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СодержаниеMuslim teaching on poverty and wealth
Part (b)-‘There should be no rich people as long as there is poverty in the world’.
|Religion: Wealth and poverty.|
Part (a) (i) Christian teaching on wealth and poverty
Christians believe that wealth is something which can be used for good or evil, and so, in itself, is not a bad thing. However, Christians believe, if you are rich, it’s not just because you’ve worked very hard. It is also a gift from God and, if you are rich, you must remember that and help to the poor people. If you have an ability, you should ‘feed hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked or visit those who are sick or in prison.’ In a parable about the end of the world it says, that in the end everyone will be judged. In Matthew 25:31-46 it says that one time Jesus said that the good and bad people would be separated just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. In Christianity, if you help to the other people, you help to the God, and so you show that you love God. The good people would be sent to the heave and bad people would go to the hell. “The commandment to Christians to love God and love their neighbour means they must help anyone who is in trouble whether they live next door or far away”-based on Luke 10:25-37. Christians believe that God blesses and thank those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from poor people. Therefore, Christians believe they must share their wealth with the poor. Also, Christians believe that wealth can be a big danger, if you focus just on it. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.” -1 Timothy 6:9-10. Christians believe that all humans are equal in the eyes of God and that all the things of earth have been to humans by God to use to help each other. Christians also believe that they should help not just to the people from their own country, but to the people from all over the World. “Rich nations have a grave moral responsibility towards those which are unable to ensure the means of their development by themselves.” - based on the Catholic Church. Christians believe that, if you wish to someone to be well and healthy, it is a dead action as long as you don’t do anything for this person. There are lots of countries in the World and some of them are poor or developing countries, such as: Africa, Brazil, Peru, and most of Asia countries. All these countries are located in the South. And of course we have rich countries, such as: America, Europe Russia, Japan and many others, which are located in the North. So according to the statistics let’s just imagine that whilst we in the North worry about our diets, thirty five thousands of people every day starve to death, because they don’t have enough food to survive. It is ridiculous if rich countries don’t help to the poor ones. I know that is difficult, but I think they must help and change this situation.
Islam teaches that wealth is something given by God (in Islam Allah) for the benefit of humanity and, therefore, is something to be shared. Beginning from the childhood, Muslims are taught to care for the poor and for those in need. Muslims believe that all wealth and everything they have belongs to Allah, so they must give Zakah to the poor, which means they purify the money they have. There are three main forms of giving: Sadaqah, Zakah and Zakat-ul-Fitr. Sadaqah is any good that Muslims do for someone in need. They may give it at any time they want. It can be anything, beginning from the prayer or time and ending by giving some money and material help. Muslims don’t have to give Sadaqah, but they believe that Allah will appreciate it. Muslims believe that by giving money to the other people, they become rich in their souls. Zakah is another form of help. In Arabic Zakah means purification. Muslims pay Zakah every year based on two and a half percent of all their savings and income. Also, there’s a special time, when Muslims pay a special zakah, it is a festival of Id ul’Fit’r. For Muslims paying Zakah is not compulsory, but if they don’t pay Zakah, it is the same like stealing from Allah, because it belongs to him. Zakah is a test of the Muslim and therefore, the more wealthy the person is, the more they give. Zakat-ul-Fitr is the last form of payment. It is an additional payment and Muslims pay it in the end of Ramadan. The amount of this payment is usually stated by the local mosque. So Muslims differ to each other by the amount of help they give to the poor.
(ii) The need for world development
All countries in the World depend on each other. We all import and export different products, and it’s impossible to imagine that all countries can be independent from the rest of the World. However, there three types of countries in the World: developed, developing, and less developed countries. Also, it was very popular to divide countries by North and South, where North means rich and South means poor. The examples of developed countries can be: USA and Western Europe. Such countries as: Brazil, Mexico, India and Malaysia are developing countries. And finally less developed countries, like: Sudan, Bangladesh, Mali and etc. Unfortunately we still have some poor countries in the World, and it shows that we have a lot to do about it. Now, let’s look why countries become poor. First of all, the poverty in the country may be caused by war. For example Livan wasn’t a rich country, but nowadays, day by day this country becomes closer to the debt. Livan and Israel could solve this problem by different way, but they preferred war. But let’s imagine how many years will it take to recover from this war. Israel used to be a type of tourist country, but today nobody wants to go there. Nobody wants to die. This war between Livan and Israel has a very negative effect on the attitude from the other countries. At the wartime, many people die and usually it takes twenty or more years to begin have new, young families. It also affects people minds very much. It’s easy to explain. Who wants to have a child at the wartime? The answer is-nobody. Nobody wants to present such a ‘nice’ childhood to their children.
What about earthquakes, floods and other catastrophic disasters? They also cause many problems. It takes a lot of time and money to rebuild new schools, houses and etc. Sometimes a less developed country takes a loan from the developed one, but it still have to return this money back. It’s impossible to imagine how such countries as Peru or Asia can return all the money at the right time. I think, that rich and developed countries must understand it, and lend money to such countries with minimal or no percent to return.
The question was, there’s a need for world development. Here the answer. From my point of view, all countries need to develop first of all for the good of its citizens. If the country managed not to have this problem, it can also help to the other less developed countries. Development is the only way we can change a situation. Therefore, I think we must develop for the good of ourselves as well as for the good of others.
(iii) A religious agency working for world development
Now I want to write about the CAFOD religious agency. I chose it, because from my point of view it is one of the best religious agencies in the World, which works with more than 5000 thousand different organizations and helps communities to build a better future for them.
To be honest, I don’t disagree or agree with this point of view. As many people in the world as many opinions. I think that it wouldn’t be very good not have rich people. There will never be just a middle class in the world. Some people are owners of the huge factories. These people can organize and manage other people to do the work. Other people don’t have this talent, they prefer to work on someone else. It means, they can’t earn as much money as other people can. We can’t change people, and there always will be poor people in any country. The only thing we can do is to decrease the number of poor people and give them the second chance. But sometimes it doesn’t work this way. People who don’t want to work, will never work. Maybe they want, but they don’t do anything about it. “Give a man a fish; feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish; feed him for a lifetime.” It was a very clever phrase. It will be actual at any time and century. We can give money to the poor. Yes, it will help them to live one more week and that’s all. But, if we teach people how to work, and provide jobs for them, it will definitely change the situation. Usually people who own factories are rich. If they’re rich and don’t give money for the charity, they’re bad aren’t they? That’s what the topic says. We’re wrong, if we think that these people are bad. These people provide jobs for hundreds and thousands of people. They help to the families of the workers very much. Workers become able to marry, have children and a family. These rich people make poor people happy. They give them a chance to begin a new life. Why is it bad? I’m sure, that most of the owners of the factories give a lot of money for the charity, but actually they don’t have to. They help to the poor people, by giving them the jobs, money, and a chance to live a normal life. Isn’t it enough? If the owner of the factory gives all money to the charity, in order to become equal with his workers, his factory will not develop. It means that the owner will not have a chance to provide new jobs for people who need it. It means, that lots of poor people will still be poor, and will have no chance to have a family and ability to earn money to live.
Now, let’s imagine that there are no rich people in the World. Let’s imagine that there’s a middle class and poor people. Of course, it will definitely become a conflict; if all rich people will suddenly give all the money they have to the charity and become the same level with other people. People in the middle class won’t provide enough jobs. People in the middle class won’t be able to help to the poor people as much as rich people can. Poor people will die. If we are talking about the reality, there will never be a time when all people will love and respect each other. All people are different. Middle class means that all people will be equal, and earn the same amount of money and live in the same conditions, but they won’t be. Day by day people in the middle class will lose their jobs. Not everyone can have the same job for the whole life. People want to improve. People want to live better. If there’s a need to build a house, there will be nobody, who will be able to do that. Who will pay to the workers? Who will manage them to do build the house? Just the owner, general director or whoever he is, can do that. But how can the owner manage them to do it, if he has the same wage as his workers do? The Government is not that rich to provide enough money to all building projects. It is just impossible to imagine the life without rich people and that’s all.
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