How theory of Islamic economics can better solve financial crisis, by Onike
The Deputy Chief Imam, Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fathi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Abdul Azeez Onike has identified the theory of Islamic economics has as a major platform to solving the current economic recession in the country.
Onike, who also did a comparative analysis of the conventional economics and Islamic economic at a public lecture in Lagos recently, believed that the later which promotes welfare of mankind and wealth maximization through Islamically permissible means has more provisions to solve financial crisis.
Onike defined Islamic economics as a comprehensive and independent economic theory which defines economic principles based on Islamic law (shari’ah) and takes into account the material, spiritual, social and political factors.
He said the theory of Islamic economics doesn’t believe always in the in the theory of less supply more demand because once something is regarded as a vice/prohibition, it’s less supply will not lead to increase in its demand. He cited an example of alcohol, which intake is a drain in purse and intellectually disturbing.
The imam said there are always suggestions on better ways to solve economic challenges in Islamic economics, “because Quran and Sunnah of the holy prophet are filled with ways of solving our problems be it political, economic, spiritual or social.”
He quoted Imam al Ghazali as enunciating the objectives of Islamic economics to include protection of lives, property, intellect, family and religion, while the conventional economics according to Prof Robbins is “a science which studies human behavior as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses.
Against the economic theory of scarce resources, Onike said Islamic economic believes that resources are not scarce.“ Allah says, resources are abundant, scarcity is caused by human instinct of self preservation, stinginess, lack of believe in accountability on the day of judgment and lack of effort because the Holy Quran also says in chapter 53 verse 39″And that man can have nothing but what he does (what he strives for),” he said.
According to him, in the theory of Islamic economics, there is no difference between economy and religion, hence, no difference between material and spiritual lives, Islam is a complete way of life, and you cannot be a perfect Muslim, until all aspects of your life reflects Islamic teachings including the area of economy, conventional economics-it emphasises materials mainly, though not completely value free, moral aspects are not audited by the independent supreme being.
Also, he said better brotherhood is promoted through the institution of zakat, inheritance, waqf (trust fund), inheritance among others, while tastes, behavior and preference of individuals are major consideration in conventional economics.
Onike added that moral uplifts is preached in Islamic economics, with rules that the source of wealth must be pure, just dealing with each other, no cheating, prohibition of paying and receiving interest (RIBA).
RIBA, according to him has a lot negative implication on individuals and society, prominent among which includes exploitation of the poor by the rich; encouragement of lazy attitude through creation of leisure class; hatred and enemity to be borne by the debtor against the creditor and vice versa; rich getting richer and poor getting poorer.
He further noted that the consciousness of the importance of the hereafter is stressed in Islamic economics, and participants are aware of fair dealings on the day of judgment while the scope of life in terms of material welfare and prosperity only is covered in modern economics.
“Trust -In Islam, resources are seen as a trust and we shall be made to account for it’s usage, this makes participants in Islamic economics to have the piety of their creator in business transaction.
“Wealth-while conventional economics emphasises wealth production, Islamic economics consider wealth production, consumption, exchange and its equitable distribution, Islam uses zakat, sadaqah, inheritance to redistribute wealth and also prohibits extravagance, stinginess and unlawful earnings,” he said.