by Sabri Lushi

Contrary to what Marx describes religion, more or less, a balm or a sigh for comforting the souls of the poor or the oppressed, Islam provides a real economic model for the distribution of wealth, which is more effective and more constructive for the society than the model of Secularism of governmental absolutism.

In agreement with Marx, Islam includes the comforting part of souls. The very nature of this life is a test according to it; therefore, the natural resources are limited while the needs and the greed of people are unlimited. In addition, opportunities, skills, abilities to work and the different levels of access to natural resources lead to economic inequality, amassing of wealth by some and poverty for others.

However, Islam addresses very well not only the redistribution of wealth per se, but also its political and ideological effects, something which Secularism has failed to do.

First, Islam has addressed the problem of savings. Even though money facilitates a great deal the exchange of goods and services, it has one major flaw: by saving it up, it freezes up a part of the economy, similar to a piece of land that no one benefits from it, neither the owner, nor the society. Therefore, the concept of Zakat in Islam deals exactly with this issue: if a person possesses gold or cash of a certain amount and it is not circulated for a full year, in other words, saved for a full lunar year, the owner must pay 2.5% of the savings directly to certain categories of people, as clearly prescribed by the Qur’an, not the government.

Secularism has also addressed the same issue, i.e., the savings, by means of taxes. One of the major roles of a Secularist government is to collect taxes from the rich and redistribute it to the poor either through direct payments or through job creation.

While both Islam and Secularism have not overlooked the issue of wealth redistribution, and there are cases when the latter has done very well, still there is a fundamental difference between them. Islam commands and instructs the rich to do this on a voluntarily manner. So, the rich should pay the money directly to the poor and interact with them. At the same time, Islam strongly encourages the believers in general to pay charity, make donations, loan one another money without interest; it obliges the head of family to take care of his family financially, as well as share food with the society and feed the needy. Islam seeks to give rise to a solid and strong society.

The problem of Secularism is that it has placed too much power on the government: it collects taxes, it plays the role of a father, mother, head of family, donor, money loaner, and sometimes it has even replaced the role of God. Yet, not only has Secularism failed to tax the rich, but also its redistribution of wealth solely through government leads to dictatorship, destruction of family and the fabric of the society.

Sabri Lushi

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