Equitable Distribution of Wealth: The Economic System of Islam

New York City. Photo: The Rag Blog

This post is co-written by Inside Islam blogger Colin Christopher and Anwar Bin Hayat, Secretary to the Vice Chancellor of Lahore Islamic University. Bin Hayat has also served as a financial officer for more than 25 years and has graduate degrees in economics, Islamic studies, and a higher diploma in Islamic Law and the Judiciary.

Given the current fiscal crises in wealthy countries and the Occupy Movement’s response to wealth distribution, Islamic perspectives on economics have garnered increasing attention in even non-Muslim majority countries. In this post, we’ll attempt to highlight some core Islamic principles that specifically address wealth, distribution, and justice. Islam not only requires the fulfillment of everyone’s basic needs, primarily through a respectable source of earning, but also emphasizes an equitable distribution of income and wealth so that, in the words of the Holy Qur’an, “Wealth does not circulate only among your rich.” (59:7)

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Islamic Finance and the Dubai Crisis

islamBankingA year ago we wrote a post about the seemingly unstoppable growth of Islamic finance while Western bankers and investors were entangled in the worst financial mess since the Great Depression. But the recent debt crisis in Dubai has caused many people to wonder whether the phenomenal growth in Islamic finance is a “mirage in the desert” after all. For me, the trouble in Dubai is another example of challenges faced by any socially responsible investment, Islamic or not. Continue reading

Islamic Finance and Ethical Banking Practices

Forbes reported this year that $500 billion in assets are managed according to Sharia, the laws that govern Muslims’ daily life, and the sector is growing. Trends like ethical banking, global Islamic bonds, and Muslim mortgages are attracting attention everywhere from Britain to Malaysia.

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