Islamic Economy is Based on Morals
By: Dr. Zayd ibn Muhammad Ar-Rummany
Some economists exclude to link between morals and economy. They describe economy as a neutral science which has nothing to do with morality.
As for Islamic economy, which is an integral part of the Islamic faith, we cannot separate between commercial and economic transactions and the general framework of Islamic Shari`ah because a Muslim in his dealings with others fears Allah (Glory be to Him) in all his dealings, and he also observes Islamic disciplines for multiple economic ethics, which we can be stated as follows:
First, Islamic economy calls for faith and piety:
Piety is a main discipline of the Islamic economy; but it rather a discipline of all behavior in life because life, in fact, is based on fearing Allah, keenness to please Him, and fear of His Punishment. There are aspects of piety, of which are:
The public confine the meaning of integrity to the narrowest sense, which is keeping deposits, but integrity has other meanings, of which: An individual is entitled to perform his duty in the best manner whether in (factory, farm, or a store), and to take into account the rights of people that are placed as a trust between his hands.
Of the meanings of integrity in Islamic economy is a person should not take advantage of his position for a personal benefit to him or to his relatives.
There are multiple prophetic Hadith which denote the meanings of integrity, of which we choose the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him): ''Every betrayer will have a flag (on the Day of Resurrection) as much as his betrayal; and there is no one more disloyal than an emir.” The Prophet (peace be upon him) says: “Anyone we appoint in a job for which he takes a salary or wage, anything he takes more than his salary or wage is considered ill-gotten money.”
The distinct quality of the Prophet (peace be upon him) before his mission was his integrity to the extent that he was called the trustworthy.
Contracts and covenants in Islamic economy occupy high status, therefore, fulfilling one’s own promise is a basis for his dignity in the world and his happiness in the Hereafter.
Islamic economy is based on respecting contracts in which financial due rights are recorded, and it is required that they must be in accordance with the Glorious Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and achieving the purposes of Islamic Shari`ah. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “O you who believe! Fulfill (your) obligations.” [Surat Al Ma’idah: 1]. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And fulfill (every) covenant. Verily, the covenant, will be questioned about.” [Surat Al Isra’: 34]. If the positive economy is based on achieving the greatest pleasure, the maximum saturation, and the highest profit, Islamic economy does not recognize that virtues are ignored in the market of quick advantage, and hates that people’s inner selves are filled with false intentions.
Secondly, Islamic economy calls for global righteousness:
Islamic economy is based on giving and spending; therefore, it called Muslims to be generous and commanded them to haste to charity and righteousness.
Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And they ask you what they ought to spend. Say: “That which is beyond your needs.”” [Surat Al Baqarah: 219]. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “They ask you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) what they should spend. Say: Whatever you spend of good must be for parents and kindred and orphans and Al-Masâkin (the needy) and the wayfarer.” [Surat Al Baqarah: 215]. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allâh, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masâkîn (the needy), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, and performs As-Salât (Iqâmat-as-Salât), and gives the Zakât, and who fulfil their covenant when they make it, and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al-Muttaqûn (the pious).” [Surat Al Baqarah: 177]. The concept of righteousness in Islamic economy expands to include every good character and all values.
Thirdly, Islamic economy calls for moderation:
Islamic economy organize the social, psychological and economic affairs of people so as a Muslim should not tend to monarchism nor materialism, through a call to moderation and following balance in everything. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “But seek, with that (wealth) which Allâh has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world.” [Surat Al Qasas: 77].
So, priorities of Islamic economy are based on the concept that a Muslim should not be a slave to his desires which his entire care is to collect different kinds of food on his table. Therefore, the Qur’an mentioned the forbiddance of luxury, extravagance, and wasting, as in Allah’s Saying: “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying [and going round (the Tawâf of) the Ka‘bah,] and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allâh) likes not Al-Musrifûn (those who waste by extravagance).” [Surat Al A`raf: 31]. And His Saying: “But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift. * Verily, the spendthrifts are brothers of the Shayâtîn (devils), and the Shaitân (Devil-Satan) is ever ungrateful to his Lord.” [Surat Al Isra’: 26-27]. And Allah’s Saying: “And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allâh and be righteous) to those among them [or We (first) increase in number those of its population] who lead a life of luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction.” [Surat Al Isra’: 16]. The Qur’an also stated the forbiddance of miserliness, stinginess, and niggardliness, as in Allah’s Saying: “And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck.” [Surat Al Isra’: 29]. The Prophet (peace be upon him) also says: “Beware of niggardliness.” Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “Behold! You are those who are called to spend in the Cause of Allâh, yet among you are some who are niggardly. And whoever is niggardly, it is only at the expense of his ownself.” [Surat Muhammad: 38]. Accordingly, the forbiddance of luxury and extravagance, and the forbiddance of miserliness and niggardliness was a call for moderation. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).” [Surat Al Furqan: 67]. Moderation is one of the attributes of the righteous servants of Allah.
From the economic aspect, stinginess leads to a lack of people's tendency to consumption, whereas luxury and extravagance lead to waste of resources and both situations are undesirable. Hence, the call for moderation has shown up to point out the positive effects of moderation on individual as well as society socially, morally and economically.
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