ECONOMIC SYSTEM

OF
THE HOLY QURAN
G. A. Parwez
IDARA TOLU-E-ISLAM (REGD.)
25-B, GULBERG-2, LAHORE-54660
PAKISTAN
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Name of the Pamphlet
Author
English Rendering by
Published by
Printed by
I" Edition
funded by
Economic System of The Holy QUTan
Late Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
Miss Saleena Karim
Nottingham, UK.
Idar. Tolu-e-lslam
25-B. Gulberg 2. Lahore-S4660
PAKlSTAN
Phone +9242 571 4546.
Email: ldaralivtoluislam.com
Website: bttp:llwww.toluislam.com
May. 2005
Bazm Tolu-e-Islam London
76 Park Road.
Ilford Essex .
IGI ISF UK
Phone & Fax 44 208 553 1896
Email: bf1Zm.londoDIQivirgin,nct
Website: www,islam2Linfo
3
Economic System of the Holy Quran
CONTENTS
Preface ................................................................................. 5
Translator's Note ............................................................... 10
Glossary ofterms used in this booklet ............................... 12
Economic System of tbe Holy Quran .............................17
Prayer of Prophet Abraham (PBUH) ................................. 18
Iatroductory Principles ....................................................... 19
Milestone ...........................................................................20
FIRST STAGE
Individual Life ...................................................................21
Individual AppeaJ ...............................................................21
Sadaqaat (alms) .................................................................22
Reforms in goods and wealth .............................................23
Agricultural reform ............................................................24
SECOND STAGE
Towards a collective life ....................................................25
Riba (capital interest) is like a war against the Quranic
Collective administration of sadaqaat ...............................25
Reforms with regards to goods and wealth ........................27
Rights of the needy and the destitute ................................. 27
Plunder ............................................................................... 28
Accumulation of wealth.....................................................29
System................................................................................29
Next step pertaining to land ............................................... 31
Compensation oflabour..................................................... 33
Control of land possession .................................................36
4 Economic System of the Holy Quran
THIRD STAGE
Accomplishment of the work ............................................. 36
Justification for establishing the Islamic State ................... 37
Covenant with Allah ..........................................................37
Variance of capability ........................................................ 38
Qaroonism (capitalism) ......................................................39
Qul-al a/aw (Surplus to your needs) .................................39
The land issue ................................................................... .40
The land belongs to Allah ..................................................41
Opposition to this system .................................................. .43
Al Hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) ................................. ..44
Guidance of Wahi ............................................................. .45
Human Personality .............................................................46
Believing in the Hereafter ................................................. .4 7
References.......................................................................... 54
5 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Preface
In 1980 C. Gordon Tether, a prolific columnist,
wrote about thc plight of poor people in the Third World in
an article titled If the World belongs /0 everyone in the
Financial Times of London. We think it fit to print salient
points of this to bring about the current thinking of the
reformists about global economic reforms.
'Mr Maurice Strang, a high official of the United
Nations certainly put the cat among the pigeons when he
told fellow Canadians during a recent visit to Ottawa that
the time had come to start questioning the "sovereign
rights" of countries to the resources that happen to be
located within their borders.
'What he was proposing was that the developing
debate on "the sacred concepts of private property" should
now be extended to consider the proposition that "The
world belongs to everyone" - that is to say, neither nation
nor individuals are entitled to lay claim to a
disproportionately large share of its riches.
'There have been suggestions in oil consuming
countries in recent months that a situation where in the oil
sheikhdoms of the Middle East with their miniature
populations command a large slice of the world's fuel
supplies is intolerable - so intolerable that some kind of
international trustee system should be set up ­
compulsorily, if it cannot he arranged on a voluntary basis
- to develop these reserves "in the interests of the world as
a whole."
'Mr Strang's tour de force was concerned with
pointing out that what is good for the Arabs might well he
6 Economic System of the Holy Quran
held to be equally good for those other countries that
geography has treated in particularly indulgent fashion in
the resources sense. And he went on to indicate that Canada
with vast oil-coal and uranium reserves but less than one
percent of the world's population might well be "One of the
first countries to be challenged if it adopted a policy of
narrow and defensive nationalism." By way ofjustification,
he pointed out that Values were changing and that just as
the "Once sacred concept of private property had been
eroded by the concept of benefiting the greatest numbers"
so was the sovereign right of a country to its resources is
now being seriously questioned .
•Needless to say, the idea is not going to go down at
all well with those who happen to be among the "Haves"
rather than the "Have nots". There is obviously room for
debate as to how far outsiders can be said to have a
legitimate claim to property or other assets created by a
man's or a nation's own efforts. Naturally, it is not so easy
to defend individual or national claims to sovereignty over
an unduly large share of "what came naturally" - the land,
the sea, the energy and other resources located in the
bowels of the earth .
•Paying Tribute: Is it, lor example right that because
the Creator chose to locate the great bulk of the world's
more accessible oil in the desert areas of the Persian Gulf,
the impoverished millions of the poor countries should now
be having to devote a significant part of their grossly
inadequate spending power to pay lor the fuel they need"?
Again is it fair that because prices of the finished products
have multiplied in the affluent West in recent years, the
comparatively poor countries have 10 part with their meagre
incomes to buy these products at exorbitant prices?
7 Economic System of the Holy Quran
'Ecologists have been arguing for some time that, if
we want to ensure that the onward march of affluence does
not soon put our civilisation in peril, we shall have to
evolve global policies for the use of scant resources
including land.
'Only in this way, they maintain and with
considerable justification, can we make sure that we get
both balanced utilization and adequate conservation of the
resources that are indispensable to the survival, let alone
the prosperity of the world's rapidly increasing population.
'What the UN Chief is contending is that there is
also a need in some senses more urgent one for a
parallel crusade. Its objective would be to bring about a
more equitable sharing out of the ownership of all natural
resources at both national and international levels not only
as an act of social justice but also to make the world a more.
efficient and happier place to live in.'
Over the past few years there has been a wind of
change in economic thinking moving towards the type
shown in the above article. Many people in affluent
countries, who are now socially-conscious enough to think
about the fate of the poor countries, feel instinctively guilty
about the extravagance, conspicuous consumption and
waste of scarce natural resources in the Western world. The
West's affluence, after all, is bought with the sweat and
sufferings of the world's exploited poor. In the words of ex
British Prime Minister Edward Heath, "it is the
unacceptable ugly face of naked capitalism". The global
capitalist system, whether in oil producing countries or the
oil consuming West, is harming the conditions of tlie Third
World's poor.
8
Economic System of the Holy Quran
This sentiment is also extended to the issue of Third
World debt. Recently Gordon Brown. Chancellor of the
Exchequer British Government echoed the same feelings
that the world must attend to the needs of the poor. In 2002,
he and the International Monetary Fund's managing
director. Horst Koehler, announced that a law should be
passed that would allow countries drowning in debt to
declare bankruptcy, aller which creditor countries would be
forced to negotiate more lenient repayment terms.
However, this proposal was fiercely opposed by large
banks in the US and other wealthy countries that loan
money to developing nations. This is because any fiscal­
monetary reforms by the United Nations Development
Programme would threaten the vital interests of
multinationals based in the advanced capitalist world.
One must ask the question now of whether there is
any plausible alternative system that would completely
remove or at least significantly reduce the poverty we see
today. The answer is YES Islam provides an
unambiguous Quranic commandment: "Lo! Allah enjoins
Justice and Indemnification (Al-Adl wal-Ihsan) (Al-Quran
Sura 16, verse 90). Translated onto economic plane, while
AI-Adl (justice) requires a delicate and just balance amongst
the production, consumption and distribution relationship
in the economy, Al-Ihsan (indemnification) enjoins a
special concern for the economically downtrodden in the
society. Hence, the basic objective oflhe Islamic economic
philosophy is the eradication of absolute poverty,
feudalism, illiteracy, gross inequalities of income and
wealth, widespread unemployment and disease.
The most important element of wealth is landed
property, which is not only the source of inequity, but also
social tensions and moral degeneratiun in society.
9 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
It is tberefore essential for a society to take strong
steps to regulate this institution in a manner, which
confonns to the Quranic concept of Trusteeship rather than
that of ownership as advocated above by the U.N.'s high
official Maurice Strang. The concept of Trusteeship, or
collective ownership, is fully elucidated in the Holy Quran.
Mr GhuIam Ahmad Parwez (1903-1985 ), founder
of Tolu-e-Islam Movement, Lahore, Pakistan and a
renowned Islamic scholar, commentator and revolutionary
refonner, authored almost forty-five voluminous books on
various aspect of Islam. He in particular wrote extensively
on the subject of economic theory from the Quranic
Perspective. His voluminous work Nizaam-e-Rububiyyal
(System of the Development and provision of Universal
Sustenance) is a masterpiece on Islamic Economics. He
wrote many essays on the subject, which were printed in
.pamphlets. One of his Urdu pamphlets, Quran Ka Mo'ashi
Nizaam (Economic System of Quran) has been rendered
beautifully and faithfully into English by Miss Saleena
Karim, SSc (Hon), daughter of Mr Fazal Karim, a well
known poet and writer of Nottingham. We hope it will
answer fully the question of how to bring justice and
equality in the disparaging world, and make it a paradise on
earth.
Maqbool Mahmood Farhat
London
10
Economic System of the Holy Quran.
Translator's Note
My interest in Islam as a Deen began when I was
around seventeen years old, and my father introduced me to
Parwez's work ·through Tolu-e-Islam's monthly magazine.
What instantly attracted me to Totu-e-Islam's articles was
the cogent and cohesive manner in which they were
written. Over the years I learned that Islam is not merely a
religion with the usual spiritual rhetoric. It is a System. It is
the blueprint for the development and organisation of
humanity at the individual and the collective level,
encompassing morality as well as practicality. It is truly the
one and only Paragon.
As I have become increasingly familiar with the
English Exposition of the Holy Quran (published by Tolu­
e-Islam Trust), and as I have learned the expounded
meanings of Quranic terminology, my confidence in the
veracity of Islam has continued to grow. I am thankful that
I no longer have blind faith.
A brief introduction to this booklet
The management of economics has always been
in one form or another - a problematic issue of every
society, affecting everyone. The same is true today, except
that it has become further complicated with the increasing
interdependence of the world's nations. Economic
management at 'the global level as well as at the national
level is now reaching a crisis point.
The Quran deals directly and conclusively with
economics, providing a surprisingly simple solution to this
complex issue. The Almighty has designed the Quranic
reforms in order to gradually reverse economic inequity
II Economic System ofthc Holy Quran
and restore balance. These reforms are expounded skilfully
by G.A Parwez in his booklet, Quran Ka Mo'ashi Nizaam
(Economic System of the Quran).
Mr Maqbool Mahmood Farhat, the Coordinator of
London Bazm asked me and my father Fazal Karim to
render this booklet into English. It is not a literal
translation, but a running one, since both my father and I
strongly advocate the importance of translating meaning for
meaning over word for word, That said, we have tried our
best to keep as closely to the original wording as possible.
Although the translation of this booklet is being
primarily credited to me I could not have typed a single
word without my father. We are a team; English is my first
language, and his is Urdu; we each make up for the other's
deficits, though to bc frank my Urdu is far weaker than is
his English.
We hope that this translation does Mr G.A. Parwez
justice.
Saleena Karim, Nottingham, UK
24lh March 2005
Please note that the original author (i.e. Parwez) is
not responsible Jor any ambiguities etc. that may appear in
this English rendering. All such responsibility fails on the
translator.
12 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Glossary of terms used in this booklet
The reader may find the following explanations of
Quranic terms useful:
Allah:
Deen:
Eiman:
Haram:
Arabic/Quranic reference to the One God
Who is the Lord God, the Creator and
Sustainer of the entire universe and
everything that is in it. Allah is not an
exclusive name for a tribal deity of Muslims
as some Christians, Jews and other non­
Muslims erroneously believe. It is wrong to
consider Allah as a name for God as God
has no name, only Attributes.
(or Din) A term with no exact English
equivalent, a 'Way of Life', and in the
Islamic context, a social, political system
based on Quranic Values. Deen is generally
translated incorrectly in English as religion.
According to the Holy Quran, the conviction
that results from full mental acceptance and
intellectual satisfaction. This kind of
conviction gives one a feeling of amn ­
peace, inner contentment. In addition, a
Momin is one who accepts the truth and acts
in such a way that it ensures his. own peace
and helps him to safeguard the security of
the rest of mankind. Amn, Eiman and Momin
have a common root.
Unlawful, prohibited according to the
Quran.
13 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Halal Permissible by Allah. Halal is the antonym
ofHaram. While mentioning the word Halal,
Quran also used the word Tayyab- which
means pleasant, pure, wholesome and
nourishing.
Kll'ba: Derived from the Arabic word Ka 'ab, which
literally means cube. It is a cube shaped
stone built structure wrapped in black cloth.
Into one comer of its wall the Hajr-e-Aswad
(Black stone) is laid. It was built by
Abraham (PBUH) and his son Ishmael
(PBUH).
Kafir/Kufr: Kafr (v.) is to reject; Kafir (n.) is thus a
rejecter, non-Muslim, or non-believer
according to the Holy Quran.
Momin: One who accepts the truth in such a way that
it ensures his own peace and helps to
safeguard the peace and security of the rest
of mankind, AIm 'omin is one of the
Attributes of Allah Himself. See also Eiman.
Muhammad: (PBUH), the final Messenger of Allah.
Makkah: The holiest of the holy cities is situated in a
depression surrounded by barren stark hills.
It is the birthplace of the last Messenger
Muhammad (PBUH) and abode of the
descendents of Ishmael, son of Abraham
(PBUH).
Nafs: It has many meanings including intellect,
Personality, or Self, which may be termed as
mind, or psyche. Quran uses this word for a
14 Economic System of the Holy Quran
specific thing called Human Personality,
which in religious parlance is referred to as
the soul.
PBUH: When Muslims take the name of a
Messenger in writing, they usually add the
salutation PBUH (Peace Be Upon Him). This
salutation is not used in the Quran. It should
be implicitly understood that, as mentioned
in Sura As-Saaffaat (The Ranks) (37:181),
we do convey Peace upon all the
Messengers of Allah, and Praise be to Allah,
Sustainer of the Universe.
Quran: Holy Scripture of Muslims revealed by God
Almighty to Messenger MOhammad (PBUH).
Its literal meaning is collection, recitation.
The Holy Quran is the last of the Divine
books.
Rabb: It is usually translated into English as the
Lord, which does not convey the real
meaning and significance of the Arabic
word. It means one who provides
nourishment, to process a thing with new
additions, alterations or changes so that it
should reach its goal, to bring a thing
gradually to perfection. One of God's
Attributes means Nourisher, Cherisher and
Sustainer.
Rabubiyat: The process by which Allah provides
nourishment or sustenance (derived from
Rabb)
15 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Razzakiyat:
Rasool:
RIzq:
Shariyat:
Shirk:
Wahi:
The process by which Allah provides
nourishment or subsistence (derived from
Rizq).
A person chosen by Almighty who receives
Divine guidance and delivers this message
continuously. gently and softly to mankind
without the slightest change or modification.
In this pamphlet the use of this term has
been restricted for Muhammad (PBUH).
The physical necessities of life according to
the Quran; subsistence.
Islamic Law, Way of Life. Shariyal is
synonymous with Deen.
The only unpardonable oUence according to
the Quran. It is the association of partners
with Allah (i.e. polytheism), whether it is
anyone or anything in the human or physical
world. or the obedience of laws that
contradict those revealed in the Quran.
People who do so are called Mushrikeen.
This includes creating divisions within the
Muslim community through sectarianism.
Al-Wah(vo is a suggestion by a sign that is
extremely quick and fast. It also means to
inform quickly. to whisper. and also to
write. Wahl (Revelation) therefore is the law
that Allah has given everything in the
universe to follow. Whilst animals have no
choice in following the law, humans can
choose whether or not to follow it. However.
whilst everything else in the universe
16 Economic System of the Holy Quran
receives the Wah; directly from Allah. in
humans He has only communicated the
Wah; directly to the Messengers (as
Revelation),
Note:
With reference to Quranic verses cited in this booklet: The
Sura number is written first followed by the verse number.
For example. (4:6) means Sura No 4. Verse 6.
17 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Economic System of the Holy Quran
The Quran is not a book containing religious advice
and counsel, nor does it teach the rituals of worship. It
contains a complete code and practical guide for every
aspect of human life, with which humanity can estahlish a
system that creates the right conditions for human
development. At the present time in human history we are
at the stage in which physical needs and means of
development are prioritised. The fact is that every
(Quranic) code of ethics and civilisation, all precepts and
counsels, prayers and rites of Shariyat, (Islamic law) rights
and duties of an individual and community, and all other
matters pertaining to Deen, apply to living human heings.
The dead body (i.e. corpse) is neither a Momin (believer)
nor a Kajir (non believer), neither an innocent nor a sinner.
It is free of all responsibilities, duties and rights. According
to the Holy Quran the living human is so precious that
unjustly killing just one innocent human being is as bad as
killing the whole of humanity: and saving one life is as
good as saving the whole of humanity (5:32). This is \yhy
the Quran prescribes the most severe punishment for a
murderer (4:92-93). Clearly therefore if human life
possesses so much significance, then it ig easy to imagine
the importance of meeting the needs required tor living.
The Holy Quran has termed the needs of life as rizq (means
of subsistence), which in everyday tenns we call "bread'.
Any study relating to the subject of 'bread' is temled
'economics'. How much importance the Quran places of
the issue of bread can be seen in the first Sura Al Falihah
(The Opening) in which Muslims have been taught the
prayer: 'Show us tbe straight way, the way of those on
whom You have bestowed Your Grace.' (1 :6-7)
18
Economic System of the Holy Quran
In Sura Al Nahl (The Bee), it is written that peace
and ample sustenance are rewards from Allah, whereas
hunger and fear is the penalty (16: 112). The privileges of
Adam's paradise as described in the Quran include the
cessation of hunger and thirst, and no shortage of shelter
and clothing (20: 118). In addition every person wilt receive
sustenance in abundance (2:25; 7:19). In Sura Ta-Ha (0'
Addressee), it is stated clearly: 'Whosoever turns away
from Our laws, his sustenance will also be narrowed
down.' It is further stated that such a person will also be
raised blind on the Day of Judgement (20: 124). In another
place the Quran state that whosoever is 'blind' here on
earth will be blind in the Hereafter as well (17:72). In Sura
AI Maidah (The Table Spread) it is written: 'Had the Jews
and Christians followed the Torah and Bible they would
have been given abundant sustenance from earth and
heaven' (5:66) i.e. the doors of blessings from earth and
heaven would have been open to them (7:96).
Prayer of Prophet Abraham (PBUH)
The significance of sustenance is also apparent from
the prayer of Abraham (PBUH). When he completed the
construction of the building of the K 'aba - the' First House
of Allah on earth' - his first prayer to Allah was: '0
Sustainer, make this a city of Peace (i.e. a place of
sanctuary for the oppressed), and feed its people with fruits
(Le. grant the bounties of life in abundance) .. .' (2:126).
Messenger Abraham'S (PBUH) prayer is repeated in Sura
Ibrahim as well (14:37). The people of Makkah have been
reminded as to how Allah kept them 'in peace and security
against all danger, and how sustenance carne to them from
every direction (28:57; 106:4).
19 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Introductory Principles
From the above it is clear how much emphasis the
Quran places on the issue of sustenance. In fact this issue is
so important that the Quran has not confined guidance
thereof to a few mere injunctions. Rather it has provided a
comprehensive practical system. To better understand this
system there are a few fundamental points that must be
identified. Overlooking these points results in
complications such that a given economic system ends up
being proclaimed Islamic by one group, and Kufr (rejected)
by another.
To note the first point: the first nation to receive the
guidance of the Holy Quran was at the time governed by a
system that was the exact opposite of the one the Quran
ordained. Obviously it was not possible to replace the
existing system with the Quranic one overnight. In order to
achieve this objective a fundamental change had to be
made in the minds and hearts of the people in whose hands
this System to be established. The Quran brought about this
change over a span of twenty-three years, and thus took the
people to the System gradually in phases, as was the
objective. Chaos can happen overnight, whereas it takes a
long time and gradual approach for any revolution to be
brought about. To understand the economic System of the
Quran, people must learn and develop in stages along with
the establishment of the System itself and hence move
towards the destination (and this is what happened during
the Rasool's (PBUH) lifetime).
It must also be noted that the final compiled form of
the Quran that was given to the Muslims is not in the
chronological order of revelation i.e. the Sura revealed first
has not ultimately been placed as the first and the last one
to be revealed does not appear at the end. An in-depth study
20
Economic System of the Holy Quran
of the Holy Book also reveals that not only is the final
sequence the best suited and ideal sequence, but that it was
essential to arrange the Suras in this particular sequence in
order that the Book would serve forever as a complete and
practical code of guidance for humankind. Now a question
arises thus: if the Quean's present compiled order is not the
same as the revelation order, then how can we put the Suras
in the relevant order -- linking them from start to finish so
we can learn how the Islamic System was implemented
during the Rasool's (rBUH) lifetime? At first glance this
seems a difficult issue, but in fact it isn't. If the Quran is
studied in depth and with insight, the Suras can be arranged
from the first to the last link and can bring us to our
destination without difficulty or hesitation_ I (Parwez) have
studied the Quran in this manner, and I can thus
demonstrate how easy it is to find the links in the
following;
Milestone
Firstly, the Quran had clearly determined the
milestone for the destination to which it wants to eventually
take us. This milestone has been described in the first verse
of Sura Al Fatiha with the words: • All Hamd (Praise I) is
for Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds.' (I; I)
The reason for Allah's worthiness of Hamd is that
He has provided everything for the maintenance, growth
and development of all creation. This is called Rabubiyat-e­
aalameeni (sustenance for all worlds, or universe), and
none but Allah could or ever will be able to make this
provision (35:3). How the Rabubiyat-e-aalameeni operates
in the external world (Le. beyond the human context) is not
an issue we shall discuss here. Instead we shall draw our
attention to what the Quran states about living organisms
on earth: 'There is no living thing on the face of the earth
21 Economic System of the Holy Quran
for whom means of sustenance has not been provided by
Allah.' (11 :6) With regards to humans Allah declares that
He is responsible for providing sustenance for humanity as
well as for their children (6: 152; 17:31; 29:60). At the same
time He also makes it clear that this sustenance is not given
directly (36:47). The responsibility of providing sustenance
is fulfilled at the hand of human beings. A human society
that fulfils this responsibility is termed an Islamic State and
the System they abide by is called the Economic System of
the Quran. Such a State, which asserts that it has been
established in the name of Allah, is thus responsible for
providing sustenance for every individual in the society.
Now we shall take a look at the verses and link them
together to see how the System gradually takes hold.
FIRST STAGE
Individual life
The Quranic System - once it was revealed ­
presented a challenge to the capitalist system that was
already in effect in the Rasool's time. In this capitalist
system there were two classes: the exceedingly rich and the
desperately poor. Firstly, an appeal was made to the
wealthy class to arrange for the provision of sustenance to
the poor and needy. They were warned that failure to do so
would result in 'distressful wrath' from Allah (69:34-5;
76:8-10).
Individual appeal
We shall not discuss the consequences of ignoring
the poor here, suffice to say that the rich were told that if
they did not change the present state of affairs then there
would be chaos. They would no longer have any respect
22 Economic System of the Holy Quran
and in their bewilderment they would ask why this
happened to them. In fact the fixed law of Nature would
answer this for them, by showing them that is their own
misdeeds that led to their downfall. At that time, they held
in high regard those with an abundance of wealth and
greater socio-political influence. Whoever was in the
minority was not considered worthy of honour and respect;
and no one would offer financial or other aid to anyone
whose business failed for whatever reason, nor would they
encourage others to help such a person (89: 17-20).
Those who agreed to join the call for the Revolution
alongside the Rasool (PBUH) became known as the Jamaal­
e-Momineen (Party of Believers). They were also told that
by agreeing to join the Revolution, they were shouldering a
great responsibility. This responsibility included arranging
sustenance for the poor, the orphans, and captives, without
expectation of thanks or a favour in return (76:8-9). They
were warned that this was a very difficult path to take
(90: 11-16). Anyone who did not aet accordingly would
falsify his or her claim to having Eiman (Conviction)
(107:1-3). Fulfilling the needs of the poor and destitute
would be the test for the truthfulness of their claim to
having Eiman. The Quran calls this Sadaqah (usually
translated as 'giving alms').
Sadaqaat (alms)
One should take up and fulfil the needs of every
poor person, helping others over family and close ones if it
applies (2:215; 30:38). Helping others in this way should
not be seen as doing them a favour; no one should be made
to feel indebted through receiving this help; and nor should
this help be given publicly for conceited reasons. This
should be done for as an obligatory service to humanity.
23 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Unfortunately common wisdom tells most people:
"Why should we spend our money upon others without
obliging them or attaining popularity in society?" The
Quran explains that whatever is spent in this cause shall not
go to waste. We should understand this with the analogy
that a farmer who sows his seeds in the soil will not be
wasting them. In return for every seed the farmer will get
grain in hundreds. Tlius fulfilling the duty of Sadaqaat will
provide the foundations for' a society in which human rights
are protected and its people are spared from the disaster
that arises from human error (2:261·76; 14:31).
Reforms in goods and wealth
The Quran directed the wealthier Arabs to
individually fulfil the needs of others and at the same time
provided instructions on how to bring in economic reform
(at the societal level ).
These instructions include:
Do not devour others' property wrongfully
(2: 188; 4:29).
Since religious leaders devour others'
property, do not give them anything; thus
encourage them to work to earn their living
(9:34).
Protect the property of the orphans (4:6;
6:153; 17:34).
If women earn something, then lJIen cannot
unjustifiably take it for themselves. A
woman keeps whatever she earns and a
man keeps whatever he earns (4:32).
All matters pertaining to finance should be
kept on written record. (2:282)
24
Economic System of the Holy Quran
If a debtor is penniless give him or her
time until it is easier to repay the loan, and
if he/she is not in a position to pay back
the loan, then it should be nullified
(2:280).
One must prepare a will for the distribution
of bequeathed property (2: 180; 5: 106) If it
happens that the deceased did not set up a
or if the will does not fully account
for all of hislher property, then the estate
should be distributed as per the directives
outlined in the Quran (4:7; J1-12). These
directives ensure that the property is
distributed fairly.
In sales and purchases or financial
relations between employer and
employees, it is imperative that all matters
are dealt with fairly; measures and weights
should be exact, and merchandise sold to a
purchaser must be of good quality for the
price paid. Wages should be given to
employees as per rules and agreed terms
(6:153; 7:85; 11:84; 17:35; 83:1-3).
Agricultural reform
The Arabs particularly' in Makkah - did not have
agriculture within their economic system, Hence emphasis
was placed upon trade and business reforms, However the
Quranic directive with regards to earning included
agriculture as well as other trade: 'Give, from that which
you have earned, and of the fruits of the earth (to fulfil the
needs of others).' (2:267). To give to others in this way is
described as the 'Right of Allah' in the Quran (6: [42).
(This point shall be discussed further later). It has already
been shown that with regards to 'alms' (Sadaqaat) the
25 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Quran states that a failure to fulfil the needs of the poor will
ultimately lead to civil unrest, and positions of honour and
privilege shall become meaningless. Similarly with regards
to agriculture it is explained that if we fail to fulfil the
'Right of Allah' to the poor and needy, our crops will be
burnt to ashes (18:32-44; 68: 17-33), and our children too
will face severe disaster (2:266).
SECOND STAGE
Towards a collective life
In the first stage the emphasis of the instructions
were focused on individuals. During that period those who
were convinced by the veracity of the call gathered around
the Messcng.:r (i.e. the Rasool (PBUH» and a new society
started to emerge. This marked the second stage of the
Revolution. At this stage reforms shifted focus from
individual to the (collective) societal level. DUring the first
stage, individuals were responsible for helping the needy at
their own will and this was interpreted as Sadaqaat. In the
second stage however, Sadaqaat had to be collected at a
societal level.
Collective administration of Sadaqaat
Since the Rasool (PBUH) was the first Head of the
Islamic State, it was his responsibility to see to the
collection of the Sadaqaat (9: I 03), and to distrihute the
collections for the welfare of society as described in Sura
AI Taubah (Atonement) (9:60).
The beneficiaries of this expenditure are (and were):
1) the poor, 2) those who cannot earn for any reason, 3)
those employed to administer the Sadaqaat, 4) those who
26 Economic System of the Holy Quran
wish to Jom the Divine order but cannot for financial
reasons, 5) refugees of oppression, 6) those in debt, those
who fight in the cause of Allah, and 7) stranded travellers.
(Note: Today these items of Sadaqaal expenditure have
been mistaken for Zakaat. The actual definition of Zakaal
will be elucidated later *).
In the first stage individuals had been directed to
give a debtor time to repay a loan, or nullitY it if necessary
(2:280). At this stage however the directive was: 'Give
credit to Allah' (57:18; 73:20), i.e. When the Central
Authority (i.e. the Rasool (PBUH) appeals for help,
everyone should offer whatever they can afford. The
Central Authority will spend this 'loan' towards items for
the people's protection, and later, when the society
becomes established and strong, then whatever was given
in loan 'to Allah' will be returned completely (8:60).
However if the people are miserly (out of selfishness), then
they will be destroyed; therefore, they were warned not to
'purchase destruction with their own hand' (2: 195). So how
will this destruction come about? They will be erased to be
replaced by another nation which will be unlike them
(47:38). Individual selfishness (sometimes called
'temptation by the Devil') will influence them in thinking
they would be better off keeping their money for
themselves in case they should need it (2:268). In reality
however this is a delusion, since if there is chaos in society,
individual assets will neither help nor protect them; they
will be useless. Those who believe otherwise and their
followers will face disaster and destruction (4;37; 57:24;
92:8-9). It must be remembered that whatever people give
for the benefit of humanity will not only give them
protection but will also enable them to grow and·develop
further (92:18). Humanity'S present struggle and efforts and
inevitably enable not only physical growth and
development, but also that of the Self - which is the
27 Economic System of the Holy Quran
ultimate goal. Growth and development of the Self is
termed 'Nearness to Allah' because the attributes of Allah
manifest (within human limits) in human beings. This
'Nearness to Allah' is not achieved through the
accumulation of wealth; rather it is achieved by 'Giving to
Allah' (34:37).
Reforms with regards to goods and wealth
There is no doubt that the normal joys of life such
as building up wealth and having a family (i.e. wife and
children) is something that attracts just about everybody.
However if we allow these things to be prioritised over
working for the benefit of humanity, then both wealth and
the family can become a hindrance (64: 15). Hence the
Arabs were ~ a r n e d not to allow themselves to become the
victims of their own individual self-interest. If they
believed that accumulating individual wealth would make
them self-sufficient regardless of the status of society, then
they were sadly mistaken. In reality they were bound for
destruction (92:7-11). By heeding Allah's warning they
would be successful (64: 16-17).
Rights of the needy and the destitute
In the first stage, individuals had been directed to
help the needy --- those who never made a c1aiE:11 to assert
their rights for themselves (i.e. this individual help was
given in goodwill). In the second stage however the
directive was that these people had a right to make their
claim and thus meet their needs (51:19; 70:24-25). The
Arabs were told that if they failed to give everyone their
dues, then the Order (government) would arrange to make
it so.
28 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Note that by the second stage, Sadaqaat was no
longer a form of goodwill (or charity); it became a civil
right. This is because a charitable action is damaging to
dignity (on both sides); the person who gives does so out of
a feeling of obligation, and the person who receives feels
obliged in return. However, when a person receives as a
matter of righi, then neither does the receiver acquire an
inferiority complex, nor does the giver acquire a superiority
complex.
Plunder
For the Arabs plunder was a big source of income,
and it was customary in their society for soldiers to keep
whatever they seized from the enemy for themselves. The
Quran also brought a refornl in this practice when it stated
that plunder would not remain with individuals; it would
have to be deposited with the Central Authority. The
Authority would apportion one part for distribution within
society, and the rest would be split between the soldiers
(8: I; 8:41). With this reform not only did the issue of
plunder become a societal affair (as opposed to an
individual one), but the motivation for war also
subsequently changed. Before the reform the motivating
factor for individuals fighting in war was to acquire as
much plunder as possible. Now however the motivation
changed into the protection of human rights. In Quranic
ternlinology this is called Qital fi sabeelillah i.e. 'war in
the path of Allah'. It should be noted that whatever is done
in the interests of humanity, without expectation of wages,
remuneration or reward is classified as fi sabeelillah (' in
the path of Allah').
29 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Accumulation of wealth
Wealth serves its purpose only when it is in a
mobile state. The very word daulat (used for wealth) in fact
means the state of mobility. Greedy individuals however
tend to hoard money instead of keeping it mobile, and
consequently the entire economic system turns upside­
down. The Quran has emphatically stated that accumulating
and boarding wealth is a heinous crime. This wealth will
ultimately fuel the fire of Hell - and the hoarders will be
scor,ped and burnt from it (9:34-35). These flames will
engulf the hearts of such people (104:2-7). Despite their
efforts to escape from it, it will pull them and destroy
everything like the flow oflava from a volcano (70:5-18).
The Quran also emphasised that the flow of wealth
should not be restricted to the rich class alone. It should be
circulated throughout the body of society, as blood
circulates through the human body (59:7).
Riba (capital Interest) is like a war against the Quranic
System
After lssuing many severe warnings against
accumulating wealth, the Holy Quran issued a
commandment that totally uprooted the motive for
continuing the practice. Money is merely a means of
ex.::hange for essential commodities. It does not produce
anything by itself. To illustrate this point, if one hundred
dollars are kept in a box and taken out after ten years, the
amount remains the same - i.e. it does not grow. Obviously
if the capacity of money is such that it remains the same
over time, then accumulating it and hoarding it is
foolishness. However if that hundred dollars are loaned on
an interest basis, then it will bring more money with it upon
its return. Hence your money has produced more money.
30
Economic System of the Holy Quran
Money that is made from money rather than by labour is
termed as riba in the Quran. The Quran has clearly stated
that riba is unlawful (haram) and a serious crime; indeed it
is regarded as a rebellion against the Islamic System. The
Holy Quran has warned those who establish a capitalist
(riba) system (in spite of the Quran's warning) that they
will face war from God's side (2:275-79). Essentially it is
written that under the system of riba, there is no doubt that
the wealth of some individuals will increase but in the long
term the result will be that the wealth of the majority will
decline to a point where causes economic disaster. The
affluent members of society, in wrongfully plundering the
fruits of others' labour, not only become incapable of
working for themselves, but end up with a lack of social
conscience (i.e. they do not concern themsel,!es with the
plight of other less fortunate people). The rest of the people
meanwhile become increasingly destitute, having been
deprived of the fruits of their own labour; and as a result,
they start with having hatred against humanity and seek
vengeance (e.g. a symptom of this is rising crime) - and in
the end everyone pays the price (3: 129-30).
It may be noted that the Holy Quran has not simply
defined riba as money made from giving a toan with
interest to a needy person. It has categorically stated: that
any situation in which someone invests money with the
intent of getting more than the original investment also falls
under the definition of riba (30:34). In present day
terminology we know this as commercial interest, and it
includes sleeping partners in business, crop-sharing
tenancies and leasing properties. The Quran provides a
fundamental Principle to avoid riba, and this is that people
must be paid for labour and not for their capital (53:59).
This is because return for capital - in whatever form it may
be is in fact riba. By declaring riba to be unlawful, the
Quran eliminated the motive for accumulating wealth.
31 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Next step pertaining to land
In the human economy, the problem of land has
been made unnecessarily complicated, whereas in reality
the issue is so obvious and clear that it needs neither the
mind of Plato nor the logic of Aristotle to understand it.
Allah calls Himself both AI-Hal (usually translated as 'the
Alive') and also Al Qayyum (usually translated as 'the Self­
Subsisting'). These two Attributes of Allah refer to the fact
that he has given life as well as the means to sustain
respectively. To maintain life, light heat, air, wat(;r and
food are required. He made these things available before
humans were created. Light, heat, air and water are usually
readily available on earth; as for food, Allah states that its
reserves are in the earth in other words, it is produced
from the earth by means of labour: 'And We have provided
the means of subsistence (on carth), for you and for those
(i.e. all other living things) for whose sustenance you are
not responsible' (15:20). Note that the Quran has used the
word rna 'eshat for sustenance. It is stated: 'Eat it
(yourselves) and feed your livesiock' (20:54). At yet
another place the Book has called this Mala 'an 'nlakurn wa
Ie-an aa-mekurn (79:33; 80:32), which means 'Provision
for you and your livestock'.
Earlier it was mentioned that land and other means
of sustenance existed on earth before humans were even
created. Taking this account, how then can anyone stake an
individual claim on anything, when it is clear that all these
resources were made freely available to sustain life? Today
someone might say: 'I purchased this land from such and
such person', or 'I inherited this property from my father'.
If we were to trace this sequence of events back and reach
the person who first claimed this land as hislher own, who
did he/she purchase or inherit this land from? The obvious
answer is that he/she in fact obtained this property
32 Economic System of the Holy Qurall
unlawfully - in which case, how then can hisfhcr
descendants justify their 'lawful' possession of the
property? The fact of the matter is that if anyone self­
appoints himself as the owner of any particular means of
sustenance one that was intended to be freely available
for all- then it is a major offence against humanity.
Up until the revelation of the Quran, this offensive
creed of ownership and inheritance had been deemed
perfectly acceptable as part of a long-running tradition. The
Holy Quran put forth a sound argument in order to crase
this erroneous concept from the human mind. It addresses
the Believers thus: Howwallazi fissama 'e Ilahun wa filarde
llahun 'It is He Who is Allah in heaven and Allah on earth;
and He is full of Wisdom and Knowledge.' (43:84) In other
words, 'When you accept the authority of Allah in the
heavens, won't you acknowledge the same is true over the
land too?' At another place the Quran states: Wa
Howallaho fis samawate wa fil ard 'And He is Allah in the
heavens and on earth.' (6:3). He has explicitly stated that it
is overtly shirk (polytheist) to accept one god over heaven
and another on earth (21 :21-22). In Sura Al Nahl( The Bee)
it is stated: 'Take not two gods: for He is just One Allah .. .
To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and on earth .. .
(16:51-52). It is for this reason that we cannot human
beings on a par with Allah by giving them ownership of
land (2:22). The true owner can only be that one Who
created it and made it the source of sustenance for all living
things (29:60-61).
After giving these clear arguments, Allah challenges
the non-believers thus: 'Say (to them, 0 Rasool!) To whom
does the earth and all things therein belong?' (23:84). The
non-believers - assuming they base their reply on intellect,
know ledge and study of the earth - will have to concede
that everything belongs to Allah (23:85). Then, Allah tells
33 Economic System of the Holy Quran
the Rasool to ask them: If you have realised this, then why
do you avoid facing the reality that no human has the right
to claim ownership of land? (23 :85). Ifeveryone recognises
Allah as the true sovereign of the land, then He promises
that the produce of the land will be lawful and good for
everyone to eat othefwiae everyone will be following in
the footsteps of the evil one, who has whispered that they
can become the owner of sustenance and thus deluded
them. (2:168).
Compensation of labour
It has been mentioned earlier that there is a
difference between the availability of land' versus other
fonns of sustenance (i.e. light, heat, air and water).
Whereas most types of sustenance already exist in a
useable fonn, food has to be produced from the land by
means of labour. At different places the Holy Quran has
eloquently stated that an individual's share in the produce
acquired from land is detennined by the amount of labour
the individual has spent in the process of production; the
rest is the 'Right of Allah'. In manmade systems an
individual takes land on a crop-sharing basis from a
landlord; one part of the produce is retained by the tiller, or
fann worker, and the rest is given to the landlord, given
that the landlord is the owner of the land. Similarly, in an
Islamic System, the same rule applies; the tiller takes
hislher share and gives the owner - i.e. Allah the rest. In
Sura Al Waqi'ah (The Inevitable ) (56:63-74), this
arrangement has been described in a very eloquent manner.
This is given below (in expositional fonn, not literal) and
deserves full attention:
'For this purpose, you must think carefully over this
System according to which your growth and development
takes place. Does this happen according to Divine Law or
34
Economic System of the Holy Quran
by the laws framed by you? For example in the cultivation
of crops, how much is the role played by you and how
much of it is down to Divine Law? You prepare the land
and sow the seed. Who turns the seed into a crop? Is it you
or our Laws?
'Once the crop has grown, who protects it? It is
possible that any calamity might occur and the flourishing
crop may be destroyed, leaving you to lament helplessly:
'What a disaster has befallen us! We have been totally
deprived. Not only has the grain been lost, our labour and
seed have gone to waste.
'Then consider the water upon which not only your
farming but your very survival depends. Do you make the
rain fall from the clouds or does Our Law of sustenance
perform it?
(Clouds develop from seawater which is so saline
that it can neither be used for drinking nor for irrigating
crops). If the rain water remained saline, what could you
have done? It is strange that you don't consider such
simple, straight, and clear matters and thus draw the correct
conclusion. Why don't you appreciate the System that
Allah has set for (human) growth and development?
Similarly, consider fire and the numerous purposes
it serves when it is kindled. (These include purposes that
may not be immediately obvious. For instance) ... tfiis
source of heat 1 is concealed and packed in branches and
stems of green trees.'
After this, the Quran asks the reader to seriously
ponder over the universal mechanisms that are engaged in
producing the means of sustenance and to think about who
is responsible for initiating them. How much of it is
35 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
controlled by humans, and how much is controlled by
Allah? However we look at it, we can only draw the
conclusion that our only contribution is our labour; the rest
is down to the Divine System. Hence our rightful share to
the sustenance produced can only be in proportion to the
amount of labour we put in. We cannot make a claim as
absolute owners of the entire produce. All these means of
sustenance exist by themselves. These are neither made nor
purchased by us.
These examples are given in the 'Quran to serve as a
reminder that Allah has made them as a means of
sustenance for destitute people.
In short, it means that labour is the responsibility of
the humans and the means of production are the
responsibility of Allah. Thus humans can keep the share of
the fruits of their labour, and give the rest to Allah. Now a
question arises as to how we should consign Allah's share
to Him. The answer is that we must deliver this share to
'those who are lost and hungry' (56:73). When the Islamic
govemment ensures that the means of sustenance reach the
poorest members of society, then it has fulfilled the
directive 'give the rest to Allah'. This fact is shown in
verses (27:21; 67:30; 80:24-32).
Subsequent to the revelation of the Quran. the
newly-formed Islamic government took practical action to
limit the amount ofland,owned by the affiuent class (which
up until that point had' become excessive). The obvious
standard was to allocate only enough land to individuals in
order to provide the means of sustenance for themselves
and their families. This is how the Quran initiated the
scheme to abolish private ownership ofthe land.
36
Economic System of the Holy Quran
Control ofland possession
In Sura Al Ra'd (The Thunder), it is said that a
thought struck the mind of the Rasool (PBUH): Would the
Revolution for which he had spent so many years come to
fruition during his lifetime? Allah replied: '(It doesn't
matter) whether We shall show you part of what We
promised them (within your life-time), or whether We take
you from this world (before it is accomplished) your duty
is (simply) to make (the Message) reach them: it is Our part
to call them to account. Don't they see that We gradually
reduce (their control of) the land from its outlying borders?
(Where) Allah judges, there is none that can hinder it: and
We will call them to account very soon.' (13:41-42)
In Sura Al Anbiya (The Messengers) it is written:
'For a long time We gave them and their ancestors the
means of sustenance (i .e. land from which to produce it);
(but with the lapse of time they thought that no one would
ever take it away from them); Don't they see that We
gradually reduce (their control of) the land? Can they really
expect to win (in the long term)?' (21 :44) Hence the Quran
indicates that any power that is acquired from land
ownership will eventually be abolished.
This is how Allah has advanced the second stage of
establishing the System.
THIRD STAGE
Accomplishment of the work
We are now in the third stage of this programme,
Now the Islamic State has been established, and it is
37 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
fulfilling Allah's promise of Rabubiyat e a 'alammi (i.e. to
provide sustenance to all).
Justification for establishing the Islamic State
The justification for establishing the Islamic State is
given in Sura Al Hajj (The Pilgrimage), where it is stated:
'(The Mamineen are the) ones who, if We establish them
(i.e. the Islamic State) in the land, will fulfil the
responsibility of establishing the system of Salaat and
Zakaal' (22:41). (At this point, we will not go into the issue
of Salaat; instead we shall keep the focus on Zakaat since
this is specific to economics),
The Quran has said that it is the responsibility of the
Islamic State to provide Zakaat. This requires some close
attention, The generally understood definition of Zakaat (as
mentioned earlier *) is that the government takes a fix.ed
percentage of wealth from the rich, and then allocates these
funds to art:as wherever it deems fit. However this is not
the definition of Zakaat given in the Quran at aiL Neither
does the Quran mention that the government makes such a
collection, nor does it mention how the government
distributes these funds. Instead the Quranic :verse (22:41)
clearly states that the duty of the Islamic government is to
give Zakaat, not take it (to do with as it pleases). In reality,
'to give Zakaat' means that the Islamic government fulfils
Allah's responsibility - in effect - of Rabubiyat and
Razzakiyat, 3 How the Islamic government fulfils this
responsibility is given in the Quran in great detail, and this
is called the' Economic System of the Quran' .
Covenant with Allah
It must be understood that whoever wishes to
become a member of the Islamic Society (i.e. when he
38 Economic System of the Holy Qman
becomes a Muslim) he must 'sign an agreement', the
wording of which is: 'Allah has purchased from the
believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return)
is the Garden (of Paradise), (9:111). In short, this means
that whoever wishes to become a member of this society
must pledge his goods and his life to Allah (and thus
swears allegiance to Allah), and in return Allah promises
him paradise. Obviously in practice, this contract is made
with the Islamic State (48:10), and hence a Momin's life
and possession end up under the custody of the Islamic
System. In return he gets a heavenly life on earth as well as
in the Hereafter, as Allah has promised several times in the
Quran. Therefore in the Islamic System there is no
individual ownership of any. goods since it remains 'Allah's
property' (24:33). .
Variance of capability
The Quran accepts that different individuals possess
different abilities in earning their livelihood - both in terms
of talent type and capacity to work (We will not go into
how these differences between individuals develop and
how they can be minimised here). At this stage we will
accept that these differences exist, so our aim is merely to
project the Quranic viewpoint in this regard. The Quran
states that due to variations in individuals' abilities,
different affairs of society are accomplished easily (43:32).
However it also warns that people must not allow di fferent
abilities to create economic inequality in the society. The
Quran has therefore explicitly stated in Sura Al Nahl (The
Bee) that whilst differences exist in the abilities of
individuals, this does not mean that those who possess a
higher capability to earn should be allowed to keep their
extra earnings as their own property. They must return any
surplus earnings to benefit other (less well-om assisting
members of the community without whom they would not
39 Economic System of the Holy Quran
have earned a surplus in the first place. Many people
oppose th.(s concept and say: 'How strange is this? This
allows superiors and subordinates alike to become equal.'
People who say this are deluded with the notion that the
higher capability they have is their own creation (i.e. they
fail to see that were endowed with their talents by Allah).
However this capability is not their own creation; it is a gift
given by Allah, and it is one they receive for free (16:53,
16:71).
Qaroonism (capitalism)'
The Quran shows that Qaroon (whom the Book
refers to as a representative of capitalism) was also deluded
by the same above notion when he said: 'This (wealth) has
been given to me because of a certain knowledge which I
have.' (28:78) In other words, he is ,saying: My material
goods and wealth are mine by virtue of my own knowledge
and capability. Why should I give Itito others?' The Quran
says that the same mentality is the main root of evil and
chaos (39:49). At yet another place the Book says a person
of this mentality never seems realise that one day he will
have'to answer to Allah regarding the bounties he received
(and kept for himself) on earth (102:8). Instead, he deludes
others as well as himself by saying: 'I give a small amount
out of my wealth to charity in the name ofAllah. I am sure
that in return I will receive the same bounties in the
Hereafter that I have received on earth.' However, the
Quran warns that this type of thinking is kufr (rejection)
and it results in a severe penalty (41 :50).
Qul-al afaw (Surplus to your needs)
Further to the above warning, the Holy Quran
provides a directive that deals with the issue of wealth
absolutely and permanently. It is stated in Sura Al Baqarah
40 Economic System of the Holy Quran
(The Cow): 'They ask you (0 Rasool) how much (of their
income) they should spend (for the benefit of others). Say:
all that is surplus to your needs' (2:219). The remaining
portion in its entirety must be used to fulfil the needs of
others. The Quran also states that whenever there is another
whose needs are more pressing than yours, then you should
prioritise meeting their needs over your own (59:9).
Due to the Qul-al afaw directive, surplus wealth no
longer remained with anyone, and thus the problems and
disasl.:r that arose from economic inequality came to an
end. The difference between the creditor and the debtor, the
landlord and the tenant, the industrialist and the labourer,
.and the rich and the poor was eliminated. Thus in the words
of renowned Islamic philosopher and thinker, Sir
Muhammad Iqbal:
Mahmood and Ayaz* stood together in the same
row.
There remained neither any benefactor nor any
beneficiar),:
The subordinates. the superiors. the impoverished
and the rich became one.
When they reached You. then they all became one.
(* Where Mahmood and Ayaz are the symbolic
representatives of the king and slave, or the high and the
low class. respectively)
The land issue
As we have seen earlier, the Quran makes it
explicitly clear that the issue of private ownership on the
41 Economic System of the Holy Quran
land does not come into question. This is because the land
is the source of sustenance for all human beings (and in
fact, all living things) (55:\0). Therefore, there must be an
arrangement in which this resource of sustenance is left
equally open to fulfil the needs of all (41 :40).This is the gift
from Allah to all of humanity; and since it is a gift, no one
has the right to 'put up a barrier and divide it into sections
to designate 'yours and mine' (17:20). The 'streams of
sustenance' are supposed to flow like running water so that
everyone can fulfil their needs without any obstructions.
Unfortunately there are those who divert the flow to
indulge themselves. They claim to be the upholders of
Deen, but in practice they belie it. Their prayers are thrown
back in their faces. Note the thought-provoking manner in
which the Quran describes this fact: 'Have you noticed the
one who belies the Deen'! This is the one who turns the
orphan away. He neither arranges nor encourages meeting
the needs of the needy. He thinks that by performing
prayers he has fulfilled the duties of the Deen.' This
however is a delusion. For such worshippers, their prayers
end in disaster they are unaware of the reality of Salam
and remain ignorant of its aims and objectives. They think
that to fulfil Salam is simply to perform the physical act of
prayer, and that is sufficient for them. Hence they withhold
the means of sustenance instead of letting it flow like a
running stream (107:1-7). If this is not belying the Deen,
then what is?
The land belongs to Allah
The Quran has used the historical example of the
people of Thamud. the inhabitants of Petra valley ( present
day Jordan) to elucidate the issue ofland in a most eloquent
manner. It states that cattle-rearing was the means of
livelihood of the people of Thamud. There were open
grazing lands and water springs available to them, but the
42
Economic System of the Holy Quran
leaders of that nation had kept them under their individual
control. Hence cattle belonging to the lower classes used to
remain hungry and thirsty. Saleh (PBUH) came to them as a
Messenger, and he raised his voice against the oppression
and violence being committed by the leaders. When the
leaders finally asked him what it was he wanted, he
answered that he wanted them to realise that the land
belongs to Allah, i.e. that it belonged to no human, and the
same was true for the cattle. Therefore these animals had to
have the freedom to graze on the Allah's land. What right
did anyone have to fix up boundaries on arzullah (Allah's
land) and prevent his creatures from crossing them? (7:73;
II :64) The leaders asked that if this was the case, then how
could the issue be resolved ? Messenger Saleh (PBUH)
replied that the answer was simple: 'Fix the turns of the
animals so that all of them - irrespective of who they
belong to - shall all have their turn to drink.' (26: IS 5;
91: 13) By using the 'fix the turns', it is clear
that the water springs belong to no one and thus all have an
equal right to access it.
Now what isthe meaning of' Allah's land'? This is
not a manmade concept or theory. It is the practical
founding p'recept of the Quran's economic system: i.e. the
land is the means of livelihood for all humankind, and it
cannot become anyone's personal property. Believing in
this precept 'in theory' (i.e. purely in principle) but
allowing private ownership ofland in practice, is shirk and
kufr in Quranic terms and belies the Deen. Again in the
words of Sir Iqbal:
What is hidden ofAllah's land is obvious
But what is not apparent in reality is Rejection
43 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Opposition to this system
As we have seen, the Quran presents an economic
system for the prosperity and welfare of mankind. Any
number of terms could be used to describe this system but I
choose to call it Nizam-e-Rabubiyat (System of
Sustenance). This is the same system that every Messenger
has presented to his people in his time, and each time he
was met with fierce opposition from the mutra/een ­
economic parasites, which in today's terminology are the
capitalists. The Quran states: 'Never did it happen that we
sent a Messenger to a nation, without facing opposition
from the wealthy class (capitalists)' (34:34). From this two
things become clear:
1) The system presented by the Messengers
was contrary to capitalism, and hence the
capitalist class opposed it
2) The contlict between the Divine Order
and the capitalist system is not unique to
our time, i.e. it is not merely an issue that
has arisen recently. It has been so since
the beginning. The Quran also tells us that
if any group takes up this Divine System
and dedicates itself to implementing it,
then they will be successful no matter
how much money the capitalists spend to
try and thwart them.
The Quran describes this fact in Sura AI An/al
(Spoils of war, Plunder) (expositional account given): 'The
opponents of this system will spend huge amounts of their
wealth to try and hinder people coming towards the path of
Allah. They will continue to spend it like water in their evi I
efforts; but their wealth will serve no purpose. They will
end up regretting their wasted expenditure, because
44
Economic System of the Holy Quran
ultimately they will face defeat' (8:36). Furthermore,
spiritual leaders and priests also 'devour' the money spent
in raising obstacles in the path of Allah, but this will not
bring them fruitful results (9:34). These mutaffifeen
(dealers in fraud) who collect their own dues completely
but never pay others their dues, will be removed easily
from the path of Allah (83: 1-4). Thus when humankind
rises for the establishment of Rabubiyat-e-a'iamini (the
provision of sustenance for the universal growth and
development of humanity) {83:5-6), the root of these
mutaffifeen will be severed (6:45).
AI Hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah)
We shall bring in the first half of the above verse
(6:45) shortly, but the second half is the invitation that also
appears as the first line in the Quran: AI Hamdulillah-e­
Rabbi! a'iameen which translates as: 'All Hamd ('praise')
is due to Allah because of His Rabubiyat-e-a'lameeni
(provision of sustenance to all creatures)'. As far as
humanity is concerned however, His provision of
sustenance (Rabubiyat) is not direct. Instead this process is
established by human hands. On the same note it cannot be
established until the root of the oppressors is severed. Until
this is done neither can Rabubiyat-e-a'lameen! be
established nor can humans feel the spontaneous urge to
utter the words Al Hamdulillah-e-Rabbil a'lameen in awe
of Him.
Now we bring in the first half of the verse to view it
in full: 'The last remnant of the wrong-doers was cut off.
Praise be to Allah, the Sustainer of the worlds' (6:45). This
was the cl imax of the uprising that responded to the call for
the Revolution. 'This is how they will proclaim the Hamd
of Allah the Nourisher of humanity' see Surah Yoonas
(Jonah) (10:10).
45 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Guidance of Wah;
Of course the economic system of the Quran cannot
be established without the guidance of Allah's Wahi
(Revelation):This is not a mere statement of belief, rather it
is a sound reality to which we must pay close attention. Just
as any human issue must be dealt with taking all of
humalllty into account, so must the economic system also
be handled taking humankind into consideration as a
whole.
Allah's Wahi provides a complete and
comprehensive set of Permanent Values (for every aspect
of life) which, once implemented, will benefit the
individual as well as the collective society. It could be said
that it is a complete comprehensive formula, and only when
it is implemented in totality will it bring about expected
results. If some parts (or indeed a single part) are left out of
the formula, then the expected results will not come about.
The same is true for the economics issue. If one
tries to resolve an issue in isolation from the rest of all
other issues (i.e. without taking them into consideration),
then it is liable to become complicated and thus
problematic. For instance, if the Quranic economic system
- which has been outlined earlier - is introduced as is into a
society of idlers and thieves, then what will the result be? ­
Or if abundance of food and wealth gets into the hands of a
morally depraved nation (that revels in the luxuries and
pleasures of life), then it is easy to imagine how much
chaos will ensue. According to the Quran: 'And how many
populations We destroyed, which (once) revelled in their
life (of ease and plenty)! Now those habitations of theirs,
after them, are deserted '(28:58).
46 Economic System of the Holy Quran
There is no philosophy, or code of life (that deems
humans simply as physical machines), that can deal even
with the issue of providing sustenance for humanity, let
alone other issues. Thus there is no code of life (other than
the Wahi) that enables the human caravan to reach its
destination. The Quran is a complete code of Ii fe for
mankind, and the economic system is just one facet of it.
The entire Deen is based on the principle that human life is
not limited to merely the physical body; besides the body,
human life also has something else which is the Self (nafs)
or human Personality.
Human Personality
If the human Self is made to grow and develop
properly, then in the life after death he is in a position to
continue evolving. A person's Self grows and develops
when he leads his life in accordance with the Permanent
Values given by the Divine Revelation. One of the
Permanent Values asserts that the more one gives for the
growth and development of others, the more his own
Personality will grow and develop. The Quran states thus:
'Those who spend their wealth (for the benefit of others) to
grow in purity .. .' (92:18), i.e. the one who gives his
material possessions to benefit society ultimately develops
his Personality. The famous psychologist of the present age
Eric Fromm describes this fact in his own eloquent way
when he says: 'The aim of life should not be 10 have, but 10
be.' This is a condensed version of the Quranic explanation
of the link between giving material possessions to society
and development of the human Personality. The goal oflife
is thus fixed as 'to be' which is contrary to 'to have'. Note
that as the level human knowledge increases, the
truthfulness of the Quranic precepts become manifest
(41:53). Hence it is clear that the economic system of the
Quran can be established only be people who believe in the
47 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
Values given through the Wahi and have Conviction of life
after death (This is called Eiman bi! Aakhirat - believing in
the Hereafter).
Believing in the Hereafter
The Quran has stated that Eeta-e-Zakaat (provision
of sustenance for growth and development of others) can
only be done by those who believe in the Hereafter (27:3,
31:4). Anyone who doesn't believe in the Hereafter cannot
provide Zakaat (41: 7). Whoever believes purely in a
worldly existence (and that Ii fe ends at death) will also
believe that leading a pleasant life is the only goa\. For this
type of individual what incentive can there be to do any
hard work, retain only what he needs and give the rest for
the benefit of others? If there is an external reason that
compels him to do so, it may remain with him for a while
(as long as the external reason exists) but eventually it will
disappear, and he will revert to capitalism. Ultimately a
capitalist does not believe in the Hereafter. This is the
reason that Qaroon (the representative of capitalism) is told
that he must give up the inhuman false system and replace
with a system in which he can only keep what he needs and
thus enable him to be prosperous in the Hereafter (28:77).
At the same time however, there are those (the Momineen)
who willingly rise to promote the Economic System of the
Quran, and they pray: '0 our Rabb! Give us good in this
world and good in the Hereafter. . .' (2:201). In my book
Nizam-e-Rabubiyat, I elucidate in detail the reasons why
the systems of communism and socialism can never
succeed, because the proponents of these systems do not
have Conviction in the Wahi, and they don't believe in the
Hereafter. They do not have the foundation upon which to
build as great a system as Islam. Even the Muslims will see
success only if they have a strong Conviction in the
veracity of the Wahi and the certainty of life in the
48
Economic System of the Holy Quran
Hereafter. To achieve this objective, a psychological
change has to be brought about in the minds of the
Muslims, because at present their Eiman is nothing more
than a formality.
To the best of my ability, I have described the
process of the Quranic Economic System in sequence, from
the point of initiation to its completion. Obviously the
establishment of this system is possible only in an Islamic
State (i.e. one that runs its entire affairs within the
framework of the Quranic Principles). Whenever and
wherever an Islamic State is established, the preliminary
parliament must take the existing (social/intellectual)
condition of its people into account when it decides which
link of the sequence it shall implement first within its
constitution so that the government (fully fledged Divine
Order) can establish itself successfully. Obviously the more
short-sighted member of society may insist on getting
straight to the final stage of the programme - but in reality
taking short-cuts would render the Islamic State a fantasy.
On the other hand, there will be S0me who cannot visualize
the full implications of the Quranic Code of Life, and will
thus deem it as being impractical and against human nature
(just as today's covert proponents of capitalism tend to
say).Therefore, it will be necessary for the true proponents
of the System to insist on taking gradual steps towards its
establishment, whilst keeping the final goal as their
ultimate aim. The Economic System of the Quran was
established for the first time (i.e. during the Rasool's
(PBUH) lifetime) in this fashion, and so it can be now as
well. However there is a difference between then and now:
when the Rasool (PBUH) made the call for the Revolution,
he was alone (as the first Muslim); the rest were non­
believers. Now, the people in a contemporary Islamic
country are all Muslims, so they can be told: 'This is the
System of the Quran and you profess Eiman on its veracity.
49 Economic System of the Holy Quran
so you should not have any objection on establishing the
System.' One would expect that this should be a fairly
straightforward easy thing to do, but in fact the very same
situation may actually be problematic.
As it has been stated earlier, the Rasool (PBUH) was
the first Muslim. Those who embraced Islam there after,
did so after much contemplation and gaining proper
understanding. They pondered over every aspect of the
Deen and thus became Muslims after fully satisfying their
hearts and minds. Hence when they were instructed to
establish the System, they did so willingly, since they were
already familiar with it. They had full Conviction in its
beneficence and veracity. In today's world however, there
is not a single piece of land where Muslims have taken
Islam with the same kind of Conviction that existed during
the Rasool's (PBUH) time. Hence if any state wishes to
introduce this System, its Muslim population will
(according to the Quran) have to be re-educated to become
Muslims afresh (4: 136). Capitalists and religious leaders
will form an opposition front because they believe in the
Islam that was created during the period when the
Caliphate was transformed into monarchy. As far as they
are concerned, the authenticity of this Islam comes from the
'tradition of the ancestors'. Any Muslim State that
overcomes these forces (i.e. capitalism and theocracy) will
be the one that successfully establishes the System.
However if it fails to do so then any other nation will adopt
it. The Quran has already stated: 'If you tum back (from the
Path), He will substitute you with another people who will
not be like you' (47:38).
Following from this point, it must be stressed here
that when some people say that Russia or China has begun
to adopt this System, then they mistaken, if not deluded.
Neither have these nations initiated the System, nor can it
50 Economic System of the Holy Quran
work with them. Marx said that the solution of
humankind's economic problem lies in the fundamental
principle: 'from each according to hislher ability, to each
according to hislher need.' However he couldn't find an
incentive for which people would be willing to act upon
this principle. Therefore he decided to adopt socialism in
place of communism; and as a result people ended up
bound in shackles tighter than those of capitalism. When a
belief-system doesn't teach belief in God or in Permanent
Values, in human Personal ity or the Hereafter, how can
Nizam-e-Rabubiyat be established'! Such a system has no
premise. Sir Iqbal wrote:
Ifyou wish to create a global social system,
Can you provide a firm foundation for it?
Just as with other systems, this System cannot be
established via today's 'conventional Islam' which itself is
the product of capitalism. It can only be established through
the Quran.
End Notes:
1 Hamd is usually translated as Praise, but this is a
very simplistic translation. In fact Hamd is the expression
of the deep, intense feeling of appreciation invoked
spontaneously when one sees an exceptionally beautiful
and unique thing. The intention of uttering Hamd (i.e. to
say Al Hamdu/illah) is to acknowledge the greatness of
whoever created the given object of admiration. There are,
however, certain requirements or conditions imperative for
the object which is being appreciated.
I. The thing which is being appreciated must
be perceptible. Anything which cannot be
seen or felt cannot be appreciated by our
51 Economic System of the Holy Quran
2.
3.
4.
5.
senses or feelings, e.g., an artist cannot be
appreciated without seeing his painting.
The object of admiration should be the
product of a deliberate, conscious act.
Anything which just happens on its own or
by chance is not worthy of Hamd. For
instance, the Arabs did not use the word
Hamd for a person who was born beautiful;
for this they used the word Madah. If a
machine is producing beautiful articles, the
machine is not worthy of Hamd, but Madah.
Similar is the case of a dancing peacock.
The peacock deserves appreciation but
Hamd is due only to his creator - Allah.
The person who is appreciating the given
object should be doing so on his own,
voluntarily and not under any compulsion or
pretension, not hypocritically or to please
someone; the feelings ofappreciation should
come forth abruptly, instantly and
spontaneously.
The person appreciating the object must
have definite knowledge about it.
Appreciation cannot be expressed on the
basis of knowledge which is vague, hearsay
or even slightly doubtful i.e. it cannot
come out of blind faith, deception or
whimsical feelings. Madah can be used for
imaginary things but not Hamd.
Things which are being appreciated because
of their rare beauty, complete harmony and
exceptional attraction, must have attained
absolute perfection. They must be beneficial
for humanity and their benefits should be
tangible (Taj). A piece of art which is not
52 Economic System of the Holy Quran
complete or not beneficial to mankind does
not deserve Hamd.
So Hamd is the expression of such feelings with the
requirements and conditions mentioned above. Even if one
element is missing, it would not deserve Hamd but Madah.
The Quran has used the word Hamd while appreciating all
the Attributes' or Creative Works of Allah; not even once
the word Madah is used (13:13; 13:18; 17:/44; 6:45; 64:1).
In fact the word Hamd is used exclusively for Allah. In
order to appreciate all that is created by Allah, humans have
been given knowledge about it (2:31). This enables him to
explore the universe further by doing research, and at the
same time remains under the guidance of Wahi. This
enables him to reach the most exalted position, Maqam-e­
Mahmood (17:79), without duress or any fear. It is a
position worth all the praise and appreciation, something
that the Rasool (PBUH) attained and became Ahmad and
Muhammad (48:29), i.e., one who is worthy ofconstant and
continuous praise and appreciation (Taj).
From the above therefore, it is evident that Hamd
does not come as a faith but as an expression of
appreciation. It is only after deep reflection and extensive
research that one can proclaim: Al-Hamd-o-lillah. - (This
note is adapted from Exposition ofthe Holy Quran, English
edition)
2 The 'source of heat' seems to be a reference to
carbon the fuel which would provide the heat upon
combustion. To quote the English Exposition of the Quran
produced by Tolu-e-Islam Trust online: 'Now say who it is
that conserves this heat energy inside the trees' (56:72».
The general translation (Yusuf Ali) for this verse is: 'Is it
ye who grow the tree which feeds the fire, or do We grow
it?' (56:72)
53 Economic System of the Holy Quran
3 'To give Zakaat' means that the Islamic
government ful.fils Allah's responsibility - in effect - of
Rabubiyat and Razzakiyat. This is because Allah expects
that if a government establishes itself in His name, then it
must also fulfil the responsibilities that He promised to
fulfil for the benefit of humankind.
END
54 Economic System of the Holy Quran
References:
Lane, E.W, Arabic-English Lexicon on CD-ROM. (2003).
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation
Parwez, G.A Islam: A Challenge to Religion (1968)
(online version at http://www.tolueislam.com).Tolu-e­
Islam Trust Lahore Pakistan
Parwez, G.A. Exposition of the Holy Quran (1990) (online
version at http://www.tolueislam.com).Tolu-e-lslam Trust
Parwez, G.A. Kitab-ul-Taqdeer (Book of Destiny), English
translation (1997) (online version at
http://www.tolueislam.com). Tolu-e-Islam Trust.
Translated by Khalid Mahmood Sayyed. of
Peterborough.UK
= = = = = = = = = = = = ~ : . : .
55 Economic System of the Holy Quran
Other Booklets
Idara Tolu-c-Islam, Lahore, in cooperation with Bazm
London. has published the following pamphlets and
booklets in English:
I. Family Planning
2. How Can the Sects be Dissolved"
3. Is Islam a Failurery
4. Islamic Ideology
5. Man and War
6. Quranic Constitution in an Islamic State
7. Quranic Permenent Values
8. Who Arc The Ulema?
9, Why Do We Celebrate Eid?
10, Why Do We Lack Character?
II. Why Is Islam the Only True Decn?
12. Women in the Light orQu'ran
13. Human Fundamental Rights and The Holy Qur':il1
14. Individual or State!
15. Man and God
Contact the following availabi litv of the above
literature:
Idara Tolu-c-islam Bazm London
258 Gulberg Colony 2 76 Park Road
Lahore 54660 !I ford
Pakistan Essex IG I I Sf
Ph: 00 92 (42) 571 4546 & 575 Ph & fax: 0044 (208) 553
3666 1896
Email: idara(<<:toluislam.com Email: bazm.london((virgin.net
\Vebsilc: Ww\v.toiuislam.com Website: \\"\\w.isJam21 ,info
56
Economic System of the Holy Quran
OTHER PUBLICATIONS
ISLAM: A CHALLENGE TO RELIGION
By
G. A. Parwez
The very name of the book strikes one as a paradox for it is
universally accepted that Islam is one of the major religions
of the world. So how could a religion challenge the very
institution to which it subscribes? The author has indeed
made a successful bid to prove this strange aphorism for the
first time in the history of Islamic thought and his research
deserves careful study. It is thought provoking; it is
revolutionary, opening new vistas and hold horizons of
intellectual endeavors. It is the outcome of life-long study
of one of the renowned Quranic thinkers of our times.
The author has not, however, taken a purely a negative
attitude. Having proved his claim that Islam is NOT a
religion, he has very lucidly explained what Islam really is,
and how it offers the most convincing and enduring
answers to those eternal questions which even thinking man
asks about the meaning and purpose of life and how it can
be achieved. The book is thus a unique attempt at the
rediscovery of Islam: scholarly written and exquisitely
presented.
For details of availability of this and other publications
listed on succeeding pages, please contact:
Tolu-e-Islam Trust
25-8 Gulberg 2
Lahore .. 54660
PAKISTAN
57 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
QURANIC LAWS
Quranic Laws was written under pressing demands. It
provides the code of laws for an Islamic State, and as such
it may be considered a precursor of "Tabweeb-ul-Quran"
- a grand, magnificent, and marvelous classification of the
Quran by (Late) Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez (R.A) in
three big volumes.
There is no denying of the fact that in this book, the purport
of the Quranic verses has also been given prolifically.
Along with this, inferences have also been drawn, though
this right belongs to the Legislative Assembly of an Islamic
State. However, (Late) Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
(R.A) emphasizes that his inferences are not more than just
a pointer in this direction.
Although this collection of Quranic Laws shall be
beneficial to all the Muslims in general, it shall, in
particular, be useful to those connected with legal affairs,
i.e., judges, advocates, those working with the law sections
of the government, members of the legislature, the
constituent assemblies, and those concerned with the
media.
The chapters of this book deal with topics such as State
Affairs, Government Agencies, Justice, General Injunctions
for Family life, Inheritance and Testament, Protection of
Life and Property. And the other chapters pertain to
Economy and Basic Human Rights etc.
***
58 Economic System of the Holy Quran
ISLAMIC WAY OF LIVING
The history of mankind, engravings of human character,
and the realities of the Quran stand witness to the fact that
the fate of a nation rests with the ways ofliving with which
the heart and mind of its rising generation is disciplined.
This measure alone determines the specific rank a nation
enjoys in the comity of nations and even the extent to
which it can espouse its cause with the caravan of
humanity. If that nation inculcates Islamic Ways of Living
in the behaviour of its younger generation through teaching
and training on firm footing. properly and adequately, the
potentialities ofthe heart and mind of the youngsters of that
nation, the vigor of their zest, the fountain spring of their
life blood, and the vehemence of their character rise like
tumultuous storm and dwindles away every thwarting force
like a hay. Since the future of a nation depends on the way
its younger generation is brought up, so (Late) G. A.
Parwez (R. A) wrote lslamee Muasharat in Urdu.
Muslims living abroad, especially the Pakistanis, felt
apprehensive of their children going astray under the
influence of foreign culture. They contacted Dr. Syed
Abdul Wadud in his lifetime to write' a book on the
"Islamic Way of Living" which could be useful for the
young.
This work - ISLAMIC WAY OF LIVING - that he
produced is not the exact translation but a reproduction in
English of that Urdu book Islamee Muasharat. It
comprises such Quranic instructions, which guide the way
to the formation of an Islamic Society. It is not a
philosophical treatise but a description in simple terms,
meant for children, as well as for those who neither have
the time nor the aptitude to go into details.
59 Economic System of the Holy Quran
REASONS FOR THE DECLINE OF MUSLIMS
For the last two centuries or so, the Muslims have been
emotionally and mentally preoccupied with what has been
now classically bandied about as their favorite theme: "The
Rise And Fall of The Muslims". The glorious past has
been lamented and wailed upon endlessly. While some
have done just this, the others have attempted to move
away from it all, alienated and disgusted. The fall and
disintegration of the Mughal Empire, leading to the
dethronement of Bahadur Shah Zafar in the last century,
followed by the fall and disintegration of the Ottomans and
dethronement Qf Sultan Abdul Hamid II during and after
the First World War was a trauma that the Muslims have
not got over.
Even a cursory glance over the world makes it amply clear
that the fall of any empire and civilization does not happen
suddenly. It is preceded by a prolonged phase of decay,
with Nature watching, as if hoping against hope that
humankind may yet see the edge of the precipice and tum
back. In the Quranic tenninology this is the "period of
respite".
The Muslims, however, like many others before them,
reached a point of no return. Allama G.A. Parwez is one of
those who objectively and scientifically attempted an
analysis of the causes of the decline and fall of the Muslims
from the Quranic perspective of the philosophy of history.
This little book in Urdu has been very much in demand and
voraciously read by all and sundry. For a long time the
need was felt for the English rendering of this book. There
had been a demand for it from those who were not very
proficient in Urdu or those whose children were born and
brought up abroad. We are greatly indebted to Mr. Ismail
Atcha from Bolton, Lancashire, Britain, for fulfilling this
dire need. He has, in real sense, put in the best of his efforts
and potentials to render this book into English.
60 Economic System of the Holy Quran
LETTERS TO TAHIRA
"Letters to Tahira" is essentially a collection of letters
written to a mature and inquisitive young lady with clean
intellect. This was in response to the queries the author had
received from many of the female readers of his earlier
similar book "Letters to Saleem".
These letters, in right earnest, bring forth the trials,
tribulations and the vexing problems that the unfortunate
and helpless girls of our society have to face today.
Some letters highlight those maladies that are currently
rampant amongst our modern educated class. These are the
results of following the West blindly. The nation is
gradually pushed towards destruction, and if the orthodox
section of the society needs to change, the modernists, too,
are not to be exempted. It is imperative that both extremes
be brought to the middle path, in the light of the Quran.
It is a stark fact that women can train, discipline and build a
society more easily and effectively than men. The
publishing of these leiters will hopefully initiate the
reformation process at home. G. A. Parwez hopes that if
this effort of his can light a few Quranic candles in some
homes; he believes his endeavors will have borne fruit.
***
61 Economic System ofthe Holy Quran
EXPOSITION OF THE HOLY OURAN
VOLUME-I
It was in 1983 that Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwez
undertook the project of rendering into English his
celebrated work titled "Majhum-ul-Quran". He could only
complete up to Surah "AI-Kahaf(No. 18)" - slightly more
than half of the text of the Quran, when death overtook
him.
The reader would notice that some of the Quranic terms are
retained as such (in Arabic) in this exposition e.g. Allah,
Deen, Nabi, Rasool. Momin, Kafir etc. These concepts have
special significance in the Quran and it is just not possible
to translate them in a few words in English; so Glossary of
terms has been added.
The reader would find a new approach in this presentation,
which is different from all other translations in English. As
the title explains, this presentation is not the translation of
the Holy Quran, but it's Exposition.
It is an honest and serious human effort to convey to the
humans the pristine concepts of the Holy. Quran. The
original Arabic text of Wahi (Revelation), however, is
eternal and its understanding during any span of time
cannot be taken as the last word, which shall have to be left
to the last man on this earth.
***
62 Economic System of the Holy Quran
AL·8ALAAGH
"And our duty is hilt plain convevance (o{the Message) . ..
(Quran, 36:17)
AI-Balaagh is edited by A. S. K. Joommal and
published quarterly in South Afnca.
The Quran commands and encourages the use of the
Godgiven faculty of thinking and reasoning. AI-Balaagh
conveys the message of the Quran in its pristine purity.
AI- Ballagh is an open forum that entertains ALL
shades of religious opinion without prejudice or favour.
This paper's policy and Quranic beliefs are always
reflected in'lts editorials. Opinions expressed by writers of
articles and letters need not necessarily be those of the
editor.
SUBSCRIPTION (PER ANNUM)
South Africa Rand 40-00
United Kingdom - £5.00
USA & Other Countries - $10.00
Please write to:
AI-Balaagh, P.O. Box 1925, LENASIA 1820, South Africa
Subscribers in the UK can order through:
Maqbool Farhat, 76 Park Road, liford, Essex, IGI ISF
Tel & Fax: 020 8553 1896
63 Economic System of the Holy Quran
THE TOLU-E-ISLAM MOVEMENT
It's Beliefs and Objectives
We believe that
L Reason alone is not enough to solve the problem of life.
Reason needs revelation (Wah i) just as eyes need the
light of the sun.
2, This revelation is preserved in the Quran in its final and
complete form, Mankind, therefore, cannot reach its
desired destination without the Quran,
3, The Quran is the criterion for jUdging between truth and
falsehood, Everything that agrees with the Quran is
correct That which is at variance with it, is false.
4, From the viewpoint of the Quran, all human beings
inhabiting the earth, are individuals belonging to one
universal brotherhood, The practical aspect of
establishing this brotherhood would be that all mankind
may lead their lives according to ONE dispensation,
5, This universal organization of life may be formulated in
such a manner that people of every era according to the
requirements of their time, may compile the details of
law in the light of the Quran, (These are called SHRIA
LAWS), The details of law will keep changing
according to circumstances, but the principles of the
Quran shall forever remain unalterable,
64 Economic System of the Holy Quran
6. From the point of view of such an organization, the
Quran envisages. a society in which the latent abi;;ties
of ALL individuals are developed, and no one in such a
society will be deprived of his life's necessities - food,
shelter, health care, education etc. - this is the Quranic
Organization For the Preservation of Mankind. This is
called The Quranic Social Order. Once human's latent
potentialities are fully developed, the world will thus
become resplendent with the light of the Eternal
Nourisher.
.*••***

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