Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Rajab 1424 H
September 2003
Volume 16-09 No : 201
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Islamic Economy


The Discovery of Islamic Economy

The Discovery of Islamic Economy

By Syed Mahmood Asgher Akif

It is a pristine tradition that much matters to a Muslim nation, when it comes to issues relevant to Muslim community’s development. Speaking in terms of reality, the economic boom of a nation is what human development is all about.

Now let us profoundly analyze what exactly is the economic boom of a nation. As we begin our analysis, it is highly important for the reader to be enlightened with the fact that it is necessary to think the right way if he has to understand this immensely valuable message. The reader will have to discredit all economic and political concepts and thoughts in considering the OIC’s community of Muslim nations as a single nation and its people as just Muslims with no individual nationalities. Thinking this way alone can make this message more comprehending.

Today everyone knows the fact that the world has, due to the advancement in human transportation and communication technology, virtually shrunk to a small global village.

Much gossip is evident on the virtual currencies in circulation on the Internet. So it is clearly evident that it solely depends on the way we think, for which each single nation is a proof. Let us consider for example that if 50 states of the USA are divided into fifty nations, then fifty different currencies come into existence with different living standards in each nation. Formalities and barriers will have to be braved by the people as for the flow of people, goods and services from one state to the other.

Bureaucratic interference will always remain whenever there is an exchange of business, trade or travel between any two nations from among the fifty.

On the contrary if the fifty are again merged into a union of the USA, then there is no need for working out on policies, sovereignty, constitutional amendments, economy, GDP’s, GNP’s, exports and imports of the fifty states with each state as a separate nation.

Similarly, let us apply the concept to all the so-called countries of the OIC nations of this world considering them to be a single nation at least in economic terms, if not socio-politically. Let us keep in mind the fact that the all the nations of the world, just for the purpose of serving their selfish national ends, have been committing blunders on the economy of this world. Because of the absurd and weird reason that we are socio-politically, culturally, lingually and in many other aspects different from each other, we have been committing blunders on the human development of Muslim masses as well as that of earthlings. It is now crystal clear that we Muslims have also inflicted great blows to the development of our fellow Muslim nations on the entire earth more than the harms and wounds inflicted upon humanity by the weapons and wars.

We are the sole root-cause for the bias in the standard of living in the KSA with that of Nigeria or Somalia or any other impoverished Muslim region of this earth.

According to the modern concept and thought, every one of us is keenly interested to know how nature has created us and how the universe came into existence but none has ever tried to wonder at the interrogative word ‘why’. Why has nature created us together on a single planet, why not Blacks, Whites, Asians, the Yellow race and the Semitic race, each on a different planet? It was the duty of Muslims of this world to teach humanity how to peacefully co-exist and mutually live on this earth as unified, uniform and united body of humanity. Was it not possible for the nature that devised everything in order, to create life on other planets in our planetary neighbourhood? With these questions on our minds we can easily arrive at a conclusion that we Muslims are a single nation and one family. We were destined to demonstrate the planet earth and its people from any nook and corner of its expanse that they are its citizens, the earthlings.

Its time, I think, we rather got down to business than beating about the bush with philosophy, which is not the point here. I presume, there is nothing like eligibility or qualification or gradation of human thinking in terms of education or literacy in order to think this way nor do we have to meditate like Buddha for enlightenment.

What exactly is being tried to mean and convey here is that we have, all since the last eight decades defined a nation as a capricious blend of cultural, political and economic thought designed by the so-called charismatic leaders and pioneers of the foundation of that nation.

Let me trigger the thinking of the Muslim masses of the earth by putting forward a reasonable question. Were there financial institutions and banking systems in olden days? Was there a stock exchange and all that we do have in the modern system of this world? Just because there was nothing like what we apparently enjoy today, was there no prosperity among the people? Did not business and trade flourish During those days? The answer, as we all know is yes, people of all times have lived the same way as we do today and only two things that were not there in the olden days was the technology and the police system, irrespective of the crime at its extremes today. Nations proudly announce that in one of their cities much development has been witnessed as the number of hospitals and of police stations has considerably increased. Can we term this as a wise analysis or definition for development or shall we define it as the increase in crimes and diseases? Despite the technological advances in the field of medical sciences and despite the eradication of many diseases there is still increasing number of deaths caused by inexplicable diseases that can never be diagnosed. The increasing number of uncontrollable diseases clearly prove that Science is just the need of the hour and not a solution to humanity’s unrestrained and unending problems nor is it a human development.

If Muslims of the modern world are of the opinion and belief that only by educating and civilizing people can we achieve development, then it is wrong as development and economic boom of a nation has nothing to do with civilized or uncivilized citizens. The live example for that is the social life in the West.

Having lost all ethical, traditional and family values, people’s social life in Europe and America has been so miserable that the Western nations have abased themselves in comparison to the tribal life of Africa. Still their economies and living standards stand tall among the world nations and are invincible by the rest of the world. The tribal life there strictly maintains and adheres to its traditional values and yet is considered to be trailing behind the so-called Western cradles of civilization by a margin beyond reach just because they are lagging behind in terms of Technology.

The West at the verge of irreparably losing its social law and order did successfully curtain its animalistic and lawless life with technology. We have inevitably made them the models of our social, political and economic thought to such a level that we still presume that there is no innovative and creative superiority of human thinking and understanding beyond it. We have disabled our thinking and have always tried to think the way they do in the West.

The West may be technologically a 100 years ahead of us but culturally, morally and socially we are thousands of years ahead of them. There is a famous saying about the West as to what would a husband tell his wife about their children. He would tell that his children and her children were playing with their children.

Coming now to the definition of economy of the OIC world, we must Firstly abolish the currency value system and pave way to the formation of an economic and monetary union of all the Muslim nations of this OIC world. Let the currencies be what they are, simultaneously allowing the currencies of all countries to be equivalent in value. Let one KSA Rial be equal in value to one Pakistani rupee, to one Nigerian unit of currency, and to 100 Turkishlires.

Let the prices be the same in the entire economic union of OIC Nations. If an air- conditioner costs you about KSA Rial 2000 then let the prices of the air-conditioner, qualitatively and technologically the same as that of the KSA, in Pakistan be Pakistani Rs.2000, in Bangladesh 2000 Takas, in Kuwait 200 Dinars and in Turkey Turkish Lires 200,000.

Let the labour costs, wages, salaries and pays to the workforce anywhere in this OIC world, be the same as anywhere and everywhere in this OIC’s union, no matter even if you would like to make the KSA a standard in these matters. Let the pays, wages, salaries and labour costs be the same as that in the KSA to the KSA nationals. It is wise to provide everyone in the impoverished Muslim countries at least with the same life as that of Europe and America in terms of technology, quality, affordability and prosperity. The day life in Chad or Mali or Nigeria or Somalia or Lebanon or Indonesia or Malaysia or Chechnya or Albania is entitled to what life in the West is in terms of its people’s economic prosperity, then will the OIC world be a better place to live in. For this purpose to be fulfilled and accomplished the developed Muslim countries of the OIC should have to feel free on the smooth transfer of technology to the developing and impoverished ones of OIC buying it from the West. The OIC as a single nation in terms of economy should ground all barriers, hurdles and obstacles coming the way of free movement of goods, services and travel from any part of the OIC union to any of its contrary extremes. Even a man belonging to any remotest part of the OIC union, must be able to set up business and industries in any and every nook and corner of this OIC world.

If someone is pessimistic about this seemingly bizarre idea, then he must look into the worldly life, which is a combination of changes, revolutions and events wherein you can expect all that is unexpected. Twenty years back from now, we never even imagined at the height of cold war, that in the vicinity and near future to that period, we are about to witness dramatic and historic changes. We didn’t even think to the blink of an eye that the world is about to be swept by tremendous reforms and that we would be zipped through by the winds of changes.

Historic events like, [i] The fall of Hammer and Sickle in Moscow’s Kremlin, known as the Mecca of Marxism, [ii] The dismantling of communism in the erstwhile Soviet Union, [iii] The eventual overthrows of iron-fist hard-line communist regimes from the iron- curtained eastern European nations, [iv] The abolition of Apartheid in South Africa by putting an end to De Klerk’s reign there, [v] The stunning union of the West and East Germany, [vi] The opening up of China to international business, [vii] The on-going Middle East peace process by the recognition of the State of Palestine, and finally [viii] The historic signing up of the Maastricht treaty for the proposed monetary and economic union of the twelve Western European nations, have all shown us the signs of an imminent global union. So to be on par with the global developments and to keep pace with the global reforms, it is high time that the OIC nations merge and emerge as one nation.

It doesn’t in any way mean that there has to be an overnight change. Let the process take its own course of time to make the ultimate dream come true. If it takes ten years for a satellite to reach Pluto, the planet at the edge of our planetary solar system, then it is wise to launch the satellite now, setting it adrift in space towards its destination. Only then it will reach Pluto by the turn of the second decade of this century. Similarly let us get started now or at least discuss it every time we discuss OIC issues.

The so-called Muslim citizens of the so-called Muslim nations have given much importance to the issues irrelevant to Muslim prosperity all these decades. National anthems, National emblems, National flags, National birds, National animals, National sports, National march-pasts, Independence day celebrations and many other things and events that are not at all the criteria for the development of a Muslim nation, have been with great folly highlighted and focused every time. Obviously none of the above is in any way related to the economic boom or the welfare of the Muslim citizens. Yet they count more to an Islamic nation than its starving people. Speaking of modernization and advancement of human ways and of times, there has been a big misconception prevalent among the Muslim masses of the OIC nations. The

Muslim world has wrongly and foolishly understood modernization and advancement of life to be Westernization as [i] Watching music channels on TV, [ii] Dressing like men and women of the West, [iii] Having a number of TV serials to watch, [iv] Dining at tables, [v] Using a fork and a spoon to eat, [vi] Dancing, listening to pop songs and music, [vii] Going to discotheque, [viii] Dreaming about world’s best cars and bikes, when country’s roads are dangerously bumpy, [ix] Frequenting shopping complexes and ‘Mals’, [x] Living in an apartment or flat, [xi] Eating in restaurants, [xii] And urge that their country’s team should win a cricket or a football match, as if the win would sky-rocket the value of a single unit of the country’s currency as equal to that of a dollar and [xiii] Flirting ventures of dating and mating, in a bid to liberating womanhood from motherhood, authorized as a sound development are being held as a great achievement.

Whereas modernization is the advancement of the nation’s economy with highly qualitative goods and services, enabling the citizen of the nation to be able to afford for the best. When such issues are discussed we gladly dismiss the talk of the defects of our system as better when compared to the conditions of a neighboring country, which is in shambles and we also claim our motherland to be the best nation in the world at the same time. When it comes to religion the modern Muslims dismiss its philosophy as baseless and senseless, but when it comes to patriotism, it is said that philosophy is the base. The modern Muslims think honor is being conveyed to the nation and its economy and prosperity is booming by its people saluting their national flag, which is a non- living thing. People think that by a military burial the dead gets the honor, when it is in no way going to be beneficial to the dead. So, it is high time we set aside the philosophy of nationalism and patriotism created by man with a consolation that erring is human.

Human beings still have millions of milestones and landmarks with unlimited frontiers to venture into and explore. It is highly immature to think that man has achieved scientifically or socio-politically or economically, at this juncture of time. It is not the distance covered that matters much to a traveler, on a long journey. It is the distance to be covered to reach the destination that counts.

Here certainly technology is not being referred to as modernization of man. Politically, socially and economically speaking, it is the reform of our primitive and conservative modern thoughts and concepts, which are at least a century old now. Modern thinking of the present day man assumed to be as minute as an atom and as profound as the space, has proved to be a big failure in filtering the corrupt political system which allows criminals, film industry people, sports-persons, illiterates and uneducated to rule.

Man has never been able to come out with a solution to the problem in forming a fool-proof political system that has got only the deserving, the wise, the learned and the experienced to play a vital role. Man has been recommending all that has been harmful to the humankind. Man has never been able to abate crimes and mishaps in the world yet.

As for social reforms, the way the Muslim people are making headway leaps blindly towards the West is of a profound concern today. It has to be curbed at any cost, as the consequences met so far have been miserable in the West due to a social disorder in the name of human rights. The approval of homosexuality, the free mingling of men and woman, the widely accepted unnatural illicit relationships and the inexplicable way of life in the West, has been wrongly thought of as the only way to be abreast of time and technology. This has to be checked as the prevalent mindset of the masses in the rest of the world has a great affinity towards Westernisation rather than modernisation. As a result, the color of the traditional values of different regions that adorns the earth will have to fade with no diversity or variety in store.

As technology and culture have nothing in common so important, let us make planet earth, a land of unity in diversity. This will help us make this world a better place to live in. Coming to technology, let there be a free flow of technology from one part of the OIC union to another and specially the technology from the West.

It is said that the earth has drastically shrunk to a small electronic village due to the advent of faster communication technology. So the Governments of all OIC nations should take up projects like Iridium Satellite Phones and make the SAT phones available to the people of this entire Muslim world, on dead cheap prices, so that a major chunk of the OIC population owns it. This will dismantle the telephone cables of the whole world it is said. So the Governments of all OIC nations should slash down the phone call rates from any corner of this Muslim union to every corner of this OIC union to only the local charges.

The electricity and medical services must be free of cost and should be considered as a mandatory requirement of all Muslims of OIC’s expanse. We Muslims have committed a big folly by accepting nationalism and patriotism as part of Islam. All Muslims of this world have the same five pillars of Islam as mandatory and obligatory part of their life, then why there is a barrier of Nationality and patriotism between us? Why should we live under different flags? Do we carry flags to the mosque or line up according to the so-called segregation of nations in the great unification of Hajj where Almighty Allah reminds us to be from the same family and that we are under the same ceiling and roof? We Muslims have no nationality, borders or motherlands or homelands or fatherlands or nativity. It is unlawful for us to love our regions, our country, our hometowns, our mother tongues and our castes. Let it be the official language of the OIC union.

Let the regional languages as well as mother tongues of Muslims as for in this world take the position of a second language. Let the medium of instruction in schools, colleges, universities and all other educational institutions be Arabic. Let any form of government rule the OIC union’s Muslim nations. Let us pave way to the economic development of Muslim masses in the OIC world, being irrespective of whether a Muslim nation is ruled by a military regime or democracy or any other form of Government. Let the penal code be the same as that of KSA.

For some time the OIC world will have to abandon all sporting events, and unnecessary re-search in space, cloning etc. and plan in a smart manner the smooth and speedy union of all Muslim nations of this world into a single nation. Let us make Muslim nations a single market for all businessmen on the OIC land, and OIC Union a home for the entire Muslim community of this world with a healthy, wealthy and hygienic environment, economically sustainable, viable, affordable, prosperous and livable.

( The author could be contacted
at joo noo akifoo@usa.net)

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