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  • The Economic Shariah (Qanoon-e-Maeeshat): Introduction And Content

    Posted by Umer on September 27, 2020 at 10:24 am

    The economic shariah has been revealed by the Almighty through His last Prophet (sws) for the purification of the economy and economic affairs of a country. It is based on the Qur’anic philosophy of creation. According to this philosophy, the Almighty has created this world as a trial and test for man; every person has therefore been made to depend on others for his living. No one in this world can live independently as regards his needs and requirements. A person of the highest rank is dependent on others and people have to turn to even the most ordinary to fulfil them. In other words, every single person has an important role to play and no person can live a life independent of others as far as his needs are concerned. The Almighty has blessed people with varying abilities, intelligence and inclinations as well as with varying means and resources. In fact, it is because of this variation that a society comes into being. In such a society, if, on the one hand, there are scholars and sages whose knowledge enlightens the whole world, writers whose works give eternal life to words and their meanings, researchers whose unique researches are praised by the whole society, leaders whose acumen resolves many problems of the collectivity, reformers whose efforts create self-awareness in mankind and rulers whose resolve and determination change the course of history, then on the other hand, the same society also has workers whose hard work produces marvels from machines, tillers of the soil whose relentless labour results in bumper crops, cooks whose adept cookery savours our taste-buds, artisans whose craftsmanship builds astounding sky scrapers and janitors with whose efforts the whole society breathes in a healthy atmosphere.. The Qur’an says:

    نَحْنُ قَسَمْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ مَعِيشَتَهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَرَفَعْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِيَتَّخِذَ بَعْضُهُمْ بَعْضًا سُخْرِيًّا وَرَحْمَةُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا يَجْمَعُونَ (32:43)

    We have allocated among them their livelihood in this world [in such a manner that] We have raised some in status above others so that they can mutually serve each other. And better is your Lord’s mercy than what they are amassing. (43:32)

    By creating various classes of people, the Almighty is testing whether the big and the small, the high and the low create a society based on co-operation and respect or create disorder in the world by disregarding the role each person has been ordained to play. The latter attitude would, of course, lead them to humiliation in this world and to a grievous doom in the Hereafter. The Quran says:

    وَنَبْلُوكُمْ بِالشَّرِّ وَالْخَيْرِ فِتْنَةً وَإِلَيْنَا تُرْجَعُونَ (35:21)

    And we are trying you by giving you happiness and sorrow to test you, and to Us you will be returned. (21:35)

    It is to salvage man in this trial that the Almighty has guided him through His prophets and revealed this economic shariah to cleanse and purify him.

    Following is a summary of this shariah:

    1. Sanctity of Ownership: If a Muslim has paid his zakah dues, then his rightfully owned wealth cannot be usurped or tampered with in any way, except if on account of some violation sanctioned by the religion of God and his Prophet (sws). So much so, a government has no authority to impose any tax other than zakah on its Muslim citizens without their consent.

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    2. Formation of a Public Sector / National Assets: Wealth and assets which are not in the ownership of an individual or cannot be in his ownership should remain in the ownership of the state so that this wealth should not get concentrated among the rich and that it be directed to those sectors of the society which are dependent on others for their needs. Similarly, certain obligations of the state can also be fulfilled through this means.

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    3. Usurpation of Wealth (Gambling And Interest): It is prohibited to devour other people’s wealth and property by unjust means. Gambling and interest are some horrendous forms of usurpation. Other economic activities should also stand permissible or prohibited in the light of this principle.

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    4. Documentation and Evidence: In affairs such as various financial transactions, making a will and acquiring a loan, the parties involved should write down a document and call in witnesses on the contract written. An indifference to this can at times lead to great moral misconduct.

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    5. Distribution of Inheritance: The wealth of every Muslim must necessarily be distributed after his death among his heirs in the following manner:

    If the deceased has outstanding debts to his name, then first of all they should be paid off from the wealth he has left behind. After this, any will he may have bequeathed should be paid. The distribution of his inheritance should then follow.

    No will can be made in favour of an heir ordained by the Almighty except if his circumstances, or the services rendered by him or his needs in certain situations call for it. Similarly, a person who has severed the foundations of kinship with a person through his words and deeds cannot be his heir.

    After giving the parents and the spouses their shares, the children are the heirs of the remaining inheritance. If the deceased does not have any male offspring and there are only two or more girls among the children, then they shall receive two-thirds of the inheritance left over, and if there is only one girl, then her share is one-half. If the deceased has only male children, then all his wealth shall be distributed among them. If he leaves behind both boys and girls, then the share of each boy shall be equal to the share of two girls and, in this case also, all his wealth shall be distributed among them.

    In the absence of children, the deceased’s brothers and sisters shall take their place. After giving the parents and spouses their shares, the brothers and sisters shall be his heirs. The proportion of their shares and the mode of distribution shall be the same as that of the children stated above.

    If the deceased has children or if he does not have children and has brothers and sisters, then the parents shall receive a sixth each. If he does not even have brothers and sisters and the parents are the sole heirs, then one-third of his wealth shall be given to the mother and two-thirds to the father.

    If the deceased is a man and he has children, then his wife shall receive one-eighth of what he leaves, and if he does not have any children, then his wife’s share shall be one-fourth. If the deceased is a woman and does not have any children, then her husband shall receive one-half of what she leaves and if she has children, then the husband’s share is one-fourth.

    In the absence of these heirs, the deceased can make someone an heir. If the person who is made an heir is a relative and has one brother or one sister, then they shall be given a sixth of his share and he himself shall receive the remaining five-sixth. However, if he has more than one brother or sister, then they shall be given a third of his share and he himself shall receive the remaining two-thirds.

    Discussion 10380

    (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)

    (Translated by Dr. Shehzad Saleem)

    Umer replied 3 years, 7 months ago 1 Member · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies

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