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from their Lord, desist, shall be pardoned for the past; their case is for God (to judge). But those who repeat (the offence) are Companions of the Fire; they will abide therein (for ever). God will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity; for He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked (2:274-276) And the Firmament has He raised high, and He has set up the Balance (of Justice) in order that you may not transgress (due) balance. So establish weight with justice and fall not short in the balance (55:7-9). This is to guide man resort to justice and straightforwardness in all his dealings and transactions. The future of cheaters is grim and their doom is awful. Here is how the Qur’ an looks into the matter: Woe to those who deal in fraud, those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, but when they have to give by measure or weight to men give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account on a Mighty Day, a Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds (83:1-6) Besides that, there are numerous Traditions of Prophet Muhammad excluding the cheaters, exploiters, monopolizers and dishonest business people from the band of the true Muslims. Any business deal that involves injustice or cheating or exploitation is strictly inhibited and cancellable by the Law even after it is concluded. The main purpose of the Islamic legislation on economics and commerce is to secure the rights of the individual and maintain the solidarity of society, to introduce high morality to the world of business and enforce the Law of God in that sphere of enterprise. It is logical and consistent that Islam should be concerned with such aspects as these., because it is not merely a spiritual formula but a complete system of life in all its walks Proprietors are constantly reminded of the fact that they are in reality mere agents appointed by God to administer their holdings. There is nothing in Islam to stop the Muslim from attaining wealth and endeavoring for material improvements through lawful means and decent channels. Yet the fact remains that man comes to this world empty-handed and departs from it likewise. The actual and real owner of things is God alone of Whom any proprietor is simply an appointed agent, a mere trustee. This is not only a fact of life but also has a significant bearing on human behavior. It makes the proprietor always ready to spend in the way of God and to contribute to worthy causes. It makes him responsive to the needs of his society and gives him an important role to play, a sacred mission to fulfill. It saves him from the pit of selfishness, greed and injustice. This is the true conception of property in Islam, and that is the actual status of proprietors. The Qur’ an considers possession of wealth a trying test, and not a token of virtuous excellence or privileged nobility or a means of exploitation. God says: It is He Who has made you (His) agents, inheritors of the earth: He has raised you in ranks, some above others; that He may try you in the gifts He has given you. Verily, your Lord is quick in punishment, yet He is indeed Often Forgiving, Most Merciful (6:165) Moreover, the Qur’ an reports to mankind an interesting discourse between Moses and his people. It runs as follows: Said Moses to his people, ‘pray for help from God, and wait in patience and constancy; for the earth is God’ s. He gives it as a heritage to such of His servants as He pleases; and the end is best for the righteous.’ They said, ‘We have had nothing but trouble, both before and after you come to us.’ He said: ‘It may be that your Lord will destroy your enemies and make you inheritors in the earth; that so He may try you by your deeds’ (7:128-129) This discourse between Moses and his people does not imply in any sense a recognition of any privileged genus of mankind on account of racial origin or ethnic identity. Nor does it mean that the Qur’ an approves completely of the conduct and conceptions of the followers of Moses in later centuries. The tone of the text is rather reproachful and critical of the doubters; and reassuring of the fact that everything in the earth belongs to God, Who distributes it among His servants in the form of

Islam in Focus  

By HAMMUDAH ABDALATI Table of Contents Chapter - II