Essay No. 135:
It Is Hard For An Empty Bag To Stand Upright: The quotation is to be interpreted symbolically. An empty bag cannot stand upright, likewise and empty human stomach cannot stand upright in life. Poverty leads to dehumanization. One can’t expect a poor man to show high morals.
According to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), poverty can take a person to the lap of godlessness. A hungry man to live has to fill in his stomach with some kind of food. He can go to any extent (exception are there) to satisfy his hunger and for that purpose, he can give up truth and adopt a falsehood.
He is like an empty bag lying on the ground, bitten with hunger and poverty. If you wish him to stand erect, then overcome his hunger and privation. One comes across empty bags lying on the ground in Pakistan owing to an extreme type of poverty. Those who live below the poverty line, are empty bags crestfallen in life.
The problem is to rehabilitate them in life. Poverty is the worst scar on the face of humanity. It is a tragedy that in poor countries like Pakistan, a large segment of the population suffers from poverty, hunger, squalor and deprivation. People are like empty bags, roving here and there, wearing gloomy faces.
It is the imperative need to pull them out of the trap of poverty. Poor people are not expected to show morals in life, for poverty can push them to an extreme type of dehumanization. Poverty is a great courage which needs to be exterminated from the globe.
The developed countries can play an important role in alleviating poverty form the underdeveloped countries. But they are not interested in extending a genuine type of technological, financial help to the latter. They wish to see ‘empty bags’ in the underdeveloped world.
The leadership in the Third World countries mostly follows such economic, fiscal policies to take the wind out of the sails of the poverty-ridden. The policies aim at injecting more economic blood in the veins of the rich, the affluent. A few empty bags can become full, while the majority of bags remains empty.
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Islam stands for converting human empty bags to full through its egalitarian programme. Man is the best creation of God. The tragedy is that he has been deformed at the hands of his fellow-beings. There is a gulf between the rich and the poor, and it tends to widen over time in Pakistan.
Islam espouses the cause of the downtrodden the depraved and presents its own egalitarian programme for the uplift of the poor. A lot of verbal sympathies is shown to the Islamic egalitarian socio-economic system but nothing concrete is done throughout the Muslim world to implement the programme.
The result is that economic poverty is on the increase and the number of human empty bags is swelling. An illiterate/ignorant person can be compared to an empty bag. He is mentally a hollow vessel. He lies on the ground as he is incapable of perceiving the ground realities of life.
He is ignorant of his surroundings and cannot understand socio-economic problems he is face to face with. He cannot stand upright. If we wish him to stand upright, we must make him a full bag of education!