Wednesday 23 February 2022

System of Economic Justice in Islam

Economy and economic management is central to efficient working of any government or institution. Unless a well thought out economic system is in place, the legitimate needs of people and the employees cannot be ensured. Islam is often called as Deen and not merely a religion for it addresses all issues like religious matters, family laws and economic management besides giving out a complete code of conduct based on ethics as commanded by Allah in the Qur'an.

We all know that no government can ensure equal distribution of wealth to its people. There have to be disparities due availability of economic resources and its distribution according to the abilities and capabilities of people.  This leaves out a large number of people who are resourceless and live a life of 
utter poverty. No religion other than Islam addresses this problem by its efficient economic system. The system of Zakat and charity ensures a gap filler between haves and haves not. 

Thus the economic system of Islam is based upon the fundamental principles of Islam, which ensures social and economic justice, human brotherhood, equitable distribution of wealth and individual freedom related to social welfare. On the contrary, under Capitalism or Socialism, neither social and economic justice nor equitable distribution of income is fully achieved. According to Islam, Source of income and earning Halal(lawful) livelihood is essential. It is permissible to earn whatever one can but by fair means. Also, he has to pay “Zakat” and Sadaqaat to the needy people, performing Hajj when becomes due and spend money on Jihad and for the welfare of the poor people. In this way Islam ensures equitable distribution of wealth.

The Islamic economic system is negation of human ownership since everything belongs to Allah and human beings are just the custodians. 
According to the Holy Quran, every thing including wealth, belongs to Allah, and Allah the Al mighty delegates the right of property to man. In this context, the Holy Quran says, “Give to them from the property of Allah which He has bestowed upon you:”.(24:33)
Everything that a man earns is Fazl, that is gift of Allah and even then it is not entirely one's wealth. As it has been gifted from Allah, the man must, after fulfilling his legitimate needs gifts out the surplus to people in need in the form of interest free loans to the needy, the obligatory Zakat to the poor and charities to help people in need.
The main objective of Islamic Economics is to establish social justice, elimination of poverty, tangible reduction in economic disparities, free society of corruption through the institution of Zakat.
Islam encourages trade but cautions for legitimate profits only. Man is also cautioned to “ Give full measure and correct weighment, do not cheat and do not spread evil in the land after it has been set on the right path”.(7:84). Abu Huraira (R.A), a companion of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, is reported to have quoted that the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, Allah is Righteous and accepts right things. He has directed the Muslims to do that, He has directed to His Messengers. As per another Hadith, Rafio bin Khadij (R.A) when asked the Holy Prophet that which job is superior, he said that what has been earned by a man with his physical labor and every trade Free from unfair means and lies. As per Jabir Ibn-E-Abdullah(R.A), the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) said, may Allah be kind to the person who facilitates the people in buying and selling.

There is lot to be written about basics of system of economic justice in Islam. But for it, we share a useful and informative lecture by the eminent Musli scholar Dr Israr Ahmed.
Dr. Israr Ahmad, (1975–2002) was a Pakistani Islamic theologian, philosopher, and Islamic scholar who was followed particularly in South Asia as well as by South Asian Muslims in the Middle East, Western Europe, and North America.

Do listen to this lecture which elaborates the system of economic justice based on references from Qur'an and Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ:

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is our duty to convey only to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the video above are those of the scholar concerned. We have shared this view as added information in better understanding of Islam. The reader may or may not agree with the view owing to their own perception. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

Photo | References: | 1 | 2 | 

For more Scholarly views and videos, please read our reference page: Scholars' Viewpoint on Important Issues Related to Islam.

You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Quran.
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