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Prayer Times

Date 23/07 24/07
Imsaak: 02:53 02:56
Fajr: 03:03 03:06
Sunrise: 05:18 05:20
Zohr: 1:15 1:15
Maghrib: 09:12 09:10

Programme Information

The Friday Message - Issue No: 324 - State of the World

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Salamun alaykum,

Annual World Economic Forum at Davos:

This week from Tuesday 22nd - Friday 25th January 2019, over 2500 leaders drawn from business, politics, civil society, science and culture sectors have descended in the picturesque ski-resort city of Davos, Switzerland. The record turnout at this four day show piece assembly includes top business leaders from over 140 countries and numerous heads of state /government. the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual meeting. The WEF is a non-profit organization, founded in 1971, to unite international political leaders, business leaders and journalists from across the globe to discuss and shape global, regional and industrial agendas with regards to economics, health and the environment.
The delegates have gathered to attend the 49th edition of WEF. Thus, it’s nearly 50 years since billionaires, world business leaders and politicians have been assembling in this small village of Davos to discuss the future of the global economy and steer policies to ‘improve the state of the world’.

What is the state of the world?

Against the background of the ongoing Davos WEF meeting aiming to ‘improve the state of the world’ what then is the case with regards to poverty?

State of the world: Poverty:

UK poverty 2017 reports over 1 in 5 people of the UK population live in poverty. Government statistics show that 4.1 million children now live in relative poverty, accounting for more than 30% of children in the UK. A research by Oxfam; the anti-poverty charity shows the state of the world we live in is a world where 1% of the people own more wealth than the other 99% combined. This implies that wealth is concentrated among less than 1% of the people living on earth. The research warned of an ever-increasing concentration of wealth by a handful of rich men.
Elsewhere the Equality Trust, which campaigns to reduce inequality in the UK, reported that Britain’s current richest 100 had the same wealth as 30% of UK households.
Obviously, this rising inequality in wealth ownership is dangerous and definitely has ramifications on numerous agendas affecting man including peace, governance, happiness and living standards of the global citizen.

What is the Divine Message?

All the distinguished Messengers of God realized the severity of the concentration of wealth in a few, the crisis of poverty and its impact on people. They instilled values in people to seeking an honest and fair living and exhorted them to be charitable. They treated the poor with mercy and kindness, supported the poor and even lived amongst them.

Wealth in Islam:

Wealth in Islam is considered as n’imah-gift- from Allah SWT. Man as the khalif- steward- of Allah SWT is a trustee of this gift and other numerous Divine gifts. Islam neither opposes material pursuit nor does it promote obsessive accumulation of wealth. The doctrines of Islam have set into place a check whereby the material development of human being does not eclipse the spiritual development. Further in order to mitigate the effects due to inequality prevailing in the society it rewards in abundance the spending of wealth on individual, family and the society.

A cause of poverty:

A tradition from the 6th Imam J’afar As Saadiq a.s. reports that a cause of the people falling into poverty, becoming needy, hungry and naked is due to the wrong doing of the persons having wealth. Therefore, the state of world with increasing poverty and inequality in wealth is a consequence of concentration of wealth in few persons without due attention to responsibility towards its ownership.

Reflect: How covetous are you in pursuit of accumulating wealth?

As the steward of Allah for the n’ima of wealth are you discharging your responsibility towards your family, community, society, the nation and the world?
What needs to be done to tackle the causes of poverty and concentration of wealth in a tiny minority?

Wa ma tawfiqi illa billah.

Fazle Abbas Datoo
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Resident Alim
Wessex Shia Ithna Asheri Jamaat