The Division of National Wealth among the Rich

 

The Prophet (may God bless him and grant him peace) said: "If my ummah bears fifteen traits, tribulation will befall it." Someone asked, "What are they, O Messenger of God?" He said: "... when the booty [i.e., national wealth] is taken in ruin and property given in trust as spoil..." (Tirmidhi)

 

This portent of Doomsday is seen all over the world today. As the world's wealthiest people control a large part of the world's wealth, billions of people are condemned to live in poverty and hunger. This is most clear in Africa, where millions of people live in poverty and hunger.

In its 2003 reports, the International Work Organization declared that 2 billion people survive on $1 a day and that approximately 1 billion people struggle to survive on $2 a day. In a press release, the organization declared that the gap between the poorest 20% of the world's population and the richest 20% of the world's population doubled during the last 40 years.20

Basing itself on Forbes magazine, the Turkish daily Radikal reported that "the top 400 richest Americans" had a combined wealth of $1.2 trillion, which is six times the total of Turkey's national revenue. The wealth of Bill Gates, who for a long time was the wealthiest man in America, is estimated to surpass the total national revenue of Peru, a country with 25 million people. Meanwhile, it is one-third of Turkey's national revenue, which is around $200 billion. The same report mentioned that the personal income of Warren Buffet, more than $28 billion, is more than the national revenue of Kuwait, an oil-rich country with a population of more than 2 million. Ted Turner, who ranks twenty-first on the list, is worth $9.1 billion, an amount that equals the national revenue of Panama, which has a population of 2.7 million people. This picture reveals that on the national and international levels, the poor become even poorer and more numerous, whereas the wealthy have become even richer. The total amount of wealth held by the 400 people on the list increased by 20% in one year.21

The unbridgable gap between the poor and the well-off is a sign of the End Times.
Prophet Jesus’ (pbuh) sojourn will solve all of these problems.

Some Eat, Others Starve...(Yeni Safak, August, 2000 )
The Gap Between the Rich and Poor Increases (
Milliyet, March 14, 2001)

On 2 February 2003, the Turkish daily newspaper Aksam illustrated the inequality of income around the world in the following terms:

The most important problem of the world: According to the World Development Report of 2003, the inequality of income among countries is growing even deeper. The report indicates that the most important problem of development on the world agenda is to find jobs for the three million people whose daily income is less than 2 dollars a day, in order to make them individuals who can contribute to production and to provide them better a quality of life. One of the foremost factors threatening world peace today is global poverty.

The Situation of the World: The average income of the 20 wealthiest countries is 37 times greater than the average income of the 20 poorest countries of the world. The developed countries, where 20 percent of the wealthiest people live, hold 86 percent of the world's national revenue, 82 percent of the world's export markets, 68 percent of all foreign investments, and 74 percent of all telephone lines. Meanwhile, the share of the 20 percent of the poorest in these areas does not exceed 1.5 percent.

Figures related to the gap between the 20% of the wealthiest and the 30% of the poorest are striking:

Year
Ratio of Gap
1960
1:20
1990
1:60
1997
1:74
2000
1:79

The number of people living in extreme poverty, who survive on less than $1 a day, is over 200 million.

Today, the total wealth of the 3 richest people of the world is more than the total gross national product of the poorest countries, where 600 million people live...

Eighty percent of the total natural resources of the world is consumed by 16 percent of the world population. Meanwhile, 5 percent of the entire world population is deprived of safe water resources. The number of people dying of diarrhea alone is over 50 million. As the great part of the population in underdeveloped countries lives in rural areas, these people become even poorer as the natural resources on these lands diminish. Indeed, the women and children living in poor countries spend 4-5 hours looking for wood to burn. These same people spend 4-6 hours looking for safe water and then carrying it home.22


The world’s wealthiest people control a great portion of the world’s riches
while billions of others live in poverty and starvation.

This situation is a sign of the End Times, as related in our Prophet's (may God bless him and grant him peace) hadiths. By our Lord's Will, this situation heralds the closeness of the coming of the Mahdi, Prophet Jesus (pbuh), and the Golden Age, a time when people will not suffer from such misery. In the Golden Age, the world's situation will be just the reverse, for people will fully abide by the Qur'an's morality.

As God orders in the Qur'an:

so that it [booty] does not become something that merely revolves between the rich among you. Whatever the Messenger gives you you should accept, and whatever he forbids you you should forgo. Have fear of God - God is severe in retribution. (Surat al-Hashr, 59:7)

(1) Some Eat, Others Starve...(Yeni Safak, August, 2000 )
(2) Rich and Poor (Sayim Ozel, No:221)
(3) 800 Million Dolars to Weapons (Damga, September 1, 2002)
(4) The Gap between Poor and Rich in China has increased (Milliyet, March 14, 2001)
(5) Rich and Poor (Yeni Mesaj, March 17, 2022)

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20. "2 billion people survive on $1 a day," NTVMSNBC, July 7, 2003. Online at: www.gezegenimiz.com/NewsTopic.asp?KategoriAdi=A%C3%A7l%E2%80%BAk&idKategori=2
2 1. "Turkiye=5 zengin ABD'li, (Turkey=5 wealthy American)" Radikal Gazetesi, September 23, 2003. Online at: www.radikal.com.tr/2000/09/23/ekonomi/01tur.shtml.
2 2. "Global Danger," Aksam (A Turkish Daily), February 2, 2003. Online at: www.aksam.com.tr/arsiv/aksam/2003/02/02/ozgurplatform/ozgurplatformprn4.html.

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