Posted by on Jun 10, 2010 in Columns and Letters

Dr Barkat Masood helped me draft this letter to the Metro about the economic situation. We got it signed by ten other Muslim doctors and it was sent for publication.

 

In the Name of Allah

 

Dear Editor

We are observing the current economic crisis and would like to comment.

Without a doubt a great deal of the problem the current situation has been due to a living standard beyond one’s means. By this what is meant is the borrowing of funds to facilitate one’s ideas. We do see that it is the banking sector (and financial services i.e. stocks, shares etc.) that is affected most heavily.

At a base human level extreme greed and and a willingness to play with money, akin to gambling (i.e. Anglo Irish Bank company directors bad ‘investment’), are contributing factors. These events apparently occur in cycles .A key part of this cycle is a financial tool called ’interest’.

It is Islam’s view (and a view that has been previously shared by Judaism and Christianity) that interest is not a good financial tool and causes ruin in the long run. This letter cannot hope to deal with matter in its entirety, however, it is a known key point that the economy runs on circulation of currency. Interest bearing accounts encourage the locking away of lodgement amounts, with further locking away of wealth due to interest .The ’value’ of currency also becomes subject to change and then does not retain confidence and ’value’. The lack of linked standard such as gold or silver also further affects the ability to judge ‘value’.

The Zakah charity system, based on any wealth locked away for a year, ensures the 2 ½ % of this is redistributed amongst poor people so that currency is kept in circulation.

Most people are not aware of the economic systems that influence them. We encourage to read about wealth and the economic systems that rule them. We believe the Islamic model has something to contribute here.

We hope you find this useful

Yours

Qasim Afridi,

Barkat Masood…