If Islam Were To Be Established in Iraq

Economic Development

Economy is one of the most important aspects which the young Islamic government must pay attention to, since "He who does not have a sustenance, does not have the hereafter"65 as reported in the sacred Tradition of the Messenger of Allah (S). The Messenger of Allah (S) is also quoted as saying: "Poverty is a shame in both worlds".

Economic independence brings about political independence, whereas inflation, high prices, and scarcity of income cause disaffection of the government, which subsequently results in its downfall. The way forward in order to secure a healthy and developing economy is to execute an accurate program for the overall economy.

The government must create - and allow others to do so - economic institutions and think tanks of experts in various sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, manufacture, trade, import and export, banking system, etc. The government must ensure that laws related to the economy are modern, dynamic and in accordance with Islamic jurisprudence. All of this is within the framework of "free capital" in the true sense of the word - and legitimate - "You shall have your capital"66. One who does not earn the means of his sustenance does not have an honourable life and therefore he may have to ask for handouts from others, which is a disgrace, or may be forced to steal or cheat to make ends meet, which is an even worse behaviour. Whereas the individual who has a source of income can lead a decent life and have an honourable family which is the nucleus of society and the Almighty desired for mankind in this world, for which He will reward in the hereafter.

66The holy Qur'an, the Heifer [^2]: 279. The complete verse reads as follows: "If you do it not (give up usury), take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: but if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums; neither you shall make (anyone) suffer nor shall you be made to suffer."

All affairs are in the hands of people. The government's role is that of the regulator only. This is true also for airports, railways, industries - large and small - hospitals, etc. Freedom should be for all people to make use of land, since "land belongs to Allah and to whoever revitalises it". Water, forests and procurement of the permissible such as fishes and other animals, the various minerals in accordance with the law of the "Precedence", should be in the hands of people. As Allah the Almighty has stated: "for you"67. All of this is only achievable within the framework of the primary Islamic laws and the secondary laws such as the laws of "no harm" and "priorities" in accordance with their jurisprudence criteria as described by religious authorities and on the basis of the consultation with the 'Council of Jurists' and the 'house of representatives' and the 'committees of experts'. As for what is practised today, like banning people from procuring the permissible and denying them their economic freedoms, it is illegal according to Islamic jurisprudence, and it is one of the greatest dangers to the stability, prosperity and progress of any Islamic government.

Some of the important cornerstones of economic development are "self-sufficiency", "reduction of civil servants to absolute minimum", "free political parties", "industrialising the country ","mass education and awareness". In this manner, poverty and unemployment will be eradicated, and everybody will be able to obtain their primary and secondary requirements.

One of the most important aspects of a healthy economy is to have free business and free manufacturing sectors in the full meaning of the word, except in the forbidden dealings, which are very few indeed. Given the importance of the economy - rationally and in accordance with Islamic teaching - it would reflect positively on the stature of the government and, in turn, lead to broad international horizons. Therefore if the young government achieves a healthy economy, it 67 The holy Qur'an, the Heifer [^2]: 29, "It is He Who has created for you all things that are on earth; then He turned to the heaven and made them into seven firmaments. And of all things He has perfect knowledge."

will set a good standard for others to follow. This is of course good for the prosperity of the people in this world and the hereafter. The non-Muslims adopted the policies of Muslims in science, freedom, technology, etc. even though they lived during the dark Middle Ages, at a time when Muslims were going through cultural and scientific renaissance. As a result, non-Muslims progressed formidably while Muslims abandoned their own advancements and remained underdeveloped and backward.


Amir_ol_Mu'meneen, Ali (A), has said, "Become needy to anyone you wish and you will become his captive". It is obvious that anyone who needs another person will become dependent upon him and subordinate to him. One will lead in any way he wishes and if the other refuses to follow, he will be denied his handout.

The west did not overwhelm and dominate other countries through military force only, but also through financial handouts to the third world countries and supplying them with experts, etc. For this reason, the Messenger of Allah (S), after arriving in the city of Medina, which in effect became the capital city for Muslims, gave high priority to self-sufficiency of Muslims so that they would not be subjected to domination of the Jews of Medina. In a well-known event, the caliph of the time wanted to give some money to Abu Tharr, may the blessings of Allah be upon him, but he refused to accept it. The caliph's envoy to Abu Tharr - who was the caliph's slave and was promised his freedom if he manages to give the money to Abu Tharr - said to Abu Tharr: "if you take this money I shall win my freedom". Abu Tharr replied "but I shall lose mine". A newly established Islamic government must give high priority to self-sufficiency in various aspects of life ranging from food, drink and housing to agriculture, manufacture, banking, etc.

This may be addressed through commissioning various high-ranking committees of experts and professionals and taking a number of steps:

  1. The use of agricultural lands and developing animal resources such as poultry and fish farming etc. and other manufacturing and production activities, The young Islamic government must concern itself with industrialising the country through the creation of factories and 2. manufacturing plants, which in turn would employ substantial number of workers, the consequent of which is progress towards independence and self-sufficiency.

Industrialisation must include small local industries as well as large national ones. For example in Iraq towards the end of the monarchy rule - when there was a degree of pluralism and free political parties and some stability - there were some 400 products being manufactured in the holy city of Karbala.

Furthermore, industrial development is one of the most important factors, which contribute to the progress of a nation in all different fields, because manufacturing ability ranks highest amongst all the cultural, educational, expertise and social fields. Industry facilitates the provision of the country's needs, brings about self-sufficiency, reduces unemployment to a minimum, eliminates poverty and destitution and prevents inflation. All of these in turn play their respective roles in reducing immorality, theft, illness, drug abuse and other similar vices. Needless to say, industrial development and progress is only achieved with the existence of freedom, pluralism, minimum staffing level, absence of bureaucracy, investment and incentive for investment, etc. Also, people must be encouraged to create investment and loan trusts, as well as, Mudahrabah (investment) banks, which would take part in the industrialisation process and development.

We have previously mentioned that freedom may not exist unless it is supported by free political parties and constitutional institutions. Therefore if the government concerned itself with this matter and started to gradually build the industrial sector, first through setting up small factories and then, according to circumstances and available resources, address the issues of heavy industries, in five years the country would be on the verge of self-sufficiency in the fields of manufacture and agriculture. This will subsequently lead to self - sufficiency in other fields.68 The author presents more discussions on this topic in "The Means to Muslim Renaissance", "The Criteria of Victory", al-Fiqh series, vols. 107- 108, "Economics".

It can be seen that some of the third world countries spend most of their expenditure on consumption and completely rely on importing their consumables from abroad to meet their fundamental and luxury needs. Therefore they become dependant on and captive of the countries they rely on. The situation is exacerbated when they borrow from those (exporting) countries to pay for their imports. However, if they used the resources to strengthen their economic structure and ability, they would achieve self-sufficiency.