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The distribution of wealth is one of the most important and most controversial subjects concerning the economic life of man, which have given birth to global revolutions in the world of today, and have affected every sphere of human activity from international politics down to the private life of the individual. For many a century now, the question has been the center not only of fervent debates, oral and written both, but even of armed conflicts. The fact, however, is that whatever has been said on the subject without seeking guidance from Divine Revelation and relying merely on human reason, has had the sole and inevitable result of making the confusion worse confounded.

In the present study, we propose to state as clearly as possible the point of view of Islâm in this matter, such as we have been able to deduce from the Holy Qur’ân, the Sunnah, and the writings of the “Thinkers” (to use a current idiom) in the Islâmic tradition. The time and space at our disposal being short, it would not be possible to discuss the subject in detail so as to cover all aspects. We shall, however, try to set down the essential and fundamental points in a concise but comprehensive manner.

Before explaining the position of Islâm on the subject of the distribution of wealth such as we have been able to understand from the Qur’ân, the Sunnah, and the Fiqh, it seems to be imperative to clarify certain fundamentals that have an essential and basic importance with regard to almost every aspect of Islâmic economics. Give them whatever name you please- call them “the principles of the theory of the distribution of wealth”, or its “philosophy”, or the “ultimate object” of this theory. In any case, they are certain basic principles which one can derive from the Qur’ân, and which distinguish the Islâmic point of view in economics from non-Islâmic systems of economy.


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Last modified 08/12/05 09:25 AM - Iqra - ISSN #1062-2756