Bitesize has changed! We're updating subjects as fast as we can. Visit our new site to find Bitesize guides and clips - and tell us what you think!

Religious Studies

Islam: poverty and wealth


  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Back
  2. Next

Muslim teaching

Muslims are required to live according to the teachings of the Qur’an (the Divine Book revealed to the Prophet Muhammad) and some jobs are therefore haram (forbidden). Lending money is forbidden if the lender benefits from riba (interest):

That which ye lay out for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah.

Surah 30:39

When people owe money Muslims should be sympathetic to the debtor:

If the debtor is in a difficulty, grant him time till it is easy for him to repay. But if ye remit it by way of charity, that is best for you if ye only knew.

Surah 2:280

There are Muslim banks with special facilities so that Muslims are able to borrow money without the bank making interest on it.

Gambling is also forbidden in Islam:

Satan’s plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: will ye not then abstain?

Surah 5:91

Many Muslims will not take charitable donations towards building a mosque or school if the money has come from gambling or a lottery.

Muslims in the United Kingdom take an active part in raising money for their mosque where it is distributed to the poor; many will send money to Muslim communities abroad.

Muslim charities such as Muslim Aid and Islamic Relief work to help people in developing countries.

The generous man is near God, near Paradise, near men and far from Hell, and the ignorant man who is generous is dearer to God than a worshipper who is miserly.


Work is a central part of Muslim life:

But Allah has created you and your handiwork!

Surah 37:96

The Qur’an says that Muslims cannot profit from alcohol or gambling, from brothels or prostitution, lying, fraud or burglary:

And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) peoples’ property.

Surah 2:188


  1. 1
  2. 2
  1. Back
  2. Next

Back to Poverty and wealth index

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.