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Economic system

  1. 1. The Economic System of Islam Taqiuddin an-Nabhani Hizb ut-Tahrir Fourth edition1410/1418 A.H. (1990/1997 CE)Al-Khilafah Publications Suite 298 56 Gloucester Road London SW7 4UB e-mail: info@khilafah.comwebsite:
  2. 2. Al-Khilafah Publications Suite 298 56 Gloucester Road London SW7 4UB e-mail: website: 1421 AH / 2000 CE ISBN 1 899574 093 Translation of the Qur’an It should be perfectly clear that the Qur’an is only authentic in its original language, Arabic. Since perfect translation of the Qur’an is impossible, wehave used the translation of the meaning of the Qur’an’ throughout the book, as the result is only a crude meaning of the Arabic text. Qur’anic Ayat and transliterated words have been italicised. Ahadith appear in bold - subhanahu wa ta’ala - sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ra - radhi allaho anha/anho AH - After Hijrah CE - Christian Era Printed by De-Luxe Printers
  3. 3. Contents The Opening Ayah . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3-5 “But seek the abode of the Hereafter in that 1 Introduction to Economic System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 The Capitalist Economic System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14which Allah has given you, and do not neglect your The Economic System versus Economic Science . . . . . . . . .22 The Socialist Economic System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33portion of worldly life, and be kind even as Allah 2 Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 The Basis of the Economic System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 The View of Islam towards the Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48has been kind to you, and seek not corruption in Economic Policy in Islam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 The General Economic Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61the earth. Verily, Allah likes not the Musfsidun 3 Types of Ownership - Private Ownership . . . . . . . . . . .65 Definition of Private Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 The Meaning of Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67(those who are mischief-makers, corrupted).” The Means of Owning Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68 4 The First Means of Ownership: Work (‘Amal) . . . . . . .71 [Al-Qasas: 77] Cultivation of Barren Land: (Ihya al-Mawat) . . . . . . . . . . . . .71 Extracting that which exists inside the earth . . . . . . . . . . . . .72 Hunting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73 Brokerage and Commission Agency (Samsara and Dalala) . .74 Mudharaba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Share Cropping (Musaqat) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Hiring/Employing an Employee (Worker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 5 The Work of the Employee (Worker) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 Definition of the Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 The Type of Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80
  4. 4. Duration of the Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .82 The Company of Equal (Al-’Inan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .138 Wage for Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 The Companies of Bodies (Al-Abdan) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 The Effort Spent in the Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 The Company of Body and Capital (Mudharaba) . . . . . . . .141 The Ruling Regarding Hiring Over Prohibited Benefits . . . .86 The Company of Reputation/Faces (Wujooh) . . . . . . . . . .143 The Rule of Hiring Non-Muslims . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 Company of Negotiation (Mufawadha) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 Hiring Someone to perform Worships and Public Services .88 Dissolving the Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146 Who is the Employee? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 The Basis upon which the Assessment of the Wage is 13 Capitalist Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148 Established . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Commercial Company of Joint Liability Estimating the Employee’s Wage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 (Unlimited Liability Company) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148 Joint-Stock Company (Share Companies) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1496 The Second Means of Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Shares of the Share Stock Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160 Inheritance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Co-operative Societies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .163 Insurance (Ta’meen) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1667 The Third Means of Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 The need for Property for Sustenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 14 The Prohibited Methods of Increasing Ownership . . .172 Gambling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1728 The Fourth Means of Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109 Interest/Usury (Riba) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173 That which the State gives of its Properties to the Citizens 109 Criminal Fraud . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176 Deceit in Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1789 The Fifth Means of Ownership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Monopoly . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180 The Property obtained by Individuals Price-Fixing (Tas’eer) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .182 without exchanging Labour or Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 15 Right of Disposal to Spend in Gifts and Maintenance .18510 The Way to Dispose of Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Poverty (Al-Faqr) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .198 Right of Disposal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Increasing Property (Investment of Property) . . . . . . . . . . .117 16 Public Property (Al-Milkiyyah Al-Ammah) . . . . . . . . . .206 The Rules of Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Cultivation of Barren Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 17 State Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210 Disposal of Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125 Preventing the Leasing of Land . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 18 Nationalised Property is neither Public nor State Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21211 Trading and Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132 Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .132 19 Secluding (Hima) Manufacturing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134 The Public Benefits/Utilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21412 The Laws of Partnership (Companies) . . . . . . . . . . . . .136 20 Factories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .217 The Company (Partnership) in Islam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136 21 Bait ul Mal (The State Treasury) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219
  5. 5. Revenues of Bait ul-Mal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219 The Expenditures of Bait ul-Mal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221 The State Budget . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224 Zakat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225 Introduction The Head Tax (Jizya) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .228 The Land Tax (Kharaj) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .229 Taxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231 T22 Distributing Wealth among the People . . . . . . . . . . . .234 his book of the economic system in Islam is a precious Economic Equilibrium in Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .235 intellectual Islamic fortune, rarely matched. It is the first book The Prohibition of Hoarding Gold and Silver . . . . . . . . . . .238 which crystallises, clearly and obviously, in this century, the reality of the economic system of Islam in this period in an explicit23 Riba and Currency Exchange (Sarf) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .244 fashion. Riba (Interest/Usury) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .245 Currency Exchange (Sarf) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .249 It explains the Islamic view of the economy and its objective, how to Exchange Transactions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .252 own property and increase it, how to spend and dispose of it, how to distribute the wealth amongst the citizens in society and how to establish24 Money/Currencies (An-Nuqood) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256 a balance within it. The Gold Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .261 Benefits of the Gold Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .261 It explains the types of properties (private, public and State property) Problems facing the Gold Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263 including the property due to the Bait ul-Mal and the areas over which it The Silver Standard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265 is spent. Metallic Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .266 Paper Money . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .266 It explains the rules of lands, whether ‘Ushriyya or Kharajiyya, and what Issuing of Currency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268 is obliged in them of the tithe (‘Ushr) or land tax (Kharaj) and how to Exchange Rate of Currencies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .271 utilise, cultivate and allocate and also how to transfer them from one owner to another.25 Foreign Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279 The Reality of Foreign Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291 It also discusses the different types of currencies (Nuqud) and what Balance of Tarde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291 occurs in them of Riba, exchange and what is obliged from them of Currency/Monetary Relations Between Countries . . . . . . . .292 Zakat. Foreign Trade Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293 Free Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .294 Finally it discusses the foreign trade and its rules. The sole sources in Protectionism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295 adopting the rules mentioned in this book are the Book of Allah and the National Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .295 Sunnah of His Messenger and what they directed to, namely analogy Policy of Self-Sufficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297 and Ijma’a as-Sahabah. No other source is taken in adopting these economic rules. The book introduces the reality of the capitalist and socialist, including
  6. 6. 10 u The Economic System in Islam(communist) economic systems and their refutation, explaining their 1defects and contradiction with the economic system of Islam. This book was reviewed prior to printing the new edition with only Introduction to theminor corrections. Careful attention was spent in reviewing all the Ahadithmentioned which were proven according to their narrators in the books Economic Systemof Hadith. T This book, to its credit, has created amongst Muslims a great awareness houghts, in any nation, are the greatest fortune the nation gainsof the Economic System in Islam. We ask Allah that He spreads its in her life if the nation is newly born; and they are the greatestfavour and enables Muslims to place its rules into action in a State ruling gift that any generation can receive from the precedingthem exclusively with that which Allah has revealed. generation, provided the nation is deep-rooted in the enlightened thought. 23rd Safar 1410 Hijra 23/9/89 With regard to material wealth, scientific discoveries, industrial inventions and the like, all of these are of much lower importance than thoughts. In fact, to gain such matters depends on the thoughts, and preservation of these matters depends on the thoughts as well. If the material wealth of a nation is destroyed, it is possible for it to be restored quickly as long as the nation preserves its intellectual wealth. However, if the intellectual wealth collapses and the nation retains only its materialistic wealth, this wealth will soon shrink and the nation will fall down into poverty. Most of the scientific achievements which the nation once made can be regained, provided it does not lose its way of thinking. Whereas, if it lost the productive way of thinking, it would soon regress and lose its discoveries and inventions. Therefore, it is necessary to take care of the thoughts first. Based upon these thoughts, and according to the productive way of thinking, material wealth is gained, and the achievement of scientific discoveries, industrial inventions and the like is sought. What is meant by thoughts is the existence, within the nation, of the process of thinking in it’s life affairs, such that the majority of its individuals use the information that they have when facing events, so as to judge on them. This means that they have thoughts which they contrive to use in life, and by using these thoughts frequently and successfully, a productive way of thinking results.
  7. 7. 12 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 13 Today, the Islamic Ummah is lacking in thoughts, so it is naturally The tendency of this generation towards the Capitalist ideas went fardeprived of the productive way of thinking. The present generation did beyond just reconciling Islam with the Capitalist laws and solutions. It hasnot receive from its preceding generation any ideas, be they Islamic or now reached such an extent that there is a feeling of Islam beingnon-Islamic and naturally; it did not receive a productive way of thinking. incapable of solving contemporary problems of life, and there is an urgeNor did it attain by itself any thoughts or a productive way of thinking. to take Western laws as they are, without even reconciling them withAs a result, it is natural for this generation to be seen in poverty, despite Islam. The Ummah came to see no harm in giving up Islamic rules andthe abundance of material resources in its lands. Likewise, it is natural to adopting others, in order to progress with the civilised world, and catchhave no scientific discoveries and industrial inventions even though it up with the Capitalist and Socialist nations, considering them asstudies the theories of these discoveries and inventions and is aware of progressed peoples. As for those who adhere to Islam, they have thethem. This is because it is impossible to rush to gain them in a productive same tendency towards the Capitalist thoughts, but they still try toway, unless it possesses a productive way of thinking i.e. unless it has reconcile them with Islam. However, those who try to reconcile Islamthoughts and it is creative in using their thoughts in life. Therefore, it is with other thoughts have no influence in life, nor do they have anyinevitable for the Muslims to establish for themselves thoughts and a presence in society, i.e. in the actual relationships that go on between theproductive way of thinking. Thereafter, they will be able to proceed, people.based on that, to acquire material wealth, make scientific discoveries, andindustrial inventions. Unless they do this, they will not proceed a single Therefore, the delivery of the Islamic thoughts and rules which solvestep; rather they will continue to go around in a vicious circle, exhausting problems of life, collides with minds, empty of thought and a way oftheir mental and physical efforts, only to end up exactly where they began. thinking. Instead it clashes with inclinations, from all the people, towards the Capitalist and Socialist thoughts, and with the way of life currently The present generation of Muslims has not even adopted a basic governed by Capitalism. So unless the given thought is strong enough tothought which contradicts their ideology of Islam, which we aim to cause a shake-up in the hearts and minds, it will be impossible to moveestablish amongst them. If it had done so, it would have been able to fully the people, nor even attract their attention to it. This thought has tocomprehend the Islamic ideology given to it, because this comprehension push the dull shallow minds to think deeply, and it has to shake off thewould have resulted from a clash between the Islamic ideology and the deviated inclinations and the sick tastes, so as to establish the soundone carried by this generation, making the Ummah realise the correctness inclination towards the Islamic thoughts and rules.of the Islamic ideology. Rather, the current Islamic generation is emptyof any thought and of any productive way of thinking. Instead, it Consequently, it is necessary for the carrier of the Islamic Da’wah toinherited the Islamic thoughts as an academic philosophy, in the same way expose the foundation upon which the Capitalist solutions are established,that the Greeks inherited the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato. It also illustrate their falsehood and destroy them intellectually. He has to addressinherited Islam as rituals and religious dogma, in the same way the the various new issues of life and show the Islamic solutions to theseChristians inherited Christianity. At the same time, it became fascinated issues as divine rules which must be followed, because they are ruleswith Capitalism after witnessing its successes, and not through derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah, or from what these two evidencescomprehending the validity of its thoughts; and from its submission to have directed to, and not from the perspective of whether or not they areits rules, and not from comprehending how these solutions emanate suitable for this time. That means they have to be taken based on thefrom the Capitalist viewpoint of life. Therefore, the Ummah is devoid of Aqeedah and not based on their perceived benefit. So each rule has to bethe Capitalist thoughts intellectually, although it lives according to the given along with the divine evidence from which it was derived, or byCapitalist way of life. The Ummah also became devoid of the Islamic explaining the divine reason (Illah) which the rule or the text brought.thoughts in practice, although it conducts some of its rituals and studiesits thoughts. The thoughts related to the ruling system and economics are the
  8. 8. 14 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 15thoughts which most fascinated the Muslims, and made them suffer the 3. The price, and its role in production, consumption, and distribution.severest tribulations in their lives. The Muslims generally admired these The price is the cornerstone of the Capitalist economic system.thoughts, and the West tries to practically apply these thoughts, andpersists in its endeavours to implement them. Although the Ummah is With regard to the relative scarcity of commodities and services, thistheoretically governed by democracy on purpose by the infidel situation exists because the commodities and services are the meanscolonialists, in order to protect the Western system and colonisation, she which are used to satisfy man’s needs. They say man has needs thatis governed practically by the Capitalist economic system in all the require satisfaction, so there must exist the means to satisfy them. Theseeconomic aspects of life. Therefore, the Islamic economic thoughts are needs are purely materialistic; they are either tangible, such as the need forthose which will have the greatest influence in the economic life of the food and clothing, or they are needs which are sensed by man but areIslamic world, so much so that they will turn it upside down and they will intangible, such as the need for the services of, for example, doctors andbe most opposed by the agents of the infidel colonialist, and those who teachers. As for the moral needs such as pride and honour, or spiritualare fascinated by the West, namely those who are pleased to live in the needs such as the sanctification of the Creator, they are not recogniseddarkness, the defeatists and the rulers. economically, and are therefore disregarded and have no place in economic studies. Therefore, it is necessary to give a clear picture of the Capitalisteconomic system, which classifies the basic thoughts upon which the The means of satisfaction are called commodities and services.political economy in the West is established, so that those who have Commodities are the means of satisfying the tangible needs, whereasbecome fascinated with the Western economic system can come to see services are the means of satisfying the intangible needs. What makesthe corruption of this system and its contradiction with Islam. They will commodities and services satisfy the needs, in their viewpoint, is thethen examine the Islamic economic thoughts which address the problems benefit in these commodities and services. This benefit is an attributeof economic life in the correct manner, and present them as a unique way which renders the thing desirable for satisfying a need. Since the needof life which contradicts the Capitalist life in both its general principles means the economic desire, then the economically beneficial thing isand in its details. everything desired, whether it is essential or not, and even if some consider it beneficial and others consider it harmful. It is considered economically beneficial as long as there is someone who finds it desirable. The Capitalist Economic System This makes them consider things as beneficial from an economic viewpoint even if the public opinion considers them of no benefit, or If we examine the Capitalist economic system we find that, in their harmful. Thus wine and hashish are beneficial things to the economistsview, it deals with man’s needs and the means of satisfying those needs. since there are people who want them.It only addresses the materialistic side of man’s life and it is establishedon three principles: The economist looks upon the means of satisfaction, that is, the commodities and services, from the viewpoint that they satisfy a need, 1. There is a relative scarcity of commodities and services in relation to without taking any other factor into consideration. Thus, he looks at theneeds. This means the insufficiency of commodities and services to meet needs and the benefits as they are, not as they should be i.e. he looks atthe ever-increasing needs of man. This is the society’s economic problem benefit as satisfying a need, without taking anything else intofrom their viewpoint. consideration. So he would look at wine in its capacity of having an economic value because it satisfies the needs of some people, and he 2. The value of a product which is the basis of most economic research perceives the wine maker as a person who provides a service, consideringand study. this service as having an economic value, because it satisfies the need of
  9. 9. 16 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 17some individuals. therefore, that the study of the factors which affect the size of the This is the nature of needs in Capitalism and the nature of the means national production (GDP and GNP) takes precedence over all economicof satisfying these needs. Hence, the economist does not care about the studies. Because the study of increasing the national production is one ofnature of society, but cares about the economic material resources the most important studies to solve the economic problem, that is the(economic commodities), since they satisfy a need. Therefore, the scarcity of the commodities and services in relation to the needs. Forfunction of the economist is to supply commodities and services i.e. to they believe that poverty and deprivation cannot be solved except byprovide the means of satisfying man’s needs, irrespective of any other increasing production. Therefore, solving the economic problem facingconsideration. Accordingly, the economist strives to make available the society is only by increasing production.means of satisfaction. Since the commodities and services, which arethe means of satisfaction are limited, they are not sufficient to meet all The value of the product means its degree of importance, whetherof man’s needs, because these needs in their view are unlimited and relative to a particular person or relative to another thing. In the firstconstantly growing. This is because there are basic needs which man as case, it is called ‘the value of the benefit’. In the second case, it is calleda human must satisfy, and there are needs which increase in number as the ‘value of exchange’. The value of the benefit of a thing can beman proceeds to a higher level of urbanisation. These needs multiply summarised as: the value of benefit of any unit of a thing is evaluated byand increase and they all need complete satisfaction, a situation which its marginal benefit i.e. by the benefit of the unit that satisfies the weakestcannot be fulfilled no matter how much commodities and services need. They called this ‘The Theory of Marginal Utility’. This means thatincrease. From here the basis of the economic problem emerged, which the benefit is not evaluated according to the viewpoint of the produceris an overabundance of needs and the shortage of the means of their alone i.e. evaluated by the costs of its production, since this would meansatisfaction i.e. the lack of commodities and services to completely satisfy consideration of supply without demand. Nor is it evaluated from theall of man’s needs. viewpoint of the consumer alone i.e. evaluated by its benefit and desirability, as well as looking at its relative shortage, because this would From this perspective, the society faces an economic problem, which mean the consideration of demand without supply. In fact, they claimis the relative shortage of commodities and services. The inevitable result that benefit should be observed from the viewpoint of supply andof this shortage is that some needs are either partially satisfied or not demand together. Thus the benefit of a thing is assessed at the last pointsatisfied at all. Since this is the situation, it is necessary that the members that satisfies the need i.e. at the minimum point of satisfaction. Therefore,of society agree on rules that decide which needs have to be satisfied the value of a loaf of bread is assessed at the minimum point of hungerand which needs are to be deprived. In other words, it is necessary to set not at its maximum, and at a time when there is an availability of breada rule that decides the manner of distributing the limited resources over in the market, not at a time when there is a shortage.the unlimited needs. So the problem to address in their view is the needsand resources and not the man. Thus, the problem is to make available As for the value of exchange, it is an attribute which makes a thingthe resources so as to satisfy the needs, but not necessarily the needs of suitable for exchange. The strength of exchange of a thing is measuredevery individual. Therefore, it is necessary that the rules which are laid relative to another, so the value of exchange of wheat relative to corn isdown, be rules which guarantee the achievement of the highest possible estimated by the units of corn which should be conceded to obtain alevel of production, so as to achieve the highest supply of resources i.e. unit of wheat. They refer to the value of the benefit using the termto supply the goods and services to the nation as a whole, but not ‘benefit’ only, and refer to the value of exchange using the term ‘value’necessarily to each individual. Therefore, the problem of distributing the only.goods and services is closely connected to the problem of production,and the objective of economic studies and research is to increase the Exchange occurs between two commodities or services which aregoods and services which are consumed by the society. It is not surprising similar or close in their values. Hence, the study of value was necessary
  10. 10. 18 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 19for economists; because it is the basis of exchange, and it is a utility which Therefore, the commodity or the service is considered as productive orcan be measured; it is a scale with which the commodities and services are beneficial if the society evaluates this particular commodity or service bymeasured and by which actions are judged as productive or not. a particular price. The degree of benefit of this commodity or service is measured by the price which the majority of the consumers agree to pay Production, in their view, is creating a benefit or increasing it, which is for possessing or utilising it, whether this commodity is an agricultural oraccomplished by work. So, to identify works as being productive or not, industrial product, and whether the service is that of a trader,and to know which are of greater productivity, there must be an accurate transportation company, doctor, or engineer.scale for the various products and services. This scale is the societal valueof the various products and services. In other words, it is the collective As for the role which the price plays in production, consumption, andevaluation of the work spent and the service provided. Such an evaluation distribution, it is the price mechanism that decides which of thebecame necessary, because in the modern time, production for the producers will enter the production race and which will be excluded. Inpurpose of exchange has replaced production for consumption. The the same manner, price decides which of the consumers will satisfy theirsituation now arises whereby virtually every person exchanges his needs and which consumers will not be able to do so. The productionproduction with other people’s production. The exchange is achieved by cost of a commodity is the principal factor which governs its supply inthe existence of compensation for the commodity or service, so there the market, while the benefit of the commodity is the principal factormust be an estimation of the value of the commodity in order that it can which governs the demand in the market for it, and both are measuredbe exchanged. Hence, knowledge of the value in terms of what it is, is an by the price. Therefore, the study of supply and demand is theessential factor in production and consumption i.e. an essential factor fundamental issue in the Capitalist economy. What is meant by the supplytowards satisfying man’s needs, by using these means. is the supply of the market, and what is meant by demand is the demand of the market. As demand cannot be defined without mentioning the In modern history, this value of exchange has been identified by one price, supply too cannot be evaluated without the price. However,of its values, and this type of value has become predominant. In demand changes inversely proportional to the change in price i.e. if pricedeveloped communities, the values of commodities are not related to increases, demand decreases, and if price decreases then demandeach other but are related to a certain commodity called money. The increases. This is contrary to supply which changes directly proportionalexchange ratio of a commodity or a service with money is called its price. to the price i.e. the level of supply increases as the price increases and itThe price therefore, is the amount of exchange of a commodity or a drops as price decreases. In both cases, price has the greatest effect uponservice relative to money. Hence, the difference between the value of supply and demand, that is, it has the greatest effect upon production andexchange and the price is that the value of exchange is the ratio of an of one thing with another, whether that thing is money,commodities, or services; while the price is the exchange value of a thing The price mechanism in the view of the Capitalists is the ideal methodwith money. This means that it is possible that the prices of all goods rise of distribution of commodities and services amongst individuals inat any one time, and all fall at any one time, whilst it is impossible that the society, since the benefits are the result of the efforts which man values of all commodities relative to each other rise or drop at So, unless the compensation is equal to the effort, then, no doubt, theany one time. It is also possible for prices of commodities to change level of production will drop. Therefore, the ideal method to distributewithout resulting in a change in their value of exchange. Therefore, the commodities and services in a society is that which guarantees the highestprice of a commodity is one of its values; in other words it is the value possible level of production. This method is the price method which isof a commodity relative to money only. Since the price is one of the also called the price system or the price mechanism. They consider thatvalues, it is natural for price to be taken as a scale for deciding whether the price mechanism produces economic equilibrium automatically, sincea thing is beneficial or not, and the degree of benefit of that thing. it gives the consumers the choice to decide for themselves the distribution
  11. 11. 20 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 21of the resources owned by the society over the various economic commodities and services which satisfy these needs. Had every humanactivities, through the consumers demand for some commodities and being been left free to satisfy his needs he would not stop short oftheir turning away from others. Hence they spend their income by buying possessing and consuming whatever commodity he likes. Since everywhat they need or what they like. Thus, the consumer who dislikes wine man strives for this same aim, everybody has to stop in satisfying hiswill abstain from buying it and spends his income on other things. If the needs at the limit at which he can afford to exchange his efforts withnumber of consumers who dislike wine increased, or if all came to dislike others efforts, that is at the limit of the monetary compensation whichit, then the production of wine becomes unprofitable due to decreasing he receives for expending his effort i.e. at the limit of the price. Therefore,demand. Thus, production of wine would stop naturally, and the same the price is the constraint which acts naturally to restrict man in hisrule applies to other commodities and services. The consumers possession and consumption to a level which is proportional to histhemselves define the level and kind of production by being left free to income. So the existence of the price makes man think, evaluate, anddecide what to buy and what to leave. Via the price itself, the distribution differentiate between his competing needs which require satisfaction,of commodities and services occurs whether or not the price is available and he takes what he finds necessary, and leaves what he finds of lessto the producers, and whether or not they give it to the producers. importance. Thus, the price forces the individual to settle for partial satisfaction of some of his needs, so as to be able to satisfy the other The price mechanism is the incentive for production, it is the regulator needs which he considers no less important.of distribution, and the link between the producer and the consumer is the means which achieves equilibrium between production and So, the price is the tool which regulates the distribution of utilitiesconsumption. required by individuals. The price also regulates the distribution of limited utilities amongst the consumers who demand these utilities. The disparity The price mechanism is the incentive for production, because the in income of the consumers makes the consumption of each individualprincipal motive for man to undertake any productive effort or sacrifice confined to that which his income allows. This makes some commoditiesis his material reward. The Capitalist economists exclude the possibility confined to only those who can afford them, while the consumption ofthat man expends effort for a moral or spiritual motive. The moral other commodities would become common amongst people who canmotive, when they do recognise it, is attributed to a materialist afford the lower prices. Therefore, the price will become the regulator incompensation. They consider that man expends his efforts to satisfy his distributing utilities amongst consumers by setting a high price for somematerialistic needs and wishes only. This satisfaction is either through commodities and services and a low price for others, and also by thethe consumption of commodities which he produces directly, or through suitability of the price to some consumers more than others.receiving a monetary reward that enables him to obtain the commoditiesand services produced by others. Since man depends in satisfying most The price achieves equilibrium between production and consumption,of his needs, if not all of them, on exchanging his efforts with others, and it is the link between the producer and the consumer, because thethen the satisfaction of needs is focused on obtaining a monetary reward producer who fulfils the desires of the consumers is rewarded throughfor his efforts. This monetary reward allows him to obtain commodities profits. On the other hand, the producer whose products are not acceptedand services, and accordingly he is not focused on obtaining the by the consumers, would end up with losses. The method through whichcommodities which he produces. Therefore, the monetary reward, which the producer can detect the desires of the consumers is the price. If theis the price, is the motive for man to produce. Hence, the price is the consumers demand any particular commodity its price will increase, andmeans which motivates the producers to offer their efforts. Thus the the production of that commodity will increase, in fulfilment of theprice is the incentive for production. consumer’s desires. If consumers turn away from buying a particular The price is the means which regulates distribution, because man likes commodity, its price will drop in the market, and so production of thisto satisfy all of his needs completely and he strives to obtain the commodity will decrease. So, the resources assigned to production
  12. 12. 22 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 23increase as the price increases, and decrease as the price decreases. In means. Economic science, as is the case with other sciences, is universalthis way the price is the tool which achieves equilibrium between to all nations and is not associated with a particular ideology. So forproduction and consumption, and it is the link between the producer example, the view towards ownership in Capitalism differs from that ofand the consumer, and this process occurs automatically. Therefore, the Socialism/Communism, and differs from that in Islam. However,price is the basis on which the economy is established in the view of the discussing the improvement of production is a technical issue, which isCapitalists, and it is the cornerstone of the economy to them. purely scientific, and the same for all people, no matter what their viewpoint about life is. This is a summary of the economic system in Capitalism, which iscalled the political economy. By studying it thoroughly, the falsehood of This merger between the study of the needs and the means of theirthe Capitalist economic system can be shown from many aspects: satisfaction i.e. between producing the economic material and the manner of its distribution, and bringing them as one issue and one subject, is an 1. Mixing the Needs and the Means of Satisfaction error, which resulted in mixing and interference in the capitalists studies of economy. As a result the basis of the Capitalist economy is wrong. Economy in Capitalism means to address man’s needs and the meansof their satisfaction. Hence the production of commodities and services,which are the means of satisfying the needs, together with the distribution 2. Needs are only Materialisticof these commodities and services are considered in their view, onesubject. The needs and the means of their satisfaction are considered to The reference to the needs which require satisfaction as being purelybe interrelated such that they are one subject, inseparable from each materialistic is an error, and contradictory to the reality of needs. Inother, as if one of them is included within the other. So, the distribution addition to material needs there are moral and spiritual needs, eachof commodities and services is included in the subject of the production requiring satisfaction, and each requiring commodities and services forof these commodities and services. Thereupon, they look at the economy their satisfaction.from one angle which includes the economic commodities and themethod of their possession, without separation between them andwithout differentiating one of them from the other. Thus, they hold one 3. Commodities and Services are not related to the structure of theview towards the economic science and the economic system without societydifferentiating between them. However, there is a difference betweenthe economic system and economic science. The Capitalist economists look to the needs and benefits as they are, not as the society should be, which means that they look at man as a purely materialistic creature, empty of spiritual needs, ethical thoughts, The Economic System versus Economic Science and moral objectives. Similarly they do not care about how the society should be structured in terms of moral elevation, by making the virtues The economic system is that which determines how to distribute the the basis for society’s relationships or what should prevail in the societywealth, how to possess it, and how to spend or dispose of it. This by way of spiritual elevation i.e. making the realisation of man’sdetermination follows a particular viewpoint in life, or ideology. relationship with Allah (realising the existence of Allah) the driving forceTherefore, the economic system in Islam is different from that of behind all relationships, for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah.Socialism/Communism and that of Capitalism, since each of these The Capitalist economist would not care for this since his interest issystems follows its own ideological viewpoint of life. Economic science purely material in terms of what satisfies the materialistic needs. So, ifdiscusses production, its improvement, invention and improvement of its man does not cheat in selling it is because he believes his trade will profit,
  13. 13. 24 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 25while if he were to profit by cheating, then cheating would be legal for By including the subject of satisfying the needs within the subject ofhim. He does not feed poor people in response to the order from God the means of satisfying needs, and by viewing the means of satisfactionfor him to give charity, rather he feeds them so that they do not steal only as satisfying a need, and not by any other consideration, economistsfrom him. If, however, their starvation increases his wealth then he would concentrate on production of wealth more than distribution of wealth.leave them to starve. Thus, the main concern of the Capitalist is to look The importance of distribution of wealth to satisfy the needs has becomefor the benefit which satisfies a materialistic need only. The individual that secondary. Therefore, the capitalist economic system has one aim, whichlooks at others based on his own benefit, and establishes economic life is to increase the country’s wealth as a whole, and it works to arrive at theon this basis, is the most dangerous person to society and people. highest possible level of production. It considers that the achievement of the highest possible level of welfare for the members of society will This is from the aspect of needs and benefits. From the aspect of come as a result of increasing the national income by raising the level ofresources and efforts, which are called commodities and services, the production in the country, and in enabling individuals to take the wealth,individual strives for them to obtain them, so as to gain benefit from as they are left free to work in producing and possessing it. So thethem. The exchange of resources and efforts among people creates economy does not exist to satisfy the needs of the individuals and torelationships among them, according to which the structure of the society facilitate the satisfaction of every individual in the community, rather itis formed. So it is necessary to look at what the structure of the society is focused on the augmentation of what satisfies the needs of theshould be, both in general and in detail, when evaluating the resources individuals i.e. it is focused on satisfying the needs of the community byand the efforts. raising the level of production and increasing the national income of the country. Through the availability of the national income, the distribution So caring for the economic commodity with respect to its fulfilling a of income among the members of society occurs, by means of freedomneed, without caring for what the society should be, is a detachment of of possession and freedom of work. So it is left to the individuals tothe economic commodity from the relationship, which is unnatural. This obtain what they can of the wealth, everyone according to what he haseconomic commodity is exchanged among the people thereby creating of its productive factors, whether all the individuals or only somerelationships among them, and the relationships form the society, so the individuals are satisfied.effect on society should be perceived when considering the economiccommodity. Therefore, it is incorrect to consider a thing as beneficial This is the political economy i.e. the capitalist economy. This isjust because there is somebody who likes it, whether it is itself harmful manifestly wrong, and contradicts reality; it does not lead to anor not, and whether it affects the relationships among people or not, and improvement in the level of livelihood for all individuals, and does notwhether it is prohibited or permitted in the belief of the people in the fulfil the basic welfare of every individual. The erroneous aspect in thissociety. Rather things should be considered beneficial if they are really view is that the needs which require satisfaction are individual needs,beneficial in respect of what the society should be. Therefore, it is they are needs of a man; so they are needs for Muhammad, Salih andincorrect to consider cannabis, opium and the like as beneficial Hasan and not needs for a group of human beings, a group of nations,commodities and to consider them economic commodities just because or a group of people. The one who strives to satisfy his needs is thethere is somebody who wants them. Instead, the effect of these economic individual, whether he satisfies them directly such as eating, or he satisfiescommodies on the relationships between people in society must be them through the satisfaction of the whole group such as the defence ofconsidered when considering the benefit of things i.e. when considering the nation. Therefore, the economic problem is focused on distributingthe thing as an economic commodity or not. Things should be viewed in the means of satisfaction for individuals i.e. the distribution of the fundsrelation to what the society should be. It is wrong to look at a thing and benefits to the members of the nation or people, not on the needsmerely as it is, regardless of what the society should be. which the nation or the people require without regard to every individual within the nation. In other words, the problem is the poverty which
  14. 14. 26 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 27befalls the individual not the poverty which befalls the nation. The With reference to the steadily increasing needs, it is not a subject relatedconcern of the economic system must only be in satisfying the basic to increasing basic needs, because the basic needs of man as a human doneeds of every individual, not the study of producing economic not increase, whereas, it is his luxuries which increase and vary. Thecommodity. increase in needs which occurs due to the progress of a human in his urbanised life is related to the luxuries rather than to the basic needs. Consequently, the study of the factors that affect the size of national Man works to satisfy his luxuries, but their non-satisfaction does notproduction differs from the study for satisfying all the basic needs of all cause a problem; what does cause a problem is the non-satisfaction of theindividuals personally and completely. The subject of study must be the basic needs. Besides all of this, the question of the increasing luxuries isbasic human needs of man, as a human being, and the study of a question which is only related to some people who live in a certaindistributing the wealth to the members of society to guarantee the country and not to all individuals of that country. This question is solvedsatisfaction of all their basic needs. This should be the subject of study, through the natural urge of a human to satisfy his needs. This urge,and should be undertaken in the first place. Moreover, the treatment of resulting from the increase in luxuries, drives man to work towardsthe poverty of a country does not solve the problem of poverty for satisfying them, either by expanding the resources of his country, workingindividuals, individually. Rather, the treatment of the poverty problems in other countries, or through expansion and annexation of otherof the individuals, and the distribution of the wealth of the country countries. This is different from the issue of completely satisfying theamong them, motivates all the people of the country to work in basic needs of each and every individual in society. This is because theincreasing the national income. The study of factors that affect the size problem of distributing the wealth to each and every individual to satisfyof production and the increase of the national income, should be his basic needs, and enabling every individual to satisfy his luxuries, is adiscussed as economic science, that is, in the discussion of the economic problem related to the viewpoint in life, which is particular to a certaincommodity and its increase, rather than in the discussion of satisfying the nation carrying a particular ideology. This is contrary to the question ofneeds, which are regulated by the economic system. increasing national income through increasing production, which is related to the situation of particular countries, and could be achieved The Capitalists claim that the economic problem which faces any through utilising the resources of the country, emigration, expansion, orsociety is the scarcity of commodities and services. They also claim that merging with other countries. This issue of increasing wealth depends onthe steadily increasing needs, and the inability to satisfy all of them i.e. the the practicality of the solution, and is not related to a particularinsufficiency of commodities and services to satisfy all of man’s needs viewpoint, and not related to a particular nation or ideology.completely, is the basis of the economic problem. This view is erroneousand in fact contradicts with reality. This is because the needs which must The economic principles which have to be laid down are the principlesbe met are the basic needs of the individual as a human (food, shelter and which guarantee the distribution of the country’s internal and externalclothing), and not the luxuries, although they too are sought. The basic wealth to each and every individual of the nation, so that they secureneeds of humans are limited, and the resources and the efforts which they the complete satisfaction of all basic needs for each individual, and thencall the commodities and services existent in the world are certainly enable every individual to seek the satisfaction of the luxuries. However,sufficient to satisfy the basic human needs; it is possible to satisfy all of raising the level of production requires scientific research, and itsthe basic needs of mankind completely. So, there is no problem in the discussion in the economic system does not solve the economic problem,basic needs, quite apart from considering it the economic problem that which is the complete satisfaction of the needs of each and everyfaces society. The economic problem is, in reality, the distribution of individual. An increase in the level of production leads to a rise in thethese resources and efforts enabling every individual to satisfy all basic level of the wealth of the country but does not necessarily lead to theneeds completely, and after that helping them to strive for attaining their complete satisfaction of all the basic needs of each and every individual.luxuries. The country could be rich in natural resources, as in the case of Iraq
  15. 15. 28 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 29and Saudi Arabia, but the basic needs of most of their citizens are not even the price of the commodity, because the value of the commoditysatisfied completely. Therefore, the increase of production by itself, does should be estimated by the amount of benefit in it at the time ofnot solve the basic problem which must be treated first and foremost, estimation, taking into account the element of scarcity at that time. Itswhich is the complete satisfaction of the basic needs of each and every value would not drop if its price decreases later on, nor would it rise if itsindividual, and following that enabling them to satisfy their luxuries. price increases as well, because its value was considered at the time of itsTherefore, the poverty and deprivation required to be treated is the non- evaluation. Therefore, marginal utility theory is a theory for price andsatisfaction of the basic needs of man as a human being (i.e. food, shelter not a theory for value, and there is a difference between price and value,and clothing), not the increasing luxuries resulting from urban progress. even in the view of Capitalist economists. What governs the estimationHence, the problem to be treated is the poverty and deprivation of every of price is the abundance of demand together with the shortage ofindividual in the society, not the poverty and deprivation of the country supply or the abundance of supply together with the shortage ofmeasured as a whole. The poverty and deprivation from this perspective demand; these matters are related to the level of production of a(i.e. for every individual) is not treated by increasing national production, commodity, and not related to its distribution. Whereas value is estimatedrather it is treated by the manner in which the wealth is distributed to the by the quantity of benefit present in the commodity at the time ofindividuals in society enabling complete satisfaction of all their basic evaluation, bearing in mind the element of scarcity, without consideringneeds, and then enabling the individuals to satisfy their luxuries. it as part of the estimation; so supply and demand do not utterly affect the value. Capitalism considers value as being relative and not real, and so it istreated as a subjective measurement. Hence, the value of a yard of cloth Therefore, the subject of value is wrong from its basis, and any subjectis the marginal benefit of it assuming its availability in the market. Its based on it is definitely wrong since the basic concept is false. However,value is also the quantity of commodities and efforts that could be if the value of the commodity was evaluated in terms of its benefitexchanged for it. The value becomes a price if what is obtained for the measured by the benefit of a commodity or an effort, then such anyard of cloth is money. These two values, in their view, are separate, and evaluation would be correct and would lead to much greater stabilitythey have two distinct names; benefit and the value of exchange. The over the short term. If the value was estimated by the price, themeaning of value according to this definition is wrong, because the value evaluation would be relative not real, and it comes closer to changingof any commodity is the quantity of benefit in it, taking into account the every time according to the market. In this latter situation, it is false toelement of scarcity. So the real view towards any commodity is to observe refer to it as a value, and so the term value would not truly apply to it. Itits benefit whilst taking into account its scarcity, whether it is possessed would rather become a means to obtain money according to the marketby man from the start like from hunting, or by exchange like selling; and and not according to what it possesses of benefits.whether this was related to the person or related to the thing. Thus, valueis a name for a designated thing which has a specific reality, and not a The Capitalists say that benefits are the result of the efforts whichname for a relative thing, which applies to it in one respect and is not man expends. So, if the reward was not equal to the work then no doubtapplicable in another. So the value is an objective measurement and not the level of production declines, and they conclude from this that thea relative thing. Therefore, the view of the economists towards value is ideal method to distribute the wealth among the members of society iswrong from its basis. that which guarantees to achieve the highest possible level of production. What is referred to as the marginal utility value is an estimation meant This approach is totally wrong, since in reality the resources, which Godto concentrate production based on the worst case scenario of has created, are the basis of the benefit in the commodities. And thedistributing the commodities. Thus the value of a commodity is estimated expenses spent in increasing the benefit of these resources, or initiatingbased on the lowest limit so that production proceeds on a guaranteed a benefit in them together with the work, are that which made them in thebasis. The marginal utility is not really the value of the commodity, nor form that provides a particular benefit. So considering the benefit as a
  16. 16. 30 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 31result of the efforts only is completely wrong and it neglects the raw allocate some or focus all of its efforts on preparing to defend itsmaterial and other expenses. For in some cases, these expenses could be territories. Such production is not motivated by price. Moreover, thea compensation for a raw material, and not for an effort. Thus, the benefit materialistic reward itself is not confined to price, it could come in thecould be a result of man’s efforts or could be a result of the existence of form of other commodities or services. Hence, considering the price asthe raw material, or could be a result of both of them, but it is not only the only incentive for production is a result of man’s efforts. One of the great anomalies of Capitalism is its consideration of price As for the decline in the level of production, it does not result solely as the only regulator for distributing wealth amongst the members offrom a decrease in the reward for work, since it could also result from the society. They say that the price is the only constraint that forces thedepletion of the wealth of the country, or from war, or for other reasons. consumer in his possession and consumption to accept a limitAs an example, the decline of production in both Britain and France comparable to his income, and it is the price which restricts theafter the Second World War did not result from a reduction in the reward consumption of every individual in acceptance to what his revenuesto work, it resulted from the shrinkage in their influence over their rich permit. Accordingly, through the rise in price of some goods and dropcolonies, and their involvement in the war. The decline in production of in the price of others, and in the availability of money to some peoplethe US during the Second World War did not result from a reduction in and its non-availability to others, the price regulates the distribution ofthe reward to work, it resulted from its involvement in the war against wealth amongst consumers. Thus, every individual’s share of the wealthGermany. The decline in the Islamic World today did not result from a of a country is not equal to his basic needs, but is equal to the value ofreduction in the reward to work, it is as a result of the intellectual decline the services in which he has contributed in producing commodities andinto which the whole Ummah fell. Therefore, the inadequacy of the services i.e. equal to what he owns of land or capital, or equal to what hereward to work is not the only reason for decline in production, and it is carried out of work, and projects.false to assume from this premise that the ideal method of distributionis to secure the raising of the level of production. Arriving at the highest From this principle, which makes the price the regulator of distribution,possible level of production has no relationship with the distribution of Capitalism has effectively decided that man does not deserve life unlesswealth amongst individuals. he is capable of contributing to the production of commodities and services. The person who is incapable of contributing, whether he was The Capitalists say that the price is the incentive for production, born with a physical or mental disability, does not deserve life, and doesbecause the motive for the person to expend any effort is his reward not deserve to take from the wealth that which satisfies his needs. Alsomaterially. This view is incorrect and contradicts reality. Man often the person who was born strong in body or in mind, and who is moreexpends effort in return for a moral reward such as the attainment of a capable of creating and possessing wealth however he wishes, deservesreward from God, or for the sake of achieving ethical merit such as to consume luxuriously and deserves to practice control and masteryreturning a favour. The needs of man can be materialistic such as material over others with his wealth. Also the one whose motivation to seekprofit, they can be spiritual such as sanctification, or moralistic such as material gains is stronger will exceed others in possessing wealth whereas,praise. So taking into consideration materialistic needs only is incorrect. the one whose adherence to spiritual and moral values (which control himIn fact, a man could expend resources in satisfying a spiritual or a moral during the earning of wealth) is stronger, will have less than others inneed more generously than he spends in satisfying a materialistic one. possessions or wealth. This approach excludes the spiritual and moralTherefore, the price is not the only incentive for production. Accordingly elements from life and produces a life built upon a materialistic strugglea stonemason could designate himself to work for months in cutting to gain the means of satisfying materialistic needs. This eventually occursstones for building a mosque, a factory may assign its production for in all countries which adopt and apply Capitalism. The domination ofsome days of the year for distribution to poor people, and a nation could Capitalist monopolies has developed in countries adopting Capitalism,
  17. 17. 32 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 33with producers exercising control over consumers. A small group of result of these monopolies and making price a tool in the distribution ofpeople i.e. the owners of large oil, automotive, and heavy industry wealth. Thus, the resources of the world are accumulated on this basiscorporations, have come to dominate consumers, reigning over them by into the hands of Capitalist monopolies. All this is due to the false rulesimposing certain prices for the commodities they produce. This has led and principles established by attempts to “patch up” the economic system. They did this by givingthe State (government) the right to intervene in fixing the price (pricecontrol) in special circumstances to protect the national economy, to The Socialist Economic Systemprotect consumers, and to reduce consumption of some commodities, aswell as limiting the authority of monopolies. They also included in the As for the Socialist economic system, with Communism being a part ofregulation of production certain public projects directed by the it, it contradicts Capitalism. Most of the Socialist ideas appeared in thegovernment. These measures contradict the basis of their economic Nineteenth century. The Socialists fought fiercely against the opinions ofsystem, which is economic freedom, and they are only applied in specific the liberal school of thought i.e. they fought the Capitalist economiccircumstances. Moreover, many Capitalists do not adopt this system. The powerful emergence of Socialism was due to the iniquityinterventionist approach (Conservatives) and they scorn it, contending which the society suffered under Capitalism and owing to its manythat the price mechanism alone is sufficient to achieve harmony between fallacies and inadequacies. By reviewing the Socialist schools of thought,the interest of the producers and the interest of the consumers, without it appears that they agree on three issues, which distinguish them fromany need for governmental intervention. These patchwork solutions other economic schools of thought.which are recommended by the supporters of intervention (Liberals),are only applied in certain circumstances and conditions, and even in 1. Achievement of a type of actual equality.these circumstances, the distribution of wealth amongst the individualsdoes not achieve the complete satisfaction of all basic needs for each 2. Abolition of private property either completely or partially.and every individual. 3. The organisation of production and distribution of the commodities The poor distribution of commodities and services, which resulted and services by means of all of the people.from the concept of freedom of ownership and from the concept ofmaking the price the only mechanism for distributing wealth, will However, despite their agreement over these three issues, they havecontinue to dominate every society that applies Capitalism. With regard fundamental differences over many points, the most important of whichto American society, many Americans had a sufficient share of the wealth are:of the country, to satisfy most of their basic needs completely, and tosatisfy even some of their luxuries. This situation occurred due to the Firstly: The Socialist schools of thought differ in the form of theimmense wealth of that country which had reached a level by which eventual equality they aim to achieve. One group advocates arithmeticthere was an opportunity for every individual to satisfy all of his basic equality which means equality in every thing of benefit, thus each personneeds and some of his luxuries. However, this was not due to making the is given an identical amount. Another group suggests common equality,share of the individual equal to the value of the services he contributed which means observing the ability of everyone when distributing workin production. Furthurmore, putting the price mechanism as the and looking at the needs of every individual when distributing products.controller of distribution has caused Capitalist monopolies in the West to Equality in their view is established when the following principle islook abroad to other countries for new markets, from which to gain raw applied: “From each according to his strength i.e. his ability (meaningmaterials and to sell their products. What the world suffers from, in terms by this the work which he performs), and to each according to his needof colonisation, regions of influence and economic invasion, is merely a (meaning the distribution of production).” A third group adopts equality
  18. 18. 34 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 35in the means of production, since the resources are not sufficient to As for the advocates of State (Government) Socialism, their means tomeet the needs of all individuals, the basis of distribution becomes: implement their thoughts is through legislation. So, by issuing canons“From each according to his strength i.e. his ability, and to each according they warrant the preservation of public interests and improvement into his work.” So equality is achieved when each person is facilitated of the the conditions of the labour force. Additionally, by levying taxes,means of production the same as others. particularly phased-in taxes on capital and inheritance, they suggest that they will close the gap between private properties. Secondly: The Socialist schools of thought differ in the quantity ofprivate property which is to be abolished. One group adopts the abolition Fourthly: The Socialist schools of thought differ with respect to theof private property completely, which is Communism. Another suggests structure which is needed to administer the projects in the Socialistthe abolition of private property related to the means of production system. For example the Capital Socialists want to assign the organisationwhich is called capital i.e. factories, railways, mines and the like. Thus of production and distribution to the government (State), while thethey prohibit the possession of any commodity which is used for Syndicalists want to confer management to organised groups of labour,production. Hence, one cannot own a house for the purpose of leasing headed by their chiefs (Guild Socialism).it, nor a factory, nor a piece of land, but they may keep certain types ofproperty for the purpose of consuming them. It is allowed for them to The most famous and influential among Socialist theories are those ofown everything they consume, so for example they can own a house to the German, Karl Marx. His theories have dominated the Socialist world,live in, and what the land and factories produce but not the land/factory and upon them the Communist Party and the Union of Soviet Socialistitself. This is called Socialism of Capital. Another group does not Republics (USSR) in Russia were established. His theories continue toadvocate the abolition of private property except that which is relevant have a great impact until agricultural land, these are the Agrarian Socialists (AgrarianReformers). Yet another group says that every case in which public One of the best known theories of Karl Marx is the theory of value,interest invites the transforming of a private property to public property, which he took from the thinkers of Capitalism, and upon which hehas to be studied. They call for restricted ownership of private property attacked Capitalism. Adam Smith, who is considered the leader of thein many areas by putting laws for the maximum limit of interest and Liberal School of Thought in England and is viewed as the person whorent, a minimum limit for wages, and strive to give workers a share in the put the basis of the political economy i.e. the Capitalist economic system,capital. This is called State Socialism. defined value by saying: ‘The value of any commodity depends on the magnitude (quantity) of effort spent in its production.’ So the value of the Thirdly: The Socialist schools of thought differ in respect of the means commodity whose production needs two hours is worth twice the valuethey adopt to implement their objectives. Thus, revolutionary Socialism of the commodity whose production needs only one hour. Ricardo who(Revolutionary Syndicalism) depends upon liberating the labour force came after Adam Smith, explained his theory of work, when he definedby what it calls direct action i.e. the efforts of the labour force themselves, value, saying: ‘What determines the value of the commodity is not onlysuch as disruptive strikes, sabotage of machinery, and propagating the the quantity of work spent directly in its production, but also the workideas of a General Strike amongst workers. They work to mobilise them spent in the past, in producing the tools and machines used in thearound this idea, until the time comes when they are able to implement production process as well.’ This means that Ricardo believed that thea General Strike, thus paralysing economic activity, which would value of the commodity depends on the expenses incurred duringeventually result in the demolition of the present economic system. production. He referred these expenses to one element, which is the As for the Marxist Socialists, they believe in the natural law of evolution society and believe that this alone is sufficient to destroy the currentsystem, which will then be replaced by another system built on Socialism. After this, Karl Marx used Ricardo’s theory of value in Capitalism as a
  19. 19. 36 u The Economic System in Islam Introduction to the Economic System u 37weapon to attack the concept of private property and Capitalism as a subjects, then later on between the nobles and the serfs (peasants), andwhole. He said that the only source of value is the work spent in a between the leaders and chiefs in the order of sects. This struggle alwayscommodity’s production, and that the Capitalist financier buys the energy ended with the victory of the oppressed class, which was greater inof a worker with a wage that does not exceed the limit necessary to keep number, over the oppressor class, which was smaller in number. But afterhim alive and able to continue working. The financier then exploits the its victory the oppressed class turned to become a conservative oppressorenergy of the worker by making him produce commodities, whose value class. Since the French revolution this struggle existed between the middlegreatly exceed that which is paid to the worker. Karl Marx called the class (Bourgeoisie) and the working class. The first class became thedifference between what the worker produces and what he is actually masters of the economic projects, the owners of the capital, and becamepaid, the ‘surplus value’. He determined that this value represents what conservative. Facing it was the working class which owned nothing of thethe landlords and the business people usurp from the worker’s rights, in capital, but was much greater in number. Consequently, this situation ledthe name of revenue, profit or rate of return on capital, a matter which to a conflict of interest between the two classes, the origin of which washe did not acknowledge as valid. based on economic reasons. Karl Marx was of the opinion that the Socialist schools which came The production fashion today, does not conform to the system ofbefore him had envisioned the success of their ideas to be dependent ownership. Production no longer remains individualistic i.e. beingupon the inherent nature of the human being in his love for justice and performed by the person alone, as it was in past ages, but rather hassupport for the oppressed. These schools used to adopt new methods become associative i.e. conducted by individuals together. At the samewhich they believed in, for their application upon society, and they time however, the system of ownership has not changed. So individualpresented these ideas to the governors, business people, and the ownership continues and is still the basis of the system in current society.enlightened people, urging them to implement their ideas. Karl Marx As a result of this the working class, which participates in production,however, did not build his school of thought on this idea nor did he does not have a share in the ownership of the capital, and remains underfollow this approach. He built his school of thought on the basis of a the mercy of the Capitalists (the owners of the capital), who do not byphilosophical doctrine known as the Theory of Historical Evolution, themselves participate in production. The Capitalists exploit the labourwhich is referred to as the Dialectic Theory. He conceived the force, paying it only subsistence wages, and the workers are compelled toestablishment of the new system in society through the functional accept it since they have nothing but their efforts to sustain themselves.operation of the economic laws, and as a result of the law of evolution The difference between the value of the product and the labour wage,in society, without the intervention of a manager, a lawmaker, or a which Marx calls the surplus value, constitutes the profit which thereformer. Karl Marx called this type of Socialism ‘Scientific Socialism’, to Capitalist monopolises, while justice assumes it should be the share of thedifferentiate it from the Socialist methods that came before it and which workers.were called ‘Utopian Socialism’. The Socialist theory of Karl Marx issummarised as follows: So the conflict would continue between these two classes until the The system of the society in any age is a result of the economic system of ownership conforms with the system of production i.e. whensituation. The transformations which affect this system all come as a ownership becomes Socialist or collective. This struggle will end withresult of a class struggle to improve their material situation. History tells the victory of the working class according to the law of evolution inus that this struggle ends with the victory of the class which is greater in society, since it is the oppressed class and is greater in number.number and worse in condition, over the wealthier class which is fewerin number. He called this the law of social evolution. It applies to the Regarding the manner in which the working class will succeed, and thefuture as well as the past. So, in previous ages this struggle existed reasons for its success, this is based on the law of evolution in society.between the freemen and the slaves, then between the nobles and the The current system of economic life bears within itself the seeds of the