Islamic Economics Can Solve World Problems

Islamic economics presents viable solutions to many problems facing the world, says Abdul Rahman al-Jeraisy, a leading businessman and chairman of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “There are a number of successful experiments in the field of Islamic economics,” al-Jeraisy said, emphasizing the importance of applying Islamic methodology in utilizing and managing material resources.
In a statement on the occasion of the seventh Islamic Economic Conference, which opens at King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah on April 1, he said the conference would shed more light on the growing significance of Islamic economics. “[Sharia] has given utmost importance to economic matters and warned against financial dealings that would have dangerous consequences on the Ummah [the broader Islamic nation] and moral values,” said al-Jeraisy.
He underlined the importance of the conference as it comes at a time when many Muslims have drifted away from Islamic teachings in dealing with their economic and financial matters.
“The conference also offers a good opportunity for interested people to become aware of new research in the field of Islamic economics,” he said. Jeraisy Group is one of the conference’s main sponsors.
The three-day conference will examine the findings of numerous studies in Islamic economics to counter challenges posed by the modern world and help poor Muslim countries develop their economies. Dr. Abdullah Muhammad Bafel, vice-president for higher studies and scientific research at KAU, said the conference would formulate a futuristic economic vision from an Islamic perspective.
The conference will bring together economists, business leaders, entrepreneurs, thinkers and journalists. It will be a forum for Islamic economists, bankers and financiers to discuss the intricacies of Islamic finance and examine the dynamic nature of Islamic economies. “It is vital to examine why the vibrant principles of Islamic economics have not been implemented over the past few years and no viable method has evolved to invest the wealth of rich Muslim countries in poorer Muslim countries,” Bafel said.
Participants will also discuss the development of natural resources in Muslim countries in light of the challenges and opportunities posed by globalization. The conference will also help develop strategies to create a better understanding of business opportunities in emerging markets.
The conference will discuss as many as 50 research papers on various topics presented by experts from different parts of the world. Dr. Abdullah al-Musleh, secretary-general of the International Organization for Scientific Miracles in the Holy Qur’an and Sunnah, will present a paper on “Miraculous Economic Teachings in the Qur’an.”
Al-Musleh will focus on the economic problems being caused by the interest-based banking and financial system that obstructs investment, causes inflation and expands the divide between rich and poor. “Zakah encourages investment, controls inflation and contributes to solving unemployment problems,” he added.
[The Qur’an requires a Muslim to donate five percent of his income in the form of zakah or zakat (alms) for the benefit of the poor.
The author does not explain how zakat could encourage investment, control inflation and contribute to solving the unemployment problem. After all, in the case of the capital-surplus countries in the Gulf, the excessive liquidity is the main source of inflation. Unemployment is more a social and cultural issue than an economic one, as it has to do with the reluctance of Gulf citizens to engage in non-white color jobs. Moreover, the unemployment of women in Saudi Arabia, for example, is not an issue caused by lack of investment.]