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  • 6/19/2013

Development and Eradicating Poverty


Is providing the material needs of the society and managing people’s livelihood, particularly supporting the poor, among the duties of the government? Or a personal endeavor? The truth is that Islam attaches great importance to earning livelihood and eradicating poverty, and offers strategies for achieving this objective.

First, Islam allocates a portion of the wealth of the rich to the poor in the form of taxes such as Zakat and Khums. As the administrator of tax, the government must give this portion to the poor. The main reason of poverty is that the rich do not carry out their duties towards the poor.

Secondly, although Islam is against materialism and accumulating wealth, but stresses the necessity of labor and making efforts to earn livelihood and also alleviating the problems of people; because poverty endangers reputation, social status and even the people’s faith.

Qur’an has also praised development: “He has produced you from the earth and settled you in it,”‌ (Hud: 61), and commenting on the dangers of poverty, Imam Ali says in Nahjul-Balagha that: “blessings in this world and hereafter are in two characteristics, freedom from want and piety, and blights of this world and hereafter are in two characteristics: poverty and debauchery.”‌ [1]

Addressing his son Imam Hassan, Imam Ali said, “My son, I fear poverty for you, seek refuge in God from poverty that will weaken faith, warps mind and caused enmity.”‌ [2]

He also says, “Death is the greatest poverty.”‌[3]. Prophet Muhammad said, “O’ God, make abundant our bread and do not deprive us of bread, that if there is no bread we cannot say prayer, fast and carry out duties given to us by God.”‌ [4]


[1] . Ibn Abi al-Hadid, commentary on the Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 20, p. 302

[2] . Nahj al-Balagha, Quotes, No. 319 p. 531

[3] . Nahj al-Balagha, Quotes, No. 163, p. 500

[4] . Koleini, Kafi, vol.5, p. 72

Ahmad Niazi, graduate of Qom Seminary and Phd student of Al Mustafa international university

Source: Political science journal, No. 3

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

Other links:


Imam Ali’s Words about Government’s Justice

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