Vision of Development
in the Light of
M. Umer Chapra
Islamic Research and Training Institute
Islamic Development Bank
Dr. Chapra is grateful to Shaikh Muhammad Rashid for the efficient secretarial assistance provided
by him in the preparation of this paper. He deserves credit for preparing all the seven figures in this
paper. Off and on, brothers M. Rasul-ul-Haque, Noman Sharif, M. Farooq Moinuddin, Muhammad
Ayub and M. Sajjad also provided valuable assistance. He is also grateful to Professors Ahmad Khan,
‘Abdul Wahab Abu Sulaiman, Mohammed Boudjellal, and Jasser Awda, two anonymous referees, and
Drs. Sami AlSuwailem, Salman Syed Ali and other participants in a staff seminar on this paper, for
their valuable comments on an earlier draft. The views expressed in this paper are, however, the
author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of IRTI/IDB, the organization where he works.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Objectives of the Sharī‘ah 4
Invigorating the Human Self 8
Enriching faith, intellect, posterity and wealth 27
Strengthening of faith 27
Enrichment of intellect 36
Enrichment of posterity 42
Development and expansion of Wealth 46
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The ultimate goal of all Islamic teachings is to be a blessing for
mankind. This is the primary purpose for which the Prophet, peace and
blessings of God be on him (pbuh), was sent to this world (al-Qur’an, 21:107).1
One of the indispensable ways to realize this goal is to promote the falāh ) حﻼﻓ(
or real well-being of all the people living on earth, irrespective of their race,
colour, age, sex or nationality.2 The word falāh and its derivatives have been
used 40 times in the Qur’ān. Another word, fawz ) زﻮﻓ( , which is a synonym of
falāh, has also been used 29 times along with its derivatives. This is also the
goal towards which the mu’adhdhin ) نذﺆﻣ( calls the faithful five times a day,
showing thereby the importance of falāh in the Islamic worldview.
It may be argued here that this is the goal of all societies and not just of
Islam. This is certainly true. There seems to be hardly any difference of
opinion among all societies around the world that the primary purpose of
development is to promote human well-being. There is, however, considerable
difference of opinion in the vision of what constitutes real well-being and the
strategy to be employed for realizing and sustaining it. The difference may not
have been there if the pristine vision of all religions had continued to dominate
1 The words used in the Qur’an are Rahmatun lil-‘Alamīn ﺔﻤﺣرﻌﻠﻟ ﺎﻦﯿﻤﻟ( ). The word ‘ālamīn
)ﻦﯿﻤﻟ ﺎﻋ( has been understood in different senses by the Qur’ān commentators. Their
interpretations vary from the broadest sense of including everything created by God in this
universe to the narrowest sense of including everything on planet earth: all human beings,
animals, birds, insects and the entire physical environment (see al-Qurtubī, 1952, Vol.1, p.
138, the commentary on the first verse (āyah) of the first sūrah of the Qur’an). I have used
the word 'mankind' assuming that the well-being of mankind is not possible without
protecting the environment.
2 This is a crucial aspect of the universality of the Islamic message. According to the Qur’an,
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was sent to all people and not to any particular group (7:158
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the worldviews of their respective societies.3 However, this vision has been
distorted over the ages. Moreover, the Enlightenment Movement of the 17th
and 18th centuries has influenced almost all societies around the world in
different degrees by its secular and materialist worldview. Consequently, the
primary measure of development has become a rise in income and wealth. This
raises the question of whether real human well-being can be realized and
sustained by merely a rise in income and wealth and the satisfaction of just the
material needs of the human personality. Religious scholars as well as moral
philosophers and a number of modern academics have questioned the
identification of well-being with a rise in income and wealth.4 They have also
emphasized the spiritual and non-material contents of well-being.
Empirical research has also provided a negative answer to the undue
emphasis on material ingredients of well-being at the cost of the spiritual and
non-material. This is because, even though real income has dramatically risen
in several countries since World War II, the self-reported subjective well-being
of their populations has not only failed to increase, it has in fact declined.5 The
reason is that happiness is positively associated with higher income only up to
the level where all basic biological needs get fulfilled.6 Beyond that, it remains
more or less unchanged unless some other needs, which are considered
indispensable for increasing well-being, are also satisfied.
3 The Qur’an clearly states that “Every nation has had its guide” (13:7), and that “Nothing is
being said to you which was not said to Messengers before you” (41:43).This verse refers to
only the basics of the religious worldview. There have been changes in some details
according to changes in circumstances over space and time.
4 Hausman and McPherson, 1993, p 693.
5 Easterlin, 2001, p 472. See also, Easterlin, 1974 and 1995; Oswald, 1997; Blanchflower and
Oswald, 2000; Diener and Oishi, 2000; and Kerry, 1999.
6 These include among others: nutritious food, clean water, adequate clothing, comfortable
housing with proper sanitation and essential utilities, timely medical care, transport,
education, and a clean and healthy environment.
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What are these other needs? Most of them are spiritual and non-
material in character and need not necessarily become satisfied as a result of
increase in income. Single-minded preoccupation with wealth may in fact hurt
the satisfaction of these needs. Economists have, however, generally tended to
abstain from a discussion of these. The primary reason given for this is that
spiritual and non-material needs involve value judgements and are not
quantifiable. They are, nevertheless, important and cannot be ignored.
One of the most important of these spiritual or non-material needs for
realizing human well-being is mental peace and happiness, which may not
necessarily be attained by a rise in income and wealth. Mental peace and
happiness requires, in turn, the satisfaction of a number of other needs. Among
the most important of these are justice and human brotherhood, which demand
that all individuals be dealt as equals and treated with dignity and respect,
irrespective of their race, colour, age, sex or nationality, and that the fruits of
development be also shared equitably by all. Equally important is spiritual and
moral uplift which serves as a springboard for the realization of not only
justice but also the fulfilment of all other needs. Some of the other equally
important and generally recognized requirements for sustained well-being are
security of life, property and honour, individual freedom, moral as well as
material education, marriage and proper upbringing of children, family and
social solidarity, and minimization of crime, tension and anomie. Even though
some of these have now become recognized in the new development paradigm,
the spiritual foundation needed for the realization of these does not get the
emphasis that it needs. It may not be possible to sustain long-term development
of a society without ensuring adequate satisfaction of all these needs.
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While Islam considers a rise in income and wealth through
development to be necessary for the fulfilment of basic needs as well as the
realization of equitable distribution of income and wealth, its comprehensive
vision of human well-being cannot be realized by just this. It is also necessary
to satisfy the spiritual as well as the non-material needs, not only to ensure true
well-being but also to sustain economic development over the longer term. If
all these needs are not taken care of, there will be a lapse in well-being, leading
ultimately to a decline of the society itself and its civilization. The satisfaction
of all these needs is a basic human right and has been addressed in Islamic
literature under the generic term maqāsid al-Sharī‘ah (goals of the Sharī‘ah)
referred to hereafter as the maqāsid (sing. maqsid). This paper will try to
explain what these maqāsid or goals are, how they are all mutually interrelated,
what their implications are, and in what way they can together help promote
real human well-being.
MAQĀSID (OBJECTIVES OF) AL-SHARĪ‘AH (Figure 1)
The maqasid al-Shari‘ah have been either directly stated in the Qur’ān
and the Sunnah or inferred from these by a number of scholars.7 All of these
address the raison d'être of the Sharī‘ah which, as recognized by almost all the
jurists, is to serve the interests (jalb al-masalih : ﺢﻟﺎﺼﻤﻟا ﺐﻠﺟ ) of all human
7 Some of the most prominent exponents of the maqasid al-Sharī‘ah are : al-Māturīdī
(d.333/945), al-Shāshī (d.365/975), al-Bāqillānī (d. 403/1012), al-Juwaynī (d.478/1085), al-
Ghazālī (d.505/111), Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī (d. 606/1209), al-Āmidī (d. 631/1234), ‘Izz al-Dīn
‘Abd al-Salām (d. 660/1252), Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728/1327), al-Shātībī (d. 790/1388) and Ibn
‘Āshūr (d.1393/1973) For a modern discussion of these, see: Masud, 1977; al-Raysuni,
1992; Ibn al-Khojah, 2004, Vol.2, pp. 79-278; Nyazee, 1994, pp. 189-268; al-Khadimī,
2005; and ‘Awdah, 2006.
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beings and to save them from harm (daf‘ al-mafasid: ﺪﺳﺎﻔﻤﻟا ﻊﻓد).8 Imām Abū
Hāmid al-Ghazālī (d.505AH/1111AC),9 a prominent and highly respected
reformer in the fifth century Hijrah, classified the maqasid into five major
categories by stating that:
“The very objective of the Sharī‘ah is to promote the well-being
of the people, which lies in safeguarding their faith (dīn), their
self (nafs), their intellect (‘aql), their posterity (nasl), and their
wealth (māl). Whatever ensures the safeguard of these five
serves public interest and is desirable, and whatever hurts them
is against public interest and its removal is desirable.”10
In the above quotation, Ghazālī has placed great emphasis on the
safeguarding of five maqāsid.: faith (dīn), the human self (nafs), intellect
(‘aql), posterity (nasl) and wealth (māl). Imām Abū Ishāq al-Shātibī (d.
790/1388) also, writing a little less than three centuries after al-Ghazālī, put his
stamp of approval on al-Ghazālī’s list. These are, however, not the only
maqāsid aimed at ensuring human well-being by honouring human rights and
fulfilling all human needs. There are many others indicated by the Qur’an and
the Sunnah or inferred from these by different scholars. Therefore, while these
five may be considered as primary (al-asliyyah), others may be referred to as
8. This is agreed by all the jurists without exception. See, for example, ‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-
Salam (d. 660/1252) (n.d.), Vol.1, pp. 3-8; Ibn ‘Ashur (d. 1393/1973) (2001), pp. 274 and
299; and Nadvi, 2000, Vol.1, p.480.
9. All dates of death given in this paper refer first to the Hijrah year and then to the Gregorian
10 ﻞﻜﻓ ،ﻢﮭﻟﺎﻣو ﻢﮭﻠﺴﻧو ﻢﮭﻠﻘﻋو ﻢﮭﺴﻔﻧو ﻢﮭﻨﯾد ﻢﮭﯿﻠﻋ ﻆﻔﺤﯾ نأ ﻮھو ،ﺔﺴﻤﺧ ﻖﻠﺨﻟا ﻦﻣ عﺮﺸﻟا دﻮﺼﻘﻣ
ﻦﻤﻀﺘﯾ ﺎﻣ ﺎﮭﻌﻓدو ،ةﺪﺴﻔﻣ ﻮﮭﻓ لﻮﺻﻷا هﺬھ تﻮﻔﯾ ﺎﻣ ﻞﻛو ،ﺔﺤﻠﺼﻣ ﻮﮭﻓ ﺲﻤﺨﻟا لﻮﺻﻷا هﺬھ ﻆﻔﺣ ﺔﺤﻠﺼﻣ
)ﻲﻟاﺰﻐﻟا : ،ﻲﻔﺼﺘﺴﻤﻟا1937ج ،1 ص ،139-140(. (Al-Ghazālī, al-Mustasfā, 1937, Vol.. 1, pp 139-
40; see also al-Shātibī (d.790/1388), n.d., Vol.1, p.38 and Vol.3, pp.46-7).
- 6 -
their corollaries (tābi‘ah). Realization of the corollary maqasid is also
indispensable because realization of the primary maqasid may be difficult
without this. The generally accepted fiqhi principle is that means (wasa’il)
enjoy the same legal status as that of the maqasid. Accordingly, a well-known
legal maxim (al-qa‘idah al-fiqhiyyah) stipulates that “something without which
an obligation cannot be fulfilled is also obligatory”.11 Some of these corollaries
may be less important than others in the short-run. However, in the long-run
they are all important and their non-fulfilment is likely to lead to serious socio-
economic and political problems. Moreover, the corollaries may keep on
expanding and changing with the passage of time. The richness and dynamism
inherent in the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah should enable us to expand
and refine the corollaries as needed to ensure that all human rights are duly
honoured and that all the different human needs are adequately satisfied.
Moreover, if we wish also to ensure the sustained development and
well-being of a society, the word 'safeguarding' used by al-Ghazālī in the above
quotation need not necessarily be taken to imply preservation of just the status
quo with respect to the realization of the maqasid. We safeguard when we have
reached the peak of achievement. However, this is not possible for human
beings in this world. There is always room for improvement. The verdict of
history is that unless there is a continuous progress in their realization through
a movement in the positive direction, it may not be possible to safeguard them
and to sustain the society’s well-being in the long-run. Stagnation will
ultimately set in and lead to decline. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, poet-philosopher of
11 ﺪﺻ ﺎﻘﻤﻟا م ﺎﻜﺣأ ﻞﺋﺎﺳﻮﻠﻟ (‘Izz al-Din ‘Abd al-Salam, n.d. Vol.1, p. 46); and
ﺐﺟاو ﻮﮭﻓ ﺑ ﻻ إ ﺐﺟاﻮﻟا ﻢﺘﯾ ﻻﺎﻣﮫ (See al-Shatibi, n.d., Vol.. 2, p. 394; see also Mustafa al-Zarqa,
1967, pp. 784 and 1088; and Nadvi, 2000, Vol. 1, p. 480.
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the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, has clearly stated this when he says in a
couplet written in Persian: “I am, as long as I move; not moving, I am not”.12
It is, therefore, necessary to strive for the continued enrichment of the primary
maqasid as well as their corollaries in such a way that well-being keeps on
improving continuously in keeping with the changing needs and environment
of not only the individuals but also their society and mankind, thereby enabling
everyone to continue the march forward towards a better future. Such an
enrichment may be difficult to attain if we stick to the framework of just the
needs that were discussed by the classical fuqaha’. Times have changed and
needs have also changed and multiplied. It is, therefore, important to discuss
the maqasid within the context of our own times.
While the five primary maqasīd have been generally endorsed by other
scholars, all of them have not necessarily adhered to al-Ghazālī's sequence.13
Even al-Shātībī has not always followed al-Ghazālī’s sequence.14 This is
because sequence essentially depends on the nature of the discussion. For
example, Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzi (d.606/1209), a prominent jurist writing around
a hundred years after al-Ghazālī, gives the first place to the human self (al-
nafs).15 This seems to be more logical in a discussion of sustainable
development for the simple reason that human beings, as khalifahs or
12 ( ﻧ مور ﮫﻧﺮﯿﺴﺘﻢ ، ,ھﺴﺘا ﻢﺮ ﻰﻣرمو Iqbal, 1954, p.150.
13 See al-Raysuni, 1992, p. 42.
14 While al-Shātībī has given the same sequence as that of Ghazālī on p.38 of Vol..1, he has
given somewhat different sequence on pp.46-7 of Vol..3 : al-Dīn, al-Nafs, al-Nasl, al-Māl,
and al-‘Aql. This implies that he does not consider al-Ghazali’s sequence to be inevitable.
The sequence may change in accordance with the purpose of the discussion. See also al-
Raysunī, 1992, pp. 41-55, particularly p. 48.
15 Al-Razi, 1997, Vol..5, p. 160. His sequence is: al-Nafs, al-mal, al-Nasab, al-Din and al-
‘Aql. Instead of al-Nasl, he has put al-Nasab which stands for lineage or pedigree. Al-Nasl,
as used by both al-Ghazali and al-Shatibi, stands for the entire future generation. It has, thus,
a much wider coverage than al-nasab and is, therefore, preferable.
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vicegerents of God, are the end as well as the means of development. They are
themselves the architects of their development or decline as the Qur’an has
clearly emphasized by saying that “God does not change the condition of a
people until they change their own inner selves” (13:11). The Sharī‘ah serves
the purpose of helping human beings reform themselves as well as the
institutions that affect them. Accordingly, if we put the human self ) ﺲﻔﻨﻟا( first,
then the maqāsid al-Sharī‘ah may be expressed as shown in Figure 1.
Human Development and Well-Being
To be realized by ensuring the enrichment of the following five ingredients
for every individual
Invigorating the Human Self (Nafs) (Figure 2)
Since invigoration of the human self is one of the five primary
objectives of the Sharī‘ah, it is imperative to show how this objective can be
realized. For this purpose it is necessary to specify the major needs of human
The human self
- 9 -
beings that must be satisfied to not only raise and sustain their development and
well-being, but also enable them to play their roles effectively as khalīfahs of God.
These needs, which may be termed as corollaries of the primary objective of
strengthening the human self, are explicitly or implicitly evident from the Qur’ān
and the Sunnah and elaborated by the jurists in their discussions. Ensuring the
fulfilment of these needs can help raise the moral, physical, intellectual and
technological capabilities of the present as well as future generations and thereby
ensure sustained well-being.
One of the most important of these needs is dignity, self respect, human
brotherhood and social equality (Figure 2). The Islamic worldview addresses this
need by declaring that the inherent nature of human beings (fitrah) is good and
free from any spiritual flaw (al Qur’ān, 30:30 and 95:4) as long as they do not
corrupt it.16 It is the obligation of human beings to preserve their true nature or
innate goodness (fitrah). In addition, the Creator and Master of this universe has
Himself conferred an enviable honour and dignity on all of them, irrespective of
their race, colour, sex or age, by clearly stating in the Qur’ān that "We have
honoured mankind" (17:70). This honour has been conferred on them by being
made the khalīfahs or vicegerents of God on earth (al-Qur’ān, 2:30). What could
be a greater honour for human beings than to be the vicegerents of the Supreme
Being Himself? Since all of them are khalīfahs of God, they are equal and
brothers unto each other. There must, therefore, be peaceful coexistence
between them with a great deal of tolerance and mutual care to promote the
well-being of all through the efficient and equitable use of all the resources
made available to them by God as a trust (al-Qur’an, 57:7). The environment,
16 See al-Qurtubi (d.463/1070), 1952, Vol.. 14, pp. 24-31. See also, Ibn ‘Ashur, 2001, pp. 261-
- 10 -
Invigoration of the
nt and self-
tion of crime
- 11 -
including animals, birds and insects, is also a trust and must be protected so that no
harm is done to the present or the future generations.
Islam does not, thus, consider human beings to be ‘born sinners’. The
concept of a ‘born sinner’ is derogatory of human dignity and is, therefore, totally
alien to the Islamic worldview. Why would the Most Merciful God create a ‘born
sinner’ and condemn him eternally for no fault of his? The idea of original sin
implies that sinfulness is genetically transferable and that each human being comes
into this world already tainted by the failures and sins of others. Moreover, if a
‘saviour’ had to come to ‘atone’ him for the ‘original sin’ which he did not commit,
why did he come so late in history and not with the appearance of the first human
beings on earth? If man were a born sinner how could he be held responsible for his
The concept of ‘original sin’ is thus in sharp conflict with the unequivocal
emphasis of the Qur’an on individual responsibility for all his/her deeds (al- Qur’ān,
6: 164, 17: 15,35: 18,39: 7 and 53: 38). It is also in conflict with God’s attributes of
al-Rahmān and al-Rahīm (the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate), which a
Muslim repeats most often during his lifetime. It would be impossible for Him to do
so, given that He is a Loving )دودو( and Forgiving ) رﻮﻔﻏ( God and has all the good
attributes that can be conceived (Qur’ān, 7: 180). No wonder even the Rationalists
and the Romantics of the nineteenth century rejected the notion of an inherent flaw in
human nature (original sin), as do almost all modern philosophers.
Similarly, the concepts of determinism and existentialism coined by Western
philosophers under the influence of the Enlightenment movement are also alien to
Islam. Islam does not consider human life to be determined by material (Marx),
psychological (Freud), instinctive (Lorenz) or environmental (Pavlov, Watson,
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Skinner and others) forces.17 Determinism and human responsibility cannot be
reconciled with each other. It does not only lower human dignity but also negates
human responsibility for the prevailing conditions, and for the inefficient and
inequitable use of resources.18
Sartre’s existentialism, the other extreme of determinism is also not
acceptable to Islam.19 Human beings are, according to Sartre, "condemned to be
free". There is no limit to their freedom except that they are not free to cease being
free.20 Every aspect of man’s mental life is intentional, chosen and his responsibility.
This is undoubtedly an improvement over determinism. However, for Sartre this
freedom is absolute, everything is permitted. There is no ultimate meaning or
purpose in human life. There are no transcendent or objective values set for human
beings, neither laws of God nor Platonic Forms nor anything else. Human beings are
‘forlorn’ and ‘abandoned’ in the world to look after themselves completely. The only
foundation for values is human freedom, and there can be no external or objective
justification for the values anyone chooses to adopt.21 There can be no question of
having agreed values, and of imposing restrictions on individual freedom to create
harmony between individual and social interest, or of leading to an efficient and
equitable allocation and distribution of resources not brought about automatically by
market forces. Such a concept of absolute freedom can only lead to the notions of
laissez-faire and value neutrality. While freedom is indispensable for every
17Problems of determinism and responsibility are discussed by several authors in Sydney Hook (ed.), Determinism
and Freedom in the Age of Modern Science (1958), which is a selection of papers by contemporary
philosophers; and also by Sydney Morgenbesser and James Walsh, (eds.), Free Will (1962), which brings
together carefully selected discussions from classical and modem writers and is intended mainly for students.
See also A. J. Alden, Free Action (1961), which offers elaborate and penetrating analysis of a wide range of
concepts that have always been central to the free will controversy. Although the author does not try to prove
directly that men have free will, he attacks the bases of certain widely held determinist theories.
18 See also, Chapra, 1992, pp. 202-206.
19 Jean-Paul, Sartre, Being and Nothingness, tr. by Hazel Barnes ((1957). See also Stevenson (1974),
pp.78-90: and Anthony Manser, Sartre: A Philosophic Study (1966).
20 Sartre (1957), pp. 439 and 615,
21 Ībid., p. 38.
- 13 -
individual, the well-being of all is also indispensable and cannot be compromised.
Therefore, some socially agreed restrictions are necessary on individuals to ensure
that they do not trespass the rights of others and jeopardize their well-being. This
raises the question of who can determine these restrictions. This question is
discussed under the fifth need of the human personality.
A second need of the human personality is justice.22 The goals of human
dignity, self-respect, brotherhood, social equality and the well-being of all would
remain hollow concepts having absolutely no substance if they are not buttressed by
socio-economic justice. Accordingly, the Qur’ān places justice ‘nearest to piety’ (5:8)
in terms of its importance in the Islamic faith. Piety is naturally the most important
because it serves as a springboard for all rightful actions, including justice.
Establishment of justice has, therefore, been the primary mission of all God’s
Messengers (al-Qur’ān, 57:25). The Qur’ān has emphatically made it clear that there
can be no peace without justice by saying that “Those who have faith and do not
impair it by injustice, for them there is peace, and they are the really guided ones” (al-
Qur’ān, 6:82).23 The absence of justice cannot but lead ultimately to misery and
destruction (al-Qur’an, 20:111).
The Prophet (pbuh) also condemned injustice in very emphatic terms. He
equated the absence of justice with “absolute darkness on the Day of Judgement.”24
22 Empirical studies have consistently found that high rates of religious commitment and activity are
associated with mental health, reduced stress and increased life satisfaction (Ellison, 1991and 1993;
and Iannaccone 1998).
23 The context of this verse refers to injustice done to God through disbelief (kufr) and association of
partners with him (shirk), as rightly pointed out by commentators like al-Qurtubi (d.671/1272) and Ibn
Khathir (d. 744/1375). However, looking at the intense emphasis of the Qur’an and the Sunnah on
Justice to everyone and everything, one can readily extend the implications of this verse to all human
beings and other God’s creatures. This was done by a number of rationalist (mu‘tazilah) scholars as
reported by Fakhr al-Din al-Razi (d.606/1209) in his commentary of this verse in al-Tafsir al-Kabir,
Vol.7, p. 60.
24 " ﺔﻣﺎﯿﻘﻟا مﻮﯾ تﺎﻤﻠﻇ ﻢﻠﻈﻟا" (Sahīh Muslim, Vol.. 4, p. 1996:56, Kitāb al-Birr wa al- Silah wa al-Adab,
Bāb Tahrīm al-Zulm, from Jābir Ibn Abdullah). The Prophet, peace and blessings of God he on him,
- 14 -
The darkness in the Hereafter is nothing but a reflection of darkness created by us in
this world through injustice (zulm). This darkness can frustrate all efforts to realize
peace, sustainable development, and social solidarity and lead ultimately to
discontent, tension, conflict and decline. Injustice and Islam are, hence, at variance
with each other and cannot coexist without either of the two being uprooted or
weakened. Zulm (injustice) is a comprehensive Islamic term referring to all forms of
inequity, injustice, exploitation, oppression and wrongdoing, whereby one person
hurts others, deprives them of their rights, and does not fulfil his/her obligations
It is this emphasis of both the Qur’ān and the Sunnah on justice which has
become reflected in the writings of nearly all classical Muslim scholars. Al-Mawardi
(d.450/1058), for example, argued that comprehensive justice “inculcates mutual love
and affection, compliance with norms, development of the country, expansion of
wealth, growth of progeny, and security of the sovereign”, and that “there is nothing
that destroys the world and the conscience of the people faster than injustice”.26 Ibn
Taymiyyah (d.728/1328) emphasized that “justice towards everything and everyone is
an imperative for everyone, and injustice is prohibited to everything and everyone.
Injustice is absolutely not permissible irrespective of whether it is to a Muslim or a
non-Muslim or even to an unjust person”.27 He zealously upheld the adage prevailing
has used the word zulumāt in this hadīth. Zulumāt is the plural of zulmah or darkness, and signifies
several layers of darkness, leading ultimately to ‘pitch’ or ‘absolute’ darkness, as is also evident in the
Qur’ānic verse 24:40.
25 See Chapra, 1985, pp.27-8.
26 Al-Mawardi, Adab (1955, p. 125).
ﺜﻟا ةﺪﻋﺎﻘﻟا ﺎﻣأو ﮫﺑ ﺮﺜﻜﯾو ، لاﻮﻣﻷا ﮫﺑﻮﻤﻨﺗو ،دﻼﺒﻟا ﮫﺑ ﺮﻤﻌﺗو ، ﺔﻋﺎﻄﻟا ﻰﻠﻋ ﺚﻌﺒﯾو ،ﺔﻔﻟﻷا ﻰﻟإ ﻮﻋﺪﯾ ، ﻞﻣﺎﺷ لﺪﻋ ﻲﮭﻓ ﮫﺜﻟﺎ
نﺎﻄﻠﺴﻟا ﮫﺑ ﻦﻣﺄﯾو ،ﻞﺴﻨﻟا....
"رﻮﺠﻟا ﻦﻣ ، ﻖﻠﺨﻟا ﺮﺋﺎﻤﻀﻟ ﺪﺴﻓأ ﻻو ، ضرﻷا باﺮﺧ ﻰﻓ عﺮﺳ ا ﺊﺷ ﺲﯿﻟو)" ،ىدروﺎﻤﻟا ،ﻦﯾﺪﻟاو ﺎﯿﻧﺪﻟا بدا1955 ص ،
27 Ibn Taymiyyah, Vol.8, p. 166.
نﺎﻛ ءاﻮﺳ ،ًﻼﺻأ ﺪﺣأ ﻢﻠﻇ ﻞﺤﯾﻼﻓ ،ﺪﺣأ ﻞﻜﻟو ﻰﺷ ﻞﻛ ﻲﻓ ﺎﻣﺮﺤﻣ ﻢﻠﻈﻟاو ، ﺪﺣأ ﻞﻛ ﻰﻠﻋو ﻰﺷ ﻞﻛ ﻲﻓ ًﺎﺒﺟاو ًاﺮﻣأ لﺪﻌﻟا نﺎﻛ
ًﺎﻤﻟﺎﻇ نﺎﻛ وأ ًاﺮﻓﺎﻛ وأ ًﺎﻤﻠﺴﻣ ) " عﻮﻤﺠﻣﺎﺘﻓ ج ،ﮫﯿﻤﯿﺗ ﻦﺑأ يو8ص ،177 (
- 15 -
in his time that: “God upholds a just state even if it is non-believing, but does not
uphold an unjust state even if it is believing.”28 Ibn Khaldun (d. 808/1406)
unequivocally stated that it is not possible for a country to develop without justice.29
It may not, however, be possible to ensure justice without the faithful
observance of certain rules of behaviour by all members of society. These rules are
termed moral values in religious worldviews and institutions in Intuitional
Economics. Some of these values are: honesty, fairness, punctuality,
conscientiousness, diligence, self-reliance, tolerance, humility, thrift, respect for
parents, teachers and the elderly, sympathy and care for the poor, the handicapped
and the downtrodden, and concern for the rights and obligations of others, not only
those in ones’ own society but also those around the world. Faithful observance of
these values can lead to mutual trust and cordial relations among the people, and
motivate them to fulfill their mutual obligations and to help each other, thereby
promoting family and social solidarity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, and
curbing the spread of anomie.30 This will lead to an increase in social capital, which is
necessary for promoting efficiency and equity and, consequently, accelerated
development and human well-being. Moral uplift is, therefore, the third dire need of
the human personality if the well-being of all is to be realized and the Islamic vision
is to be fulfilled. Faithful observance of all the rules of behaviour enshrined in moral
values may, however, not be possible without a proper motivating system which
requires an enabling worldview discussed under the second primary objective of
See also his Minhaj al-Sunnah, 1986, Vol..5, p. 127.
28 ﷲا نإ ﻠﺴﻣ ﺖﻧﺎﻛ نإو ﺔﻤﻟﺎﻈﻟا ﻢﯿﻘﯾ ﻻو ،ةﺮﻓﺎﻛ ﺖﻧﺎﻛ نإو ﺔﻟدﺎﻌﻟا ﺔﻟوﺪﻟا ﻢﯿﻘﯾﺔﻤ (Imām Ibn Taymiyyah, Al-Hīsbah fī
al-Īslām, 1967, p. 94).
29 ﻟا ناﻈناﺮﻤﻌﻠﻟ بﺮﺨﻣ ﻢﻠ (Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah, p. 287).
30 All these values are emphasized in the Qur’an and/or Sunnah and constitute an inseparable part of
the Islamic worldview. Whoever violates them is not considered to be a practicing Muslim.
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The Islamic worldview and its values also address the fourth dire need of the
human personality, which is security of life, property and honour. The Qur’ān equates
the unwarranted killing of even a single individual (irrespective of whether he/she is a
Muslim or a non-Muslim) with the killing of the whole of mankind, and the saving of
a single life with the saving of the whole of mankind (5:32). This is but natural
because the Islamic call for the respect of life and the brotherhood of mankind would
be meaningless if the life of even non-Muslims were not considered to be as sacred as
that of Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh), also pronounced in the address which he
delivered during his farewell pilgrimage that: “Your lives, your property and your
honour are as sacred as this Day of yours (Hajj), in this month of yours, in this city of
yours.”31 Since the Hajj enjoys a maximum degree of sanctity in Islam, the life,
property and honour of every individual also enjoy the same degree of sanctity.
A fifth need of the human self is freedom. Freedom is indispensable for the
development of the human personality. Without it he/she may lack the initiative and
drive that are necessary for creativity and innovation and, consequently, for human
development and well-being. As khalifahs of God, they are subservient to none but
Him. Therefore, one of the primary missions of Muhammad (pbuh) was to relieve
mankind of the burdens and chains that have been imposed on them (al-Qur’an,
7:157). Serfdom of any kind, irrespective of whether it is social, political or economic
is, therefore, alien to the teachings of Islam. Accordingly, no one, not even the state, has
the right to abrogate this freedom and to subject human beings to any kind of bondage or
regimentation. It is this teaching, which prompted ‘Umar, the second Caliph, to ask:
31 اﺬھ ﻢﻛﺪﻠﺑ ﻲﻓ اﺬھ ﻢﻛﺮﮭﺷ ﻲﻓ اﺬھ ﻢﻜﻣﻮﯾ ﺔﻣﺮﺤﻛ ﻢﻜﯿﻠﻋ ماﺮﺣ ﻢﻜﺿاﺮﻋأو ﻢﻜﻟاﻮﻣأو ﻢﻛءﺎﻣد نإ
(Reported by Ibn Kathīr (d. 774/1373) (1981) in his commentary of verse 13 of sūrah 49 (al-
Hujurāt), Vol.. 3, p. 365).
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“Since when have you enslaved people when their mothers gave birth to them as free
However, as khalifahs of God, human beings are not absolutely free in the
sense of Sartre’s existentialism. Their freedom is bounded by moral values to ensure
not just their own well-being but also the well-being of all God’s creatures. When the
angels realized at the time of man’s creation that he was going to be God’s khalīfah
on earth with freedom to act on his own initiative, they had an apprehension that this
freedom might lead him to corrupt the earth and to shed blood (al-Qur’ān, 2:30). This
apprehension may perhaps have been because they did not realize at that time that, in
addition to freedom, God was also going to provide human beings with three other
assets that could help them lead a life that would be contrary to the angels’
apprehension. The first of these is their conscience, which is a reflection of their true
nature (fitrah) on which God has created them (al-Qur’ān, 30:30). If the fitrah is not
preserved, human beings can stoop “to the lowest of the low (asfala safilin)” (al-
Qur’an, 95:5). To help them avoid such a fall, God has Himself provided them with
the second precious asset which is the guidance sent by Him to all human beings and
nations at different times in history through a chain of His Messengers. The purpose
of this guidance is to assist them in managing their affairs in this world in a way that
would help ensure the well-being of all in harmony with their mission as khalifahs of
God.33 Their freedom is, therefore, within the bounds of the guidance provided by
Him. The third asset is the intellect which God has provided to human beings. If used
32 ( ؟ آراﺮﺣا ﻢﮭﺗﺎﮭﻣأ ﻢﮭﺗﺪﻟو ﺪﻗو سﺎﻨﻟا ﻢﺗﺪﺒﻌﺘﺳا ﻰﺘﻣ" ” ) (‘Alī al-Tāntawī and Nājī al-Tantāwī, Akhbāru
‘Umar, 1959, p.268).
33 The Qur’an clearly states that “We have indeed sent Our Messengers to every community in every
period” (16:36) and that “We have sent Messengers before you, some of them We have motioned to
you, while some of others We have not mentioned” (40:78 and 4:164). According to a hadith of the
Prophet (pbuh) from Abu Dhar, God has sent 124000 Messengers to this world at different times to
different communities (See the commentary on verse 4:164 in the Tafsir of Ibn Kathir). Islam is
undoubtedly the only religion which recognizes all the Messengers of God.
- 18 -
in the light of the promptings of their conscience as well as the Divine Guidance, it
would enable them to use their freedom wisely to actualize the vision of Islam and
not to spread corruption or shed blood, which are among the worst crimes in the value
system of Islam
This leads us to a sixth need of the human personality, which is the
enrichment of his/her intellect through a high quality of education. Education should
perform a dual purpose. First, it should enlighten the members of society about the
worldview and moral values of Islam as well as their mission in this world as
khalifahs of God. Secondly, it should enable them to not only perform their jobs
efficiently by working hard and conscientiously but also expand the knowledge and
technological base of their society. Without the moral uplift and expansion of their
knowledge and technological base, it may not be possible to enrich the intellect and
enable it to contribute richly to the goal of accelerating and sustaining development.
The Qur’ān and Sunnah have, therefore, laid great emphasis on education as will be
indicated later while discussing the enrichment of intellect, the third primary
objective of the Sharī’ah.
Good governance, as will be discussed further under faith, is the seventh
indispensable need of the human personality. Without political stability and good
governance, it may not be possible to enforce the society’s rules of behaviour. In this
case, the violation of rules may tend to spread and become locked-in through the
operation of path dependence and self-reinforcing mechanisms.34 There will then be a
rise in corruption, inefficiency, and lack of concern for the satisfaction of other
people’s needs. Hence the imperative of good governance has been stressed
throughout Muslim history by almost all scholars, including Abu Yūsuf, al-Māwardi,
34 See North, 1990, pp. 93-94.
- 19 -
Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Khaldūn. One of the major causes of Muslim decline has
generally been understood to be the absence of good governance over the last several
The intense commitment of Islam to human dignity, justice and brotherhood
leads logically to the eighth requisite which is the removal of poverty and the
fulfillment of all basic human needs. Poverty leads to incapacity, helplessness and
dependence on others. It can even, according to the Prophet (phub), drive a person
close to disbelief.36 It is thus in conflict with the goal of human dignity ingrained in
Islamic teachings. However, the removal of poverty may not be possible without an
efficient and equitable use of all resources at the disposal of mankind. All these
resources are, as indicated earlier, a trust from God and one of the terms of this trust
is that they must be utilized in such a responsible manner that the needs of all are
Removal of poverty and the need fulfillment of all individuals in society has,
therefore, received an important place in the fiqh and other Islamic literature
throughout Muslim history. The jurists have unanimously held the view that it is the
collective obligation (fard kifāyah) of a Muslim society to take care of the basic needs
of the poor.37 In fact, according to al-Shātibī, this is the raison d’être of society
itself.38 All modern scholars, including Mawlānā Mawdūdī, Imām Hasan al-Bannā,
Sayyid Qutub, Mustafā al-Sibā’ī, Abū Zahrah, Bāqir al-Sadr, Muhammad al-Mubārak,
and Yūsuf al-Qaradawī, are unanimous on this point.
35 See the author's new book, Muslim Civilization: The Causes of Decline and the Need for Reform
36 أ ﺮﻘﻔﻟا دﺎﻛن اﺮﻔﻛ نﻮﻜﯾ (Cited by al-Suyuti (d.911/1505) in his al-Jami‘al-Saghir from Anas ibn Malik on
the authority of Abu Nu‘aym’s al-Hilyah under the word Kada, p.89).
37 See, for example, Ibn Hazm, Vol..6, p.156:725.
38 al-Shātibī, Vol..2, p.177.
ﻓﻌﺠﺎﻗأ ﻰﻓ ﻒﺋﻼﺧ ﻖﻠﺨﻟا ﷲا ﻞﻣﻟا ﺔﻀوﺮﺎﯾرت ﻣﺎﻌﻟاﺔ )اﺎﺸﻟﻃﺒج ، ﻲ2ص ،177(
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This leads us to the question of what constitutes a need, the fulfillment of
which has been made an individual as well as social imperative. Needs have been
divided by the fuqhahā’ into three categories. These are necessities (durūriyyāt),
comforts (hajīyyāt), and refinements (tahsīniyyāt)). All of these, as defined by the
fuqahā’, refer to goods and services that make a real difference in human well-being
by satisfying a certain need, reducing a hardship, or providing comfort and mental
peace and happiness.39 They do not include ‘luxuries’ which may be defined as those
goods and services which are wanted for their snob appeal and do not make a
difference in a person’s real well-being. All such goods and services which go
beyond need have been considered by the fuqahā’ as prodigality and self–indulgence,
and strongly disapproved 40
39 For the definition of these terms within the perspective of fiqh, see al-Shātibī, al-Muwāfaqāt, Vol..
2, pp. 8-12: and Anas Zarqa, “Islamic Economics: An Approach to Human Welfare”, in K. Ahmad,
1980, pp.13-15. See also Imām Hasan al-Bannā, Majmū[ah Rasā’il (1989), p. 268, and Hadīth al-
Thulāthā’ (1985), p.410; and Sayyid Abul A‘lā Mawdūdī, Īslām awr Jadīd Ma[āshī Nazariyyāt
(1959), pp. 136-40.
40 See the Qur’an, 7: 31,17: 26-7 and 25: 67 for verses against waste and extravagance. The Prophet
(pbuh), also spoke against extravagance and in favour of simplicity and humility in life-style. He
emphasized that waste of resources was forbidden not only in times of scarcity but also in times of
abundance (Tabrīzī, Mishkāt, 1966, Vol.. I. p.133:427). He also said: "God has revealed to me to
teach you to be humble so that no one wrongs others or shows arrogance" (Sunan Abu Dawud,.
1952, Vol.. 2, p. 572, from ‘Iyad ibn Hīmār); and that: "God does not look at those who wear clothes
reflecting arrogance" (Sahih al-Bukhārī, Vol. 7, p. 182, and Sahīh Muslim, 1955, Vol. 3, p. 1651:42).
He also said: "Whoever abstains from wearing an expensive dress out of humility, in spite of being
capable of doing so, will be summoned by God in the presence of all humanity on the Day of
Judgment and given the option to wear any of the distinguished attires of faith that he wishes" (Jamī[
al-Tīrmīdhī wīth commentary, Tuhfat al- Ahwadhī, Vol. 3, pp. 312-13, from Mu‘adh ibn Anas al-
Juhani); and: "Eat and drink, give in charity, and dress up without extravagance or conceit" (Suyūtī,
al-Jāmi' al- Saghīr. Vol.. 2, p. 96, from Ibn ‘Umar, on the authority of Musnad Ahmad, Nasa’i, Ībn
Mājah and Mustadrak Hākim). Accordingly, the weight of the Qur’an and the Sunnah is on the side
of a simple life-style for its followers, and the jurists have concluded that vainglory and vying with
each other for worldly symbols of prestige is harām (prohibited). (See "Kitāb al-Kasb" of al-
Shaybānī in al-Sarakhsī, Kitab a/-Mabsūt, Vol. 30, pp. 266-8.)
لﺎﻘﻓ ﺄﺿﻮﺘﯾ ﻮھو ﺪﻌﺴﺑ ﺮﻣ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا نا صﺎﻌﻟا ﻦﺑ وﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﺑ ﷲاﺪﺒﻋ ﻦﻋ)ﺪﻌﺳ ﺎﯾ فﺮﺴﻟا اﺬھ ﺎﻣ ( ﻰﻓأ لﺎﻗ
ﻮﺿﻮﻟالﺎﻗ فﺮﺳ ء) :رﺎﺟ ﺮﮭﻧ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺖﻨﻛ نإو ﻢﻌﻧ (ﮫﺟﺎﻣ ﻦﺑاو ﺪﻨﺴﻤﻟا ﻲﻓ ﺪﻤﺣأ هاور، ج ،ةﺎﻜﺸﻣ1 ص ،133 ةﺮﻤﻧ ،427
ةرﺎﮭﻄﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ– ﺳ بﺎﺑﻨءﻮﺿﻮﻟا ﻦ
لﺎﻗ ﮫﻧأ ﮫﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻲﺿر رﺎﻤﺣ ﻦﺑ ضﺎﯿﻋ ﻦﻋ :ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ) : ﻻ ﻰﺘﺣ اﻮﻌﺿاﻮﺗ نأ ﻰﻟإ ﻰﺻوأ ﷲا نإ
ﻻو ﺪﺣأ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺪﺣأ ﻰﻐﺒﯾ ﺪﺣأ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺪﺣأ ﺮﺨﻔﯾ ( ج ،دؤاد ﻮﺑا2 ص ،572.
- 21 -
However, it is important to bear in mind that, since Islam does not approve of
monasticism or a life of self-denial and renunciation of the world (al-Qur’an, 57:27),
the classification of goods and services into the three above categories need not be
inflexible. Islam allows a person to satisfy all his needs (both necessities and
comforts) to increase his efficiency and well-being. The classification of goods and
services into these categories should, therefore, reflect the wealth and general living
standard of any given Muslim society. Accordingly, the perspective on needs is
bound to undergo a change over time with the development of technology and the rise
in wealth and living standards. In fact, most Muslim countries are richer today and
can afford a higher standard of need fulfillment than what was possible in the early
Muslim societies. Moreover needs do not remain constant over time and space. Some
of the things which did not even exist during the Prophet’s (pbuh) times are now
considered needs. They should not, however, reflect snobbery or lead to wide gaps in
living standards which may weaken the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and social
solidarity. The objective should also not be to create a monotonous uniformity and
drabness in Muslim societies. Simplicity can be attained in life styles without
adversely affecting creativity and diversity.
لﺎﻗ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻲﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر نأ ﮫﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﺑا ﻦﻋ" :ءﻼﯿﺧ ﮫﺑﻮﺛ ﺮﺟ ﻦﻣ ﻰﻟإ ﷲا ﺮﻈﻨﯾ ﻻ " يرﺎﺨﺒﻟا هاور
سﺎﺒﻠﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ، بﺎﺑ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﮫﻟﻮﻗ"،،ﷲا ﺔﻨﯾز مﺮﺣ ﻦﻣ ﻞﻗ ج،7 ص182.
ﷲا لﻮﺳر نأ ﮫﯿﺑأ ﻦﻋ ﻲﻨﮭﺠﻟا ﺲﻧأ ﻦﺑ ذﺎﻌﻣ ﻦﻋلﺎﻗ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ : هﺎﻋد ﮫﯿﻠﻋ رﺪﻘﯾ ﻮھو ﷲ ًﺎﻌﺿاﻮﺗ سﺎﺒﻠﻟا كﺮﺗ ﻦﻣ
ﺎﮭﺴﺒﻠﯾ ءﺎﺷ نﺎﻤﯾﻹا ﻞﻠﺣ يأ ﻦﻣ هﺮﯿﺨﯾ ﻰﺘﺣ ﻖﺋﻼﺨﻟا سوؤر ﻰﻠﻋ ﺔﻣﺎﯿﻘﻟا مﻮﯾ ﷲا (ﺘﻟا هاور ﺚﯾﺪﺣ لﺎﻗ ﺪھﺰﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ ﻲﻓ يﺬﻣﺮ
ﻦﺴﺣ، ﺗﻔﺤﺔ ج ،يذﻮﺣﻷا3 ص ،312-313
ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا ﻦﻋ ﮫﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﺑا ﻦﻋلﺎﻗ ﮫﻧأ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ) : ﻻو فاﺮﺳا ﺮﯿﻏ ﻲﻓ اﻮﺴﺒﻟاو ﻮﻗﺪﺼﺗو اﻮﺑﺮﺷأو اﻮﻠﻛ
ﺔﻠﯿﺨﻣ( كرﺪﺘﺴﻤﻟا ﻲﻓ ﻢﻛﺎﺤﻟاو ﮫﺟﺎﻣ ﻦﺑاو ﻲﺋﺎﺴﻨﻟاو هﺪﻨﺴﻣ ﻲﻓ ﺪﻤﺣأ هاور، ، ج ،ﻲﻃﻮﯿﺴﻠﻟ ﺮﯿﻐﺼﻟا ﻊﻣﺎﺠﻟا2 ص96
ﻜﺘﻟاو ﺮﺧﺎﻔﺘﻟاو ءﻼﯿﺨﻟاو فﺮﺴﻟاو دﺎﺴﻓﻻا ،لﻼﺤﻟا ﻦﻣ ﮫﺒﺴﺘﻛا ﺎﻤﯿﻓ ءﺮﻤﻟا ﻰﻠﻋ مﺮﺤﯾ ﮫﻧأ ﻞﺻﺎﺤﻟا ماﺮﺤﻓ دﺎﺴﻓﻷا ﺎﻣأ ،ﺮﺛﺎ
ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﮫﻟﻮﻘﻟ":ةﺮﺧﻵا راﺪﻟا ﷲا كﺎﺗآ ﺎﻤﯿﻓ ﻎﺘﺑاو"ﺔﯾﻵا، ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﮫﻟﻮﻘﻟ ماﺮﺤﻓ فﺮﺴﻟا ﺎﻣأو) :اﻮﻓﺮﺴﺗ ﻻو (ﻼﻋو ﻞﺟ لﺎﻗو ،ﺔﯾﻵا :
ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا لﺎﻗو ﺮﯾﺬﺒﺗ فاﺮﺳﻻا نأ ﻰﻠﻋ ﻞﯿﻟد ﻚﻟﺬﻓ ،ﺔﯾﻵا اﻮﻘﻔﻧأ اذإ ﻦﯾﺬﻟاو)اﺮﯾﺬﺒﺗ رﺬﺒﺗ ﻻو( ) ص266 (، اﺮﺣ ﺔﻠﯿﺨﻤﻟاو م
ﺎﻣ ﮫﯿﻓ ﻞﺻﻷاو سﺎﺒﻠﻟا ﻲﻓ ﻚﻟذ ﻦﻋ ﻰﮭﻧ ﻚﻟﺬﻓ مﺎﻌﻄﻟا ﻦﻣ ﺮﯿﺜﻜﺘﻟاو فاﺮﺳﻹا ﻦﻋ ﻰﮭﻧ ﺎﻤﻛ ﮫﻧأ ﻲﻨﻌﯾ ماﺮﺣ ﺮﺛﺎﻜﺘﻟاو ﺮﺧﺎﻔﺘﻟا و
ﻟاو ﻦﺴﺤﻟا ﻦﻣ نﻮﻜﯾ ﺎﻣ ﺔﯾﺎﮭﻧ ﺲﺒﻠﯾ ﻻ نأ داﺮﻤﻟاو ﻦﯿﺑﻮﺜﻟا ﻦﻋ ﻰﮭﻧ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا نأ ىور ﻰﻠﻋ بﺎﯿﺜﻟا ﻲﻓ ةدﻮﺠ
ﺑ ﮫﯿﻟإرﺎﺸﯾ ﮫﺟوﻤھ ﺪﺣأ نﺈﻓ ﻊﺑﺎﺻﻷﺎ ﺎﮭﻄﺳ وأ رﻮﻣﻻاﺮﯿﺧو ﺮﯿﺘﻘﺘﻟا ﻰﻟإ ﻊﺟﺮﯾ ﺮﺧﻵاو فاﺮﺳﻹا ﻰﻟإ ﻊﺟﺮﯾ ﺎ) ﺐﺴﻜﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ
ﻦﺴﺣ ﻦﺑ ﺪﻤﺤﻤﻟ ﻰﻧﺎﺒﯿﺸﻟا، ﻲﺧﺮﺴﻠﻟ طﻮﺴﺒﻤﻟا، ج30، ص268( .
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Since begging degrades a person’s dignity and is also strongly discouraged by
Islam,41 a ninth requisite of the human personality and an essential corollary of
human dignity is that need fulfillment must be realized through the individual’s own
effort. Accordingly, it is the personal obligation (fard ‘ayn) of every Muslim to earn a
living to support himself and his family.42 The Prophet (phub) has also enjoined
Muslims to acquire skill in some profession so that they can earn a respectable
41 The Prophet (pbuh), disapproved of begging by saying: "Do not beg anything from people"
)ًﺎﺌﯿﺷ سﺎﻨﻟا اﻮﻟﺄﺴﺗ ﻻ( Abū Dawud, 1952, Vol. Ī, p, 382, from ‘Awf ibn Malik), and that “The hand that is
above is better than the hand that is below"
)ﻰﻠﻔﺴﻟا ﺪﯿﻟا ﻦﻣ ﺮﯿﺧ ﺎﯿﻠﻌﻟا ﺪﯿﻟا(
(Al-Bukhārī. Vol.. 2, p. 133. from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar).
The Prophet (pbuh), also declared unlawful the giving of charity to those who have no real need
and who are healthy and able-bodied.
)ىﻮﺳ ةﺮﻣ يﺬﻟ ﻻو ﻲﻨﻐﻟ ﺔﻗﺪﺼﻟا ﻞﺤﺗ ﻻ(
(Abū Dāwūd, 1952, Vol.. I, p, 379; Nasā’ī, 1964, Vol.. 5, p. 74 and Ibn Mājah, 1952, Vol.. Ī. p.
He assigned a place of high esteem to earning one’s own living by saying: "He who seeks the world
lawfully to refrain from begging, to cater for his family, and to be kind to his neighbour, will meet
God on the Day of Judgement with his face shining like the full moon"
)ﻠﻃ ﻦﻣ ﻞﺜﻣ ﮫﮭﺟوو ﺔﻣﺎﯿﻘﻟا مﻮﯾ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﮫﺑر ﻲﻘﻟ هرﺎﺟ ﻰﻠﻋ ًﺎﻔﻄﻌﺗو ﮫﻠھأ ﻰﻠﻋ ًﺎﯿﻌﺳو ﺔﻟﺄﺴﻤﻟا ﻦﻋ ﺎﻓﺎﻔﻌﺘﺳا لﻼﺤﻟا ﺐ
رﺪﺒﻟا ﺔﻠﯿﻟ ﺮﻤﻘﻟا(
Tabrizi, Mīshkāt, 1381 A.H., Vol.. 2, p. 658:5207, from Abū Hurayrah, on the authority of
Bayhaqī’s Shu‘ab al-Īmān).
42 The Qur’ān instructs Muslims to go out into the world and seek of God's bounties after having
attended to their prayers (62: 10). The Prophet (pbuh) said that: "Earning a lawful livelihood is
obligatory upon every Muslim" ) ﻢﻠﺴﻣ ﻞﻛ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺐﺟاو لﻼﺤﻟا ﺐﻠﻃ( (Suyūtī, AĪ-Jami' al-Saghir, from
Anas ibn Malik. p. 54). He elaborated this point further by saying: "A man has not earned better
income than that which is from his own effort" )هﺪﯾ ﻞﻤﻋ ﻦﻣ ﺐﯿﻃأ ًﺎﺒﺴﻛ ﻞﺟﺮﻟا ﺐﺴﻛ ﺎﻣ
(Sunan Ibn Mājah,
1952, Vol. 2, p. 723:2138, from Miqdam ībn Ma‘dikarib). According to the Prophet (pbuh), trust in
God does not imply that a Muslim should refrain from making an effort. He should in fact do his
utmost, but trust in God for the best results. This is the implication of his displeasure at a man who
left his camel untied thinking that the camel would not stray because God would take care of him.
The Prophet admonished him to tie the camel first and then trust in God (see "Kitāb al-Kasb" of
Muhammad Ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī in al-Sarakhsī, Kitāb al-Mabsūt, Vol. 30,.p. 249).
Caliph 'Umar emphasized the Islamic injunctions to earn one's own livelihood
ﮫﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﺮﻤﻋ لﺎﻗ"لﻮﻘﯾو قزﺮﻟا ﺐﻠﻃ ﻦﻋ ﻢﻛﺪﺣأ ﺪﻌﻘﯾ ﻻ : ﺔﻀﻓ ﻻو ًﺎﺒھذ ﺮﻄﻤﺗ ﻻ ءﺎﻤﺴﻟا نﺈﻓ ،ﻲﻨﻗزرا ﻢﮭﻠﻟا
ﺾﻌﺑ ﻦﻣ ﻢﮭﻀﻌﺑ سﺎﻨﻟا قزﺮﯾ ﷲا ﻦﻜﻟو")ﻟا ﻲﺟﺎﻧو يوﺎﻄﻨﻄﻟا ﻰﻠﻋﺮﻤﻋ رﺎﺒﺧأ ،يوﺎﻄﻨﻄ، ص268(.
" ﻲﻓ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر رﺎﺷأ ﮫﯿﻟإو ﺔﻌﯾﺮﺸﻠﻟ ﻒﻟﺎﺨﻣ ﻮﮭﻓ ﺐﺴﻜﻟا ﮫﻛﺮﺗ ﻲﻓ ﻞﻛﻮﺘﻟا ﺔﻘﯿﻘﺣ نأ ﻢﻋﺰﯾ ﻦﻣ نأ
ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ لﺎﻘﻓ ،ﻞﻛﻮﺗأو ﻲﺘﻗﺎﻧ ﻞﺳرُأ لﺎﻗ ىﺬﻟا ﻞﺋﺎﺴﻠﻟ ﮫﻟﻮﻗ" :ﻞﻛﻮﺗو ﺎﮭﻠﻘﻋا ﻞﺑ ﻻ" ) ﻦﺑ ﺪﻤﺤﻤﻟ ﺐﺴﻜﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ
،ﻲﻧﺎﺒﯿﺸﻟا ﻦﺴﺤﻟا ج، ﻲﺴﺧﺮﺴﻠﻟ طﻮﺴﺒﻤﻟا30 ص ،249.(
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living.43 The jurists have, therefore, emphasized that without fulfilling this obligation
of earning a living through his own effort, a Muslim may not even be able to maintain
his body and mind in a state of adequate health and efficiency to carry out even his
devotional duties, leave alone the fulfillment of all his other obligations as vicegerent
of God on earth.44
It is, therefore, the collective obligation (fard kifāyah) of a Muslim society to
manage the economy in such a way that everyone has a suitable opportunity to earn
an honest living in keeping with his/her ability and effort. In the present-day world,
microfinance has proved to have a great potential for expanding employment and
self-employment opportunities and needs to receive high priority in Muslim
countries. Nevertheless, there are bound to be those who are unable to earn enough
through their own effort because of some handicap or inability. Islam has, therefore,
ordained a social self-help programme to help such people through its institutions of
zakāh, sadaqāt and awqaf to fulfill their needs without stigma or recrimination. If it is
not possible to raise adequate resources through these institutions then it is the
obligation of the state to play a complementary role.
The Qur’an requires that wealth should not circulate only among the rich
(59:7). In accordance with this vision of Islam, the tenth need is equitable distribution
of income and wealth. This is because excessive disparities in income and wealth tend
to degrade those who are extremely poor and unable to utilize their full potential.
43 The Prophet (pbuh) said: ‘God loves a Muslim who has a professional skill” (Narrated by al-
Mundhiri from Ibn ‘Umar on the authority of al-Tabarani’s al-Kabir and al-Bayhaqi, Vol.2,
- ﺎﻤﮭﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻰﺿر ﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﺑا ﻦﻋ لﺎﻗ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا ﻦﻋ" : ﺐﺤﯾ ﷲا نإفﺮﺘﺤﻤﻟا ﻦﻣﺆﻤﻟا"
)ﺒﻟا و ﺮﯿﺒﻜﻟا ﻲﻓ ﻲﻧاﺮﺒﻄﻟا هاورﻰﻘﮭﯿ ، ﻤﻟارﺬﻨي ، ج2، ص 524 (
44 A complete list of juristic references would be too long; the reader may however wish to see "Kitāb
al-Kasb" of al-Shaybānī īn al-Sarakhsī, Kitāb al-Mabsūt, Vol. 30, pp. 344-87, particularly, pp. 245,
250 and 256; Abū Hāmid Muhammad al-Ghazālī, Īhyā ‘Ulūm al-Dīn, Vol. 2, pp. 60-4; al-Shātībī,
Al-Muwāfaqāt, Vol. 2, pp. 176-7; and al- ‘Abbādī (1974-75), Vol. 2, pp. 22-5.
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Lack of an effective programme to reduce inequities is bound to destroy, rather than
foster, the feelings of brotherhood that Islam wishes to promote. Hence, Islam not
only requires the removal of poverty and fulfillment of everyone’s needs, primarily
through a respectable source of earning, but also emphasizes the social self-help
programme of zakāh, sadaqat and awqaf. It would, however, be a mistake to rely
primarily on these charitable contributions to realize the objective of equitable
distribution of the income and wealth. It is also necessary to accelerate development,
as will be discussed later under wealth, and to adopt all other methods that have
proved to be useful around the world, provided that they are Shari‘’ah compatible.
An eleventh indispensable natural need of both the male and the female
members of society is a companion and partner-in-life through marriage.45 The
purpose of this is not merely to satisfy the sexual desire but also to have a congenial
partner-in-life to find peace and solace in each other through mutual care, affection
and kindness. The Qur’ān states: “And among His signs is that He has created for you
mates from among yourselves and sown love and compassion in your hearts so that
you may find peace of mind in her. In these, there are signs for those who reflect” (al-
Qur’ān 30:21). Married life can, however, help realize this objective only if both
45 The Qur’an uses the words zawj and sahibah for a wife which signifies that she is a partner and
friend or companion and not an employee or subordinate. In the light of this, fiqhi literature defines
marriage as a partnership agreement based on the equality of the partners. It is solemnized for the
purpose of fulfilling mutual needs through cooperation with each other. (See al-Sarakhsī
(d.483/1090) (n.d.), al-Mabsut, Vol. 5, p. 109; al-Qarafi (d.684/1284) (1994), al-Dhakhirah, Vol. 13,
- "ﻮھ و جاودزا ﺪﻘﻋ جاوﺰﻟا ﺪﻘﻋﻰﻨﺒﻨﯾ ﻞﺻﻷا ﻲﻓ تاوﺎﺴﻤﻟا ﻰﻠﻋ " ﺔﻛرﺎﺸﻤﻟا ﻰﻨﻌﻣ جاودزﻷﺎﺑ داﺮﻤﻟا و
)ج ، طﻮﺒﺴﻤﻟا ، ﻲﺴﺧﺮﺴﻟا5 ص ،109 (
"ا نإ ﺔﺟوﺰﻟاو جوﺰﻟﻦﯿﻜﯾﺮﺸﻟﺎﻛ ﺢﻟﺎﺼﻤﻟا ﻰﻠﻋ ﻦﯿﻧوﺎﻌﺘﻤﻟا" )اﺮﻘﻟا ج ، ةﺮﯿﺧﺬﻟا ،ﻲﻓ13 ص ،34(
These fiqhi references were indicated to me by my colleague Dr. Sami AlSuwaylem.
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husband and wife have a noble character (khuluq hasan),46 are concerned about each
other’s well-being, and are willing to make the sacrifice of self-interest that this
entails.47 Such an affectionate and caring relationship of husband and wife with each
other will lead to the establishment of stable families which are essential not only for
the loving care and upbringing of the future generation but also the development and
survival of the society itself.
For creating an atmosphere of love, compassion and tranquility between
husband and wife, the Qur’an has prescribed for women rights equal to those of men
(2:228), and has required men to treat them gently and fairly (4:19) and to fulfill their
obligations towards them graciously (2:237). The Prophet (pbuh) has further
reinforced these and other verses of the Qur’an by characterizing women as “sisters
of men”.48 In a sermon that he delivered during his farewell pilgrimage, he exhorted
men to fear God in their treatment of women because they (men) have accepted them
(women) as a “trust from God”.49 On another occasion, he warned men against
46 The Prophet (pbuh) said: “The best of you is one whose character is best” (Al-Bukhārī, Vol. 8,
ﺎﻘﻠﺧ ﻢﻜﻨﺴﺣأ ﻢﻛﺮﯿﺧأ ﻦﻣ نإ )يرﺎﺨﺒﻟا ‘بﺎﺘﻛ ًﺎﺸﺤﻔﺘﻣ ﻻو ﺎﺸﺣﺎﻓ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا ﻦﻜﯾ ﻢﻟ بﺎﺑ، بادﻵا (
47 Empirical studies have shown that religious commitment leads to lower levels of divorce and greater
marital stability (Iannaccon, 1998; Lehrer and Cheswick, 1993; and Gruber, 2005).
48 Cited from ‘Ā’īshah by al-Suyuti in his al-Jami[ al-Saghir on the authority of Ahmad, Abu Dawud
and al-Tirmidhi, Vol... 1, p.102.
ﻋ ﷲا ﻲﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر نا ،ﺎﻤﮭﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﺲﻧا ﻦﻋ ،راﺰﺒﻟا ﻦﻋ ،ﺎﮭﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﺔﺸﺋﺎﻋ ﻦﻋ لﺎﻗ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠ
)لﺎﺟﺮﻟا ﻖﺋﺎﻘﺷ ءﺎﺴﻨﻟا ﺎﻤﻧا (ج ،ﻲﻃﻮﯿﺴﻠﻟ ﺮﯿﻐﺼﻟا ﻊﻣﺎﺠﻟا1 ص ،102 ،يﺬﻣﺮﺘﻟاو دؤاد ﻮﺑأو ﺪﻤﺣا هاور ،
49 Cited from Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah by Muslim in his Sahih, Kitab al-Manasik, Bab hajjat al-Nabiyy,
Vol. 2, p. 889:147; and Abū Dāwūd, Kitāb al-Manasik, Bab sifat hajj al-Nabiyy; also Ibn Majah and
عادﻮﻟا ﺔﺒﻄﺧ ﻲﻓ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ لﺎﻗ ،ﮫﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻰﺿر ﷲا ﺪﺒﻋ ﻦﺑ ﺮﺑﺎﺟ ﻦﻋ :
"ﷲا ﺔﻤﻠﻜﺑ ﻦﮭﺣوﺮﻓ ﻢﺘﻠﻠﺤﺘﺳاو ﷲا نﺎﻣﺄﺑ ﻦھﻮﻤﺗ ﺬﺧأ ﻢﻜﻧﺈﻓ ءﺎﺴﻨﻟا ﻲﻓ ﷲا اﻮﻘﺘﻟﺎﻓ") ﻢﻠﺴﻣ ﺢﯿﺤﺻ، بﺎﺘﻛﺞﺤﻟا، ﺞﺣ بﺎﺑ
ج ، ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا2 ص ،889 ﻢﻗر147( ، )ﷲا ﺔﻧﺎﻣﺄﺑ ﻦھﻮﻤﺗ ﺬﺧأ ﻢﻜﻧﺈﻓ ( ﻮﺑأ ، ﻚﺳﺎﻨﻤﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ ، ﺔﺟﺎﻣ ﻦﺑا ،
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usurping the rights of women by taking advantage of their weakness.50 He also
warned them against humiliating their daughters and preferring their sons over
them.51 These, as well as a number of other ahādīth, have been interpreted as a
testimony of their equal (and not inferior) status and their playing of a complementary
role to men in promoting human well-being. ‘Umar the second Caliph (d,23/644),
felt prompted, therefore, to say that: “During the pre-Islamic period (al-Jahiliyyah),
we did not consider women to be anything. However, after the coming of Islam, when
God Himself expressed His concern for them, we realized that they also had rights
over us.” 52 There is no reason to believe that nobility of character, good relations
between husband and wife, and loving care of children by both parents cannot lead to
fulfillment of the twelfth need of the human personality which is family and social
The fulfillment of all the above twelve needs of the human personality should
hopefully create an enabling environment for the fulfillment of the thirteenth need of
the human personality, which is minimization of crime and anomie. If all these
thirteen major needs are duly satisfied, one can hopefully expect that the fourteenth
need of mental peace and happiness would also be satisfied. The satisfaction of all
50 The actual words of the hadīth are: “I forbid usurpation of the right of two weak persons – the
orphan and the woman.” (Narrated from Abū Hurayrah by al-Hākim in his Mustadrak, Vol. 1, p. 63.)
This hadīth īs sahīh (authentic) on the criteria of Muslim.
لﺎﻗ ﮫﻨﻋ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ةﺮﯾﺮھ ﻲﺑأ ﻦﻋ" ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ): ﻦﯿﻔﯿﻌﻀﻟا ﻖﺣ ﻢﻜﯿﻠﻋ جﺮﺣأ ﻲﻧإ :ﺮﻤﻟاو ﻢﯿﺘﯿﻟاةأ (
ص ،ج ،ﻢﻛﺎﺤﻟا كرﺪﺘﺴﻣ63 نﺎﻤﯾﻻا بﺎﺘﻛ ،
51 Reported from Ibn ‘Abbas by al-Mundhiri on the authority of Abu Dawud and al-Hakim,
Vol. 3, p. 68:29.
ﻡﻠﺴﻭ ﻪﻴﻠﻋ ﷲﺍ ﻰﻠﺼ ﷲﺍ لﻭﺴﺭ لﺎﻗ ،لﺎﻗ ﻪﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺘ ﷲﺍ ﻲﻀﺭ ﺱﺎﺒﻋ ﻥﺒﺍ ﻥﻋ : ﻡﻟﻭ ﺎﻬﻨﻬﻴ ﻡﻟﻭ ﺎﻫﺩﺌﻴ ﻡﻠﻓ ﻰﺜﻨﺃ ﻪﻟ ﺕﻨﺎﻜ ﻥﻤ
ﺔﻨﺠﻟﺍ ﷲﺍ ﻪﻠﺨﺩﺃ ﺎﻬﻴﻠﻋ ﻩﺩﻟﻭ ﺭﺜﺅﻴ.
ﻡﻜﺎﺤﻟﺍﻭ ﺩﻭﻭﺍﺩ ﻭﺒﺃ ﻩﺍﻭﺭ
)ﺝ ﻱﺭﺫﻨﻤﻟﺍ3 ﺹ86 ﻡﻗﺭ29(
52 Narrated from ‘Umar by al-Bukhari in his Sahih, Kītāb al-Libās, Bāb mā kanā al-Nabiyy yatajawwaz
min al-libās wa al-bust, Vol... 4, p.281: 735.
ﺴﻨﻟا ﺪﻌﻧ ﻻ ﺔﯿﻠھﺎﺠﻟا ﻲﻓ ﺎﻨﻛﺎﻘﺣ ﺎﻨﯿﻠﻋ ﻦﮭﻟ ﺎﻨﯾأر ،ﷲا ﻦھﺮﻛذو مﻼﺳﻻا ءﺎﺟ ﺎﻤﻠﻓ ،ﺎﺌﯿﺷ ءﺎ) ،سﺎﺒﻠﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ ،يرﺎﺨﺒﻟا ﺢﯿﺤﺻ
ج ،ﻂﺴﺒﻟاو سﺎﺒﻠﻟا ﻦﻣ زﻮﺠﺘﯾ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﻲﺒﻨﻟا نﺎﻛ ﺎﻣ بﺎﺑ4 ص ،281 ﻢﻗر ،735( .
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these needs should together have a positive effect not only on the human self,
intellect, posterity and wealth, but also on faith by creating a more congenial
environment for its better understanding and implementation. This should go a long
way in promoting sustained development in all sectors of the society, economy and
ENRICHING FAITH, INTELLECT, POSTERITY AND WEALTH
While the ultimate Sharī’ah goal of ensuring the well-being of all people
cannot be realized without reforming and strengthening the human self, it is also
necessary to strengthen the four other primary maqasid (faith, intellect, posterity and
wealth). All these four have a strong role to play in the reform and enrichment of the
human self. If these four are not strengthened in keeping with the challenges created
by changing circumstances, optimum well-being of the present and future generations
will fail to be realized and even the long-run survival of the civilization may itself be
Strengthening Faith (Figure 3)
The first question that may arise in the reader’s mind is about why has faith
been placed immediately after the human self in the present-day world where
secularism, liberalism and materialism rule the roost. Does faith really deserve the
importance that such a sequence of the maqasid signifies? The undeniable fact,
however, is that, if human beings are the end as well as the means of development,
then their reform as well as well-being need to be given the utmost importance. It is
the religious worldview which carries the greatest potential of ensuring the reform of
the human self in a way that would help ensure the fulfillment of all the spiritual as
well as material needs of the human personality specified above. This it does by
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injecting a meaning and purpose into life, providing the right direction to all human
effort, and transforming individuals into better human beings through a change in
their behaviour, life-style, tastes, preferences, and attitude towards themselves as well
as their Creator, other human beings, resources at their disposal, and the environment.
This is why the Qur’an has clearly indicated that “he succeeds who purifies his own
self, remembers his Lord and prays” (87:14-15; see also 91: 9-10). Accordingly, all
Muslim scholars have also emphasized the need for reform of human beings and the
role that faith plays in such reform.
Toynbee and the Durants have also rightly concluded after their extensive
study of history, that moral uplift and social solidarity are not possible without the
moral sanction that religions provide. Toynbee asserts that “religions tend to quicken
rather than destroy the sense of social obligation in their votaries” and that “the
brotherhood of man presupposes the fatherhood of God – a truth which involves the
converse proposition that, if the divine father of the human family is left out of the
reckoning, there is no possibility of forging any alternative bond of purely human
texture which will avail by itself to hold mankind together.”53 Will and Ariel Durant
have also observed forcefully in their valuable book, The Lessons of History, that
“there is no significant example in history, before our time, of the society successfully
maintaining moral life without the aid of religion."54
This raises the question of why are moral uplift and social solidarity not
possible without the aid of faith. This is because two of the foremost requisites for
moral uplift are: first, the existence of values or rules of behaviour which command
such a wide and unconditional acceptance that they become categorical imperatives;
and secondly, the observance of these rules by everyone with a sense of moral
53 Toynbee, Somervell's abridgement, 1958, Vol.2, p. 380 and Vol.1, pp 495-96.
54 Will and Ariel Durant, 1968, p. 51.
- 29 -
obligation such that anyone who violates them gets censured. This raises another
question of how to arrive at rules which are unconditionally accepted and observed by
everyone. Is it possible to arrive at such rules by means of ‘social contract’ as
suggested by some secularist modern philosophers and political scientists? The
answer may be yes only if all participants in the discussion are socially, economically
and intellectually equal so that everyone has an equal weight in the formulation of the
desired rules. Since such equality is impossible to find, the rich and powerful will
tend to dominate the decision-making process and lead to the formulation of rules that
serve their own vested interests. This would frustrate the universal acceptance and
observance of the rules that have been formulated. It is, therefore, necessary that an
omniscient and benevolent outsider be assigned this task - an outsider who is
impartial, who knows the strengths and weaknesses of all human beings, who treats
them all as equals, who cares for the well-being of all without any discrimination, and
who is capable of analyzing not only the short-term but also the long-term effects of
the rules given by him. Who could be more qualified to take this position than the
Creator of this Universe and of human beings Himself?
The Creator has done this job. According to the Islamic worldview, He has
sent, as indicated earlier, His guidance to all people at different times in history
through a chain of His Messengers (who were all human beings), including Abraham,
Moses, Jesus and, the last of them, Muhammad, peace and blessings of God be on all
of them. Thus, there is a continuity and similarity in the basic worldview and value
system of all Revealed religions to the extent to which the Message has not been lost
or distorted over the ages. Human beings, as vicegerents of God, have the mission of
faithfully observing the values given by their Creator. This is their mandate during
their brief sojourn in this world. If they utilize the scarce resources, which are a trust
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in their hands, and interact with each other in accordance with these rules, it may not
only be possible to ensure the well-being of all humans but also to protect the
environment, including animals, birds and insects. “Social morality”, as Schadwick
has rightly observed, “depends on agreed standards, upon a consensus which is
received as so axiomatic that it hardly ought to be discussed”, and that, “except in the
case of a small number of exceptional groups of people, morality never had been
separated from religion in the entire history of the human race."55 Bernard Williams
is, therefore, right in observing that "social morality is not an invention of
However, even when we have the values that command wide and
unconditional acceptance, there arises the question of how to ensure the observance
of these values by everyone. Living up to these values requires a certain degree of
sacrifice of self-interest on the part of all individuals. How does faith help motivate
an individual to live up to these values and to fulfill all his/her social, economic and
political obligations that involve a sacrifice of self-interest. Faith tries to accomplish
this by giving self-interest a long-term perspective – stretching it beyond the span of
this world, which is finite, to the Hereafter, which is eternal. An individual’s self-
interest may be served in this world by being selfish and not fulfilling his/her
obligations towards others. His/her interest in the Hereafter cannot, however, be
served except by fulfilling all these obligations.
It is this long-term perspective of self-interest, along with the individual’s
accountability before the Supreme Being and the reward and punishment in the
Hereafter, which has the potential of motivating individuals and groups to faithfully
fulfill their obligations even when this tends to hurt their short-term self-interest. It
55 Schadwick, 1975, pp.229 and 234.
56 Williams, 1985, p. 174
- 31 -
*These words stand for the unity of God (tawhid), vicegernncy of human beings (khilafah), Guidance
sent by God though His Messengers (risalah) and human accountability before God on the Day of
Judgment about how he/she lived in this world and utilized the resources provided by Him (akhirah).
Risālah and Ākhirah) *
(moral as well as
security of life,
fulfillment of all
mutual care and
Enrichment of Self,
Well-being of all
Role of the
- 32 -
would be highly irrational for a person to sacrifice his long-term eternal well-being
for the sake of a relatively short-term this-worldly benefit. This dimension of self-
interest has been ignored by Conventional Economics after being cast in its secularist
Enlightenment worldview. It has, therefore, no mechanism to motivate individuals to
sacrifice for the well-being of others.
However, even the existence of values and motivating system may not be very
helpful unless people get acquainted with these. Therefore, Islam makes it obligatory
for every Muslim to have a proper grounding not only in the Islamic worldview and
values but also in the existing knowledge base and technology (see the section on
Intellect). This would not only help them be better Muslims and open up for them
employment and self-employment opportunities that would enable them to stand on
their feet in keeping with their dignity, but also enable their society to accelerate
development, reduce poverty, and inequalities in the distribution of income and
wealth. This would get a further boost if the financial system is also reformed in a
way that would enable it to make financing available to a large spectrum of society on
the basis of the Islamic modes of financing.57
Islam also aims at creating an enabling environment that is conducive to
righteousness, the strengthening of family and social solidarity, and the promotion of
mutual care and cooperation among individuals. Without such an enabling
environment, the values as well as the motivating system may both become blunted.
Congregational prayers, fasting in Ramadan, zakāh and pilgrimage, along with the
society’s respect of, and admiration for, those who abide by moral norms and disdain
for those who violate them (amr bi al-ma’rūf wa nahī ‘an al-munkar) are a part of the
Islamic programme to create such an environment.
57 There is a great deal of literature available now on the subject, which it is not possible to encompass
here. The reader may see, for example Chapra, 2007a and 2007b.
- 33 -
The existence of such an enabling environment can help promote the desired
qualities in individuals and curb the vices that jeopardize the realization of
humanitarian social goals. For example, the promotion of simple living and the
reduction of wasteful and conspicuous consumption can help reduce excessive claims
on resources. This may not only release a greater volume of resources for general
need-fulfillment, which is necessary for promoting social harmony, but also enhance
saving and investment and, thereby, help promote higher employment and growth.
The absence of a discussion of such values and environment in microeconomics has
created a gulf between it and macroeconomics. Without a discussion of the kind of
behaviour and tastes and preferences that are needed in individuals, families and
firms to realize the humanitarian macroeconomic goals, these goals hang in the air
without support. The humanitarian goals of macroeconomics are, thus, out of tune
with microeconomics as a result of the latter’s excessive stress on individualism and
the serving of self-interest through the maximization of wealth and want satisfaction.
The Enlightenment movement of the 17th and 18th centuries tried to undermine
this role of religion in the West by its secular and materialist worldview. It, however,
succeeded only partially because Christian values continued to prevail until they
gradually started becoming weaker and weaker. The sour fruits of this development
have raised protests and the religious worldview is having a comeback around the
world.58 Schweitzer, a Nobel Laureate, has rightly emphasized that "if ethical
foundation is lacking, then civilization collapses even when in other directions
creative efforts of the strongest nature are at work".59 Therefore, according to him,
"moral control over men’s dispositions is much more important than control over
58 The editors of Religion in Contemporary Europe admit that they are seeing the beginning of the end
of 200 years of hostility towards religion (Fulton and Gee, 1994)
59 Schweitzer, 1949, p.xii.
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nature".60 More recently Benjamine Friedman, a Harvard Professor, has also argued
in his recent book that moral growth and economic growth go hand in hand,
reinforcing each other.61 Long before these Western authors, al-Ghazālī, al-Shatībī
and a number of other Muslim scholars, assigned a place of great prominence to faith
in the realization of human well-being.
A question that may be raised here is about whether the injection of faith into
the picture would lead to the curbing of human freedom. Not necessarily. Human
beings are still free to choose. They may either live up to the demands of their faith or
reject them. This freedom to choose is emphasized in several verses of the Qur’ān,
one of which says: “The truth has come from your Lord. Whoever wishes may
believe in it and whoever wishes may reject it” (18:29). However, even if they reject
faith, they cannot have absolute freedom. There are curbs on freedom in every society
in the form of rules of behaviour. For example, a red traffic light is also a curb on
individual freedom. Nevertheless, nobody minds it because everyone knows that this
promotes the maqasid by helping prevent accidents, saving people from harm and,
thereby, enhancing well-being.
The Role of the State
Faith alone cannot, however, help realize human well-being. It is unrealistic
to assume that all individuals will become morally conscious in human societies as a
result of belief in God and accountability before Him in the Hereafter. Moreover,
even if a person is morally conscious, it is possible that he/she may be simply
unaware of the social priorities in resource use. This makes it incumbent upon the
state to play a complementary role. The Prophet (pbuh), therefore, clearly stated that
60 Schweitzer, 1949, pp. 22-23, 38-39, 91.
61 Friedman, 2005.
- 35 -
“God restrains through the sovereign more than what he restrains through the
Qur’ān.”62 The Qur’ān can only give values, it cannot by itself enforce them. It is the
job of the state to do so. It is the moral and legal responsibility of the state to ensure
justice and the well-being of the people. The Prophet (phub) said: “Anyone who has
been given the charge of a people but does not live up to it with sincerity, will not
taste even the fragrance of paradise”. 63 This has also become reflected in the writings
of a number of classical as well as modern writers. For example, Imam Hasan al-
Banna stressed that governments are the heart of socio-economic reform; if they
become corrupt, they may corrupt everything and, if they are reformed, they may be
able to reform everything.64
The state should, however, try to perform the task in a way that does not make
it totalitarian and despotic. Curbing of individual freedom excessively will hurt the
initiative and innovation on the part of individuals and groups. For this purpose, it is
imperative to have effective checks and balances on the state through a number of
institutions, including the shura (parliament), an honest judiciary, a free press, and
properly conceived laws and regulations. These need to be buttressed by appropriate
material incentives and deterrents to reinforce the moral base of society and to create
an enabling environment. Nevertheless, there is no escape from proper moral
62 ﺎﻤﻣ ﺮﺜﻛأ نﺎﻄﻠﺴﻟﺎﺑ عﺰﯿﻟ ﷲا نإغﺰﯾ نآﺮﻘﻟﺎﺑ (Cīted by al-Māwardī, 1955, p. 121).
“Ibn ‘Ashur has rightly indicated that if the Shari‘ah is not respected by everyone and does not get
duly enforced, the benefit expected to be derived from it will not be fully realized (2001, p.376),
" ﻲﻓ ًاﺬﻓﺎﻧ نﻮﻜﯾ نأ ﻊﯾﺮﺸﺘﻟا ﻦﻣ ﺔﻌﯾﺮﺸﻟا ﺪﺻﺎﻘﻣ ﻦﻣﻣﻻأو ﺔ نأ ﻦﻣ ًﺎﻣﺮﺘﺤﻣ نﻮﻜﯾًﺎﻌﯿﻤﺟ ﻤﻟا ﻞﺼﺤﺗ ﻻ ذإ ، ﮫﻌﻔﻨ ةدﻮﺼﻘﻤﻟا
ﺔﻠﻣﺎﻛ ﮫﻨﻣﺑ نوﺪﻔﻧذﻮه و ﮫﻣاﺮﺘﺣا "ﻦﺑا ص رﻮﺷﺎﻋ376
63 لﺎﻗ ،ﮫﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر رﺎﺴﯾ ﻦﺑ ﻞﻘﻌﻣ ﻦﻋ :ﺒﻨﻟا ﺖﻌﻤﺳلﻮﻘﯾ ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻲﻠﺻ ﻲ" :ﺔﯿﻋر ﷲا هﺎﻋﺮﺘﺳا ﺪﺒﻋ ﻦﻣ ﺎﻣ
ﺔﻨﺠﻟا ﺔﺤﺋار ﺪﺠﯾ ﻢﻟ ﻻإ ٍﺔﺤﯿﺼﻨﺑ ﺎﮭﻄﺤﯾ ﻢﻠﻓ )"ج ،يرﺎﺨﺒﻟا هاور9ص ،80 ﻢﻠﻓ ﺔﯿﻋر ﻲﻋﺮﺘﺳا ﻦﻣ بﺎﺑ ، مﺎﻜﺣﻷا بﺎﺘﻛ ،
Al-Bukhārī, from Ma‘qil Ibn Yasar, Vol. 9, p. 80, Kitāb al-Ahkām.
64 "ﻗ ﻚﺷ ﻻو ﺔﻣﻮﻜﺤﻟا ﮫﻠﻛ ﻲﻋﺎﻤﺘﺟﻻا حﻼﺻﻻا ﺐﻠ، ﮫﻠﻛ ﺮﻣﻷا ﺪﺴﻓ ﺎﮭﻋﺎﺿ وأ ت ﺪﺴﻓ اذﺈﻓ، ﺮﻣﻷا ﺢﻠﺻ ﺖﺤﻠﺻ اذإو
ﮫﻠﻛ)" ، يدﺎﺼﺘﻗﻻا مﺎﻈﻨﻟا ءﻮﺿ ﻲﻓ ﺔﯿﻠﺧاﺪﻟا ﺎﻨﺗﻼﻜﺸﻣ بﺎﺑ ،ﺎﻨﺒﻟا ﻦﺴﺣ ﺪﯿﮭﺸﻟا مﺎﻣﻹا ﻞﺋﺎﺳر ﺔﻋﻮﻤﺠﻣ1989 ص،255(
Īmam Hasan al-Bannā, Majmu‘ah Rasā’il al-Imām al-Shahīd Hasan al-Bannā’' (1989), p. 255.
- 36 -
upbringing and education of individuals to motivate them to do what is right and
abstain from doing what is wrong on their own volition.
The greater the motivation people have to implement Islamic values on their
own volition, and the more effective socio-economic, judicial and financial
institutions are in creating a proper environment for the realization of a just socio-
economic order, the lesser may be the role of the state in enforcing the rules of
behaviour and realizing the desired social goals. Moreover, the greater the
accountability of the political leadership before the people, and the greater the
freedom of expression and success of the parliament, the courts and the news media
in exposing and penalizing inequities and corruption, the more effective the Islamic
state may be in fulfilling its obligations. A number of techniques adopted in other
societies to safeguard social interest may have to be adopted even in Muslim
countries, if indeed such techniques have been found to be effective.
Enrichment of Intellect (‘Aql) (Figure 4)
Intellect is the distinguishing characteristic of a human being and needs to be
enriched continually to improve the individual’s own as well as his society’s
knowledge and technological base and to promote development and human well-
being. According to al-Ghazali, “Intellect is the fountainhead, starting point, and
foundation of knowledge. Knowledge proceeds from it just like fruit from the tree,
light from the sun, and vision from the eye. If so, then why shouldn’t it be honoured
for being the source of success in this world as well as the Hereafter.”65 The emphasis
given to the role of faith in realizing the Islamic vision of development does not
65 Al-Ghazali, Ihya’, Vol... 1, p.83.
ﮫﻌﻠﻄﻣو ﻢﻠﻌﻟا ﻊﺒﻨﻣ ﻞﻘﻌﻟاوﮫﺳﺎﺳأو ﻤﺜﻟا يﺮﺠﻣ ﮫﻨﻣ يﺮﺠﯾ ﻢﻠﻌﻟاوﺮ ﺲﻤﺸﻟا ﻦﻣ رﻮﻨﻟاو ةﺮﺠﺸﻟا ﻦﻣﻦﯿﻌﻟا ﻦﻣ ﺔﯾؤﺮﻟاو، ﻒﯿﻜﻓ
ةدﺎﻌﺴﻟا ﺔﻠﯿﺳو ﻮھ ﺎﻣ فﺮﺸﯾ ﻻ ﺎﯿﻧﺪﻟا ﻰﻓ ةﺮﺧﻵاو) ص ،ا ج ،ﻦﯾﺪﻟا مﻮﻠﻋ ءﺎﯿﺣا ،ﻰﻟاﺰﻐﻟا83 .(
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necessarily mean the downgrading of intellect. This is because revelation and reason
are like the heart and mind of an individual and both of them have a crucial role to
play in human life. Neither of these two can be dispensed with if optimum human
well-being is desired to be realized.
It is faith which provides the right direction to intellect. Without the guidance
of faith, intellect may lead to more and more ways of deceiving and exploiting people
and creating weapons of mass destruction. However, while the intellect requires
guidance from faith to be of service to mankind, faith also requires the service of
intellect to maintain its dynamism, to respond successfully to the changing socio-
economic and intellectual environment, to develop the kind of technology that can
accelerate development in spite of scarcity of resources, and to play a crucial role in
the realization of the maqāsid. Therefore, as stated earlier, reason and revelation are
both necessary and interdependent. Their harmonious use can lead to development of
the kind of knowledge and technology that can promote real human well-being and
not destruction. The neglect of any one of the two cannot but ultimately lead to
decline. The Qur’ān itself strongly asserts the use of reason and observation (al-
Qur’ān, 3:190-91, 41:53).
This emphasis has become reflected in the writings of most Muslim scholars
throughout history. For example, Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728/1328) clearly stressed that
the derivation by Muslims of their beliefs, prayers and values from the Qur’ān, the
Sunnah, and the consensus of the Ummah, is “not in conflict with reason, because
whatever clearly conflicts with reason stands rejected (bātil).”66 He further argued
66 ﺧﺄﯿﻓ ﺔﻣﻷا ﻒﻠﺳ ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﻖﻔﺗا ﺎﻣو ،ﮫﻟﻮﺳر ﺔﻨﺳو ﷲا بﺎﺘﻛ ﻦﻣ ﻚﻟذ ﺮﯿﻏو تادﺎﺒﻌﻟاو تادﺎﻘﺘﻋﻻا ﻦﻣ ﻢﮭﻨﯾد ﻊﯿﻤﺟ نﻮﻤﻠﺴﻤﻟا ﺬ
،ﺎﮭﺘﻤﺋأو ،ﻞﻃﺎﺒﻟا ﻮﮭﻓ ﺢﯾﺮﺼﻟا ﻞﻘﻌﻟا ﻒﻟﺎﺧ ﺎﻣ نﺈﻓ ،ﺢﯾﺮﺼﻟا ﻞﻘﻌﻠﻟ ًﺎﻔﻟﺎﺨﻣ ﻚﻟذ ﺲﯿﻟو)ج ،ىوﺎﺘﻔﻟا عﻮﻤﺠﻣ ،ﺔﯿﻤﯿﺗ ﻦﺑا11 ،
Ibn Taymiyyah, Majmū’ al-Fatāwā, Vol... 11, p. 490.
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that people do not perhaps appreciate that the texts of the Qur’ān and the Sunnah
consist of words and that it is possible for them to understand these words incorrectly
or to interpret them wrongly. So the problem lies with the interpreters and not with
the Qur’ān and the Sunnah.67 Mustafā al-Zarqā, a prominent and respected religious
scholar of the 20th century as well as a Faysal laureate, has also clearly declared that
“it is well-established among the ‘ulama’ that there is nothing in the beliefs and
teachings of Islam which is in conflict with intellect.”68
This shows that faith and intellect are both interdependent and need to be used
in such a way that they strengthen each other and help realize the maqāsid. Without
the active role of intellect, it may not be possible to exercise ijtihād and to evaluate
rationally all the interpretations of the Qur’ān and the Sunnah as well as the fiqhi
verdicts against their impact on the actualization of the maqāsid. Any interpretation
or verdict which is not in harmony with the maqāsid and is likely to lead to outcomes
which may hurt human well-being, needs to be reconsidered carefully and either
adjusted or rejected outright. This has been emphasized by a number of prominent
scholars of Sharī’ah. Imām al-Haramayn, Abu al-Ma‘ālī al-Juwaynī (d.478/1085)
said that: “Whoever does not comprehend the role of maqāsid in the do’s and dont’s
of the Sharī’ah lacks insight in its implementation”69 Shaykh Muhammad al-Tāhir ibn
67 ﻼﻃﺎﺑ ﻰﻨﻌﻣ ﺎﮭﻨﻣ نﻮﻤﮭﻔﯾ وا ، سﺎﻨﻟا ﺾﻌﺑ ﺎﮭﻤﮭﻔﯾ ﻻ ﺪﻗ ظﺎﻔﻟا ﮫﯿﻓ ﻦﻜﻟو، ﺔﻨﺴﻟاو بﺎﺘﻜﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻻ ﻢﮭﻨﻣ ﺔﻓﻵﺎﻓ) ﺑاﺔﯿﻤﯿﺗ ﻦ،
ج، ىوﺎﺘﻔﻟا عﻮﻤﺠﻣ11 ص ،490
(Ibn TaymIyyah, Majumū ‘ al-Fatāwā, Vol... 11, p. 490).
68Mustafa al-Zarqa, Al-[-Aql wa al-Fiqh, 1996, p. 14.
"ﻞﻘﻌﻟا مدﺎﺼﯾ ﺎﻣ ﮫﻣﺎﻜﺣأو ﮫﺗﺪﯿﻘﻋ ﻲﻓ ﺪﺟﻮﯾ ﻻ ﮫﻧأ مﻼﺳﻹا ءﺎﻤﻠﻋ ﺪﻨﻋ ﺖﺑﺎﺜﻟا رﺮﻘﻤﻟا ﻦﻣ )"ﻰﻔﻄﺼﻣ
د ،ﮫﻘﻔﻟاو ﻞﻘﻌﻟا ،ﺎﻗرﺰﻟا1996 ص ،م14( .
69 Al-Juwayni (d.478/1085), al-Ghiyathi, 1400, Vol... 1, p. 295.
"ﺼﺎﻘﻤﻟﺍ ﻉﻭﻗﻭﻟ ﻥﻁﻔﺘﻴ ﻡﻟ ﻥﻤ ﻥﺃﻭﺩ ﺍﻭ ﺭﻤﺍﻭﻷﺍ ﻲﻓﺔﻌﻴﺭﺸﻟﺍ ﻊﻀﻭ ﻲﻓ ﺓﺭﻴﺼﺒ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺱﻴﻟ ﻲﻫﺍﻭﻨﻟ .") ﻭﺒﺃ ﻥﻴﻤﺭﺤﻟﺍ ﻡﺎﻤﺇ
ﻲﺜﺎﻴﻐﻟﺍ ،ﻲﻨﻴﻭﺠﻟﺍ ﻙﻠﻤﻟﺍﺩﺒﻋ ﻲﻟﺎﻌﻤﻟﺍ)ﻡﻠﻅﻟﺍ ﺙﺎﻴﺘﻟﺍ ﻲﻓ ﻡﻤﻷﺍ ﺙﺎﻴﻏ ( ،ﺏﻴﺩﻟﺍ ﻡﻴﻅﻌﻟﺍﺩﺒﻋ ﻕﻴﻘﺤﺘ1400 ﺝ ،ـﻫ1 ﺹ ،
on of texts
- 39 -
Enrichment of faith, self,
posterity and wealth
Expansion of knowledge
and technological base
Emphasis on the
maqasid in the
High quality of
- 40 -
‘Āshūr also stated that: “Most of the issues in usūl al-fiqh (principles of Islamic
jurisprudence) have become confined to the derivation of verdicts from the words of
the Law-Giver rather than being used to serve the purpose or objectives of the
Shari‘ah”.70 The unfortunate result of this is that “many of the ‘Ulūm-al-Diniyyah
(religious sciences), including usul al-fiqh, have lost the true spirit from which it
benefited in the earlier periods. The revival of this spirit is the most crucial imperative
for the renaissance of religious knowledge”.71
Emphasis on the maqāsid rather than on just the letter in the interpretation of
texts should help in not only restoring the real luster of Islamic teachings but also in
reducing the differences of opinion as well as the prevailing conflicts, fanaticism,
intolerance, and undue emphasis on appearances. However, such a complementary
and harmonious role of intellect and revelation may not be possible without creating
in the Muslim countries an educational system which combines the teaching of
modern sciences with religious sciences and trains the students to think, analyze and
interpret the texts rationally in the light of the maqāsid with a view to restore the
dynamism of Islam and enable it to face the challenges of modern life.
It is but natural that a worldview which places so much emphasis on the
reform and socio-economic uplift of human beings would attach great importance to
education. No wonder the very first Revelation of the Qur’an to the Prophet required
70 Muhammad al-Tāhir ibn [Āshūr, Maqāsid al-Sharī‘ah al-Islāmiyyah, 2nd ed. 2001, p. 166).
" ظﺎﻔﻟأ ﻦﻣ مﺎﻜﺣﻷا طﺎﺒﻨﺘﺳا رﻮﺤﻣ لﻮﺣ روﺪﺗ ﺎﮭﻨﻜﻟو ،ﺎھﺪﺼﻘﻣو ﺔﻌﯾﺮﺸﻟا ﺔﻣﺪﺧ ﻰﻟإ ﻊﺟﺮﺗ ﻻ ﮫﻘﻔﻟا لﻮﺻأ ﻞﺋﺎﺴﻣ ﻢﻈﻌﻣ نأ
ط ندرﻷا ،ﺲﺋﺎﻔﻨﻟا راد ،يوﺎﺴﯿﻤﻟا ﺮھﺎﻃ ﺪﻤﺤﻣ ﻖﯿﻘﺤﺗ ،ﺔﯿﻣﻼﺳﻹا ﺔﻌﯾﺮﺸﻟا ﺪﺻﺎﻘﻣ ،رﻮﺷﺎﻋ ﻦﺑا ﺮھﺎﻄﻟا ﺪﻤﺤﻣ ﺦﯿﺸﻟا2 ،
2001 ص ،165 – 166.
71 Abī al-Fadl ‘Abd al-Salām (1424/2004), pp. 576-7.
" ﺔﻤﯿﺴﺠﻟا ﺔﯿﻀﻘﻟا هﺬﮭﻟ حﺮﻄﻟا اﺬھ نإﻟﯿﻮﻗﻆ ﺪﻘﻓ ،ﮫﻘﻔﻟا لﻮﺻأ ﺎﮭﻨﻣو ،ﺔﯿﻨﯾﺪﻟا مﻮﻠﻌﻟا ﻦﻣ ًاﺮﯿﺜﻛ نﺄﺑ ًﺎﯾﻮﻗ ًارﻮﻌﺷ ﺲﻔﻨﻟا ﻲﻓ
روﺮﻀﻟا ﻢﻈﻋأ ﻦﻣ مﻮﯿﻟا ﻲھ حوﺮﻟا ﻚﻠﺗ ةدﺎﻌﺘﺳا نأو ،ﻰﻟوﻷا ﺎھدﻮﮭﻋ ﻲﻓ ﺎﮭﺑ ﻊﺘﻤﺘﺗ ﺖﻧﺎﻛ ﻲﺘﻟا ﺔﯿﻟﺎﻌﻟا حوﺮﻟا تﺪﻘﻓ تا
ﺔﯿﻨﯾد ﺔﯿﻤﻠﻋ ﺔﻀﮭﻧ ﻖﯿﻘﺤﺘﻟ."
ﻦﺑ ﺪﻤﺤﻣ ﻦﺑ مﻼﺴﻟاﺪﺒﻋ ﻞﻀﻔﻟا ﻲﺑأﯾﺮﻜﻟ اﺪﺒﻋﻢ ،ﺔﯿﻣﻼﺳﻹا ﺔﺒﺘﻜﻤﻟا ،ةﺮھﺎﻘﻟا ،ﮫﻘﻔﻟا لﻮﺻأ ﻲﻓ نودﺪﺠﻤﻟاو ﺪﯾﺪﺠﺘﻟا ،
ص576 – 577.
- 41 -
him to “Read in the name of the Lord…Who taught man through the use of pen what
he did not know” (al-Qur’an, 96: 1-5). Even the Prophet (pbuh), gave a high place to
learning in the Islamic worldview by making it obligatory for every Muslim man or
woman to seek knowledge, and equating the superiority of a learned man over a
mystic to that of the full moon over all other stars.72 It is only through a combination
of religious and science education that a proper grounding can be provided to the
people to know the values of their society, raise their skills to enable them to earn
their livelihood in a morally lawful (halāl) way, and to make it possible for them to
contribute fully to the development of science and technology and the realization of
the maqāsid. In keeping with the emphasis on education in the Qur’an and Sunnah,
the fiqh literature has also done the same. Abū Zahrah, one of the outstanding jurists
of the twentieth century, says that it is necessary “to train a person so that he is a
source of benefit, and not of harm, to his society”.73
However, education and research have to be of high quality if they are desired
to serve the purpose of accelerated moral, material and technological development of
Muslim societies. This purpose may remain a fond hope if proper research and library
facilities are not provided, there is no freedom of thought and expression, creative
work does not get properly rewarded, and appointments and promotions are based on
connections and sycophancy rather than on merit and contributions made to society.
72 The two hadīths are: “The quest for knowledge is the duty (faridah) of every Muslim”, and “the
superiority of a learned man (‘alīm) over a mystic (‘abid) is like that of the full moon over all other
stars,” (Both are reported by Ibn Majah, the first from Anas Ibn Malik and the second from Abu al-
Darda’, Vol.1, p.81, numbers 223 and 224, al-Muqaddimah, Bab: 17- fadl al-‘ulama’ wa al-hathth
‘ala talab al-‘īlm). For other ahadīth on the subject of learning and teaching, see pp. 80-98. See also
al-Qurtubi (d. 463/1070). Jami‘ Bayan al-‘llm wa Fadluhu, Vol. 1, pp 3-63, and al-Ghazali (d.
505/1111), Ihya’, Vol. 1, pp. 4-82)
لوﻷا ﺚﯾﺪﺤﻟا ﺲﻧأ ﻦﻋ ﻦﺑا ﻢﻠــــــﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ ،لﺎﻗ ﺎﻤﮭﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ﻚﻟﺎﻣ" : ﺔﻀﯾﺮﻓ ﻢﻠﻌﻟا ﺐﻠﻃ
ﻢﻠﺴﻣ ﻞﻛ ﻰﻠﻋ") ص ،اﺪﻠﺠﻣ، ﮫﺟﺎﻣ ﻦﺑا81 ﻢﻗر ،224ﻢﻠﻌﻟا ﺐﻠﻃ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺚﺤﻟاو ءﺎﻤﻠﻌﻟا ﻞﻀﻓ بﺎﺑ ،ﺔﻣﺪﻘﻤﻟا ، . (
ﻟا ﻲﺑا ﻦﻋ ﻲﻧﺎﺜﻟا ﺚﯾﺪﺤﻟاوﺪﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر ،ءادرﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ لﺎﻗ ،ﮫﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌ " ﺪﺑﺎﻌﻟا ﻰﻠﻋ ﻢﻟﺎﻌﻟا ﻞﻀﻓ نإ
ﺐﻛاﻮﻜﻟا ﺮﺋﺎﺳ ﻰﻠﻋ ﺮﻤﻘﻟا ﻞﻀﻔﻛ ") ﻢﻗر ﺚﯾﺪﺣ ،ﻊﺟﺮﻤﻟا ﺲﻔﻧ223(.
73 Abu Zahrah, Usul of-Fiqh, 1957, p. 350.
- 42 -
The lack of financial resources may tend to be a hindrance in promoting high quality
education. However, if education, research and technological advancement are
considered to be important for development, then corruption must be minimized and
resources must be squeezed from wherever it is possible (Figure 4).
Enrichment of Posterity (Nasl) (Figure 5)
No civilization can survive if its future generations are spiritually, physically,
and mentally of a lower quality than the previous ones and are, therefore, unable to
respond successfully to the challenges that they face. There must, therefore, be
continuous improvement in the quality of the future generation, which depends on a
number of factors. One of these is the kind of upbringing that the children are able to
get. In order to make them good Muslims, it is necessary to inculcate in them all the
noble qualities of character (khuluq hasan) that Islam requires in its followers. They
should learn from their very childhood to be honest, truthful, conscientious, tolerant,
punctual, hard working, thrifty, polite, respectful towards their parents and teachers,
willing to fulfill all their obligations towards others, particularly their subordinates,
the poor and the disadvantaged, and able to get along with others peacefully.
The family is the first school for the moral upbringing of children and, if this
school fails to inculcate in them the good qualities of character (khuluq hasan) that
Islam expects in its followers, it may be difficult to overcome the setback later on.
The family may not, however, be able to fulfill this tremendous responsibility
satisfactorily if the character of the parents themselves does not reflect the luster of
Islamic teachings. In this case, they will not be able to serve as role models for their
children and will not be able to provide them the quality of care and upbringing that
- 43 -
self, faith, intellect
- 44 -
they need to be good and productive human beings. In addition, there has to be an
atmosphere of love, affection and tranquility in the family as desired by the Qur’ān
(39:21). Such an atmosphere will prevail only if the parents fulfill their
responsibilities towards each other conscientiously and amicably. Nothing can be
worse for the children than the constant bickering of parents. Such a discord may
ultimately lead to divorce, which will have a detrimental impact on the children’s
moral, mental and psychological development.74 This is the reason why, even though
Islam has allowed divorce, the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Of all the things allowed by
God, the one despised by Him most is divorce”75, and that “Get married but do not
divorce because divorce leads to the trembling of the Divine throne”.76 Therefore, in
the interest of children’s well-being it is necessary to avoid discord and divorce as
much as possible and, in case it becomes inevitable, to do everything possible to save
them from it’s adverse effects.
In addition to the integrity of the family and the proper moral upbringing of
children, a second factor that is necessary for the enrichment of posterity is their
proper education to provide them the skills that they need to enable them to stand on
their own feet and to contribute effectively to the moral, socio-economic, intellectual
and technological development of their societies. For this purpose, it is indispensable
to have high quality schools, colleges and universities. This is the area where
Muslims have failed badly over the last few centuries after several centuries of
74 Empirical studies have established that youth raised in highly religious homes are less likely to
engage in criminal activity (use drugs or alcohol, or engage in premarital sex (Iannaccon, 1998, p.
1476; see also Bachman, et.al, 2002; Wallace and Williams, 1997; and Gruber 2005). See also,
75 Cited by al-Qurtubī from Ibn ‘Umar in his commentary of verse 1 of surah (al-Talāq), Vol.18,
ﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﺑا ﻦﻋ، ﺎﻤﮭﻨﻋ ﻰﻟﺎﻌﺗ ﷲا ﻲﺿر، ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ ﷲا لﻮﺳر لﺎﻗ لﺎﻗ)قﻼﻄﻟا ﷲا ﻰﻟإ لﻼﺤﻟا ﺾﻐﺑأ نإ ( ﺮﯿﺴﻔﺗ
ﻢﻗر ﺔﯾآ ﺮﯿﺴﻔﺗ ﻲﺒﻃﺮﻘﻟا1 قﻼﻄﻟا ةرﻮﺳ ﻲﻓ.
76 Ibid, from ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib )شﺮﻌﻟا ﮫﻨﻣ ﺰﺘﮭﯾ قﻼﻄﻟا نﺈﻓ اﻮﻘﻠﻄﺗ ﻻو اﻮﺟوﺰﺗ( .
- 45 -
commendable performance. Therefore, unless education is given the priority that it
deserves and the resources that it needs, Muslim countries may not be able to
accelerate development and to meet successfully the challenges that they face. The
clear message written boldly on the walls is: ‘education’, ‘education’, and
‘education’. Education will, however, not spread as desired unless it is provided free
and, if this is not feasible, at affordable costs. Without this, only the rich will be able
to afford good quality education for their children. This will intensify the prevailing
inequalities of income and wealth and, in turn, accentuate social tensions and
instability. Lack of resources is a lame excuse because the crucial importance of
education in development demands that it be given maximum priority even if this
necessitates the diversion of resources from other sectors.
There are two other factors which are indispensable for the enrichment of
posterity. One of these is the fulfillment of all their needs, including health care, so
that they are physically and mentally healthy and capable of playing their roles
effectively in their society. The Prophet (pbuh), said that “A strong Muslim is better
and more beloved before God than a weak one.”77 If the children do not get proper
nourishment along with a clean and healthy environment and proper medical care,
they may not grow up to be strong and healthy adults and may not, thus, be able to
contribute richly to their societies even if they are morally upright and well-educated.
The other factor that is also necessary for the enrichment of posterity is
freedom from fear, conflict and insecurity as well as the debt-servicing burden
created by the present generation’s borrowing for consumption purposes. Fear,
conflict and insecurity may be reduced by adopting a policy of tolerance and peaceful
77 ﻒﯿﻌﻀﻟا ﻦﻣﺆﻤﻟا ﻦﻣ ﷲا ﻰﻟإ ﺐﺣأو ﺮﯿﺧ يﻮﻘﻟا ﻦﻣﺆﻤﻟا (Ibn Majah, Vol. 1, p. 31:79)
- 46 -
coexistence. It is also necessary to allocate adequate resources for the cultivation of
better understanding among the people and the removal of all irritants. The debt-
servicing burden may be reduced by adopting two important measures. One of these
is a change in the life-style of the present generation with a view to curb living
beyond means. This will not only reduce private sector debt but also help raise saving
and expand employment opportunities for the young. The other measure that is also
indispensable is to introduce greater discipline in government budget to reduce the
deficits which lead to a rise in the debt-servicing burden. This will also help release
resources needed for ensuring progress in the realization of the maqasid.
Development and Expansion of Wealth (Figure 6)
Wealth is placed by both al-Ghazālī and al-Shātibī at the end. This does not
necessarily mean that it is the least important. It is rather as important as the other
four primary maqāsid because without it the other four may not be able to get the
kind of thrust that is needed to ensure general well-being. No wonder, asceticism and
self-denial have been disapproved by both the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. The Qur’ān
says: “And the monasticism which they have invented, we did not prescribe it for
them” (57:27). This may perhaps be the reason why the Prophet, (pbuh) said that
“There is nothing wrong in wealth for him who fears God [i.e., abstains from evil]”,78
and that “Whosoever is killed while protecting his property is a martyr”79 It may
perhaps be because of this that wealth (māl) has been placed immediately after the
78 Al-Bukhārī, al-Adab al-Mufrad, p. 113:301, Bāb Tīb al-Nafs.
ﻰﻘﺗا ﻦﻤﻟ ﻰﻨﻐﻟﺎﺑ سﺄﺑ ﻻ ﮫﻧأ
79 ﺪﯿﮭﺷ ﻮﮭﻓ ﮫﻟ ﺎﻣ نود ﻞﺘﻗ ﻦﻣ" ” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al- Mazalim, Bab man qatala duna malihi fahuwa
shahid; and Sahih Muslim,Kitab al-Iman).
- 47 -
human self (nafs) in the ordering of the five maqāsid by Fakhruddīn al-Rāzī,
(d.606/1209), a prominent jurist and Qur’ān commentator.80
Wealth is, however, a trust form God and needs to be developed and used
honestly and conscientiously for removing poverty, fulfilling the needs of all, making
life as comfortable as possible for everyone, and promoting equitable distribution of
income and wealth. Its acquisition as well as use need to be primarily for the purpose
of realizing the maqāsid. This is where faith has a crucial role to play through its
values and its motivating system. Without the values that faith provides, wealth
would become an end in itself. It would then promote unscrupulousness and
accentuate inequities, imbalances and excesses, which could ultimately reduce the
well-being of most members of both the present and future generations. It is for this
reason that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “Wretched is the slave of dinar, dirham and
velvet”.81 Therefore, faith and wealth are both extremely necessary for human well-
being. None of these two can be dispensed with. While it is wealth which provides
the resources that are necessary to enable individuals to fulfill their obligations
towards God as well as their own selves, fellow human beings, and the environment,
it is faith which helps inject a discipline and a meaning in the earning and spending of
wealth and, thereby, enable it to serve its purpose more effectively. 82
80 Al-Rāzī ,al-Mahsūl, 1997, Vol.5, p.160.
81 "ﺗﻌﺪﺒﻋ ﺲ رﺎﻨﯾﺪﻟا ﺗ وﻌﺪﺒﻋ ﺲ ﻟاھرﺪﺗو ﻢﻌ ﺲﻔﯿﻄﻘﻟ اﺪﺒﻋﺔ ﻄﻋأ اذإ يﺬﻟا ﻰﻲﺿر ضﺮﯾ ﻢﻟ ﻂﻌﯾ ﻢﻟ نإ و" Sahih al-Bukhari,
Kitab al- Jihad wa al-Siyar.
82 It is for this reason that the Prophet (pbuh) said: “A person will not be able to move on the Day of
Judgment until he has been asked four questions : about his knowledge, how much he acted upon it;
about his life, how he utilized it; about his wealth, how he earned it and where he spent it; and about
his body, how he wore it out” (cited by Abū Yusuf, in his Kitab al-Kharaj, p. 4)
ﻢﻠﺳو ﮫﯿﻠﻋ ﷲا ﻰﻠﺻ لﺎﻗ "ﺔﻣﺎﯿﻘﻟا مﻮﯾ ﺪﺒﻋ ﺎﻣﺪﻗ لوﺰﺗ ﻻ ﻊﺑرا ﻦﻋ ﻞﺌﺴﯾ ﻰﺘﺣ : هﺎﻨﻓا ﻢﯿﻓ هﺮﻤﻋ ﻦﻋو ﮫﺑ ﻞﻤﻋ اذﺎﻣ ﮫﻤﻠﻋ ﻦﻋ
هﻼﺑا ﻢﯿﻓ هﺪﺴﺟ ﻦﻋو ﮫﻘﻔﻧا ﻢﯿﻓو ﮫﺒﺴﺘﻛا ﻦﯾا ﻦﻣ ﮫﻟﺎﻣ ﻦﻋو )ﻒﺳﻮﯾ ﻮﺑا، ص ، جاﺮﺨﻟا بﺎﺘﻛ4(
- 48 -
(Māl), which is a
rust from God
Enrichment of faith, self,
intellect and posterity
Optimum rate of
- 49 -
Development of wealth is also imperative for realizing the crucial Islamic goal
of minimizing the inequalities of income and wealth. For this purpose, it would be a
mistake to place primary reliance on the redistributive methods of zakāh, sadaqāt and
awqāf. While all of these are indispensable, it is also important to enlarge the
national pie though economic development. Putting too much burden on the rich
through excessively high rates of taxes would be resisted by them, as the Qur’an has
been realistic to admit (47:37).83 Crossland rightly pointed out in the light of the
socialist experience that "any substantial transfer involves not merely a relative but
also an absolute decline in real incomes of the better-off half of the population…and
this they will frustrate".84 The experience of Muslim countries may not tend to be
significantly different even when moral transformation has taken place if excessive
reliance is placed on redistributive methods. Therefore, Muslims cannot afford to
ignore the role of economic development in reducing poverty and inequalities. This
would necessitate the strengthening of human resources through a cultural
transformation in favour of education, technological advance, hard and conscientious
work, punctuality, efficiency, research, orderliness, team work, thrift and a number of
other individual and social character traits which Islam emphasizes but which are at
present relatively weak in Muslim societies and which do not even get the desired
emphasis in the school and madrasah curricula as well as mosque sermons. In
addition to the uplift of human resources, it is also necessary to reorient monetary,
fiscal and commercial policies in the light of Islamic teachings to ensure accelerated
development. There should be no qualms about benefiting from the experience of
other countries that have been able to attain high rates of growth in a manner which is
not in conflict with the Shari‘ah.
83 The verse states: “If He [God] were to ask you for your wealth and press you for it, you would
covetously withhold it and, thereby, He will expose your resentment (47:37).
84 Crossland, 1974.
- 50 -
To inject greater justice into the developmental process, it is also necessary to
promote micro-enterprises to expand employment and self-employment opportunities
for the poor. This may not be possible without promoting vocational training and
microfinance, and providing the badly needed infrastructure and marketing facilities
in rural areas and urban slums. Experience has shown that interest-based
microfinance has not led to as much improvement in the lives of the hard core poor as
desired. This is because the effective rates of interest have turned out to be as high as
30 to 45 per cent. This has caused serious hardship to the borrowers and engulfed
them into an unending debt cycle.85 Owning capital is one of the important bases of
wealth creation and the poor may not be able to come out of poverty even if they
have the necessary skills if they do not have access to capital. It is, therefore,
important to provide microfinance to the very poor on a humane interest-free basis.
This will necessitate the integration of microfinance with the zakāh and awqāf
institutions.86 For those who can afford, the profit-and-loss sharing and sales- and
lease-based modes of Islamic finance need to be popularized.
Thus, it may be seen that Islam has emphasized all the ingredients of human
well-being, including the human self, faith, intellect, posterity and wealth, along with
their corollaries, instead of just wealth. They are all interdependent and play the role
of supporting each other. With progress in ensuring the enrichment of all these
ingredients, it may be possible for the five-point star of Islam to shine with its full
brightness and help realize real human well-being (Figure 7). Only then will it be
85 See Ahmad, 2007, pp. xvii – xix and 32
86 See the Islamic Research and Training Institute Report (2007).
- 51 -
possible for the Muslim world to be a reflection of what the Qur’ān says about the
Prophet (pbuh): “We have sent you as a blessing for mankind” (al- Qur’ān, 21:107)
The Light of Muqāsid al- Sharī’ah
INTELLECT(‘AQL)) SELF (NAFS)
WEALTH (MĀL) POSTERITY (NASL)
Concentration only on economic development with the neglect of other
requisites for realizing the Islamic vision may enable the Muslim world to have a
relatively higher rate of growth in the short-term. However, it may be difficult to
sustain it in the long-run because of a rise in inequities, family disintegration, juvenile
delinquency, crime, and social unrest. This decline may gradually get transmitted to
all sectors of the polity, society and economy through circular causation, emphasized
by Ibn Khaldun (d.808/1400) in his Muqaddimah,87 and lead ultimately to a further
deterioration of the Muslim civilization from the low point it has already reached as a
result of centuries of decline.
87 For an analysis of Ibn Khaldūn's circular causation model, see Chapra, 2000, pp. 145-159
- 52 -
Abū Dāwūd al-Sijistānī (1952), Sunan Abū Dāwūd (Cairo: ‘Isa al-Bābī al-Halabī).
Abu Yūsuf, Ya’qūb ibn Ibrāhīm (d. 182/798), Kitāb al-Khāraj (Cairo: al-Matba’ah al-
Salafiyyah, 2nd ed., 1352 AH). This book has been translated into English by Ben
Shemesh A. (1969), Taxation in Islam, Vol.3, (Leiden: Brill).
Ahmad, Khurshid (1980), Studies in Islamic Economics (Leicester, UK: The Islamic
Ahmad, Qazi Kholiquzzaman (2007), Socio-Economic and Indebtedness-Related Impact of
Micro-Credit in Bangladesh (Dhaka: The University Press).
Alden. A. J. (1961), Free Action (London).
Awdah, Jasir (2006), (Fiqh al-Maqasid: Inatah al-Ahkām al-Shar‘iyyah bi Maqāsidihā
(Herndon, VA: International Institute of Islamic Thought)
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