Towards a Maqāṣid al-Sharīʿah Index of Socio-Economic Development: Theory and Application

SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
  • Book Title:
 Socio Economic Development
  • Book Author:
Salman Syed Ali
  • Total Pages
436
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SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – Book Sample

What Is Socio-Economic Progress and Development?

Quran clearly states that the creation of this world is not purposeless.[01] And We created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in play (Quran, 44:38) [Source: http://quran.com/44/38, Pickthal’s … Continue reading It defines the purpose of creation of the human beings as (ibādah) worship and obedience to Allah.[02] I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me (Quran, 51:56) [Source: … Continue reading

However, humankind’s sphere of ibādah transcends tasbeeh and taqdees forms of the worship to include in the worship

the management of his affairs in this world in accordance with the will of Allah. Humankind has thus been appointed as vicegerent of Allah (khāli- fah) on this earth to manage the affairs in conformity to the will of Allah. This agency required bestowment to him a free will, provisions for his sustenance on earth, guidance about his assignment and ability to make decisions. Humans are given all these. They are free to become obedi- ent and grateful or to reject the wilful obedience and remain unthankful and misuse the delegated authority with the respective consequences.[03] Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving (Quran, 76:3) [Source: http://legacy.quran.com/76/3]. Also see Quran, … Continue reading

The existence of death and life on earth is to provide an opportunity (of time, space and circumstances given to individuals in their life until their death) to perform and pass this test[04][He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed—and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving (Quran, 62:2) … Continue reading the reward of which will come in the hereafter.[05] Add reference to al-Akhirah

Thus, the socio-economic development of human society needs to be geared towards these goals. Any increase in wealth, health, living standards and culture should be to facilitate in our ibādah of Allah and increase the likelihood of passing the test. Obedience to Allah calls for carrying out the rights of Allah and the rights of human beings because Allah ordains both these duties.[06] Asad: And [tell them that] I have not created the invisible beings and men to any end other than that they may [know and] worship Me. Malik: We have … Continue reading

In this way, the purpose of life helps define the meaning and purpose of socio-economic development as an associated strategy to achieve the main goals. Any development that is not aligned with these higher objectives would not deserve to be called progress and improvement.

This worldview may be true for Muslims, who adhere to this pur- pose of life. Nevertheless, we know that not all the world population is Muslim nor we expect them to convert to Islam within a short time. Thus, it is not expected that all individuals would strive to understand and adopt this cognizance of the purpose of life and hence this purpose of socio-economic development. It should also be clear that Muslims are not tasked to forcefully change the beliefs of others.7 Their responsibility is to convey and disseminate the true information only.8 Moreover, the realization of the real purpose of life, if it comes, may be asynchronous in time among different individuals and societies. Some people accept the truth right away, some realize it later, some others linger undecided and some reject the above-defined purpose. Therefore, the objectives of socio-economic development have to be all-encompassing and inclu- sive for humanity, yet targeted for the key purpose of life on earth. This brings us to state that the objective of development is twofold:

  • First, to strengthen the development needs to facilitate the achieve- ment of ibādah as well as success in the life hereafter for those who accepted Islam and the purpose of life that it describes.
  • Second, to gear the development towards providing opportunity to non-believers for making informed choices in attaining the correct belief and gaining the understanding of the purpose.9 In this way,

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References / Footnotes

01 And We created not the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, in play (Quran, 44:38) [Source: http://quran.com/44/38, Pickthal’s translation]
02 I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me (Quran, 51:56) [Source: http://www.theonlyquran.com/quran/Az-Zariyat/English_Mohammed_M_Pickthall/?ayat=56]
03 Lo! We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving (Quran, 76:3) [Source: http://legacy.quran.com/76/3]. Also see Quran, 90:8–10. ‘Have We not made for him a pair of eyes? And a tongue and a pair of lips? And shown him the two ways (good and evil)?’ (Quran, 90:8–10) [Source: http://legacy.quran. com/90/8-10, Muhsin Khan’s translation]
04[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed—and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving (Quran, 62:2) [Source: http://quran.com/67]. Who hath created life and death that He may try you which of you is best in conduct; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving (Quran, 62:2) [Source: http://www.theonlyquran. com/quran/Al-Mulk/english_mohammed_m_pickthall/?pagesize=15]
05 Add reference to al-Akhirah
06 Asad: And [tell them that] I have not created the invisible beings and men to any end other than that they may [know and] worship Me. Malik: We have not created jinns and mankind except to worship Me. Pickthall: I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. Yusuf Ali: I have only created jinns and men that they may serve Me. (Source: http://www.alim.org/library/quran/ayah/compare/51/56/allah,-who- built-the-heavens-and-spread-out-the-earth,-has-assigned-prophet-muhammad-to- be-a-warner-for-mankind) Note that human rights towards self and others are not omnipotent, do not exist by themselves or supreme in themselves but founded on Allah’s commandment. These rights