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In the Name of God بسم الله

How compatible is Islam with socialism?

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Recently, I'm seeing a lot of muslims going woke, and saying ridiculous things like "Islam is compatible with Marxism" just because Islam has zakat. Everything that's about helping people, they associate with socialism. But it seems that these woke muslims only has a superficial understanding of marxist theory. At it's core, socialism hates religion and morality. Solzhenitsyn said it best

But, what do you think? Do you think Islam is compatible with socialism?

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Posted (edited)

MODERN socialism allows for religious freedom. So it's possible. I don't know how well it would work though.

Edited by musa shakr
correct grammar
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The question shouldn't be if Marxism (or generally socialism) is compatible with Islam, but whether Marxism has anything to offer Islam. 

Marxism particularly is an attempt to understand the movement of history through a materialistic analysis. It's a lot more complicated than even most self-avowed Marxists believe. For instance, the authentic tradition has no interest in telling people how to make a society. The transition from capitalism to socialism is not a want, but an inevitability, because of the fundamental contradictions within capitalism that need to be resolved, and will be. Many would say actually, that we're already in a period of socialism, as many countries around the world are building socialistic regimes and you're seeing the rise of things like 'degrowth' theory in the mainstream discourse. 

This is where the phrase "utopian vs scientific socialism" comes from basically. Marx had to constantly tell people that he was not like previous utopians who thought they could plan out a society, he was trying to build a social science to understand economic history, and ultimately world history. Actually, I would say that Marx was ironically pretty Muslim, as he kind of submits to the fact that the future is not entirely in man's control. 

So again, the question should be, is there anything within this type of analysis that's helpful for Muslims. And the answer is yes. For anyone, having an actual critical (or scientific) understanding of capitalism is absolutely vital in understanding the world we're living in. Otherwise, you get into this weird rhetoric about how Islam is actually very capitalistic, when we all know that elements of capitalism and its children, liberalism, actually run fundamentally contradictory to Islam. 

In regards to most Marxists, of the past and present, being atheist. For sure Marxism is a heavily materialistic philosophy that, if you take it as the only truth in the world, you would assume a materialistic understanding of everything. But again, you could disagree vehemently with Lenin and these guys that had their issues with religion, and still find some helpful insights in their work. Many Muslims have. 

Whether you can call yourself a Marxist and be Muslim, yeah? Maybe a self-critical Marxist sure? Funny thing is I don't even know if Marx would have been a Marxist himself anyways. 

Outside of that, there is an aesthetic left that has been gaining some Muslim followers, but these people have a useless politics that just justify the existing capitalism, liberal paradigm. I mean, probably most of those kids you're talking about would reject Pedro Castillo, a working class icon now in Peru who won the Presidency and claims to be a Marxist, simply because he's also religious and has social conservative views on things like gay marriage and abortion.

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Islam does not strictly fit any modern economic system, but it seems that socialism or communism are a better fit than pure capitalism. Capitalism with a strong social safety net, as is practiced in much of Europe, seems pretty compatible with Islam also, though I have doubts about its long term stability. 

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Islam can not be compatible fully with any political/ social theory. As they don't take individual morality into account .

Eg in Islam technically you can amass as much wealth as you want and the taxes are very low. But the emphasis is on moral responsibility giving charity, not becoming absorbed in the material.

Responsibility is put firmly on the individual. And the morals guide comes from Allah.

most secular form of government are cynical they assume nobody will act in a moral manner and therefore enforce laws and taxes to make sure social needs are taken care of and people behave themselves. 

*How do you even teach morality if societies basis is atheism. The law then becomes the enforced moral compass.

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42 minutes ago, Dubilex said:

I mean, in socialism, all property belongs to the state, to the proletarian dictatorship. Any muslim who also believes in socialism, goes against Islam

You should look up the distinction between personal property and private property. You certainly can and would own your own things under a socialist/communist system. The workers would own the means of production. Each worker would own his or her own tools and personal items such as home, furniture, clothing, vehicle, and food. 

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6 hours ago, notme said:

You should look up the distinction between personal property and private property. You certainly can and would own your own things under a socialist/communist system. The workers would own the means of production. Each worker would own his or her own tools and personal items such as home, furniture, clothing, vehicle, and food. 

Well, Islam does not see that distinction the same way.

In Islam, a Muslim can own the means of production for personal wealth, and can employ workers for his or her own business.

Islam not only believes in private property, it considers it sacred and must be protected. 

In conclusion, socialism at its core is very incompatible with basic Islamic financial rulings.

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Just now, Sumerian said:

In conclusion, socialism at its core is very incompatible with basic Islamic financial rulings.

Perhaps, but no more than capitalism. As I said before, no modern economic system is fully compatible with Islam. As I see it, socialism/communism is much more socially just, and therefore more compatible. 

There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but if a Muslim is wealthy while people in his community are destitute, he will be questioned about his lack of charity on the Day of Judgment. 

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Just now, notme said:

Perhaps, but no more than capitalism. As I said before, no modern economic system is fully compatible with Islam. As I see it, socialism/communism is much more socially just, and therefore more compatible. 

There is nothing wrong with being wealthy, but if a Muslim is wealthy while people in his community are destitute, he will be questioned about his lack of charity on the Day of Judgment. 

He or she will only be questioned on the Day of Judgement if he or she did not pay his or her dues and obligations.

As long as a Muslim has paid their khums and zakat where it is obligatory, and they have thanked the Lord (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and are grateful to Him for this Rizq, then they will have done nothing wrong, and do not need to do more.

If they want extra rewards from Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), then they can engage in mustahab charity.

As far as which system is more compatible, Islam has financial rulings which are individualistic and other rulings which are collectivist, so from an Islamic point of view, both capitalism and socialism are better than each other in certain aspects, but they are both immoral systems especially in their pure form.

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3 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

As far as which system is more compatible, Islam has financial rulings which are individualistic and other rulings which are collectivist, so from an Islamic point of view, both capitalism and socialism are better than each other in certain aspects, but they are both immoral systems especially in their pure form.

This!

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

As long as a Muslim has paid their khums and zakat where it is obligatory, and they have thanked the Lord (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) and are grateful to Him for this Rizq, then they will have done nothing wrong, and do not need to do more.

This is partly false. Caring for the poor is a community obligation. If someone else has done it, that rich man is not obligated. If nobody has, everyone in the community who could but did not is accountable. 

In my experience, poor folks are far more generous than rich folks. Most poor people would go without their own food to help a hungry person, but a typical rich person would rather throw his pocket change into the trash than give it to a hungry beggar. 

So perhaps you're right, that rich person is not obligated. We take care of us. 

Edited by notme
Typo.
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, notme said:

This is partly false. Caring for the poor is a community obligation. If someone else has done it, that rich man is not obligated. If nobody has, everyone in the community who could but did not is accountable. 

In my experience, poor folks are far more generous than rich folks. Most poor people would go without their own food to help a hungry person, but a typical rich person would rather throw his pocket change into the trash than give it to a hungry beggar. 

So perhaps you're right, that rich person is not obligated. We take care of us. 

It is not a personal obligation if someone is dying or starving that they must be saved, except unless maybe he or she is the only one with the ability to save them.

But then again, this is an extra circumstance, not a general ruling.

Also in my experience, atleast in Middle Eastern Arab culture, everyone is generous, poor and rich. But that's not the subject.

Let us stick to the subject.

Edited by Sumerian
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1 hour ago, Sumerian said:

It is not a personal obligation if someone is dying or starving that they must be saved, except unless maybe he or she is the only one with the ability to save them.

I'm pretty sure it is an obligation on everyone in the community until someone does it. I think that's the definition of communal obligation. 

Someone should look it up. I'm multitasking right now and disinclined to take on the task of finding information. 

The concept of communal obligations is compatible with communism and incompatible with capitalism. 

Private property is allowed by but not required in Islam. Communal ownership is also allowed and not required. 

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Posted (edited)

My terminology was wrong; it's collective obligation, fard kifaya, and yes, caring for the destitute is one, and so yes, anyone who allows a poor person to remain destitute while being able to help will be held accountable if nobody helps. Fortunately for the rich, the poor usually help each other. Y'all's getting off easy. 

It's sad that a Muslim would compete to accumulate stuff, but not compete to do the most good. 

Edited by notme
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Since socialism seems to be a term of abuse in the U.S. it's hard to have a discussion without some clear definitions of the term.

In addition, Americans who are 'anti-socialism' need to realise that their system can be very socialistic. American corporations are adept at privatising gains and socialising losses. The bail out of American banks (2008) being one such example.

In other western countries welfare payments for the poor that enables them to pay for their housing to private landlords could, in effect, be seen as a state subsidy to rich landlords! In such situations I certainly think that state ownership of social housing makes far more sense.

Moving onto the Islamic context.

AIUI an Islamic state is founded on the notion of Muslims being governed by a sense of rights and obligations to the religion and the Islamic state. So, for example, you cannot have individual exercising rights to do as they please (sex and drugs etc.) and then expecting the state to pick up the costs when things go wrong (as can happen in some western socialist societies).

The above can have some socialist characteristics, but also others that very much are not.

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, notme said:

I'm pretty sure it is an obligation on everyone in the community until someone does it. I think that's the definition of communal obligation. 

Someone should look it up. I'm multitasking right now and disinclined to take on the task of finding information. 

The concept of communal obligations is compatible with communism and incompatible with capitalism. 

Private property is allowed by but not required in Islam. Communal ownership is also allowed and not required. 

Exactly why I said it is not "personal" (ayni), it is wajib kifa'i (communal obligation).

And what some may fail to realise is there is no communal or personal obligation to make everyone's living standard good, the obligation only concerns the very extreme of things, for example allowing a Muslim to starve or thirst to death or any death (and perhaps disability, or extreme calamity) that can be prevented, would be a communal sin.

You could argue that a social safety net and welfare would be imposed in an Islamic State for the sake of basic medical care, shelter, food and basic education, but that is about it.

But as far as people living lavish and people living in harsh circumstances, that is a reality which is not an obligation for the Islamic community to fix or change. Different wealth classes are a norm of Islamic society, and certainly the means of production can be owned by the individual and not the collective.

Once again, socialism is proven to be incompatible with Islam, and no more compatible than capitalism.

Edited by Sumerian
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Posted (edited)

 

If you ask proponents of Capitalism and Socialism what those terms mean, you will get different definitions. I think it is useful to consider the real attitudes and beliefs of those proponents more than the definitions that they give. What they say and what they really think can have differences.

Chomsky's opinions:

 

Edited by Muhammed Ali
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11 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

Once again, socialism is proven to be incompatible with Islam, and no more compatible than capitalism.

Islam does not require lifting people out of poverty, but neither does it forbid it. 

Capitalism is based on maximizing extraction, even from our fellow human beings. It is a destructive process, and the end result of it is concentration of all resources into the power of a few people who are most lacking in empathy. Destruction of humanity and Earth are definitely not permitted for Muslims. 

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15 hours ago, notme said:

 

Islam does not require lifting people out of poverty, but neither does it forbid it. 

Capitalism is based on maximizing extraction, even from our fellow human beings. It is a destructive process, and the end result of it is concentration of all resources into the power of a few people who are most lacking in empathy. Destruction of humanity and Earth are definitely not permitted for Muslims. 

Yes.

First off, Islam prohibits various activities that enable poverty in the first instance: drugs; gambling, fornication and usury.

The prohibition on usury is interesting because that reduces poverty in two ways.

The benefit in accumulating capital so that it is lent out is dissipated, so people with excess capital either put it to productive use themselves or give it away in charity and secondly the poor can't borrow in a manner that would make their poverty worse.

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8 hours ago, notme said:

Islam does not require lifting people out of poverty, but neither does it forbid it. 

Islam recommends that, but doesn't obligate it.

8 hours ago, notme said:

Capitalism is based on maximizing extraction, even from our fellow human beings. It is a destructive process, and the end result of it is concentration of all resources into the power of a few people who are most lacking in empathy. Destruction of humanity and Earth are definitely not permitted for Muslims. 

Which is why capitalism is also incompatible with Islam, just as socialism is. 

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8 hours ago, notme said:

 

Islam does not require lifting people out of poverty, but neither does it forbid it. 

Capitalism is based on maximizing extraction, even from our fellow human beings. It is a destructive process, and the end result of it is concentration of all resources into the power of a few people who are most lacking in empathy. Destruction of humanity and Earth are definitely not permitted for Muslims. 

 

Socialism also calls for concentrating power and resources in the hands of a few elites. Socialism and communism is not different from feudal serfdom system of the middle ages

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25 minutes ago, Dubilex said:

 

Socialism also calls for concentrating power and resources in the hands of a few elites. Socialism and communism is not different from feudal serfdom system of the middle ages

No. It calls for the opposite, distributing the power among the people. But your belief is a widely spread fallacy; lots of people believe it so it's no insult to you that you are completely wrong. I recommend reading from original sources. There are plenty of valid criticisms of socialism, but this is not one. 

The system that shifts all power and resources to a few elites is capitalism. 

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6 hours ago, notme said:

No. It calls for the opposite, distributing the power among the people. But your belief is a widely spread fallacy; lots of people believe it so it's no insult to you that you are completely wrong. I recommend reading from original sources. There are plenty of valid criticisms of socialism, but this is not one. 

The system that shifts all power and resources to a few elites is capitalism. 

Only stateless communism would theoretically shift "power to the people", but whenever a State implements socialism or communism, it ends up in State tyranny (too much power) and dictatorship.

Anyway once again, Islam believes in individual power and that the individual can have rights over other individuals (employments, contracts), as long as there is no coercion and it is based on voluntary transactions, which is what happens in our daily lives.

We are not supposed to view collectivism as a good thing - except where it can be good.

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The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood have consistently been at pains to reassure Washington that they have no intention of severing relations (irrespective of who wins the US presidential elections in November) or of abandoning the treaty with Israel. This conservative approach is predictable enough from an organisation whose leadership (putting the rank and file to one side) comprises of businessmen and upper-middle class professionals who have shown a preference for caution, pragmatism and, as Egyptian revolutionaries would (correctly) argue, cynical accommodation with power.

Source

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The Brothers are right wing social conservatives and staunch capitalists whose politics most openDemocracy readers would find highly objectionable. They are also committed to electoral politics, ...

Source

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18 hours ago, Sumerian said:

And what some may fail to realise is there is no communal or personal obligation to make everyone's living standard good, the obligation only concerns the very extreme of things, for example allowing a Muslim to starve or thirst to death or any death (and perhaps disability, or extreme calamity) that can be prevented, would be a communal sin.

In general, I have noticed that Sunni Islamists tend to adopt a more restricted view of the state’s role in the Islamic economy than Shia ideologists. For example, Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and its primary ideologist, Sayyid Maududi, opposed nationalisation and seemingly promoted a laissez-faire attitude toward the Islamic economy. JeI was/is affiliated with the Sunni elements of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sayyid Maududi himself seems to have associated with CIA-linked elements of the MB, namely Said Ramadan. The West clearly supported the JeI and its military-backed “candidate,” General Zia, in Pakistan, as a means to counter secularist and leftist influence. Conversely, Shia ideologists seem to have been at least somewhat more willing to experiment with, or at least tolerate, some degree of state-led intervention in the Islamic economy, as the case of post-Revolutionary Iran illustrates.

18 hours ago, Sumerian said:

You could argue that a social safety net and welfare would be imposed in an Islamic State for the sake of basic medical care, shelter, food and basic education, but that is about it.

The Iranian Constitution of 1979, subsequently revised ten years later, basically provides for these things, and even sanctions state-owned and cooperative alongside private sectors. In fact, all “large-scale” industries, as far as I know, were essentially nationalised in the months and years following the Revolution. Of course, the influence of the Supreme Leader and the clerics was and is still constrained by the parallel civilian infrastructure, including the Majlis, which has long been under the influence of Western models of modernisation, so I am unsure as to how much of the Constitution’s economic platform was inspired by foreign vs. Islamic precedent. I have noticed that the West, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, tends to promote privatisation and economic liberalisation abroad, yet a lot of anti-Western sentiment in the so-called “Third World” is driven by reaction to Western-led and -driven economic as well as social policies.

18 hours ago, Sumerian said:

Once again, socialism is proven to be incompatible with Islam, and no more compatible than capitalism.

Would it be accurate to say that the Islamic economy is basically capitalism without drugs, gambling, and/or interest?

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There seems to be a very clear historical pattern to the West’s preferences and actions that goes beyond social issues such as LGBTQ+I, feminism, etc.:

  • The West strongly dislikes state-led intervention in the economy because it strengthens society as a whole rather than just the capitalist elite. It also allows colonised regions to gain economic independence from the West, which is essential to building up a sovereign society, including militarily and culturally, up to and including issuing one’s own currency, providing for the education of the populace, improving diet, hygiene, and infrastructure, making scientific advances, developing a literate anti-imperialist culture, and so on.
  • Whenever a strong leader comes along who attempts to build a centralised nation-state by intervening in the economy, nationalising resources, instituting protectionism, and adopting related anti-capitalist measures, the West immediately attempts to oust him, sanction his country, and prepare for the destabilisation of the targeted society by any and all means.
  • For example, the West hated the Iranian Revolution not simply for its revolutionary Islamic ideology, but also for the economic components of that ideology that allowed the Iranian people to take control of their economy, which had been under the control of foreign capitalists and their local compradors/lackeys. This was a significant part of the Revolution to begin with.
  • For the same reason the West waged interventionist wars and proxy conflicts against the USSR, Mao’s China, Castro’s Cuba, Kim Il-sung’s North Korea (DPRK), Ho Chi Minh’s Vietnam, and so on: because anti-colonial and anti-imperialist movements, whether formally communist/socialist or not, largely rested on statist economic policies that threatened foreign capitalists’ interests.
  • For the same reason the West has waged wars against independent states, peoples, and movements in the MENA: to ensure that the Western capitalist elite controls the resources of the region and prevents the people of the region from using these resources to build up alternative centres of power. For this same reason the West even dislikes other capitalists who put their nation and people’s interests before those of Western capitalists.
  • During the Cold War, the West liked to brand any national capitalist who wanted to build up his country’s resources as a “communist,” even if he actually opposed Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism, i.e., Jacobo Árbenz in Guatemala, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, Omar Torrijos in Panama, various pan-African and pan-Arab nationalists (among whom were/are Nasser, Gaddafi, Nkrumah, Lumumba, Assad, and numerous others), Mossadegh in Iran, and so on.
  • For the same reason the West has opposed progressive social democrats and national capitalists such as Aristide in Haiti, Chávez and Maduro in Venezuela, Xi Jinping in China, Putin in Russia, and so on.

Therefore, economic issues are not incidental to a revolutionary Islamic ideology, but would appear to be essential in the struggle for a people’s independence.

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3 hours ago, Northwest said:

In general, I have noticed that Sunni Islamists tend to adopt a more restricted view of the state’s role in the Islamic economy than Shia ideologists. For example, Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and its primary ideologist, Sayyid Maududi, opposed nationalisation and seemingly promoted a laissez-faire attitude toward the Islamic economy. JeI was/is affiliated with the Sunni elements of the Muslim Brotherhood, and Sayyid Maududi himself seems to have associated with CIA-linked elements of the MB, namely Said Ramadan. The West clearly supported the JeI and its military-backed “candidate,” General Zia, in Pakistan, as a means to counter secularist and leftist influence. Conversely, Shia ideologists seem to have been at least somewhat more willing to experiment with, or at least tolerate, some degree of state-led intervention in the Islamic economy, as the case of post-Revolutionary Iran illustrates.

The Iranian Constitution of 1979, subsequently revised ten years later, basically provides for these things, and even sanctions state-owned and cooperative alongside private sectors. In fact, all “large-scale” industries, as far as I know, were essentially nationalised in the months and years following the Revolution. Of course, the influence of the Supreme Leader and the clerics was and is still constrained by the parallel civilian infrastructure, including the Majlis, which has long been under the influence of Western models of modernisation, so I am unsure as to how much of the Constitution’s economic platform was inspired by foreign vs. Islamic precedent. I have noticed that the West, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, tends to promote privatisation and economic liberalisation abroad, yet a lot of anti-Western sentiment in the so-called “Third World” is driven by reaction to Western-led and -driven economic as well as social policies.

Would it be accurate to say that the Islamic economy is basically capitalism without drugs, gambling, and/or interest?

Iran is not an example of an Islamic economy, in fact the economic laws of Iran changes while Islamic rulings do not change. For example, Iranian banks still use usury in many of their transactions.

My belief is there is no "Islamic economy" per se, Islam has a set of rulings in place where some are considered capitalistic/individualistic and others socialist/collectivist.

The role of the State in the affairs of the economy (such as nationalisation of certain sectors) is not entirely clear in the Holy Qur'an nor the hadiths, it would seem this would be up to the authorities to decide how they go about it based on what they believe is in the interest of the people living there, which is why Iran itself has a parliament and candidates themselves disagree on their own economic vision for the country, and I believe you would even find the clergy themselves disagree on what is in the interest of the country aswell.

My point was merely related to the rulings that are known and not up for debate, such as the ability to own private property, own a business and be able to employ people for individual profit, which is basically against whatever socialism stands for, therefore rendering socialism as incompatible with our religion, just as capitalism would be especially in its pure form

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Shaheed Muhamad Baqir al-Sadr's view:

Quote

 

The general edifice of Islamic economy comprises of three main elements according to which its doctrinal content is defined and whereby it is distinguished from all other economic doctrines in their broad lines. These elements are as follows:


1. The principle of double ownership.
2. The principle of economic freedom in a limited sphere.
3. The principle of social justice.

We will soon explain and elucidate these elements, providing a general idea about the Islamic economy, so that we may be able to discuss more exhaustively its details and doctrinal characteristics.

 

http://www.hajij.com/library/component/k2/item/188-iqtisaduna-our-economics-volume-01-ii

Other volumes are available on the same website.

His definition of socialism is perhaps something that Europeans socialists would not recognise. 

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9 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

You don't seem to use the same language for socialism. You are more inclined towards one over the other.

Because no one here is defending capitalism, and alot of Muslims in the West these days tend to support socialist ideals, and some of them even consider it Islamic.

You can support whatever political or economic idea you want, but don't conflate it with Islam, and I believe that is what the O.P was trying to say.

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20 hours ago, Sumerian said:

Because no one here is defending capitalism, and alot of Muslims in the West these days tend to support socialist ideals, and some of them even consider it Islamic.

You can support whatever political or economic idea you want, but don't conflate it with Islam, and I believe that is what the O.P was trying to say.

Exactly. You can support liberalism, socialism or capitalism all you want. But somehow trying to say that they're 'islamic' is kinda cringe-inducing. Islam has elements from most western political ideologies

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Dubilex said:

Islam has elements from most western political ideologies

No, the other way. Islam predates all current economic ideologies. Some elements of Islam might be found in all except economic libertarianism, (i.e. capitalism without limits) which is just pure evil. 

Edited by notme
Explaining my thought, because social libertarianism is probably fine.
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On 7/4/2021 at 4:18 PM, Sumerian said:

My belief is there is no "Islamic economy" per se, Islam has a set of rulings in place where some are considered capitalistic/individualistic and others socialist/collectivist.

The role of the State in the affairs of the economy (such as nationalisation of certain sectors) is not entirely clear in the Holy Qur'an nor the hadiths, it would seem this would be up to the authorities to decide how they go about it based on what they believe is in the interest of the people living there, which is why Iran itself has a parliament and candidates themselves disagree on their own economic vision for the country, and I believe you would even find the clergy themselves disagree on what is in the interest of the country as well.

Is it possible that the Islamic economy is relatively primitive compared to today’s, in the sense that envisions a relatively feudalistic rather than capitalistic structure? On the one hand it does allow or encourage certain mercantile activities, but on the other it stresses large landholdings, particularly agricultural, i.e., clerical endowments and feudal palaces. The sayyid could stand in as a representative of a de facto caste that tends to marry within the bloodline, and is responsible for upholding the spiritual and religious purity of the Islamic society, in terms of piety and knowledge. Islam’s emphasis on lineage and inheritance is somewhat reminiscent of the importance of the landed nobility under feudalism. Typically occupation or title was linked to a particular family or caste, like the jati in classical India. Like the feudal system, the Islamic economy also discourages speculative activity, primarily usurious or otherwise accumulative, that tends to fuel rapid and/or potentially disruptive investment via certain expressions of commerce. In some ways its equivalent is the antebellum economy of the Southern United States, which was also agricultural and slaveholding, although Islamic slavery is not necessarily based on race per se, but on other considerations that may or may not impinge on or overlap racial questions. Historically mobile capital played a key role in undermining the feudal, landowning nobility and in promoting the globalisation of speculative and industrial or “finance” capital. For instance, the end of the Middle Ages and the gradual rise of the Industrial Revolution displaced the remnant feudal landowners in England and elsewhere across Europe. Finally, the feudal system was relatively stable and lasted for millennia because it was rooted in the concept of Divine Law as well as local custom. Feudalism also predates modern ideologies that are products of the Industrial Revolution and, by extension, the concomitant rise of modern nation-states based on bourgeois, secularised “parliaments” etc. Much of the language in the Qur’ān and ahadith seems to convey a relatively feudal frame of reference vs. that of modern economies (by “feudal” I do not necessarily mean “obscurantist” or “backward,” but a historical system). Shia Islam also places central emphasis on the family of the Prophet Muhammad, and family (caste), especially landed, was a central institution in the premodern, feudal society. (Shia) Islam also has its own conception of chivalry that shares some commonalities with that of medieval European Christendom, however broadly. All this is important for one’s frame of reference: if Islam is fundamentally rooted in a premodern (not by any means “inferior”!) outlook and condition, then how may one practice Islam in a system that is its antithesis, the globalised, usurious, capitalist economy, based on industry and speculation rather than agriculture and limited mercantile activities?

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It is interesting to note that Zionism, contrary to certain anti-Semites’ claims, is very much opposed to socialism, especially Soviet-style Marxism-Leninism:

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Another (Zionist – ed.) speaker, one Lezlin, said: "So far Bolshevism is strong, therefore it is necessary to determine ways and means of fighting it. In our daily activities we constantly come up against Bolshevik institutions. The Russian intellectuals have already renounced sabotage. We too should to a certain extent renounce sabotage. And we should work in whatever Bolshevik government departments we can." [3] ...

"Yet, if Jewry is to be capable of further historical existence it will have to develop in itself an antidote to the venom of socialism. "And that is exactly what has happened. Raised . . . among the Jews of the world . . . the movement known as Zionism is that antidote. "Zionism is creation, revival; socialism is destruction, corruption. "Zionism is peace; socialism is enmity. . . . "Zionism is the unification of the whole of Jewry; socialism is the struggle of one class against another. "Zionism needs a modern system [i.e., capitalism—Y.I.]; socialism raises its sword against this system. . . .

"Socialism blocks the path to Zionism. Hence, Zionism and socialism are not merely two mutually repellent poles, but two elements, one completely ruling out the other. Zionism is needed wherever there are Jews, and it is essential where there is ferment in the minds of the Jews." [5] ...

Zionists participated in the "governments" of Denikin, Hetman Skoropadsky and Petlura,* and were busy forming Zionist military units which fought against Soviet Russia. Incidentally, from 1918 to 1921 the counter-revolutionary bands of Denikin, Petlura, Bulak-Bulakhovich and Makhno organised 1,520 pogroms, during which tens of thousands of Jews were tortured or killed. ...

Mussolini received Goldmann on November 13, 1934, and their thirty-minute talk passed in an atmosphere of good will and mutual understanding. Mussolini approved of the idea of founding a World Jewish Congress and promised his support. The Goldmann mission was a success and signified a great deal for him personally. On November 14, 1934, his name appeared for the first time in the biggest European newspapers next to the name of "one of the most powerful personalities of the Western World." ...

Quoting documentary evidence Heinz Höhne wrote: ". . . von Mildenstein, Chief of the Division for Jewish Affairs of the intelligence headquarters did all he could to assist Zionist organisations in the establishment of re-education camps where young Jews were trained for work in kibbutzes in Palestine. He carefully followed the activity of the Zionists, and ordered his Division to draft maps showing the progress of Zionism among German Jewry." [36]

These re-education camps were set up in Nazi Germany following an agreement between Zionist emissaries and Adolf Eichmann. Disclosing Eichmann's attitude to the Zionists, Israeli journalist Hannah Arendt wrote that the latter "unlike the Assimilationists, whom he always despised, and unlike Orthodox Jews, who bored him, were 'idealists' like him." [37]

Zionists, as we know, have always favoured anti-Semitism in which they openly placed all their hopes for the future. Therefore the conclusion of a secret alliance between Zionism and fascism was not at all unnatural.

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