The Islamic concept of rizq is very different from the western one and explains the major difference
between Islamic and western economics. In Islam rizq is expansive. European economic thinking is based on scarcity of resources.
Rizq is sustenance from Allah. Allah’s rizq is good and is abundant. Allah can give rizq in abundance. He can also contract
the rizq. There are differences in the rizq that Allah bestows on different people.
Maal, mentioned 76 times in the Qur’an, can be maal mubaah or maal haraam. It is a means and
not an end. It can be used to do good or to do bad. Maal as exchange in buying and selling to fulfil basic human needs, as
compensation for work, a a means to political power, and as the basis for the husband’s leadership in the family. Maal
like life is protected by Law. Collection of maal is a human instinct. Humans are happy with maal and are proud because of
it. Some people love maal. Others have renounced maal. Maal is fitnat (temptation) and is a test (ibtilaau). It can keep people
too preoccupied and they do not undertake jihad or remembrance of Allah. Economic self-reliance is earning a living by working.
Halaal earnings are praised. Haraam earnings are not blessed. Maal is earned by trade, agriculture, manfacture, or providing
services. Being rich is having plenty of maal. It is a source of enjoyment. It may arise from working and earning, from donations,
and from inheritance. The relationship between amount of maal and feeling rich is complex and involves psychological factors.
Some with plenty of maal may feel poor because they aspire for more. Some own very e maal may feel rich because they are satisfied
with what they have. There are many forms of maal: money, offspring, tangible and intangible property. All maal is from Allah.
Maal may be associated with good attributes such as modesty and generosity. It may also be associated with bad attributes
such as miserliness, transgression, kufr, and nifaaq.
32.5.3 PROPERTY RIGHTS
Islam asserts the right to private property that is transferable to others by gift, sale, or inheritance.
Maal is a trust from Allah. The human is a custodian of mal; the real owner is Allah. The human is just a vicegerent in maal.
The needy have a right in a Muslim’s property. Maal should not be given to the foolhardy, safiih, who will waste it. Ultimately the only permanent benefit for a human from his or her maal is the thawaab
from sadaqat. The Law prescribes sanctity of maal, hurmat al maal. Maal cannot be destroyed. The of a Muslim is protected
by Law. Special emphasis is placed on the wealth of the orphan, maal al yatiim.
32.5.4 THE ECONOMIC SYSTEM
Allah enjoined humans to exploit the earth. Earning one’s livelihood was better than dependency
but the community must support those incapable of working. Economic activity within a moral context leads to success on earth
and the hereafter, international brotherhood, equity, justice, equal opportunity, social welfare, and economic efficiency.
It must fulfil the 5 purposes of the Law (maqasid al sharia) and strengthen jihad capabilities. The haraam is defined leaving
the rest as mubaah. The Law allows free markets, the profit incentive, private property, and free enterprise within a moral
context and limits of the Law. Fabrication of a utopian economic system and imposing it in the name of Islam is very dangerous.
The Law allows people the initiative and creativity to experiment and find the best system for their time and place within
the regulations of the Law. The interdependence of the economic systems in the world means that an isolated Islamic economic
system is difficult to maintain. However any attempts to establish an Islamic economy, even if not yet perfect, are a step
in the right direction and should be encouraged. Two Islamic economic institutions have been successful in our times: Islamic
banking and Islamic insurance.
32.5.5 ACCUMULATION OF WEALTH and ITS REGULATION
Humans differ in rizq. Some inequality is needed for motivation and maintenance of a dynamic economy.
The law ensures equity and equality of opportunity but cannot guarantee equality of actual achievements. Excessive accumulation
of maal leads to corruption, exploitation, hyperconsumption, and waste. Excessive accumulation of maal by one individual is
restricted by limiting economic activity to the halaal goods and services, prohibition of dishonest transactions, encouragement
of giving, imposition of zakat, financial support of the family and relatives, and a system of inheritance that distributes
the estate of the deceased among several inheritors.