Mohammad, Radiant Sun of Guidance (26)
Following the study of the political tradition of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny), we discuss the economic tradition of Prophet Mohammad, as of today.
Prior to the study of economic tradition of Prophet Mohammad, a number of principles should be pointed out.
Firstly, in contrast to the wrong imagination of a few; the sacred religion of Islam does not just pay attention to meeting the ethical and spiritual needs of mankind, and has also presented a number of plans to meet the material needs of mankind such as housing, clothing, food, and the legitimate joys of life. The divine religion of Islam has always maintained a moderate approach in meeting different needs of mankind and has never gone to extremes.
Throughout the era of Prophet Moses, the Israelites had just focused on the material life, making use of any means possible to accumulate power and wealth. Meanwhile, Prophet Jesus, upon the start of his prophet hood and in an effort to rescue the Israelites from this quagmire, called on Israelites to revive ethical and spiritual values; thereby declining their interest in glitters of life to an extent that some of them became indifferent toward the joys of life.
Meanwhile, the Prophet of Islam, upon the commencement of his prophet hood, adopted a moderate approach. On one hand, he encouraged the community to work in all fields of production, trade, and agriculture, and to benefit from the legitimate joys of life, standing firm against materialism and accumulation of wealth; while, on the other hand, making every effort to revive the elevated ethical and human values, reinforcing spirituality and belief in the Day of Resurrection.
Undoubtedly, those who consider themselves as the true followers of Prophet Mohammad should set the unique manners of the Prophet of Islam as their role model and should live in line with the appropriate approaches and manners of Prophet Mohammad.
The economic tradition of Prophet Mohammad is also characterized by a strong belief in God within all economic activities. In accordance to this principle, the monotheists believe God is the one and only creator and owner of the universe. The constructive outcomes of this viewpoint prevent the monotheist individual from falling into the trap of accumulation of wealth; rebellion; violation of others’ rights; and indifference toward the status quo of the poor and needy, while motivating the monotheist to take measures only to please God; without the expectation of any reward and/or gratitude from others. The embodiment of these traits by Prophet Mohammad led him to divide the wealth of his loyal and selfless wife, Khadija, among the poor and needy only to please God.
The other important principle in the economic tradition of Prophet of Islam was the belief in the Day of Resurrection. On the basis of this principle, Islam puts emphasis on all of the legitimate economic activities; recognizes personal ownership for administration of a graceful and honorable life; and reminds mankind of God Almighty and the Day of Judgment. It is necessary for mankind to be well-prepared for Hereafter, and not to allocate all of his means for the material world. Holly Quran depicts those, who believe in God and the Day of Judgment.
The 37th ayah of Surat Nur notes: “By men who neither trading nor bargaining distracts from the remembrance of Allah, and the maintenance of prayer and the giving of zakat. They are fearful of a day wherein the heart and the sight will be transformed.”
One of the principles of the movements of divine prophets is administration of justice among people. In continuation of the prophecy of prophets, the Prophet of Islam was instructed by God to administer justice within the community.
Economic justice is a prime example in administration of justice. In other words, the economic conditions in the Islamic community should not be such that some would be well-off, while others are mired in poverty. The Islamic system doesn’t accept class gaps which signal discriminations, and oppression of the disadvantaged strata.
If the economic justice is complied with, in the true essence of the word, no trace of poverty would be spotted in the community; and no room would be left for the domination and showoff of those who accumulate wealth. Based on this outlook, the Prophet of Islam made utmost efforts to establish economic justice. In the meantime, the wealthy in the Arabian Peninsula opposed this goal, fiercely confronting the Prophet and his disciples, in a futile bid to maintain and protect their own personal interests, and to cement their status. They imposed a three-year economic siege on the Prophet of Islam and his disciples and seized all of the assets and economic means of the Muslims who had migrated from Mecca to Medina. Nonetheless, the Prophet of Islam established a fraternal bond among Muslims by the fair division of wealth among them and via his campaign against class gaps, such that Muslims shared their wealth and belongings with each other to meet their needs.
The Prophet of Islam; who was inspired by Holy Quran, founded the culture of selflessness, in the light of which the Islamic community reached its peak within the framework of an Islamic, fair economy.