Every being, society or system is dominated by its 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, us, 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 useful life which is the utmost importance of brotherhood and socio-economic justice and requires a balanced satisfaction of both the material and the spiritual needs of all human beings.
Furthermore, the Islamic worldview believes that all human beings are equal in being God’s vicegerents on earth and His dependents and cannot feel inner happiness and tranquillity 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 four principles, which are the building blocks upon which the Islamic economy gains its strength. These are
1. All wealth belongs to ALLAH.
2. The community is the trustee of the wealth.
3. Hoarding of wealth is prohibited.
4. Circulation of wealth is a duty.
These principles/ building blocks are formulated based on the understanding of tawhid (unity of ALLAH), Khilafah (viceregency), and ‘Adalah (justice) which are the core principles of the Islamic economic worldview
Tawhid: This is the foundation of the Islamic faith upon which every other law derives it bearing the same for all the financial rules 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 creatures and representatives of one another 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 humanity.
Adalah: The Islamic faith has stressed the establishment of justice and eradication of all forms of injustice, and all human beings must be.
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 financial world view. These policies/concepts include but not limited to:
Zakat: This discourages the hoarding of wealth, and ensures the circulation of wealth, reinforcing the fact that all wealth belongs to Allah.
Waqf: This ensures that the community is the trustee of the wealth
Takaful: This encourages this principle that all wealth belongs to ALLAH and cooperation within society.
Considering the above, the Islamic economic worldview, through its policies and principles, ensures that all human beings are equal and must be treated equally. It’s not a case of ‘survival of the fittest’ but rather a mutual sacrifice and cooperation to fulfil the basic needs of all and to develop the entire human potential.
Also, the earth’s resources are trusted 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 leads to the growth and stability of the economy and people in general.