditions in our day. If we look at past centuries, we see that the difficulties and anxiety brought about by drought, war and other calamities were temporary and limited to a particular region. However, today, the poverty and difficulty of earning a living are permanent and endemic.
Certainly, our Lord has endless compassion and mercy; He does not wrong people. But, because of the ungratefulness of humanity, and the evil it has committed, poverty and anxiety have been institutionalized. Indeed, this sorry state of affairs shows clearly that the world is stratified on a basis of selfishness and greed rather than on religion, moral values and conscience.

12. UNICEF, “Children and Poverty: Key Facts”, 2000 (http://www.unicef.org/copenhagen5/ factsheets.htm)
13. Manufacturing Dissent, “World Statistics – The Rich and the Poor”, 1999, http://www.reagan.com/HotTopics.main/HotMike/document-8.13.1999.6.html
14. UNICEF, "Children and Poverty: Key Facts", 2000, http://www.unicef.org/copenhagen5/ factsheets.htm
15. FAO, “The state of food insecurity in the world”, 2000, http:www.fao.org/FOCUS/E/ SOFI00/sofi001-e.htm
16. Human Development Report 1998, United Nations Development Programme, New York, September 1998- www.oneworld.org/ni/issue310/facts.htm
17. Manufacturing Dissent, “World Statistics – Rich and Poor”, 1999, http://www.reagan.com/ HotTopics.main/HotMike/document-8.13.1999.6.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Signs of the Last Day in the Hadiths of the Prophet (saas)

Introduction
War and Anarchy
The Destruction of Great Cities: Wars and Disasters
Earthquakes
Poverty
The Collapse of Moral Values
The Rejection of the True Religion and the Moral Values of the Qur’an
Social Deterioration
Science and Technology
The Return of ‘Isa (as) After the Emergence of False Prophets
The Golden Age
After the Golden Age

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