-—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—-
(NEW YORK, NY, Oct. 17, 2014) – The Islamic Circle of North America joins the United Nations in observing October 17 as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty to promote awareness of the dire need to eradicate poverty and destitution at a global scale.
The 2014 theme is “leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty”. Poverty is a violation of human rights and governments and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations must come together to ensure such rights are protected.
Poverty is generally defined as a circumstance where individuals lack essential resources to meet their economic, and social needs.
One of the great reforms that Prophet Muhammad, صلى الله عليه وسلم, peace and blessings be upon him, brought was the rights and treatment of the poor segments of society. He is known to have said, “Seek out the vulnerable among you. Verily you are only given provision and support due to your weak ones.”
The eradication of poverty cannot be achieved only through monetary means. The causes of poverty must be tackled to achieve any long term, permanent change.
It is the interplay of unjust political, social and economic systems that perpetuates and further entrenches poverty. Financial assistance will not bring about poverty alleviation until the root causes are addressed.
“We need to renew our commitment to fighting global poverty through reforming our institutions and global systems of power,” said Naeem Baig, president of ICNA. “This day is a time for us to show solidarity with the least privileged segments of society and acknowledge the struggle they face.”
The inclusion of poor in our festivity must be done without which we cannot complete our service to Allah SWT. How many societies the poor is left out of the pie and the rich eats the entire pie. A few weeks ago, we celebrated Eid-ul Fitr. And on that Eid, we enjoy its virtues by giving the Zakaat-ul Fitr to the poor before we begin the Eid prayer. This Eid we have to complete its celebration by giving 1/3 of the meat to the poor and needy. As Allah SWT says: Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (22:28) EID MUBAARAK!