Right of Livelihood

Livelihood is considered a part of mankind's right to life. In addition to the fact that in the Islamic law, deprivation of a man of his life is forbidden, right of livelihood and enjoying the minimum facilities and devices to continue life is also considered important.

Islam considers enjoying the primitive but essential means to make continuation of life possible, important. It has presented comprehensive and vast programs aimed at materialization of this fundamental and vital right, especially in the form of an anti-destitution campaign, aimed at uprooting and eradicating poverty among the individuals of an Islamic society.

In Islam the anti-poverty phenomena and campaign is considered the public's duty in the society. Monopolizing policies favored by a certain group (the rich) as the main obstacle in the way of just and fair distribution of wealth, facilities and financial resources of a society is prohibited. Quran explicitly opposes the concentration of a society's wealth (exclusive ownership of riches) in the hands of a few.

مَا أَفَاءَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ رَسُولِهِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ فَلِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ وَلِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ كَيْ لَا يَكُونَ دُولَةً بَيْنَ الْأَغْنِيَاءِ مِنْكُمْ

And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns - it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveler - so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. (Quran, 59:7)

Also the individuals of a society are proscribed from doing anything that contradicts the right of livelihood of mankind in a society and puts the destitute under pressure and drives them into a difficult situation. Puts the low-income class and disrupts their lives by depriving them of the minimum necessities of their lives. For instance, hoarding routine shopping list items and necessities of life of the public would be contrary to livelihood of the people and cause difficulty for them in providing their foodstuff, and to run their lives has been banned.

The Prophet (S) explicitly said: "Whoever hoards products is a sinner."1

In another narration the Prophet (S) was quoted as saying: "Whoever hoards some food for 40 days is apart from God and God detests him."2

  • 1. Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, Vol .2, P.425.
  • 2. Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Vol. 6, P. 368.