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]↩