Studies in Islam Series Islam and Contemporary Economic TheoriesWritten by: by Mohammad Shawqi Al-Fanjari :: (View All Articles by: Mohammad Shawqi Al-Fanjari)
The present contribution to the economic theory of Islam is timely. The material civilization of The West has brought about, on the one hand, a state of chaos in international relations, and, on the other, a class-war within every nation. The war in the social domain has divided The West into two camps. While in most Western countries capitalism has the upper hand and labour is the victim of tyranny Russia has gone to the other extreme, and only one class, that of the workers, seems to be dominant. Islam maintains the balance between exaggerated opposites and occupies intermediate position between the doctrines of bourgeois capitalism and Bolshovist communism.
The author of this book has taken this view as a starting point and proceeded to give a detailed assessment of both capitalism and communism. He has reached the conclusion that Islam takes no side with a group against another. It directs each class of the community to the proper way by which it secures good for itself and for the community as a whole.Dr. Shawki Sukkari.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Master of the Day of Judgment.
Peace be upon His Apostle, The Prophet Muhammad , the last of The Messengers and the great legislator.
The secret behind my choice of this subject for discussion and of my presenting it to readers at the present time rests upon important factors:
The first factor relates to our response, in the form of neutralism which is averse to any alignment to the sincere plea that we crystallize our attitude vis a vis the big powers and this conflicting viewpoints and policies. Ours was a response to the call of the general interest of man motivated by conviction and faith, and made in order to secure for man the rights of liberty, justice and equality.
Such an appeal, as expected, was not welcomed or accepted by the big powers who wish to exercise control over the destiny of the present-day world. The result was that they began launching propaganda campaigns and disconcerning reports, in an attempt to counter that appeal. They tried to divert the attention of peoples from it by arguing that the fulfilment of the promises it held out was an impossibility. In their opinion, no country can go ahead alone without associating itself with one of the blocs which dominate the world and are leading it, at this hour to a point where each of them will be able to bring to fruition the dreams and ideals which colour the confused minds of a handful of colonialists. In order to be in the good books of either of them, they argue, one has to believe in their principles, ideologies and views and to abandon, without sorrow or regret, all other principles.
Since we, the Arabs, are the people concerned, it becomes our duty to discuss the appeal they made and to scrutinise the systems and concepts they want us to adopt and to believe in. In this case, we have to study their practicality and the results which would follow their implementation. Later, we will compare these ideals with others which they wish us to abandon. It is thus possible for our appeals to go forth in the knowledge of these ideals and in confidence of their soundness.
The second factor springs from my desire to display the facts which so many peoples consciously or unconsciously ignore. These facts relate to the revealing of the essential value of the sources of Islamic Jurisprudence.
It is true that the value of such sources does not require any explanation. Yet it is imperative for us to do so since many a bad seed has been sown which has made thorns grow in the way of our research scholars. These trivialities have almost concealed the truth, taking us into sweeping currents which make us think no more of our real entity. They were to disfigure our image after ruining the very basis of our existence.
It is Allah, The Master of all, Who needs no one. He is The Omnipotent One Who grants the good which safeguards the interests of all sections of the people. It is He Who outlines the path of everyone and makes it easy to pass along. It is He Who decides the reward and punishment for those who follow the right path or deviate from it; taking into account the effect of goods on the welfare of other people.
Allah is neither prejudiced nor unfair on the contrary, He is above all that. Moreover, He knows the nature, aspirations and attitudes of man, Allah The Almighty says what means: and not the weight in the earth or in the heaven is hidden from (Him).
As a result of this, all laws and doctrines ordained by Allah connot do other than take cognisance of this nature. These laws underline the good and point out the harm which He asks us to avoid. Contrary to this, Man, while trying to lay down an ordered structure for living, finds himself handicapped by considerations of society, heredity and the attendant differences which force an individual to follow a particular way. Man, also, is limited by certain forms of culture and knowledge and his actions; accordingly are determined by that culture and knowledge.
Not only is Man limited by these circumstances; they also reflect themselves in his behaviour and mould his thinking. They accompany him in all stages of life. If he makes laws he does so under their influence and each step that he takes in propounding theories or principles, is coloured by them.
For this reason, a great difference exists between the heavenly law and man's exactments. This does not call for any clarification, and yet there are special pleadings and propaganda which have obscured the facts and blunted the intuition. People have been deceived by these propagandas, have fallen in with them and acclaimed them.
In this study, I will deal with two man-made systems which are considered to be the most powerful of all, the most numerous as to their adherents and the most widely disseminated Capitalism and Communism. I will make no attempt to compare these two systems and Islam. No parallel can be drawn between Islam with its lucidity and the abiding nature of its principles which secure the welfare of all human beings and other doctrines, no matter how perfect they seem to some as a means of ensuring the happiness of Mankind.
This study is simply a survey which aims at the removal of the doubts and prevailing fancies which take hold due to ignorance of Islam and the application of its tenets. Each system will be reviewed separately concluding with a criticism of the misconceptions of each system and a listing of its pres and cons on the basis of practical operation.
In doing so, I beseech help and guidance from Allah.
STAGES OF THE STUDY
-The general concept of the new Capitalist system.
-Principles of the new Capitalist.
-Capitalism in the field of practical application.
-The general concept of the communist system.
-Communism and reason.
-Communism in the field of practical application.
-The general theory of economics in Islam.
-Principles of Islamic economy.
In Europe in the fifth century AD after the decline of the western Roman Empire, feudalism came into being. This new system was supported by the Christian church, which spoke in the name of Allah. It did not, however, have any divine law or sound guiding principles of its own. Feudalism was a new development in Europe and the church cooperated with it, covering it in a garb of sacred and divine ordinances.
Between the fourteenth and the
sixteenth centuries_ the traditional period which changed the history of
Europe from the middle ages to the modern era _ all aspects of Western life
began to take shape and the centres of wealth, power and culture began to
leave the provinces and feudal estates and to accumulate in big cities. At
the head of this movement were traders, usurers and bourgeois craftsmen who
benefited from the prospects offered by that development. These people used
to live in towns and cities and go frequently abroad, they were the first to
receive the rich which poured into their country from outside and which
forced them to adapt themselves to the new dictates of change and
development. But how was this possible while an insurmountabe obstacle in
the form of the ecclesiastical rules which supported the feudalists stood in
A hard tussle between the two parties ensued a total war which covered all fields of social life. The last round in that bout was won by the new system which preached the principles of freedom, modernism, tolerance and broader outlook in all walks of life, whether it be religion, philosophy, politics or economy.
With the help of these principles, people wanted to remove all obstacles from the path of the free and modern man. This led to two diametrically opposed parties - the freedom preached by the bourgeoisie led in one direction, while the narrow-minded feudalist church led in another. Each of the two parties harboured enmity towards the other and each of them had its self interest. One of the two parties exploited the name of Allah, religion and ethics to defend their concocted beliefs and ancient oppressive rights, while the other exploited the principles of freedom and tolerance to shake the truths which were inherent in religion and morality. They devised the concept which stated that there is no need to observe moral principles in furthering one's aims and interests.
Besides the feudal church they fashioned the idols of provincialism or regionalism - those harmful and accursed concepts which were responsible for the wars and strife of the time. For the first time, they established the idea of taking interest which was unanimously considered as illegal by the thinkers of earlier times. It was forbidden and made illegal not only in the Bible and the Holy Quran, but by Aristotle and Plato also and it was prohibited by Roman and Greek law. In the name of freedom and tolerance the bourgeoisie succeeded in snatching these rights from the feudal church. Having taken into their hands, they were overjoyed and considered themselves as sole proprietors of them.
In the ecstacy of victory they forgot that there was an inferior class to themselves which had suffered hard ships at the hands of the feudalists and which had the right to get its share of the fruits of the new and free system. I do not know why their liberalism and tolerance faded away so quickly. When parliamentary government was set up in England, for instance, and real sovereignty was transferred in the parliament from the nobles to the commoners, the bourgeoisie, missionaries of freedom, tolerance and wide outlook, assumed completed sovereignty themselves. In denying the peoples their rights of franchise, the arguments and reasons by which they had benefited were forgotten.
Following the industrial revolution and the inventor of the machine in the eighteenth century, the heat of the struggle became intense, At that time, industrial production and raw materials were available on a large scale. Similarly, the consumption of manufactured goods took place to an unprecedented degree. Here, the bourgeoisie who monopolised industry, trade and wealth and dominated the fields of science and literature, seized the opportunity and exploited the new scientific inventions in expanding their spheres of influence.
This class pounced upon the opportunity and monopolised the modern scientific inventions which helped it to expand its sphere of influence and sovereignty. There was a three-fold obstacle in its way consisting of the kings of the nation states who claimed to be gifted with divine authority, together with the rich feudal lords and the men of the national church. The result was a perpetual conflict and discord between the last two groups.
Later, the cult of freedom and modernism armed itself with a new weapon. Its followers called for full economic freedom and asked for the adoption of a republican system in the political field together with the giving of full civil liberties to the individual. They also wanted him to enjoy freedom in the social, cultural and moral fields.
Furthermore, they called for the restriction of the government's political sovereignty to the minimum and for granting individuals the maximum of liberty. The government, in their opinion, was nothing but an agency which was assigned the task of administering justice amongst individuals, preventing them from interfering with each other and safeguarding individual liberty.
They also wanted social and economic life to be in conformity with the activities actions and ideas of individuals. The government, they suggested, should not interfere in an individual's affairs because, in their opinion. It was not meant to play an active role nor to assume leadership. Thus it was that these people exaggerated and spent all of their efforts in glorifying freedom, tolerance and individual nihilism.
The economic system, based on
the absolute theory of free economy, was the last step in the development of
that movement, adopting as its name (the new capitalist system)
The concept of the new capitalist system draws its origin from John Locke's theory about the «Birth of Society and the Origin of State), and it may be summarised as follows:
(Neither the church, nor the state, nor society, is entitled to bar the way of any individual in his efforts towards benefit and advancement. Complete liberty must be easily available to each individual so as to enable him to utilise his natural propensity, quality and competence according to his own leanings and proceed further according to his own ability. Society itself cannot render any real service unless everybody in it is given the chance to enjoy unlimited liberty in all spheres of life. He should also be entirely free in doing the type of work he likes; he should be free from all typs of official, religious, moral, legl and social restriction».
This theory linked private
ownership with liberty, considering it as a basic part and proof of it -
indeed, as its bastion. That is because man was born, in a natural state
with basic rights - namely the right to live, to be free and to own
property. The state, in that case, is nothing but a result of a contract
signed by the people in an attempt to find out agreed means to serve and
protect those rights. Any authority which violates that contract has no
foundation, every individual, in an attempt to defend his liberties and
basic rights, should oppose and revolt against such an authority.
In the light of this theory of society, and individuals and their rights, capitalist economists drew up the new capitalist system which can be summarized under the following points:
1.-The individual has the right of private ownership. This right covers everything _ it treats everything which one utilizes and uses such as clothes; furniture, ships and cattle. This list also includes the articles and the services which produce various goods for consumption, such as machines, instruments, land and raw materials.
2.-The individual has the right to work. Individuals have the right to use all the means which they possess in all fields of labour. The output of such work should be theirs; they should not be deprived of its benefits, but they should bear the losses also. They have the right to accept or refuse the conditions and responsibilities which they have to respect in their trade premises and factories as well as the rules and regulations imposed on them. They are free to expand their production, to sell at any price they fix and to employ whatever number of people they require, either by giving wages or monthly salary. Dealings in the field of trade or industry between the seller and buyer, employer and employee, servant and master, should take place in an atmosphere of full liberty. Everyone should fulfil whatever conditions he has agreed to observe.
3.-Private interest offers incentive for work The capitalist system depends for the production of consumer services and their development on the individual's keenness in securing his self interest. This is a natural instinct which moves man to work and to increase his efforts for more production
Supporters of the capitalist system claim that in human life there is no incentive for work stronger than this. They even say that this is the only incentive_ the smaller the chances of securing self interest the less will be the use of man's energies, activities and efforts. If opportunity for securing private interest and personl advancement are provided to each individual, it will enable him to make gains according to his own efforts. Individuals make more and more effort to increase production and improve production standards, and in this way production continues to increase and more goods are consumed. In addition to this, the spheres of activity of the productive machinery widens. Incentives to secure personal interest, in turn, safeguard the interests of the whole community. This service rendered to the conmunity can not be rendered otherwise.
4.-Rivalry among individuals. In the opinion of the supporters of the capitalist system the spirit of rivalry prevents self interest, in a free economy, from trespassing beyond the limits; it is this spirit which maintains balance and equilibrium. It is quite normal that in the free maket there are a number of people who produce one single commodity. If there are also numbers of sellers and buyers. It is inevitable that a reasonable price be fixed, determined by the dictates of competition. Personal interests should not go beyond their limits and, similarly, such interests should not lag behind these limits unless in abnormal and temporary circumstances. By virtue of competition, employers and employees fix for themselves reasonable wages and salaries, provided that such a competition is free from any kind of monopoly.
5.-Difference between the employer and employee under the capitalist system, personnel of each commercial concern are divided into two categories :
a) The proprietors who founded the trade or industry and the managers who bear all responsibilities for benefit and loss.
b) The employees who are not very much concerned with either benefit or loss. They have nothing to do but to spend time, energy and talents in their work, against the fixed pay they receive.
Defenders of the system argue
that this form of function requires that the benefits obtained from trade or
industry _according to dictates of justice_ should be collected only by
whoever bears the loss and exposes himself to danger Employees, undoubtedly,
are entitled to have their legitimate rewards, determined by market
standards and in accordance with their ability and the quantity of their
work. Such a reward should not be increased on the grounds that a trade or
industry bears fruits or decreased in case of loss. Employees, under all
circumstances, have a right in obtaining their rewards; these rewards or
salaries are not increased or deceased except according to the natural law
of supply and demend which permits goods and commodities to increase or
decrease in their maket value. If there are less employers and more
employees desirous of getting work the wages decrease and if there is a
scarcity of employees and a greater number of employers the wages increase.
Naturally, the difference between the active and the indolent workers
becomes obvious in these cases. Proprietors of various concerns will try to
win the loyalty of workers by rewarding and promoting them. The higher the
wage a worker gets, the better the product he produces; it is in the
interest of proprietors and employers that they may have to spend a little
more in order to get much more. Naturally, they try to reduce wages, but it
is true also that employees and workers wish to obtain their requirements
and raise their standard of living as easily as may be. They are constantly
looking forward for an increase in their play. It is natural, then, that in
achieving both goals a form of strife and struggle takes place between
employers and employees. In the case of wages, they continue to be decided
by a natural pressure accepeted by both parties. This same phenomenon
happens regarding all matters of life.
6.-Dependence on natural reasons for development . It is said that as profit from trade and commerce are accumulated as a result of the reduction of capital and the increase of production, the trader's personal interest requires, in an attempt to increase his production, that he should apply the best and the latest technical systems, look after his tools and machines, repairing and cleaning them from time to time and acquiring big quantities of raw materials at low princes. He should also make up his mind in developing and promoting his business. This cannot be achieved other than by means of a free economy and under special circumstances which may be free from external interference or contrived tricks. Natural laws continue to utilise the efforts of individuals and separate groups in achieving development and securing welfare for all. These goals could not be satisfactorily achieved by social measures only; there is a natural process involved of whose operation no one is aware.
7.-Non-interference by the state. It is also said that unless individuals enjoy freedom in carrying out their work, without any pressure or restrictions, progress and social welfare, under the above-mentioned principles, could not satistactorily he achieved. A natural process has imposed a harmony upon economic laws in that, should such laws work in agreement with each other and in a cooperative way, they prove useful for people whether as individuals or groups. This happens even though the individual works and expends his energies for his own individual profit.
It is natural that the more
the individual expects from his efforts in terms of complete and unlimited
benefits, the more energy does he apply to acquiring wealth. This results in
turn in the production of better and bigger amounts of manufactured
articles. If general competition exists between merchants and manufacturers
and supplies of raw materials in the free market, prices become reasonable
and balanced and the standard of production improves; the market itself
realises the requirements of the society. It is, therefore not the business
of the starte to interfere in the natural function of the development of
wealth since it will unbalance it. The purpose of the state is to bring
about circumstances which will safeguard fully the individuals' liberties,
ensure security, establish order and administration, protect rights of
ownership, fulfil its commitments by the force of law and protect the
country with all its trade and industry, from attacks and outside dangers.
It is the duty of the state to ensure justice for everybody and to supervise
its affairs. But it is not its duty to be itself the merchant, manufacturer
or the owner of the land since it is not expected of it that it would do
anything to arrogate to itself the work of merchants, manufacturers and
owners of the land and prevent them from working as they wish. Interference
by the state in such affairs is not to be accepted.
These points summarise the principles of the theoryof capitalism. Its followers have made of them incontes table principles which must not be doubted, criticised or challenged. In doing so they have exaggerated and over- stated their case. Events have shown that many principles are open to criticism when they are transferred to the field'of applicaction. The following are some of the weak points which are underlined in practical application
1.-The natural laws which the bourgeoisie still quote to support the theory of a free economy do not measure up to the exaggerated claims made for them. Neither in word nor in deed is this so.
Commenting on this, Lord Keynes says that the world is not governed by a strong government, motivated by moral and natural laws which achieves a reconciliation of personal and communal interests. It is not right to conclude from the principles of economy that an enlightened interest ensures progress and social prosperity. Similarly, to say that interest is always enlightened is incorrect. We often notice that the people who try their
hardest to secure benefits for themselves and for their own purposes alone, are so excessively weak and foolish that they find themselves unable to realise their aims as
opposed to rendering essential and lasting services to the community.
The actions of the bourgeois
capitalists testify to the fact that their interests were not enlightened.
They came together in action against the interests of consumers, employees
and the government which safeguards order and secure welfare. They conspired
together in order to get for themselves whatever benefits and profits the
Industrial Revolution could yield. These conspiracies were of themselves a
refutation of the greatest claim they advanced in support of the economy
i.e. that equilibrium in securing benefits by everybody was the elment
providing for a natural inter-reaction.
This state of affairs led the well-known economist Adam Smith, the greatest of advocates of free economy, to declare that seldom did merchants and craftsmen gather at a meeting which was wound up without a plot, or a decision taken to raise the prices of commodities. Even at public meetings they attend they commit such a grave crime.
Thus, bad results appear when the opportunity presents itself and the principles of free economy are applied, when this freedom becomes a murderous tool in the hands of powerful individuals who conspire together against the many who are weak in order to satisfy their own desires and individual inclinations
2.-During the Industrial Revolution the mistake made in an exaggerated application of the principles of free economy became clear. During that time, the means of production changed basically and the machine replaced man and animal power. In this way, ten persons could produce the same amount of manufactured goods with thousands of people had produced previously. This led to a situation where only a few could work while many others were left unemployed.
When the unqualified call
for non-interference by government in the work of individuals is heard _
that call which invokes the principles of private ownership and the freedom
to work_ the error in its basic assumptions becomes apparent.
How can it be that one single man, or a number of men, can set up a big automatic factory which floods the market with its products simply because he has in his hands the means to do that ? At the same time, we overlook the many thousands of others who could produce the same by hand, or in their small factories, or in their homes.
I do not mean by this that
machine production is not a good thing _ I simply mean that it should be
organized and that the usage of machines should not be made permissible to
all. It is the duty of the government to think first of the producers who
will be left without work. Where will they earn their living and how ? This
question did not arise under capitalism and the result was unemployment on a
large and unrestricted scale which became an independent issue for society
in a form which had never been seen before in the history of mankind. One
cannot ignore the effects of unemployment on life; it is not a private
question. It is the basis of many of life's problems and difficulties,
civic, moral, material and spiritual. At this point one question pressents
itself : Can an individual group of individuals, dispose of their properties
in a way which engenders numberless problems in social life? How could anyone allowed to argue that such a cruel
proposition is the right of a select group of people who continue to render
services to the common interest and themselves perform a lasting service?The
idea that the national government should remain silent over the actions of
individuals which affect the entire nation, or close its eyes to the effect
upon the whole nation of the actions of a few people, is without any
3.-It has become clear that whenever capitalism develops into the stage of industrial revolution, the more widespread does poverty become and the more stringent becomes the grip of financial crisis. This is in addition to the unemployment which forces thousands of people to hasten to the capitalists requesting of them jobs either against wages or monthly salary.
At this point, the fifth capitalist principle is to be applied which differentiates between the employer and employee and the wages of those subject to the law of supply and demand decrease. Not only that, but such people often become degraded and lose their human sensibility. They are obliged to surrender to whatever restrictions and regulations the capitalists impose on them.
There is not one of them who thinks of objecting in any way, for the simple reason that there are thousands of unemployed who look at him grudgingly and yearn to replace him in his work. In such a case, he must feel far happier than many others.
The bourgeoisie are wrong when they indicate their support of the principle that fair and balanced wages get adjusted themselves in the general competition by the interplay between the employer and employee. It becomes clear that this principle has already lost its generality and that it can only be applied on one side _ by the capitalist alone. The employee has to accept whatever is offered to him, he has to accept work for longer periods of time and even for very small wages. Such people are treated like animals; they have no alternative but to live in narrow, dark dwelling and their health suffers as does their character and mental outlook. Selfishness deprives the souls of such people of a sense of human values and the hearts of fathers, sons and brothers become bereft of sympathy and affection. Not only that, but fathers feel the burden of their sons and womenfolk. The result is that not even one walk of life is left immune from the harmful effects of a mistaken and extremist free economy.
4.-The capitalists have
neglected natural ways of trade and industry which they pretend to boast of.
They fabricated another way which clashed with the common interest and which
made prices go up unnaturally and slowed down production. They had many
methods_ sometimes, they purchased all commodities available in the market,
depending on their wealth, and stored them till the time came when these
commodities completely disappeared from the market and the demand for them
became pressing. In this way, they dominated and controlled the market and
caused prices to go up in an unnatural way. At other times, they used to
burn manufactured goods or throw them in the sea, lest big quantities of
these same- goods flood the markets causing drop in prices. At times,
they mediated between the original producer and the consumer, with the
result that commodities were exchanged amongst themselves one after another
while relying on the money they had in hand and the facilities of quick
imeans of communications which they enjoyed. In this way again, prices go up
since each one of them makes a profit without rendering any service in the
field of production or improvement. They carried out such transactions
without even transferring goods or commodities from one place to another;
this is what happens in the(Contracts Exchange).
Sometimes, they dedicate their energies and resources for the production
of luxuries. Though various media of propaganda and advertisement, they provoke the desire of people who might not yet have acquired necessities and push into their imaginations the idea that such articles are indispensable. This action is taken by them because the production of luxuries is very lucrative while the production of necessities offers less profit. At the peak of such methods comes the domination of weak countries for the sake of serving the interests of the colonialists. The countries are divided into spheres of influence each one to be exploited by one particular power which turns the dominated people into machines serving the colonialists. In order to safeguard their interests, the colonialists fostered troubles in these countries in an attempt to divert the people's attention from the things which they took away from them. We, the Egyptians, have had that experience and, consequently, we know all about it.
5.-The captialists enjoyed liberty to take further steps in the same direction, deviating from all other systems of different periods. They allowed individuals to accumulate money and to invest it through usury - this method was condemned by the thinkers of ancient times. Centuries before The Bible and The Quran, Aristotle and Plato also attacked usury; it was considered by all the communities of the world as dishonourable and mischievous. But the capitalists ignored all considerations of society and divine religion and disregarded all ideology so long as their own system would lead them to the accumulation of immense wealth.
Such people are the slaves of individual gain and not the pioneers of social reform, as it is claimed. For this reason, usury became the only legal form of trade and financial transaction. Later, they enacted laws of the land which secured the interest of the capitalist rather than that of the debtor. In this way, the happiest of men was he who could accumulate wealth by hook or by crook. others, of course, be they thinkers, inventors or legislators, were of no importance. Each one of them, being concerned with his personal concerns, was exposed either to loss or gain, but the man who lent his money through usury sat at home quiet and happy, since his profit was assured and of his losses was secure, regardless of ideologies and humanitarian considerations. He cared only for his money and his gains which were collected despite the ordeal of the debtor who was totally destroyed. The greatest calamity was that the mischief had its effect upon governments rather than individuals. Governments used to borrow money to construct roads and railways and the like and were then obliged to collect taxes from their citizens in order to pay the debts. In this way, the malady remained inherent in the body of the whole nation, both government and the people, destroying eveything. It is surprising that when a nation is involved in a war, it does not pay any attention to those killed or wounded or afficted with calamities in their homes or those who lost their fathers or sons or husbands. These people are conveniently left by the state without any suport or compensation. But those who lent money to the state, and were for this reason considered to be its legitimate sons. continued to receive their interest from the Treasury, even for a period of hundreds of years. It is ironical that some of those who laid down their lives in war have to subscribe, along with others, to pay such interest. In this way does a system which is founded on usury reveal the injustice and wrong it does to the real workers and producers in the state a wrong done to safeguard the interest of a few capitalists who have no interest in the welfare of others.Under these circumstances society, both populace and government, became the servant of a band of capitalist overlords who occupied their position becouse of wealth and because of the rights granted them by law.
6-Selifshness and deceit created characteristics in people which do not require of a person that he forgives or succours someone else. What kind of society is this in which very great differences exist among its members and in which the ties uniting various elements of the nation are lacking?
Such a society, with its dissident groups each one harbouring animosity against the other, cannot exist indefinitely. If such a thing happens, it will be due to suppression and want, and it is inevitable that one day society must vanish taking with it its so-called stability.
7.-The darkness of thought about the matter has been so thick that it has flooded the minds of the capitalists. Without realising it, they produced staguation both in themselves and their society by saying that the individual's attempt to secure private interests in a free economy in itself paves the way for the development of ways and means for increasing production. They try to forget that any society, with its millions either of unemployed or persons with small and limited earnings, cannot purchase the huge quantities of goods exhibited in shops. On the contrary, these shops will suffer depression, which in turn will lead to the discontinuation of production by factories, increase in unemployment and economic depression. As a result production either completely discontinues or everybody searches for a sphere of influence in one of the underdeveloped countries to use it as a market for his products. This is the point which gives rise to differences and wars.
8.-The Capitalists sitting idle in their homes do not work, either physical or mental. They lack nothing either physically or mentally; they have health and money and leisure. On the other hand, the destitute are always ready to accept the demands of the capitalist overlords. While the former wish to satisfy their sweeping desires, the latter are driven to flattery and hypocrisy. Thus does capitalism outline the basis of society in which it exists. Such a society is completely courrupt; its wealthy members are simply exploiters and its poor members are slaves. There can be no spirit of co-operation or compassion in it each of its members seeks nothing but his personal interest.
9.-In addition to that, under the shadow of a free economy, though itself becomes confused. As has already been demonstrated, society suffers from successive problems which stem from the corruption enveloping the system. For this reason, thinkers are sought out in order to find a solution to the problems, but they in turn distort the facts, either to please the capitalists or in fear of their violence. Sush people do not try to find out the real causes for problems; they attribute the causes to particular local reason and pay no attention to the true ones. They never link problems with their real sources which are the direct outcome of capitalism and the solution they reach is always unreal. In this way, they cause people to go round and round in empty circles in an attempt to find the two ends of the problems. This state of affairs creates doubts amongst the nation and restlessness and other social sicknesses prevail.
Bearing all this in mind, how can a community ensure the services of its members if they are left absolutely free to secure their private interests? The capitalists have proved that unbridled selfishness seldom proves to have regard for justice, particularly if it gets into its hands economic and political power and if it is assigned the task of legislation. In such case, capitalism tries only to secure the maximum of private interests. No better description of capitalist society could be found than that given by the United States President, john Kennedy, in the book (The Stategy of Peace) which contains a number of the speeches and statements made by him about certain American and International problems. John Kennedy says (Nearly one out of every two young American men is rejected by Selective Service today as mentally, physically, or morally unfit for any kind of military service. Still more are screened out after induction».«The Navy releases statistics showing more men in naval prisons than the entire Norwegian and Danish navies combined _ and showing enough men branded deserters to supply a full crew for an aircraft carrier. What has happened to us as a nation? Profits are up - our standard of living is up - but so is our crime rate. So is the rate of divorce and juvenile delinquency and mental illness.
We are, I am afraid, in
danger of losing something solid at the core. We are losing that pilgrim and
pioneer spirit of initiative and independence - that old-fashioned Spartan
devotion to (duty, honour and country). We think that we don't need that
This system is not an offshood of the present age, since it dominated the minds of ancient philosophers too. In about 400 B.C. Plato introduced to the world his idea of a city which he based upon the joint ownership of wealth and women. In the third century A.D. Mezdek also called for the sharing of wealth and women in Persia. There were differences in detail in each case, but these do not concern us here. Later, others did the same, important among them being the Garmathians who went further and preached that anyone who wanted to join their cult was to leave his wife free to be taken by anyone who wished. The appeal spread to the `north of Iran and south of the Caucasus where a group of people had revolted against the rulers, wearing red clothes as a symbol of challenge and resistance. In Russia, a movement similar to that of Mezdek appeared called the «Nihilist Movement». Its doctrine was that a new pattern of youth were to deviate from recoguised customs and beliefs and mock all inherited traditions. They had to change even the smallest aspect of common life; boys had to kave their hair grow long while the girls had to cut theirs short.
This movement looked at ancient traditions, such as religion, family, private ownership, central administration and the like as obstacles which had to be completely removed. Early in the nineteenth century, a number of preachers of communism, such as Robert Owen and Saint Simon, began their campaigns, but they failed as others had done. In 1847, Karl Marx published a book in which he reperated the old theme but with some additions, claiming that his book had a sound and scientific basis.
It is easy for any
scholar to realise that this idea which dominated the minds of many peoples
at many times, and which reappeared continously after disappearing,
contained certain hidden secrets which were responsible for giving it a new
life. I believe that are basic parallels between the reasons for its
appearance before Christ and reappearance in the third century A.D. and in
modern times. Mezdek did not preach this idea in the third century A.D.
without having first observed the unequal distribution in matters of
ownership among individuals. While there were people who had a great deal,
others had nothing at all. Realising this, he expounded his idea in the hope
that money would be available to all.
He was followed by other thinkers whose efforts came to nothing until Karl Marx, in the middle of the nineteenth century, made the appeal which was to achieve such great success. There is no room for surpise at this, for it did not stem from the idea itself but from circumstances which were temporary and due to particular factors. The moment these factors disappeared, the success also vanished.
The new appeal followed capitalism's victory over feudalism. The weakened feudalism had been in no mood to plunge into a prolonged war with a new appeal and hastened to surrender. In its fight for supremacy, capitalism was generous in making new promises to workers and labourers. The moment it gained ground, it completely forgot all promises made and became more oppressive than its predecessor feudalism. In addition to this, communism contained a number of concepts which filled the vacuum created by the religious decline resulting from the emphasis upon secular matters during the last three centuries. People were deceived by the outward aspect of the new life and were attracted by the fresh fields of knowledge which were accessible to them. All these factors combined were responsible for the development of the communist system; taken together they helped in the advancement of communism. The divergence of opinion among different classes of people was the main factor in bringing them together, on one platform.
After the death of Marx, Lenin took the lead. Around him mustered some of Russia's youth who formed the nucleus of the Russian Communist Party in 1905. In 1917, exploiting the disturbances in the country, this party staged a revolution which swept the entire country against the Tsar, who was forced to abdicate in March, 1917. The date marked the termination of the Tsarist dictatorship. It was followed by another dictatorship which was wrongly described as the workers' dictatorship. In fact, it was a dictatorship of a select class which seized power on behalf of the workers. Moreover, the victims of the dictatorship were the same workers in whone name it pretended to speak. From this date, Marxism flourished and advanced as an international doctrine. With long strides, it proceeded to seize power and introduce communism in more and more areas. It occupied in the minds of its believers in the place of religion. They thought that communism could offer them a complete interpretation, bringing to life a limitless perception. They believed it would provide a new spirit for the fulfilment of man's goals and hopes. This was, in fact, what religion aimed at. It is not our concern here to explain why communists feel so disturbed when parallel is drawn between communism and religion. This feeling of theirs is an unquestioned fact. Religion demands belief in unseen matters which are beyond the human mind. This belief was to be the basis of each subsequent logical issue. Communism did the same thing; the only difference between the two being that while religion admitted this fact communism went on to pretend, obstinately and persistently, that its fundamental principles were supported by science and sure knowledge. It claimed that its ideals were based on agreed scientitic theories. No doubt that was nothing but vaunting claim, but the fact remains that these principles are still viewed as controversial subjects by scholars and those concerned with research.
The basis of Karl Marx's ideology was that the history of each society was no more than the history of conflicts between classes, between workers and employers, slaves and masters. In his opinion, every society has to be divided into two opposite classes, the capitalists and the workers. The workers and the poor, the proletariat; collectively endeavour to smash other classes. Helped by Marx they form an engulfing revolution to destroy all other classes and eradicate the traditions, customs and religions of society. In his view, such a revolution was the sole means for setting up a communist society. In this respect, says Engels, much as Darwin discovered the law of evolution in organic nature, so had Marx discovered an evolutionary law in relation to human history. Engels went on to say «He (Marx) has discovered a simple fact which was hidden by a plethora of intellectual theories. Before dabbling in politics, religion, science, men have to eat, drink and find shelter and clothing. Accordingly, the prodution of the means of subsistence and the level of economic development of any people in a specified period become the two factors which determine the basis on which the system legisloture, art and even the religious beliefs of the state stand. It is in this light that these things must be explained and not in any other, as was the case up to our time). In his book "The Cornmunist Manifesto" Marx explains that the history of all present day societies is the history of conflicts between classes. One of the manifestations of this conflict was the struggle which took place in ancient time between the free and the slaves, between the lords and the commoners and later between leaders and foremen in party organisation. The same thing occured in recent history between the bourgeoisie and the workers during the French Revolution. At that time, the bourgeoisie were those who directed the economy and had possession of wealth and political power, whilst other classes were left to do the manual labour, despite the fact that the latter had the biggest and the most important part to play in production. It was obvious that the predestined result of such a conflict was the exinction of capitalism. In this connection Marx says that the coming into existence of the communist system was the last stage in any historical development and the final step class conflict in the abolition of ownership and destruction of class barriers, communism does not provide for competition or conflicts between different social groups. In Marx's view, wealth is not to be equally distributed to the members of a certain society. He believes that distribution systems differ according to different circumstances which exist in any society when it reaches a certain stage in its historical advancement and this makes all the difference in the manner of distribution within a state. For this reason, Marx was of the opinion that a big part of the funds are to be reserved for stepping up production, the financing of economic, cultural and development schemes, for financing social collaboration and cooperation and for insurance against illness and old age. The remaining amount, Marx thinks, is to be distributed to workers, each according to the volume and quality of the work he performs. When a society reaches the highest stages of the communist organisation, namely, when conflicts between intellectual and manual work disappear, and as individual qualities develop, the productive forces work together for the increase of the resources of socialist wealth, and work itself becomes the goal of life and not merely a cheap means of living. In such case the motto of everybody will be «from each one according to his potentialities, and for each according to his needs». As the workers were to be initially the ruling class, Marx referred to this dictatorship of the workers as functioning only in the interim period. It was not to be regarded in the same light as despotic rules by an individual. It is understood that the new class will simply take over the administration from the previous rulers and for that reason the dictatorship of the workers must disappear after completing its mission and destroying capitalism for ever.
socialist system reaches its climax when all means of production, along
with its components, are concentrated in the hands of a powerful
government organised by the workers' authority, or in the hands of a
workers' authority taking the shape of a government. In such a case, the
conflicts between classes and their motives would disappear and not one of
the many classes is to have the chance of dominating another class. In
this way, any citizen will be permitted to achieve progress freely by
himself, either in the intellectual or social field. Marxist socialism
aims at the creation of a society in which each member can realise, as a
political end, free and total progress.
The principles gathered by Maxists from his ideas on which the communist system was set up and on which the communist government is founded can be summarised in the following points:
1.-There is no god and life is material. In the view of the proletariat law, moral values and religion are nothing more than deep-rooted bourgeois conceptions behind which bourgeoisie interest lurk. There are as many interest as there are concepts. The mission of the proletariat is to destroy religion and its advocates. In his thesis on Hegel, Marx says of religion that it is the expectoration of the oppressed creature of his feelings towards a cruel world; it is the opium given to peoples. Elsewhere, talking about the war between classes in France, he says that religion is the opium with which peoples are anaesthetised to be easily robbed. Religion, he adds, was used for spiritual subjugation as the state was used for economic exploitation.
Lenin, his successor, says in this respect that religionis the opium given to people to pacify them. It is, he adds, a kind of alcohol of the spirit in which the slaves of capitalism bury their human characteristic and their sense of a dignified human life.
; 2-Abolition of
privateownership,nationalisation of projects and establishments and the
placing of the wealth of the whole nation in the hands of the government
which will be directed by the proletariat from outside if they are not
represented from within. In this context, Engels states that the
proletariat take over political power and transfer the means of social
production to public ownership in an attempt to escape control by the
bourgeoisie. By such action, they eliminate devices such as capital and
allow devices of a social character the freedom to gain round. Social
production is to be reorganised according to a set plan and the
development of production makes the existence of classes a matter of the
past. It removes the general authority of the state and chaotic social
production. The people finally control mutual cooperation and become the
masters of nature and of themselves that is, they become free.
3.-The putting an end to internal trade and the adoption of a ration system which allows individuals to obtain their necessities against a card. Individuals are not allowed to themselves engage in external trade; it is the monopoly of the state.
After reviewing the
factors which demolish capitalism Engels states that there is no solution
other than practical Pecoguition of the character of the new forces of
production namely, the reconciling of the means of production, ownership
and exchange and the character of the means of social production. This
goal, he continues, cannot be achieved unless the means of production,
greatly increased and controlled by man himself, are seized in entirely.
4.-The application of wages system. The theory that something has to be taken from everybody according to his potentiality and given to others according to their needs should not be determined according to the volume of work an individual produces. Instead, it should be determined by the value ofnecessities required by the worker. Social wealth is nothing but the sum total from which an individual consumes whatever satisfies his requirements and not whatever corresponds with his services and work.
In his introduction to the book (Criticism of Political Economy) Marx states that legal relations and political forms cannot be explained through the alleged development of man's mind since their roots go deep in material conditions of social life. In materialistic life the shape of production determines the characteristics of social intellectual and political life as a whole. It is not the awakening of the man which decides and limits his existence.On the contrary it is his social being which determines his awakening.
In reply to his theory we say that facts and sound thinking have proved that material factors do not change the condition of human beings unless they become metamorphosised to psychological factors which they feel. The poor man who knows well that he is poor does not think of changing his condition either consciously or unconsciously. Again the poor man who knows very well that he is poor and pays no heed to the fact never takes the trouble to think of changing his condition.
It is surprising that Marx succeeds in misleading the nineteenth century which was the first in the history of Europe to prove the influence of psychological factors on movements of reforms, revolutions and coups.
In point of fact, the nineteenth century was full of serious grievances which no reformer or historian dared to ignore, nor could he disregard those who felt these grievances. The truth is that those reformers and historians attached great importance to them in a manner unprecedented in any of the previous centuries. At that time, many theories of reform came to light in a way previously unknown. This was not because other periods were free from such serious grievances, but because the European citizen of the nineteenth century was more conscious of his rights, and felt the privations more deeply than his predecessors.
This being so, it becomes unsound to link reform and revolutions with industrial development, as Marx wanted to do. The only connection which existed between them was that which was measured by the extent of the need for liberty and the recognition of the rights of equality. Marx and his colleagues were brought up in countries which existed between feudalism and the great industrial age. They advocated socialist systems, yet the advocates of the Russian revolution lived in lands which had not yet emerged from feudalism. These countries possessed no big industries, but in other countries like England with large and developing industries, rebellious movements were few and appeals for reform were made through constitutional means.
When Marxists realised that it was impossible to ignore the effect of human factors and ideas on history, they found themselves in greater need when mustering proof to convince others. In 1890, a student asked Engels to eluciate this issue. In reply, Engels admitted that he and Marx were partly responsible for attaching more importance to economic elements than they deserved. He also stated that, in the face of their enemies' they were obliged to put stress on the original principle of their appeal, which their adversaries had denied. They had insufficient time, he continued, to bring out other elements which were responsible for the action and reaction of various factors.
In such simple terms he had admitted that both Marx and he had ignored the psychological or human elements incited by the opponents and critics of their doctrine. Winning over their enemies by defying or challenging them was to the Marxists more worth while than caring for the human values. They had repeatedly stated that Marxism aimed at saving humanity. At this point one can ask Where was that humanity which could be jettisoned while trying to gain victories over their adversaries by deception?
on the assumption that victory did not result in neglect of duty, would these qualities befit such thinkers and reformers, who fought for a cause which they did not rely upon and whose efforts did not produce anything but enmity and hatred in the souls of the weak?
letter it can be gathered that they continued all along to interpret
events wrongly. It is clear that such a misinterpreation cannot be relied
upon, in turn, in interpreting the momentous consequences resulting from
it - that is, communism falls short in its representation not only of the
conditions of its own time but also of the conditions which are to follow
later. It is neither a true picture of social grievances nor a true
representation of the means of treating them.
We have already discussed the merit of communism and the judgement which reason passes on it. We have also realised that it tries to prevent reason from being effective by using it in the service of something already believed in.
After it had become apparent to them that they had not been active in pursuit of reason they did their utmost to find the truth. But they failed to reach their goal, either because they lost their way or because the truth itself lay on a path other than theirs. They were misguided and misled and their intentions blinded them to the right path. This they admitted later on.
They cannot be excused the consequences simply by pretending that, due to the power of their adversaries, they were obliged to be so obdurate and extravagant in their attempt to achieve victory by means of falsehoods. This state of affairs has deprived them of the qualities of true research workers, within the meaning of the term, who are worthy of a position of technical and intellectual leadership.
Having ascertained that, we find ourselves in no need to discuss their theories from an intellectual point of view.
Our goal is to find
out the truth which has to be accepted by the contumacious and fanatical.
It is now necessary to discuss that theory from the point of view of
practical application. Its advocates pretend that it is the basis of
conduct and behaviour and not merely a theory. In this study we will deal
with its fundamental principles and their position in practical life,
after they had the opportunity to govern, for nearly half a century, a
vast expense of land inhabited by two hundred million persons.
1.-Communism denies the existence of anything else except that which can be felt and seen. It denies the existence of Allah, soul and virtues, etc. Although it attributes everything to matter, it does not interpret one thing. The communists never tried to discuss or interpret matter itself - the only thing they did was to tread over it and shout (This is the matter in which we believe and within which we live). By so doing, they were influenced by some impulse which made them speak hurriedly and without thinking; they did not realise the foolishness of their theory. People who are well-versed in such subjects know today that the question of spirit was not so difficult a question for the mind to interpret as the question of matter. What is matter? Is it a colour or a body? Does it have a weight? Is it anextension?
No, it is not colour, for colour is a passing attribute resulting from light and vision it changes according to illumination and sight. Bodies on the other hand are atoms which split and change into vibrations in the ether. Even the term ether is beyond finite knowledge - it has no colour, taste or motion. Those who have knowledge of the subject find no difference in the definition of «ether» and that of «space». It is a fact that beyond the gravilty barrier everything loses weight. Extension is something understandable; it is neither extremely short nor extremely long. It is not known whether it is extension in time or in place.
2.-In an attempt to make communism something sacred to matter, it denied laws, morals and religions on the pretext that all of these are nothing but bourgeois notions with which the proletariat were deceived and intoxicated. The historical facts prove otherwise. when slavery was practised, morality required condemnation of slavery and revolt against the practice. During feudalism, morality required glorifying the highborn and despis ing the lowly and to the capitalists it meant the excessive glorifying of wealth and despising of want and poverty. All these definitions of morality were quite understandable. But the question which is beyond comprehension is that if morals were the creation of the bourgeoisie bow did they come to exercise influence and sovereignty in themselves.
3.-According to this, communisms ascribes to material conditions the responsibility for interpreting all historical events and theories, but while doing so it does not give even one example of one known event which did not depend more or less on (feelings).
Take for example the immigration of people into America after its discovery. They either escaped from poverty or were unable to enjoy the freedom of belief in their homeland. One would like to know why some of them had left their countries while some others remained? Was the factor of securing material profit the aim of all? There is no doubt that the whole question turns, more or less, on the difference of peoples' feelings towards poverty and the supprssion of liberty of belief.
4.-In sanctifying matter communism denies the existence of religion. Not only that it fights it vigorously. Events have shown us how Marxism incriminated religion in its practical application, although at the same time, communist leaders relinquished some of their materialist arrogance. Though narrowly limited in extent, this was a sign of defeat and a proof of the falseness of that important principle of the Marxist theory.
In 1943, Stalin, who
previously declared that religion was the opium which was given to peoples to intoxiate them, stated that
religion sows in the hearts the seeds of sacrifice, courage and valour.
When war broke out between Hitler and Russia, he admired that Russia had
made a mistake in the past and that it had to correct that mistake and
allow the practice of religions and recognition of Allah. At that time,
the Russian broadcasts began a new to praise religion which had to
recreate in the people a spiritual power which was inherent in orthodox
Russia. In this way, Stalin aimed at bringing about a balance between the
Vatican's power and that of the Orthodox Church taking into consideration
Balkan States had, at that time, about forty million members of the Orthodox Church. In Septemher 1943, Stalin also revived the (Sacred Convention) after its final closure by the Bolsheviks. He appointed for The Muslims a (Mufti) and for the Christians a Patriarch and sent his loyal subordinates of the Communist Party to villages and provinces to ask people to believe and have faith in Allah. All over the world, in the East and in the West, it was widely said that Russia has restored religion. Sultanoff, one of the members of the Russian diplomatic mission in Egypt, embraced Islam.
5.-Marxism has declared private ownership to be illegal since it was responsible for the existence of classes. In the view of the psychologists each system which is based on opposition to the original instincts of man can no longer survive. The practical application of Marxism proved the truth of this view. Lenin abolished the class of small owners. Later, in 1917, the first year of his rule, Stalin did the same, but, in 1921, he was obliged to allow private ownership to reappear. In 1926, he again abolished it and in 1932 he revived it. Abolition and then restoration several times, clearly show how difficult it was to apply the system.
6.-The Marxist state controls the entire economy of the country. This results in economic disadvantages can be proved by statistics.
In his book «The Spirit of Socialism» Gustav Lobon says that the estimate of expenditure on pure manufactured articles made by companies and expenditure on manufactured articles made by government, are matters of paramount importance. Estimates, collected over a long period, proved that the cost of goods manufactured by the government itself was higher than those manufacured by individuals by 25%. There were many reasons for the high cost of government manufactured goods, among which there was a psychological reason which added to the complications created by the government routine work. It refers to man's carelessness concerning projects in which he has no persnal interest. Most of the schemes which were undertaken by middlemen failed because no individuals interested in their success took over their change. Another result of this is the diversity of management.
7.-The declaring of private ownership to be illegal was followed by declaring inheritance illegal too. Inheritance is one type of ownership and ownership, they say, is the source of all calamities. In saying this, they forget that inheritance is one of the most important and sound means for breaking up holdings and is a practical means for destroying capitalism. To abolish inheritance is like contradicting human nature itself which enjoins that sons should inherit their fathers' characteristics, of health power, illness, weakness, intelligence, stupidity and so on. On the other hand, declaring inheritance to be illegal removes hopes and incentives from both individuals and groups of people. If this is to be the case that would motivate the worker to spend more and more of his energy to build up rewards of which he and his sons will be deprived.
The communist system could not stick to that principle for very long. In 1946, it recognised the right of a testator to leave his bequest, through a will, to anybody he selected in case of the absence of near relative. Article 10 of the new Russian Constitution stipulates that the right of ownership of the inconies and savings of citizens, accumulated through work, and the right of ownership of homes, domestic articles and equipments and articles of personal effect and comfort, together with the right of the inheritance of private possessions, is a right safeguarded by law.
8.-Then comes the question of the worker's wage in the communist system. All the people areeuconsidered as workers; wages are the same either of those who do manual work of those who do intellectual work and the principle is that from everybody according to his potentiality, to everybody according to his need. Here, one may ask How can activities differ without affecting the wages? The communist system says that all workers are people who should get equal wages. This is wrong, because in determining equal wages for all workers they also determine that all of them are equal in strength, weakness, intelligence and creaotive ability. This statement is denied both by thinkers and by events.
By what right does a worker making shoes or texiles be equal to a scientist such as Eddison who spent all his life in research work invention? Such an equality will surely result in slackening of effort. Since equality in terms of wages is guaranteed, there will be no need for increasing or improving production.
Some measures would have to be taken to avoid such a situation. Supervisors may be appointed to incite workers to increase production. The supervisor may succeed in his mission in certain fields, but it is impossible for him to carry out his mission successfully on the farms. If such a principle is to be applied, can we set beside each farmer one supervisor who has to control his work? And can this be done in vast lands where farmers and cultivators are scattered here and there? To solve this problem they are forced to send spies everywhere to terrorise people and threaten them by using agents of the secret police. People may also be threatened with death should they lag in their work.
Another solution of the problem may be in laying down a minimum level for production without which no worker can get a wage. But this is complete foolishness for how can we draw a level for minimum production whilst there are people who have physical and mental powers which enable them to produce more than the quantity prescribed? And again, how can this happen while there are other people who are incapacitated by weakness and, accordingly, are unable to produce? In such a case, society will be deprived of the extra production which could be brought about by able men. It is natural that people wish to take it easy, especially if work is to be done without getting a reward. In applying such a principle, the weak will be condemned to death by starvation since they will be unable to produce as required. This led Koestler to describe the Marxist society as a structure composed of production at a lower stage and another higher, and intellectual one, with no grades and stages between them.
In fact, the principle of equality of wages was nothing but a bluff which lured the workers who suffered from unemployment under capitalism. But it was a bluff which did not live long. In 1931, Stalin revealed to a conference of financiers and economists who were supervising production in the USSR that progress had been handicapped due to negligence and carelessness on the part of workers. At that meeting, he held economists responsible for that start of affairs and asked them to admit that the new conditions required new ways and to adopt, in a bid to increase production, a new system of differing wages. By doing so, Marxism ignored one of its original principles which stipulated that something was to be taken from each person as much as he could afford, and something should be given to someone else to satisfy his needs. Article 12 of the new Soviet constitution stipulates a new system for wages. It stages that wages are to be given according to the capacity and type of work done by a worker.
9.-Marxism is a war waged against classes, because one class is the end of the whole history of man. But to stress this meaning, Marxism distorted many aspects of life. when they applied their system in the practical field it became easy for everyone to see for himself how they tried to deceive and intoxicate the people by their call for the abolishing of barriers between classes. On April 28th, 1984, the weekly «Akhir Sa'a» reproduced a statement released by the Soviet News Agency Tass which reads as follows : «The Stalin Award for music amounting to one hundred thousand roubles was granted in 1974 to Joseph Kutta for his song «The Song of Stalin» and the Stalin Award for photography amounting to one hundred thousand roubles was granted to Larakali Towidtz for his picure (Stalin Speaks at the 24th Anniversary of the October Revolution). The third prize, amounting to fifty thousand roubles, was awarded to painter Parkrafetshinko for his painting (Gorki Reads His Story before Stalin, Molotov and Vorochilov). The Stalin Award for sculpture, amounting to one hundred thousand roubles, was given to Nicolai Tomoski for his statue (Stalin). Second and third prizes were also given to musicians, painters and sculptors for their musical compositions and statues of Stalin. The total of prizes granted by the State (the state of the commuuists and the paradise of the poor and needy) in the name of Stalin, and for pictures and statues amount to about forty thousand pounds. They were granted by the Soviet Council, presided over by Stalin).
In a thesis about the new Soviet Constitution prepared by Mr. Foad Shibi, the ex-press-attache' at the Egyptian Legation in Moscow for his M.A. degree, the following information appeared. The examination board at that time_included Mr. Kamel Abdel Rehim, ex-minister plenipotentiary for Egypt in Moscow. The thesis stated that the monthly pay of the Russian peasant was 300 roubles (each rouble equalled about 5 Egyptian piastres) from which 150 roubles were taken by the government to strengthen industries. Dramatists, dancers, men of literature and writers, the thesis continued, were called the intellectual class and drew high salaries amounting to 20,000 roubles per month. The cultured class, which was about 7-8% of the population, drew about 43% of the wages. The sons of that class were admited to universities, either free of charge or with charges, but the sons of peasants were deprived of that concession. This is how the communist state fights the exisence of classes in conformity with Karl Marx's principle.
10.-Communism pretends that it would save workers from the humility and oppression they suffer under capitalism. This claim proved to be a bluff by which they distorted facts and lured the people, especially the working class. Here are some of the facts which show communism's stand vis-a-vis the worker.
On October 11th, 1930, a decree was issued to the effect that a worker had to accept any job assigned to him in any towand in any place. On 24th September 1930, 9th October 1930 and 10th August 1940, other decrees were issued prohibiting any worker from leaving the work assigned to him on his own accord, otherwise he would be considered as a deserter and would be subject to ten years imprisonment in forced work camps. The decrees of 16th December 1932 and 26th June 1940, provided that if the worker absented himself for one day, or if he came to his work late three times in one month, such a worker would be dismissed and deprived of the union card which indicated his profession and gave him the right of lodging and food. He would also be subject to imprisonment for a period ranging from six to twelve months.
The two decrees issued on 1st June 1932 and 2nd June 1942, stipulate that workers are financially responsible for any damage suffered by factories or equipment and as sessed by the manager only. The cut in the worker's pay, in such a case amount to ten times the value of the damages or loss.
The Supreme Soviet Law issued on 26th June 1940, gives the manager the right to pass sentence for imprisonment on any worker for a period of four months without standing trial or investigation.
All such things occur under a government which pretends that it works for the welfare of workers.
In the early years of its rule, Marxism passed from one defeat to another. It continually forsook its principles one after the other. Year after year it abandoned, without exception, all the doctrines and beliefs on which its system had been established. If Marxism had not taken that turn, it would not have made any progress in industry or in agriculture.
The success of Marxist exprience in a big communist country is due more to forsaking original communist doctrines than to adopting them. All that which now exists in the communist state, forty years after its inception, proves that the forbidden things which Marxism was established to remove have become permissible. when the war broke out, religion and nationalism were recognised and the atheist leaders soon became aware of the importance and influence, of religion and nationalism. Mter removing exploitation which was exercised by the capitalists, the ruling class which they fought to destroy and for whose cause they committed every crime, remained untouched. On the contrary many other classes have been created and standards of living differed accordingly.
Marxism was given sufficient oportunities to proveits practical power in the field of application. It was allowed to exercise its power during a period of forty years and two hundred million people were put at its disposal and a space double that of the whole of Europe - about sixth of the whole world - was also allotted to it. Notwithstanding, it incurred heavy debts; it also left the field after changing its fundamental principles and forgetting the elements of communism.
This theory was an extension of the other materialest movements known in ancient periods of history. All of these movements arc identical in their goals, means and principles, and even in the nature of the people who preached their ideologies.
The proper definition which may be given to such movements is that they were an unhealthy manifestation which appeared as a result of an unhealthy society and at the hand of an unhealthy group. These people believed that framing constitutions based on science and enforcing laws derived from reason were sufficient to recreate the world. Only through coercion could they dominate a rebellious people who could hardly ascertain the facts since they were still in the throes of revolt against Tsars. But soon the facts were revealed and the people tried to raise their voice, even though muzzled, to warn their human brethren of the dangers they themselves were facing.
In his book «Dr. Zhivago», the Russian poet Pasternak criticises materialism in general and Marxism in particular. That book was the direct cause of hastening the poet's death. The book earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958, but was not welcomed by the Kremlin, with the result that he was soon dismissed from the Writers Union. He was about to stand trial but was saved after he refused to accept the prize and apologised to his government.
Pasternak says : «The divine wisdom creates soul and spirit by which salvation or destruction comes about. It is not its function to give preference to a group of people over another».
«Historical materialism is a doctrine in which theories and life's facts are found far distant from each other».
; «We were given life to live and not to use it as a means of implementing the words of   idealists».
«History is a ghost which is created by the imagination of man to represent a chain of events. It is not its concern to drive peoples from the past to the future in an attempt to make them forget the present».
«Vitality is the basis of all art and consciousness.It is the fountain which springs from inside. It could not be influenced by any external motive».
President Gamal Abdul Nasser says in the introduction of the book «Truth about Communism». : «When communism became a system adopted by a government it changed into something which was not anticapted by its advocates. Many are the theories which lure peoples, but as soon as they are in practical use they uncover themselves and reveal painful facts».
The only benefit the communists obtained from their communism was that they became machines in the general system of production, after they had been human beings with their own will. They denied religion because they believed it to be nothing but a legend. They denied the existence of the individual because they had faith only in the state and not in the individual. They also denied freedom because it was a proof of the individual's confidence in himself. Man, in the communist system, has neither being nor will. They did not believe in equality within the framework of the state, because in the constitution of communism the state is a pyramidical struture at the top of which sits only one man, and at the bottom there are millions of people.
"This Book, there is no doubt in it, is a guide to those who keep their duty." The Holy Quran.
This study cannot cover the detail and circumstances which proceeded and accompanied the advent of Islam. The only thing we can do is to give a brief survey of some aspects of life in tile important countries of that time.
It is easy for the observer of the history of humanity shortly before the mission of Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and the advent of Islam to realise that the world, from end to end, was filled with grievances that the groans were heard everywhere.
In Persia, where the
Chosroes were absolute rulers and fire was deified and worshipped, various
grievances resulted in the emergence of Mani in the third century A. D. He
called for celibacy and outlawed marrige as a means of hastening the
exitnotion of the human race and, by cutting out posterity to enable light
to overcome darkness. Mani was followed by Mezdek who declared that people
are born equal, with no difference between them, and that they should have
equal shares in life. Because the accumulation of wealth and women were
the chief ambition of men, he according to Shabrastani's «Creeds and
Cults», declared women a common property and allowed people to possess
wealth in equal shares as in the case of water, fire and fodder. In this
context, Professor Arthersil says that the Iranian society was based on
classes on the lines of lineage and profession. Between the different
classes there was a wide and unbridged gap. The government forbade
commoners to purchase the properties of the princes or dignitaries; it was
the Sassanian political principles that everybody had to be satisfied with
the position he inherited from his forefathers and not to look forward to
anything move. Nobody was permitted to adopt a profession other than that,
for which he was fit; no person of humble origin was allowed by the
Thanian kings to hold positions close to them. Even the commoners had
different status and each class had its own specific position in society.
In the Roman Empire there were the same grievances which weakened its position. The afflictions of its citizens were many; taxes and duties were doubled to the point that, everybody was angry with the government. They hated it deeply and were happy to have any other foreign government to replace it. In 532 A.D., thirty thousand people died in the capital because of the revolutions and disturbances which took place.
Justice, as Sealle says, was markted and bargained for and bribery and treason were encouraged by the nation. Gibbon also states that at the end of the sixth century, the state reached the final stage of decay. Previously, it was like a big tree in the shade of which the nations of the world took shelter. Later, nothing remained of that tree except, the trunk which was withering away. The same point is, mentioned by Butler who says that the Romans used to collect tolls from every individual in Egypt along with other taxes. According to him the taxes collected by the Romans were beyond the paying capacity of the people. They were also collected in an unfair manner, but although the populace was annoyed by injustice they found themselves unable to escape it since they lived under ruthless control. Nor could they reach their goal by any other external means. In an attempt to express their displeasure they involved themselves in controversial arguments and sterile metaphorical discussions. A monk of that time describes how controversies were to be found everywhere, in the markets, at the cloth merchonts, the money changers and food dealers. If someone wanted to exchange a gold coin, he had to enter into an argument as to what was created and what was not. Again, if somebody wanted to enquire about the price of gread, he would get as an answer that the Almighty Allah came from the son and the son was obedient to him. If he asked whether his bath had warm water the attendant would reply saying that the son was created from nothingness.
; The same was also true
of China, for the people there disturbed by many ideas to which no
solution could be offered, whilst the complicated problems increasing day
after day. There were three religions in China, Taoism, Confucianism and
Buddhism. They either fell short of serving man's purposes or were
themselves too weak. They soon disappeared and the Chinese were left
without any religious message by means of which they could solve the
problems of the world.
In the Arabian peninsula we find paganism dominant. Gambling was something to be proud of and usury the order of the day. Women were considered as objects of enjoyment and were deprived of their right to live in a dignified manner; the new-born girl was sometimes killed immediately. Wars would break out for any trivial reason and there were many symptoms of decadence.
Al-Tabari says in his commentary upon The Holy Quran that in pre-Islamic days man used to gamble away his family and wealth. If he lost the game he sat sad and looked at his money being transferred to somebody else's hands and this, in turn, engendered enmity and hatered.
It could be said that,
as a whole, the world had not even one vitruous nation, or a single
society founded on morals. There were no governments based on justice and
righteousness, no leadership established on science and wisdom, nor a
religion revealed to a prophet to lead mankind to prosperity and safety.
These grivances, despite their different causes, prompted all peoples to
look for a saviour who would remove injustice and oppression and who would
inculcate a new spirit into their souls. This was not a reason for the
advent of Islam - these grievances could have been treated by the revival
of past messages and the need was not so very pressing for a new prophet
and a new religion.
But the need for Islam stemmed from another direction which made it very necessary for humanity to have a new religion which would, through the amalgamation of the spiritual with the material, be able to realise for humanity its purposes and objectives. The need for such a religion was urgent and its function was to lead the people to an effective and noble life which would recognise earthly needs and sublime virtues. For all these reasons, Islam came to make the world happier and the peoples safe from tyrants. "That is the right religion - but most people know not".
Allah has honoured
man and given him a mind and made him superior to all others. Man's mind
has developed since Adam, the father of all mankind and yet during the
course of time, the mind of man became weakened and in need of aid to help
To promote the faculties of the mind, Allah sent consecutive messages with a number of messengers. Each one of those messengers tried to gain the confidence of his people. Miracles were matters which suited the immature nature and mentality of peoples to whom the prophets were assigned and, for this reason, these miracles were material phenomena which had to be believed in by the beholders and which gave the people the impression that the messengers had the support of a supernatural power.
Man's mind and logic did not realise that it was Allah who created everything and that Allah was Right and Omnipotent. To prove this we need not go back to the days of past prophets and see how they tried to convince their peoples. We will simply review some of the events which occurred some twenty-five centuries ago.
when Allah sent Moses to his people. He gave him qualities which could not be denied. He (Moses) was called from the right side of the valley in the blessed spot of the busy. Allah says what means:
"O Moses, surely I am Allah, the Master of the worlds : And cast down thy rod So when he saw it in motion as if it were a serpent, he turned away retreating, and looked not back. O Moses, come forward and fear not; surely thou art of those who are secure. Insert thy hand unto thy bosom, it will come forth white without evil, and remain calm in fear. These two are two arguments from Your Master to Pharaoh and his chiefs. Surely they are a transgressing people. (The Holy Quran).
These mircies clearly prove the supremacy of mind's logic and show how materialist conception overcomes the spiritual one.
Five or six centuries
later, Jesus was sent to his people to ask them to believe in Allah. As a
proof of his having the support of Allah and that he was inspired by Him
he treated the sick and revived the dead. when Allah will say what means
:" O Jesus, son of Mary, remember My favour to thee and, to thy mother,
when I strengthened thee with the Holy Spirit; thou spokest to people in
the cradle and in old age, and when I taught thee the Book and the Wisdom
and the Torah and the Gospel, and when thou didst deternible out of clay a
thing like the form of a bird by My permission, then thou didst breathe
into it and it became a bird by My permission; and thou didst heal the
blind and the leprous by My permission; and when thou didst raise the dead
by My permission; and when I withheld the Children of Israel from thee
when thou camest to them with clear arguments .. but those of them who
disbelieved said: This is nothing but clear enchantment (The Holy Quran).
This shows how the miracle had developed according to the development of man's mind. From having been concerned with mere matter, it became matter which resulted from heart and feeling. In Jesus' preachings, the call for considering the sentiments of pity,forgiveness and affection was mingled with another call which had no support of logic. This was the call to believe in the Divinity of Allah and, again, it proves that up to that time the mind was unt so mature as to be able to realise the supreme truth about Allah and He was One, on Whoa all depend and that He begets not, nor is begotten and who has no equal.
At the time of Moses and Jesus, Egypt's sciences, philosophy and law passed to Greece and Rome where they conquered the minds of peoples. It is from them that the Greek philosophy and literature took the best. when the mind developed, together with its capacity for logic, it noted that material miracles could not be taken as mental or logical proofs.
Allah has ordained that logic a mind was the crowning quality of human life, provided that logic should not be void of sentiment and spiritual considerations. Mind should compromise between logic, reason, the sentiment and the spirit, all combined together. In this way, it can discover the maximum qualities of humanity and could also discover the secrets of the universe. This was embodied in Islam, the message of which was assigned to Islam's Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdllah, Peace be upon Him. Muhammad's message called for righteousness and reasoning supported by sentimental and spiritual considerations. Allah says what means:
"In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the sky, then gives life therewith to the earth after his death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals, and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between heaven and earth, there are surely signs for a people who understand. Allah says what means: In this creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are surely signs for men of understanding. Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and (lying) on their sides, and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earh Allah, Thou has not created this in vain. Glory be to thee. Save us from the chastisement of the Fire. (The Holy Quran).
Since religion lay at the pinnacle of mental maturity, it had to include solutions for all the problems of man. With Islam mankind will be in no need of another religion. To achieve all these goals, the tenets of Islam are to correspond with the nature and aspirations of man. They seek his welfare even in the case when man, for some reason, has no affiliation to them. Allah says what means :"So set thy face for religion, being upright the nature made by Allah in which He has created men. There is no altering Allah's creation. That is the right religion - but most people know not." (The Holy Quran).
With that call man can dispense with any other appeal since it would be purposeless. For this reason, Muhammad's miracle was represented in that Holy Book which was revealed to him, containing positive power corresponding with humanity in its climax of development. It deals with all human necessities, leaving nothing on earth without careful study. It safeguards for all peoples, and all generations, progress, prosperity and stability. Allah says what means: " This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour to you and chosen for you Islam as a religion. (The Holy Quran).
It is erroneous to assume that Islam has only one ceonomic theory which has no relation to other economic theories.
Islam, being the religion of monotheism, looks at mankind with its grievances as a consolidated unit. Since Islam aims at leading humanity to progress and civilisation it has to offer everything which secures the realisation of all those goals.
In this scrutiny of man in society Islam realises that every individual is influenced by two different elements :
1-The internal one which controls a man's behaviour, dominates his thoughts and shapes his individuality. It is this element which is represented in man's instincts and sentiments.
2-The second element stems from the circumstances of the individual in relation to his environment. This attempts to deprive the first element of its power, and having moulded the individual, to force him into the community without any sense of his own individuality. This element is represented in man's relations with others, whether son, wife, parents, brothers, relatives or friends.
Islam admits that man, by his nature cannot dispense with either of those two elements. They are intercomplementary and upon them the entire human edifice is constructed. It was with this in mind that Islam developed its theory. It outlines for man the way to a happy life, where the individual is not acquisitive at the expense of the interests of the community and the community does not impose upon the individual. It secures, under the shelter of human justice, the good of both individual and the community. This good cannot be reached other than by considering man's individuality and the existence of the community, not only from the materialist point of view, but as has already been said, from all points of view. Islam demands from man that he be a stone in the whole structure of society, and to realise before anything else his relation to existence and his possition in it. It stresses this point and underlines it within itself until it reaches the level of faith. His faith calls upon a man to continue with the purification of his soul and to the development of sound principles within his heart and mind. On that basis man organises his economic and social life and all other aspects of human activity.
Islam purifies the spirit and leads towards what is good; then, on this basis, it constructs the principles of behaviour and morality which derive from it, together with an economic system, for it is not possible to sacrifice these principles in pursuit of an economic organisation.
Islam does not deny man's individual personalty, nor his right of ownership. Nor does it ignore the various instincts which motivate him. On the other hand, it denies the right of the commnity to safeguard individuality to the extent that the strong become more powerful, and the weak weaker, a process which threatens to eradicate the noble aspects of human conscience and sentiment on which the structure of the family and the whole community is founded.
To achieve perfection, humanity must safeguard man's right to personal activities and the reward he may get from them. At the same time, it has to prevent him from exercising pressure on others and from preventing anybody else from enjoying the rewards of his activities.
Islam has realised all this. It recognises ownership and inheritance and respects the family, considering them as the fundamental basis of social life. Realising what may result from the existence of big holdings and the injustice which may be done by the rich, together with the existence of a feeling of unfair treatment due to the disparity of the material rewards to be won by the poor, Islam prevents the existence of big holdings on a basis other than personal effort. Accordingly, it prohibited usury and made inheritance an effective means of splitting big holdings. In this way, no society will have members harbouring the hatred and ill-feeling which arise from an unjust disparity in earnings.
Islam has put man, whether as an individual or member of a community, inside a frame which safeguards the relations of individual with the community. Later, it gave man the liberty to reform himself and his existence within the limits prescribed.
Islam did not introduce independent economic principles which were divorced from other aspects of life, in the manner of positive concepts. Islam has a realistic view towards life. In its opinion, all aspects of life are inter-dependent and its materialist side has to rely on its spiritual side. For this reason, Islam's economic principles are mixed with others which may be material, social or educational.
Nor does Islam, treat economics superficially, it makes a deep study of it, and in all other matters, it tries to find out the secrets of each problem. In The Holy Book and The Sunna these sound principles, based on a natural and realistic footing, are to be found everywhere. They are mentioned in these two sources in a way which follows the latest principles of education. This makes them directives for good behaviour which can be easily assimilated and not just set principles which cannot reach the heart and which are difficult to apply except through violence and authority.
Islam allows ownership and gives this right to everybody, provided no harm is to be done to individuals or groups of individuals. It left to society the regularising of its affairs within these limits according to environment and circumstances related to time and space. If the appilcation of these principles is carried out properly and precisely, Islam is confident of their good results.
It is easy for everyone studying The Holy Book and The Sunna to realise how Islam deals with economy. Islam's way of approaching this can be summarised under the following points:
1 - Developing man's mind :
The Relation between man's mind and the economy is a powerful one, since the human mind is a sound measurement which man has to exploit not leave idle Allah says what means :" In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, and the ships that rnn in the sea with that which profits men, and the water that Allah sends down from the sky, then gives therewith to the earth after its death and spreads in it all (kinds of) animals and the changing of the winds and the clouds made subservient between heaven and earth, there are surely signs for a people who understani (The Holy Quran).
The Quran repeats this meaning many times and in many chapters. It teaches man how to contemplate, and then how to order his relation with his world, in order that he may start on his own from the beginning, without any disturbance or distortion.
2- Faith in Allah is essential for man :
If man thinks deeply he will soon have faith in Allah. if such a man continues contemplation and thought, endeavouring to know about time and space and whatever numberless and changing worlds they include, he will feel that he is an atom in these worlds, which are ordered by sound and steady laws and which aim at certain objectives known to none except Allah. Submissively and quitely, he recognised only Allah and fears neither poverty nor harm. Allah says what means : Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the rememberance of Allah. Now surely in Allah's rememberance do hearts find rest. Those who believe and do good a good final state is theirs and goodly return And might belongs to Allah and His Messenger and the believers, but the hypocrites know not. (The Holy Quran).
3- Recognition of Private Ownership:
(i) Man must recognise and admit this principle. Allah says what means:" Who make the earth a resting place for you and the heavens a structure, and sends down rain from the clouds then brings forth with it fruits for your sustenance; so do not set up rivals to Allah while you know. And make not over your property, which Allah has made a (mean of) support for you, to the weak of understanding, and maintain them out of it, and clothe them and give them a good eduction. (The Holy Quran).
; The verses of The Holy Quran which deal with this point are numerous and there is insufficient space to deal with them here.
of divergent opportunities regarding ownership : There should not be
discrimination regarding, ownership due to birth, race, colour or wealth.
persons, are equal and only by the merit and worth of work can a man be superior. Allah says what means:
"And that man can have nothing but what he strives for. O people, keep your duty to Allah, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women. And keep your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you. O mankind, surely We have created you from a male and a female, and made you tribes and families that you may know each other. Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful of you. Surely Allah is Knowing, Aware. (The Holy Quran).
(iii) Delineation of the means for acquiring possessions : To have money is not a goal in itself, but a means by which life becomes stable and prosperous. In this respect, the fundamental principle of ownership that man can own anything without resorting to violence, should be taken into account. Man is forbidden from using force in obtaining ownership. Beyond this man is free to own anything. Allah says what means : Say : The bad and the good are not equal, though the abundance of the bad may please thee. So keep your duty to Allah, O men of understanding, that you may succeed. Say Allah forbids only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are concealed, and sin and unjust rebellion, and that you associate with Allah that for which He has sent down no authority, and that you say of Allah what you know not (The Holy Quran).
To achieve that goal, Islam ordains the following:
(i) Individuals are forbidden to acquire money through gambling because to gamble is to usurp another's money without reward and because it constitutes an infringement of the rights of society, as opposed to the individual. It makes a member of particular society unable to perform his duties towards the community he lives in. Society requires from every member the offering of productive work. Allah says what means :"O you who believe, intoxicants and games of chance and (sacrificing to) stones set up and (dividing by) arrows are only an uncleanness, the devil's work; so shun it that you may succeed. The devil desires only to create enmity and hatred among you by means of intoxicants and games of chance, and to keep you back from the rememberance of Allah and from prayer. will you then keep back? (The Holy Quran)
(ii) People are forbidden from colleting money through usury. Usury increases the value of capital and encourages people with money not to work. In addition to that, it harbours hatred in the souls of the needy. In such a ease, the community cannot be stabilized and individuals feel no safety. Allah says what means:" Those except as he arises who swallow usury caunot ariseses whom the devil prostrates by (his) touch. That is because they say, Trading is only like usury. And Allah has allowed trading and forbidden usury. To whomsoever then the admontion has come from Allah, and he desists, he shall have what has already passed. And his affair is in the hands of Allah. And whoever returns (to it) - these are the companions of the Fire : therein they will allude - Allah will blot out usury, and lie causes charity to prosper. And Allah loves not any ungrateful sinner. And whatever you lay out at usury, so that it may increase in the property of man it increases not with Allah; and whatever you give in charity, desiring Allah's pleasure, these will get manifold. (The Holy Quran).
(iii) Islam prevents the accumulation of wealth by plundering an dexploiting the weakness of others. Allah says what means" And swallow not up your property surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the judges, so that you may swallow up a part of the property of men wrongfuily while you luiow. O you who believe, devour not your property among yourselves by illegal methods except that it be trading by your mutual consent. And kill not your people. Surely Allah is ever Merciful to you. Those who swallow the property of the orphans unjustiy they swallow only fire into their bellies. And they will burn in blazing fire. Surely Allah commands you to make over trusts to those worthy of them, and that when you judge between people you judge with justice. Surely Allah admonishes you with what is excellent. Surely Allah is ever Hearing. Seeing. O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, bearers of witness for Allah, even though it be against your ownselves or (your) parents or near relatives - whether he be rich or poor, Allah has a better right over them both. So follow not (your) low desires, lest you deviate. And if you distort or turn away from (truth), surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do. (The Holy Quran).
(iv) The organisation of relations between employees and employers. Islam ordains that such relations must be founded on a basis of the muttial exchange of services and equality between all. Allah says what means :" Do they apportion the mercy of Allah? We protion out among them their livehood in the life of this world, and We exalt some of them above others in rank that some of them may take others in service. And the mercy of thy Lord is better than that which they amass".(The Holy Quran).
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, says on this point (The Muslim is the brother of the Muslim he should not do injustice to his brother nor leave him to the mercy of others). By adopting this principle, the morale of the worker rises and the employer's attitude towards him becomes free from any sense of exploitation or monopoly. Everybody has to offer something in order to obtain for himself whatever he is able or needs to obtain. Relations between both parties are to be based on collaboration, following the Prophet's words "There should be no harm for anyone".
(v) Islam combats man's excessive desire for ownership which may oblige one to resort to objectionable means or spend beyond his capacity in order to acquire something he does not need. Ownership is not an aim but a means for achieveing cooperation between peoples in an attempt to secure happiness and welfare. The Holy Quran has a number of verses which explain that wealth and riches, like anything else, are determined by Allah and no power other than Allah's can increase or decrease what He decides for each human being. Allah says what means:"Or who is it that will give you sustenance if he should withhold His sustenance? Nay, they persist in disdain and aversion. Is he who goes prone upon his face better guided or he who walks upright on a straight path? The Prophet also warns people against going to extremes.
As a practical religion, Islam guarantees for people their necessities. In case man should become unable to meet his requirements through his personal effort, the society in whieh he lives has to look after him. In such a case, Islam allows such a man to obtain money from the state treasury (Beit al Mal). Allah says what means:" Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer it, for those whose hearts are to be propitiated, for the captives for those in debt and in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer - an ordinance from Allah. And Allah is Knowing, Wise. (The Holy Quran).
(vi) Islam defines the ways in which a man may enjoy whatever he possesses. In doing so, it never restricts man's liberty, but it sets up a barrier between man and excess in enjoying himself lest he should forget the others who live with him in the same community, or tends to usurp their rights. In this context Islam introduced some prohibitions and imposed restriction. Allah says what means:" O ,men, eat the lawful and good things from what is in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil, Surely he is an open enemy to you. O you who believe, forbid not the good things which Allah has made lawful for you and exceed not the limits Surely Allah loves not those who exceed the limits. And eat of the lawful and good (things) that Allah has given you, and keep your duty to Allah, in Whom you believe. (The Holy Quran)
The Quran not only asks people to be reasonable in enjoying themselves, but warns those who deviate from the right path and tells them that they will go astray. Allah says what means : "They are losers indeed who kill their children foolishly without knowledge, and forbid that which Allah has provided for them, forging a he against Allah. They indeed go astray, and are not guided. And He it is who produces gardens, trellised and untrllised, and palms and seed - produce of which the fruits are of various sorts, and olive and promegranates, like and unlike. Eat of its fruit when it bears fruit, and pay the due of it on the day of its reaping, and be not prodigal. Surely He loves not the prodigals. And of the cattle (He has created) some for burden and some for slaughter. Eat of that which Allah has given you and follow not the foosteps of the devil. Surely he is your open enemy. Eight in pairs of the sheep two and of the goats two. Say Has He forbidden the two males or the two females or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Inform me with knowledge, if you are truthful; and of the camels two and of the cows two. Say : Has He forbidden the males or the two females or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Or were you witnesses when Allah enjoined you this? Who is then more unjust and he who forges a lie against Allah to lead men astray without knowledge? Surely Allah guides not the iniquitous people. (The Holy Quran).
(vii) Islam develops in man the spirit of Cooperation with others. It ordains that every man should give the needy a specified proportion of his wealth. By doing this, hatred against the wealthy people cannot be harbonred by the poor. This is in accordance with Islam's aim which enjoins the achievement of security and order. Allah says what means "And keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and bow down with those who bow down. Only Allah is your Friend and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayer and pay the poorrate, and they bow down. Take alms out of their property thou wouldst cleanse them and purify them thereby - and pray for them. Surely thy prayer is a relief to them. And Allah is Hearing, Knowing. The Holy Quran).
(viii) Islam safeand protects man's property. This is done in the following ways
; (a) It protects peoples' properties from being stolen or pillaged by deterrent punishments. Allah says what means : "The only punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is that they should be murdered, or crucified, or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides, or they should be imprisoned. This shall be a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement. And (as for) the man and the woman addicted to theft, cut off their hands as a punishment for what they have earned, an exemplary punishment from Allah. And Allah is Mighty, Wise. (The Holy Quran).
(b) Islam also protects people against fraud by forbidding anybody from using the property of another without any legal claim. Allah says what means "And swallow not up your property among yourselves by false means, nor seek to gain access thereby to the judges, so that you may swallow up a part of The property of men wrongfully while you know. (The Holy Quran).
(c) Islam prohibits man from wastefully spending money, even for charity. Allah says what means:" O men, eat the lawful and good things from what is in the earth, and follow not the footsteps of the devil. Surely he is an open enemy to you. And give to the near of kin his due and (to) the needy and squander not wastefully. Surely the squanderers are the devil's brethren. And the devil is ever ungrateful to his Allah. And if thou turn away from them to seek mercy from Allah which thou hopest for, speak to them a gentle word. And make not thy hand to be shakied to thy neck, nor stretch it forth to the utmost (limit) of his stretching forth, lest thou sit down blamed, stripped off. And they who, when they spend are neither extravagant nor parsimonious, and the just means is ever between these. (The Holy Quran).
(ix) Islam creates the incentives to ownership since the absence of these incentives may lead to disinterestedness and frustration with the rigours of life. An individual is to leave his property to his relatives and this property serves also as a further incentive which requires from man not to give up an active life because he has reached the stage of self-sufficiency. To achieve this goals, Islam provided the inheritance laws. Allah says what means : "For men is a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave, and for women a share of what the parents and the near relatives leave, whether it be little or much - an appointed share. And when relatives and the orphans and the needy are present at the division give them out of it and speak to them kind words. (The Holy Quran).
4 - Respect for the community:
Islam enjoins strengthening of family relations between its members since it believes that the family is the basis on which the society is founded. It also requires all members of every family to respect the rights and obligations towards the family and to consider the duties of rearing, protecting and looking after children. Allah says what means :"And serve Allah, and associate naught with Him, and be good to the parents and to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the neighbour of (your) kin and the alien neighbour, and the companion in a journey and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess. Surely Allah loves not such as are proud, boastful, who are niggardly and bid people to be niggardly and hide that which Allah has given them out of His grace. And We have prepared for the disbelievers an abasing chastisement. And mothers shall suckle their children for two whole years, for him who desires to complete the time of suckling. And their maintenance and their clothing must be borne by the father according to usage. No soul shall be burdened beyond its capacity. Neither shall a mother be made to suffer harm on account of her child, nor a father on account of his child, and the similar duty devolved on the (father's) heir. And Allah has decreed that you serve none but Him, and do good to parents If either or both of them reach old age with thee, say not (Fie)to them, nor chide them, and speak to them a generous word And lower to them the wing of hurnility out of mercy, and say Allah, have mercy on them, as they brought me up (when I was) little. By these decrees the Holy Quran not only aims at the protection of the family, which is the basis of the society but it also protects the society against the following
(i) The accumulation of wealth. By the law of inheritance The Holy Quran decrees that big holdings be divided in a way which protects society against economic inflation and the accumulation of wealth by one single family, since it will harm society both in relation to its individual members in its general character and structure.
(ii) Selfishness dominating the members of society. Selfishness removes the element of harmony and cohesion in a society. Allah says what means : "If your fathers and your brethren and your wives and your kinsfolk and the wealth you have acquired, and trade whose dullness you fear, and dwellings you love, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings His command to pass. And Allah guides not the transgressing people. Go forth, light and heavy, and strive hard in Allah's way without your wealth and your lives. This is better for you, if you know. (The Holy Quran).
The restiveness of either the individual or the family and their deviation from the proper way is due to the dominance of the love of money, which they conceive of as a goal and not a means. Islam, in more than one of the verses of The Holy Quran, explains that wealth is not the means for securing stability and order-this is a fact which experience endorses. Allah says what means :"Let not then their wealth nor their children excite thine admiration. Allah only wishes to chastise them there with in this world's life and (that) their souls may de part while they are disbelievers. Quran was surely of the people of Moses, but he oppressed them, and we gave him treasures, so much so that his hoards of wealth would weigh down a body of strong men. When his people said to him Exult not; surely Allah loves not the exultant. And seek the abode of the Hereafter by means of what Allah has given thee, and neglect not thy portion of the world, and do good (to others) as Allah has done good to thee, and seek not to make mischief in the land. Surely Allah loves not the mischief mackers. He said I have been given this only on account of the knowledge I have. Did he not know that Allah had destroyed before him generations who were mightier in strength than he and greater in assemblage? And the guilty are not questioned about their sins. And it is not your wealth, nor your children, that brings you near to Us in rank, but whoever believes and does good, for such is a double reward for what they do, and they are secure in the highest places. (The Holy Quran).
(iii) The domination of materialism and disappearance of idealism destroy the most powerful communities. Islam demands that should be given to people of limited incomes; this raises the normale of such people and safeguards others against loss in case they become incapacitated due to illness. Allah says what means:" It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteous is the one who believes in Allah, and the last Day, and the angels, and the Book and the Prophets, and gives away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and to those who ask and to set slaves free and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate; and the performers of their pronuse when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in the time of conflict. These are they who are truthful; and those are they who keep their duty. Alms is only for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer it, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth), and (to free) the captives, and those in debt, and in the way of Allah and for the wayfarer - on ordinance from Allah And Allah is Knowing, Wise. Islam, by attractive promises, also persuades men to help others by granting them loans, without interest, seeking only the graciousness of Allah. Allah says what means : Who is it that will offer to Allah a goodly gift, so He multiplies it to him manifold? And Allah receives and amplifies, and to Him you shall be returned. (The Holy Quran).
In respecting the collective identity of the community Islam not only protects them from aggression by individuals, but it gives preference, in case of conflict, to the community interest. Should it be necessary, the interest of the individual must be set aside in favour of the inter ests of the community.
(a) That individuals and their properties are to be placed in the service of the community. Sometimes, Islani persuades individuals to make sacrifices in this respect. Allah says what means :"Surely Allan has bought from the believers their persons and their property - theirs (in return) is the Garden. They fight in Allah's way, so they slay and are slain. It is a promise which is binding on Him in The Torah and The Gospel and The Quran. And who is more taithful to his promise than Allah? Rejoice therefore m your bargain which you have made. And that is the mighty achievement. (The Holy Quran).
In case persuasion does not work, Islam gives it the shape of an order. The Holy Quran says what means:" And spend in the way of Allah and cast not yourselves to perdition with your own hands and do good (to others). Surely Allah loves the doers of good.
which are of general utility are to be exercised by the community. They
have to be controlled by the community
through its rulers, as a means of giving everyone an equitable share in
them. Allah says what means : He it is Who sends down water from
the clouds for you; it gives drink, and by it (grow)
the trees on which you feed. And He it is
Who made the sea subservient that you may eat fresh fish from it and bring forth from it ornaments which you wear. And thou seest the ships cleaving through it, so that you seek of His bounty and that you may give thanks He it is Who made the earth subservient to you, so go about in the spacious sides thereof, and eat of His sustenance. And to Him is the rising (after death). Allah is He Who made subservient to you the sea that the ships may glide therein by His command, and that you may seek of His grace, and that you may give thanks. And He has made subservient to you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth, all from Himself. Surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.
Although Islamic legilation clarifies these truths and makes them easier to attain, the Islamic economy does not remain immune from ill-informed attacks either by the ignorant or the prejudiced. Such people do not take the trouble of a careful study. Motivated by enmity they decry the Islamic economic system as well as other Islamic ordinances concerning the individual, the community and life. In order to make our study of this subject complete, it is imperative that we refer to some of those maledictory changes by means of which they try to attack Islam. The proverty and foolishness of this falsification shows itself immediately:
1.-They decry the Islamic economic system as being dependent on hidden and spiritual factors which are then taken as its foundation. They say that by introducing these theories. Islam, as well as other religions, anaesthetize the working classes.
A fact which allows
no controversy is that Islam has never been at any stage an anaesthetizing
agent. It was, and still is, a revolutionary system aiming at the good of
peoples. It is easy for anyone who studies its principles to recognize the
power and fervour in them and the considerations spiritual and material
which they inculcate in the souls of their followers. By following Islamic
principies, an equilibrium missed by other systems is establi shed. There
is no such vacuum as is created by the preference for one over the other.
This can be easily seen in our present-day world where many nations are
obliged to take irregular measures, leaving other perplexed and agitated.
This state of affairs can be seen in the capitalist as well as in the
communist world. It is a fact that the day any nation takes religion as
its law, it will never lose its dignity and pride. In this context, the
philosopher Bentham says that when a nation resorts to a system of law,
criminals will have less hope of escaping punishment. This is true and
constitute a psychological rule which legislators and those concerned with
the psychology of people are well aware of.
2.They say that the verses of the Holy Quran clearly state that all things are owned by Allah and that there is no private ownership. The opposite is true does not The Holy Quran say what means And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Possessor of power over all things. There are many similar verses in the Quran.
It is true that we cannot deny Allah's ownership of everything, but to conclude that Islam does not allow private ownership is erroneous.
Islam and all other divinley inspired religions share the view that the entire universe, and everything in it, is owned by Allah. This is a philosophical concept which cannot possibly be interpreted as meaning the abolition of private ownership of land. This theory explains the truth about the universe and determines its relation with Allah; it does not determine the economic relation existing among peoples on earth.
With this theory, Islam puts the issue of ownershipin a general conceptual frame and this is very different from the capitalist's concept of his natural right to control what he possesses. Allah, in Islam, represents absolute righteousness and complete justice; it is He Who dominates the whole universe and directs it. If this is the case, it is inconceivable that Islam should give any owner of land a free hand in dealing with his property in a way which may do harm to others.
Islam with its comprehensive theory about the universe had connected, both conceptually and implicitly, the issue of ownership with a supreme and moral law. Regarding the universe, Islam claims that there is a force for justice and good behind the world. If this theory does not deny the right of ownership or regularise the details of its system, it does at least from the theoretical point of view, outline general provisions for disposition of ownership.
3.-They also hold that in legislation Islam is unworkable, since its ordinances come in a general form without giving details or limits. This should not be taken as a defect, but as something Islam can be proud of. It is a pointer to the uniqueness of Islam and without it, Islam would not be a structure fitted for all times and for all places.
Allah has never created man in order to place him in fetters as these legislators think, nor did He lay down principles and theories to be kept in museums. On the contrary Allah has created man to enjoy the life which He created for him. Man is allowed to enjoy everything in life except those things which lead him to destruction. By legislation, Islam wishes to prevent the man from committing such actions. For this reason, Islamic ordinances are given in a general form. Their details and interpretations are to be left to environment and time to determine and decide, according to life's necessities and in conformity with those general rules. They are never at odds, either with nature or with intellect, nor do they stand in the way of progress and advancement. Islam believes in development, advancement and progress.
4.-Others say that a system, which remained unchanged after the death of its pioneer except for a short period, cannot be considered a permanent system on which people can rely. These are fine and powerful words indeed, but the truth is otherwise. History stresses that as soon as The Muslims obtained a real Caliph with true Islamic understanding and spirit, Islam began to prove its worth once again. After being separated from the world by its own egotism. The Islamic government became once more a vital force pulsating with life.
The Caliph was
Omar ibn `Abd al-Aziz, and although he did not survive long he was able
completely to infuse. the true Islamic traditions into the structure of
the state. He gave us sufficient proof of the fact that the energy
inherent in Islam was one which was suited to be utilised at all times,
and what Omar ibn `Abd al-Aziz did yesterday we can do today.
This was remarked upon by Professor Gibb in his book «Whither Islam». In this book Professor Gibb admits that Islam is still able to offer to humanity a noble and sublime service. No religion other than Islam can succeed so gloriously in bringing different human races close to each other and forming out of them a unit founded on equality. The big Muslim communities, he adds, living in Africa, India and Indonesia, and even the small Islamic community living in China and in Japan, are nothing if not a proof that Islam still enjoys the power to dominate all these different elements composing many races and classes. Professor Gibb adds that if the differences between the East and the West are to be studied and solved, recourse must be had to Islam in the settling of the dispute.
5.-The biggest defect in Islamic economic system,as seen by capitalists, is the prescribing of usury and the prohibition of dealings in interest in their opinion, the abolition of interest hinders the progress of business and trade transactions as well as the implementation of import and natural schemes.
Assuming for the sake of argument. that it does hinder both, Islam provides the finest possible recompense in that it prevents the wars which are caused by loans and debts and which cause humanity so much unhappiness and misery.
In the early days of Islam, trade was practised normally and commerce extended everywhere; important public projects came into being all over the vast Muslim world of the time achieviong for it a place in the van of the great powers who competed together in the furthering world civilisation. During that period of Islam, no such defects in the Islamic structure can be found.
The prohibition of dealings in interest is a system which is difficult to reconcile with the new world which the material civilisaton of the West has brought into being. But the system laid down by Islam was a practical one during the early centuries of Islam. The interest on capital, without which transactions cannot be undertaken, differs somewhat from normal debts. In such a case, labour acapital work together and this partnership is not prohibited by Islam. The Islamic social system stipulates that capital and labour should share gains and losses. The payment of fixed interest means that capital earns fixed profits, even in cases where labour fails to earn anything.
Objection is made often to the participation of labour and capital in gains and losses. It is said that that system is unpractical as it always requires book-keeping. There is no need to mention that book-keeping is a necessity in trade and commerce; to keep such books is necessary in decidling taxes and imposing duties. All limited companies, working on a large scale, keep books and ledgers. To do this is more beneficial to the common interest than to adopt the system of adding interest to capital, which adds in turn to the evils of capitalism. By doing so, injustice is done to labour. Loans floated by governments or companies for the implementation of large schemes, such as the construction of railroads and canals and the like, may be made on these lines. If the general system of banks is set up on cooperative basis, as approved by the social system of Islam, it would be a great blessing for humanity.
Supposing that a state enforces legislation abolishing interest on capital in banks, companies, projects and personal loans, what would happen then? The capitalists, in their attempt to increase their funds, would find no alternative to the following two general courses of action:
(a) To invest their money of their own accord in in dustry trade or agriculture, or
b) To invest their money, through cooperation, in limi ted companies (whose shares may gain or lose.
Both ways are approved by Islam and by adopting either way, the economy loses nothing. The only fear is that capitalists may refrain from depositing their money in banks which occasionally finance big schemes. But this is an imaginary danger; we fear it merely because in dealing with money only European methods are applied. Man's natural tendency to accumulate wealth should be taken into consideration. Money cannot be increased except by investing it in one way or another. This natural tendency does not allow capital to remain unutilised. If we are eager to implement big schemes to bring about what is called «largescale production», legislation for some form of heavy industry must be enforced which will permit people with the minimum of capital to launch schemes. This being so, capital will be jointly contributed and exposed to either gain or loss. There will be no need for issuing banks and if other banks wish to get profits, they have to subscribe their own and their depositors' funds which will be invested, with their approval, in schemes which may gain or lose. To guarantee interests is simply usury. This will not prevent the flow of capital either national or foreign, since most capital is not deposited in banks but utilised in commercial schemes. Insurance companies can be considered as Islamic concerns in that the funds deposited in them become liable to gain or loss, increase or decrease. They can invest their deposits in profitable projects which will be, in turn, liable to gain or loss. Insurance companies have to pay every person who insures with them an amount which may be bigger or smaller than that which he paid. They have to deduct from depositors the amount of money the company loses in proportion to each one's deposit. In this way, those who take out insurance themselves from a cooperative group which extends help to the needy and security in case of need. This is applicable to saving accounts and the like. All these organisations can be transferred to cooperative estabishments which have to utilise their funds in productive projects liable to gain and loss. They should not yield fixed interest. In this way, our economic system will not be branded with the disgraceful mark of usury and capital will seek productive labour ensuring both earnings and development.
From the brief study we have made it is possible to realise to what extent capitalism as an economic system, has failed to meet the requirements of a whole society and prevent the supremacy of one class over another.
In spite of its assumption that it is beneficial, this study shows us how capitalism has failed to create the good capitalist who will sacrifice everything for the sake of applying capitalist principles properly. On the contrary capitalism kindles the fire of selfishness in men's souls and it was due to this system that selfishness developed and became protected by rules and regulations and the security and tranquility of the people changes to fear and agitation.
This led some people
who felt the bitterness of life under capitalism to introduce to humanity
a counter system which attacked systems associated with capitalism and by
a natural process this led to revolutions. Communism and the ideas which
stem from it, however deviated from the correct path and it has fallen
into the same mistakes which threaten to destroy capitalism.
Communism has condemned the entire structure of capitalism but as has already been mentioned, in presenting an alternative system communism introduced the oretical system rather than a practical one.
When communism had the opportunity to apply its own system, it was faced by events for which it was not prepared. In its attempt to extricate itself from them it was obliged to have recourse to capitalism and quietly to borrow from it.
The progress and development which were achieved by both parties are not to be accounted for by the extreme economic system they believed in unless economics were themselves the goal and not the means for securing the welfare of peoples. Such a goal cannot be achieved under such blind and materialist extremist. Any system, whether capitalist or communist, which sets up life on a basis of economics and erects morality on such a foundation without paying any attention to faith in public life, can never pave the way for humanity to the state of happiness which is its goal. Such a system provides for man the evils and difficulties from which he suffers today. It makes the attempts to prevent wars and to stabilise world peace futile.
As long as individual and social relations are governed by bread to be eaten, money to be spent and power to be imposed, each individual will go on falling upon the other and each community will seize every opportunity to usurp another's possessions or to completely destroy it. Under such a system, everyone will treat every one else as enemies and not as brothers and the moral basis of the soul will continue to be that of the beast though this may remain hidden till the occasion arrives. Events in the present-day world are a good example of this. Rivalry, competition and conflict are the order of the day and show themselves in the capitalist on the one side and the communist on the other. Under the system of individualism a worker, becomes the rival of the worker and the capitalist competes with the capitalist and both the worker and the capitalist become in turn opponents to each other. It is surprising that the followers of this system believe that rivalry and struggle lead man to goodness, happiness and progress. The communist system believes that struggle between classes is something which destroys all of them, leaving the field to the workers and claim that this state of affairs is demanded and imposed by nature. Both systems provide for humanity an unquiet life, with no stability or safety. The people of this age have gone back to the life of the forest where fears dominated and peace was beyond realisation. - Under such conditions security is something to be hoped for but which remains a mirage.
Islam, with its principles, stands in the middle road. Regarding economics, it does not take hasty action nor is it a view point motivated by wickedness or selfishness. Islam's theories about economics were those revealed by Allah, Creator of The Universe. Islam is a philosophy which cannot be matched by the minds of philosophers; the mind of that which is created cannot reach the level of the mind of The Creator.
Islam deals carefully and clearly with economics. It includes principles whose application results in securing the welfare and good of communities. It takes no sides with a group against another, nor does it harbour a grudge against the rich so as to deprive them of rights previously given to them. Moreover, its pity for the poor does not reach a level where the balance of things is upset. Islam consists of practical theories based on a sound foundation which aim at securing the interest of everyone. Islam is the light which illuminates the road for all classes of all nations. It directs each class of the community to the proper way by which it secures good for itself and for the community as a whole. Islam in culcates into the souls of all peoples the meanings of goodness and happiness. Allah says what means :"And who is better than Allah to judge for a people who are sure?"
From this brief account of the economic theory of Islam it can be seen that it is the only system which leads nations to progress and prosperity. Allah says what means : "That is the right religion - And most people know not."
Similarly, Islam is seen to be a consolidated and perfect unit; the system must be taken as a whole and not in part. Allah says what means: "And whatever the Messenger gives you, accept it, and whatever he forbids you, abstain (therefrom).
In short, these are simple, ordered, truths, both theoretical and practical, which stress the need for applying Islam and its economic system to the critical problems facing our present-day world - Allah says what means:" And We reveal of the Quran that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers.
Besides these scientific facts there are the natural laws which demand that Islam supervise the affairs of the present-day world. It is true that capitalism has succeeded in spreading its influence, but people lost faith in it when they discovered the truth about it. At that moment, communism welcomed the multitudes who opposed capitalism, tried to satisfy their desires and so destroyed itself. In uncovering the communists false paradise, people were quicker than in discovering the falsehoods of capitalism.
William Faulkner says that one day capitalism and communism will disappear and humanity will survive. The communists themselves have this feeling, and because of this they take a suspicious and hostile stand vis a vis Islam and The Muslims.
Communism, he goes on to say, invites the enmity of Islam because it fears its rivalry in organising society according to its precepts and ordinances. Communism's enmity towards Islam resembles that of the Russian ruler towards his subjects whom he wanted to deprive of the wealth and freedom. Another reason for this is communism`s feeling that nothing but bankruptcy will result from the failure of the Marxist experiments, one after the other during recent years. The state was obliged under the communist system to recognise the right of ownership and inheritance. It also admitted the differential in wages and in standards of living. It accepted the principle of the separation of both sexes in educational institutions.
It recoguised the existence of the family, its relations andof nationalism, with its effective power, which defends the nation and responds to its national ambitions. The communists, Faulker continues, see today how Islam wins and Marxist materialism retreats. They believe that the forthcoming conflict will be between what they call Marxist ideology and Islamic ideology. Democracy will not be involved in such a conflict as it is not a religion which opposes communism; democracy is only a negative appeal which prevents the misuse of rule, restriction on liberties and the oppressive restrictions imposed on the division of labour and earnings. The positive side of the issue has never been the concern of democracv at any time. Communism, in this case, finds itself facing a powerful opponent in Islam and one not easily to be defeated. No one can argue that positive application is not ordained by Islam, especially in our time when The Muslims are making progress and learning how to apply the principles of social reform with necessary adjustment to meet material demands, spiritual considerations and the requirements of nodern science.
Will Durant, in the «Story of Civilisation», refers to the same subject. He admits that the gap existing between basic theories and factural events is narrower in Islam than in any other religion. The conflict which the communists are sure will take place and for which they make preparations is neither negligible nor of an ordinary nature. Among the nations of The Asian East, The Muslims are most hated and disliked by the communists for they know that The Muslims have more spiritual and intellectual power than the communists. It is a war of life or death for which the communists mobilise all their potentialities. This will not be the first war waged against Islam. Islam was involved in many such wars and it survived while the many enemies who wages those wars against it for hundreds of years are dead and gone.
Islam will survive till the last day when Allah will inherit the earth and all that it contains whilst Communism along with other systems will be no more.
After studying other systems and detecting the one which is good, people will begin to take shelter under one or other of them. Facts and natural laws declare it to be Islam which is to play this role - Allah says what means:" That was the way Allah concerning those who have gone before and thou wilt find no- change in the way of Allah.
|This link is listed for Free.||Learn More about featuring your site.|
|Addition Date:||Added on Nov,23,04 :: Last modified Nov,23,04|
|Title:||Studies in Islam Series Islam and Contemporary Economic Theories|
|Author's name:||More Articles by Mohammad Shawqi Al-Fanjari|
|Link's Owner:||admin :: Visit Profile|
|Contact Owner:||This owner does not wish to be contacted.|
|Description:||No Description specified.|
|Keywords:||No keywords specified.|
|Listed in Category:||Home: Islamic Virtual Library: Islamic Books And Literature: Islamic Economics: Studies in Islam Series Islam and Contemporary Economic Theories|
|Number Of Votes:||0 Total Votes.|
|Current Rating:||:: Rate Now|
|Number Of Hits From Our site:||425|
|Number Of Recommendations:||No recommendations yet. :: Recommend Now|
|Number Of Reviews:||No reviews yet. :: Write a Review|
|Guestbook:||No Guestbook entries yet. :: Sign Guestbook|
|Top Sites Banner:||The counter below counts the actual hits that this site and this page have gotten so far. For this counter to be accurate the link owner must insert the MuslimsCounter code on their page, if not then it only represent this page total hits.|