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Our Ummah Needs to Fulfill Basic Needs

117
CharitySociety

Our Ummah Needs to Fulfill Basic Needs

God commands us to fight against our families and even ourselves to ensure we uphold justice. But the question remains: Will you be one to help? 

117

God commands us to fight against our families and even ourselves to ensure we uphold justice. But the question remains: Will you be one to help? 

The Coronavirus pandemic has left its mark. We have seen our daily lives shift dramatically, changing how we view the world. We can no longer ignore what happens in other parts of the world. Basic needs are not being fulfilled worldwide. We can’t ignore how this will impact us. From Bangladesh’s garment workers not being paid to Yemen’s hunger crisis, we can’t overlook the needy anymore.  

A Yemeni man who benefits from Zakat Foundation of America’s animal husbandry program is able to use the product from his livestock to sell in local markets. | Zakat Foundation of America photo

What Are Basic Needs?

In 1943, psychologist Abraham Maslow suggested that all humans had five basic needs that needed to be fulfilled to thrive. The requirements for air, water, food, rest, and health are considered the absolute basics. These are basic physical needs that all humans need to live. It is only when we see our basic needs fulfilled that we can move on to self-actualization. You can’t expect progress from humans running on an empty tank of gas.

What Does Islam Say About Basic Needs?

As Muslims, it is a core principle of our deen (faith) to ensure basic needs are fulfilled. The Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace, said: 

“There is no right for the son of Adam other than these things: a house in which he lives, a garment to cover his nakedness, a piece of bread, and water” (Tirmidhi). 

Women in Kenya dance upon collecting water from a local well installed for their community’s benefit. | Zakat Foundation of America photo

Why Do We Need to Care About Basic Needs?

While most humans can be benevolent in regular times, we know it is harder to be generous in times of recessions. As Muslims, we have been commanded by God to stand in the face of injustice, especially when it isn’t easy. In the Quran, God says: 

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do” (Quran 4:135). 

Children in Kenya carry water home from a local well. | Zakat Foundation of America

God commands us to fight against our families and even ourselves to ensure we uphold justice. But the question remains: Will you be one to help? 

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