Miseducation is a Powerful Thing
The term “redistribution of wealth” is a deliberately misleading term because it makes people think that government authority is going to forcefully seize the rightful assets of the wealthy and give it to the poor for free. Clearly, most people see that as wrong and that’s why we see otherwise intelligent people scoff at the Occupy Wall Street movement or dismiss presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders who are taken to be socialists.
Have you seen the infographics and the statistics about how much wealth the top 1% of society owns compared to the rest of the 99% combined? If you didn’t know better, it is natural to assume that, well, the 1%’s wealth is rightfully theirs. They earned it by whatever means. Maybe some of the 1% just won the lottery — they’re lucky. No one has the right to “redistribute” what someone else has legitimately earned.
But that’s exactly the point — the wealth of the 1% has not been earned legitimately. So addressing the wealth gap is not about “redistributing wealth” or some kind of overt socialist program. It’s simply about cutting off all the illegitimate ways the 1% has been able to steal wealth and resources from everyone else.
Theologically, Allah provides enough rizq, i.e., provision, for all people to live and survive. The fact that so many people in the world are hungry or starving and living in utter destitution and can’t even get clean water is not because Allah has not provided enough resources on earth to sustain these people. The only reason some people cannot get enough to eat is because other people have illegitimately taken food from the mouths of those people. Stopping that theft is not socialism or redistribution of wealth. It’s justice.