Islamic Economics - Resource Distribution
21 Aug 2011 12:51 GMT
The unique thing about Islamic economics is that the main problem it considers is distribution. Islam makes a difference between luxury items and needs and there is a lesser lack of necessary assets in Islamic economics. Islamic economics believes that the resources that are available in the world are more than enough to meet the basic needs of every human being on the planet.

Not understanding this hides the fact that the real problems faced by millions, like starvation and poverty, are not the result of true scarcity of resources but of faulty man-made systems powered by greed. In fact, they will claim that the resources of the country of Nigeria alone are enough to relieve the needs of every person in the whole continent of Africa, which would happen if they were managed through a system that is not morally or ethically corrupt.

Resources are abundant and ironically are concentrated not in first world countries, but in those of the third world. Islamic economics claims that traditional capitalism is really a predatory system that seeks to deprive the most needy of the existing resources for the personal gain of a few. It does this with the help and support of many institutions that supposedly are there to help the needy.

Defenders of Islamic economics claim that putting into place the rules of Islam in the financial system would stop these problems once and for all. Islam does not limit the individual wealth of each individual, like socialism, so there is always the promise of reward for those willing to work. Islam looks to prevent putting a stop on the production of goods. It seeks to generate abundance by eliminating any systems that prevent products from being produced. Islamic ethics serve the role of preventing abuse and exploitation and, while not limiting the individual wealth of each individual, does limit the ways in that each person can make his money. Islamic economics are against the concept of a free market. Such a lack of restrictions has led to a system in which the largest companies exploit the rest of the world. Under Islamic law resources that are necessary for life and dignity are public property and a personal right of everyone regardless of religion. The Prophet Muhammad stated that every human being has the right to water, green pastures and the fuel to make fire.

Under Islamic law the revenue from natural resources, particularly oil, would not end up in casinos and luxury items but in public projects. The government would use this money derived from public resources to provide for the needs of each person of the public, which would greatly reduce – in fact, make virtually non-existent – the monopoly of multinational corporations.

Islam also has rules that prevent monopolies and the abuse that has been lived recently by the largest companies. It prevents the hoarding of wealth, which must be used, and also eliminates patents and copyrights to prevent monopolies from developing. It also limits the ownership of a business to those that contribute capital or work to that particular business, preventing modern financial takeovers and shady dealings between parent companies and companies designed to fail or go bankrupt; unlike capitalism which allows through the stock market for any person to buy a part of any business without putting work into it. Practices like food dumping by manufacturers to create scarcity and drive up prices would be completely non-existent under Islamic law.

Islam also puts limits on the means that each person can follow to become wealthy. Islam protects individuals and society by not equating the different ways in which a person can earn his money. Islam states that natural resources belong to the public and and prohibits certain goods. For example, under Islam pornography and prostitution are disallowed. Gambling and drinking, and all business that derive from handling these kinds of products that are related to sex or alcohol would also be prohibited. 

Under Islamic law currency would be under the gold standard, or it would be linked to a precious resource of some sort. Islamic economics look to back currency with value that is real rather than made up. This eliminates many forms of currency manipulation that have thrived to the detriment of some sectors of society.

The defenders of Islamic economics have said that this system is one of the things that the leaders of the current economies, mainly the United States and China, fear the most. It takes away many of the things that have helped secure their place as first world nations. It nationalizes natural resources, eliminates currency linking and would make the value of the American dollar plummet and breaks up monopolies and the hoarding of wealth. It would also be very unwelcome by the current corrupt leaders of many Arab nations and tribes. They claim that many of the recent attacks on Islam are really based on a fear of Islamic economic principles taking hold around the world.

-- Al Arabiya Digital