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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Islam’s Climate for Business Success Excerpts

By Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(The following are excerpts from Imam W. Deen Mohammed's book, Islam's Climate for Business Success.)

There is the need to invest. I don't know if as Muslims we are aware of "Islam" as a religion that encourages the believer to invest - invest your earnings and wealth, so that it grows.
Economics in Islam is a big and serious subject. There are some scholarly people in the West and in these United States who are doing papers on the economic idea in Islam - what it says about wealth and investing, and the regulation of wealth.  

In their studies they are coming mainly from our Holy Book, The Qur'an. Our Qur'an is the source for these Muslim scholars to get the picture and present it to the West. Islam can offer something to the West, rather than represent a threat to the West. I am a firm believer in that.

It will require that the West makes some serious changes, but the West could keep essentially its idea of free enterprise and not that of capitalism upon greed. Keep the ideas of the right to one's own earnings and the' right to decide how one's own wealth will be used. That is the right of the individual citizen in Islam. So there is closeness and compatibility between the Islamic idea of economics and what we call the American idea - the free enterprise system.

Personally, I don't think we have too much in the history of Islam to show this compatibility with the West. It is because in the time of the Prophet, there were not the pressures on society to really get the fullness of the guidance in Qur'an for economic life. It is only now that pressures are on the world to come up with innovative concepts and principles for dealing with each other in order to be fair and just by each other with the wealth. Big government and high taxes have brought on the trend for American economists and policy makers' and theorists to look desperately for new answers and new ideas.

We know of this economy and also of the global economy and of what the best minds are saying. Money has to be invested. It is no good for the economy or for the business life of the society or nation, if money is going to lay up and not be put into service.

This is Islam. Islam says that money should not be held somewhere rendering nothing to the society. Money should circulate and serve the needs of the people belonging to the society. Allah says in the Qur'an that the money should not be controlled by certain people so that it stays with them arid; not circulated, where the society gets the benefit. This is good for any nation and it is in accord with the thinking in American business circles.

When G'd says to us in the Qur'an to spend in the way of G'd, most of us tend to be so spiritual that we cannot see the real place for this idea. The real place for this idea is not up in the sky. The real place for it is down here where our business establishments and institutions exist.
To "spend" in the way of G'd means to spend on ourselves and on others. He cautions us to not spend so much on ourselves that it appears that the hand is just bringing everything to the mouth.

G'd cautions us to not go to the other extreme and spend in a way that hardly anything is coming back to that person. G'd says this: "Don't spend so much that you make yourself a burden on society."
The money which is looked upon as an accumulation is that which is beyond one’s reasonable needs. We know there are some who will say they need four Jaguars and six Mercedes. The society has to impose upon them a heavy luxury tax. We have gotten this by way of the legislature. Soon, it will be reflected in the Internal Revenue Service forms and regulations.

This is what every American needs to hear, whether they are Muslim or not; this is for the individual: It says, G'd wants us to invest; it also says G'd wants us to have something. How can I invest, if I don't have anything?
I will go so far as to say that voluntary poverty is a sin. The poverty that one suffers because they cannot help it is someone else's sin. But the poverty that one brings into their life is their own sin. How is that poverty going- to be of benefit financially to himself and to his family and friends, if that person is in need and doesn't care about his or her own future financial state?