Islam Today: Hi readers! In the previous article we have discussed the virtues of taking care of orphans and their position in Islam. In this article I will invite you to discuss the virtues of helping poor and their position in Islam. This discussion is also important as well as other discussions, especially because in Islam poverty and the poor get very serious attention.
Surely, we already know that the so-called poor people are people who are very lack of material things. They do not have enough money to simply fulfill their daily needs, such as shelter, education, eating, drinking, decent clothes, and so on. It may be that they become poor because they are less able to get a job or even some people who deliberately make them become poor. Here I will not discuss at length about the definition of poverty and its examples. I think we all know that.
In the teachings of Islam, the poor have their own position. There are so many Islamic teachings that speak about their position and the necessity of helping them to live worthily like others. In addition, people who are willing to help them also have more value. We can find it all in some verses of the Qur’an and the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad below;
أَرَءَيۡتَ ٱلَّذِي يُكَذِّبُ بِٱلدِّينِ ١ فَذَٰلِكَ ٱلَّذِي يَدُعُّ ٱلۡيَتِيمَ ٢ وَلَا يَحُضُّ عَلَىٰ طَعَامِ ٱلۡمِسۡكِينِ ٣
Have you considered him who calls the judgment a lie?  That is the one who treats the orphan with harshness  And does not urge (others) to feed the poor . (Al-Maa’uun ; 1-3).
يَسَۡٔلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَۖ قُلۡ مَآ أَنفَقۡتُم مِّنۡ خَيۡرٖ فَلِلۡوَٰلِدَيۡنِ وَٱلۡأَقۡرَبِينَ وَٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ وَٱلۡمَسَٰكِينِ وَٱبۡنِ ٱلسَّبِيلِۗ وَمَا تَفۡعَلُواْ مِنۡ خَيۡرٖ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ بِهِۦ عَلِيمٞ ٢١٥
They ask you as to what they should spend. Say: Whatever wealth you spend, it is for the parents and the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer, and whatever good you do, Allah surely knows it. (Al-Baqarah ; 215).
فََٔاتِ ذَا ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ حَقَّهُۥ وَٱلۡمِسۡكِينَ وَٱبۡنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيۡرٞ لِّلَّذِينَ يُرِيدُونَ وَجۡهَ ٱللَّهِۖ وَأُوْلَٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ ٣٨
Then give to the near of kin his due, and to the needy and the wayfarer; this is best for those who desire Allah’s pleasure, and these it is who are successful. (Ar-Rum ; 38).
وَءَاتِ ذَا ٱلۡقُرۡبَىٰ حَقَّهُۥ وَٱلۡمِسۡكِينَ وَٱبۡنَ ٱلسَّبِيلِ وَلَا تُبَذِّرۡ تَبۡذِيرًا ٢٦
And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and the wayfarer, and do not squander wastefully. (Al-Israa’ ; 26).
إِن تُبۡدُواْ ٱلصَّدَقَٰتِ فَنِعِمَّا هِيَۖ وَإِن تُخۡفُوهَا وَتُؤۡتُوهَا ٱلۡفُقَرَآءَ فَهُوَ خَيۡرٞ لَّكُمۡۚ وَيُكَفِّرُ عَنكُم مِّن سَئَِّاتِكُمۡۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٞ ٢٧١
If you give alms openly, it is well, and if you hide it and give it to the poor, it is better for you; and this will do away with some of your evil deeds; and Allah is aware of what you do. (Al-Baqarah ; 271).
وَٱبۡتَلُواْ ٱلۡيَتَٰمَىٰ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا بَلَغُواْ ٱلنِّكَاحَ فَإِنۡ ءَانَسۡتُم مِّنۡهُمۡ رُشۡدٗا فَٱدۡفَعُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهِمۡ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡۖ وَلَا تَأۡكُلُوهَآ إِسۡرَافٗا وَبِدَارًا أَن يَكۡبَرُواْۚ وَمَن كَانَ غَنِيّٗا فَلۡيَسۡتَعۡفِفۡۖ وَمَن كَانَ فَقِيرٗا فَلۡيَأۡكُلۡ بِٱلۡمَعۡرُوفِۚ فَإِذَا دَفَعۡتُمۡ إِلَيۡهِمۡ أَمۡوَٰلَهُمۡ فَأَشۡهِدُواْ عَلَيۡهِمۡۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ حَسِيبٗا ٦
And test the orphans until they attain puberty; then if you find in them maturity of intellect, make over to them their property, and do not consume it extravagantly and hastily, lest they attain to full age; and whoever is rich, let him abstain altogether, and whoever is poor, let him eat reasonably; then when you make over to them their property, call witnesses in their presence; and Allah is enough as a Reckoner. (An-Nisaa’ ; 6).
Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said;
قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : هل تدرون أول من يدخلون الجنة من خلق الله ؟ قالوا : الله ورسوله أعلم . قال : أول من يدخلون الجنة من خلق الله الفقراء
Messenger of Allah shallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Do you know Allah’s creature who first entered Heaven?” They replied, “Allah and His Messenger know better.” He said, “Allah’s creature who first entered Paradise is the indigent.” (The hadith is narrated by Ahmad bin Hanbal, 2/168, 6570).
قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : يدخل الفقراء الجنة قبل الأغنياء بنصف يوم وهو خمسمائة عام
Messenger of Allah shallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “The needy enter Paradise first before the rich with half a day selisi; which is equivalent to 500 (five hundred) years.” (The hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, 2/512, 10663).
عن أبي ذر , قال : أمرني خليلي صلي الله عليه وسلم بسبع : أمرني بحب المساكين و الدنوّ منهه , وأمرني أن أنظر إلى من دوني ولا أنظر إلى من هو فوقي , وأمرني أن أصل الرحم وإن أدبرت , وأمرني أن لا أسأل أحدا شيئا , وأمرني أن أقول بالحق ولو كان مرا , وأمرني أن لا أخاف في الله لومة لائم , وأمرني أن أكثر من قول : لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله , فإنهن من كنز تحت عرش
From Abu Dzarr, he said, “My Beloved (Prophet Muhammad) shallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam told me to do seven things; he told me to love the poor and approached them, he told me that I should see the person below me not the person above me, he told me to connect the family hungungan even though they turned away, he told me not to ask something to someone, he told me to I say the truth even though it is bitter, he told me that I should not be afraid of being in the way of Allah when I get insult from someone insulting, he tells me that I often say amatr حول ولا قوة إلا بالله (no ability and power except only belong’s to Allah) because the sentence comes from the storage place under ‘Arsy. (The hadith is narrated by Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, 21415).
قال رسول الله صلي الله عليه وسلم : الراحمون يرحمهم الرحمن , إرحموا من في الأرض يرحمكم من في السماء , الرحم شجنة من الرحمن , فمن وصلها وصله الله ومن قطعها قطعه الله
Messenger of Allah shallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Those who love will be loved by the Compassionate Essence. Love the creatures that are in the earth, the creatures in the heavens will love you. Compassion is the tree branch of the Compassionate Essence. Whoever connects it then Allah will connect his, whosoever disconnects it Allah will disconnect his. (The hadith is narrated by Imam at-Tirmidzi, 1924, and Abu Daud, 4941).
That is some verses of Quran and the hadith of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam relating to the poor. Here, by looking at what I have said above, we can at least conclude some things about the virtues of helping the poor and their position in Islam. Among them;
First; in the letter of al-Maa’uun  verses 1-3 there is a statement that the rich muslim who did not want to feed the poor was the one who lied to the teachings of religion.
Second; in the letter of al-Israa’  verse 26 there is a description of the obligation of the rich to give the right of the poor in his possessions.
Third; in the letter of al-Baqarah  verse 215, the letter of ar-Ruum  verse 38 and the letter of al-Baqarah  verse 271 there is the information that the poor are among the groups whose needs must be considered by the rich.
Fourth; in the letter of an-Nisaa’  verse 06 there is the information that the poor can eat the wealth of the rich in a good way, not by stealing and exceeding the limits of their rights.
Fifth; in the hadith narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 2/168, 6570, 2/512, 10663, there is a description of the glory that will be made by the poor if they patiently live and keep following the teachings of Islam; they will be Allah’s creatures who enter Paradise ahead of the rich with half a day’s gap; half a day in the Hereafter is equivalent to 500 (five hundred) years in the world.
Sixth; in the hadith narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal, 21415, there is a statement that one of the counsels given by the Prophet Muhammad to Abu Dzar was to love the poor and to approach them. From this advice we know how much they have a special position in the heart of the prophet Muhammad. This counsel is also hammering for us all.
Seventh; in the hadith narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 1924, and Abu Daud, 4941, there is a statement, that Allah Almighty and His angels will love those who will love the beings that are on earth, including the poor.
Now, if we are truly capable of understanding the above-mentioned descriptions, surely, we already know how noble the Islamic view is to the poor and how great the glory that Allah Almighty will give to those who are willing to help them alleviate the burden life. I think this brief description is clear enough and we all understand it.
I hope this article useful! May those who are poor do not feel alone living on this earth, because Islam is very concerned about their situation. That’s because Islam is a religion that teaches love to fellow creatures.
See you again in the next article!