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What would you do with 62 billion dollars?

ImageThe Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) time and again show us the way to serve people and be available to the poor, underprivileged, and needy. Anyone who knocked on the door of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) was never turned away. Imams Hasan and Hussain (peace be upon them) were known for their generosity and would always distribute to the poor.

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Forbes Magazine

Most decent God-fearing individuals wouldn't keep such an enormous wealth in their possession. Every year Forbes magazine publishes "The World's Billionaires". Regrettably, there are 1,062 billionaires in the world right now. The top three billionaires accumulate $180 billion.

Non-believers rush to accuse God of the problems of the world, but they don't blame those who are hoarding all the money and not distributing a portion of their wealth to those in need. There are many places in the world where there is no access to clean running water. Some people have to travel miles in order to bring a container back home.

The famine in Somalia, the monsoons in Bangladesh, and the earthquakes in Pakistan are just a few natural disasters whose aftermath the populations still suffer from. Imagine how much the society could benefit from these billionaires, had they use their money to help humanity in giving the poor the basic essentials of life, water, food, and shelter.

"What you bring forth will go into dust; what you hoard will be left behind," said Imam Ali (peace be upon him). "What you build will be leveled to the ground in time, but what you do is recorded and increases (as an asset) for the day of final requital."

This past summer, one of the rich and famous, Leona Helmsley passed away and made the news of how she distributed her wealth. Trouble, a Maltese dog, received $12 million to be pampered for the rest of her dog years. While millions of people die from starvation, malnutrition, and contaminated water every year, we know for sure a dog will live a life of luxury and eat the best of foods.

In the chapter of Humaza or the Traducer, God warns those who hoard their money and don't spend it on those in need. It is one of the vices that is explained in the chapter.

"Woe to every slanderer, defamer,
Who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap);
He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.
Nay! he shall most certainly be hurled into the crushing disaster." (104:4)

The kingdoms in the Arab world, of all people, should take heed of what is stated above. Obviously they forget where the rulers before them ended up. They don't remember Muawiyah and Yazid and how they lived a life of luxury, but today they are vanished, and they took nothing with them except their deeds.

The Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) time and again show us the way to serve people and be available to the poor, underprivileged, and needy. Anyone who knocked on the door of Lady Fatima (peace be upon her) was never turned away. Imams Hasan and Hussain (peace be upon them) were known for their generosity and would always distribute to the poor.

"The wealthy who does not wait to spend in the way of God until a needy comes to his door, but goes to the abode of the poor to mitigate his suffering, is the true God-fearing pious," said the Holy Prophet.

About Ayat Joseph

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  • sulmaz

    salaam aleikum brother Joseph

    thank you soo much for the amazingly written article. It touches on some very important topics that are very relavent in the society that we live in today. I would also like to point out that it is also possible to give charity with your knowledge and to give charity with you time if you are not a particularly wealthy person. Allah swt has given us all something in this life that we are able to give away in the form of charity

    wasalaam

  • redha

    beautiful article, very nice to read
    love it, contain valuable lesson+ reminder
    keep writing yeah!