From Issue: 1060 [Read full issue]
Minimum Living Standard
The goal of Islam is not to eliminate riches but to eliminate misery. What is misery? It is a shortage of the things which are indispensable for a normal life, having less than the necessary minimum for life, being below "the minimum living standard.'' "The minimum living standard" is a natural and historical category and represents the sum of goods that is necessary for a man and his family to satisfy their physical and social needs. It follows that society is not bound to reduce everyone to the same level, but first of all to give every man the said minimum standard. Islamic social measures are limited to the elimination of misery and do not extend to the equalization of property, the moral and economic justification of which is dubious.
Every settled society, in addition to moral and humane criteria, rules by the imperative of survival. Islamic society, to be so, must be maximally humane and maximally efficient. It is not Islamic if humane regards threaten its stability, and vice versa, if exaggerated emphasis on aspiration to efficiency and power allow the violation of the essential principles of freedom, human rights, and humanism. The constitution of an Islamic society is determined by the coalescence of these two opposite conditions.
"Islam Between East and West" - Alija Ali Izetbegovic, p. 207