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Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 10)

The ruler is deemed responsible for the realisation of social stability by lawful methods. Islam has certainly guaranteed the plentiful availability of revenues through two principal means:

a) Imposing secure financial obligations that are to be taken continuously, such as obligatory alms.

b) The creation of public sectors and directing the state to invest those sectors. Islam prescribes fair regulations that prevent wealth from accumulating with a group and that lead to the fragmentation of ownership, including inheritance, wills and Islam’s combating of the amassment of money, the abolition of interest on the capital and the abolition of capital investment for natural resources.

 Communal self-reliance

One thing certain now is that the Islamic state, with the tremendous and various natural resources that it has, strives through common work to achieve its economic liberation and negate its subordination to foreign [countries] by virtue of adopting an independent developmental policy. Under the increasing commercial patronage by industrial countries and the aggravation of the external debts problem for an increasing number of Muslim states, the concept of self-reliance has come to have a communal dimension, meaning that it extends to comprise the establishing of [one] type of the aspects of co-operation and relations, that have mutual interest, with a group of Muslim states that suffer similar problems and concerns, there exists a variety of profitable co-operation among them. The co-operation may comprise the following vital matters:

Arabic Poetry 4

دعاني من نجد؛ فإن سنينه لعبن بنا شيباً وشيبننا مردا

Leave me (both of you) in relation to Najd; for as grey-haired [elderly people] its years undoubtedly made sport of us and as beardless [youth] it made us grey-haired.

Meaning: Leave me, my (two) bosom friends in relation to mentioning this land [of Najd], for certainly whatever aridness [there was] and drought that has happened has shaken and disturbed the old men and its conditions gave grey hair to the youth and the beardless.

Sharh Ibn ‘Aqil شرح ابن عقيل

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 9)

The financial system for the Islamic state

Islam has placed a financial system in accordance of which money does not exceed the goal for which it was [intended]. Among the most prominent features of the Islamic financial system is that it is a system that exists within the religious, social and economic directives of Islam; that its task is to support the message of Islam in the aforementioned areas; that the goal [of having the system] is to protect the Islamic economy; to provide work for every capable [person]; protecting such work; supporting production with its various kinds and work in its abundant availability and quality; distributing income to those deserving it in a just manner and guiding public and private spending. Financial resources at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to rely on obligatory alms, [items of] seized and surrendered [or ‘free’ Tr.] booty and the Jizya tax. During the time of the second caliph, Umar ibn al-Khattab, financial resources became plentiful and projects appeared that require multifarious expenditure, consequently other financial resources were created such as land tax and commercial tithing.

[NOTE: Jizya tax is a head tax on free non-Muslims under Muslim rule. [Hans Wehr Dictionary]]

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 8)

The Islamic organisation of stock exchanges require that chief elements of the salam contract [a type of forward sale contract], in that it is the selling of a known thing up to a certain term, be applied to future contracts in both paper money markets and commodities markets with the availability of the most important pillar of the forward sale contract, namely the intention to hand over the commodity. It is incumbent on Islamic governments to allocate equipment for surveillance over companies that deal in the stock exchange so that heads or managers of companies do not tamper with budgets thereby affecting the prices in the stock exchange and they and their subordinates gain benefit from differences in prices. This is in addition to strengthening surveillance on stock exchange traders generally so that no swindling takes place at the stock exchange. Consequently, those markets are able to perform an active role as a system for finance and investment.

Creativity (Part 4)

Understanding, or consciousness, that exists on reflection and contemplation does not happen at random nor individually, rather, it is a communal activity that takes place within the framework of what we call rational methodical reflection, I mean a reflecion in conformity with rules that are the scientific rules of reflection in our present time, [and within] a thought framework formed on the mode of scientific achievements…Hence every novelty, through this reflection and founded on active communal action, leads to a decisive new social view of human conduct…I mean it leads to new creativity in thought and in action (social conduct or creative, innovative activity).

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 7)

Commercial insurance, which insurance companies carry out, does not achieve the legal characteristic for co-operation and joint responsibility though both reciprocal insurance and social insurance achieve the functional characteristic which Islam prescribed for co-operation and making sacrifices. So these two types of insurance exist [based] on the intention of co-operation, joint responsibility and donation without desiring to pursue profits. Accordingly, they are both hence considered, in our view, a proper application of the theory of insurance. Moreover, one may apply reciprocal insurance through co-operatives in all its forms, trade unions and mass institutions. As for social insurance, the state carries it out with the intention of insuring some classes of the nation against specific dangers.

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 6)

The objective of [having] Islamic banks is that they take the place of commercial banks considering that they operate on interest, and it is here that some Islamic jurists are of the opinion that the mudaraba (silent partnership) contract1 in Islam is considered a legal basis for some contemporary credit processes, accordingly, it modifies the banking regime until it is consistent with the laws of the Islamic silent partnership contract and until the profits from silent partnership take the place of prohibited interest. On the other hand, there are those who think that the bank is not a silent partnership investment agent and that the depositors are not financiers but rather they are all merely partners. Hence, it is the principles of partnership that must gain currency and not the principles of silent partnership. In any case, the value of Islamic bank operations will become clear to us whenever we recognise that the relation between transactions that involve the cost of interest and transactions conducted upon the principle of equity partnership in profit (through the silent partnership contracts or partnership contracts) the relation will, to a large extent, resemble the relation between fantasy and fact or imagination and reality.

1. NOTE: “Mudaraba is a partnership where capital is provided, in cash or assets (no debt is accepted) by one party – the fund provider – and labour is provided by the other party – mudarib.” [Translator]

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 5)

Production, distribution and exchange

In the view of Islamic jurisprudence, which is deduced from the Qur’an and the Hadith, the state intervenes in order to expand production within the framework of the lawful and the forbidden, with the following things: 

a) occurrence of a specific or general harm

b) exploitation

c) earning through [the act of] scrounging and bogus jobs

d) municipal facilities

e) activities that clash with the ethical objectives approved by Islam

f) guaranteeing the minimum production level of basic needs

g) achieving the concept of social justice which Islam advocated

Perhaps the most important assurance to achieve and continue development is what Islamic jurists have unanimously agreed on, namely to divide commodities and services that concur with human interests into three groups: necessities, needs and beautifying enhancements and what these jurists determined, namely, the necessities taking precedence over the needs and the needs taking precedence over the beautifying enhancements. This is what is called priorities of development in modern terminology.

Islam treats distribution issues on a wider scale and more comprehensively as Islam does not suffice with distributing national income, that is, only the total commodities and services produced, but it also treats the most profound aspect of distribution: distribution of natural resources. It is known that the distribution of natural resources precedes the production process itself. That is to say, individuals carry out their productive activity in accordance with the way by which productive resources are distributed. Accordingly, the distribution of natural resources takes place before production; as for the distribution of national income, it is linked to, and depends on, the production process itself because it treats the results yielded by production.

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 4)

Ownership and its standards in Islam

In the last many years concern for the issue of transferring public ownership to the private sector started to increase in both developed and developing countries, however, Islam has placed rules for distributing ownership that are appropriate in every place and time since Islam does not approve the link that prescribes that the form of ownership [should] change whenever the need of production to change is renewed or whenever some [people] respond to the whims of those who call for change but rather the matter in Islam’s perspective is that of a person who has general needs and deep-rooted inclinations that have to be satisfied within a framework that does not contravene [one’s] innate nature and at the same time preserves a person’s humaneness and develops it. So an individual in their capacity as a private human being has needs that must be satisfied through private ownership. Besides, Islam takes into consideration the innate social sentiment in a person where every individual feels that they are a member of society and that they are unable to live on their own. That is why public ownership is there to satisfy public needs, although some individuals are often unable to satisfy their [own] needs through private ownership and so such [people] suffer deprivation and a wide disparity becomes apparent in incomes and riches among individuals; accordingly, Islam made the third form of ownership – namely ownership of the state, or ownership of the Treasury –  in order that it could serve as a fund for the state, providing it with the essential finances to achieve social stability.

Islam and the economic problem

The relative scarcity of resources is not a real problem, for the problem from the perspective of the Islamic viewpoint is not in the scarcity of resources, but [rather] in humans’ discontinuation in discovering them since there are many directives that urge and call people to continuous productive work, to seek knowledge and to search to understand the secrets of the cosmos and to discover resources and bounties that nature is replete with and which God has made favourably disposed to humanity. Moreover, there are customs or rules for utilising these resources through which their benefit will be proper, their yield double and their income increase. These customs are of two types: material and spiritual [and are] as an actualisation of Islam’s method of dealing in the spiritual aspect when treating every matter.

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 3)

Work is an obligation and right at one and the same time 

Islam is concerned with establishing the right to work for every human being. The right of the worker over the state is that it facilitates the opportunity of work for them and doesn’t procrastinate, leaving such a right for later, as productive work is one of the basic human needs; it gratifies a natural propensity in the person, provides a source of sustenance for them and stresses their place in the Muslim community as a useful member 1 and, consequently, their sense of belonging to such a Muslim community. If people are the creators of growth, and its goal, at the same time, then undoubtedly the priority in any plan for growth becomes providing productive work for all those capable of doing such work. Consequently, capital-intensive growth that leads to an increase in unemployment of a large number of workers is not, therefore, something to consider.2 What’s more, youth unemployment sometimes contributes to crime and instability. Crime is linked, first and foremost 3, to poverty and social instability, but it trends upward 4 whenever there are large groups of unemployed youth.

Islam has granted women rights which Western civilisation has not granted them as yet; Islam has granted women the right to work and the right to earn, when needed, but retained for them the right to care 5 in the family because life according to Islam is greater than money and body.

1. Literally: useful individual.
2. Literally: a place of consideration.
3. Literally: in the first place.
4. Literally: tends toward increase.
5. That is, the right for the woman to being cared for or receiving care.