Issue No. 921 - 13/Safar/1432 AH
Corresponding to January 1018 2011 AD
* Mihrab Platform:
Poverty, Need, and satisfaction with Allah’s Fatalism
Poverty, Need, and Satisfaction with Allah’s Decree
The main axes of the subject:
- Poverty is one of the bonds that tie the relationship with Allah (The Exalted)
- Self poverty is one of the gravest types of poverty. Who is truly the poor?
- Poverty eases with satisfaction and patience.
We will explain the meaning of poverty.
Exporting the subject:
“O ye men, you are in need of Allah, while Allah is Free of all needs, the Praiseworthy.”1
Poverty can be exploited into four different ways:
First: The meaning of capability in creatures and their need to their creator regarding the originality of their existence and the continuity of their survival. This meaning is general for man as long as he exists in this world; rather it is general for all creatures. This harmonizes with the divine words: “O ye men, you are in need of Allah, while Allah is Free of all needs …”2
Since man is regarded as an origin of creation and formation, poverty represents one of the great alarms for mankind, which must render them strengthen their bonds and relations with Allah (The Exalted). However, man, due to his preoccupation in this world, often forgets this kind of poverty and becomes occupied with the direct tangible sources of the means that satisfy his needs.
Second: The absence of the possessions that respond to the direct needs such as food, clothing, residence and other similar issues. This is the wellspring as He (The Exalted) said: "Charity [Zakah] for the poor who have been restricted for the cause of Allah, unable to move about in the land. An ignorant [person] would think them self-sufficient because of their restraint, but you will know them by their [characteristic] sign. They do not ask people persistently [or at all]. And whatever you spend of good - indeed, Allah is Knowing of it.”3
Another divine verse reads: "Charity [Zakah] expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah]...”4
This very meaning applies to the linguistic understanding and the released term under which those are described, the ones who announce the good news about the rewards of the afterworld and great stature in exchange for patience and satisfaction with Allah’s decree, as the accounts will narrate.
Third: Self poverty is the greediness that can control man who will no longer feel satisfaction even if he possesses the entire fortunes of the whole world. This is the dispraised quality that was targeted by the different sayings, like in the words of Imam Hassan (a.s.) when asked about poverty, “… self greed for everything.”5 There are also the words of the faithful of the believers (a.s.), “Poverty, the greatest death.”6
Poverty can also cause mind imbalance resulting in a case that lacks the correct view of life. Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) said, “Poverty is the red death; when asked: is it poverty from dinars and drachmas? He replied: No, it’s the lack of religion.7 There are also the words of Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) in his commandment to Ali (a.s.), “Poverty is the greatest death; when asked: is it poverty from dinars and drachmas? He replied: No, poverty from religion.”8
Fourth: One’s feel in needing to exist under the shade of an owner of unlimited safes. This means man's complete confidence in Allah (The Exalted), which will lead to complete satisfaction without the feel of needing people and their possessions. These words were stated in this supplication: "O Allah, make me rich by being in need of you alone, and never make me rich by being doing without you." This is similar to the words of the poet who said: "I love my poverty to Thee, which I wouldn't if it weren't for Thine love of one's need to Thee."
Poverty eases with satisfaction and patience:
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “O people in need feel glad and give our lord some satisfaction out of your hearts and he will reward you for your poverty.”9
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “Blessed are the poor if they are patient; they are those who see the kingdom of heavens and earth.”10 Also commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “The kings of the world and the afterworld are the those enduring paupers.”11
Imam al Sadiq (a.s.) said to Mohammad al Khazaz: “Do you visit the market and see fruits being sold and things that you crave? He said: yes. The Imam said: You will earn a reward for everything that you see but can’t buy.”12
Besides, the prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Reduce your desires and your poverty will ease.”13
This issue seems to strengthen the endurance of the poor Muslim. Apparently, the most issue that satisfies the heart of a Muslim and strengthens him is his dependence on Allah (The Exalted). Commander of the faithful (a.s.) was quoted as saying: "It is good when the rich is modest towards the poor, seeking Allah’s generosity; what is better is the poor feeling satisfaction, doing without the rich by depending on Allah (The Exalted).”14
Who is really the poor?
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) asked a question once: “O people… What is the poor amongst you? They said: the penniless person. He said: Rather, it is the poor; the real poor person is the one who does not sacrifice something from his money in anticipation of Allah's reward, even if it increased numerously afterwards.”15 In other words, it is he who does not offer from his money in his life something that he can be rewarded for by Allah (The Exalted), even if his inheritors or testament commanded that he offers a lot of money for the way of Allah after his death.
In addition, Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Do you know what a bankrupt is? Someone said: Our bankrupt is the person who does not possess a dirham or property. The prophet (s.a.a.w.) said: The bankrupt in my nation is he who comes on the Day of Judgment with his prayers, fasting and alms giving completed but associated with swearing and defaming others, stealing money, shedding someone’s blood, and hitting others. In this case, his good deeds will be given to these and those. If his good deeds end before the payment of all his debts, he will start receiving the bad deeds of the others after which he will be thrown in hell. One can even say: This is truly the bankrupt.”16
The poor will accompany the prophets:
Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “O poor people, Allah has satisfied for me to take comfort in sitting with you. He (s.a.a.w.) added: … And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening … for they are the sittings of the prophets before you.”17
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was also quoted as saying: “The poor are the kings of the heaven; all people miss the heaven whereas the heaven misses the poor.”18
Asked by Abu Zar, the prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “Do the frightful, pious, humble and those remembering Allah with much remembrance advance the people to the heaven? He said: no, it is the poor believers who will come advancing the people.”19
1- Holy Quran: Surat Fatir, verse 15.
2- Same previous source
3- Holy Quran: Surat al Baqara (cow), verse 273.
4- Holy Quran: Surat al Tawbah (repentance), verse 60.
5- Tuhaf al Uqul, 225.
6- Nahjul Balagha, wisdom 163.
7- Ma’ani al Akhbar, P. 12/259.
8- Bihar al Anwar, P. 42/63/772.
9- Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 72, P. 17/102.
10- Al Kafi, Vol. 2, P. 132/263.
11- Ghorar al Hikam 9816.
12- Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 72, P. 25/192.
13- Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 77, P. 102/187.
14- Nahjul Balagha, wisdom 406.
15- Al Bihar, 77, 86/150.
16- Al Bihar, 3/6/72.
17- Kanz al Ummal, 166542.
18- Al Bihar, 49/58/72.
19- Al Bihar, 54/72/85