Manufactured or Natural Poverty
Today, the Earth’s population is 7 billion. One sixth of these people go to their beds hungry every night. At least half of the Earth’s citizens live in poverty, lacking an honourable mean of independent livelihood. For some, the reason for his poverty is the inefficient use of natural resources that leaves people hungry or poor. But for those who know the truth, there is a surplus in food production on Earth.
Poverty technically means living on an average of $2 a day.
Beyond the technical conceptualization, poverty is a series of conditions in which people are permanently deprived of their basic needs, such as food, clean water and medication. Not only are they affected, but also their children suffer due to a lack of material resources. Those are poverty-stricken are also (fall prey to=) victims of epidemics, low level education and normally have a short life span.
There are different reasons behind poverty. Impoverishment can be an outcome of natural conditions, or can be a produced situation, or even a result of some international politics.
First of all, because their geographical situations are not kind, some countries in the world are naturally poor such as Mali and Mongolia. The people, who live in these inhospitable parts of the Earth, do not have enough natural resources for sustainable life. The natural conditions such as sporadic rains, drought, desertification or heavy and long winter seasons play their parts in impoverishing these particular lands. So, it can be called natural poverty due to uncontrollable and insurmountable causes.
Secondly, although some countries, on the other hand, have economic circumstances and geographical conditions that are good, some part of the populace still suffer from poverty. But this time, the cause of the poverty is not natural. Rather, it is sort of man-made. Some economic policies, unjust social systems and the lopsided distribution of wealth as can be found in these countries, such as Egypt and Nigeria, are the main reasons for impoverishment.
Thirdly, some countries have quite positive economic and political structures. However, their people, or some of them, are living in poverty due to the dealings of their governments with the international creditors. Many countries today have to allocate a good part of their budget to pay off international debt. To make this possible, the governments have to cut some expenses that are directly linked to the quality of lives of citizens such as social grants, agricultural subsidies and tax relief.
Notwithstanding, there are enough natural resources to feed all population on Earth, the poverty rate is very high on our planet. What makes things worse is, the majority of the poor are in these conditions because of the aforementioned “non-natural” factors and policies. Additionally, unbalanced modernization programs produce new greater poverty in the suburbs of big cities. Commodity trading in the modern age does not put the benefit of the people first. Rather, the economic interests of corporates are more important.
As far as the Islamic point of view is concerned, the universal principles of Islam offer a unique viable solution to the poverty problem. By humanizing political economy, Islam puts human life and dignity first. Islam does not accept that money be concentrated in a small group of people as is the case in modern capitalistic societies. Rather, along with official taxes, Islam opens effective systemic canals to divert money to the less fortunate parts of a society through “sadaqa,” “zakah,” “waqf” and other philanthropic ways (means=).
Islam instructs the rich in Islamic society not to be greedy fat cats of capitalism. Also, the poor in Islam are not the lower class of society by natural selection. Both the poor and the rich are educated by divine decree and their status is also determined as such. Furthermore the rich do not see the giving of money as an unnecessary burden upon them. On the other hand the poor do not see their situation as the result of the rich grabbing their share.
Contrary to modern society, Islamic structure sees giving money to poor as a kind of worship of the Creator.
The more people give, the more they gain blessings from Allah.