PRINCIPLES OF QURANIC ECONOMIC SYSTEM

(Abu Abdul Quddoos Muhammad Yahya, Karachi)

Economic problem has been one of the most major turning points for revolutions in human annals. It mesmerized people so much that they started to take it as a human problem on the whole instead of its part. Such type of economic human analysis made the man a cultured animal who has come in this world to maintain a good standard of life.

Today, there are two claimants to solve this problem:

1. Capitalism

2. Communism

Both of them have gone to the extreme points due to imbalance theories & ill prescription.

The real economic problem is how to prevail the economic-justice, not equality, providing everyone with his due right to develop his personality. The Quran gives perfect principles to solve this human problem. In the following lines, we will try to discuss them briefly.

CONTROLLED PRIVATE OWNERSHIP AND OPEN MARKET

Islam validates private ownership of property (Surah Yaseen: 71, Surah Nisa: 71) and open marketing. But it does not leave them free to move in any direction. It distinguishes between fair and foul means (Halal and Haram) to stop them from going in the direction which is harmful to society. Therefore, it does not legalize the property earned through foul means. Islam bans all such types of business whereby one party is either exploited or deceived (Surah Baqra:188, Surah Nisa:29). The following kinds of trade are completely illegitimate in Islam.

l. Interest: - Islam is not ready to reconcile with interest at any cost (Surah Baqra:275-279). It is something which kills human values and divides the society into two categories, the haves, and the have-nots, concentrating the wealth in a few hands. Islam wants to make this difference as little as possible.

2. Hoarding: - It is a very well known fact to the students of economics that hoarding causes a man-made economic crisis in a country. It lets the producers raise prices controlling the supply of goods. Islam abolishes it as the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Whosoever hoards consumer goods for forty days awaiting rise in prices, he is out of God’s guard (and in another saying) he is not amongst us.”

3. Speculation: - Speculation is illegal because it enables a man to earn without making any effort only at the cost of luck. Sometimes, it doubles the prices of goods before they reach in the hands of consumers. Lottery, gambling and all other kinds of speculation are also forbidden in Islam (Surah Maida: 90-91)

4. The exploitation of Human Lust: - What we name today “Art”, Islam hates them all. It does not allow some people (actor, actresses, and models) to earn money playing with human sexual feelings. Some cheaters sell their goods at the cost of giving exposed photographs of model-girls instead of quality. Islam wants to ban prostitution (Surah Noor:19,33) and wine (Surah Maida:90) completely.

FLOW OF WEALTH

As it is mentioned earlier that concentration of wealth in few hands makes a counter rivalry between the rich and poor class. The more the flow of wealth, the better it is for the society. It is an established theory in modern economies. Islam takes four steps to take wealth into more hands.

Two of them are preventive and two are suggestive. -

1. Ban On Interest: - Interest allows the rich to become richer and makes the flow of wealth from down to upwards. Under interest-based the system, some people run the business on the savings of all giving the savers a share out of their own pocket. Moreover, interest and investment are conversely related to each other. (Keynesian theory)

2. Barriers against Speculation: - It brings the wealth in some hands without any serious efforts to earn it. Islam wants to abolish the two strong pillars which make capitalism possible contracting the fold of wealth in the society.

3. The obligation of Poor Due {Zakat}:

Islam wants to lessen the difference b/w riches and poor. It makes the riches incumbent, to give away a part of their earning (2½% after a year) willingly to the poor brothers to increase their purchasing power. Islam charges Zakat from capital (wealth) instead of income.

4. Inheritance Policy (Surah Nisa: 11-14): -

Distribution of property after one’s demise hits the feudalism right at its root. It makes land lordship ineffective nullifying the rule of primogeniture (This law states that only the eldest son can inherit after his father) and dividing their power (wealth) in a number of small pieces. Remember that inheritance is an as obligatory law of Islam as prayer.

SPENDING OF WEALTH

Wealth can be spent on three major purposes,

i. To live a luxurious life

ii. To earn more.

iii. Only to save for future

i) Islam lets the believers maintain a good standard of life (enjoying comforts) but it does not allow a luxurious lifestyle. It not only forbade overspending but also miserliness (Surah Bani Israeel: 29, Surah Araf 31-32). It emphasizes on economical expenditures measuring one's needs. (Surah Furqan: 67) Drinking and adultery are completely prohibited to stop going money in vain.

ii) Partnership (profit and loss) business are the alternatives of interest in investing money. Capital will have to share the risk of loss with other factors of production to earn profit.

iii) Islam dislikes saving money for fear of the future. It safeguards everyone against rainy days through the official treasury. On the other hands, it likes the believers to invest money in the way of God (The Quran uses the term “Fi Sabilillah” to express all such meanings) to let society progress. Spending money for economic progress is not an imagined idea of Islam. The modem economists have discovered this fact that the greater the marginal propensity to consume, the greater the volume of GDP of a country.

SOCIAL SECURITY

The above-mentioned principles cease the unfair accumulation of wealth. However, you cannot create complete equality in the practical world. Some people do surpass others utilizing their potentialities. Some will be quite well to do and some may remain helpless. The artificial classless society of Marx is not any suitable solution to the problem. Islam forces the government to provide the basic; needs to the poor so that they may lead a modest life in the society. The largest proportion for this purpose will be charged from the riches in the shape of Zakat. Most countries impose taxes on income, Islam charges it on capital (wealth) instead.

CLOSING WORDS

We can summarize the Islamic system into four principles: -

1. Controlled ownership of enterprise

2. Ban on interest

3. Obligation of Zakat

4. Inheritance policy

I have tried to put before you the major principles of Islamic economic system. The salvation of humanity lies in these principles. The modern mind believes in practical rather than mere theories. Therefore, we need to show the blessings of this system to the world running it successfully at least in one part of the world. Otherwise, we are going to be taken into account before God for neglecting our duty as a whole.

But keep in mind that the Islamic economic system can’t show its blessings until applied with its true teachings of the moral, political and social system in the society. Taking only a part may even pollute society like self-medication. Therefore, the Quran says, “O those who [truly] believe! Enter into [the fold of] Islam completely.” (Surah Baqra: 208)

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مزہبی کالم نگاری میں لکھنے اور تبصرہ کرنے والے احباب سے گزارش ہے کہ دوسرے مسالک کا احترام کرتے ہوئے تنقیدی الفاظ اور تبصروں سے گریز فرمائیں - شکریہ