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  • 6/19/2013

Public Resources for the Destitute


erase poverty

In a letter to his governor in Mecca Qutham ibn Abbas, Imam Ali advices him to spend public resources for the destitute: “Beware of National Purse, spend its money on those who have numerous families, the hungry and the poor and destitute. If any surplus amount is left over then send the amount to us so we can distribute them among the poor.”‌ [1]

A portion of Islamic tax and the income of the rich must be spent on eradicating poverty and providing livelihood for those who cannot earn their leaving. In his letter to Malik al-Ashtar, Imam Ali urges him to be mindful of the conditions of the poor:

They are poor, they are destitute and many of them are cripples and unfit for work. Some of them (who maintain self-respect) do not beg. For the sake of Allah, Maalik, protect them and their rights. He has laid the responsibility of this upon your shoulders. You must fix a share for them from National Purse (the Government Treasury). Besides you must also reserve a share in kind of crops etc. from government granaries in cities where food-grains are stored as are cultivated on State-owned land because in these storage the share of those living far away from any particular city is equal to the share of those living nearby.”‌ [2]

According to this view, assets that government gathers, not the private property of the ruler, belong to God and must be spent on the poor. Despite what today we see in the Islamic government the poor take precedent. Even in welfare governments the rich take the most advantage from public resources and governmental subsides.

[1] . Nahj al-Balagha, letter 67, p. 352

[2] . Nahj al-Balagha, translated by Jafar Shahidi, letter 53, p. 335

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:‌

Leading the Society towards Perfection

Enforcing Divine Laws and Fix Penalty (Hadd)

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