Poverty is the scarcity or the lack of a certain (variant) amount of material possessions or money. Poverty is a multifaceted concept, which may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty, extreme poverty, or destitution refers to the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs such as food, clothing and shelter.
Allah (SWT) created all creatures and He provides all of them whether they believe and obey Him or not. That is from His Great Mercy. Some believers suffer from poverty because of injustice of oppressors or any other reason. Poverty can also in certain cases be a test to purify the believer or elevate his degree.
Poverty is not degradation and wealth is not an honor. Both are tests.
Many enemies of Allah were granted wealth like Firaon ( Pharaoh) and Hamaan and Qaroun (Korah) while many Prophets were tested by poverty and illness like Prophet Ayyub (AS).
God is most powerful and could easily do such an action. However, poverty exists due to man’s greediness. If everyone had paid their Islamic taxes correctly such as zakat and khoms, the situation of poverty would look much different.
We find that Imam Ali (as) was strongly against poverty, and gave us an example on eradicating it. This was even towards non-Muslims such as the famous story below which alludes to his conduct towards a Christian beggar:
‘One day Ameer ul Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) Imam Ali (AS), passed through the lane and saw the beggar in that condition. Imam Ali (AS), out of his concern for others, enquired about the old man. He wanted to know the factors which led him to that condition. “Has he has no son to support him? Or, is there no other way for him to live a respectable life in his old age?”
The people who knew the old man came forward and informed Imam Ali (AS) that he was a Christian and had worked hard so long as he had his eyes, and when young and strong.
Now that he had lost his youth as well as his eyes, he was unable to do any work; also he had no savings, so it was natural for him to beg. Imam Ali (AS) said, “Strange! Till he had strength, you extracted work from him and now you have left him on his own?”
His story shows that he had worked when he had the strength. Therefore, it is the duty of the Government and the society to support him while he is alive. “Go, and give him a life pension from the State Treasury (Baytul Mal).”
Also regarding the rich and poor, Islam in fact encourages the rich to help the poor and act in a humble manner with them. The Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) were known for this as well as helping the slaves or servants with hard work. It is the corrupt society and governments which create poverty and enforce a system which discriminates between the rich and poor. Islam has been given to us to deal with this issue in addition to all of society’s problems.
May Allah grant you success
as salam alaikum
poverty has been always present along history due to the exploitation exercised by some people and groups on others. The Prophet and the Imams, peace be upon them, presented and supported a system that in fact aims at the eradication of poverty but due to various circumstances was not fully implemented even by Muslims themselves. The believers are called to revive, preserve and spread that system based on cooperation, altruism and charity in order to eliminate, or at least lessen, poverty in the world.
With prayers for your success.
Poverty is a test for people who are not poor to examine their obedience in paying Zakat.
No doubt Zakat aims to eliminate poverty.