Life's Equilibrium with Fair distribution of Wealth in Society
Life's Equilibrium with Fair distribution of Wealth in Society
The absolute ownership of all the resources in the glob, according to Islamic point of view rests with Allah Almighty. These resources are entrusted to man for a limited time ( the span of his life ). Allah has endowed man with physical and mental capabilities for exploration, development and utilization of the means of livelihood. However, the distributuion of material and non-material endowments among the individuals and nations is not uniform and equal. The very purpose of this scheme is to test man wheather he remains loyal to his Master, both in blessings and sufferings. If this line of reasoning about the status of man on earth seems rationl, then the philosophy underlying Islamic social system can be easily undertood. Islam teaches its follower to explor the bounties of Allah, to be content with what they get through fair means and to refrain from pride, greed, and jealousy; since the absolute distribution is beyond his control. It advises further that one ought to be careful and moderate while handling the trusts placed at his disposal. This is to ensure optimal utilization of scarce resources along with preservation or minimization of wastage.
The love for wealth or strong affinity for wordly goods rests embedded in the very nature of man. The reason is simple; he derives utility and satisfaction from wealth and commodities. Islam recognizes this fact and does not condemn it. However, it realizes the fact that all the endowments are temporary and never eternal. Further, these are only the means of life but not the ends per se. The goals of human life are far superior than striving merely for satisfaction of material wants. Therfore, a true beliver ( follower of Islam ) ought not to indulge as much in the acquisition of utilities as to forget the very aim of life. However, this doesnot imply that one should abandon the strugle for excellence and devote his time to priesthood, which is forbidden in Islam. What Islam emphasizes is that an individual ought to keep in view the target ( pleasure of Allah ), to follow a balanced track and to avoid extremism. He is expected to follow an attitude of gratitude ( Shukr ) and patience ( sabr ) in all times.
To attain these values, Islam recognizes the equality of all men in their rights to compete for and exploit the available resources and to excel according to their capabilities. However, the real economic problem, according to Islamic point of view, lies in distribution of economics resources objectively, both at the national and international level. Islam prescribes a system that guaranties fulfilment of the basic needs for all members of the society. It is emphasized to take due care of those brethren who are least endowed or deprived of their means and physical or mental capabilities. Islam provides adequate opportunities for development of personalities leading to highest perfection and decent living conditions, free from fear and frustration. A comprehensive phrase of " AL-Adle Al-Ijtema`e` or social justice is used in the Islamic literature to denote this objective. In fact, the existence of an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, in which every individual can have a fair chance of getting his livelihood according to his capabilities, is sure a reward of Allah Almighty and His favour toward a society. The Quran uses the term of fear ( khauf ) and starvation ( juae ) in contrast to peace ( Amn ) and nourishment satisfaction ( Itaam- Itminan ) to devote different socio-economic conditions. It promises plenty of commodities ( Rizq ) and a decent living ( Hayat-e-Tayyebah ) for those who are true and righteous.
To achieve the target, Islam devises the government principles upon which the whole social structure has to be founded. For instance, it recognizes the freedom of choice for the individual within permissible limits, the right of private ownership and also the rights of other members of the society in one's earning. It emphasizes to provide equal chances for all to get their livelihood and urges the individuals to follow the right and legitimate tracks both in earning and spending. Above all, the system stands to promote a just distribution of wealth and it wider circulation in the society. The system has to adopt all the possible strategies within its reach to achieve the goal of social justice. The positive measures include the enactment of the law of inheritance, the enforcement of Zakah and promotion of healthy competition; for instance.The abolition of interest from financial transactions and restriction of economic activities that are socially undesirable like gambling and transactions based on mere luck and fortune, hoarding and black marketing, adulteration and fraudulent dealings, bribery and embezzlement, sale of intoxicant, propagation of obscenity and indecent culture etc; are example of prohibitive measures.
As stated above a certain doze of state intervention is essential in order to materialize the objectives of Shariah, and all the necessary policies and strategies have to be provided with full legal protection. There may be certain individuals within the Muslim society who might not respond properly to be injections of Islam and they will need proper inducement. Further the presence hostile element in such society cannot be excluded and hence the coercive power of the state is a must to combat such cases. Islamic economists and jurists have identified at least two areas within the economic sphere were state intervention becomes directly relevant and essential, namely the abolition of interest and enforcement of Zakah. There may be other areas where active public policies are relevant and socially desirable, however not mandatory. It depends on the actual condition of economy and on the general moral standards of the society.
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