Economic System of Islam 16 – Charity Distributive Justice
Channel: Jamal Badawi
File Size: 7.15MB
The name of God the benevolent the Merciful, the creator Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant messenger Muhammad forever amin, I greet you with our usual reading on the Islamic focus program assalamu Aleikum, which means peace beyond you. Today we have our 16th program in our series dealing with the economic system of Islam. We'll be continuing with the discussion of our topic of distribution in social justice in Islam, with special emphasis in today's program on voluntary charity. I'm your host, Tama Rashid. And I have joining me Dr. Jamal betta, we have St. Mary's University of tamale Assalamu alaikum. Allah
will always take a few minutes at the beginning of each episode to
quickly summarize and highlight the main points that we've touched on in the previous program that I asked you at first quickly today,
we will continue our discussion of the basic things in economic system consumption, production and distribution. And on the question of distribution, we indicated that Islam looks at just the split into distribution of commodities, as well as distribution of income.
In our discussion of distribution of income or achievement of social justice, we mentioned that there are four basic measures. One is zeca, or institutionalized charity. Secondly, additional taxes. Thirdly, voluntary charity, and Firstly, the law of inheritance.
Last time, we dealt mainly with the first two, first the question of Zakah, or institutionalized charity, and indicates that it has certain features. One is that it is an act of worship, as well as an institution which is enforceable by law, and that the implication of the care is not simply spiritual like preaching, but rather, it has social and political as well as economic implications very important once we indicated how Zakah differs from taxes, especially due to the fact that it has certain sources and test certain way in which it has to be expanded, according to what appears in the Quran in verse 60, of chapter nine, that is basic categories, you know, the poor, the needy,
those who are employed to connected those whose hearts need to be reconciled,
to free those in bondage, to help those in debt for legitimate reasons like disasters, to spend in the way of God as well as to help the standard wayfarer. So it has a definite budget or separate budget, if you will, than the rest of the finances of the state. And thirdly, that is the case imposed on the network, which is usually about two and a half percent as a common percentage. And that it is not a favor to be given to the poor or needy, but arrived, according to one verse in the Quran. In chapter 51, verse 19, it shows that this is a rise of the poor, and not just sort of, you know,
voluntary type. Secondly, we talked briefly about taxes, and we said that if the amount of institutionalized charity or does occur, is not sufficient, then adjust Islamic state can also impose additional taxes to meet the needs of the country provided, of course, that there will be genuine need for that, that the distribution
of the burden of tax should be kept in mind and thirdly, that there should be some process of consultation before a decision is taken.
Now, perhaps we can move on to a discussion of the third means of achieving social justice and that is the through the institution of voluntary charity. Could you perhaps explain to us the basis for this how it works? Well, the most important thing about voluntary charity, or the basic difference is not really a difference in spirit from the previous type. The first type, the institutionalized charity, or regular charity is not different, really, and it's very different. But the difference mainly is in the fact that in the case of institutionalized charity or the care, it is mandatory, whereas in this case, it is highly commendable act, but not necessarily something that you can
really enforce by law, voluntary. It's a voluntary type of thing come in who you're encouraged to to
Do it. And the basic, the foundation of voluntary charity, like the care also is the feeling of compassion and sharing with other people.
Since you asked for some clarification, maybe we can just give you some quotations from the Quran and prophetic tradition that indicate the principle or the foundation of charity. For example, and the the fifth chapter in the Quran in verse three, it calls on believers to cooperate in everything which is good and decent. And of course, there was nothing more important or more decent than righteous than helping those who are in need giving food to the hungry and shelter to the needy and so on. In the Quran, the it's not only emphasis on encouraging people to pay charity, as we find, for example, in chapter two, verse 261, it is in a beautiful way of the benefits and the appeal to
charity that we find in the Quran also, as well. Emphasis on earning, again is those who have a sense of apathy towards the needy.
We find that for example, in chapter 74, verse 44, but those who do not provide food for those indigent or the poor,
a threat equally, is repeated in chapter 69, verse 34.
And this alone, the examples of too many in the Quran, and the prophetic tradition, the Hadees.
There are quite a few, a sample of that. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said as narrated in Bukhari and Muslim and I met and the committee also all of these references, because a person who have no mercy on people
would not receive the mercy of God.
And another merited in a tab Irani. And by hockey, he says, by the name of God, he is not a believer, he or she, who sleeps full on full stomach, while his neighbors is sleeping hungry, besides Him.
In another setting narrated in attacking, he says that if
a resident or a group of residents in a given locality, or what might come to the world or something, wake up in the morning and one of them is hungry, then God and His messengers are, you know, disassociating themselves from them, that is their incentive of their apathy.
In one beautiful saying of the Prophet narrated in Buhari, and
he says that if a person has food, which is made for two people, like two potions for two people, let him get a third to share. If a person has food, which is enough for three people, let him seek a fourth or fifth, which means that with God's blessing and with some kind of sharing, what might appear to be small amount of food could actually be used by relatively large number of people. And that he has not only limited just to food itself, but to help in general in any respect,
that one can afford to for example, in Muslim
The Prophet said, that if a person has an extra food, let him seek someone who have no food. If a person has an extra means of transportation, even like an extra horse, or camel, or of course, you have somebody has an extra
car, for example, that he doesn't need and one person is really neat. Let him share it with others. I will say that the one who narrated this hadith said the Prophet kept saying all types of properties that one should really try to share with others. Until, as Ambleside says, we started thinking that none of us would be entitled for anything extra.
Of course, that doesn't mean this in Islam, he could still have some something extra, but he said the emphasis of the Prophet made them get the impression as if we should always share whatever exceeds our needs.
In addition, of course, to this general encouragement
of charity, what are special occasions also where charity is more particularly encouraged?
Or can you give us perhaps some demonstrations some examples of such occasions? Well, first of all, there are some occasions even words because not only voluntary but even compulsory.
For example, after the finishing of the testing of the month of Ramadan, you know, there is a second
clubs are charity Kwanzaa capital,
which is basically an equivalent to something like five and a half pounds of basic grain, rice, barley or flour on behalf of each person in the household that you're responsible for, including yourself, it's more or less similar to what you might call today pantex.
And interesting love, this kind of charity is required of all, rich and poor even provided that the person have food more than he needs for 24 hours, which even include the poor. Of course, some people may say, what's the point of a poor person who actually deserve to receive charity to pay? Yes, he may receive even more than he pays. But it has a nice meaning. It has also the spiritual meaning of contributing something after the month of Ramadan, which is an act of worship. It has also the sense of dignity, that even if a person is a poor person, and is always on the receiving side, to restore his dignity and feeling of sharing, at least once a year, he contributes a little
bit even, even though he gets more than he pays, that he feels at least that is also contributing and sharing this spirit of brotherhood. On the other hand, also a poor could be given to another poor, so it's more or less like exchanging gifts, and that provides for a nice feeling. But in addition, of course, to this
path, which is voluntary, let me focus on the voluntary setting in the compulsory part, there are also voluntary
occasions. An example of this would be first the at the time of harvest. As the Quran indicates, in chapter six, verse 141, that when you collect the harvest, you should also pay our vendors, it's us on the day of harvest. That is if some poor people are around, one should also give them something of the of the crop or whatever the person is collecting. In fact, during the lifetime of the Prophet peace be upon him,
a very nice practice used to be done. But when the beds lives, they get you know a whole bunch of it and hang it on the door of the mosque. So that any person who feels in need can just go without even asking anyone just eat whatever he needs. A second occasion is the occasion of marriage.
Because in Islam, as you know, marriage is very highly close to protect morality in society. And chapter 24, for example, in 30, verse 32, there is reference to encouraging people to be helped, actually, in marriage. Many Muslim jurists have concluded and the basis of the teaching of Islam that if a person is able to get married, but he might have a difficulty at the beginning, initial difficulty financially, he's entitled to some help from the public Treasury. And actually this was done in reality, during the reign of the second cliff, after Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
A third example of occasion is the hospitality towards guests.
That has been specified, even in a prophetic tradition, quoted in both Bukhari and Muslim, where the Prophet says that he or she who believes in Allah and the hereafter, he should be hospitable to his guests, for one day, and one night one should have an extra like special with, you know, hospitalization and
hospitality towards the guests. And for three days, a person would be expected to be a good host, but anything beyond that would be
like voluntary or additional charity.
A fourth example, the case of birth. In fact, one can say that, under Islamic rule in the early days,
that came into the world, for the first time in history, the first organized and systematic system of what you might call today, family allowance.
effect occasion at the time of distribution of the estate of the deceased.
As the Quran indicates, in chapter four, verse eight, that if some people are present to our relatives who do not inherit, not too close relatives, or orphans or needy, then you should also give them something out of that
state or you know, money that is left over by the deceased. But in general, Islam does encourage mutual help and support
Elephants to this blanket type of, of attitude is found in chapter 107. In the Quran called unknown,
requires some sort of neighborly
help in any respect, not necessarily just food, but lending certain things that might be needed by a neighbor is regarded as part of charity also. Now, in your response to the last question, you touched on something which piqued my curiosity, and that related to the, for the mention of the First Family allowance system paid by the state
under Islamic rule, could you perhaps explain for us when that was when it was introduced, and then suddenly about how it operated is like the universal Family Law system that we follow rather than in Canada. Now, let's compare, for example, with a system that's, like you said, is applied already in the 80s 1980s. And an advanced country like Canada, many people, of course, we think that this is highly developed more sophisticated 20th century type of, of invention, it is not. In Canada, for example, as you know, the there's a certain small amount, that's the amount of money that's paid to the head of the household, or sometimes to the mother
on behalf of each child that they have. And as you know, after the age of 18, if the child is still studying, or if the person is infirm, the allowance also increased after the age of 18. And that's we think it's a very sophisticated new system.
As early as the seventh century in the Common Era, seventh century, so we're talking here about the caliphate or rule of armor from the year 634.
In the Common Era, to 644, from span of 10 years that he wrote,
He instituted a system whereby for each child in the family,
and allowance of 100, Durham's, which was a kind of currency was given, but it has a very nice feature also, that whenever the child grew
up, the amount of the allowance was also increased. Because in realization of the, of course, increasing needs of the child, initially, the system called for paying this allowance
to the child up to the parent of the child after his weaned
back, there was a very nice incident that led to even modification to make it applicable even from the time of birth. What happened is that one time a group of people were traveling, and they were camping, you know, they can attend to something. And almost the rule at that time, according to discuss the news to go around to find out if there's anybody in need or suffering.
So he heard a baby crying,
you know, in a tent. So he came from outside of the tent, I said to his mother, look after your child.
And then he went, and then again, he heard the baby crying. He went back mothers, look after your baby. Again, he heard him crying. So he came, he said, You're really a bad mother. Why don't you look after your child? Of course, she didn't know who is who is speaking to her. She said, Oh, but you know, the commander of believers, although that
does not pay the family allowance, except after the child is weaned. And I have a small baby. So I'm trying to force him, you know, to be weaned, and he doesn't still need the mother's milk.
And I might have started feeling very, very unhappy and very sorry for that. He said, How many children did they kill now? And then he said, Don't worry, you know, you still receive that allowance. But don't hasten the child let him if he needs the mother's milk, let him continue. Don't force him. And since that time, he decided that the family allowance if you will start from the moment of birth.
I hope that this shows that you know, what you consider to be really a very innovative and adjust system has already been in existence under true Islamic role. As early as the seventh century, it's even slightly better even than the prison system because of the gradual nature that the family announced per child used to be increased in the seventh century.
in proportion to the growth of the child, it's not just the adjustment for cost of living, but it was adjustment also, as the child grows which takes care of the needs. In Canada for example, it is increased only after
The age of 18. So you make the same allowance for a baby as for the 17 year old child, very interesting in progressive development, besides the charity, on the occasions that we were, have just been discussing other provisions for charity under situations of emergency as well, yes, there are one of the interesting sayings of the prophet in praise of a group of people named ash Aryan relating to a tribe of a famous companion of a Muslim.
And he mentioned about them, he said, the best people, whenever they were, for example, in an expedition or traveling in the food runs church, what they used to do is to collect all the food they have from all put it in one spot, and then distributed equally among, among all of those who are travelling or in that expedition that was narrated, invisible, heavy, and Muslim.
Sometimes even when you have a more general type of emergency, like a famine, there was a famine, actually, during the reign of armor, the second kill in the seventh century, what he did was to send messages to local rulers in different places that if you have some extra food or provision, please send it. So again, all of this supplies were collected in the place where the famine was, and he distributed not on the basis of anything, just on the basis of needs really, equally between the
different families, depending on the number of people
In fact, one of the interesting saying that Omar said,
he said that during this famine has not been that the sermon, you know, ended very quickly, I would have took all those who are hungry, and distributed, one hungry person, per family. And then he gives a nice explanation. It says, because people would not die if they have a half full stomach.
But of course, the situation was, was improved. So there was no need for that. In fact, some Muslim jurist grow to the point of saying that if a person is about to starve out of, you know, hunger, and nobody cares for him, he has the right to find even those who are preventing him and endangering his life. That, for example, was mentioned by Edna hasn't,
had has was not the only one. In fact, during variant of almost
that was mentioned in sarraj, written by the use of long time ago, those people who are traveling came back to complain to me. And they said, on the way, we got thirsty, and we're just about to die of thirst. So we passed by some people. And we said, once you give us, please some water, and they refused, you know, what the owners response was? He said, didn't you fight them.
In other words, if you are really in danger of losing your life, and they refuse, maybe you have the right even to fight
to survive. Of course, it doesn't mean that you want to just want fighting like this, but it shows in a dire emergency. And it threatens or warns those who prevent this, what you might call emergency in that they could even before toward
some jurist base, this kind of principle, on a verse in the Quran in chapter 49, that's verse nine, that if two people fight, and try to make peace between them, but if one is aggressive or oppressive of the other, you join in those who are oppressed against the oppressor. And they said, What could be more oppression than endangering the life of your brother and refusing terms of the notion of apathy? That is not my business, you see somebody who's about to drown, and you can help and you look the other way somebody is being attacked.
You know, and you may not even care to call the police or you see a child, for example, or a baby abandoned by his mother and thrown in the street and you say, it's not my business. There's nothing like that, in a sense, it's a duty under Muslim to to provide this emergency help.
And are there any other types of voluntary charity which we haven't touched on that you may want to add,
but are both sometimes obligatory, sometimes voluntary type of charities. In the series on family system in Islam, we'll discuss, for example, the obligation on the part of the husband to support his wife and children, and in some cases, even some news relatives.
In the series on Pillars of Islam, it was indicated that for infractions or mistakes in certain worships acts of worship, like fasting or pilgrimage of not fulfilling one
All, Islamic system for repentance is that you have the port, which is a positive thing, instead of just making some ritual, you're actually helping somebody in need
to correct the mistake that you did.
One thing which is unique in Islam also has documented in chapter eight in the Quran, verse first one is that, in the case of war booty, the poor have a share. So it's not only those who are fighting, take a show, but even the poor and needy are entitled to a share that
in chapter one or eight in the Quran that is mentioned, of the charity and the festival,
the festival that comes during the pilgrimage period, they will attack that it's better, or the idea situation is to, you know, kill the lamb,
or, and distribute once and keep on searching for one's family distribute one search to the poor, and one said, I will have gift to a friend. It's not required. But it's highly commendable acts for those who are not doing the pilgrimage.
There are also a system of what for trust that Islam provided a person can have a will and testament before he dies, that certain amount to be invested. And that the proceeds could be used for a continuous acts of charity for certain purpose of Allah.
Some of this perhaps you can touch on when you deal with inheritance, but there are seven elements.
Before we move on to a discussion of the law of inheritance, the measures that we've been discussing, so far are these measures that are restricted solely for Muslims, or do they include non Muslims as well, all of them except for one includes Muslims and non Muslim citizens of the states as well. Then the exception is the first measure that is the care or institutionalized charity, which as indicated earlier, is a special budget or you might say, designated funds really, which comes from specific source and goes to specific expenditures. The reason being is that occur as you know, there's a gap in Islam, it's not just the text in general text in a secular sense that
everybody pays, but is imposed only on Muslims, and it should go only to Muslims. But this does not mean that non Muslims are not entitled for what you might call social security. Because under Islamic system, there are additional sources of income. You asked, Where do non Muslims pay? Well, if Muslims are things that care, which is birth,
and an obligation, legally as well as an act of worship,
you cannot ask the non Muslim to pay the same, because it would be offensive to his religious sense, because he does not believe in that. And that is an act of worship and should not worship according to another religion if he doesn't believe in it. So it's actually out of consideration to that, that the non Muslim citizens of the state pay something different, which might be called more or less like taxes called jizya, which would be would make an equitable situation whereby he pays something as Muslims also pay. And out of these sources as well as other sources, because and then static state also you get certain income from land, in some cases, grandparents, you get other incomes,
like I said earlier, for example, from the world booties or whatever. And this could be used actually to care for, for those who are in need.
Maybe I should give you an example of the spirit of Islam within that respect. During the reign of armor, he found an old Jew,
begging people for help. He asked him what happened. He said, when I became an old man, now I can't work and I have to beg him to live. And he got very angry, he took him to his home, he gave him something personally from his own food. And then he ordered the one who was in charge of the public Treasury. He said, we should not collect the taxes from those people when they're young and abled, and neglect them on their own. And he said for that person and the like, you should establish a kind of regular pay for them so that they can live in dignity. So the security and security right is less like what you get if you have social security. So in terms of security and charity, there's no
question about that. In addition, of course, one can say that all of the other measures that we discussed the numerous measures, voluntary charity and help neighborly help and all of that are also applicable to Muslims and non Muslims alike. Well, our time for today is time we want to thank you for watching. We invite you back next week when we'll continue with our 17th program in a series dealing with economic system of Islam. We'll be dealing with the topic of the law of inheritance in Islam. Thank you for watching. Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you