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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.

Yes, Islam is the solution… but how? (Part 2)

The Islamic view on development

The Islamic view on development is comprehensive of all aspects and constituents of human life, and isn’t [one that is] limited to the economy. It therefore deals with all phenomena of life and [all] aspects of activity within it. Likewise, it deals with feelings, conduct, conscience and sentiments. The values that such development deals with are not just economic, nor are they, generally speaking, material [either]; rather, such development is merely that of economic and material values blended together with abstract and spiritual values. Furthermore, development does not exist without morals, as morals are not [a matter of] supererogation that can be dispensed with, after which a person will have a successful working life. Moral values are a deep-rooted element that extends far down in Islamic conceptualisation and in  Muslim society in such a manner that no aspect of life, nor all of its activities, is devoid of such an element.

Every individual has the freedom to grow their  wealth [of multifarious kinds] 1, though within the legal limits. So a person must not adulterate nor monopolise human  essentials, nor lend 2 their wealth 3 at interest, nor do their employees wrong with regards to pay so as to increase their [own] profits; all this is forbidden. Only pure means exclusively are permitted in Islam for developing resources. Pure means usually don’t inflate capital to the point that widens the gulf between the classes in incomes and in riches. Capital only inflates in such an exorbitant manner with crimes hidden behind modern ways of exploitation. Inflation on the one hand, and recession on the other, are considered a path of enormous devastation.

1. NOTE: The arabic word ‘amwal’, which has been translated here as ‘wealth’, is plural of ‘mal’. ‘mal’ is a noun which means: All desirable goods, articles, utensils etc. (whether edible or not), trade goods for sale, real estates, money, or animals that an individual or group owns. [al-mu’jam al-wasit] When the writer uses the plural ‘amwal’, we can think of this to mean ‘kinds of wealth’ [translator]
2. Literally: give. [Translator]
3. NOTE: The plural word ‘amwal’ is used here in the original Arabic. See the previous note on ‘mal’ above [Footnote 1]. [Translator]

Creativity (Part 3)

The human-societal life is a spirited communal action…[it is] trial and error…and a transcendence of the past…[it is] stimuli and reactions as a product of this effectiveness and bears a historical consciousness that is the reserves of the cultural society just as it bears a future goal, since this is undoubtedly what gives life’s action a social or humanistic meaning.

If an animal reacts to its surrounding stimulants in a repeated, conventional way which we describe as instinct, then the human-societal reaction is not likewise, rather, it is an adaptation to novelty, that is, it is a critical, rational action in order to harmonise with novelty and transcend convention and a departure on a path of fashioning life founded on a methodology and principles that are [both] recognised in the interim by the name of principles of logic and scientific research methodology.

The human-societal existence, according to this conception, is the historical effectiveness for this activity. A person, because they are governed by objective rules of activity for their existence, yet by virtue of the consciousness and intellect that they own, [which] are the harvest of their accomplishments and activity, they are in a state that makes them fit to make new circumstances for the activity of the laws and indeed up until forming a new existence that has its new rules.

Pre-Islamic Poetry 3

ألم أك جاركم ويكون بيني     وبينكم المودة والإخاء

Was I not your neighbour whilst there was between me and you love and brotherliness?

Meaning: [The poet,] Al-Hutay’ah, reprimands the Al-Zibriqan family with this verse and says to them: I was an adherent of yours living under your protection and there was familiarity and brotherhood between me and you, then I turned away from you towards others; there must be a reason on your part for this as you are unfit for neighbourly association and love.

Creativity (Part 2)

Creativity is the renewal of life, so today’s day is unlike yesterday, and let [us have] the future of tomorrow be even more beautiful, enjoyable, radiant and perfect by virtue of active communal action. Therefore, human life is distinguished from that of animals in that [the former] is not a typical continuum nor a spontaneous regularity. In order for society life to really be humane in impression and nature it is necessary that it constantly be renewing, that is to say, [that it be] a regular creative life.

The society which does not know creative life is a society destitute of the essential human characteristic that distinguishes it from the animal and destitute of the joy of renewal, construction and change…that is, destitute of the craft of existence and society’s responsibility of existence.

Creativity…Is it a personal contribution?

Creativity is the renewal of life and a communal effort that has its conditions; it is not merely a personal contribution. Undoubtedly, it a part of the art of existence.

It is said that Shahrazad’s secret was that she renewed life with the course of days: the listener would wait at night longingly and passionately for the new day in order to relish visions of a new life that brings joy and happiness to them. So if the [course of] days of our social life is monotonous – that is, today, yesterday and tomorrow are much the same – it would certainly be a life of sheer boredom. But the beauty and joy of life lies in its renewal and diversity…in its fresh creativity. It is unsurprising that we always describe something that renews as vital, that is to say, throbbing with life…novelty and change are what ‘to throb with life’ is…so life is constant renewed action, forever diverse. Hence we long for it…we cherish it…it is all the more beautiful to our eyes, we cultivate it under our [watchful] eyes with our minds, thoughts and hands…it is undoubtedly from us and for us, it is not unfamiliar nor are we alien to it…On the contrary, between us and life is a unity of existence. When we sacrifice for its sake, we say we are sacrificing with our lives, that is, with our existence…because it is the life or because it is us in [the form of] our renewed active communal existence…

Pre-Islamic Poetry 2

لعمرك ما أدري وإني لأوجل       على أينا تعدو المنية أول

By your life, I do not know – though certainly I assuredly dread – on which of us will the fate [of death] strike first

Meaning: He is saying to his companion: I swear to you by your life I certainly do not know – though I am afraid – whom amongst us will death befall before it befalls his companion.

What the poet means is that this life is short and a person is prone to death at every moment, so it is unbefitting that we spend our lives in abandonment and severance.

شرح قطر الندى

Pre-Islamic Poetry 1


Time will reveal to you that which you were unaware of; 

and the one whom you had not dispatched* will bring you news 

Meaning: Time will certainly expose to you what was concealed from you; and news will come to you [spontaneously] without you having to exert yourself [take the trouble] to seek it out.

* That is: to seek out news. Literally: ‘and the one whom you had not supplied with travelling provisions will bring you news’

ستبدي لك الأيام ما كنت جاهلا

ويأتيك بالأخبار من لم تزود

المعنى: إن الأيام ستكشف لك ما كان مستترا عنك، وستأتيك الأخبار [عفوا] من غير أن تكلف نفسك [أن تتجشم] البحث عنها.

Sharh Qatr al-nada  شرح قطر الندى

CIE O-level Arabic 2009 Text 1

     Last night, I was sitting beside the fire, reading a novel, when suddenly someone knocked on the door. My mother looked at the clock and said to me,
     ‘I wonder who it could be – it certainly isn’t your father, as he doesn’t come home until 6, whereas the time now is half past four. Go and see who it is; I’m busy and you’re doing nothing.’
     ‘But Mum, I’m reading a fascinating chapter of my book and you can go too.’
     ‘My dear, when I ask you to do something for me, I want you to do it immediately.’
     As she finished her sentence, there was a second knock. So I got up and ran to open the door. Oh, how surprising! It was Zaynab! So I said to her,
     ‘I’m so sorry I kept you waiting. If I had known you were at the door, I would no doubt have opened it straight away. I was reading a novel and I didn’t want to leave it.’

في الليلة الماضية كنت جالسا بجانب النار أقرأ رواية، إذ طرق شخص على الباب. نظرت أمي إلى الساعة وقالت لي: “أتعجب من يمكن أن يكون – إنه ليس والدك؛ فهو لا يرجع إلى البيت إلا في الساعة السادسة. والساعة الآن الرابعة والنصف. اذهب وانظر من هو؛ أنا مشغولة وأنت لا تفعل شيئا. “

– “ولكن يا أمي، أقرأ فصلا ممتعا من روايتي وتستطيعين أن تذهبي أنت كذلك.”

– “يا ولدي، عندما أطلب منك أن تفعل شيئا لي أريدك أن تفعله مباشرة.”

وعندما أنهت جملتها كانت هناك طرقة ثانية. فقمت وجريت لأفتح الباب. ويا للعجب! كانت زينب! فقلت لها: “أنا آسف جدا، جعلتك تنتظرين. لو عرفت أنك بالباب لفتحته مباشرة. كنت أقرأ رواية ولم أرد أن أتركها.”

CIE O-level Arabic 2009 text 1

CIE O-level Arabic 2009 Text 1