ECONOMICS AND THE QURAN

Economics is a branch of social science which deals mainly with the production, distribution and consumption of means of subsistence. The Arabic word for ‘means of subsistence’ is maeeshatun, which has the following meanings:

  • Means of life or subsistence

  • Means of obtaining that whereby one lives, i.e. occupation

  • Means of supporting one’s existence, especially financially or vocationally

  • Livelihood

  • That whereby one lives

  • The state wherein one lives

All means of subsistence are made by Allah

“And certainly We have established you upon the earth and made for you therein means of subsistence. Little are you grateful” [Al-A’raf 7:10]

“And we have made for you therein (i.e. in the earth) means of subsistence and for those for whom you are not providers” [A-Hijr 15:20]

Allah has apportioned different occupational/vocational tendencies among people

A happy and prosperous society needs people with different talents, capabilities and occupational and vocational tendencies. It needs leaders as well as sweepers; managers as well as subordinates and so on, so that people may make use of the service of one another.

“Do they distribute the ‘rahmat’ (beneficence) of your Lord? It is We who have apportioned among them their vocations/occupations in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degree [of ranks] that they may make use of one another for service. But the ‘rahmat’ of your Lord is better than whatever they accumulate.” [Az-Zukhruf 43:32]

Criterion of different degrees [of ranks]

And all have degrees [of ranks] according to their deeds… [Al-An’am 6:132; Al-Ahqaf 46:19]

Why different degrees [of ranks]?

“And We have raised some of them above others in degrees [of ranks] that they may make use of one another for service…” [Az-Zukhruf 43:32]

And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you… [Al-An’am 6:165]

THE LAW OF PROSPERITY

“…There shall most certainly come unto you guidance from Me; and he who follows My guidance will neither go astray nor will he be unprosperous. And whoever turns away from My Zikr – indeed, he will have a straitened state of living, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [Ta-Ha 20:123-124]

Az-Zikr is the Quran, which contains Allah’s Guidance. A society established on the principles given in the Quran will be a prosperous society wherein wealth and means of subsistence will not remain available only with a rich minority but these will be equitably distributed and voluntarily shared among all members of the society.

By the Qur’an, containing Az-Zikr [Sad 38:1]

 WHAT IS ZAKAT?

The root of the word Zaka(t) is Z-K-W (za-kaf-waw), which leads to the following meanings:

-To increase
-To grow
-To thrive
-To augment
-To increase in the purity of heart; to increase in integrity
-To befit

Primarily the root denotes an increase or augmentation (particularly of a positive, favorable or auspicious thing or virtue). Some also say that it means “to purify”. However, in the Quran AZKA has been used along with ATHAR  in 2:232. The root , T-H-R (ta-ha-ra) from which the word ATHAR is derived, has the meanings “to purify” but the meanings “to increase, grow, thrive, augment etc.” are the primary significations of the root Z-K-W. TAHARA is a negative virtue which signifies being free from dirt, filth or derogatory things. ZAKA is a positive virtue which signifies positive growth and development. The following phrases further clarify the signification of the root Z-K-W.

Zakat-il-ardh means the land thrive or yielded increase

Zakaa-al-ghulam means the boy grew or thrive

Al-ilmo yazkoo alal infaaq means the knowledge increases by spending

Zukkoo means he enjoyed or led a plentiful and a pleasant or an easy, and a soft or delicate life. OR he was in a state of abundance of the goods, conveniences or comforts of life OR he enjoyed a life of increase or plenty.

From this:

Zaka means increase or augmentation or growth or development.

The term aatoozzakaat آتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ appears in the following verses:

2:43; 2:83; 2:110; 2:277; 4:77; 9:5; 9:11; 22:41; 22:78; 24:56; 58:13; 73:20;

The root of the word Aatoo is A-T-Y (alif-ta-ya), which has the following meanings (depending upon what word or preposition follows this word):

-To come (to or over someone)
-To arrive (at)
-To bring, bring forward, produce, accomplish or achieve (something)
-To bring, give or offer or provide (someone, something)
-To do or perform (a deed)
-To carry out or execute (e.g. a movement)
-To commit or perpetrate (e.g. a sin or crime)

The term aatoozzakaat is usually taken to mean “give the poor rate” where “poor rate” means “the local tax for the relief of the poor”. This definition of the term aatoozzakaat is not correct and does not bring forth the true and complete concept of the term ZAKA. The term aatoozzakaat  does not mean JUST to give some fixed sum from the money to the poor, (although it may be a means of accomplishing ZAKA). It is much more than that. Please see the verse 2:177 in which giving some of the wealth to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives has been differentiated from the term aatoozzakaat.

Zakat is more than just giving from one’s wealth to the poor.

See the following:

2:177 It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East and the West, but righteousness is this that one should believe in Allah and the last day and the angels and the Book and the prophets, and give away wealth out of love for Him to the near of kin and the orphans and the needy and the wayfarer and the beggars and for (the emancipation of) the captives, and establish SALAT and provide ZAKA; and the performers of their promise when they make a promise, and the patient in distress and affliction and in time of conflicts– these are they who are true (to themselves) and these are they who guard (against the inevitable consequences of violating Allah’s Commands).

Even from the language point of view the term aatoozzakaat  cannot be translated as “give the poor rate”. Although aatoo has one of the meanings “give” but Zakaat does not mean “poor rate”. Zakaat means increase or augmentation or growth or development.

The term aatoozzakaat is very comprehensive. It signifies “(to) Do whatever it takes to provide the means for the development and growth of all”, i.e. “(to) Do whatever is necessary to accomplish the physical and personal growth and development of all”. [See the meanings, “do”, “accomplish”, provide and “achieve” for the word aatoo given above]. The purpose of aatoozzakaat  is to provide the means of development for all. It includes physical development and nourishment as well as development of the human personality i.e. mental/intellectual/personal development or development of the “self”. Development of human hardware as well as human software. It involves development, increase and augmentation in the produce and resources to provide abundance of goods, conveniences and comforts  to people as well as their self-actualization or development of their personalities. It is a complete economic system that ensures the provision of all the requisite resources for the physical and personal development of people. In order to establish such a system you have to have authority, power, dominion and government. If you already have such an authority and you are an Islamic Government, your primary task is to establish such a system. Please see 22:41.

22:41 (Believers are} those who, if We establish them in the land, establish SALAT and provide ZAKA and enjoin good and forbid evil: …

Notice in the above verse, the establishment in the land has been described as a prerequisite for the system of ZAKA.

As has been mentioned above that growth and development is of two types: Physical (i.e. of the human hardware or body) and Personal (i.e. of the human software or the self or the personality). For physical development you have to have something added to your body as a nourishment but for the development of the self or self-actualization, you need to give something out of your wealth or resources for others. See the following verses (which state that TAZKIYA or personal development is achieved by giving from your wealth to others:

9:103 Accept their contribution for the community. Purify their thoughts with proper education and training so that their “Self” may grow. Appreciate and Help them! Your appreciation and support is a great source of peace in their hearts. Allah is Hearer, Knower.

92:18 Who gives his wealth (for the benefits of others) so that he may attain self-development (and grow in goodness)

WHAT IS SADAQA?

Sadaqa is what is given voluntarily for the sake of Allah to obtain the recompense from Allah when the person who does so aims at conformity with the truth in his deed.

SADAQA is voluntary while ZAKA is obligatory

For zaka, there are direct commands of Allah in the imperative [AATTOOZAKA] while SADAQA is not enjoined in the Quran in the imperative. Moreover, 2:280; 4:92; 5:45 also  depict the voluntary aspect of the word SADAQA.

SADAQA is for the sake of Allah alone

The verses 9:104; 57:18 indicate this aspect

More characteristics of SADAQA

No show off [2:266]

Not to make him, to whom it is given, feel obliged [2:266]

The feelings of the one to whom it is given should not get hurt [2:263; 2:266]

Whom the SADAQA goes to?

-FUQARAA [2:271, 9:60]
-MASAKEEN
-AAMILEEN
-Those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to Truth) [e.g. new converts/reverts to Islam]
-To free the slaves
-Gharimeen
-Ibn-sabeel [9:60]

This apportioning or allocation is from Allah [9:60]

How much should be given as SADAQA?

The rich should give according to their resources and the poor according to their [9:79]

How it should be given?

Openly or secretly [2:271]

Can be given directly to FUQARAA [2:271]

Can be given to an authority who can distribute to the deserving [9:58; 9:103]

Some differences between ZAKA and SADAQA

1. Zaka is obligatory while Sadaqa is supererogatory or voluntary. The money for the purpose of zaka can be taken by force by the authorities while for Sadaqa, this is not the case

2. Zaka must be managed by a central authority while Sadaqa may be given individually or through authorities

3. Sadaqa is usually for exigencies or a sudden unforeseen crisis while Zaka is a continuous program aimed at providing the resources for the physical and personal development of the people

4. For Zaka, no categories of people have been mentioned in the Quran to whom it is for. [it is for the general physical and personal development of all]. For sadaqa, the categories of people whom it is for is mentioned.

5. In a bid to establish an economic system based upon the Quranic teachings, Sadaqa may be a measure much prevalent in the transitory stage while Zakaat will be the main hallmark of the maturity of such a system when all will be provided what they need for their physical and personal development

6. To affect Zaka, an Islamic authority may levy fixed taxes of different sorts changeable according to the economic state of the nation but for Sadaqa, there is no fixed amount.

SPENDING IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH [INFAAQ]

WHAT IS INFAAQ?

The word INFAAQ is from the root N-F-Q, which means expending (money) or dispensing (gifts) etc. The word NAFAQ, of which the plural is “ANFAAQ”, also means hole of rats or mice, particularly a hole which has two openings so that the rats or mice can enter from one opening and exit from the other. The word NAIFAQ means “a part of the trousers which is turned down at the top, and sewed and through which the waistband passes in such a way that it enters from one side and comes out from the other side. From this the meaning of INFAAQ can be understood, i.e. to earn money on the one hand and to expend it on the other hand, without hoarding. The Arabic word for a Hypocrite is MUNAAFAQ which also has the same root N-F-Q, signifying that he has both the options open to him. When he is with the disbelievers, he says, “I am a disbeliever” and when he is with the believers, he says, “I am a believer”.

Allah’s command for INFAAQ [i.e. spending]

In 2:254, Allah commands spending.

2:254 O You who Believe! Spend of that with which we have provided for you. Do that before the day comes when no bargaining, friendship or intercession shall be of any avail. Those who reject such sensible admonition, do grave injustice to themselves.

The REAL momineen are only those who spend in the cause of Allah [8:3-4]:

8:3-4 “Those who establish SALAH and SPEND (benevolently) out of what We have given them. Such in truth are the believers: they have grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness, and generous sustenance”

Every claim of piety or righteousness is false unless one does spend in the cause of Allah [3:92]

3:92 “By no means shall ye attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah knows it well.”

The nearness to Allah can be obtained by spending in the cause of Allah

The Quran has not mentioned and CHILLA or MARAQBA to attain the nearness of Allah but a way to nearness of Allah is to spend in the cause of Allah [9:99]

9:99 And among the Bedouins are those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and consider their spending as a means of nearness to Allah and a means of supporting the Messenger. This will raise their ranks with Allah. Allah will embrace them with His Mercy. Verily, Allah is Forgiving, Gracious.

Spending From what?

A. From whatever Allah has provide-little or more

According to 2:3, 2:254, 4:39, 13:22, 14:31, 22:35, 28:54, Allah says that spending is FROM WHAT ALLAH HAS PROVIDED [MIMMA RAZAKNAKUM]. This means that whatever little or more, Allah has provided, we must spend from it. Allah has not mentioned any minimum amount that we must have before we should spend. If we have less then we must spend from it and if we have more then we must spend from it.

B. In prosperity as well as in adversity

The verse 3:134 makes it clear that the spending is both in times of prosperity as well as times of adversity, i.e. in good times as well as in bad times.

C. The rich should spend according to their means and the poor should spend according to their means

According to a principle derived from 65:7, the rich should spend according to their means and the poor should spend according to their means

Spending For what purpose?

Spending is in the cause of Allah [2:195]

Spending on Whom?

-Parents,
-Family and relatives,
-Orphans, widows, and those who are left helpless,
-Those whose hard earned income is insufficient to meet their basic needs, those whose businesses have stalled, and those who have lost their jobs,
-The needy wayfarer, the homeless son of the street, and the one who has come to your town in a destitute condition [2:215]
-The needy who are suffering in the Cause of Allah and cannot emigrate
-Those who are unable to go about the earth in search of livelihood.
-One, who is unaware of their condition, might think they are free from want, because they abstain from begging. But you can recognize them by the marks on their faces because they do not ask people insistently.[2:273]

Spending How much?

Whatever is redundant and abundant should be spent. Whatever is exceeding from what is necessary, should be spent.[2:219]

How to spend? The Manners:

Do not reproach those whom you give, for what you confer upon them

Do not remind them of your generosity

Do not recount your gifts to them

Do not hurt them with any annoying remarks [2:262, 2:264]

Spending can be open or secret [2:274, 13:22, 14:31, 35:29] but Do not spend just to be seen or to show off [2:264, 4:38]

Spend from what is TAYYAB [i.e. what is good and you yourself like] [2:267]
Spend from things you love [3:92]
Spend from what you have earned with your hard work [2:267]

When to spend?

Spending is day and night [2:274], whenever you have the resources and there is a needy. There is no waiting period for a year before spending

The exemption

Only those are exempted from spending in the cause of Allah, who have absolutely no resources at all to spend but who are sincere in their other duties to Allah [9:91]

RIGHTS OF ORPHANS, WIDOWS AND THOSE WHO ARE LEFT ALONE IN THE SOCIETY

1. Honour them and treat them with politeness, kindness, courtesy and generosity [89:16-17]

2. Do not oppress, abase, subjugate or subdue them [93:9]

3. Do not push, thrust or drive them way in a violent, harsh, rough, coarse or rude manner [107:2]. This is a contravention of Allah’s Law [Ad-Deen] [107:1]

4. Supply them with the means of subsistence in their time of hunger and destitution [90:14-15]. Do it so in spite of your love for money, desiring not any recompense nor thanks from them [76:8-9]

5. If need be, marry from the orphan girls [4:3] when they come of age [4:6] or widows [4:127] whom you like and who are willing to marry you [4:19] and be their protector and maintainer [4:34]

6. Do IHSAAN (/good) to them till their economic or emotional imbalance is no more [2:83, 4:36]

7. Give them out of your wealth in spite of your love for keeping money [2:177, 2:215]

8. Stand firm for justice to them [4:127]

9. Give them share from what others leave after death if they are there at the time of distribution of the inheritance [4:8]. They also have a share from the war booty [4:41] or what you obtain without war without any hardship or inconvenience [59:7]

10. Set their affairs right and do what is good for them [2:220]

11. Give them their property, if it belongs to them. Do not exchange your bad things for their good ones and devour not their substance by adding it to your own substance [4:2]

12. Do not unjustly or corruptly eat up their property [4:10]

13. (As a caretaker,) Make trial of [minor] orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them; but consume it not wastefully, nor in haste against their growing up. If the guardian is well-off, Let him claim no remuneration, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable. When you release their property to them, take witnesses in their presence [4:6]

14. And come not near to the their property, except to improve it, until they attain the age of full strength [6:152, 17:34]

RIGHTS OF THE INDIGENT [MASAKEEN], IN THE LIGHT OF THE QURAN

  • Do not be a spendthrift but feed the indigent, instead [17:26]

  • Allah commands you to give alms [sadaqa] to the indigent  [9:60]

  • Do good to the indigent till their economic imbalance is no more [2:83, 2:215, 4:36]

  • Feed the indigent, without wishing any return from them, not even a word of thanks. If you do so, then you will be the true follower of Allah’s commands with humility and submissiveness (abd-Allah) [76:6-9]

  • If you will not make provisions for the indigent, your abode will be in hell [74:42-44, 69:31-34]

  • Before you die, be mindful that there may be a share for the indigent in what you bequeath [4:8]

  • If you wish to be successful in the eyes of Allah and wish your good potentialities turn into actualities, feed the indigent [30:38]

  • If you committed any acts of disobedience to Allah, feed the indigent as an atonement [2:184, 58:3-4]

  • Urge others also to feed the indigent. if you do not do so, you will be the denier of Ad-deen [i.e.  the way of life prescribed by Allah] [107:1-3, 89:18]

  • Remember, there is also a share for the indigent from the spoils of war [8:41]

NO MAKING MONEY BY ILLEGAL MEANS

The Arabic word “Suht” as it appears in 5:42, 5:62, 5:63, has the following meanings:
A thing that is prohibited, forbidden or unlawful

-Any money or property that is forbidden, not lawful to be gained or devoured
-Illegal possessions
-Ill-gotten property
-Thing obtained unlawfully
-Unlawful trade
-Unlawful profit
-Unlawful property
-Bribe money

“Suht” in all the above meanings is strictly forbidden by the Quran.

In 5:41-42, Allah says that for those who make money by illegal, unlawful, forbidden or prohibited means or trade or by taking bribes, there is disgrace in this world and a great torment [azaab-un-azeem] in the hereafter.

“O Apostle! let not those grieve thee, who race each other into unbelief: (whether it be) among those who say “We believe” with their lips but whose hearts have no faith; or it be among the Jews, – men who will listen to any lie, – will listen even to others who have never so much as come to thee. They change the words from their (right) times and places: they say, “If ye are given this, take it, but if not, beware!” If any one’s trial is intended by God, thou hast no authority in the least for him against God. For such – it is not God’s will to purify their hearts. For them there is disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter a heavy punishment. They are upholders of lies, and eaters of illicit earnings. If they come to you to judge among them, you may judge among them, or you may disregard them. If you choose to disregard them, they cannot harm you in the least. But if you judge among them, you shall judge equitably. GOD loves those who are equitable” [5:41-42]

In 5:62, Allah has described it as superlatively evil and bad deed. [the Arabic word “Bi’sa” means superlatively evil or very very bad deed. ]

“And thou seest many of them vying one with another in sin and transgression and their devouring of illicit gain. Verily evil is what they do.” [5:62]

In 5:63, Allah says why not the religious [so-called] learned men forbid such people from making illegal money. [It is a fact that we hardly see mullahs forbidding people from committing such crimes]. Allah has also described this unmindfulness of mullahs as superlatively evil and bad.

“Why do not the rabbis and the priests forbid their evil-speaking and their devouring of illicit gain? Verily evil is their handiwork.” [5:63]

ALLAH CONDEMNS HOARDING OF MONEY OR PROPERTY – I

An Arabic word for hoarding money or property is BUKHL بخل which is also used in the following meanings:

  •  -Niggardliness

  • -Tenaciousness

  • -Stinginess

  • -Penuriousness

  • -Avarice

  • -Withholding of acquired articles of property and not giving the needy from what one has in abundant

In the following verses of the Quran, Allah has condemned niggardliness or hoarding of the money or property:

3/180 And let not those deem, who are niggardly in giving away that which Allah has granted them out of His grace, that it is good for them; nay, it is worse for them; they shall have their hoardings made to cleave to their necks on the resurrection day; and Allah’s is the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is aware of what you do.

4/37 Those who are niggardly (and hoard money or property) and bid people to be niggardly and hide what Allah has given them out of His grace; We have prepared for those who hide Allah’s blessings from others, a disgraceful chastisement.

[Kafireen in the above verse has been rendered as ‘those who hide Allah’s blessings from other’, since the primary signification of the root k-f-r is to hide or cover something. This meanings is more suitable according to the context of the verse]

9:75-77 And there are those of them who made a covenant with Allah: If He give us out of His grace, we will certainly give sadqaat and we will certainly be of the good. But when He gave them out of His grace, they became niggardly of it and they turned back and they withdrew. So He made hypocrisy to follow as a consequence into their hearts till the day when they shall meet Him because they failed to perform towards Allah what they had promised with Him and because they told lies.

47:38 Behold! You are those who are called upon to spend in the way of ALLAH; but of you there are some who are niggardly. And whoso is niggardly (and hoards money or property), is niggardly only against his own selves. And ALLAH is Self-Sufficient, and it is you who are needy. And if you turn your backs, HE will bring in your place another people; then they will not be like you.

57/24 Those who are niggardly (and hoard money or property) and enjoin niggardliness on men; and whoever turns back, then surely Allah is He Who is the Self-sufficient, the Praised.

92:8-10 And as for him who is niggardly (and hoards money or property) and considers himself free from need (of Allah), And rejects what is good, We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Misery

ALLAH CONDEMNS HOARDING OF MONEY OR PROPERTY – II

Allah has condemned hoarding of money or property. Please see the following verses of the Quran:

…All those who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the Cause of Allah, to them give tidings (O Prophet) of a painful doom. On the Day when it will all be heated in the fire of Hell and their foreheads, flanks and backs will be branded with it. “Here is what you hoarded for yourselves, now taste what you had hoarded.” [9:34-35]

But nay! Behold, it is a raging fire. Eager to roast. It calls him who turned and fled from Truth. And hoarded wealth, and withheld it. [70:15:18]

Woe unto every slanderer, fault-finder! Whose efforts revolve around gathering wealth (or material possessions) and counting them. [104:1-2]

WHAT TO DO WITH THE SURPLUS OR REDUNDANT & ABUNDANT?

Whatever is redundant and abundant (i.e. more than one’s needs) must be left open to be expended in the cause of Allah (for the welfare of humanity). Please see the following verse:

…they ask you (o Messenger), what should they spend (in the way of Allah); Say, “(Spend) what is beyond your needs”…[2:219]

For more details about ‘Infaaq’, please click Here.

Allah tells the Messenger (a.s.) to take from the Believers what is beyond their needs (to be expended in the way/cause of Allah). See the following:

Take what is redundant and abundant…[7:199]

الْعَفْوَ has the following meanings:

  • that which is redundant and abundant or superfluous

  • that which is beyond one’s needs

  • the surplus

The Quran suggests an economic system in which the surplus or superfluous shall be taken from those who do not need it, in order to expend on those who need it.

CIRCULATION OF WEALTH

One of the principles of the Quranic economy is that the wealth or benefits must not concentrate among the rich few of the society. This principle can be derived from the following verses:

“And whatever Allah has turned over to His Messenger from them, you did not toil on any horse or camel for it. But Allah gives His Messengers upper hand upon whom He wills. And Allah has devised measures for everything and He has full control over them.

Whatever Allah has turned over to His Messenger from those communities belongs to Allah and His Messenger (i.e. the Central Authority). [It shall be spent by the Messenger (i.e. the Head of the Islamic State) on]: (the ‘Office’ of) the Messenger, the welfare of the families of the believers, the orphans (,those who still feel left alone in the society, the widows), those who have no means of earning their livelihood, (the disabled who cannot move around looking for the Bounty of Allah), the homeless son of the street, ( those who are on their way to join you, or those who travel a distance to seek help). The expending will be in such a manner that it may not be [a benefit] going round and round among such of you as may [already] be rich. Hence, take what the Messenger gives you, and abstain from what he forbids you. Guard yourself against the harmful consequences of violating the Commands of Allah by careful observance. Verily, Allah is Stern in grasping.” [59:6-7]

CHARACTERISTICS OF QAROON, AN EXPLOITATIVE CAPITALIST

Surely Qaroon was of the people of Musa, but he oppressed them; and We gave him so much treasure that his hoards of wealth would certainly weigh down a company of men possessed of great strength. When his people said to him: Do not rejoice exultantly, surely Allah does not love the exultant.“

But seek with the wealth that Allah has bestowed upon you, the Home of the Hereafter. And do not forget your portion in this world. Be kind to people, as Allah has been kind to you. Do not create corruption and disorder in the land. Allah does not love the corrupters (Mufsideen).”

[Mufsideen are those who do not give full measure and full weight; or diminish to people their rights and deprive them of what is their due (7:85, 11:85, 26:183); or hinder people form the path of Allah or seek to make it crooked (7:86); or they are not benevolent to others so as to create an economic balance (28:77); or they destroy crops and the cattle (2:205); or create divisions among the people (28:4) and sever ties of kinship (47:22) an so on.]

He replied, “This wealth has been given to me because of the knowledge that is in me.” Did he not know that Allah’s Law of Requital had annihilated, before him, whole generations which were superior to him in strength and richer in what they had amassed? But such guilty (Mujrimoon) need no questioning since their guilt is obvious and yet, they are not exempt from the Law of Respite.

when he (i.e. Qaroon) went forth with all his pomp and show, then those who cared only for the life of this world would exclaim, “Alas! If only we had the like of what Qaroon has been given! What tremendous good fortune he has been endowed with!”

However those who had been bestowed with knowledge of the facts from God would tell them, “Woe unto you! (What sort of misconception do you have?) The real and everlasting happiness lies in the wealth that one gets in conformity with the Divine Laws. These are the people who have explicit faith in the truthfulness of His Laws and do righteous deeds, and reform and set aright the disorderly society. In this way their own selves become balanced and dignified. But all this requires a lot of patience and steadfastness. (Human beings can easily fill their wealth if they leave the rules, regulations and are dishonest. But to earn wealth legally and as per the rules requires time. This latter results in success, and the former leads to destruction.)

Thus when the time came to show the end result of Qaroon’s misdeeds, We destroyed him, along with his dwellings that were full of goods. At that time neither did any group come out to help him against the Divine Law, nor was he in a position to protect himself. (When a capitalist is at peak, it appears that a lot of people will give sacrifices on his behalf. But if he gets into difficulty, no one comes to help him, and his shrewdness cannot save him.)

Qaroon perished, and the people who just a day before were envious of his position, exclaimed, “Verily it was our incorrect assessment that we were envious of his wealth. The fact is that abundance or scarcity in wealth is all as per Divine Laws. Everyone gets the reward according to the path he chooses. Had Allah not been gracious to us (and had we also followed the ways of Qaroon), we too would have been destroyed like him. Now we have seen with our own eyes that people who keep their wealth hidden and do not open it for the needy, can never attain to a happy state.”

Only the person whose future is successful, both in this life as well as in the life hereafter, can be considered a success. And the only people who achieve this are those who do not create disorder and unevenness in society by amassing wealth; and who do not try to be in such a high position in society that they are insulated from the reach of law. Always keep in mind that ultimate success or prosperity comes only to those who remain conscious of the Divine Laws.
(A Brief Explanation of verses 76-83 of Sura Al-Qasas)

CHARACTERISTICS OF QAROON, AN EXPLOITATIVE CAPITALIST

Surely Qaroon was of the people of Musa, but he oppressed them; and We gave him so much treasure that his hoards of wealth would certainly weigh down a company of men possessed of great strength. When his people said to him: Do not rejoice exultantly, surely Allah does not love the exultant.“

But seek with the wealth that Allah has bestowed upon you, the Home of the Hereafter. And do not forget your portion in this world. Be kind to people, as Allah has been kind to you. Do not create corruption and disorder in the land. Allah does not love the corrupters (Mufsideen).”

[Mufsideen are those who do not give full measure and full weight; or diminish to people their rights and deprive them of what is their due (7:85, 11:85, 26:183); or hinder people form the path of Allah or seek to make it crooked (7:86); or they are not benevolent to others so as to create an economic balance (28:77); or they destroy crops and the cattle (2:205); or create divisions among the people (28:4) and sever ties of kinship (47:22) an so on.]

He replied, “This wealth has been given to me because of the knowledge that is in me.” Did he not know that Allah’s Law of Requital had annihilated, before him, whole generations which were superior to him in strength and richer in what they had amassed? But such guilty (Mujrimoon) need no questioning since their guilt is obvious and yet, they are not exempt from the Law of Respite.

when he (i.e. Qaroon) went forth with all his pomp and show, then those who cared only for the life of this world would exclaim, “Alas! If only we had the like of what Qaroon has been given! What tremendous good fortune he has been endowed with!”

However those who had been bestowed with knowledge of the facts from God would tell them, “Woe unto you! (What sort of misconception do you have?) The real and everlasting happiness lies in the wealth that one gets in conformity with the Divine Laws. These are the people who have explicit faith in the truthfulness of His Laws and do righteous deeds, and reform and set aright the disorderly society. In this way their own selves become balanced and dignified. But all this requires a lot of patience and steadfastness. (Human beings can easily fill their wealth if they leave the rules, regulations and are dishonest. But to earn wealth legally and as per the rules requires time. This latter results in success, and the former leads to destruction.)

Thus when the time came to show the end result of Qaroon’s misdeeds, We destroyed him, along with his dwellings that were full of goods. At that time neither did any group come out to help him against the Divine Law, nor was he in a position to protect himself. (When a capitalist is at peak, it appears that a lot of people will give sacrifices on his behalf. But if he gets into difficulty, no one comes to help him, and his shrewdness cannot save him.)

Qaroon perished, and the people who just a day before were envious of his position, exclaimed, “Verily it was our incorrect assessment that we were envious of his wealth. The fact is that abundance or scarcity in wealth is all as per Divine Laws. Everyone gets the reward according to the path he chooses. Had Allah not been gracious to us (and had we also followed the ways of Qaroon), we too would have been destroyed like him. Now we have seen with our own eyes that people who keep their wealth hidden and do not open it for the needy, can never attain to a happy state.”

Only the person whose future is successful, both in this life as well as in the life hereafter, can be considered a success. And the only people who achieve this are those who do not create disorder and unevenness in society by amassing wealth; and who do not try to be in such a high position in society that they are insulated from the reach of law. Always keep in mind that ultimate success or prosperity comes only to those who remain conscious of the Divine Laws.
(A Brief Explanation of verses 76-83 of Sura Al-Qasas)

Some Characteristics of Qaroon i.e. an Exploitative Capitalist

  • – He oppresses people and treats them unjustly, injuriously, tyrannically or outrageously [28:76]- He rejoices exultantly in his wealth [28:76]; He hoards wealth and is niggardly and enjoins others niggardliness [57:23-24]

  • – He does not seek with the wealth that Allah bestows upon him, the home of the Hereafter

  • – He is not kind to people as Allah is kind to him

  • – He is a corrupt, or causes corruption or disruption of the economic balance or propriety [Being a MUFSID, he does not give full measure and full weight; or diminish to people their rights and deprive them of what is their due (7:85, 11:85, 26:183)]

  • – He thinks that whatever wealth or property he has made it is because of his own genius [28:78]

  • – He is Mujrim (i.e. the one who steals the fruits of others’ labour)

  • – He goes forth among people with such pomp and show that those who care only for the life of this world exclaim, “Alas! If only we had the like of what he has been given! What tremendous good fortune he has been endowed with

Wealth Without Work is a Deadly Sin

In Karamchand Gandhi’s words, also quoted by Stephen R Covey in his book “Principle Centered Leadership”, “Wealth without work is a deadly sin”. According to the Holy Quran,

That man can have nothing but what he strives for;

Al-Qur’an, 053.039 (An-Najm [The Star])

Almaysir, الْمَيْسِرُ which is usually translated as gambling, but includes any form of ‘easy money’, has been forbidden in the Quran (see Al-Quran, Chapter 2 verse 219 and chapter 5 verse 90-91).

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