Economic Challenges for Ummah

Islamic teachings consider “Indebtedness” as a detestable phenomenon, which should not be resorted to except in cases of extreme necessity. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) even refused to offer the funeral prayer for a person who died before paying back his loan. Islamic principles require that the Muslims should avoid incurring foreign debts, even if they face some hardships. But our present indebtedness was not created by lack of resources.

The nineteenth century was a century of political oppression whereby the powerful Western nations enslaved most of the Asian and African nations including a large number of Muslim countries. The present century, which is nearing its end, has witnessed the gradual independence of these countries from Western imperialism. However, despite our apparent success in achieving the goal of political liberty, we could not succeed in acquiring independence on intellectual, economic and strategic levels. That is why Muslim Ummah could not yet reap the fruits of its political freedom.

Now the Muslim world is looking toward the coming century with hope that it will bring for it total independence in the real sense so the Muslims may find their due place among the nations of the world and may be free to live according to the Quran and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

However, this hope cannot be realized through wishful dreams. We will have to work hard for our total freedom even more than we did for our political freedom. We need a total revision of our strategy, a well-considered plan, a collective resolution, and a revolutionary approach.

It is common knowledge that Ummah’s basic economic problem is the dependence of the Muslim countries on others. Most of the them are borrowing huge amounts from the rich Western countries. Some countries are incurring these heavy interest-bearing loans not only for the development projects, but also for their day-to-day expenses, and what is more serious, for the payment of interest accrued on their previous loans which keeps the size of their indebtedness ever-increasing through a vicious circle. Dependency on foreign loans is the basic disease of our economy that has not only shattered our economic life, but has also devastated our self-determination and has forced us to submit to the demands of our creditors, sometimes, at the price of our collective interests. It is no secret that the creditors impose their own conditions before they advance a loan. These conditions keep us under a constant foreign pressure, often stop us from pursuing our own objectives and force us to follow the policies dictated by oth
ers. The evil consequences of dependence on foreign loans are too obvious to need any further elaboration.

Islamic teachings consider “Indebtedness” as a detestable phenomenon, which should not be resorted to except in cases of extreme necessity. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) even refused to offer the funeral prayer for a person who died before paying back his loan. Islamic principles require that the Muslims should avoid incurring foreign debts, even if they face some hardships. But our present indebtedness was not created by lack of resources.

Our dependence on foreign loans is self-imposed for which we cannot blame anyone but ourselves. We did never probe in to the factors underlying the flight of our capital. We did never try to remove those factors and instill confidence in our own people. We could not deliver ourselves from the corrupt and oppressive system of taxation. We were not able to create a peaceful atmosphere for investment. We could not provide our countries with stable political system. We did not bother to create opportunities for the sound utilization of capital and, above all, we failed to mobilize the spirit of Islamic unity and to activate the strength of the Muslim Ummah as a whole.

Courtesy: Pakistan Observer

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