Some hard facts: National Commission for Enterprises in Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) report 84% of the Muslim population of India lives on a daily income of less than Rs. 20

Ahmed Nisar

National Commission for Enterprises in Unorganised Sector (NCEUS) report 84% of the Muslim population of India lives on a daily income of less than Rs. 20. In other words, about 126 million of our brothers and sisters don’t even earn twenty rupees a day! Therefore, is it not the duty of wealthy Muslims to remedy this situation?

According to the Quran and the ahadith, the rights of the people (i.e. Haqooq –al- ibad) are as important as the duties we owe to Allah (Haqooq-Allah). In certain situations, Allah has given priority to the rights of the people over duties owing to Him and any negligence in the performance of the rights of the people has been included in the category of major sins and punishment of hell has been assigned for it. Unfortunately, most Muslims overlook this aspect of Islam. Ask any Muslim his reasons for performing Umra and the reply will invariably be; ‘for sawaab.’ But how many of us know that more ‘sawaab’ can be gathered right here in India by helping a needy person at half the price of an Umra? Let it be known that Allah does not expect a Muslim to perform a “Nafil ibaadah” at the expense of the 126 million people wallowing in the muck of extreme poverty.

It is estimated that about 150,000 Muslims travel to Makkah for Umra every year. And the average cost of the entire trip is around Rs. 140,000/- Therefore, the annual amount spent by Indian Muslims on Umra alone works out to a whopping Rs. 2100 crores!

In comparison, the amount allocated in the last budget by the Government of India to the Ministry of Minority Affairs was Rs. 1000 crores. In the recent budget this allocation has been increased to 1740 crores, and as the Muslim community is not the only minority in India it may get about 1400 crores that is, 80% of 1740 crores.

In other words, we are spending about 700 crores more than the amount our country can afford to spend on us and that too on a non-obligatory ritual. And we have not taken into account multiple Hajjs

As of now, the only beneficiaries of this expenditure are the tour operators, the airline companies and the oil-rich Saudi economy. It is beyond comprehension that such huge sums could be spent every year at a time when the socio-economic conditions of the Muslims in India are in a pathetically hopeless state as brought out by the Sachar Committee Report.

The question is: will people go on a foreign holiday or Umra when God forbid their own father, mother or son is severely sick? If the answer is no, then let them know that 95% of our community is terribly sick as per the Sachar Report and hence this is not the time to enjoy our life neglecting the community.

I am sure we all have heard of the hadith in which our beloved Prophet equated our ummah to the human body and said that even if one small section of the ummah is in pain the entire Muslim community must feel it.

*Total average expenditure of one wedding = 6.4 lakh rupees*

In a total Muslims population of 150 millions assuming that at least 150,000 (0.001 percent of 150 million) middle class weddings take place in a year in India,

The total money spent by the Muslim community per year on weddings is: 150,000 weddings multiplied by 6.4 lakh rupees which equals Rs. 9600 crores!! Add to this the 2100 crore rupees spent on Umras and another 400 crores for holidaying. In other words Muslims in India spend a minimum of Rs. 12100 crores per year on extravagant weddings, non-obligatory pilgrimages and unnecessary travel.

*Let us now see how much it costs to educate a child.*

At an average annual fees of Rs. 10,000, the cost of educating a child from LKG to 12th standard is 14 years x 10,000 = Rs. 140,000

For 4 years of technical education @ Rs. 100,000 per year = Rs. 400,000

Total cost= Rs. 540, 000

Dividing 12,100 crores by 540,000 we get 222,407

This means, more than 222 thousand poor Muslim children can be educated for 18 years on the money spent in just one year by the rich Muslims on avoidable expenditure!!!!

Let's concentrate on Huqooqul ibaad for the moment as the condition of our community is very bad. Allah is not in need of our Umras or multiple Hajjs. But our Ummah is in desperate need of humanitarian help.

Any contribution towards this would be worth several hundred times the sawaab of an Umra or a second Hajj.

In this context, I would like to invite the attention of my wealthy brethren to the following hadith in Bukhari in which the Prophet said; ”One who strives for the widows and the poor is like the one who strives in the way of Allah. I shall regard him as one who stands up for prayer without rest and as one who fasts without break.”

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