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Wealth Creation: An Islamic

Perspective
Dr. Munawar Iqbal
Former Chief of Research (Islamic Banking and
Finance)
IRTI, Islamic Development Bank

Lecture in Distance Learning Program


Islamic Development Bank
October 2008.
1
Islamic Perspective on Seeking
Wealth
‡ Islam considers pursuing economic
activities something very desirable. It
abhors a life of asceticism and abstinence.
‡ Wealth is declared God¶s ³blessing´ and
seeking wealth in a proper way is
considered an act of worship.

2
What is Wealth
Some Definitions of Wealth
‡ All things having monetary value
(Collier¶s Dictionary)
‡ All goods and resources having economic value?
(The American Heritage Dictionary)
‡ ïhe closest term for this in Quran is ³Maal´
which is defined as÷?
αΎϨϟ΍?ϦϴΑ?ΔϳΩΎϣ?ΔϤϴϗ?Ε΍Ϋ?Ϧϴϋ?Ϟϛ?Ϯϫ ‡
‡ Anything that has a material value.
‡ We can see that ³Maal´ is almost exactly equivalent to
wealth.
‡ Next we look for Quranic guidance on ³Maal´ or wealth
creation. 
vuidance From Quran on
Wealth Creation:
‡ Ϧϋ ΓέΎΠΗ ϥϮϜΗ ϥ΃ ϻ· ϞσΎΒϟΎΑ ϢϜϨϴΑ ϢϜϟ΍Ϯϣ΃ ΍ϮϠϛ΄Ηϻ ΍ϮϨϣ΁ Ϧϳάϟ΍ ΎϬϳ΃ Ύϳ
.ϢϜϨϣ ν΍ήΗ
(.29 Δϳϵ΍ ˬ˯ΎδϨϟ΍ ΓέϮγ) ±
‡ ³O Ye who believe! Eat not up your property
among yourselves unduly. Let it be trade
amongst you by mutual agreement´.
‡ ïhis verse is perhaps the most important
verse of Quran on economic matters. It
tells us both the do¶s and the don¶ts in wealth
creation.
‡ First the don¶ts.
]
What is Prohibited in Wealth
Creation
Ü The verse rules out ALL illegal ways of wealth
creation. ³Batil´ encompasses any way of
acquiring wealth that violates the rights of: (a)
God (b) Contracting Parties and (c) Third Parties.
Ü First and foremost those ways of wealth creation
are ruled out that are declared ³illegal´ by the
Supreme Law Giver. Examples of these are riba,
gharar, qimar, ghish.

®
Ü The scope of the verse also includes all those
activities, which are declared ³illegal´ by the state
and its various echelons. Examples of these are
bribery, smuggling, money laundering.

Ü Ways of creating wealth that violate the rights of


third parties are also prohibited. Examples of these
are creating pollution, obstructing common
passage ways and other negative externalities.
Zoning regulations by municipalities are covered
here.
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What is Allowed in Wealth
Creation
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Wealth Creation: veneral
voverning Principles
‡ A. Freedom of Contract within Shariah
‡ B. Conscious and Voluntary Agreement
‡ C. Honoring the Rights of ³Third´ Parties
(Externalities)
‡ D. Honoring Both the Letter and the Spirit
of Contract

10
}inds of Contracts:
5 Compensatory.
5 vracious (Charity).
Ü Compensatory contracts are those whereby goods,
services, and rights are exchanged on the basis of some
compensation. Broadly defined, it includes all contracts,
which ³add value´, i.e. create wealth by someone and
hence his claim for compensation.
Ü The second type, i.e. charity, involves transfer of ³value´
owned by someone without compensation. The rules
governing the two types are naturally different. We are
concerned here with the first type.

11
asic Rules in Compensatory
Contracts
‡ A. Freedom in determining the conditions of a
contract
‡ B. Prohibition of taking others¶ property without
compensation
‡ C. Value Equivalence
‡ D. Prohibition of ³Unequal Exchange´
± (Iztarar, monopoly etc.)
‡ E. Provision of Maximum Possible Information

12
Application of Rules: Some
Examples
z Prohibition of Riba
z Prohibition of Gharar
z Prohibition of Gambling

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?ϞϤϋ?Ϧϣ?βΟέ?ϡϻίϷ΍ϭ?ΏΎμϧϷ΍ϭ?ήδϴϤϟ΍ϭ?ήϤΨϟ΍?ΎϤϧ·?΍ϮϨϣ΁?Ϧϳάϟ΍?ΎϬϳ΃?Ύϳ Ü
??????????????ϥϮΤϠϔΗ?ϢϜϠόϟ?ϩϮΒϨΘΟΎϓ?ϥΎτϴθϟ΍
(.Δϳϵ΍?mΪ΋ΎϤϟ΍?m Ϯγ

Ü O Ye who believe, Intoxicants and vambling,


(Dedication of ) stones, And (Dedication of) arrows, are
an abomination, of Satanãs handiwork: Eschew such
(abomination) , ïhat ye may prosper.

Ü vambling amounts to transfer of wealth without


any value added.