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.