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In the Name of God بسم الله

Why are there hardly any religious billionaires?

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@Abu HadiI agree that you can't become a billionaire by entering a business where Walmart etc can undercut you through economics of scale. It's also true that a lot of startup businesses need a huge amount of capital to be competitive and viable in the long run.

I still hold, however, that the avenues of being legit billionaires are not completely closed now. Patents and their resulting contracts have been known to push people to billionaire status. The patent doesn't have to be for an out-of-this world invention or process; it can be something simple like single piece bumpers on cars (the guy who patented them is a multi billionaire of Pakistani origin). There are many similar ways and methods.

Another thing; it's a common misconception that billionaires just have billions just lying around in cash. They can't simply just walk up to an ATM and withdraw a billion dollars, or even a million dollars for that matter. Most of them are billionaires because stock markets have decided, based on the laws of economics, that they have x shares in y company, and each share is worth z amount of dollars. They can't simply dump all their shares and get z amount per share though; law of demand-and-supply will crash the price of shares. Most billionaires are theoretical billionaires; such notions didn't exist during the period when wealth was measured in dinars.

 

Anyways, most middle class people can become wealthy even without business. It takes budgeting, planning, and a basic amount of homework. What's stopping them from investing say, 10-15% of their monthly salary into a mutual fund that doesn't have haram companies in their portfolios? I have yet to see a ruling from a marja' who says that mutual funds in themselves are haram. If there are objections, they are based on the fact that some mutual funds have alcoholic beverage companies (for example) in their portfolios.

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2 minutes ago, Sabrejet said:

@Abu HadiI agree that you can't become a billionaire by entering a business where Walmart etc can undercut you through economics of scale. It's also true that a lot of startup businesses need a huge amount of capital to be competitive and viable in the long run.

I still hold, however, that the avenues of being legit billionaires are not completely closed now. Patents and their resulting contracts have been known to push people to billionaire status. The patent doesn't have to be for an out-of-this world invention or process; it can be something simple like single piece bumpers on cars (the guy who patented them is a multi billionaire of Pakistani origin). There are many similar ways and methods.

Another thing; it's a common misconception that billionaires just have billions just lying around in cash. They can't simply just walk up to an ATM and withdraw a billion dollars, or even a million dollars for that matter. Most of them are billionaires because stock markets have decided, based on the laws of economics, that they have x shares in y company, and each share is worth z amount of dollars. They can't simply dump all their shares and get z amount per share though; law of demand-and-supply will crash the price of shares. Most billionaires are theoretical billionaires; such notions didn't exist during the period when wealth was measured in dinars.

 

Anyways, most middle class people can become wealthy even without business. It takes budgeting, planning, and a basic amount of homework. What's stopping them from investing say, 10-15% of their monthly salary into a mutual fund that doesn't have haram companies in their portfolios? I have yet to see a ruling from a marja' who says that mutual funds in themselves are haram. If there are objections, they are based on the fact that some mutual funds have alcoholic beverage companies (for example) in their portfolios.

I agree that patents are a good way, but the vast majority of people don't have the time / skill to invent something that is worthy of a patent that hasn't already been patented. It is good, for a very, very small group of muslims who have the extra time / energy / resources / intelligence to do this

I have never been a billionaire but I imagine that they have access to large amounts of money whenever they need it. Maybe not billions, but enough to do whatever they need to do. I agree that most billionaires have a large portion of their wealth in assets (stocks, real estate, etc) and not in cash, but it is not as theoretical as you think. If you want to sell stock, you can do it in 5 seconds online and get cash for it. If you have real estate, it may take a little longer but still within weeks or months. 

Most people can't invest 10 to 15% of their income because they don't have an extra 10 to 15% of their income to invest. For the vast majority of people on earth, they need that money just to pay for things like food, housing, utilities, and other monthly bills like insurance, taxes, etc. If you do have that extra money, I agree its better to save it or invest it than spend it on a high end car, x box games, etc. Also, even if you invest it, for the vast majority of people, you will not become a billionaire. You may become a millionaire by investing long term, over decades. 

 

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The potential in tech fields and patents would surprise you. My own father is currently undertaking a venture that will pay in tens of millions in the near future, Insha'Allah, that I can't disclose here. There is nothing usurious, exploitative, or otherwise un Islamic in it in the least.

 

The middle class would be surprised at the amount of money that they can theoretically save each month, if only they make a proper budget.

Now, I'm not putting down the struggles and efforts of the majority of people. I do criticise, however, the general aversion to plan and budget, or the general aversion to learning personal finance basics. The knowledge of spreadsheets is available to anyone who wishes to learn. There are also countless paid and unpaid spreadsheet based budgeting software tools (I personally use YNAB, which is paid). Most people would be surprised just how much surplus they can have. That surplus will take decades to become millions through investments, true, but it will be more than enough that you can live comfortably in retirement, and leave millions for your future generations to inherit and focus on deen, instead of worrying about bills and fees.

I also dislike the general Muslim (not Islamic) practice of avoiding picking up a part time second job. If one job is not cutting it, if there are zero savings at the end of the month, whats stopping them, for example, from teaching online tuitions an hour a day three times a week? Or driving a taxi for one or two days a week (I've done this before the pandemic). Or from working the graveyard shift at a fast food restaurant? Most people in Muslim society thinks that by seeking extra jobs, they are signalling their poverty for the world to see. Allah hasn't discouraged believers from seeking means of sustenance. There are no teachings I'm aware of, in the Quran or from Ahlul Bayt against doing blue collar, manual labour jobs to supplement your income.

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Imam Jafar Debate with an Atheist

The reference for this is given in the article; my point is not to debate it authenticity. The text itself doesn't seem to be something that Imam Jafar ((عليه السلام)) might not say.

Anyways, in part of the debate, he makes it clear that he has the knowledge to become rich if he wants. He has knowledge of chemistry, foreign markets, and precious stones, that can make him quite rich. He just chose not to use it, and to spend his life teaching and spreading knowledge instead.

Knowledge to become legitimately rich in a halal way does exist; it's up to people to seek that knowledge and utilise it.

Note: the reason that I'm passionate about the topic of wealth is this: I have spent my life convinced that wealth and the wealthy are evil, and I'm sinful if I seek it for whatever reason. Reading books such as Hikayat e S'aadi have reinforced this extremist view in my mind, as well as one sided ahadith about the virtues of poverty. In my experience, it has hindered my faith more than help it. Some might call it a sign of my deficient faith, but I agree to disagree.

 

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7 minutes ago, Sabrejet said:

Imam Jafar Debate with an Atheist

The reference for this is given in the article; my point is not to debate it authenticity. The text itself doesn't seem to be something that Imam Jafar ((عليه السلام)) might not say.

Anyways, in part of the debate, he makes it clear that he has the knowledge to become rich if he wants. He has knowledge of chemistry, foreign markets, and precious stones, that can make him quite rich. He just chose not to use it, and to spend his life teaching and spreading knowledge instead.

Knowledge to become legitimately rich in a halal way does exist; it's up to people to seek that knowledge and utilise it.

Note: the reason that I'm passionate about the topic of wealth is this: I have spent my life convinced that wealth and the wealthy are evil, and I'm sinful if I seek it for whatever reason. Reading books such as Hikayat e S'aadi have reinforced this extremist view in my mind, as well as one sided ahadith about the virtues of poverty. In my experience, it has hindered my faith more than help it. Some might call it a sign of my deficient faith, but I agree to disagree.

 

Brother, I agree with most of what you are saying. Yes, you should make a monthly budget and stick to it. Yes, you can become wealthy thru halal means, if Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) gives you the taufiq to do that. At the same time, becoming wealthy is not an option for most people, given the current circumstances we live in. In order to become wealthy, you need a confluence of many factors that are all happening simultaneously, i.e. being in the right place at the right time with the right connections and the right access to resources and sufficient knowledge and discipline to use these resources, time, and connections in the proper way. You need all of these and not some of them. For example, if you are in the right place at the right time with the right connection and knowledge and discipline but no access to resources, nothing will ever happen. That is what I am saying. 

In every circumstance, there are always two factors, the personal factor (you) and the systematic factor(things outside of you which you don't control). If you are there (the discipline, knowledge, skills, etc) but the systematic factors are not there, nothing will happen. Also if the systematic factors(connection, access to resources, etc) but you are not there, i.e. you don't have discipline, wisdom, skill, etc, then also nothing will happen. You need both. One or the other is not sufficient in order to become wealthy. I don't know where you live, but in the US, there was this mythology built up around hard work and discipline. The myth was that if you were disciplined and worked hard, you would become wealthy. It's a myth because without access to resources, this will never happen. In the US, the hardest working people are the immigrants, especially the first generation immigrants, and most of them are poor. There are a few rich ones, but these are the ones who, in addition to being hard working, also, thru luck or family connections or a combination of both, somehow got access to resources and were at the right place and the right time. The US, despite having the most wealth of any country in the world, also has the least social mobility when compared to other 'developed' countries and even some that are not considered 'developed' countries. 

So what I am saying is you have to look at yourself and the system. If you only look at yourself and not at the system, the system will continue to get more and more unequal. 

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20 minutes ago, Reza said:

Most people can’t grasp how much just $1 billion really is.

That’s unattainable for 99.9% of people in this world, no matter what they do.

Back in the mid-70s, a mechanic l knew said about the inflation we had back then, "pretty soon millionaires will be a dime a dozen".

Proved true.

So, with liberal-money policies and our common enemy -the Federal Reserve- the next generation will say, "billionaires are a $1,000 a dozen."

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21 hours ago, Zainuu said:

...

Yes, I acknowledge that there are differing traditions and narrations on the matter of class. My main point is that human beings tend to place their material interests ahead of their spiritual obligations. As a result, class tends to supersede and/or act on religion rather than vice versa. History shows this well. Incentives play a significant role in determining which type of economic system, applied to a particular context, would maximise social mobility, equitability, and transparency. One would likely look for a system that would benefit the producers (masses) more than the consumers/distributors (ruling class). Under modern capitalism the former, as always, actually create, yet the latter patent, hence corporations. As far as Islam is concerned: the Infallible Representatives should not be compared to fallible men. This applies to economics as much as any other sphere. I would argue that it is not advisable or wise for fallible men to seek excessive wealth, however noble their intentions may be, owing to the likelihood of error, abuse, and/or misuse, along with the fact that most human beings do not fully recognise their deepest motives.

As far as economics is concerned, the history of the IRI actually makes for an interesting case study. During and following the Islamic Revolution, which should best be described as an ongoing process rather than a singular event, Imam Khomeini and the Basij were certainly influenced, at least in part, by the rhetoric of the socialists and Marxists, in addition to being devout Muslims. So the IRI quickly adopted a statist, wartime economy to meet the material interests of the masses, particularly the urban workers and uprooted peasants, as well as maintain the support of the petty-bourgeois bazaaris and fend off the immense Western pressure against the government, including Saddam’s invasion. Likewise, to maintain support the government had to reconcile the religious mores of the masses with economic policies that addressed their material aspirations. While the lower classes angled toward socialism on economic matters, the bazaaris were strongly anti-socialist on both economic and social grounds. To appease the latter, the government suppressed the pro-Soviet Tudeh Party, while also remaining equidistant from the Western bloc.

Up until the early 1990s the IRI’s economy was quasi-socialist and highly centralised, hence state-led planning. The IRI basically blended Islamic social mores with socialist-inspired economics. While strongly Islamic in terms of social mores, it was arguably more progressive than Islam itself on certain economic matters and/or policies. This changed with the rise of the neoliberal “reformists” under Khatami and later Rouhani. These privatisers favoured the native, mainly large(r), bazaaris as well as certain foreign capitalists. Imam Khamenei himself, ironically, promoted some degree of privatisation, but favoured the growth of an indigenous capitalist class, rather than foreign ownership and black markets. However, the process of privatisation was quickly abused by private capitalists who sold out Iranian assets to foreign capitalists and wealthy bazaaris. Corruption rose considerably and remains a significant problem today, with the judiciary and Majlis being heavily compromised in this regard. Ahmadinejad’s populism was inspired by a groundswell of popular reaction to all this.

So while Islamic social mores may well benefit society, it is unclear as to whether strict Islamic economics would be more beneficial than socialist-inspired policies.

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If all we [Planned Parenthood] do as an organization is pay for abortions for low-income people, we are eugenicists,” Ms. Reyes said. “That is not transformational work. That is slapping a Band-Aid on a huge problem.”

It is indeed the case that Planned Parenthood disproportionately ‘serves’ low-income people; coincidentally? these tend to be black communities.  As interesting a concession this is by an abortion advocate, one has to be somewhat disturbed by the acknowledgement that it is “not transformational work.”   For there to be ‘transformation’ everyone, evidently, must be allowed (encouraged?) to abort their children. 

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In a private economy, businesses, with the support of government-driven incentives, will, if left unattended, naturally sway government in their favour → buy off politicians/legislatures → protect certain industries and/or companies at the expense of others → culminate in the growth of monopolies and cartels. Government, to me, does not seem to operate independently of private interests, so when certain private interests complain about government regulation, they really imply, correctly, that government caters to certain industries and/or sectors at the expense of others, while small businesses become dependent on larger corporations with financial leverage over government(s). The same private investors also control private central banks such as the Federal Reserve. The same private interests also influence government’s decision to, say, finance “meathead majors” such as “gender studies,” in keeping with the evolving economic transition → service sector(s). As noted above, the same interests also finance abortion for the lower classes rather than make adjustments to the economic system. Hence the following capitalist eugenicist’s quote:

Quote

"The knowledge of books does not seem to produce any good substantial result with the (Black person – ed.), but serves to sharpen his cunning, breeds hopes that cannot be fulfilled, creates an inclination to avoid labor, promotes indolence, and in turn leads to crime."[13]:105

James K. Vardman

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9 hours ago, hasanhh said:

Back in the mid-70s, a mechanic l knew said about the inflation we had back then, "pretty soon millionaires will be a dime a dozen".

Proved true.

So, with liberal-money policies and our common enemy -the Federal Reserve- the next generation will say, "billionaires are a $1,000 a dozen."

Most of the reason why that is true is because of inflation, not because people are getting wealthier, in general. If you look at median income vs cost of living since the 1970s, things are actually going backward. In my grandfather's day, a man with a blue collar job could support a family (wife, 2 to 3 kids) comfortably on his income alone, even without his wife working. Neither of my grandmothers worked outside the home. (This was in the US, btw). They wouldn't be rich, but they could have a house in a decent neighborhood, a car, food, cloths, bills, etc. Now, at least in the US, that same blue collar worker, even with him and his wife working, have a hard time paying the monthly bills, in many cases. I don't call that progress.

How we are doing, as a country, depends on who you ask and what stats you look at. If you look at GDP, total wealth, etc, yes, the US is the wealthiest country in the world. If you look at where that wealth is going, most of it is going to the top 1%, who are already extremely wealthy. We have created a system where those who have alot get even more, and those who have little get even that taken away. That's not a just system. Something needs to change. 

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@Abu Hadi it sounds like you might be turning into a socialist.... 

Welcome! When we take care of each other, we've got room for all! 

And when we (or more realistically, our children) take over, we will tax billionaires out of existence. 

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1 hour ago, notme said:

@Abu Hadi it sounds like you might be turning into a socialist.... 

Welcome! When we take care of each other, we've got room for all! 

And when we (or more realistically, our children) take over, we will tax billionaires out of existence. 

Well, not quite. 

The main problem with socialism is that it destroys the incentive for people to work hard and innovate. If you look at the Islamic Economic System (which has not really been implemented fully anywhere in the world at this point), it solves this problem.

The Islamic Economic system rests on basically 4 principles

1. Discouragement of Materialism (hub ad dunya) and Waste (esraf)

2. Prohibition of Interest (Riba). 

3. Taxing of accumulated wealth, not income

4. Protection of personal property rights (Haqq)

The basis of the economic system is not a particular policy, but an outlook on life that is based on Islamic principles. If people believe in the basic principles of the religion, that this life is fleeting and your main focus should be in accumulating good deeds, not material wealth, and that wasting the gifts that God gave to you (food, water, environment, other resources) is wrong and bad for the society, even if you can make more money doing it. It is this first principle, the spiritual outlook of the society, that is the most important, and without this, and without encouraging this primarily, a certain economic policy won't have much effect.

The prohibition of interest is so wealth does not accumulate at the top. This is because in an interest based system (what we have now, pretty much everywhere in the world), those who are already wealthy, and don't need their money for their regular expenses can use this extra money to rob those who do not have enough to meet their regular needs thru interest. Noone would ever pay interest unless they had a need that they could not currently fill thru using the resources that they have. So, over time, this practice of the rich robbing the poor thru interest accumulates wealth at the top echelons of society, while the lower echelons of society get poorer and poorer. This is so obvious now that everyone can see it, but they disagree on how to solve this problem. I believe this inequality will get worse and worse until our current system of capitalism collapses. What will replace it is anyone's guess. 

The Islamic system of khums and zakat is a tax on accumulated wealth, not income. If someone's income does not exceed their expenses for the year, the don't pay any taxes. This is in contrast to the income tax system which mainly looks at income and taxes that. Those who have alot of excess wealth will pay more taxes, and this money will be redistributed to the poor in order to make the society more just. I have read reliable hadith that says that if even 10% of the muslims paid their proper khums and zakat, there would be no poor people. 

The protection of personal property is so people do not cheat and steal from each other, and so people have security in society. It also gives an incentive for people to work hard and innovate so that they can own property and have some of the things that they want and like. The society would then benefit from this because these people generate more income and wealth for the society. This part of the system gives a capitalist incentive while the other three above controls ensure that the society does not become wildly unequal, although even in an Islamic system there will be differences in wealth between people, within limits. 

 

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8 minutes ago, notme said:

I also think that it is closer to socialism than to capitalism. 

*Democratic Socialism.

Socialism in the classical sense rejects individual ownership of means of production. It's not "my property", but "our property" in the most extreme sense.

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6 minutes ago, Sabrejet said:

*Democratic Socialism.

Socialism in the classical sense rejects individual ownership of means of production. It's not "my property", but "our property" in the most extreme sense.

I think that's communism, not socialism. Socialism is a less well defined term than communism. All communists are socialsts, but not all socialists are communists. 

For Example, Bernie Sanders claims to be socialist, but not communist. He doesn't want to get rid of the idea of personal property. Most politicians that are not explicitly right wing will embrace some aspects of socialism, i.e. increasing social justice. But like most things, the devil is in the details, and it is the details which those politicians, even the ones who embrace socialism can't agree on. 

I personally think that communism is dead, because it was shown to be a failed social experiment.

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25 minutes ago, notme said:

Ok, I admit an Islamic financial system would be even better. 

I also think that it is closer to socialism than to capitalism. 

Somewhat closer to both. 

The Islamic political and economic philosophy from the perspective of Ayatullah Shaheed Baqir al Sadr actually shows that Islam has no problem with the privatisation in capitalism or socialisation/collectivisation in Socialism or Communism. 

But the problem actually is with the parent philosophy of both these rivals and that is materialism. Specifically, dialectical materialism. 

Islam actually adds an extension of spirituality to the individualistic inclination of capitalism (self before society) 

Also, it adds the same (spiritual dimension) to the social inclination of communism (society before self) 

So, like:

(Captialism) 

SELF + (idea of jannah) makes a person selfless materially and considerate for society. 

(Communism/Socialism)

SOCIETY + (Idea of Jannah) makes a person feel that his non-profit works for the benefit of people have a worth. 

Now remove the idea of jannah and conflicts will occur

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1 hour ago, Sabrejet said:

*Democratic Socialism.

Socialism in the classical sense rejects individual ownership of means of production. It's not "my property", but "our property" in the most extreme sense.

Thanks. That's what I meant. Socialism without democracy will always fail. The people owning the means of production is meaningless if the people don't also govern. 

On a personal level I'm not opposed to individual ownership. I'm opposed to vast disparity between rich and poor. As it stands right now, socialism seems the best path to align with. I have always had slight anarchist leanings, but I'm not ready to go there yet. I think we need to try a just state before we give up on them entirely. I've not read much socialist, communist, or anarchist theory. I was radicalized by reading Thomas Paine. 

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1 hour ago, Abu Hadi said:

I think that's communism, not socialism. Socialism is a less well defined term than communism. All communists are socialsts, but not all socialists are communists. 

I think in a communist economy the government owns the means of production, and in a socialist economy the citizens do, and since government is necessary to ensure just distribution, the difference between socialism and communism is almost meaningless. I might be wrong. As I said, I've not read much theory. My interest is in social justice, and I'm new to economics. If it all had a set of mathematical formulas, it would be much easier for scientist-engineers like me, but I try. 

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1 hour ago, notme said:

I think in a communist economy the government owns the means of production, and in a socialist economy the citizens do, and since government is necessary to ensure just distribution, the difference between socialism and communism is almost meaningless.

No brother. The differences between socialism and communism are much wider than this. In fact, this is not the definition of these systems. 

Communism is an objective while socialism is sort of a checkpoint on the path to achieve this objective. 

Up until now, no government has actually come into place which can be called communistic in nature. So, we haven't seen communism in practice. 

Communism aims for a classless society where their would be only one class and it sees private ownership as an obstacle to this goal. 

Below text is from Falsafatuna (Our Philosophy) :

Quote

 

Communism differs from socialism in some of its principal economic ideas. The communist economy is based on the following. First, private ownership must be canceled
and fully obliterated from society.
All wealth must be appropriated by everyone and handled by the state, since it is the legal trustee over society, so that the state manages and exploits this wealth for the welfare of the whole population. The belief of the communistic school in the necessity of this absolute nationalization was a natural reaction to the complications of private ownership in the capitalistic democratic system. Such nationalization was justified on the ground that its purpose was the cancellation of the capitalistic class and the uniting of people in one class, in order than to end the struggle, and to prevent the individual from employing the various tactics and methods for enlarging his wealth, in an attempt to satisfy his greed and appease the motive that drives him after personal benefit. (p. 28)
Second, goods produced must be distributed in accordance with the individual need for consumption. This point is summarized in the following text: 'from everyone, in accordance with his capacity, and for everyone, in accordance with his needs'. This is to say that every individual has natural needs deprived of which he cannot survive. He devotes all his efforts to society; in return, society satisfies the necessities of his life and supports his living.

Third, this must be carried out on the basis of an economic plan put forth by the state. In this plan, the state reconciles the needs of the whole population with the quantity, variety and limit of production, in order to prevent afflicting society with the same illnesses and difficulties that occurred in the capitalistic society when absolute freedom was allowed.

 

For socialism:

Quote

The leading authorities of communism who called for this
system were unable to implement it with all its features when they seized power. They believed that, in order to implement this system, a development of human thought, motives and inclinations was necessary.
They claimed that there would come a time when personal interests and individual considerations would disappear from the human soul, replaced by a social mentality and social inclinations. With that, a human being would think only of the social welfare, and would be motivated only for its sake. Because of this, it was necessary, according to the tradition of this social doctrine, to establish prior to that a socialistic system in which people could rid themselves of their present nature and acquire the nature which is consistent with the communistic system. In this socialistic system, important revisions of the economic aspect of communism were made. Thus, the primary point of the communist economy - namely, the annulment of private ownership - was changed to a more moderate stand. This stand called for the nationalization of heavy industry, foreign trade, and large domestic trade, as well as the imposition of government restrictions on all of them. (p. 29) In other words, it called for the elimination of large capital to help the advance of simple industries and trades, and to give individuals power over these industries and trades. 

 

Further, Communism goes as far as to the point where the entire state would be abolished which is not the case with socialism. 

Quote

Politically, communism, in the long run, aims to eliminate the
state from society when the miracle is accomplished and the social mentality prevails among all people. At that point, everyone will think only of the material interests of the whole society. 

 

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On 11/25/2020 at 3:57 PM, Zainuu said:

...

Islam essentially retains the capitalist economy, class structure, and proprietary relationship. The main difference between Islam and capitalism is the former’s abolition of usury (interest). Otherwise, the difference is nil. In this sense there are few, if any, real conflicts between Western capitalism and Islam, both of which are vehemently anti-socialist and anticommunist. Both also uphold and/or accommodate spiritually based paternalism. Both are essentially mercantile and promote idealism such as the notion that discrimination is based on factors that are distinct from economics, e.g., class. I fail to see how Islam prevents the growth of monopolies, for instance, including the Western-rooted pharmaceutical, energy, media, and related multinational corporate monopolies that are waging war on the planet, including the Muslim world, as we speak. Also, here is an interesting view of fascism by the late Grenadian revolutionary Maurice Bishop:

Quote

A Pseudo-Philosophical or (Occult) Face where belief in divine Providence, obeah, magic, superstition, and intuition takes the place of reason, planning and participation by the people.

Mussolini, in fact, was fond of saying that Fascism first and foremost was about religion and concerned with God and virtue.

Fascism, now and always, believes in holiness and in heroism; that is to say in actions influenced by no economic motive, direct or indirect . . . above all, Fascism denies that class-war can be the preponderant force in the transformation of society . . . Fascism denies the materialist conception of happiness as a possibility.

Fascists have a knack for exploiting the religious susceptibilities of the working class. They remind one of the noted Simon Magus in Acts of the Apostles, who tried to buy divinity with filthy lucre.

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1 hour ago, Northwest said:

Islam essentially retains the capitalist economy, class structure, and proprietary relationship. The main difference between Islam and capitalism is the former’s abolition of usury (interest). Otherwise, the difference is nil. In this sense there are few, if any, real conflicts between Western capitalism and Islam, both of which are vehemently anti-socialist and anticommunist. Both also uphold and/or accommodate spiritually based paternalism. Both are essentially mercantile and promote idealism such as the notion that discrimination is based on factors that are distinct from economics, e.g., class. I fail to see how Islam prevents the growth of monopolies, for instance, including the Western-rooted pharmaceutical, energy, media, and related multinational corporate monopolies that are waging war on the planet, including the Muslim world, as we speak. Also, here is an interesting view of fascism by the late Grenadian revolutionary Maurice Bishop:

Salaam brother,

From the angle of Economics (though I need to read more) but Islam offers a much better solution against capitalism. The system of taxes in Islam in the form of Zakat and Khums being compulsory and Sadaqah (charity) or acts like these being a core part of faith and an extremely rewarding act helps to drop the rich and poor gap. I think reducing the rich-poor gap is essentially the most important issue in economics and society. While capitalism offers remarkable freedom to a person to reach his higher ambitions which then suppresses the economic freedom of other individuals. And turns into monopoly. So, monopoly in an Islamic system of governance will go to a minimal level. I know that examples of countries might refute what I am saying but only Iran is right now a claimer of Islamic state. And actually, even Iran lacks the exact definition. I would refer you to read about the 5 year ruling period of Imam Ali (عليه السلام). I heard that a lot of intellectuals have dedicated there works to the 5.5 year Caliphate of Imam Ali (عليه السلام) and cited some remarkable achievements which are rarely seen now.

I just quoted above about Zakat and Khums. Though, as per Imam al Khomeini, one half of Khums (which is only dedicated to the needy Sayyids (descendents of Holy Prophet (SAW)) can be used for other than Sayyids too if no needy sayyid remains. Now, there are other two types too which are rarely discussed. That is the Jizya and Khairaat which are used for the non-muslims. So, this rigid system of taxes never allows the rich to grow high and poors to sink deep.

And I agree that Islam is not against Capitalism but rather both Capitalism and communism. In the words of Ayatullah Baqir al Sadr in his major work 'Falsafatuna', "Capitalism is not even a philosophy." True. The real philosophy is Materialism and it's latest applicable and popular versions are dialectical materialism propagated by likes of Marx and Hegels. Communism and Capitalism both are derived from Materialism. Communism takes the core of materialist philosophy while Capitalism just holds a materialistic tendency.

From Falsafatuna:

Quote

the capitalistic system does not center on a materialistic philosophical notion of life. This is a contradiction and a failure; for the social consideration of life is linked to the reality of life, and is not case in a sound form unless it is established on a central basis that explicates life, its reality and its limits. The capitalistic system lacks this basis. It involves in its innermost spirit deceit and misguidance, speed and impatience, since it freezes the actual situation of life, and studies the social conditions in isolation
from it.

So, Islam doesn't fight Capitalism as a philosophy but rather as a politically tyrant and deviant tendency. That might also be one reason that all the Islamic political leaders like al Khomeini, al Khamenei, Sayyid Nasrallah etc attack the western capitalist system while ignore for most of the part the communists. They are all political orators. While, philosophical experts like Baqir al Sadr, Mohsin al Hakim, Allama Tabatabai, Shaheed Murtadha Mutahhari have actually heavily targeted communism in there works. Other reason being the political situations (Saddam was a puppet of Soviets while Shah was a puppet of Americans).

In simple words, Islamic speeches fight capitalism and Islamic books and system fights communism. 

I don't know if Capitalism is spiritual in any form or appearance. Yes, it is impirtant to note that capitalism never touches spirituality. Neither opposes nore supports unless the latter mingles with it.

I don't see if classes exist in Islam. No, that's not true at all. You might bring me practical examples of Muslims but doesn't actually discriminates in any manner. Yes, there can be a hierarchy based on Knowledge and faith. As, a hadith by Imam as Sadiq (عليه السلام) concludes that Intellectuals and men of faith are the elites of an ideal islamic society.

Regarding economics, at last I would say that our discussion could have gone deeper if I would have read about Islamic economics in modern form. I would suggest you though to read Iqtisaduna (Our Economics) by Shaheed al Sadr (رضي الله عنه) that laid the ground basis to a certain extent of modern Islamic Economy. 

May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) bless you.

Note: In the above response. By Islam I mean the Shii Version as is apparent.

Edited by Zainuu
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Guest Saudi Prince a Billionare

But NOT RELIGIOUS? 

Thats a real problem as Arabia was known to be the land of the Prophet its purpose was created for the Ummah Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) The Almighty has given a resource which was to also benefit the Ummah and yet the prince lavishly exercises what he calls investments his billions in gaming companies lol what a [Edited Out] on your plate as tbe Ummah.

 

Concerned Muslim....

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