Quranic Laws

Pertaining to Economy

1. The basic duty of an Islamic State, as ordained in the Holy Quran is provision of 'ZAKAAT'. Thus it is said:

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(22:41) "Those Mu'mineen are the people who if We grant them rule in the land, establish the way of life consistent with the Divine Laws and provide 'Zakaat'", means to provide 'Zakaat'. Thus the providing of Zakaat is the duty of an Islamic State. 'Zakaat' means the providing of the means of nourishment. As such it becomes incumbent upon the Islamic State to provide means of nourishment to the individuals, which includes both nourishment of the body as well as of the human potentialities. Thus it becomes the duty of an Islamic State to make such arrangements that the fulfillment of the basic necessities of life of each individual shall keep going, and also that their potentialities may develop. This is called 'Rabubiyyat' (providing of sustenance). The 'Rabubiyyat' of the entire universe is an attribute of Allah. The words

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(1:1) make the beginning of the Quranic text. But the practical application of this attribute of Allah, in the human world, takes its practical manifestation through the agency of an Islamic State. Thus all the responsibilities, in this respect, which Allah has taken upon Himself, are fulfilled by the Islamic State.

2. Based on this principle, it becomes the responsibility of an Islamic State that no living object (human beings; may also include animals, [Lughat-ul-Quran Root: Ray-Bay-Bay] in its domain, remains devoid of nourishment.

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(11:6) is Allah's commandment, which means that there is no moving creature* on earth, but its sustenance is the responsibility of Allah.

In this respect the State becomes responsible to its individuals and their progeny for the fulfillment of their daily necessities of life; and tells them:

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(17:31) "We are responsible for your sustenance and that of your offsprings."

3. The Islamic social order takes shape by means of a contract between the State and the individuals living in its domain. In this contract, the life and property of the believers are placed at the disposal of the state and in lieu of it, becomes the responsibility of the state to provide a life of peace and plenty (life of Jannat) to the individuals:

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(9:111) "The Mu'mineen (those who profess Eemaan-belief in Allah) and the Divine Order enter into a treaty; the Mu'mineen place their persons and their wealth at the disposal of the Divine Order (sell them) and the Divine Order guarantees a life of peace and plenty (life of Paradise) for them in return."

In this life of Paradise are included all the basic necessities of life, food, clothing, shelter etc. The Quran has introduced to us the paradisiacal life as follows:

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(20:118-119) "There is therein (enough provision) for you not to go hungry, nor to go naked, nor to suffer from thirst from the sun's heat". (Everything mentioned above is available without any undue labour).

4. In this society every individual retains for himself the proceeds of his labour according to his needs and gives over the rest of it for fulfilling the needs of others:

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(2:219) "(O Rasool!) They ask you as to how much (of their earnings) should they keep open for fulfilling the needs of the others; tell them whatever is over and above their (genuine) needs (16:71)". This system shall be established through the agency of the State; because the Rasoole has been ordained:

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(7:199) "Get the surplus from them". (This is the natural result of the above said treaty covenant _ therefore the question of taking by force does not arise). Those who earn less than their needs, or those who are not capable of putting in labour, do not take it by way of charity but they claim it as a matter of their right, from the collected surplus:

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(51:19) "In their wealth and possessions is the recognised right of the needy and the disabled."

5. According to the Economic System of the Quran, wealth cannot be accumulated. A severe warning has been given against accumulating wealth:

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(9:34-35) "O Rasool! These priests and monks, and their followers who (in the guise of their self-made 'Shariat') consider the system of capitalism as the will of Allah, and thus hoard heaps of gold and silver and do not make them available to the usage of humanity, announce unto them a grievous penalty. During the period of Divine System, these will be heated in the fire of Jahannam (hell), heat will be produced out of that wealth and with it their foreheads will be branded, their flanks and their backs: and this fire shall mount to their hearts (104:6-7): They shall be told, this is the treasure you had hoarded for yourself, so now taste (the treasure) you had buried.

Wealthy cannot be allowed to circulate wealth amongst themselves alone:

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6. To meet emergent needs, it is necessary for the people that whatever they have retained for their own requirements, they shall also donate something out of it. This is known as 'Sadaqaat'. This will also not be an individual affair; it shall be carried out under the System of the State. Thus the Rasoole was ordained:

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(9:103) "Take their donations (out of their earnings) and in association with other members, make arrangements for their education which would purify them (by removing all doubts from their minds) and nourish them. As they grow in their qualities, you should applaud them because your applause will certainly bring them peace of mind. Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing."

In some cases the avenues of usage of such emergency needs have been prescribed by the Quran itself, when it is said:

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(9:60) "About 'Sadaqaat' i.e. wealth which the state spends for public welfare, it ought to be understood that its distribution shall not mean personal benefit or satisfaction of the individual emotions, but it is the right of those:

a) Who depend on others for their nourishment i.e. those who, for some reason, are not able to earn themselves

b) Whose business somehow or other comes to a standstill.

c) For the remuneration of those who are entrusted with the duty of collecting 'Sadaqaat' (the source of state revenue).

d) Whose consolation of hearts' is required. It means that those people who are prepared to join the Divine System but some impediments do not allow them to take this course; they should be helped in the removal of these impediments.

e) To get freedom for those fastened to the chains of other's captivity (subjugation).

f) To help those who are under the enemy's debt or penalty, and cannot manage to pay it off on their own.

g) Also the wayfarers who are in need of money.

h) In addition to the above, anything conducive and helpful to the general welfare of humanity by the Divine System.

Described above are the codes laid down by Allah based on knowledge and wisdom.

In this verse the item of 'in the Divine Cause' is very comprehensive. It includes all other avenues of usage, which the Islamic State deems necessary.

Note: Amongst us the above items are known as items of Zakaat expenditure. This is not correct. The Quran has clearly described them as item of 'Sadaqaat' and not of 'Zakaat'. Even the prevalent concept of 'Zakaat' itself is different from the Quranic concept.

7. Earth (Land) is the basic source of production. Because an Islamic State has the momentous responsibility of provision of 'Zakaat' to fulfil, therefore this basic source of production (the land) cannot remain in the ownership of individuals. Land remains under the charge of the State, so that the needs of the individuals may get equally fulfilled. In Surah Haa-Meem Sajdah (41st Chapter of the Quran) it is said:

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(41:10) "He set on the earth mountains standing firm, standing high above its surface, (which serve as means of water supply) and gave it the capability to produce different items and with the change of four seasons standardised**  its produce correctly, for feeding its inhabitants. (39:67) and (56:73-74).

Note: It has been clarified at several places in the Quran, that the earth has been created to fulfil the requirements of humanity. As an all-encompassing explanation of this topic is not intended in this book, therefore it is not considered quoting all the relevant references, however, see verses (55:10); (56:63-73).

8. In the Economic System of Islam (except those who are disabled) only that person has the right to receive who puts in labour:

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(53:39) "That a man can have nothing, but what he strives for", is its basic principle. As described earlier under the heading 'usury', any profit on the capital is totally unlawful and amounts to declaration of war against Allah and the Divine System of His Rasool. As a matter of fact, the question of profit on capital does not arise when nothing surplus to the needs is left with anybody."

9. As said earlier in item (4) above, in the Islamic Order surplus wealth is not left with any person. Thus the question of raising personal property does not arise, which includes land, wealth, industry, trade, etc. Everything remains in the custody of the State, so that the needs of every individual get fulfilled and their standard of living goes on rising, and then eventually this system, surpassing its boundaries, extends to embrace humanity at large.

10. It shall be the duty of an Islamic State to establish such an economic system in the light of this basic guidance of the Holy Quran which can satisfy all the requisites of 'Rabubiyyat', so that nourishment is neither held back from anybody, nor his dignity is injured. This system shall gradually come into force. The Quranic injunctions relating to charity, inheritance, etc. are of transitory nature for the period in which this system is still taking shape and is not yet finalised. This also ought to be kept in mind that this system shall be established by those who consider it a part of their belief and yearning of their hearts. This is the motive force for its establishment and stability. In the absence of such a driving force, a system of this kind can neither get established, no can it survive.

* It happens doubtful to assume that an Islamic State can take up the responsibility of providing nourishment to moving creatures, such as dogs and reptiles in its domain. (Abdul Wadud).

** To interpret the word as (Arba' Ayyaam) change of four seasons is not comprehensive. Following is the full explanation. The terms (Arba' Ayyaam) and (Umeen) are specific Quranic terms. They represent the Six Eras of Evolution in the creation of heavens and the Earth.
(2 ERAS [Umain in Arabi translation]
"So He completed them as several heavens in 2 Eras (41:12)"
Thus (Umain) 2 ERAS -- includes the evolutionary period involved in the Creation of the heavens and the earth.
On earth the period without life lasted for 3000 million years and science calls it the Azoic Period.
[4 ERAS (Arba-e-Ayyaam)]
"He made on the earth mountains standing high above it and bestowed blessings on it and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion in four Eras" (41:10)
In these four Eras, life began on earth and gradually got evolved and this has lasted for 2000 millions years:
(a) Precambrian Eras 1500 million years
(b) Paleozoic Era or Ancient life -- 300 million years
(c) Nezozoic Era or Middle life -- 130 millions years
(d) Cainozoic or Modern life -- started 75 million years ago.