In fact, all divine religions order helping and lending the poor without interest. They also prohibit ignoring and turning one’s back on them. Alms should be given to them even if possessions should be sold.
The Old Testament orders justice for the poor. We read the following verse: “I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor.” (Ps. 140:12)
The Old Testament tells us that God answers the prayers of the needy and will not forsake them. In the Old Testament, we read the following verse: “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, and their tongue is parched with thirst. I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, as the God of Israel I will not forsake them.” (Is 41:17)
The Old Testament orders opening hands to poor brothers and lending them such an amount of money which is sufficient for satisfying their needs. The Old Testament prohibits hardening hearts and closing hands to poor brothers.
In the Old Testament, we read the following verse: “If there is a poor man among you, one of your brothers, in any of the towns of the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart, nor close your hand to your poor brother; but you shall freely open your hand to him, and generously lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks.” (Deut. 15:7)
The New Testament orders selling possessions and giving their proceeds to charity. In the New Testament, we read the following verse: “Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves purse which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near, nor moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)
The New Testament enjoins sharing clothes and provisions with the poor. We read the following verse: “And [John the Baptist] would answer and say to them, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and let him who has food do likewise.” (Luke 3:11)
The Qur’an considers giving money to the needy an act of righteousness. We read the following verse:
Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, but [true] righteousness is [in] one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to relatives, orphans, the needy… (Al-Baqarah 2:177)
The Qur’an urges heirs to give the needy from the estate of their deceased. We read the following verse:
And when [other] relatives and orphans and the needy are present at the [time of] division, then provide for them [something] out of the estate and speak to them words of appropriate kindness. (An-Nisaa’ 4:8)
Again, the Qur’an orders doing good to the needy. We read the following verse:
Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy… (An-Nisaa’ 4-36)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) instructed his Companion Mu`az to take alms from the rich and give it to the poor.
Ibn `Abbas reports that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to Mu`adh when he sent him to Yemen, “You will go to people of the Scripture. So, when you reach there, invite them to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger. If they obey you in that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in each day and night. And if they obey you in that tell them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the Zakat (alms) which will be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor among them. If they obey you in that, then avoid taking the best of their possessions, and be afraid of the curse of an oppressed person because there is no screen between his invocation and Allah.” (Al-Bukkhari)
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) likened the one who looks after a poor person to a warrior fighting in the cause of Allah or the one who observes prayer at night and fast at day. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The one who looks after a widow or a poor person is like a Mujahid (warrior) who fights in the cause of Allah or like him who performs prayers all the night and fasts all the day.” (Al-Bukhari)
1- The Glorious Qur’an (Sahih International Translation)
2- Sahih Al-Bukhari
3- The Holy Bible (Visit biblegateway.com)
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