Channel: Jamal Badawi
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In the name of God the Most Merciful, the creator and Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon the seventh messenger Muhammad forever mean, I greet you with a greeting that is common in Islam, a greeting of peace Assalamu alaikum. I'm your host hammer Rashid. Today we continue with our fifth program in our series dealing with the economic system of Islam. And our topic for today will deal with production and productivity. I have joining me on the program as usual. Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University tomorrow Assalamu alaykum monochrome. So now, before we get into today's topic that I have to quickly highlight and summarize the main points that we talked about in our
first program, of course, tag name and the severity of consumption last week, okay. In the previous program, we started to apply the broad principles in Islamic economics, the foundation, the ideological Foundation, if you will, on a specific topics, and we started dealing with the question of consumption. And in order to make it easy to grasp, he tried to make comparisons between consumption as viewed from the point of view of Islam. These are either common Western economist way of looking at it. And the comparison included five basic things first, the question of success. And we indicated that success for a Muslim economist means not only just the economic success, but a
much broader success in this life, and here after
the second the question of the time, horizon, or timescale in taking consumption decisions. Instead, again, for the Muslim that involves short term, medium range, as well as long term this life and here after this generation and future generations, certainly the idea of once which were indicated again, Islam does not see it as all evil or all good, but mainly it is a means rather than ends.
The first point the notion of economic commodity, or goods, and indicated that this is defined a little bit differently from the economist definition, that is not simply something that somebody wants or somebody can consume, because an externality is not regarded as good if it is contrary to its moral norms, such as, you know, drugs or others, other vices. And finally, the fifth point was that in consumption there are certain ethics that the Quran also establish such as avoiding miserliness, or excessiveness, in keeping reasonable balance.
Now turning to today's topic of production or productivity,
what in your opinion motivates a true Muslim to be productive? Well, based on the fundamental principles, but particularly those covered in the first program of the series, it wasn't the case that the human being is created as the Khalifa or the trustee of God on earth. And that one of our duties as human beings on earth is to establish civilization which combines moral values as well as material progress.
It was also indicated that God created the universe and all the resources in the universe in order to help us
fulfill this duty of trusteeship. So these are like tools to fulfill our duties. It follows from that, that exploration of the various resources, and harnessing them is not only permissible in Islam, it has a duty. In fact, you can view it as a duty, similar to the duty also to worship or have certain acts of prayer, because worship understand involves all activities of the human life.
To come specifically to the issue of motivation for productivity,
when a Muslim would share with others, at least one aspect of this motivation, people become a try to become productive simply to survive economically, and improve their well being. And of course, they there's no dispute with that Muslim economists would look at it also, in the same way
that beyond that, an attorney Muslim would have an additional and strong motivation to be productive, not only to survive or improve, but to obey God.
That is the Quran itself observed the humans exhort the believers in particular, to be active, to be productive to benefit from the resources that God has created, for which they get reward not only in this life but also in the hereafter. So that expands the view of the person in keeps the motivation even in a much higher and much stronger level if the person is truly a committed believer. They add also one more thing that reflect the true Islamic attitude. One of the prayers of supplications that Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him used to say, among many other becoming adhamiya hasn't become in an arduous castle, Oh, God, I seek refuge in You from worry and grief. And then he adds, and from
helplessness and laziness. So he consider helplessness and laziness as something negative that a true believer really should seek refuge from to try to avoid.
One of them your response to the in the earlier part of your response to my question, it seemed to be a bit of a contradiction or the opposite of what the media in the West portrays when it speaks about Islam and that it normally suggests that Islamic revival and Islam is opposed to the progress.
Which could you comment on that? I would say that this kind of notion that is still even strange enough comment until today, even though there are lots of exchange of information between different pupils is a myth. You know, what is being said about this notion is really a myth, which is incorrect, conceptually and untrue. Historically.
There is no single verse in the entire Quran, that can be construed as giving a negative attitude or approach towards legitimate progress and improvement of the human life on Earth as well as in the life hereafter. There's no such distinction in Islam.
The contrary in fact is true. The Quran is full of verses and directives, if you will,
to benefit from the universe for the benefit of oneself one family and for humanity at large, as indicated earlier as part even have the tools to fulfill the duties of NASA on trusteeship.
caps, have you share some of the some of the examples on what you've just been saying that are contained in the graph? Okay, let's look at some examples of basic resources, or sectors in the economy are areas where in any age, that has been quite crucial, I'm not saying an exclusive list. But throughout history, you look at the, for example, agricultural resources, when you look at water resources, you can look at sessions as one resource, you can look at animal resources, various industries, also that stem from all of this. And if I may, I just chose this for maybe to give you direct quotations or examples from the Quran. Let's take the agricultural resources in chapter 13.
In the Quran, verse four, what is
that and just read the translation of the verse. It says, and in the earth, our tracks, diverse, Dorney bank, and gardens of wines, and fields soon with corn, and palm trees, growing out of single roots, or otherwise watered with the same waters, yet some of them we make more excellent than others to eat. Behold, verily, in these things, there are Signs for those who understand. So there is difference there as to how to benefit from agriculture sources and regarded actually as a bounty or blessing from God. Take the water resources, for example, and especially as it relates to agriculture also
an interesting difference made in the Quran in chapters 22 in verse five, what are the honey in the translation, and further you see the earth barren and lifeless, but when you pour down rain on it, it has stood to life, it swells and it puts forth every kind of beautiful growth in pairs.
Not only this, there is
frequent reference in the Quran, also to the rainfall, and long before scientists even could make this clear connection the Quran makes connection between rainfalls in the
The springs and water that gets into the bottom of the earth. For example, in chapter 13,
And I'm tarantella Angelica, the Center for silica, in the translation,
see you not, that God sends down rain from the sky, and leads it through springs in the earth, then he causes to grow there with produce of various colors, then it weather's
warm, you will see it grow yellow, then he makes it dry up and crumble away. Truly, in this is a message of remembrance to persons of understanding
addition to the benefit of waters, you know, for the agricultural purposes, the Quran also make reference to the use of the seas, for seafaring purposes, for example. And so that's an early mention of the seafaring in, in chapter 35, verse one, for example. And I'm Tara Angela has
a passion for coffee and it is God who has subjected the sea to you, that chips may serve through it by his comment that you may seek of his bounty. And that you may be grateful. You notice here the reference to seeking of the bounty
of God is not restricted to just benefiting in a sense of
just seafaring or transportation, but it could also make reference to all kinds of resources that could be harnessed and benefits from from the from the sea. We mentioned also that the third possible example you can give is in the area of fishery.
And again, the Quran in more than one place, make reference to that just to choose one in chapter
16 verse 14, for example, who under the Sahara
is he that is God, who has made the sea subject that you may eat there from selected flesh that is fresh and tender, in reference to fish, and that you may extract there from ornament to wear. And you see the ships there in that plow the waves, that you may seek Best of the bounty of God, and that you may be grateful. So here's about the recent news of the Seas conferences, dealing with the various
utilizations that could be made out of the oceans, whether it's to talk about tidal powers or other minerals.
Why the Quran does not give all these details, but it opened the door wide by giving like a carte blanche rally of exploring all this resources and benefiting as diverse as the public good. So you can see the bounty or blessings of God. The first example I suggested you can refer to another source of, of one's for example, the, the element was in chapter 16. Also in the Quran, there is an interesting reference to that, not only to animals for just for the purpose of food, but to varieties of uses, and industries that may grow as a result of this animal sources. In the beginning, towards the beginning of the the first or the chapter 16.
When an alcoholic, it says in cattle He has created for you,
from them with the right of worms. And that's a reference again to be leather industry taking the heights and benefiting from it by wealth, clothing, and so on. And numerous benefits. Notice the numerous benefits whatever you can think of and benefit from the animal resources and of their meat you eat. So here is meat and meatpacking industries,
and you have a sense of pride and beauty and then as you drive them home in the evening, and as you move them forth to pasture in the morning. So that's again another aesthetic aspect in the animal. The question of sports horse riding, but this is an additional benefit also to drive. And then it goes on. And they carry your head nodes to an ends that you could not otherwise reach except with serves distressed, for your Lord is indeed most kind, Most Merciful. While Can you say that this is perhaps an early mention of the trucking industry. It talks about animals cutting your loads. If God has given us the capability and the the risk
horses to be able to replace, you know the elements with others, trucks or cars, that's also kind of reference in general to the area of transportation,
and so on. And it goes on and on. And in fact, these are only, I should say a few examples that you find, among many others in the Quran. In fact, it can all be summarized in one verse that is found in the second chapter in the Quran, verse 29, it says was the Salah Raku method or the journey
that God has made subservient to everything that is on Earth, on a gift from him, everything so what are we talking about these four types of resources in other things that you can benefit from? The Quran says that God has made available to you. So where is this contradiction between progress and productivity and the basic spiritual and moral teachings of Islam? Now, so far in your comments, you've placed emphasis on resources here on Earth. We're living in an age now of space exploration.
How about the possible from an economic perspective, the exploration of space and possible benefits from resources that might possibly be available in outer space? Whether that's permissible or religiously speaking? Yes. It is interesting that in several verses in the Quran, when it talks about God making subservience to anything, or everything on Earth, many of those verses also lose in heaven.
Just to give you one example of that in chapters 45, verse 13, was a Corolla code method, similar to method are the gentlemen that God has made
everything that is on earth, and everything that is inherent. So it shows that it is not only permissible
to use and harness these forces, if you want to discover and benefit from something on Mars or the moon or whatever, go ahead. This is quite a contrast with some of the ideas that might have proceeded Islam or even succeeded Islam. Were even exploration of spirits or trying to learn something about the stars was regarded as something heretical or encroachment on the domain of God. The Quran doesn't look at it this way. It says that the God created for you. So if you have the ability, if they have the technology and science to explore and benefit from space, go ahead. It's permissible is no problem at all. That includes even not just the harnessing of possible sources
that might exist there in space, but also try to understand Of course, the the laws that God created in nature. And then we can infer from what you just said that the study of natural laws and phenomena is something that is encouraged and urged by the by the grant, when in fact, it's not on the earth, but you find as we have quoted, for example, in the area of harnessing resources, you find also numerous references in the Quran, trying to open our eyes on this kind of laws that God has created. Take for example, an issue like the resolution or alternation of day and night, and as it relates, of course, to many other phenomenon, aspects that we study, which relate again, to
economic prosperity in progress.
We find for example, in chapter 24, in the Quran in verse 44, you can never love again on the heart that God alternates the day and night. Indeed, in this are instructive examples for those with vision.
In a very moving and very interesting passage in the Quran, which again, open the door wide for exploration and understanding of the various phenomena in the universe, is similar to on the left know,
in chapter three, verse 191 91, in the translation of meanings, behold, in the creation of heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day.
There are indeed signs for persons of understanding
those who celebrate the praise or praises of God, standing, sitting and lying down on their sides. What is the following word and contemplate the wonders of creation in the heavens and the earth, with the thoughts, our Lord you have not created all of this
In vain, Glory be to You, give us salvation from the penalty of the fire.
So, in a way somebody might say this is, especially adversity it is where the worship of God with supplication with the knowledge and proof to oneself of the existence and the hand of God in the creation of this universe. But that spiritual part is very much connected. It's inseparable from what the rest phase were.
And they think they contemplate about the creation of switches again, go ahead and study and try to understand this wonders that God has placed in the in the universe.
Another interesting thing also that seems to relate to
direct relation, I should say to economic aspects, is the study of the regime and how it comes about. And again, I leave it to scientists to judge, you know, how could in the seventh century, that's almost 1400 years ago,
person receive a revelation like that, where is the source of this kind of information? in chapters
24 verse 43.
Adam Carolla was just I haven't seen you not that God makes the cloud moves gently, then joins them together.
Then mix them into a heap, then will you see rain issue force from their midst?
And this is done from the sky, mountain masses of clouds were in his Hill. He strikes there with whom he pleases, and he turns it away from whom he pleases. Notice this, the vivid flash of his lightning one night blinds beside
possible reference to the electric charges that is connected with the
actual force of rain from the sky. So I think this is something that the Quran says See, what Haven't you seen? Haven't you thought studied, contemplated on this phenomenon in nature, in the study of
things like astronomy, for example, in trying to understand and appreciate the various aspects, created images, in chapters 36 in the Quran, you find an interesting reference
to a number
of phenomena in nature, that God has created, which again, is put there, or presented with a view of encouraging us to try to study them, rather to know more later,
from beginning from the adversities, and assume for them, that's what mankind is the night he was thrown there from the day. And behold, they are plant in darkness. And the sun runs his course, for a period determined. For him, that is the decree of him, capital H, the Exalted in Might, the noun, for ordinary, and the moon, we have measured for her motions to charters 10, she returns like the old and whether or not part of a deadstock. It is not permitted to the sun, to catch up the moon. nor can the night outstrip the day, which just swims along. Notice the way each of the seven bodies swim along in its own orbit, according to law,
which is again, a reference to the fact that heavenly bodies are not just stationing they are swimming that is floating in constant
motion. And again, we're talking here about revelation in the, in the seventh century. If we were to put it together, I would say basically, that not only does the Quran induce humanity, to search, understand and learn the various phenomenon that God created, from not the case of nature, but it even blames or criticizes those who are not using this capability to understand. In fact, in one verse in the Quran in chapter seven, verse 18, it says, our minister for care of human equity so now what you are doing,
not by way of blaming, had they not contemplated in the domain, or considered of our economic growth is another verse also I want to be a little human equity similar to what I've had been
I've seen I've considered the domain of heavens and earth, and what God has created there in
your, your answer raises another question related to this topic of progress and economic prosperity. And that has to do with the attitude of Islam tours and learning of science.
Could you shed some light on that? One, in fact, the scan considers knowledge and science
as not something which is the antithesis of faith, not something that's opposite, or inconsistent with faith.
In fact, the term faith in Islam does not mean simply a dogmatic
or acceptance of dogmatic assertions,
or acceptance of things which are totally incoherent and logically impossible. We're not saying that Islam says that reason is a God to be worshipped, that there are certain things cause beyond the ability of human intelligence. But that's quite different from saying that a human being is required to accept something which is totally contradictory from the logical standpoint.
In fact, suffice to say that the very first word not even verse in the Quran was a crap, the chapter 96.
Recite or read, and the very few verses revealed the Prophet Muhammad first when he was contemplating in the care of Hara outside of Mecca, included
teaching teaching with the pen, you know, so there is repetition, even if the tools are possible in terms of learning.
Not only this, you find that the Quran also in numerous verses, praises learning, regardless, of course, so long as it's all useful for humanity, whether it's science, humanities, or the mandatory part that each person should learn about the basic requirements of his or her faith.
But all these types of learnings are highly praised. In fact, the Quran indicates that through learning God would raise people in degrees, you'll find that in an arena, that God would range in degrees, those who are believers and those who are also given knowledge. So that's the Quran makes it clear that we cannot equate knowledge with the neck of it. In chapter 39, verse nine, when you're staring at the moon, when there's another animal say, is it equal? Can we really equate Is it possible to equate those who know and those who No, not,
not under this, in fact, the Quran in one chapter that's chapter 32, particularly verse 28, it makes a connection between knowledge and fear of God or knowledge of God, science and knowledge of God. It says
that those who are really given to knowledge are the ones who fear God, not feel the sense of being scared, but those who are hate God or those who are pious, or remember, God, they have
the same kind of attitude towards Science and Learning has been shown by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and numerous saints, and by happy for example, he says, seeking knowledge is a mandatory on every Muslim as a generic term applied to males and females. He said, seek knowledge even in China, he was talking to people in Arabia, but of course, that shows that even he has to travel far, you have to also seek knowledge. And an interesting saying also that was narrated, in other words, and that
he was the Prophet says that any person who seeks or takes a path or road towards knowledge, God will facilitate a road for him towards heavens, paradise, that the angels would lower their wings to the person who's seeking knowledge, in satisfaction of what he's doing. And that a person who is knowledgeable, have everybody making or seeking forgiveness for him, in heavens in Paris, even fish with us, but forgiveness for him,
that the advantage of a person who has learned over one was simply worshipping without knowledge is like the advantage of the moon, or other stars, that scientists or people are given knowledge, through knowledge are the ears, the ears of the, the, the prophets, and that the prophets have never left money behind behind them, but they lost knowledge. So all of these are regarded as highly praiseworthy things to the point that it is equated with a jihad in eternity. The Prophet says a person who goes out in the pursuit of knowledge he is actually struggling in the past of God.
We leave it at that
So today we want to thank you for being our guest and invite you back next week when we'll continue with our seventh program or six program whether in the dealing with the economic system of Islam Thank you for watching. Aslam Aleikum peace beyond you.