The Building of the Islamic Economy from the Plains of Arafat

The famous farewell sermon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in his final Hajj is full of wisdom and principles. This was the last time he addressed the faithful in such a large gathering. Within this sermon, he emphasised on the principles of the Islamic moral economy and Finance. Some of these principles are as follows:

1. The Sanctity of Wealth & Property

He told us:

“Just as you regard this month, this day, this city as sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners.”

This instruction is at the root of Islamic Finance. A transaction and investment can only be Shariah compliant when the sanctity of others and their wealth is being honoured and respected.

2. Interest earnings are abolished

He told us:

“Allah has forbidden you to take Riba; therefore all interest obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity.”

The Prophet emphasised on the Qur’anic injunctions and completely eradicated any interest payables. This was an announcement to fundamentally restructure the entire Islamic economy and move it away from an interest-based system to an alternative, more wholesome and equitable system.

3. Equal opportunities

“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black, nor a black has any superiority over a white- except by piety and good action.” [Shu’ab al-Iman]

This statement highlights the social reality and with it, an economic paradigm, that every individual within a society should have equal rights and equal opportunities to develop and grow. Once class should never be favoured over the other in any society or economy.

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