Although Islamic legal system clarifies these truths and makes them easier to attain, the Islamic economy does not remain immune from ill-informed attacks either by the ignorant or the prejudiced. Such people do not take the trouble of a careful study. Motivated by enmity they decry the Islamic economic system as well as other Islamic ordinances concerning the individual, the community and life. In order to make our study of this subject complete, it is imperative that we refer to some of those maledictory changes by means of which they try to attack Islam. The poverty and foolishness of this falsification shows itself immediately:

  1. They decry the Islamic economic system as being dependent on hidden and spiritual factors which are then taken as its foundation. They say that by introducing these theories. Islam, as well as other religions, anaesthetize the working classes.

    A fact which allows no controversy is that Islam has never been at any stage an anaesthetizing agent. It was, and still is, a revolutionary system aiming at the good of peoples. It is easy for anyone who studies its principles to recognize the power and fervor in them and the considerations spiritual and material which they inculcate in the souls of their followers. By following Islamic principles, an equilibrium missed by other systems is establi shed. There is no such vacuum as is created by the preference for one over the other. This can be easily seen in our present-day world where many nations are obliged to take irregular measures, leaving other perplexed and agitated. This state of affairs can be seen in the capitalist as well as in the communist world. It is a fact that the day any nation takes religion as its law, it will never lose its dignity and pride. In this context, the philosopher Bentham says that when a nation resorts to a system of law, criminals will have less hope of escaping punishment. This is true and constitute a psychological rule which legislators and those concerned with the psychology of people are well aware of.
  2. They say that the verses of the Holy Quran clearly state that all things are owned by Allah and that there is no private ownership. The opposite is true does not The Holy Quran say what means And Allah's is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. And Allah is Possessor of power over all things. There are many similar verses in the Quran.

    It is true that we cannot deny Allah's ownership of everything, but to conclude that Islam does not allow private ownership is erroneous.

    Islam and all other divinely inspired religions share the view that the entire universe, and everything in it, is owned by Allah. This is a philosophical concept which cannot possibly be interpreted as meaning the abolition of private ownership of land. This theory explains the truth about the universe and determines its relation with Allah; it does not determine the economic relation existing among peoples on earth.

    With this theory, Islam puts the issue of ownership in a general conceptual frame and this is very different from the capitalist's concept of his natural right to control what he possesses. Allah, in Islam, represents absolute righteousness and complete justice; it is He Who dominates the whole universe and directs it. If this is the case, it is inconceivable that Islam should give any owner of land a free hand in dealing with his property in a way which may do harm to others.

    Islam with its comprehensive theory about the universe had connected, both conceptually and implicitly, the issue of ownership with a supreme and moral law. Regarding the universe, Islam claims that there is a force for justice and good behind the world. If this theory does not deny the right of ownership or regularize the details of its system, it does at least from the theoretical point of view, outline general provisions for disposition of ownership.
  3. They also hold that in legislation Islam is unworkable, since its ordinances come in a general form without giving details or limits. This should not be taken as a defect, but as something Islam can be proud of. It is a pointer to the uniqueness of Islam and without it, Islam would not be a structure fitted for all times and for all places.

    Allah has never created man in order to place him in fetters as these legislators think, nor did He lay down principles and theories to be kept in museums. On the contrary Allah has created man to enjoy the life which He created for him. Man is allowed to enjoy everything in life except those things which lead him to destruction. By legislation, Islam wishes to prevent the man from committing such actions. For this reason, Islamic ordinances are given in a general form. Their details and interpretations are to be left to environment and time to determine and decide, according to life's necessities and in conformity with those general rules. They are never at odds, either with nature or with intellect, nor do they stand in the way of progress and advancement. Islam believes in development, advancement and progress.
  4. Others say that a system, which remained unchanged after the death of its pioneer except for a short period, cannot be considered a permanent system on which people can rely. These are fine and powerful words indeed, but the truth is otherwise. History stresses that as soon as The Muslims obtained a real Caliph with true Islamic understanding and spirit, Islam began to prove its worth once again. After being separated from the world by its own egotism. The Islamic government became once more a vital force pulsating with life.

    The Caliph was Omar ibn `Abd al-Aziz, and although he did not survive long he was able completely to infuse. the true Islamic traditions into the structure of the state. He gave us sufficient proof of the fact that the energy inherent in Islam was one which was suited to be utilized at all times, and what Omar ibn `Abd al-Aziz did yesterday we can do today.
    This was remarked upon by Professor Gibb in his book «Whither Islam». In this book Professor Gibb admits that Islam is still able to offer to humanity a noble and sublime service. No religion other than Islam can succeed so gloriously in bringing different human races close to each other and forming out of them a unit founded on equality. The big Muslim communities, he adds, living in Africa, India and Indonesia, and even the small Islamic community living in China and in Japan, are nothing if not a proof that Islam still enjoys the power to dominate all these different elements composing many races and classes. Professor Gibb adds that if the differences between the East and the West are to be studied and solved, recourse must be had to Islam in the settling of the dispute.
  5. The biggest defect in Islamic economic system, as seen by capitalists, is the prescribing of usury and the prohibition of dealings in interest in their opinion, the abolition of interest hinders the progress of business and trade transactions as well as the implementation of import and natural schemes.

    Assuming for the sake of argument. that it does hinder both, Islam provides the finest possible recompense in that it prevents the wars which are caused by loans and debts and which cause humanity so much unhappiness and misery.

    In the early days of Islam, trade was practiced normally and commerce extended everywhere; important public projects came into being all over the vast Muslim world of the time achieving for it a place in the van of the great powers who competed together in the furthering world civilization. During that period of Islam, no such defects in the Islamic structure can be found.

    The prohibition of dealings in interest is a system which is difficult to reconcile with the new world which the material civilization of the West has brought into being. But the system laid down by Islam was a practical one during the early centuries of Islam. The interest on capital, without which transactions cannot be undertaken, differs somewhat from normal debts. In such a case, labor capital work together and this partnership is not prohibited by Islam. The Islamic social system stipulates that capital and labor should share gains and losses. The payment of fixed interest means that capital earns fixed profits, even in cases where labor fails to earn anything.

Objection is made often to the participation of labor and capital in gains and losses. It is said that that system is unpractical as it always requires book-keeping. There is no need to mention that book-keeping is a necessity in trade and commerce; to keep such books is necessary in deciding taxes and imposing duties. All limited companies, working on a large scale, keep books and ledgers. To do this is more beneficial to the common interest than to adopt the system of adding interest to capital, which adds in turn to the evils of capitalism. By doing so, injustice is done to labor. Loans floated by governments or companies for the implementation of large schemes, such as the construction of railroads and canals and the like, may be made on these lines. If the general system of banks is set up on cooperative basis, as approved by the social system of Islam, it would be a great blessing for humanity.

Supposing that a state enforces legislation abolishing interest on capital in banks, companies, projects and personal loans, what would happen then? The capitalists, in their attempt to increase their funds, would find no alternative to the following two general courses of action:

  1. To invest their money of their own accord in in dustry trade or agriculture, or
  2. To invest their money, through cooperation, in limi ted companies (whose shares may gain or lose.

Both ways are approved by Islam and by adopting either way, the economy loses nothing.

The only fear is that capitalists may refrain from depositing their money in banks which occasionally finance big schemes. But this is an imaginary danger; we fear it merely because in dealing with money only European methods are applied. Man's natural tendency to accumulate wealth should be taken into consideration. Money cannot be increased except by investing it in one way or another. This natural tendency does not allow capital to remain unutilized. If we are eager to implement big schemes to bring about what is called «large-scale production», legislation for some form of heavy industry must be enforced which will permit people with the minimum of capital to launch schemes. This being so, capital will be jointly contributed and exposed to either gain or loss. There will be no need for issuing banks and if other banks wish to get profits, they have to subscribe their own and their depositors' funds which will be invested, with their approval, in schemes which may gain or lose. To guarantee interests is simply usury. This will not prevent the flow of capital either national or foreign, since most capital is not deposited in banks but utilized in commercial schemes. Insurance companies can be considered as Islamic concerns in that the funds deposited in them become liable to gain or loss, increase or decrease. They can invest their deposits in profitable projects which will be, in turn, liable to gain or loss. Insurance companies have to pay every person who insures with them an amount which may be bigger or smaller than that which he paid. They have to deduct from depositors the amount of money the company loses in proportion to each one's deposit. In this way, those who take out insurance themselves from a cooperative group which extends help to the needy and security in case of need. This is applicable to saving accounts and the like. All these organizations can be transferred to cooperative establishments which have to utilize their funds in productive projects liable to gain and loss. They should not yield fixed interest. In this way, our economic system will not be branded with the disgraceful mark of usury and capital will seek productive labor ensuring both earnings and development.