Various Islamic scholars have dismissed the notion being held by some Muslims that poverty engenders piety, stressing that just as begging is antithetical to Islam, there is no correlation between poverty and piety. The scholars advised Muslims not to be laid back, but work hard, help each other through the institution of zakaat, avoid inordinate pursuit of wealth and shun all what constitute haram in the quest of means of livelihood.
These were the highlights of different papers delivered by different Islamic scholars during a workshop themed: “Between Piety and Poverty”, organised by Lekki Muslim Ummah, LEMU, held at Vice Admiral Jubrila Ayinla Multipurpose Hall, Lekki Central Mosque Complex, Lagos, recently.
Chief Imam,Lekki Muslim Ummah, Sheikh RidwanJamiu, spoke on “Essentials of Piety”, while the Head of the Department of Insurance and Actuarial Science, University of Lagos, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf presented a paper on: “Is Poverty an Islamic Virtue?”. Also, Dr. Jubril Salahudeen, delivered a lecture on: “Practical Ways of Alleviating/Eradicating Poverty” just as Ustadh Nojeem Jimoh and Alhaji Niyi Akinlusi discussed the various presentations.
Sheikh Jamiu stated that poverty was not a sign or correlation of piety, adding that Allah never praised anyone in the Qur’an for being poor; rather, He rather praises those who give. “Those who spend their wealth in the Cause of Allah, and do not follow up their gifts with reminders of their generosity or with injury, their reward is with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.”Q2:262
Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf, in his pedagogical approach held the audience spellbound as he charged Muslims and well meaning individuals to improve the welfare of indigent Muslims and care for the have not adding that poverty is never an Islamic virtue.
Dr. Jubril Salahudeen in his own presentation surmised that Muslims could legitimately increase their earnings and eradicate poverty in their lives through legitimate means as approved by Allah. Salahudeen who described himself as a man with humble background said any Muslim who has the fear of Allah, seek forgiveness of sins, contentment, regularly worship Allah, engage in commerce and agriculture and ensure prompt payment of zakaat will not only alleviate poverty but be rewarded by Allah.
Speaking earlier, the President of Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU), Alhaji Sulaimon Adebayo Alabi said, the topic was specifically chosen to address the erroneous notion being held by some Muslims that poverty engenders piety and the inordinate pursuit of wealth by others.
“These two extreme positions are obviously antithetical to Islam. Yet, many still indulge in both extremisms. Accordingly, we want to seize the opportunity of this workshop to debunk the two extreme positions and offer a solution,” he said.