Basic Concepts of Islamic Economics

Islam as a religion is a concept that regulates human life comprehensively and universally both in relations with the Creator (HabluminAllah) and in fellow human relations (Hablumminannas). There are three main pillars in Islamic teachings, namely:

Aqidah: a component of Islamic teaching that rests on the belief in the existence and power of God so that it should be the faith of a Muslim while performing various activities on earth solely to obtain the call of Allah as the caliphate who has the trust of Allah.

Shariah: a component of Islamic teaching that governs the life of a Muslim in the field of worship (hablumin’llah) and in the field of
religion (hablumminannas) which is the actualization of his faith. Whereas you own covers various areas of life including those related to economics or property and business is called muamalah maliyah.

Akhlaq: a foundation of behavior and personality that would characterize him as a devout Muslim based on Shariah and aqidah which is the guideline of his life so called akhlaqul karimah according to the hadith of the prophet who says “No if I am sent except to make akhlaqul karimah”

There are quite a number of Islamic laws which govern the economic life of the people which are in line with the following:

  • Islam places the function of money solely as a medium of exchange and not as a commodity, so that it is not feasible to trade let alone contain an element of uncertainty or speculation (gharar) so that what exists is not the price of money let alone associated with the passage of time but the value of money to exchange with goods.
  • Riba in all its forms is prohibited even in the Qur’an about the banning of the last lap is Al Baqarah verse 278-279 explicitly
    stated as follows: O ye who believe! Fear Allah and leave the remains of usury, if ye are believers. If you do not do it then know that there is a war from Allah and His Messenger over you, and if you repent then for you the substance of your property is that you are unjust and unjust.
  • The prohibition is also found in the Christian teaching of both old and new agreements which essentially requires lending to others without asking for interest.
  • Although there are still opinions, especially in Indonesia, which still doubts whether bank interest is included usury or not, then in fact it has become an agreement of scholars, jurisprudents and Islamic bankers among the Islamic world which states that bank interest is usury and usury is forbidden.
  • Do not allow various forms of activities that contain elements of speculation and gambling including economic activities that are believed to bring harm to the community.
  • Wealth has to be rotated (traded) so that it cannot be based solely on a few people and God does not like people who accumulate wealth so that it is unproductive and therefore for those who have unproductive wealth will be charged a greater zakat than if it is produced. It is also grounded in the teaching that the human position of the earth is the caliphate who receives the trust of God as the absolute owner of everything contained in the earth and the duty of man to make it abundant in human prosperity and well-being.
  • Working and / or earning a living is worship and is obligatory so that no one without work – which means being prepared to face risks – can obtain benefits or benefits (compare with the acquisition of bank interest from deposits that are fixed and almost without risk).
  • In various fields of life including economic activities must be carried out transparently and fairly on the basis of like and without coercion from any party.
  • There is an obligation to make records of each transaction, especially those that are not cash and the existence of reliable witnesses (symmetry with the accounting profession and notary).
  • Zakat as an instrument for fulfilling the obligation to set aside assets that is the right of others who are eligible to receive, as well as a strong recommendation to issue infaq and shodaqah as a manifestation of the importance of equal distribution of wealth and fighting poverty.

From the brief description above gives a clear picture of the basic principles of the Islamic economic system which not only stops at the level of the concept but there are quite a lot of concrete examples taught by RasulAllah, which to adapt to current needs is quite a lot of ijtima ‘done by fiqh experts aside from developing operational practices by economists and practitioners of Islamic financial institutions. By its universal nature, Islamic guidance is believed to be always relevant to the needs of the times, in this case for example is the development of Islamic financial institutions such as banking and insurance.


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