Every being, society or system is dominated by its own worldview which is based on a set of implicit or explicit assumptions about the origin of the universe and the nature of human life. Hence, the worldview is “the nature of man’s reflections on almost any subject”. A world view is a mental model of reality, a framework of ideas and attitudes about the world, ourselves and life. A comprehensive system of beliefs with answers for a wide range of questions.
Going by the dominant economic system of today, it is built on the worldview that is secular, materialist and individualistic wherein there is a separation between religion and other aspects of life and no connection with the Supreme Being.
On the other hand, the Islamic worldview has its root in the Shariah from which it derives its worldview and it’s predicated on the concept of human well-being and good life which is the utmost importance of brotherhood and socioeconomic justice and requires a balanced satisfaction of both the material and the spiritual needs of all human beings.
Furthermore, the Islamic worldview belief that all human beings are equal in being God’s vicegerents on earth and His dependents, and cannot feel inner happiness and tranquility until the real well-being of all has been attained through the satisfaction of both spiritual and material needs.
The Building Blocks
The Islamic economic system is based on 4 principles which are the building blocks upon which the Islamic economy gain its strength. These are
- All wealth belongs to ALLAH.
- The community is the trustee of the wealth.
- Hoarding of wealth is prohibited.
- Circulation of wealth is a duty.
These principles/ building blocks are formulated based on the understanding of tawhid (unity of ALLAH), khilafah (vicegerency), and ‘adalah (justice) which are the core principles of the Islamic economic worldview
Tawhid: This is the foundation of the Islamic faith upon which the every other principle derives it bearing same for all the economic principles and policies which recognize the existence of ALLAH as the Supreme Being, Who is One and Unique, and did not come into existence by chance or accident. Thus everything originates from Him and all economic principles must be in line with His dictates as commanded in His books and sayings of the Prophet (SAW)
Khilafah: Human beings are the representatives of ALLAH on earth (not His children) and have been endowed with all the spiritual and mental capabilities as well as material resources to formulate policies that will benefit the entire mankind.
Adalah: The establishment of justice and eradication of all forms of injustice have been stressed by the Islamic faith and all human being must be just.
To drive the principles/ building blocks mentioned above. Islamic economics policies such as listed below are all aimed at enforcing the principles in line with the Islamic economic world view. These policies/concepts includes but not limited to:
- Zakat: This discourages hoarding of wealth and ensures circulation of wealth, reinforcing the fact that all wealth belongs to Allah.
- Wafq: This ensures that the community is the trustee of the wealth
- Takaful: This encourages this principle that all wealth belongs to ALLAH and communal co-operation within the society.
In the light of the above, the Islamic economic worldview through its policies and principles ensures that all human being are equal and must be treated equally. It’s not a case of ‘survival of the fittest’ but rather mutual sacrifice and cooperation to fulfill the basic needs of all and to develop the entire human potential.
In addition, the earth’s resources are seen as a trust and must be distributed equitably. This ensures that people live a humble lifestyle devoid of arrogance, pomp and grandeur, or moral laxity. Such lifestyles lead to extravagance, waste and result in unnecessary pressure on resources, reducing a society’s ability to satisfy the needs of all. The Islamic worldview grantees human freedom through its policies and principles. This does not imply that human beings are free to do anything they want. They are subject to the Shari‘ah, which aims at the well-being of all by subjecting everyone to a discipline. This ultimately ensures that the needs of the people are met, they have a respectable source of income and there is equitable distribution of income and wealth which ultimately lead to growth and stability of the economy and the human race in general.