December 06, 2023 | Jumada I 23, 1445
Al-Hashr (The Gathering) Sura 59: Verse 7 (partial)
"Whatever gains God turns over to His Messenger from the people of the townships belong to God, the Messenger, kinsfolk, orphans, the needy and the traveller in need. Thus, they would not just circulate among those of you who are rich."
This verse states a major rule of the Muslim community's economic and social system: thus, money "would not just circulate among those of you who are rich." Although the rule is stated in connection with the gains made in a particular encounter, the rule goes beyond the immediate event to state fundamental principle for the Islamic social system.
Islamic economic system approves private ownership but makes it subject to this rule that excludes the possibility of wealth being circulated only among the rich in society. Whatever situation leads to the poor being outside the general circulation of wealth, keeping it only in the hands of the rich, is contrary to the Islamic economic system and works against one of its major social organization objectives. All transactions in the Muslim community must be so organized so as not to allow such a situation to develop, and to dismantle it if it does exist. Thus, Islamic system makes Zakat an essential duty. The system Islam approves of for renting agricultural land is based on sharing the produce between the owner and the renter. Islam strictly forbids monopoly and usury, which are the two main tools that lead to money being circulated purely among the rich. This shows that the whole economic system Islam lays down is geared to implementing this most important rule.
"In the Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qutb, Vol 16, pp. 430, 431
From Issue: 581 [Read original issue]
"You know better the affairs of your worldly life." [Muslim]
The above hadith is one on which some people base their evasion of the legal injunctions in the spheres of economics, civic and political duties, and the like, because these matters - so they claim - are among worldly concerns, and we know them better, and the Messenger, peace be upon him, entrusted them to us! But is this really what the noble hadith intends?
By no means. Among the purposes with which God sent His messengers is that they should stipulate for the people the principles of justice, the balanced norms of equity, and the regulations of the rights and duties in their worldly life, so that their standards should not clash, nor their ways differ. [Quran, Al-Haidid, 57:25]
So texts of the Book and the Sunnah have come which order and regulate everyday concerns - selling and buying, partnership and mortgaging, leasing and lending, and other matters - to the extent that the longest verse in the Book of God was sent down on the arrangement of a matter that is slight among the worldly matters, namely the writing down of debts. [Quran, Al-Baqarah, 2:282]
This hadith is interpreted by the occasion that prompted it, namely the incident of the pollination of date-palms. The Prophet's indication to the people about this was his conjecture, for he was not an agriculturist, he had grown up in a valley not endowed with crops. But the Ansar supposed his opinion to be by way of a revealed or religious command, and so they abandoned pollination. Its effect was bad for their yield.
"Approaching the Sunnah: Comprehension & Controversy" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 126, 127
From Issue: 609 [Read original issue]
Body and Soul
This world is a stage or market-place passed by pilgrims on their way to the next. It is here that they are to provide themselves with provisions for the way; or, to put it plainly, man acquires here, by the use of his bodily senses, some knowledge of the works of God, and, through them, of God Himself, the sight of whom will constitute his future beatitude. It is for the acquirement of this knowledge that the spirit of man has descended into this world of water and clay. As long as his senses remain with him he is said to be "in this world"; when they depart, and only his essential attributes remain, he is said to have gone to "the next world."
While man is in this world, two things are necessary for him: first, the protection and nurture of his soul; secondly, the care and nurture of his body. The proper nourishment of the soul is the knowledge and love of God, and to be absorbed in the love of anything but God is the ruin of the soul. The body, so to speak, is simply the riding animal of the soul and perishes while the soul endures. The soul should take care of the body, just as a pilgrim on his way to Mecca takes care of his camel; but if the pilgrim spends his whole time in feeding and adorning his camel, the caravan will leave him behind; and he will perish in the desert.
"Alchemy of Happiness" - Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali
From Issue: 954 [Read original issue]