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Child poverty: Hindering their full potential

The echo of UNICEF’s noble aspiration, “For every child,” resonates deeply with Islamic teachings emphasizing care, protection, and nurturing for every child. However, amid this vision, the pervasive shadow of child poverty, especially in countries like Malawi, poses a profound challenge, hindering the potential of innocent children.

In considering the struggles faced by children in Malawi, the emphasis on their multidimensional poverty reflects an urgent call to action rooted in Islamic principles of compassion and justice. As Islam teaches, “Whoever does not show mercy to our children nor acknowledge the rights of our elders is not one of us.”

Aligned with the universal goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the imperative to alleviate the suffering of impoverished children stands as a testament to Islam’s call for social equity and care for the vulnerable. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) taught, “The best among you are those who are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.”

Recognizing child poverty as a multifaceted issue, Islamic teachings emphasize the importance of tailored interventions and equitable distribution of resources. Islam teaches, “The believers, in their mutual kindness, compassion, and sympathy, are just like one body. When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain.”

The deprivation experienced by Malawian children, illustrated by their struggle for basic necessities such as breakfast meal before they go to school highlights economic disparities that stand contrary to the Islamic principle of communal support. Islam stresses, “Give charity without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.”

In acknowledging regional disparities in child deprivation rates within Malawi, Islam’s teachings on justice and fairness urge an equitable approach to ensure every child’s well-being. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “Your love for your country is a part of your faith. Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

Moreover, Islam advocates for a holistic approach to social welfare, highlighting the significance of addressing not just material poverty but also the psychological, educational, and emotional well-being of children. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) said, “Every act of kindness is charity.”

Ultimately, Islam’s teachings prompt us to recognize the shared responsibility in nurturing and safeguarding the future generation. Islam emphasizes, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

In conclusion, the resonating call “for every child’ aligns deeply with Islam’s core values of compassion, justice, and communal responsibility. Upholding these principles not only safeguards the future of our children but also fosters a society built on empathy, justice, and collective well-being, echoing the essence of Islam’s teachings on care for all members of society.