Page 97 - Islam In Focus

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purpose of the Islamic legislation on economics and commerce is to secure the rights
of the individual and maintain the solidarity of society, to introduce high morality to
the world of business and enforce the Law of God in that sphere of enterprise. It is
logical and consistent that Islam should be concerned with such aspects as these.,
because it is not merely a spiritual formula but a complete system of life in all its
Proprietors are constantly reminded of the fact that they are in reality mere agents
appointed by God to administer their holdings. There is nothing in Islam to stop the
Muslim from attaining wealth and endeavoring for material improvements through
lawful means and decent channels. Yet the fact remains that man comes to this world
empty-handed and departs from it likewise. The actual and real owner of things is
God alone of Whom any proprietor is simply an appointed agent, a mere trustee. This
is not only a fact of life but also has a significant bearing on human behavior. It makes
the proprietor always ready to spend in the way of God and to contribute to worthy
causes. It makes him responsive to the needs of his society and gives him an
important role to play, a sacred mission to fulfill. It saves him from the pit of
selfishness, greed and injustice. This is the true conception of property in Islam, and
that is the actual status of proprietors. The Qur’ an considers possession of wealth a
trying test, and not a token of virtuous excellence or privileged nobility or a means of
exploitation. God says: It is He Who has made you (His) agents, inheritors of the
earth: He has raised you in ranks, some above others; that He may try you in the gifts
He has given you. Verily, your Lord is quick in punishment, yet He is indeed Often
Forgiving, Most Merciful (6:165)
Moreover, the Qur’ an reports to mankind an interesting discourse between Moses and
his people. It runs as follows:
Said Moses to his people, ‘pray for help from God, and wait in patience and
constancy; for the earth is God’ s. He gives it as a heritage to such of His servants as
He pleases; and the end is best for the righteous.’
They said, ‘We have had nothing but trouble, both before and after you come to us.’
He said: ‘It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemies and make you inheritors
in the earth; that so He may try you by your deeds’ (7:128-129)
This discourse between Moses and his people does not imply in any sense a
recognition of any privileged genus of mankind on account of racial origin or ethnic
identity. Nor does it mean that the Qur’ an approves completely of the conduct and
conceptions of the followers of Moses in later centuries. The tone of the text is rather
reproachful and critical of the doubters; and reassuring of the fact that everything in
the earth belongs to God, Who distributes it among His servants in the form of
inherited trusts and objects of trial. The point is brought home time and again
throughout the Qur’ an. For example, it says:
To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and all affairs are referred
back to God . . . Believe in God and His Messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the
(substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend
(in charity) – for them there is a great reward. And what cause have you why you