Living The Quran
From Issue: 1050 [Read full issue]
Al-Qalam (The Pen) Sura 68: Verse 24
The principle of "giving" or "spending on the needy" or "sharing" has been emphasized in the successive messages of God since early times. God calls on the human beings to worship Him only, and His messages, if truly understood, may take them away from their egotism and greed, and direct them towards sensitivity towards others and human togetherness. In the above verse, the owners of a garden combined their lack of God-consciousness with their refrainment from helping the needy. As their greed tempted them to forget God and to refrain from giving and sharing with the needy, they were reminded that God's will and might are above their planning. It was not only the poor and needy who could not receive their share of what God entrusted the garden's owner with, but the owners themselves were deprived of any fruits from the garden. The message is clear: the haves should give. It is a test for the rich and the poor, and God's guidance secures justice for all.
Everyone has to work hard to earn his/her own living, and those who may be deprived of any chance to secure their needs temporarily or permanently have to be supported by those who are prospering. The whole society contributes to the individual's wealth, and giving to the needy would add to the purchasing power and economic development. It is a circle of mutual benefit that is achieved by human co-operation and solidarity, whereas selfishness and greed lead to a deterioration of faith and morality as well as a decline and conflict in the society, and they result in human suffering in this life and the life to come. However, self-correction is always possible as long as one is alive.
"Concepts of the Quran" - Fathi Osman, pp. 782, 783