Al ghazali Thought in Economy


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Al ghazali Thought in Economy

  1. 1. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 1 1.0 INTRODUCTION Al- Ghazali or the real name, Abu Hamid Mohammad Ibn Mohammad al- Ghazali was actually born in 450 A.H at Tusk which is located in contemporary Iran. He was orphaned in the early stage of his life and his education was left to a sufi which is Muslim mystic who was a friend of his father. Then, in his life, al- Ghazali left tusk to study with Imam al- Haramayn al – Juwaini who was a leading figure of the Asharite doctrine which is situated in Niisabur. At the death of Imam al- Haramayn al- Juwaini, al- Ghazali was already an accomplished scholars mastering various that is Fiqh, Usul al - fiqh, kalam, philosophy and logic. Moreover, al- Ghazali also was a theologian, philosopher, jurist and also had been known as one of the most prominent Muslim scholars who have contributed in the area of Islamic economy. For the contribution in Islamic economy thoughts, is actually due to the his mastery in the Islamic sciences as well as the secular disciplines of his times which is gave him the opportunity to get more deep insights on the issues that he used to discuss. To al- Ghazali, economic activity could be a means to attain the highest level of “ al- Muqarrabun” if they are carried out within a normative framework that he outlined with some details. The economic thoughts of al- Ghazali was not elaborated in special treatises, such an isolated treatment of a specific field of human affairs would hardly have been compatible with the principle of learning at the times Further, al- Ghazali mixes, philosophical, religious, sociological, ethical and economic considerations into his writings. However, this meaning of basic needs is flexible and may be more inclusive, that is depending upon conditions prevalent in a given society and at a given time, but consistent with the Islamic shariah, which is exactly based on the Al- quran and hadith. Indeed, according to al- Ghazali, the list may include such economic and socio- physiological needs as furnishings, property, status and prestige and even marital relations, in additions to the aforementioned basic needs. For the deep knowledge about Islamic economy thoughts by al- Ghazali, will be discussed in this assignment which is include, the sources of hukm and merit taken by al- Ghazali in describing about the economy, the humankind economy activity by al- Ghazali, and also ethics of economy that had taken by al- Ghazali.
  2. 2. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 2 2.0 THE SOURCES OF HUKUM IN ECONOMY TAKEN BY AL-GHAZALI Normally, the Islamic ulamak taken the Quran and hadith as the main references in describing their analysis and when solving any matter in their decision. Al-Ghazali too, in deducting any views in economy, he was inducted (istiqraa) from many verses in the Quran besides refer to the Prophet’s hadith and rely to the critical analysis that will effecting the society during his time. His though remain maintain to religion views even in economy line. He try to understand well in economy activity which allowed in Islam for example, refer to Surah Al-Jumu’ah and Surah An-Naba’ which Allah SWT stated that human can involve in both religious and world activities. “And when the prayer has been concluded, disperse within the land and seek the bounty of Allah SWT, and remember Allah SWT often that you may succeed”. Al-Quran (Al-Jumu’ah:10) “And we have made the day for livelihood”. Al-Quran (An-Naba’:11) Al-Ghazali also refer to any related hadith about economy which supporting the Muslim to get involve in business activities and perform actively to achieve the success in the world and hereafter. The Prophet Muhammad saw said: The truthful tradesmen will resurrect on the Resurrection Day with the truthful (siddiqin) and the martyrs (shuhadaa). Besides, he was put some possible objectives of why human naturally engage in economy activities as the sources in this economy activities. The first is to improve the necessary live hood which is not only for oneself but also to the family. In his analysis, human basically will try to satisfy their need starting from economy self-sufficiency then develop to the barter system. His possible objective is to increase the wealth which can be classified as the modern economic aim which only can be achieve the public welfare if follow the shariah law. So, here we can see that Al –Ghazali is a careful jurist in describing his views about certain issue including about economy by refer to Quran and hadith in his sources.
  3. 3. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 3 3.0 HUMANKIND ECONOMY ACTIVITIES BY AL- GHAZALI The central focus of Imam al-Ghazali, a great philosopher and sufi, was Islamic philosophy and Islamic ethical values, which compass all dimensions of life including economics. He states in al-Ghazali, Ihya, Vol. 2, 62 that “Earning is not the aim of human life but it is a means to an end.” In this topic, we are going to discuss more deeply about the humankind of economics activity by him. We also try to explore relevance and application of al-Ghazali’s ideas in the modern period. 3.1 Economic Philosophy One of the overriding concepts of al-Ghazali based upon Shariah which encompasses all human activities, including economic, is ‘maṣlaḥa’ which promotes social welfare of community. All matters and activities of human being have to be seen as a means to achieve goals in increasing the social welfare. It is well defined by Al Ghazali, concerning individual as well as social needs. There are five compulsory Shariah based on his thought as components for a proper and just individual and social life such din (religion), nafs (life of soul), naṣl (family), mal (wealth) and ‘aql ( intellect, reason). Maṣlaḥa is related to Shariah, which key objective is follow what is according to the Quran perceived as good in the worldly life and Hereafter. Thus the noblest deed in the sight of Allah is the promotion of general good in the society. Al Ghazali discusses three aspects of maṣlaḥa in a hierarchical form: necessities (ḍarurriyat), conveniences or comforts (ḥajiyyat), and refinements or luxuries (taḥsaniyyat).These foundations have to be constantly revised by the people themselves. The second foundation comprises “all activities and things that are not vital to the preservation of the five foundations, but, rather, are needed to relieve or remove impediments and difficulties in life”, whereas the third foundation includes activities that are perceived as a surplus or additional to the basic necessities. 3.2 IslamicEconomics:TheNotionofHereafter,BasicNeeds,SharingAndJustConduct As we mention before, one of the concepts of Al Ghazali based upon Shariah which encompasses all human activities, which promotes social welfare of community. But, since Al Ghazali positions economic activities within the parameters of the Islamic
  4. 4. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 4 worldview, the Hereafter is seen as the ultimate goal of human beings. There are evidence from Quranic verse: “But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world. And do good as Allah has done good to you. And desire not corruption in the land. Indeed, Allah does not like corrupters." Al-Quran (Surah Al-Qaṣaṣ:77) From this verse we can be understood in the light of not neglecting one’s share or contribution or effort in this world for the Hereafter. On the other hand, duniawi or worldly life is seen primarily as a temporal place but rather a struggle and preparation for the salvation and this struggle has to be utilized through human endeavors and affairs, which include also the economic pursuits. Thus, economic activity is a prerequisite for the salvation. Level of consumption thus has to range between necessity and extravagance. Whilst necessity has to be fulfilled by the consumer for it is perceived as a religious obligation, extravagance is haram. According the Al Ghazali all economic activities have to provide basic human needs such food, clothing, and shelter. These needs are consistent with Shariah, thus Al Ghazali tries to deliver information from his economic inquiry of various material matters that relate to provide and please human conditions, as part of the idea of Islamic social welfare. In Mizan al ‘Amal, al-Ghazali mentions three levels of consumption which are the lowest, middle, and highest, Each of the basic things can be applied to each of the three levels as a necessity, convenience or luxury. His discussion on need and surplus of material things is linked with the percept of the relation between wealth and poverty. In order to reach the state of content, basic human needs are what one needs. Muslim ought to sharing and also humanitarian charity endowment (waqf) to prevent disproportionate upsurge of income in a society. There are two stages of sharing: 1. A lower stage (a person sacrifices without expecting return) 2. A higher level (presupposes that a person considers his brother as himself and spends upon him as if he would spend on himself) Thus, al-Ghazali states that money has been created for a specific purpose in order to fulfill needs of human beings. Miserliness means that where money should be spent is
  5. 5. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 5 restricted, whilst extravagance suggests the opposite, where money should not be spent, there is an excessive expenditure of it. Accordance Islamic jurisprudence not only one’s welfare was secure but the procedure of spending on lawful products in a lawful way. Misuse of monetary activities would be minimized due to the regulations of Shariah. The Quran encourages the acquisition of wealth. Therefore, all stages have to be realized not for the sake of acquiring wealth but in the name of Allah. 4.0 ETHICS OF ECONOMIC BY IMAM AL-GHAZALI THOUGHT 4.1 Meaning of ethics based on al- Ghazali According to Al-Ghazali, ethics has a central place in this religion of Islam, he states that “nobody should forget religion and hereafter when his make a trade, commerce earning live hood. If they do, it shows that they are not wise because they are selling their next world in this world; but the wise man always try to protect his capital, his real capital; that is his religion and the matters related to the next world”. It is clear that a Muslim must keep his virtue when he is making trade. Based on that, we can say that, there are two parts of categories of behavior in business which is in the first one is the obligatory status and second part is about the recommended. 4.2 The obligatory of status In this part, Al-Ghazali found that the Muslims have different attitudes when they are involve in economic activities and it must be observes. So, there are a few things that we must follow. 4.2.1 Acquiring the knowledge of the lawful and unlawful about business Based on Al-Ghazali knowledge whose acquisition is compulsory which is Muslims must do it and if they are leave or ignored it they can get a punishment. This compulsory obligations is about the prayer, fasting, and so on. Besides that, knowing what is lawful and unlawful in matters earnings is also obligatory on those who involve in such activities. This is based on Shariah rulings and this will enable them to avoid any unlawful activities or recognize the issues which need the fatwa of a learned person.
  6. 6. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 6 Hadith the Prophet Muhammad states that “ The research of knowledge is compulsory on every Muslims”. Al-Ghazali gives more attention for all the section to explain further about fiqh aspects of the contracts which is confirmed by Shariah like murabahah, ijarah and so on. Besides that, business that was carried out through this contracts and what he discussed was the required knowledge for the businessman. 4.2.2. Formulation of intention Next is about the formulation of intention that it is will be at the beginning to determinant of the status of worship. Al-Ghazali states that the worker should have as intents which is to save himself and his family from depending on others, to earn what will enable him to perform the various commands of Islam, to perform the advice in the workplace, to execute his duties with equity and benevolence and to perform one of the furud kifayah. 4.2.3 Being equitable and avoiding injustice Al-Ghazali point out different kinds of actions which are harmful to the individuals and society, even though they are may seem to be acceptable in appearance. There are hoarding, use of counterfeit coins and telling the truth about the commodity. Hoarding means hide of some foods or goods from customer for earn more profit. According on Al-Ghazali, hoarding of foods stuffs as not prohibited by Shariah because it causes harm to the public. He takes hadith from Prophet Muhammad that is, “If a man hoards up foods stuffs when they are hides it for forty days to get higher price. He is displeased with Allah and Allah is displeased with him”. 4.3 The recommended category Al-Ghazali determine a few type of the behaviors that the merchant has adopt towards his client to get rewards and ranks even they are not compulsory. Because of this action, he
  7. 7. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 7 list up few instructions which aim at preserving the religion of the merchant. The first is Ihsaan. Ihsan should be happen in different ways and different stages of the transactions such as for pricing because it will take greater profit and it is unlawful. So that, the buyer must avoided the seller who is take advantage above them. Another that is relate with the debt. The lender should demand in a good manner and grant time when realizing the dues. According by Al-Ghazali, practicing ihsan for the debtor may be in the form of clearing the debt before demand, going to the creditor, not to wait for its demand and paying more than the principal. Other than that, there are the remaining item of the list instructions by Al-Ghazali to make the religion of a business man perfect which is let not worldly markets distract you from the Hereafter markets (mosque), be attached to the zikr of Allah, do not be too greedy in the markets and in business, keep away from doubtful things even after giving up unlawful things and adjust accounts of your business with everybody.
  8. 8. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 8 5.0 CONCLUSION As a conclusion, regarding to the elaborations from the ethics of economy by Al- Ghazali thoughts, the sources of hukm in economy that taken by the al- ghazali, and the humankind economics activity by al- ghazali, it is shows that, there is no doubt that al- ghazali is one of the most prominent Muslim scholars who had contributed in the area of Islamic economics. For the ethics of economy by Al- Ghazali, , the meaning of the ethics itself had strictly firm that a Muslim should keep his virtue when making a trade. Based on this also, had divided two parts category of behavior in the business which is the obligatory status and the recommended. The obligatory status included the certain thing that must be followed . Meanwhile for the recommended strategy, Al- Ghazali had evaluated a several types behavior that included the ihsan. Next, for the sources of hukm in economy, Al- Ghazali had taken many verses from the al- quran and the hadith as the main resources in describing his views in economy, besides refer to the critical analysis that had effectively affect the community during this day. For example, Al- Ghazali, had taken the verses from the Surah al- Jumu’ah and al- Naba’. Moreover, Al- Ghazali also refer to related hadith to support the Muslim to get involves in economy and business activity. Furthermore, for the humankind economy activity, Al- Ghazali had encompasses all human activity which had included the maslaha, that promotes the social welfare of community. This means that, all the human activity that have been done must acts as a means to increase the social welfare. According to the Al- Ghazali, all economy activity also must provide the basic human needs such as food, clothes and shelter. Last but not least, from this three elements, we can evaluate that Al- Ghazali had really contribute to development of Islamic economy which allowing and give the benchmark to the Muslim in doing the Islamic economy activity in a permissible and lawful by the Shariah, which is refer to the al- quran and al- hadith. But it is actually depend to the individual himself whether to follow or not, this is because, not many from the people who had involved in business are following the Shariah legal ruling.
  9. 9. GROUP ASSIGNMENT OF BWSE1013 FOUNDATION OF ISLAMIC ECONOMICS 9 6.0 REFERENCES Internet  Abdou Diaw (April 2009), Imam Al-Ghazali’s Views on Economic Activities, retriview at 2.10 am, 7 April 2014, from GHAZALIS_VIEWS_ON_ECONOMIC_ACTIVITIES.pdf  Hashim W. A. (2009, September 12). Islamic economic thought: Al-Ghazali on economic issues. retrieved 22 April 2014, from issues.html  Daghistani. S. A. (2012, July 1). Ethics and economy in islam: contribution of imam al ghazali in focus. retrieved 22 April 2014, from islamic-philosophy-of-economics/  Islamic Economy Thoughts Of Imam Al- Ghazali. Retrieved : 27 March 2014, From, Book  S. Mohammad Ghanzafar and Abdul Azim Islahi “Economy Thought Of Al- Ghazali”( 450- 505 A. H./ 1058- 1111), Published by, Scientific Publishing Centre King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Page 9-15  Abdou Diaw ( April 2009 ) “Imam Al- Ghazali’s Views On Economic Activity”, Page 4-5  Islahi, A. A. (2001). An analytical study of al-Ghazali. Aligarh muslim university. Department of economics. Aligarh, India: Munich Personal RePEc archives.