Apart from our dedicated medical teams around the world, there is another group of people who are on the actual frontline of this pandemic.
They are affected to the extent that their survival is hanging on the line.
They are the poor — those who are impoverished, homeless and deprived, thanks to today’s political-economic system.
Around the globe, a lot of workers are caught between the choice of starvation or facing the threat of the virus.
It is true that the business of the capitalist employers is affected and eventually, the wage of the employees.
However, the workers are commonly underpaid and under-appreciated and immiserated in capitalism’s scheme of things. For the capitalists and top managers, their profit is at risk now while for the workers trapped at the bottom, it is their lives that are at risk.
Not only income insecurity, but they are also already afflicted by inadequate and overcrowded housing, and nutritional deficiency.
Quoting some people, “If COVID-19 doesn’t kill them first, hunger will.”
In Islam, the underlying economic principle is mutual cooperation. It was never about the exploitation of the less fortunate. Everyone is encouraged to seek wealth, but in all those wealth are the rights of the poor, whether they ask for it or not.
“And those within whose wealth is a known right for the (needy) who asks and the deprived.” (Quran 70:24-25)
“And those who believe in the Day of Recompense and those who are fearful of the punishment of their Lord.” (Quran 70:26-27)
Has COVID-19 enlightened us enough about the injustice of the current economic system?