Economy, Side Feature, The Khilafah

Hunger in the UK

One in ten London families are relying on charity handouts to eat and food banks are facing unprecedented strain in the run-up to Christmas, new figures reveal.

One in four London parents worry about being able to afford to feed their children, the research found, while almost one in five have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their family. (Independent)


The Independent Newspaper teamed up with the Felix Project after reporting that 500,000 children go to school on an empty stomach every day.

The Project is giving food destined for landfills to families in need and targeting children’s hunger in its current campaign. The project appealed for donations and is raising awareness of the problem of food waste and food shortage.

It is stated that 10 million tons of food are wasted every year in the UK, and more than 400 million meals’ worth of edible food were sent to landfill in 2016.

Alongside this excess and waste, the poorer segments of the population are facing malnutrition and hunger. Fifty per cent of young single mothers skip a meal to feed their children and nearly 1 in 10 parents cannot feed their children without food banks and charities. An estimated 870,000 children in England go to bed hungry each night because their parents are unable to provide the meals they need.

With the UK being the 6th largest economy in the world, why is this the case and why are charities filling the void of the government?

While some campaigners are asking these questions and as charities take up the task of organizing the distribution of food, it is important to realize that it is the failed system of capitalism that is being exposed very clearly.

Capitalism falsely claims that there is a trickle down of wealth and this will ensure that all people’s needs are met. It also falsely claims there is a lack of resources and increased demands. The current scenario shows that there is no shortage of food for the population and there is no trickle down either!

Hunger stifles creativity and growth, and causes immense stress for those who encounter it. This is recognized but a real solution from the government is not being presented.

At the time of the famine in Madinah, it was Umar bin Khattab (RA) as the Khalifah who rose to the challenge facing his subjects. He wrote to the Walis asking them to send food-grains to Arabia. Camel loads of food grains and other necessities came from Syria, Iraq, and Egypt.

Meals were cooked at the State level and all people who took refuge in Madinah were fed daily at the States expense. According to one account, as many as 40,000 people were fed every day.

While the PM and other leaders in the UK do not feel the pains of their subjects, Umar (RA) refused to eat meat or butter during the period of famine. His stomach would rumble, but he said: “O stomach you may rumble as much as you like, but as long as the famine persists, I cannot allow you anything dainty”.

This example shows the seriousness that the correct Islamic leadership gives to the problems faced by citizens; not resting till the situation was resolved, rather than passing the responsibility to others. The Islamic System, represented by the Khilafah on the methodology of the Prophethood, when it returns, it will recognize the needs of man, focus on the distribution of resources and solve the problems faced by its subjects. This solution will give hope and insha’Allah presents a guiding light for those living in the failed Capitalist states.


Nazia Rehman