Category Archives: Western Evils

WESTERN CONCEPT OF LIFE

[By Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadvi, Rector of Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, India]

THE most important thing from your point of view is that the champions of the modern civilization claim that civilised  society can also come into be­ing away from spiritual con­victions, religious beliefs, moral values and Apostolic teachings; and not only that, they assert that it should be so and its foundations should rest on knowledge and science,  trade and industry, political and economic stability, nationalism and patriotism and legal and constitutional covenants and arrangements. They, further, hold that social progress and advancement is related wholly to the modern means and machines which are the products of their physical sciences.

The successes of the socie­ty and the welfare of mankind signify that man should conquer the world and the forces of nature for the satisfaction of his carnal appetites. In material sciences alone lies his salva­tion. The failure of man in the past was due simply to the fact that the channels for the exchange of ideas were blocked and the world was divided into different parts.

The West tried to propagate this view with the enthusiasm of a fanatic. Its slogans were as: There is no God, no Religion, no Unseen, no Spirit and no Futurity.  Ac­cording to it the Shariat and its spiritual structure are mere superstition. The real ingredients of life are perception, experience, pleasure, gain, nationalism, freedom, democracy and communism.

HARMFUL EFFECTS

The protagonists as well as critics of this viewpoint appeared on the stage of the world armed with their ideas and ideals and they effected an intellectual diversion of the West. Consequently, various schools of thoughts came to flourish whose in­fluence can be seen today in the entire range of learning and literatures. The modern western society has profited from all of them and accepted their influence in a greater or lesser degree. It has made materialism its hall-mark.

The West is now in a posi­tion to enforce the ideas and principles in which it believes freely and openly. It is an unique event of history. Owing to its phenomenal power and resources the West has been able to play its role most successfully. Its achievement is unparalleled in the history of World leadership. Even more complete and universal ascen­dancy. When Europe embarked on its course of progress and power in the world that could challenge it or impede its advance.

The Church had capitulated before the men­tal and political revolt of the Christendom long ago. The Islamic East yielded to its political and intellectual might in the 19th Century and the whole world went on submitting to it quietly and quickly.

Incidentally, Europe got the opportunity to present its capabilities in the material form and its materialistic creed was received everywhere willingly and enthusiastically. But the whole show came to a tragic end. It proved to be a colossal failure. As a result of it, there is both inner and outer discord and confusion; individuals, classes and com­munities are at loggerheads with each other and the horizon is darkened with the clouds of war.

The World is presenting the spectacle of a powder-keg which is ready to explode at any moment. Woeful cries are being raised at the expectation of the dis­astrous end of humanity. Self-confidence, peace and emotional equipoise are things of the past. Man is haunted with fear. His soul is restless. He is troubled about the future. A perpetual feel­ing of anxiety is felt everywhere; moral turmoil is complete and the spiritual vacuum is becoming more fearful everyday. There is an incurable sense of despondency and frustration. On all sides, there is nothing but distress, misery and bitterness.

The story of the wretchedness and infelicity of the western civilization is such that it deserves to be told again and again. It is the most important episode in the history of human species for in the East there are still people who believe in its purity and innocence and look upon it with respect and envy. They are confident that a civilization like it can never perish or become in­solvent. They regard it with religious reverence.

WEAKNESSES OF  MATERIALISTIC SYSTEM

You live in the midst of this civilization and feel its scorching heat. You observe its anguish and uneasiness and see the evidence of its decay and degeneration in all places. You notice its intrin­sic traits in the moral disposi­tion of its political leaders, in the disregard of human sentiments in the neglect of ethical values and in high incidence of crime and other grave moral offences.

You see it unveiled in the conduct and philosophy of the leaders of thought and politics who are utterly incapable of ap­preciating the message of humanity and carrying it to others and wholly insensitive to the call of the spirit that can breathe a new life into the society, lead the com­munity towards its high destination and bring about harmony and integration. This civilization, at the height of its revolution, is suffering from the crisis of confidence.

After these observations it should be evident to you that a society which is not based on faith is destined to an evil fate. It is another matter that it manages to prolong its life a little more but it is bound to come to a tragic end.

In fact, it is the path of belief and faith and the message and the life-example of the Divine Apostles that uplift, the character of both individuals and communities, illumines it with the light of spiritual feeling. It imparts the spirit of faith and courage independently of academies and educational institutions and means of propaganda and mass com­munication. It cures the hearts of greed, hypocrisy, boastfulness and ostentation. It promotes life and vitality and gives rise to belief in the Hereafter, sincerity and selflessness. It convinces one of the transitoriness of the world, strengthens faith in God whom no human eye has seen nor mind can com­prehend and arouses in man the sentiments of laying down his life for His sake. History still remembers the deeds of these men of faith and conviction.

Had such events not taken place so repeatedly the world would perhaps have repudiated them without hesitation. This is the segment of humanity which has preserved the vanishing stock of civiliza­tion, rescued the society again and again from the depths of waywardness and pulled the boat of mankind out of the whirlwind of death in the nick of time. These high-souled men have always saved the moral values and higher human concepts from destruction. In all their endeavours they have been guided by earnestness and solicitude for the deliverance of mankind.

Islam and Socialism

By Ihsanullah Khan

Islam is a religion, whereas Socialism is simply an economic institution taking finally the form of a state – a Political Institution. Both stand for some purpose – some end. The end or purpose of the latter is the physical and economic welfare of man or, in other words, the total removal or extermination of poverty from all classes of people in the state. The end or purpose of Islam, on the other hand, is the perfection of man in all forms – i.e., the elevation of man to Insan-Kamil – a perfect man. What is a perfect man? A perfect man is one who has the best of conduct and character (Akhlaq), the best of intellect (Aql), the best and finest sense for the appreciation of beauty (Husn), and has the best of health, is free from all cares and wants and is consequently the happiest of all creatures. Evidently, the last, physical and economic welfare of man, from the Islamic standpoint, is only an aspect, an element, of the end, but not an end in itself. For Socialism, on the other hand, it is an end in itself, the sole end, to which all other ends must be subordinated. This is the fundamental distinction between Islam and Socialism. But however they may differ, there is one point atleast which is common to both, namely, the principle of the eradication poverty and bringing into being freedom from want. But even so the affinity is merely in the principle as such, i.e., in the aspiration to remove poverty, but not in the ways and means or methods devised by each for the achievement of the same. The means and methods adopted by each differ violently and the point at issue, therefore, is, which of the methods is better and more successful in removing the evil of poverty and bringing into being freedom from want? Some maintained the the method devised by Socialism are better than those of Islam; others maintain that the two systems are almost identical and can be reconciles; still others maintain that they are essentially different and that the methods devised by Islam are superior to those of Socialism. I agree with the last group of people and maintain the the two systems are fundamentally different and that the means adopted by Islam are far more successful than and superior to those adopted by Socialism or any other hypothesis.

I. Socialism starts with the assumption that all men are equal and justice demands that each man should have equal share of the total wealth of the nation; that there should be an equal distribution of it among all and  that there should be no distinction between man and man or class and class. But the assumption of the equality of man is erroneous, for all men are “ideally” equal, not “factually” so. Factually, some are weak and others are strong; some are vicious and others are virtuous and so on. If now the stronger and the more capable people, by sheer dint of honest labour, accumulate more wealth than the weaker and less capable people, no institution in the world has any right to deprieve such people of their wealth for the sake of equalising them with the inefficient and unworthy people. If yet they are deprieved of their honset earnings, as Socialism would have it, this would be gross injustice. Socialism, which starts with the specific object of dispensing justice to all, involves itself in the grossest injustice inconceivable.

II. Socialism further assumes that the richer and wealthier people are necessarily cruel and wicked; and that the wealth they accumulate is earned through callous and vicious means. But is wealth necessarily accumulated by such methods? Many may have earned their wealth through honset and sincere work and to deprieve them of their wealth is obvious injustice.

III. Again, all men are equal and there should be an equal distribution of wealth among all, but since the equal distribution of wealth, they maintain, is impossible so long as the instotution of Private Property exists, it must disappear. So long, they argue, as each person retains his own wealth for himself, there shall always arise a class of more prudent, capable and tactful people who would earn more than the less capable and tactful people; and once sich persons have taken a start, they will go on multiplying their wealth without much effort on their part – by investing and re-investing it in different forms. Of necessity, therefore, must Capitalism and unequal distribution of wealth result again and again from the instotution of Private Property. This institution should be totally abolished and not the individuals but the State should be the owner of all the property. The individual should entrust his all, whatever it may be, great or small, to the State, and the State should be the sole owner of “total Property.” There should be thus no “MINE” or “THINE”; all wealth should belong to the State and then the State shall have to distribute it equally among all, thus resulting in complete justice. All will have equal share from the commonwealth of the nation, in which there would be no distinction between the rich and poor and all will be equally well-provided.

But again, this position has the difficulty of its own kind. The efficiency of its own individuals ‘singly’ and that of the State ‘collectively’ will suffer considerably on that account. Man is primarily an individual and only secondarily a social being. The more capable must naturally think why, after all, should they work for the sake of others, when their own interests must necessarily suffer; why after all should they add more to their income, when that excess would always be denied to them. Again, man is primarily lazy and seeks play and happiness rather than work and strain. Left to himself, he would never work or strain himself willingly. He works only under the stress of circumstances – not work for the sake of work. Thus the less capable people in the Socialistic State would naturally think why after all should they strain themselves and work harder, if already their share of the wealth of the nation is secured; why after all should they produce more, when that more would be taken away by the State? Thus, the rich and the poor, the competent and the incompetent, would all lose interest in their work, and society would necessarily become inefficient. The result would be that the total wealth of the nation, as also the share of the individual in it, would go on decreasing from year to year, until a day would come when the share of the individual would reach a point far lower than even what a most incompetent person would have earned, if left to himself. Socialism started with the object of providing sufficient for each and all, but failed to provide even the barest minimum for any. It must give up its first and most fundament thesis, viz., “The abolition of private property” and its corollary, viz., “all property to be owned by the State.”

But even assuming that Socialism does succeed and succeeds a hundred per cent, then, in that case, each and all would be well-fed all right but none would be moral, because the ‘giving’ in the case of each is not voluntary or out of free-will. There is, indeed, no giving on the part of the individuals, live alone voluntary or involuntary. All property belongs to the State and it is the State that gives to the individual and not the individual that gives to the State. The share of the individual is not so much “given” by the individual to the State, as it is really “taken” from the individual by the State. But morality of an action consists really in “giving” things over rather than be “taken” away from. Thus a Socialistic State in this hypothesis is tantamount to a kingdom of animals in a huge jungle where there is plenty to eat and drink and where each and all are well-fed and properly stuffed, and yet all remain animals in spite of it – animals and not moral human beings.

But one might say that the question of “giving” and giving things voluntarily does certainly exist in a Socialistic State. After all, as Socialists surmise, every individual in a Socialistic State is absolutely free to give his vote to anybody, and once his original vote is freely given, his subsequent acts that follow from it are freely determined. But this is a wrong argument, the original free vote does not necessarily make all subsequent individual acts free and hence moral. I might have free voted for Mr. X to become a minister but yet it is possible that, subsequently, I might differ with his policy and conduct. If yet I obey his orders, it can be for no other reason than from fear or prudence in which morality has no share. Morality is not a matter of habitual and mechanical action according to certain principles, as Socialism would like it to be. For instance, once you have freely voted for certain principles, you shall have to follow them mechanically, necessarily and compulsorily in all your individual acts, whether you subsequently agree or disagree with them. But morality is quite the opposite of it. It is not a free act once or casually done in life but is a series of free acts ever and ever anew!.

1. Generally speaking, Socialism conceives the nature of man essentially as animal, a feeling being, with food and happiness as his sole end in life. But food, wealth and happiness are precisely the things which each man will have for himself and not share with others. Left to feelings and animal impulses as being the standard, we never share our wealth and happiness with others and never become one with them. Where we share our well-being and happiness with others, it is our reason that bids us to do so and not our feelings or animal impulses. Reason must intervene into the life of man if we are to share our wealth and woe with others and be anything better than an animal. With the dawn of this reason, new demands would be made on us – the demand or yearning to seek the truth, Goodness, beauty and holiness. But this is neither open to Socialism nor does it actually admit it. Hence the materialism and Godlessness of this system. We thus pass to the second thesis of this system.

2. Socialism assumes that the church and Priest who represent God on earth and vicious institutions and they make capital out of it. Here again we are involved in Capitalism which is their foremost duty to destroy. State and Statesmen should thus take the place of the church and the priests. The State should be all in all and nothing besides the State should exist. There should be no God, no Religion side by side with the State to inspire people and to challenge its supremacy.

But let us analyse this argument. From the casual or even wholesale badness of the priests, we are not entitled to jump to the conclusion that Religion itself is bad.

Socialism is not clear on the point that it is precisely from Religion from which all fundamentally human values first originate and then finally culminate in it. Even the economic welfare of man, as described above, would be somewhat impossible without religion. Without religion, society would be something like Hobbe’s Kingdom of wolves, where every one would perennially run at the other’s throat and be at war among themselves. All would be destruction and no production. Thuse even with Economic Welfare as the end, let alone other yearnings, it is indispensible to retain God and Religion.

Moreover, since all fundamental values originate from and culminate in Religion, it is, at the basis of all Culture and Civilisation. Without it there would be neither Culture nor Civilisation. But even if we presume that some sort of culture and civilisation can exist in spite of it, it will be grossly primitive and unworthy of man. But without a really advanced Culture and Civilisation, no nation has any moral right to Internationalism, as Socialism would have it. Hence again, Socialism would be obliged to abandon yet another thesis of its own, its Godlessness, and that too, if not for itself, at least in the interest of the Internationalism which is the third chief thesis of Socialism.

3. The starting point of Socialism is: All men are equal and therefore there should be an equal distribution of wealth among all. This necessarily leads to Internationalism which consistently followed. If all men are really equal, then not only are all individuals within the same State but also all States and people within the same world, are equal to each other. Hence all States and people should have equal share of the total wealth of the world. But who is to enforce this principle? Who is to be the torch-bearer and pioneer of it? The thought, as such, would not be acceptable to those who may have to suffer on that account. Who could compel America to share its wealth with Arabia, China, Afghanistan, etc? Evidently, this pre-supposes the existence of some one State strong enough to enforce the same thought. But here again we shall encounter the same difficulties as I have stated above. Even if a State that could enforce the thought were to come into being, the giving on the part of the individual States will not be voluntary and hence not moral. Moreover, the total wealth of the world, as also the share of the individual States, is likely to fall from year to year  as it will be an involuntary imposition and man does not like it. Besides, the thought of equal distribution is not open to Socialism, for it conceives the nature of man essentially as animal, and as an animal I can never pass from the circle of “my good,” “my happiness,” to that of “your good”, “your happiness.” What is impossible as between individuals will be equally impossible  as between States. Once this principle of Socialism, namely, that food and happiness is the sole end of man, is accepted, neither the individuals nor indeed the States will part with what is the only and the most valuable thing according to them.

But even assuming that the individual States could well part with their surplus, the case would be no better either from the socialist standpoint. The surplus would not go the the poorer States but to the richest and the strongest of all States. For of all States, this very Socialistic State with its materialistic background, will of necessity lapse into imperialism and its evils, indeed a worst sort of imperialism, a world-wide Imperialism, a thing which was the starting point of Socialism to fight against and eradicate in all possible forms.

To this one might object that Socialism does not really maintain that the richer States should entrust their surplus to some stronger one in order that it may distribute it among the poorer States. All that it maintains is that every State within its own sphere should have equal distribution among the individuals. But this would defeat the ideal of International Socialism only to be replaced by National Socialism. In any case, it will be simply compelled by the sheer contradictions and inconsistencies to give up one thesis after another until we shall have merely a form without content – a bare principle of the removal of poverty without its original means to work it out. But this simple principle is not peculiar to Socialism. All religions, long before Socialism, had ordained it, and even today many worldly States aspire to realize it in their own way. What I have simply formally stated, is actually proved by the hard facts of life. Already Socialism has permitted private property and has abandoned its Godlessness and Internationalism. Thus it is no more Socialism; at best it is Neo-Socialism. But Neo-Socialism is a new Socialism and is something other than Socialism, is anything but Socialism. If yet you call it Socialism, then it is like the niser’s sock, patched up with new threads again and again and over again until not a single thread of the original remains and yet it is the same old sock. This may be true of the sock for all practical purposes but not of ideologies. We now pass on to Islam to see how the problem of the removal of poverty is tackled by it.

Socialism maintains that so long as the institution of Private Property exists, the result would be Capitalism and its consequent evils. But if Private Property is abolished, the result is no better either, for efficiency would suffer and a result would be a conaiderable decrease in the total wealth of the nation, as also that of the individual. Evidently, we are involved in a sort of conflict or antinomy, for both the positions are right. The problem now is how to resolve this antinomy and how to reconcile this conflict. Islam offers a solution which is quite correct and fair.

Islam assumes that the institution of Private Property is good from the point of view of efficiency that it promotes; but it is bad from the point of view of Capitalism which it encourages. Hence Private Property should be retained as well as abolished in the same breath – retained in order to encourage its efficiency, and abolished in order to disvourage Capitalism. But how is it possible to retain a thing at one and the same time? How am I to conceive that the property is mine and yet not mine at the same time? This is possible when the concept “mine” and “not mine” is looked at from different standpoints and this is precisely the attitude which Islam which actually takes towards it. Empirically, factually and actually the property is mine all right, because it is in my possession. Hence it is natural that I should have interest in it and should promote it as much as it is in my power to do so. But transcendentally, rationally and ideally it is not mine and is God’s property, because He alone is the ultimate Creator of all things. Hence I should have no hesitation in parting ways with it, if God so desires. Hence also the synthesis of the conflicting thesis and the solution of the antinomy. The institution of Private Property is kept intact without necessarily resulting in Capitalism. The point of efficiency is combined with a set-back to Capitalism in a most harmonious way. This much abstractly speaking. We may now give three concrete illustrations.

Islam encourages the production of wealth (efficiency) and yet discourages the accumulation of the same in the hands of a few (Capitalism). This it does by the institution of the “Law of Inheritance,” by forbidding “Interest” and by the injunctions of “poor tax,” “almsgiving,” “lending without remuneration,” “gift,” “trust,” “the giving of one-third in will to anybody other than legal successors,” etc, etc.

(1) The Islamic Law of Inheritance is an immense blow to Capitalism for through it the property of man is divided and re-divided among his successors and even among the remote successors, if there are no immediate ones. In any case, the property cannot remain compact and in the hand of a few in the long run. Thus the property will circulate from person to person until many are benefited thereby; and when many are benefited, the total wealth of the nation also increases.

(2) The abolition of usury is another great set-back to Capitalism. Usury is a vicious institution and it is at the basis of Capitalism. The rich, thereby, gain more and more money without doing “any positive work.” In other words, it is the money that makes money and not the man behind it. It is the mere possession of money that brings money and not the work or toil of the person possessing the money. 

In Islam it should be the man himself and not his bare money to make more money – the man and his nerves, tissues, muscles, brain, etc. Thus there is no room in the Islamic ruling State for the exploitation of the individual by the individual. The individuals would be no longer perennially under debts to money-lenders. Nor would certain States be perennially under debts to other States.

(3) Hence there would be no Capitalism, no exploitation, and therefore no poverty. Thus an Islamic ruling State, when it comes to the task of  Internationalism, would never, like Socialism, lapse into Imperialism. زكاة (tithe), خيرات (alms), صدقات (charity), قرض حسنه (loan without interest), هبه (gift), امانت (deposit by way of trust), وقف (bequest), وصيت (endowment)., etc, etc., are other such measures which put a ban on Capitalism and restrain it. These institutions prevent the money from being accumulated in the hands of a few, rather it must flow from man to man and class to class in a rapid circulation. This is very nearly the essence of the economic well-being of both the individuals and the State. But one might object that these injunctions were perhaps helpful for maintaining the poor, but can hardly be expected to meet the gigantic demands and requirements of a modern State. This may be right, but nothing can stand in the way of an Islamic governing State either to impose more and more taxes or demand from the individual whatever he could spare for the amelioration of the condition of his brethren. The Qur’anic Verses: “God has purchased from believers their property and their lives in lieu of Paradise” clearly indicates that the wealth and body of a Muslim is purchased by God in lieu of Paradise and can be requisitioned when He so desires.

Further, of all these injunctions  زكاة (tithe) is one form of duty, خيرات (alms), صدقات (charity), قرض حسنه (loan), هبه (gift), امانت (deposit by way of trust), وقف (bequest), وصيت (endowment)., etc, etc., form another kind of duties. Tithe (زكاة) is an absolute duty, whereas the others are meritorious duties.

Tithe (زكاة) is compulsory enforced and collected by the Khalifa in the name of God, whereas the other institutions are not so enforced by the Khalifa. Tithe (زكاة) is a duty which Muslims have necessarily and absolutely to perform; and its non-observance is a vice, and its observance a virtue. Whereas the other meritorious duties are of a nature that if we do not perform them, our act is not vice, but if we perform them, our action is virtue, indeed, a meritorious virtue – a virtue par excellence. This sort of virtue does not exist in any worldly State or organisation, not even in a Socialistic State. In a Socialistic State there is hardly any room for virtues, leave alone the meritorious ones. It is a wholesale compulsion and whatever you have in excess of your wants will be taken away from you, and you will be left on a par with others – the question of yet giving more., i.e. meritorious duties, not arising at all.

The State is all for Socialism, whereas God is the all in all for Islam. In the former the act of giving is for fear of the State, whereas in the latter it is for the fear of God. Evidently, the latter is moral action, whereas the former is only a legal one. Thus for a Muslim the act of “giving” is not only conducive to feeding others but is also helpful to his own reformation or self-perfection.

But to this, one might object that an action done out of “fear” is non-moral, whether it be for fear of God as in the case of a Muslim, or for fear of the State as in the case of a Socialist. Hence in either case the action is non-moral. But this is a wrong position. There is a radical difference between fear of God and fear of a State, the two being different in kind. The fear of God is a matter of Faith and the fear of State is a matter of “knowledge.” The object of Faith if God, who is not a concrete object; is not immediately present before me; it is my Faith in Him, indeed an ايمان بل غيب (faith in the Unknown). Evidently, His Punishment is not imminent, if I do not believe in Him; even His Punishment itself is a matter of Faith. Thus there is no compulsion in Religion, indeed, much more opposite of it. I am free to believe or not believe in God, or even to believe in one notion of God or the other. The Sword of God is not immediately present before me to compel me to believe in Him, or believe in Him one way or the other. That I yet believe in Him in spite of the absence of His punishment, amounts to complete freedom in the choive of my Faith. Thus my faith in God and the consequent fear of Him are both my own creation, are autonomous and there is no compulsion involved in it. On the contrary, the fear of the State is a fear of a concrete object, which is present before me and its punishment is imminent, if I disobey it. It is the fear of a thing outside me and of an external origin and is heteronomous. It is a thing or person other than myself who compels me to do this or that for fear of his sword present immediately before me. Hence the distinction between the two fears, of which the one is freely chosen, self-created, autonomous and hence the condition of the existence of morality, which the other is not.

In conclusion, I must say that even assuming that Islam does not succeed in exterminating poverty altogether, the case in not likely to be bad either. For the worth or dignity of a man, according to Islam, consists essentially in the character and righteousness of a man rather than in the wealth and riches possessed by him. Thus the poor in an Islamic governing State will not be looked down upon for the mere fact of poverty, nor the rich would in any way be respected for the mere fact of wealth they possess. The result would be that the rich and the poor would be all alike and shall form one brotherhood. In this brotherhood the rich would have no feeling of superiority nor the poor that of inferiority, so that there will be neither quarrel among the individuals within the State nor war among the States within the world, in spite of the inequality in wealth. All would be peace and peace and a Kingdom of God on earth would be established, in the truest sense of the term. This is precisely what the term Islam means and this is precisely what the Qur’an invites mankind into – a Peace –  perfect and universal.

THE DARK SIDE OF “MODERN” CIVILISATION

By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi

THE DARK SIDE OF MODERN CIVILISATION draws upon a genius that is nothing less than satanic. Using naturalism, materialism, atheism, vice and misguidance, modern civilisation has trapped the human spirit in a kind of living hell. It has taken humankind, the most noble of all beings, and it has reduced him to the lowest of the low, infecting him with severe diseases of the soul and reducing him to the lowest level of animality.

But then – and here is the mark of its evil genius – it tells him that modern civilisation has the remedy for his diseases! It tells him that this remedy is to be found in the illusion of entertainment, amusement and those mind-numbing diversions which temporarily anaesthetise the senses. What mankind fails to understand is that this ‘remedy’ is actually worse than the diseases that it is supposed to be curing.

But this ‘remedy’ will eventually be the death of those who prescribe it. Such is the road that modern civilisation has opened up for mankind, and the ‘happiness’ that it has created for him…

Islamic Refutation of Capitalist Economic System

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Economic Justice In Islam

Introduction

Two major economic systems have dominated the world arena in the last 100 years, namely Capitalism and Socialism. Socialism collapsed before the end of the 20th century with a complete failure, and hence will not be a subject in this discussion. Capitalism continues to dominate the entire globe, with different flavors and varieties implemented in different parts of the world. The dissatisfaction of people under socialism, and the accompanying pain and suffering have ended, but been replaced by yet another type of pain and sufferings.

After the collapse of Socialism, Capitalism entered an era of global economy, Globalization, thus impacting most of the people in the world. Therefore, this discussion explores the impact of capitalism on the world and the plight of people in poor and rich countries. On the other hand, it introduces an economic system that the world is yet to explore, understand, and implement. This system is based on Islam.

The Economic System

Economic system is a set of rules and regulations, which define how to distribute the wealth, how to possess it, and how to spend or dispose of it. This system (set of rules) is based upon a particular viewpoint in life, or ideology. Therefore, the economic system of Islam is different from that of Socialism/Communism and that of Capitalism, since each of these systems follows its own ideological viewpoint. For example, the rules of possession and ownership under Capitalism differ from the rules of possession under Socialism, and from those under Islam.

Economic science deals with the production, its improvement, invention and improvement of its means. Economic science, as is the case with other sciences, is universal to all nations and is not associated with a particular ideology. For example, the improvement of production is a technical issue, which is purely scientific, and does not depend on a particular ideological viewpoint.

In addition to the essential understanding of the difference between the economic system and economic science, it is critical to understand the factors of success for any system. The success or failure of an economic system is measured by the direct impact on the humans who live under it. Measures of such impact are the level of security provided and satisfaction of needs. Security and satisfaction of needs are further measured in terms of:

⚫ Food security
⚫ Health security
⚫ Educational security
⚫ Conviction and trust in the economic foundation

In the next section we will address Capitalism as the dominating economic system today, its truth, reality, applicability and consequences.

The Capitalist Economic System

Theoretical Foundation

Capitalism addresses the materialistic side of life; it addresses the human needs and the means of satisfying those needs. It is established on three principles:

1. Relative scarcity of goods in relation to needs.

2. The economic value of a product

3. Pricing role in production, cons consumption, and distribution.

Relative Scarcity:

Man has needs that require satisfaction. Capitalism views the human needs as purely materialistic, such as the need for food, clothing, medicine, education, and security. As for the moral needs such as pride and honor, or spiritual needs such as the sanctification of God’s will, they are not recognized economically, and are therefore disregarded and have no place in economic studies within the capitalist system.

The capitalist looks at the means of satisfaction, that is, the commodities and services, from the viewpoint that they satisfy a need, without taking any other factor into consideration. This system considers, for example, wine as an economically beneficial product because it satisfies the need of some, and perceives the wine maker as service provider. Because wine and wine providers satisfy a need it is considered as having an economic value. Since the need in the capitalist view means a desire, then anything desired, whether it is essential or not essential, beneficial or harmful, it is considered economically beneficial. Products may be considered beneficial from an economic viewpoint even if the public opinion considers them of no benefit, or even harmful. Thus wine, tobacco, drugs, guns, and apples are beneficial things since there are people who desire them. Stocks, interest based loans are also beneficial as long as there is someone who would benefit from their use.

As such, capitalism does not concern itself with the societal values other than materialistic ones. Therefore, the capitalist economic system’s primary function is to supply goods – commodities and services – that is, to provide the means of satisfying man’s needs, irrespective of any other consideration. Capitalism recognizes that man has basic needs, which must be satisfied, and wants which increase in number as man proceeds to a higher level of urbanization.

Relative scarcity foresees the economic problem as the relative shortages of commodities and services towards the unlimited and constantly growing human needs (wants). This basic principal of capitalist economic philosophy provides the basis for the definition of the economic problem under capitalism. In particular, the problem that capitalism attempts to resolve is the satisfaction of an ever growing human needs using insufficient resources and means of satisfaction. This is the essence of relative scarcity of products. An economic dilemma that cannot be resolved no matter how much commodities and services are produced, thus setting unrealistic goal to be achieved.

The inevitable consequence of relative scarcity is that the focal point of a capitalistic society is the increase production of products and services. However, the distribution of the products over the needs is fully dependents upon the individual ability to obtain it. It should be noted that in a capitalistic society the problem is to make the resources available so as to satisfy the needs in a society, but not necessarily the needs of every individual. It is not surprising therefore, that the main focus of the economy under capitalism is the increase in the national production emphasized by the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) and Gross National Products (GNP). Capitalism views economic growth, the increase in GDP and GNP, as the mean of solving the problem of poverty. There are serious flaws in these principals:

1. Correlation between the needs and the means of satisfaction

Under Capitalism, production and distribution are considered to be one major subject. Capitalism holds one view towards the economic science and the economic system without differentiating between them. However, there is a major difference between the economic system and economic science as previously defined. The integration between production of the economic material and the manner of its distribution, is a fundamental fault in the capitalist system which is bound to cause failure in the economy.

2. The human needs are not materialistic only

The reference to the needs, which require satisfaction as being purely materialistic, is wrong, and contradicts the natural reality of human needs. Human beings have moral, spiritual, and ethical needs that require satisfaction, which in turn require commodities or services for their satisfaction.

3. Commodities and services relation to the society

Man is viewed by capitalists as a purely materialistic creature, with no relevance to his spiritual needs, ethical thoughts, and moral objectives. Thus, Capitalism does not give weight to Societal values, except to the materialistic value of the product and its profitability. Cheating in the economic sense is valuable as long as it leads to profitability (Enron and Arthur Anderson). Monopoly is feasible economically, while it can be maintained and supported (Microsoft). Under Capitalism, feeding a poor (wealth distribution) may be done only if it brings a material benefit, such as tax break (non profit organizations). The Capitalist economy focuses on the satisfaction of needs and wants irrespective to the societal values and needs. Societal values and needs are protected as much as it does not limit the individual pursuit of satisfaction.

The exchange of resources and efforts among people creates relationships according to which the structure of the society is formed. Thus, viewing the economic commodity as a mean of fulfilling a need, without caring for the societal values, violates a fundamental rule of society structure. The effect on society should be perceived when considering the economic commodity. Therefore, it is incorrect to consider a thing as beneficial just because there is somebody who wants it, whether it affects the relationships among people or not, and whether it is prohibited or permitted in the belief of the people. Rather things should be considered beneficial if they are really beneficial in respect to what the society should be.

Therefore, it is incorrect to consider alcohol, cannabis, opium, explosives, guns, tobacco and the like as beneficial commodities and to consider them economic commodities just because there is somebody who wants them. Instead, the effect of these economic commodities on the relationships between people in society must be considered when considering the benefit of things i.e. when considering the goods as an economic commodity or not. It is a system fault to look at a product merely as it is, regardless of what the society should be.

4. Poverty of individuals is the main economic problem

Capitalism concentrates on production of wealth more than distribution of wealth. The importance of distribution of wealth to satisfy the needs has become a secondary issue. Therefore, the capitalist economic system main aim is to increase the country’s wealth as a whole, and it strives to achieve the highest possible level of production. The achievement of the highest possible level of satisfaction for the members of society is viewed as a result of increasing the national income, the gross national product. In the capitalist view this can be achieved by raising the level of production in the country, and by enabling individuals to acquire the wealth as they are left free to work and produce.

So the economy does not attempt to satisfy the needs of the individuals and to facilitate the satisfaction of every individual in the community, rather it is focused on raising the level of production and increasing the national income. Only then the distribution of wealth among the members of society occurs, by means of freedom of possession and freedom of work. So it is left to the individuals to acquire what they can of the wealth. Everyone strives to get his/her share of the wealth using whatever means, skills, or tools he/she can afford. Whether the individual is or is not able to satisfy his/her needs is not of concern to the economy, as long as the production of goods continues to grow, and the wealth continues to grow.

This is the major principal of the capitalist economy. It is inherently faulty, and contradicts reality and does not lead to an improvement in the level of livelihood for all individuals, and does not fulfill the basic needs of every individual. It does not resolve the issue of poverty for the individuals, despite the massive increase in the production of goods and services.

The hard fact in this reality is that the needs, which require satisfaction, are individual needs. They are needs of particular people such as George, Maria, Hessian, Muhammad, and the like. The fact that the needs of George, for example, are satisfied does not make Maria any better, unless her needs are also taken care of. So these are needs of individuals and not needs for a group of human beings, a group of nations, or a group of people. Therefore, the economic problem must focus on distributing the means of satisfaction for all the individuals of a society. In other words, the distribution of the funds and benefits must reach every member of the nation or people. It is not sufficient to increase the wealth of the group, irrespective of the plight of every individual.

Consequently, the study of the factors that affect the size of national production differs from the study for satisfying all the basic needs of all individuals personally and completely. The subject of study must be the basic human needs of man, as a human being, and the study of distributing the wealth to the members of society to guarantee the satisfaction of all their basic needs while allowing them to pursue the satisfaction of their wants & luxury needs. This should be the subject of study, and should be undertaken in the first place. Moreover, resolving the poverty of a country does not resolve the problem of poverty for individuals. On the contrary, resolving the poverty of the individuals, and the fair distribution of the wealth of the country, motivates all the people of the country to work towards increasing the national income and resolving poverty of the country. Yet, the study of factors that affect the size of production and the increase of the national income should be discussed within the framework of economic science, rather than in the discussion of the economic system.

5. Scarcity of resources is not the problem and human needs are limited

Capitalism views the economic problem, which faces any society to be the scarcity of commodities and services. It claims that the human needs are steadily increasing, and the products continue to be too scarce to satisfy the growing needs of the people. This view is erroneous and in fact contradicts with reality. This is because the needs, which must be met, are the basic needs of the individual as a human (food, shelter, education, health and clothing), and not the luxuries, although they too are sought. The basic needs of humans are limited, and the resources and products, which they call the commodities and services, are certainly sufficient to satisfy the basic human needs. It is possible to satisfy all of the basic needs of mankind completely.

The economic problem is, in reality, the distribution of these resources and services enabling every individual to satisfy all basic needs completely, and after that helping them to strive for attaining their luxuries. The basic needs of man as a human do not increase. Only the luxurious needs that may increase and vary due to higher urbanization.

Practical Implementation

The discussion of the capitalist economic system leads to the conclusion that the implementation of this system over a period of time should lead to a profound poverty and severe dissatisfaction for any society. In this section, we will examine actual data from the contemporary world that lives under the domination of capitalist economic systems. The data shows without any doubt that the theoretical errors of the major economic principals have led to serious failures that cause huge catastrophic effects on a very large number of the population in the world.

Hunger under capitalism

Growing out of a Harvard School of Public Health conference on hunger, The Physician Task Force on Hunger in America was established in early 1984. The major findings and
conclusions of the Task Force include:

⚫ Hunger is a problem of epidemic proportions across the nation
⚫ Hunger in America is getting worse, not better
⚫ Malnutrition and ill-health are associated with hunger
⚫ is the result of federal government policies
⚫ Present policies are not alleviating hunger in America

Conclusion: Resolution of hunger and poverty require fundamental change at the level of the economic system. Capitalism is designed to produce poverty not to resolve it.

Globalization is the newer form of global capitalism. It is capitalism across nations. Capital flows between nations without serious constraints. Products move from the producing origins to consuming destinations without the feel of borders or national
barriers. Again, the production of resources and wealth increase and multiply. But the impact of the tremendous growth of wealth does not find its way to satisfy the needs of the people. Consider this report on globalization:

“The Scorecard on Globalization 1980-2000: Twenty Years of Diminished Progress”

By Mark Weisbrot, Dean Baker, Egor Kraev and Judy Chen

For economic growth and almost all of the other indicators, the last 20 years have shown a very clear decline in progress as compared with the previous two decades. Among the findings:

Growth:

The fall in economic growth rates was most pronounced and across the board for all groups or countries. The poorest group went from a per capita GDP growth rate of 1.9 percent annually in 1960-80, to a decline of 0.5 percent per year (1980-2000). For the middle group (which includes mostly poor countries), there was a sharp decline from an annual per capita growth rate of 3.6 percent to just less than 1 percent. Over a 20 year period, this represents the difference between doubling income per person,versus increasing it by just 21 percent. The other groups also showed substantial declines in growth rates.

Life Expectancy:

Progress in life expectancy was also reduced for 4 out of the 5 groups of countries, with the exception of the highest group (life expectancy 69-76 years). The sharpest slowdown was in the second to worst group (life expectancy between 44-53 ears)..

Infant and Child Mortality:

Progress in reducing infant mortality was also considerably slower during the period of globalization (1980-1998) than over the previous two decades. The biggest declines in progress were for the middle to worst performing groups. Progress in reducing child mortality (under 5) was also slower for the middle to worst performing groups of countries.

Education and literacy:

Progress in education also slowed during the period of globalization. The rate of growth of primary, secondary, and tertiary (post-secondary) school enrollment was slower for most groups of countries.

Globalization and Inequality Among Nations

According to this “old fashioned – three worlds partition” partition, 76 percent of world population lives in poor countries, 8 lives in middle income countries (defined as countries with per capita income levels between Brazil and Italy), and 16 percent lives in rich countries. Now, if we keep the same income thresholds as implied in the previous division, and look at “true” distribution of people according to their income (regardless of where they live), we find a very similar result: 78 percent of the world population is poor, 11 percent belongs to the middle class, and 11 percent are rich.

Economic health or illness?

The most important index of economic well being under capitalism is the index that monitors the growth of the nation’s health as a whole. DOW Jones, NASDAQ, NIKO, NYSE and other indexes monitor the status of the nation’s most powerful companies. A steady increase of these indexes does not record, reflect or impact the status of the poor in the nation. In fact, the overwhelming data shows that poverty and hunger persist despite the steady increase of economic indexes over the years. The daily report of the economic indexes prove one more time that capitalism is inherently concerned about the growth of products, rather than the satisfaction of the needs of people.

Virtual Wealth

The obsession of product and wealth growth under capitalism has resulted in the removal of the boundaries between the products and services and money. The monetary system existed in the first place to represent the values of products and services in a mobile transferable format. For centuries, gold and silver provided a solid base for measuring the exchange value of products and services. Under the pressure of growing economic product growth, the US capitalist economists canceled Briton Woods treaty which establishes a fixed exchange rate for gold, thus making gold one more commodity. The devastating result of this action is the creation of a new environment where wealth has become virtual wealth. By virtual wealth, I mean the growth of money independent of the growth of products and services. The two major factors that lead to the unlimited growth of money are the interest (usury) and stock investments. Interest allows money to grow without the involvement of product and services. The values of stocks increase or decrease quite often based on circumstances, politics, stability, and other factors not directed to the products and services provided by the stock holding company. The phenomenon of DOT.COM in the 1990’s is a clear example.

Islamic Economic System

Before nudging in the discussion of the economic systems and their impacts on us as
people, I would like to lay down a foundation regarding Islam.

Islamic Sources

Islam is a religion in the sense that it is based on a belief in God (the creator) and in the accountability to God on the Day of Judgment. Islam is also an ideology in the sense that it comprises an ideological foundation and a system of laws for the individual and the society. The Islamic systems cover the political, economic, and social systems. Islam is founded upon the fundamental principal that man, life, and universe are all the creations of the eternal, one and only one God whose main name in Islam is Allah. Allah possesses many attributes, all of which are considered to be eternal and unbounded.

The belief in the existence of God, the Eternal Creator, is a rational process in Islam and an obligation upon the reasoning facility of the human. The belief in God under Islam requires also the belief in all His attributes and functions. Belief in God, as such, requires the belief that there needs to be a channel through which God communicates to the people the means and ways to worship. This channel is what is known as Prophethood and/or the Messenger. Worshipping Allah, under Islam, is the process of following the guidance revealed by God through His Messengers and/or Prophets. Islam considers the belief in the Prophethood an essential principal of Islam. The Prophets include Adam, Ibraheem, Isaac, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Them All) and many others. Islam, as a religion and ideology, is based entirely on what is revealed to Mohammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The revelation to Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) has two forms. One form is the Quran, which is the actual word of Allah the creator. The wording and the meanings of the verses are written into the Quran exactly as revealed to Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The Quran was compiled and completely written during the life of the Messenger Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The other format of the revelation is what is known in Arabic as the “Sunnah” of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The Sunnah comprises statements, actions, and endorsement of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The Sunnah is also a revelation from God to Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam), except that the wording of the Sunnah is left to Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam). The Sunnah was compiled and authenticated after the death of the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi Wasallam) based on written statements and verbal narrations.

For a view to be considered an Islamic one, it has to be validated through the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In this lecture, I will trace the Islamic economic system through the verses of the Qur’an and the statements of the Sunnah.

The View of Islam towards the Economy

Allah created all resources in the world

In the Qur’an, Allah states that all the resources in the world are created by Him, and made usable to the humans:

“It is He who created for you all that exists on earth.” [Al-Baqarah: 29]

“Allah is He Who put at your disposal the sea so that the ships may sail by His command, and so as you may seek His bounty.” [Al-Jathiyah: 12]

“He put at your disposal that which is in the heavens and that which is in the earth, all from Him.” [Al-Jathiyah: 13]

“And We sent down iron, in which is great might, as well as many benefits for mankind.” [Al-Hadid: 25]

“Let man consider his food. How We pour water in showers. Then split the earth in fragments. And cause the grains to grow therein. And grapes and fresh vegetation. And olives and dates, and enclosed gardens, dense with lofty trees. And fruits and grazes. Provision for you and your cattle.” [Surah Abasa: 24-32]

These examples indicate that technical means of production is left to the people. It is apparent that Islam focuses on the economic system (distribution of wealth) and not economic science (technical production).

Economic Policy in Islam

The economic policy is the objective of the laws, which deal with the management of human basic needs (food, shelter, education, health, security). The Islamic economic policy could be understood from the statement of Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam):

“Whom who wakes up secure at home with healthy body and food for his day as if he acquired the whole life”.

The Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) also states:

“Allah breaks covenant with any group of people living in a close vicinity, whereby one of them goes to bed while hungry”.

The economic policy in Islam aims at securing the complete satisfaction of all basic needs for every individual, and to enable each individual to purse the satisfaction of their luxuries. Islam looks at every individual as a human being whose basic needs to be satisfied completely, then it looks to him in his capacity as a particular individual, to enable him to satisfy his luxuries as much as possible.

On the other hand, Islam views the individual as part of a whole society that lives according to certain rules and regulations that have to be taken into consideration.Therefore, the purpose of the economic policy in Islam does not address how to raise the standard of living in the country without securing the rights for every individual. Nor is it just to provide the means of satisfaction in the society without setting wealth distribution processes.

The Islamic economic objective is achieved through multiple laws and regulations:

First, defining property ownership as being of three kinds:

1. Individual ownership
2. Public ownership
3. State ownership

The individual can own anything except that of what is public property or prohibited materials such as alcohol or pigs. The public owns all minerals of the earth that are not limited by nature such as gold and silver mines, oil fields, natural gas fields, etc. or all things that are publicly shared such as seas, rivers, roads etc. The state owns certain revenues including land taxation called (Kharaj). Such laws allow for fair distribution of wealth and allow the state to provide public services, security, healthcare, education and others.

Second, Islam prohibits any kind of Usury and interest based loans, on the other hand it encourages partnership in different ways (but not Joint Stock Companies) and interest free loans. Also, Islam prohibits monopoly allowing for true competition and opportunity.

Third, Islam obliges each capable person to work, so as to achieve the basic needs for himself and his dependants.

Fourth, through the unique Islamic social structure based around protecting the family,Islam obliges adult males to support their parents once the father is not able to work or passed away. If there are no one in the family who can support then the State Treasury (Bait ul-Mal) has to step in. As such, Islam requires that the individual secure for himself and his dependants the satisfaction of the basic needs i.e. adequate food, clothing, education, medication and housing. Islam then encourages the individual to secure the luxuries of life as much as he can.

Fifth, Islam prevents the government from the imposition of taxes, except in cases of public disasters such as famine, and where the state funds are unable to cover expenses. Tax then is imposed for a limited time and taken only from the wealthy.
Through the combination of spiritual, social and economic drives, the Islamic economic system achieves the right of livelihood for everyone individually, and facilitates the securing of the luxuries.

To achieve the societal values within which the individual lives, Islam sets certain rules and regulation within which the individual is to behave while striving to secure his/her needs. For example, Islam prohibits the production and consumption of wine by Muslims, and it does not consider it an economic material. Islam prohibits the taking of riba (usury, interest, etc.) and its usage in transactions for everyone who holds Islamic citizenship. It does not consider riba as an economic commodity, whether for Muslims or non-Muslims. Islam considers what the society ought to be when utilizing any property.

Islam did not detach the individual from being human, nor the human being from being a particular individual. Furthermore, Islam does not consider what the society ought to be separate from the issue of securing the satisfaction of the basic needs for every individual, and enabling him/her to satisfy the luxuries. Rather, Islam makes the satisfaction of the needs and what the society ought to be, as two inseparable issues.For the sake of satisfying all the basic needs completely, and to enable satisfaction of the luxuries, the economic commodity should be available to people, and it will not be available to them unless they strive to earn it. Provided that there is a system that protects the basic integrity of the human being. Therefore, Islam urges people to earn,seek the provision and strive without the fear of not finding food to eat or secured home to return back to at the end of the day. Islam made striving to earn the provision compulsory upon Muslims thus creating a productive society.

Allah said:

“So walk in the paths of the earth and eat of His sustenance which He provides.”  [Al-Mulk: 15]

Many Ahadith came to encourage the earning of property. In one Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad _ shook the hand of Sa’ad ibn Muadh (ra) and found his hands to be rough. Sa?ad said: “I dig with the shovel to maintain my family.” The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam kissed Sa’ad’s hands and said: “(They are) two hands which Allah loves.”

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Nobody would ever eat food that is better than to eat of his own hands work.”

It was narrated that ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (Radhiyallahu anhu) passed by some people who were consistently in the Mosque reading the Qur’an (meaning not working). He asked who they were. He was told: “They are those who depend upon Allah (Al-Mutawwakiloon).” ‘Umar replied: “No, they are the eaters who eat the people’s properties. Do you want me to describe those who really depend upon Allah (Al-Mutawwakiloon)? He is the person who throws the seeds in the earth and then depends on his Lord The Almighty,
The Exalted (Azza wa jall).”

Thus we find that the verses and the Ahadith encourage striving to seek provision, and working to earn property, just as they encourage the enjoyment of the property and eating of the good things.

Allah said:

“Say: who has forbidden the beautiful gifts of Allah, which He has provided for His servants, and the things, clean and pure, (that He has provided)?” [Al-A’raf: 32]

“O you who believe! Spend of the good things which you have earned, and of that which We bring forth from the earth for you.” [Al-Baqarah: 267]

“O you who believe! Do not prohibit the good things which Allah made halal for you.” [Al-Ma’idah: 87]

These verses, and the like, denote clearly that the divine rules (Ahkam Shari’ah) related to the economy, aim at acquiring property and enjoying good things. So, Islam obliged individuals to earn, and ordered them to enjoy wealth that they earned, so as to achieve economic growth in the country, to satisfy the basic needs of every person, and to enable the satisfaction of his luxuries.

However, the economic progress through motivating every capable individual to work, assigning properties to the State and the investing of public property, all are means to satisfy the needs in the best possible manner. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“Whosoever sought the life (matters) legitimately (halal) and decently he will meet Allah with his face as a full moon; and whosoever sought it arrogantly and excessively will meet Allah while He is angry at him.”

The Prophet also said: “Do you have, son of Adam, of your property except that which you ate and consumed, that which you wore and exhausted, and that which you donated and preserved (for yourself in the hearafter)?”

Allah the Supreme said:

“Don’t commit Israaf (spending or going beyond the limits imposed by Islam); surely He (Allah) does not like those who condone Israaf.” [Al-A’raf: 31]

Islam made the aim of owning properties a mean towards satisfying the needs and not for the purpose of boasting. It required managing the economy according to Allah’s orders and made it obligatory. It ordered the Muslims to seek the Hereafter and the pleasure of the creator through what they earn and spend by their own well, without ignoring the goods of this worldly life.

Allah said:

“But seek the abode of the Hereafter in that which Allah has given you, and do not neglect your portion of worldly life, and be kind as Allah has been kind to you, and seek not corruption in the earth.” [Al-Qasas: 77]

Islam secured the observance of the rules in two ways complementing each other. First,Islam motivated the Muslims to adhere to this economic policy through the fear of Allah (Taqwa). Second, Islam legislated laws which the State implements upon the people.

Allah said:

“O you who believe! observe your duty to Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from riba, if you are (in truth) believers.” [Al-Baqarah: 278]

Analysis of the divine rules related to the economy, shows that Islam addresses the
issue of enabling people to utilize wealth. Islam addresses the initial acquisition of wealth, its disposal and its distribution amongst the public. The rules that deal with the economy are thus based on three principles:

1. Initial ownership,
2. Disposal of the ownership, and
3. Distribution of wealth amongst the people.

With regard to the issue of ownership, it belongs to Allah, since He is the Owner of all the Dominion (Malik al-Mulk). Allah stated in the texts that property (Maal) belongs to Him.

Allah said: “And give them from the property of Allah, which He gave to you.” [An-Nur: 33]

Property, therefore, belongs to Allah alone. However, He has put mankind in charge of property, provided them with it, and has given them the right of owning it.
Allah, the Exalted said:

“And spend from what He put you in charge of.”  [Al-Hadid: 7]

“O you who believe! observe your duty to Allah and give up what remains (due)”

“And He has provided you with properties and offspring.”  [Nuh: 12]

Islam also defined three types of ownership (as mentioned earlier):

1. Individual ownership
2. State ownership
3. Public ownership

Through the management of these types of ownership, the economy of both the society and the individuals are completely satisfied.

Zakat and Poverty

Islam has waged a war on poverty by all means. It is the poverty of the individual people that Islam is concerned with, in addition to the poverty of the nation as a whole. Islam has instituted the charity, called in Islam the “Zakat” in a manner that eliminates the poverty altogether. “Zakat” in Islam is a mean of worship. It is one of the pillars of Islam as much as the prayer is. The Islamic system aims at eliminating poverty from the society, rather than managing the poor. One of the companions of the Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and also one of the Guided Successors of Him, Ali Bin Abi Talib (radhiyallahu anhu) stated:

“If poverty were a man, I would certainly kill him”.

Practically, after few years of implementing Islam in the Islamic society, the notion of poverty was gone altogether. It is narrated in  history that during the era of the Khalifah ‘Umar Bin Abd al-Aziz, there was no single poor person within the Islamic  State who would accept the charity of the “Zakat”.

In a statement by Prophet Mohammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he says:

“Allah breaks covenant with any group of people living in a close vicinity, whereby one of them goes to bed while hungry”.

The Islamic economic system defines the main problem to be solved by the system as the poverty of the individuals. The economic index, thus in the Islamic State, would be the percentage of people who live below poverty line. The economic strength and growth will be measured by the actual well-being of the individuals rather than by the well-being of NASDAQ or DOW JONES. What good would it do to the stomach of a poor person, if the NASDAQ gains or loses points? The Islamic Economic Index is based on the food that is available to each and every human soul in the society.

The Islamic economic system reserves the vital resources of the state for the well-being of the people. One or more companies under Islam for example, will not own the oil fields.The fact that a certain company was able to drill and exploit oil fields in Texas does not give it the right for the oil. The oil exists in fields that go beneath the houses and lands of millions of people. In Islam, the oil belongs to all the people in the state. This is not to be mistaking with socialism that dictates that all means of productions belong to the people. Thus, the Islamic system ensures that the vital resources that belong to the people be actually returned to the people. As such, poverty will never exist in any society that has vital resources.

Usury – Interest – Riba

Islam categorically prohibited the use of money to grow money, i.e., usury. Loans in Islam are given to others and considered a mean of worship. Allah declares that whoever gives a loan (no interest) to another person is indeed giving a loan to Allah. In return, Allah multiplies the reward for the loan giver.

Allah stated:

“Whoever gives a good loan to Allah; and Allah will multiply it to him many folds”

Islamic Economy: Reality

The harsh reality is that Islam as described in the Qur’an and Sunnah has been removed from the real life of the people (Muslims and non-Muslims alike) for almost a century. The Islamic State has been the responsible entity for implementing the Islamic systems during and after the death of the Messenger Mohammad (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Islamic Nation continued to function (with ups and downs) until 1924, when Mustafa Kemal of Turkey with the help of western European capitalists managed to abolish the Ottoman Islamic state (Khilafah). Since then, the Muslims and non-Muslims in the entire world have been living under various secular systems, implementing capitalism in the economic life.

Muslims continued to believe in Islam and practice those parts of Islam that pertain to the individual. However, for Islam to produce the results and objectives set forth in the Qur’an and the Sunnah, the full implementation of Islam is necessary. Without full implementation of Islam, the results could be counter productive. As a result of the absence of Islam, the Muslims resorted to national bonds, ethnic traditions and values. Quite often and after decades of intentional misguiding, the Muslims mix their national values, national aspirations, and methods with those of Islam. The truth of the matter though is that Islam was revealed as a set of laws, regulations and systems to guide and manage the behavior of the society as well as the individuals.

The history of the life of Mohammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) shows that the objectives of Islam, the resolutions of Islam, and the values of Islam started to materialize only after the establishment of the Islamic State in Medinah, 13 years after the beginning of Islam. In fact, most of the laws, regulations, and systems were not revealed to Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) except after his migration to Medinah where the state was established. The laws of the Zakat, riba (usury), ownership, and wealth distribution were revealed after the state was created.

Conclusions

Islam as a religion and ideology needs to be revisited by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It is a religion that should be looked at as a continuation of previous religions and inheritor of them as well. As an ideology, Islam should be viewed as one that provides economic, political, and social systems that do not belong to the ideologies of materialism (both capitalism and socialism). After the fall and collapse of socialism, the people of the world resorted to capitalism as their only alternative. The collapse of capitalism is eminent as a natural consequence to its inability to address the human needs in a satisfactory manner. It is the responsibility and the duty of the people of the world to examine Islam with serious and sincere scrutiny, in order to consider it as the only viable alternative to capitalism.

Secularism: A Statolatric Religion to end all Religions

By Umar Rumi

Since the very beginning of the inter-related sister (and sinister) ideologies at the backbone of secularism (liberalism, nationalism, etc) – in XIX-century western Europe, it clearly emerged how – in their polemics with the centuries-long oppression by the catholic church – they aimed not simply at limiting its “interference” [1] in the political realm, but rather at substituting it with a civil religion of State worship, where the all-controlling Westphalian nation-State machine is seen as the ultimate authority and source of morality and guidance, object of blind obedience and utter devotion, not excluding a complete paraphernalia set of praising hymns, compuncted lacrimating odes, official State-related celebrations and festivities, civic mass rituals officiated by the State authorities-priests, worship of flag, graves, monuments mausoleums and secular temples (sic! Such as the “temple of reason” in France), and even “martyrs” who gave their lives for the “higher glory” of their State (as well as – not coincidentally pagan/civic-“divinities”, “goddesses”-portrayed – of Ideals (read, idols and tawaghit) of “Freedom”, “Liberty”, etc.).

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Thus, in a short time, what was supposed to free oppressed people from the abuses, exaggerations and yoke of the catholic church, instead enslaved them to the pathetic freemasonic idols of the civic state religion – and this is just but a single example of the common dajjalic strategy of claiming something only to cover up its exact opposite – and I plan to in sha’ Allah complete a series of posts on this #DajjalicInversion.

Even when transplanted in Muslim countries [2], we see how strongly and clearly this secularist/nationalist disease took all the worst expression from its European colonial masters, and, if possible, (as it’s always the case in such cases of emulation, where the subject has to show his iron-like obedience) with even more pathos and ridiculous kitschy applications (just as an example, Google the scenes of collective hysteria and authentic worship taking place at Atatürk’s (Atakufr) shrine/
mausoleum (in pic).

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To the point that (if calling to “martyrdom” for the sake of some English-designed flag and boundaries wasn’t enough of nonsense), we often hear the secularists objecting to some minor re-introduction of Islamic practices and laws in Muslim countries (other than by ridiculously shouting “Islamization!!!” – as if Islam had arrived only now in centuries-old Muslim lands!), by invoking its incompatibility with their kuffar colonial-masters-copied “constitutions”, or with the “vision and ideals” of Atakufr/Jinnah or whoever else “father of the country” – who are thus by all means treated as – respectively – “holy Books” and “chosen anbiya'” of their civic religions, against whose “revelations” any law ought to be weighted.

So much, for “open-mindedness” and “rationality”: they replaced the authentic Books of Allah and the Prophets ﻋﻠﻴﻬﻢ ﺍﻟﺴﻼﻡ with some loser drunkards, even writing their “ahadith” at every angles of the roads, and erecting them statues for their civic worship.

One would then expect religion to at least be left in peace in its reduced, limited, confined new “private” spaces and mosques, but far from it, the truth is that the secular states are those who actually exploit religion more than any “theocracy” [3] ever would: from Ataküfr-funded “ministry for religious affairs” under full State control, to the nationalized awqaf put under state control (and thus losing their independence – their and that of `Ulama’) all over the Islamic world, from UAE-financed conferences, think-tanks and fatawa to try and get a “religious legitimacy” for their satanic humanist/secularist project, to Sisi co-opting al-Azhar (and coptic priests) having them stand by his side on national TV and demanding them the religious reforms he wants; from Bourghiba (again on national TV) trying to get a fatwa on the permissibility to eat and drink during Ramadan in order to achieve his socialist productivity utopia; from the hailed as “moderate and secular protector of minorities” Bashar al-Asad resting on the back of sectarian fundamentalist militias of foreign volunteers and even threatening to send supposed “mujahidin” to blow-up is European cities when he felt his power was at stake, to other leaders (name withheld) urging Muslims to take filthy offenses on our Prophet ﺻﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ without saying a word, but then organizing civil disobedience and violent revolts across European capitals once some representatives of his party didn’t get permission to hold a speech in some foreign countries (and then, suddenly goodbye “you have to follow the law of the land” which is instead invoked in every other situation); from khutbahs written by the intelligence departments of “secular” States according to the agenda of the government in charge, to the “collective fatawa” urged by the same apparatuses to back their actions…

The common element in all of these cases is that the real defining of the limits and boundaries of what is deemed right or wrong, acceptable or unacceptable, the real loyalty, authority and worship, is taken away from God, and placed in the State and its interests, with a sanitized, pacified, reduced version of the Din being sacrificed and exploited for the “higher needs and interests” of the “real god”: the State.

It is thus clear how secularism, far from being an ideology promoting the mere separation of political and religious authority, is the civil religion of Statolatry and consists in the subduing/sanitization of any religion, only tolerated (and manipulated) as long as it accepts to fulfill the “higher objectives” of the State interests and needs, but otherwise replaced with the civic religion of the modern western idols and dogmas and of the state interests.

[1] “interference” is actually specific concept only validly applying to a (that too specific) understanding and definition of “religion”, which is not the Islamic concept and definition of Din, which can’t thus be said to “interfere” in that which is simply one of its branches, rather than a completely separated realm – as instead is for modern Christianity on the basis of its surrender to secularism (not without centuries of bloody resistance) [and with some basis involuntarily having been posed centuries before by its demonification of the “civitas terrena” contrasted to the “civitas dei” by Augustine of Hippo].

[2] I find this term to be inexact in its application to Muslim polities, because, unlike Christian theocracy, the ruler (Khalifah/Sultan) doesn’t claim to rule “on behalf of God”, nor is part of a (for us non-existent) priest class; rather, his role is primarily to overlook at the implementation of the Divine Law (to which he himself is subject, and which he has no authority to twist or change) and protect the rights of Muslims and the protected religious minorities living in the Muslim polity – hence, someone has rather suggested the term “nomocracy”.

[3] Countries whose very nation-building involved the artificial resurrection of their jahili pre-Islamic past in order to forge a new nation with a made-up identity rooted in a distant past as an alternative to Islam – from here, the whole b**s**t about Faraonic Egypt, Sasanid Persia, Turanist heritage, etc.

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Similar Readings:

1. Islamic Refutation of Liberalism

2. ISLAM AND NATIONALISM

3. Islamic Refutation of Communism

4. DEMON-CRAZY (DEMOCRACY) IS NOT AN ISLAMIC SYSTEM

Islamic Refutation of Communism (Marxism)

Compiled By Suranimala

(Source: Dr. Abdallah Omar Naseef; Dr. Mustafa Mahmoud)

Islam does not instinctively respond to Communism (Marxism) nor accept its ideology. Communism does not have a place in the lives of Muslims. Islam is, basically, in such a headlong collision with Communism that the two ideologies never meet. The most significant reason for Muslims’ rejection of Communism is that all Muslims believe in Almighty God, the Angels, the divinely revealed Books, God’s apostles and the Day of Judgment. Such a strong belief is neither marginal nor accidental. It is true and deep-rooted, unique, genuine and distinctive, a belief which constitutes the dynamic and propelling force of a Muslim’s life and projects itself in all matters of life and living, significant and insignificant alike.

The second reason for our rejection of Communism lies in the fact that Islam is a comprehensive religion in the sense that it is not only concerned with life after death, the spiritual or the metaphysics. Islam embraces life in the Here and the Hereafter, the body and the soul, the natural and the supernatural.

The third reason why Muslims reject Communism is that Islam provides far better solutions for all problems and ambiguities of life and living, be they political, social, economic, ideological etc than all other solutions artificially worked out by Communism or any other doctrine.

Communism is in the sense a product of European intellectual reaction to the rigidly narrow interpretation of life and nature that the Christian Church in the Middle Ages had imposed on people. In the midst of acute and irreconcilable conflicts in medieval Europe, things were not harmonized and balanced, and naturally they did not lead to stable results. Europe was in a state of reaction to an existing aberration, and consequently was carried to the opposite extreme. The Church imposed so many restrictions on the mind and all intellectual freedom. The result was an insatiable desire to exercise man’s intellectual power paying no heed to the benefit of mankind. The Church waged a severe war against science with the inevitable result that there grew among the people an insatiable hunger for acquisition of knowledge and the accumulation of scientific information so much so that science far exceeded its limited scope and significance and was turned into a man-made god worshiped by many scientists and knowledge seekers. The Church condemned all worldly pleasures and instigated people to live only for the life to come. In response to the Church’s overdose of spirituality there was a great thirst for the physical pleasures of life on earth and an obvious neglect and indifference to the Hereafter. The Church belittled and denied the physical aspect of life for the sake of spiritual purification. The inevitable result was an ardent adoration of the matter and a derogatory deprecation of the spirit. Thus Europe began to take long but gradual strides towards overall materialism which was later maximized in communist dialectic materialism.

The Buddhist society is no different from the extremist experience undergone by the European. Present day Buddhism teaches that to attain eternal redemption (Nirwana) it is imperative to give up ALL desires. One may well question the logic in this as we are taught by Buddhism to give up ALL desires to fulfill the desire to attain Nibbana. As a result desire is not annihilated and the desire to attain Nibbana yet remains.

All Buddhists would agree that Buddha’s development from infancy through childhood and adolescence to adulthood to the age of 29 to be precise was abnormal. In fact, he is the only person, perhaps in the whole history of mankind, who was deliberately kept away from the fact of suffering until he was 29 years of age. He was kept away from the view of old age, sickness, death and asceticism. And, to make matters worse, this abnormality was supplemented with another abnormality. He was fed up to his throat, so to say, with joys of this world-dancing and singing girls, good food and drink, luxurious clothes, joyful sports, and as pleasant and beautiful an abode and environment as the royal purse could afford. He was, in fact, confined in a cage of happiness! According to the Anguttara Nikaya, a canonical text from the sutta pitaka, Buddha himself is reported to have said later about his upbringing.

“Bhikkus (monks), I was delicately nurtured, exceedingly delicately nurtured, delicately nurtured beyond measure. In my father’s residence lotus ponds were made; one of blue lotuses, one of red and another of white lotuses, just for my sake…. Of kasi cloth was my turban made; of Kasi my jacket, my tunic and my cloak… I had three palaces; one for winter, one for summer and one for the rainy season. Bhikkus, in the rainy season palace, during the four months of the rains, entertained only by female musicians, I did not come down from the palace”.

At the age of 29 he came in contact with the real world-with the fact of suffering which he never knew before, and, what is just as important, with the temporary nature of the joys and happiness which he, up till then, believed to be real and permanent. It was only natural that this should give rise to an abnormal impact of the reality of suffering and the unreality of happiness on the mind of the disillusioned young man. I believe this to be the fundamental psychological explanation for the over emphasis on suffering on which Buddha founded his religion! Buddhism teaches that ‘all is suffering’ and to be redeemed one has to give up all desires as enumerated above. We would like you to visualize the scenario of whole of or a major portion of mankind choosing to attain salvation (Nibbana) through this method. If the whole of mankind choose this method, the life will come to a stand still and the human race will be wiped off from the face of the earth completely within about 100 years, as no human reproduction will take place from the time of choosing this path, due to annihilation of desire. From these extremist teachings we are observing a very sensuous, atheistic society emerging, having very scant respect for moral values and rejecting all such unnatural and abnormal precepts. Concepts similar to Marxism could easily breed under these circumstances.

In theory and practice, Communism is based on a cluster of hypotheses which are not truly scientifically proven though Communism assumes that it is the first doctrine based on scientific data. The first hypothesis in the Communist theory is that matter is everlasting and imperishable. Communism assumes that matter preceded thought and that thought is but a product of matter. Matter, Communism alleges, is the maker which made everything including man, and that the laws of matter apply to human life. Secondly, there is a certain determinism which Communists believe governs human life: materialistic, economic and historical determinism which is epitomized in dialectic and materialistic interpretation of history. Thirdly, there is the Communist assumption that individual ownership is inconsistent with basic distinctive human nature and that it is, basically and solely, the cause of all conflicts in human life. In order that human life be stabilized and human conflicts be wiped out from the earth, individual ownership should be abolished. Fourthly, Communism predicts that a day will come when people will do without the state and live like angels on the earth only when they fully apply the principle of “From everyone according to his ability, to everyone according to his need”.

Let us now discuss briefly each and every hypothesis upon which Communism (Marxism) is based in order to find out how it can fit in genuine scientific thinking.

Communists assume that matter had always been in existence and that it is imperishable. Therefore, they attribute everything to matter on the assumption that the laws of matter are unalterably permanent, stable and inevitable.

From the purely scientific point of view, geologists and physicists are unanimously in agreement that the physical universe has a specific and a definite date of birth. They may disagree on the accurate and precise date on which the universe, in its physical sense, was created. But they unanimously agree that the universe did really exist at a certain time and did not exist before. Geologists and physicists, out of sheer courtesy to the data of science itself, cannot precisely predict anything about the future-and cannot say definitely the matter is imperishable. If this hypothesis disintegrates and collapses, all dependent hypotheses, theories and applications will inevitably collapse.

Dialectical materialism and materialistic interpretation of history are both based on the concept of determinism which combines materialistic, economic and historical determinism. In the light of and in consistency with this concept, human history falls into five inevitable stages: 1. Early tribal partnership, 2. Slavery, 3. Feudalism, 4. Capitalism and, 5. Communism. Each one of these five stages is inspired by specific material causes. It has its unique economic and social aspects, its own institutions which convey and reflect its basic concepts and ideologies. For Communists, no idea or convictions can be built on non-materialistic, non-economic basis. Ideas and convictions are inextricably linked to the materialistic and economic environment of which they are but faithful reflections. The prevailing ideas and beliefs are always those of the economically dominating social class. These are always sectarian in nature confined to the specific class which has inspired them. The ideas and beliefs will never change unless some material or economic changes take place. To round off these three-dimensioned concept of determinism and Communist philosophy asserts that the world will for ever live in class conflicts until Communism comes along and rids it of inter-class conflicts by the extermination of all classes with the exception of one class only, the proletariat.

We would take up much time and space if we discussed in greater detail these entire concepts one after the other. Let us deal with one case which will, I am sure, blow up at once this collective mass of Communist ideas. The emergence of Islam and its dissemination across vast territorial stretches in the course of centuries will undoubtedly refute all allegations provided by the Communist philosophy with regard to man and matter. We shall then pose the following questions and queries to be answered by the Communist ideology.

Communism asserts that historical changes are determined solely by material and economical factors. Dialectical materialism and the materialistic interpretation of history spring mainly from the materialistic concept of man. But the emergence of Islam was not conditioned by certain traceable economic or material changes in the Arabian Peninsula. Islam carried with it a group of beliefs, ideas, principles and economic, social, political and moral disciplines completely inconsistent with those prevailing in pre-Islamic Arabia and in the whole world at that time. Islam is still distinguished from most of the currently existing disciplines in the world.

What was the material or economic changes that led mankind to the belief in the existence of One God, the Maker and Sustainer of all creation? Islam emerged and flourished in Arabia which was distressingly torn between heathenism, atheism, agnosticism. Even Christianity and Judaism which are still incapable of working out a decisive, unambiguous and clearly intelligible concept of monotheism similar to what Islam presents.

What were the material and economic changes which led to the emergence of a religion that divested the rulers from their long sustained holiness and re-established them as servants of the One and Indivisible God whom people should all worship irrespective of class, colour or race? The religion of Islam ordained that the assumed holiness with which rulers had been invested should no longer exist on both the secular and religious planes. Rulers should not be authorized to fundamentally legislate for their subjects. In fact all mankind are, from the Islamic point of view, unauthorized to devise their legislations. Allah alone, the Lord of the Worlds, is the divine legislator and Law-giver for all mankind and all people are equal before His Law. Allah organizes their rights and duties and enjoins on everyone to abide by them. Islamic law does not permit social distinctions. The entire mankind is a composite body of individuals. Each individual is independent, unique and self-responsible. But all individuals combine into one self-contained, self-sustained, harmonious, loving and compassionate community.

No material or economic change could lead to the emergence of a religion which called for the freeing of slaves either by manumission or ‘Mukatabat’. Islam allows a contract to be signed by the slave and his master according to which a certain sum of money is paid by the former to the latter within a limited period of time. When such a contract is signed the slave is allowed full freedom to do business with whomsoever he likes. If at the expiration of the assigned period the slave could pay the amount of money to his master as agreed upon in the contract signed by them, he should gain his freedom. This procedure is what is called ‘Makatabat’ in Islam. Islam abolished all sources of slavery that existed on earth with its divine teachings. Slavery by birth, slavery by race, slavery by colour, slavery by poverty……etc.

No material or economic changes could ostensibly or logically lead to the emergence of a religion which called for the immediate emancipation of women in Arabia where they were looked down upon and maltreated in pre-Islam times. Islam equalized the relations between man and woman in human rights and allowed woman the right to learn, own and sell her property. Islam gave woman the right to approve or disapprove of her marriage and claim divorce if she is not justly, decently and humanely treated by her husband. Islam gave woman other rights which non-Muslim women did not possess except only during the last two centuries after a series of feminist movements and rebellions in which women as well as morals were victimized.

More than one thousand years before the emergence of capitalism, no natural or economic changes could bring fourth a religion forbidding usury and monopoly which were the instruments of enforcing social injustice, human bondage and deprivation. No material or economic change could inspire a religion which bases all human relations: social, political and economic, on moral principles to which the poor and the rich, men and women are equally committed. Muslims, in their relations with their brother Muslims, are fully committed to these moral principles. Also in their relations with non-Muslims, Muslims abide by these moral principles in war and peace. Islam was not revealed for a particular class of people. Islamic concepts, beliefs and morals were not confined to one specific people or class. Islam was revealed to all mankind.

Therefore, we defy all Communist thoughts implied in the second hypothesis to interpret the emergence of Islam in terms of dialectical materialism. Communist determinism, material, economic and historical will inevitably fail to provide a sufficiently convincing and logical interpretation for the emergence of Islam with all its beliefs, concepts, values, principles and social, economic and moral disciplines. Islam thus emerges triumphant over all the determinism of dialectical materialism because it is a God-given religion.

They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allah’s Light (with which Muhammed (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has been sent-Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafirun (disbelievers) hate it.

It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammed sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) with guidance and the religion of truth, to make it superior over all religions even though the Musrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it). (Quran 9: 32, 33)

“Invite (all) to the Way of your Rabb (Only God, Cherisher and Sustainer) with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious, for your Rabb knows best, who have strayed from His Path, and who receive guidance” (Qur’an 16:125)

“You are the best of people chosen for mankind because you command righteousness, forbid evil and believe in Allah” Qur’an 3: 110.

Communists (Marxists) assume that individual ownership is not a natural instinct but an accidental novelty in human life attributed solely to material and economic complexities in contemporary life. Early humanity, Communists allege, lived happily in a state of collective ownership and hence suffered no conflicts. When individual ownership appeared inter-personal and inter-class conflicts prevailed in the form of slavery, feudalism and capitalism. The Communism is only a return to the healthy and early life where collective ownership replaces individual ownership. All conflicts based on individual ownership are eliminated in an attempt to achieve the promised (or lost) paradise on earth. Neither science nor experiment can prove the validity or durability of this hypothesis.

In this context I would like to discuss four main points:

· a). There is no evidence that these primitive tribes did not suffer from any conflict, personal or tribal, and that sexual freedom was prevalent among all males and females. It has been proved that conflicts arose sometimes among the young men of the same tribe for the possession of a certain woman who was more beautiful, attractive and sexually appealing to some of them. Conflicts occasionally arose for the leadership of the tribe.

· b). These tribes were in a constant state of war amongst themselves. Tribal wars and invasions were launched for the usurpation of land, arms, women or all. If we contend that individual ownership did not exist among the members of these tribes, inter-tribal wars arose for the possession of land, property, arms, women…..etc. Instead of the individual or the class in recent history, the tribe constituted the unit which owned and fought for sovereignty.

· c). The existence of collective ownership within the tribe is not sufficient proof that the spirit of individual ownership did not exist among the members of the tribe. The apparent non-existence of individual ownership may be ascribed to the absence of anything to owned or destined to be owned by the individual. But with the emergence of something that can be owned by the individual, individual ownership arose. Communists admit that individual ownership arose with the discovery of agriculture. Individual ownership had been latent in the tribal community. It appeared when circumstances became favourable for its emergence.

· d). Practical experiment proved that collective ownership failed to replace individual ownership as incentive to work. The continuous decrease in the production of wheat in the old Soviet Union is an example in point. Russia, prior to Bolshevik revolution, which used to export wheat, began to import from USA, despite the fact that the richest wheat fields in the world are found in the Ukraine in USSR. Wheat production has always been decreasing. This has led Russia to change its agricultural policy and allow a reasonable portion of individual ownership as an incentive to encourage more production of wheat.

With the abolition of individual ownership which Communists believe is the principal and only cause of all conflicts, the Communist block is continually exposed to ideological and political conflicts. Between Trotsky and Lenin, Stalin and Beria, Khrushchev and the members of the Central Committee and the Political Bureau, there were eternal conflicts. Even after the establishment of collective leadership there arose a conflict in which one of their leaders was ousted. Afterwards, emerged a serious conflict between Russia and China for the ideological leadership of the Communist world. Communism thrives on conflicts and is a root cause of all conflicts.

After Gorbachev, emerged a new economic order in Russia and we are witnessing a rapid growth and prosperity due to the open economic policy implemented successfully. China gradually stepped in to the open economic policy of private ownership and has proved to be a tremendous success after years of setbacks. Communism is part of history and does not appear to be a valid currency in any social setup.

Marx gave a public statement about religion when he said that, “Religion is the opium of peoples”, Marx may have referred to a particular reality which Europe has witnessed when feudal lords and capitalists used to provoke in the minds and hearts of the working masses a long-desired dream for eternal bliss in the Hereafter to make up for the humiliation and repression inflicted upon them in this world.

Marx made a public statement about religion in general and in all circumstances. We need not discuss Marxian concept of religion but we only mention this fact, that Communism, which considers religion as an intoxicant and opium to all people, is now using more serious intoxicants to divert the minds of the working class into acceptance of hardship, humiliation, suppression and dehumanization.

Now Communists promise unrealizable dreams. They create a dream land to divert the masses from expressing their dissatisfaction with the bitter living conditions they face. From the very outset, Communists used to attract the masses by stimulating and provoking class conflicts among them. They hate religion because it endeavours to eliminate hatred, envy and anger among all people. Communists used to promise the downtrodden working masses that once Communism became a reality, workers will own their factories and farmers will take possession of their land and capitalism and feudalism will be completely wiped out.

Collective ownership proved to be a big fallacy. No one owns anything in fact, nor does anyone feel this ownership. All are but humiliated slaves. The state is the only master. The state authorities particularly the party leaders, political bureau, central committee, have all the power in their hands. They live in villas, palaces and own luxurious and expensive cars, whereas the proletariats, the working class, in whose name the state authorities rule, have to toil and work. The working masses are mere cogs in the huge state machinery. They live in poor houses, wear uncomfortable clothes and eat indecent food. In such worsened living conditions, Communism had to use intoxicants to extinguish the flames of rebellion among the working masses, to make the masses tolerate and put up with the social and economic afflictions imposed upon them. Communists assume that the working masses suffer hardship because national production is relatively insufficient to meet the local requirements. If production increases the law of “From each according to his ability to each according to his need” will be fully applied. Communists assume that they live under the heavy pressure of the state and in the tight grip of espionage circles because they have to confront their enemies. Once they crush their enemies, Communists will form a unified universal government which will uphold and spread justice among all peoples and put an end to all forms of humiliation and oppression. Not only that, eventually the day will come when government will not have to exercise its functions. People will live as angels with no conflicts, disputes, prisons, police force, or suppression among them. What a ridiculous dream, what a utopian expectation. With such foolish illogical assumptions and fabrications, Communism appeals to young men and women inside and outside the Communist camp to believe in Marxist philosophy. When they are caught into the net of Communism they will not be able to escape. History tells us that the Hungarians and Czechoslovakians were crushed under Communist tanks when they tried to break off the Communist orbit and regain their freedom. Communist Russia gave Hungarians and Czechoslovakians an unforgettable lesson so that they would never claim their freedom.

Communism states unequivocally that one who owns is one who rules. Hence one rules for his own interests and those of the class to which he belongs. Therefore, he devises and originates all the concepts and beliefs which are compatible with his own interests and the interests of his class. This unmistakably applies to the laws and legislations conceived and introduced throughout the ages. In the age of feudalism feudal lords owned large stretches of land and exercised their own power on the land serfs. They ruled against the interests of the “people” who were but the masses of the land serfs. Capitalists did the same thing. They possessed everything and ruled for their own interests and not for the interests of the working class. Communists raise up a big fallacy when they assume that they are an exception to the rule. They say that Communism has been introduced to fight and defeat all forms of oppression, social, economical, or ideological. The proletariat rule and own everything. Its supremacy is mainly directed to safeguard its own interests against “none” for it will have dissolved and liquidated all other social classes. The proletariats do not rule in the true sense of the word. A group of individuals rule in the name of the proletariat. They crush, oppress and subjugate the proletariat in their capacity as individuals or as the “state” which own, rule and suppress all others. As long as the rulers devise and apply their own legislations, oppression on earth will remain and humanity will remain divided into masters and slaves into the powerful and the powerless into the rich and the poor.

In one case only this rule does not apply. Injustice will be uprooted from the face of the earth if people do not devise and implement their own basic legislations. When the Divine Law of God replaces the man-made law all owners and non owners, the rulers and the ruled will be subject to the God given Law and all forms of injustice will be ruled out from the earth. This is ISLAM.

Islam is not merely a set of beliefs rooted in the hearts of Muslims though faith constitutes a basic and an indivisible part of it. Islam is a Divine comprehensive system of life in all its aspects, political, economical, social, ideological and moral. Therefore it is the only religion which actively responds to the requirements of the human body and soul and of life at large. Faith in God is indispensable for man. Man is naturally and instinctively a worshipper. The difference between one man and another does not lie in that this man is a worshipper and that one is not. The difference lies in that one man worships God Almighty and the other worships something else, an idol, a star, a human being, or even nature. Man may worship his own self, the state, the leader, the political party, an ideology, materials of production, the dollar, or even science, or intellect or the base human instincts. All these are stray forms of worship which will lead man into all indecencies and divert him from his honourable decent human nature. The real worth of man is inspired by the god he worships. If he worships the true God, man will be duly honoured and respected. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “We have honoured the sons of Adam, provided them with transport on land and sea, given them for sustenance things good and pure and conferred on them special favours above a great part of Our Creation” )Chapter 17:Verse 70). If man worships another god, he will degenerate himself with his own man-made god and sink into the lowest of the low.

There can be no doubt that Marx founded his theory on the backward industrial situation of the nineteenth century. Workers were in the main manual; they toiled for bread, were greatly exploited and suffered endlessly. Marx could never have anticipated the changes brought about by the scientific and technological revolution of the twentieth century. Workers today enjoy the luxury of sitting at panels with push-button switches, factories are run by computers, and instead of an army of tired workmen, we see comfortable employees protected by many trade unions and social insurance laws (against disability, old age and illness) and having every chance of education and medical treatment. Marx could never have foreseen the flexibility of capitalism and its capacity for developing a new industrial situation in which workers have stakes in the capital, as has happened in many Japanese, Italian, French and British firms. Hence the dissociation of Marxist thought from the reality of our century. Indeed, in the prevailing conditions of today, Marxism may be regarded as reactionary.

All Marx’s predictions, based on his dialectical method have proved to be wrong.

Marx has predicted that the Communist Revolution would break out not in a backward society but in an advanced, capitalist, industrial one, such as the British or the German. He was wrong: Communism struck root in a backward, agricultural society, as happened in Russia and China.

He had predicted that the gap between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat in capitalist states would consistently grow and that the situation would deteriorate so much that a revolution would break out to destroy the entire capitalist system. In fact the reverse of this actually occurred in capitalist countries: thanks to a series of reforms and trade unionist activity the gap has narrowed and class differences have diminished, while it is in Communist states that a conflict has broken out and intensified.

Marx had predicted that capitalism would lead to more concentration of money in colossal monopolies, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. What actually happened was that capital has tended to split up through the establishment of joint stock companies and that through inheritance, land ownership also tended to split up naturally.

Marx has predicted that a devastating economic crisis would practically crush the capitalist system following an imbalance between supply and demand, (namely that as a result of extreme poverty the rate of demand and purchasing power of workers would be too low for ever-rising levels of production). However all economic crises in capitalist countries have so far been temporary. Furthermore, according to Marx’s theory of ‘surplus value’ workers’ wages in capitalist countries should merely fulfill their minimum living requirements, but, thanks to new legislation, trade unionist activity and capitalist self-modification, workers’ wages in many European countries rose to remarkable levels of affluence, thus entirely refuting Marx’s theory.

The most serious flaw in Marxism is, perhaps, that it insists on being a comprehensive system of thought which has an answer to every question and a solution to every problem. He who does not accept this comprehensiveness has no claim to Marxism. Indeed, Marxists believe their worst enemies to be the eclectic-those who accept (or reject it) partially. This rigidity is the weakest aspect of Marxism. In contrast, there is an obvious intellectual flexibility in capitalist states, as well as an ability to absorb the ideas of their opponents and benefit by them regardless of ideology. Many capitalist states have adopted nationalization in an attempt to defeat the evils of exploitation and monopoly.

For all its ideological fanaticism, Marxism has not been comprehensively applied anywhere. Whenever it came to actual application, ‘comprehensive’ Marxism has always been rejected, the reason being a basic weakness in Marxism which we may term ‘methodological arbitration’.

Such arbitrariness of method as is found in historical materialism, may be illustrated by its very dialectic, based as it is on the idea of a single factor in operation down human history, namely the economic factor, which Marx regards as the root cause of all historical phenomena. This mode of thought has come to be rejected as unscientific. The accepted view today is that we cannot interpret social phenomena in terms of a sole, independent and externally isolable factor; we cannot even regard one factor as principal and another as secondary or subordinate in as much as the relation between ’cause’ and ‘effect’ is complex and changing. Instead, we may mark out numerous factors which affect one another and observe the changes in this dynamic process, for what may seem principal today may prove to be secondary tomorrow and so on.

The economic factor cannot be regarded as primum mobile, there are national, psychological, racial and ideological factors which may play an even greater part in shaping history than the economic.

Because Marx did not found his theory on the evidence of the entire history of man but on that of a few, carefully selected historical stages, the laws which he deduced cannot be valid for a reading of all history; indeed, they cannot be regarded strictly as laws. His materialistic interpretation of history, namely that it had always been production methods and employer-worker relationships that built up the social superstructure (including art and thought and religion), constituted a naïve simplification of many interconnected and highly complex processes. Any modern theory is ineluctably based on multiple factors and the principle of reciprocal causality, so that a given factor may be seen as both cause and effect at once. Thought and invention are likely to introduce changes in methods of production and worker-employer relations but the latter two can hardly produce any system of thought; religion can change social relations while social relations cannot create a religion, as amply evidenced by the birth of ISLAM itself.

Islam was not the creation of a class-based community. It was neither a reactionary religion designed to protect the property of tyrants and oppressors nor a drug to induce the poor to accept their poverty. It called on people to enjoy life in moderation and to fight all forms of oppression and exploitation. Nor was it the result of a revolution in the methods of production and worker-employer relations in Quraish. It was a super structural phenomenon independent of environmental factors. From the start Islam established the principles of equal opportunities for all, a guaranteed and adequate level of income for each citizen and an economic balance between the individual and society. It also introduced a system of private ownership, public ownership, and a guided but free economy. All this was introduced in the Arabian Peninsula at a time when neither production conditions nor employer-worker relations called for any change. Consequently, Islam cannot be seen to have sprung out of a particular economic situation. Thus the historical logic of Marxism is defeated and the materialistic theory that a revolution in the production system and worker-employer relations is followed by a political revolution is utterly defeated.

One of the worst excesses of Marxism is its bestowal of a mythical aura of purity and virtue on the proletariat (the working class), as though they were the ‘chosen people’ or an alien race of Martians. Today, as a result of a discrepancy in income between skilled and unskilled labour, this class has itself split into two opposed ones. It is not surprising, therefore, that in view of such obvious gaps in the theory and practice of Marxism many writers and politicians who had once adopted it have now turned away from it. Disenchanted with it, many old socialists today criticize and even oppose it. To state in this context that we belong neither to capitalist ‘right’ nor to Marxist ‘left’ is not to imply that ours is an ideological mean between the two extremes. Ours is an independent contribution to political thought – all our own. We have rejected the dictatorship of the proletariat and substituted a method based on the alliance of the working forces of the population, covering all sectors and classes. We do not regard religion as a reactionary force but as a moving force, as a constructive energy and as a progressive thought – more progressive than all available theories.