Islamic economics principles discourage excessive spending and encourage sharing resources with wider community through Sadqa, Waqf and Riba-free Qard. This can provide more resources at the disposal of poor and needy and for the social causes which are working for the educational and health related needs of poor and needy. Therefore, this can help in tackling poverty, hunger, low levels of schooling and under-provision of health services.
The major issue is that the government has not been active in the collection of Ushr. Furthermore, historically, it never achieved its true potential in terms of the amount collected due to the trust deficit between the government and the landowners. It is also a fact that some greedy landlords try to evade it. On the other hand, poor knowledge about Ushr among the landowners results in the meager collection of Ushr at the national level.
Socialists claim that economic problems arise from the extraction of surplus value by the Capitalists in the production process. On the other hand, Capitalists urge that scarcity of resources is the basic economic problem which restricts output growth because wants are innumerable, but the resources for satisfying those wants are limited. Nonetheless, the empirical evidence does not support that resources are scarce for legitimate and compulsory economic needs.
Muslim economists have employed the mainstream economics tools to explicate consumption in the Islamic framework. Two of the key limitations of these early works are that they used the Keynesian framework without building micro foundations and they did not model the behaviour in an intertemporal context.
This article looks at some of the descriptive and prescriptive teachings of Al-Quran and Sunnah (Ways of Prophet Muhammad [pbuh]) on consumption and spending behaviour.
The difference in an Islamic framework would come with the normative distinction between investments which are declared as prohibited in the ethical injunctions of Islamic faith and other investments which are deemed as permissible.
With a predominantly Muslim population which engages in significant private giving, social intermediaries who can transparently and efficiently mobilize charitable giving can enhance the socio-economic impact of private giving. Given the high prevalence of cash based giving and higher trust deficit between people and the public Zakat agency, the Islamic institution of cash Waqf can be suitable for effectively channelizing the charitable giving in the form of cash.
Scarcity of resources is the basic premise on which the theories of classical and neoclassical economics are based upon. It implies that resources are scarce relatively as compared to the wants that are unlimited. But, this premise uses the word ‘wants’ in a general sense which includes both necessities and luxuries that people desire to have.
Islmic economic framework does not argue for a state-led or state-run economy. In fact, Islamic economic principles are very much open and favorable towards market based economy. By enabling market economy to run competitively, an Islamic economy provides market based solutions to employment creation and improvement in living standards through effective and efficient utilization of resources.
Islamic inheritance laws in Islamic economic framework have the potential to permanently and systematically reduce the concentration of wealth in every generation at the most micro level possible.