Social business : a model to alleviate poverty in islamic countries

Mohd Rafi Yaacob, (2015) Social business : a model to alleviate poverty in islamic countries. In: Konsep Keusahawanan Sosial Islam : suatu pengenalan. Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, pp. 87-99. ISBN 9789670955049


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During the golden era of Caliph ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul Aziz, who is also known as the second ‘Umar, Muslims achieved the highest level of civilization, wealth and prosperity. Everybody was considered affluent, where it was impossible to find poor people, to the extent that nobody was entitled to receive zakat (alms). The situation was largely contributed by his leadership that uphold to the principle of Islam in every aspect of life from the state administration, education to business activities. On the contrary, it was entirely dark age for Western civilization. Sadly speaking, a thousand years later, many Muslims are considered amongst the poorest people in the world. Islam has the second largest number of followers, with the Muslims population of about a quarter of 7 billion inhabitants of the world, alas more than half of poor people live in Muslim countries. Of course, there are some rich Muslim countries where their income surpasses the US and Japan such as Qatar, UAE, Brunei, Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Oman, but many poor and poorest countries are Islamic countries. Even for the said rich Islamic countries, their wealth overwhelmingly contributed from the income of oil, taken away the so-called black gold, they will be at par with other Islamic countries. As for non-Muslims, some would argue poverty is a product of Islam. According to them, in order to free from the yoke of poverty, Muslim countries must embrace modernization and development carte blanche as long as possible and any principles of Islam that is contrary with capitalism must be challenged and suppressed because they will hinder progress. As a result, not a few Muslim countries have bowed to this pressure that is knocking every door of Muslims. Many aspects of Islamic teaching are attuned to westernization and capitalism, anyone who raises an objection and challenge this view is opposed and considered as backward and anti-development. Over the last four decades, due to raise of Islam after its slumber, this misleading view has been challenged because many have found Western modernisation not panacea. The answer why Islamic countries and Muslims are poor is because they do not adhere to Islamic teaching which governs each and every aspect of life from spiritual and material or worldly matters. It is not the Muslims that had made Islam great, it was Islam that had made Muslim great. Islam comes in a complete package in which it could not be well functioning if any of its principles is not taken into account and action. Apart from this, when asked a question why Muslim countries are poor, of course there are many answers and some of them are interrelated and intertwined with one another. Amongst others are corruption, illiteracy due to lack of education, past history of colonialization, civil war and war imposed by powerful nations, natural disasters like prolong draught and desertification, lack of human rights, dictatorship as well as globalization, unjust and exploitative trade between rich and poor countries, unfair currency exchange and unfair economic system which is overwhelmingly dominated by rich countries –G8. Looking at the current scenario, it is a long way to go for Muslim countries to address endemic poverty amongst their countries. However it takes, any efforts to address poverty should be supported, because it is considered as a duly import duty of each and every Muslim. After all, poverty will lead Muslims to abandon their religion and easily sway from the right path because poor people are easily tempted by worldly temptation.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 9789670955049
Faculty: Centre for Modern Languages and Generic Development
Deposited By: En. Pahmi Abdullah
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2016 03:39
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2016 03:40

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