Poverty is the biggest moral challenge of this humankind. Poverty has been a constant feature of society throughout history. History shows that poverty has always existed in people’s life. However, it is also a historical fact that although the majority of people have lived in poverty, the remaining minority have lived in luxury. This is also valid in today’s societies and nations. Again, while some countries, called first world countries, live in a very luxurious manner, the remaining countries, called third world countries was most often the case that everybody was equally poor, but more modern societies have generally tended to involve poverty being confined to an often substantial minority only - though this can often harm those concerned even more than universal poverty does. More than three billion human beings in this world live in abject poverty. Thus, poverty mitigation remains the most critical test for policy makers in current Islamic world.
Muslim societies are far worse than the rest of the world in the matter of addressing the problem of poverty. The Islamic world is enormous with over 1.2 billion people, stretching from Senegal to the Philippines - comprising six regions: North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. With the exception of countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, there are high and rising poverty levels in both urban and rural parts of most Muslim countries. Poverty levels have also been associated with high inequality alongside low productivity. In Indonesia alone with world’s largest Muslim population, over half of the national populations - about 129 million people are poor or vulnerable to poverty with incomes less than merely US$2 a day. Bangladesh and Pakistan account for 122 million each followed by India at approximately 100 million Muslims below poverty line. It is estimated that the ten Islamic countries at the bottom account for more than 600...
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