Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan

From Religion
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bibliographic Information
Journal Al-Tafseer
Title Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan
Author(s) Shabbir, Ghulam
Volume 32
Issue 1
Year 2018
Pages 48-61
Full Text Crystal Clear mimetype pdf.png
Keywords Islam, state, Society, development, charity, Zakat
Chicago 16th Shabbir, Ghulam. "Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan." Al-Tafseer 32, no. 1 (2018).
APA 6th Shabbir, G. (2018). Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan. Al-Tafseer, 32(1).
MHRA Shabbir, Ghulam. 2018. 'Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan', Al-Tafseer, 32.
MLA Shabbir, Ghulam. "Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan." Al-Tafseer 32.1 (2018). Print.
Harvard SHABBIR, G. 2018. Islamic Charity and Social Development in Pakistan. Al-Tafseer, 32.


“Whoever extinguishes the fire of the greed of “Nafs (self)” gets prosperous” is the leitmotif of Quran. Islam in its best is the religion of the oppressed, even itsworships rather than mere rituals are conduit of socioeconomic and political justice a panacea to social development. Prayers of community stay hypocritical ifpoverty, destitution and oppression prevail in community. Quran crushes the spirit of acquisitiveness and strikes moral order based on socio-economic andpolitical justice. For social equilibrium charity, Zakat and Sadaqat are recurrent theme of Quran. To the Dreamer and the Architect, Pakistan was poised tobecome an Islamic welfare state. So, this paper intends to portray what is needed to eliminate social inequalities in the social fabric of the state. What the people and the state ought to do in the light of Islamic ideals? To Shah Wali Allah, Zakat is a sure enough recipe to run a state and strike social equilibrium if employed to the spirit of Quran.

Islam in its essence is the religion of the oppressed, down-trodden, needy and destitute. Quranic revelations in early stages are characterized by a staccato like abruptness and consist of very short expressions like a sudden volcanic outbursts or the passage of a huge river through a gorge. Here, the Quran denounces gross socio-economic and political injustice prevalent in Mecca in the severest possible terms. The Prophet of Islam seems impelled by an inner urge born of acute perception of the existential human situation to enter the arena of historic action. The immediate as well as long run task of the Quran is the establishment of an ethical, egalitarian moral social order on the planet which is shared by not superiors versus inferiors but equals. “unlike so many of the earlier prophets, Muhammad had not only brought individual men and women a new personal vision of hope, but he had undertaken the task of redeeming human history and creating a just society which would enable men and women to fulfill their true potentials….salvation of the individual could not be achieved if the endless cycle of bloodshed and exploitation continued in Arabia: a corrupt or disintegrating society inevitably breeds immorality, malaise and despair in all but the truly heroic, so the conditions of seventh century Arabia demanded a social as well as an individual plan of salvation1”.

At the advent of Islam, there were some Hanifs a class of individuals reached at monotheism, but theirs and Muhammad’s monotheism were poles apart. “For Muhammad’s monotheism was, from the very beginning, linked up with humanism and a sense of social and economic justice whose intensity is no less than the intensity of monotheistic idea, so that whoever carefully reads the early Revelations of the Prophet cannot escapes the conclusion that the two must be regarded as the expressions of the same experience2.” Quran vociferously without concern for the welfare of the Poor stays prayers hypocritical (107:1-7). Hence, the religious ferment and vague monotheism of Hanifs has nothing to do with any movement for the social reform.

So, the thrust of prophet’s career which resulted in founding of Islamic society, from the outset was to strike One God- one humanity. The Quran zeroed in on two fundamental and closely linked aspects of that society: polytheism or multiplicity of gods an emblem of the segmentation of society, and the gross socio-economic inequalities equally root cause of pernicious divisiveness of mankind. Both malaise are obverse and converse of the same coin. Only one God can ensure the essential unity of mankind. Tribes and clans had chosen different Gods according to their wishes or the same have become their gods the basis of social fragmentation, on the other hand the islands of opulence in the sea of poverty has also given rise to class consciousness, a sort of apartheid in its on milieu, a worse factor responsible for human divisiveness and difficult to be handled in light of tendency of man’s acquisitiveness. The grand ethical ideal of Tauheed or Muhammad’s monotheism at the core is concerned with addressing the two malaises of polytheism and gross socio-economic injustice inimical to the materialization of concept of Oneness of God.

The issue is, even if someone gets rid of polytheism, anchors his belief in One God, if he damns cares of the deprived one he actually denies God and the Day of Judgment his prayers are hypocritical and worships are farce, for paying lip service and denying by deeds is mere hypocrisy not Islam. Elimination of socio-economic inequalities and striking a just moral order is actually materialization of grand ethical ideal of Tauheed. If only the balance is struck on the realm of socio-economic justice, as is evident from the conduct of earlier Islamic caliphate the burden of charity is lessened on the state and the people. It is only the burgeoning gap between rich and the poor which increases the need of charity. Islam is so concerned with the elimination of socio-economic injustice that here the concept of worships even is conducive to social reforms. Worships in Islam lead to the realization of egalitarian moral order which transpires in socio-economic and political justice. Societies devoid of socio-economic justice might be Muslims but not monotheistic at all. In Islam Prayer is a symbol of social justice, Zakat an emblem of economic justice, pilgrimage a symbol of political justice etc. if worships not fulfill what is required are reduced to mere husk and no more than mere rituals.

Basically, before understanding the meaning of charity in Islam, perusal of human “self” is essential. The constitution of human conscience (self) consists of opposing moral tensions and is yet marvelously proportionate and balanced one. Quran says “By the Self, and the proportion and order given to it (91:7)”. The ‘Self’ constitutes two sides the animalistic and the other angelic one. The animalistic side grows on getting and satiating the basic instincts while angelic side flourishes and sprouts on giving and sacrificing. Then what can be more benevolent deed than charity for the development of human personality? This is because Quran says about the righteous men “they feed, for the love of God, the indigent, the orphan, and the captive- (saying) we feed you for the sake of God alone; nor reward do we desire from you; nor thanks”(76:8-9). Here, it is also symbolic of they cater to their spiritual needs. In return, they not even demand the words of thanks. The self-sacrifice of the Helpers of Medina for Meccan immigrants is stated in Quran in an ineffable way particularly when major portion of the confiscated land and property of the BanuNadhir was given to the muhajirun. “But those who before them had homes in Medina and had adopted the faith, show their affection to such as came to them for refuge, and entertain no desire in their hearts for things given to the latter, but give them preference over themselves, even though poverty was their (own lot). And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls, they are the ones that achieve prosperity (59:9)”. In nutshell, “whoever extinguishes the fire of greed of “Nafs (self)” gets prosperous” is the leitmotif of Quran.

Quran is certainly not against earning wealth, on the contrary it terms it as the bounty of God [fadl Allah] (62:10;73:20; 5:2) and good[khair](2:105,215,272-73). Quran counts peace and prosperity among the highest blessings of God (106:1-4). However, Quran negates their sole proprietorship on their earnings as the people of Prophet Shuaib are being denounced for their discretionary rights on their wealth, for they tell Shuaib! Do your prayers order you that we should give up those [idols] which our forefathers worshipped or that we should desist from doing with our wealth whatever we please? (11:87) . Here, we again see how polytheism and gross socio-economic disparities are closely related,for both tend to negate the materialization of the loftiest ideal of Tauheed. Just as the factory man give the labor their due not all money for he has invested for the installation of equipment, God has created the paraphernalia of this universe and people earn from his fadhl, but he sets value on that wealth that should be distributed among the needy, poor and destitute. In a lengthy Medinan Passage(2:260-74) Quran elaborates that expenditure on the needy (charity) is like a single grain that grows seven ears of the corn, each ear containing a hundred ormore grains, that those who spend in order to show off or who want recognition from their beneficiaries are like rocks upon which there is a thin layer of earth which is easily washed away by a torrential rain, leaving the bare rock that grows nothing, nothing while those who spend “seeking God’s pleasure” are like those highlands which, if watered by rains, bring forth plenty but which even in the absence of rains get enough dew because of their height to grow a crop. This is the state of people who spend on their fellow beings, on the contrary who are miser and megalomaniac their situation is being stated “Satan inspires you with the fear of [fear of] poverty [for investing in society] and commands you obscenities; God on the other hand promises you forgiveness and prosperity [for such investment]. The Question arises how prosperity comes when wealth is invested it gets short while Quran terms this investment as token of prosperity? It is true not only on spiritual plane but material plane also. War-torn Germany was resuscitated by Marshal Plan not in mercy but to stop the spill-over of poverty to rest of the Europe and America. For if there would be poverty the rest would suffer. That was why Benazir developed his thesis in her last book “Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and West3” that West should offer Marshal Plan like project for the Muslim world to set its economy right for honorable avoidance of extremism while rejecting the Huntington thesis of Clash of civilization which she regards as artificial construct. The present crisis of civilization in her analysis is war between haves and haves not. Imperial West instead of supporting the Muslim World and true Democracy there, more often install puppet regimes and sucks their natural resources by dealing with minority of ruling elites in Muslim Asia and Africa. Musaddiq government in Iran was toppled by CIA, King Faruq of Egypt was given tough time, only a few of so many examples. However, on spiritual plane, charity quickens the dead hearts to life. So blissful a deed that the doers even does not needs to receive the words of thanks from his beneficiaries, that Hugo was apt to say that “ when the purse is emptied the heart is filled”

Quran condemns un-charitableness and boastful conspicuous consumption on the one hand and grinding poverty and helplessness on the other:

Competition in accumulating wealth keeps you preoccupied until you visit your graves. Nay, you shall find out soon; nay, nay you shall find out soon (107:1-6). In same vein is being said “woe betide every fault finder, back slider, who collects wealth and counts it. He thinks his wealth would bestow eternal life upon him! nay he shall be thrown in hutama and do you know what hutama is ? It is God’s fire that He lights and that descends upon the hearts [of callous miserly people](102:1-4) . According to Lesely Hazelton seventh century Mecca was equivalent of Wall Street bull market where callous and cannibalistic capitalism was on its height. So, think the situation Quran is addressing to, on the one side is the mercantile elite having mansions in Syria and Iraq, on the other hand is majority of poverty stricken. Hazilton doubts the version of Ibn e Ishaq narrative that either Maisra’s narration of miracles surrounding prophet during Syria’s commercial trip convinced Khadija to send Muhammad message of marriage or huge profit inclined her toward Muhammad. Lesley sees Muhammad was magnanimous enough to spend much of his profit on needy and the poor that struck his love in Khadija4, for both had concerns for the down-trodden and severe socio-economic and political injustices in Vatican City of Arabian Peninsula. Later history shows that Khadija’s wealth was spent for the movement of Islam and Prophet never ever worn silken dress like elites of Mecca, even though affordable to him, his worn out simple shoes got pale due to the sun but he remained consistently simple enough well until his last days of his life when whole of peninsula was his subject. At the conquest of Mecca magnanimity of Muhammad is touching the galaxies that not only amnesty for all was proclaimed huge some of booty was returned and prophet to have some food enters her cousin Ume Hani’s home dry pieces of bread soaked in water are eaten and Prophet says “ الفقر فخری self- abnegation is my pride”. Therefor am impelled to say that “fair-politics” is best source of charity if through it some-one secures socio-economics and political justice for the poor. It is like Chinese proverb that by arranging hook and training someone for fishing is better to provide him fish in charity on daily basis. Even in our times from the role and conduct of Nelson Mandela is self-evident that politics is the best source of human good and welfare. In war of the elites versus poor to Quran “the inheritance of the earth comes to the weak and the oppressed (7:137; 28:5) provided struggle and endeavor continues on part of them.

In modern times states’ policies of economic system define the scope of human welfare. It is necessary to comprehend what economic system Islam imparts to its society? So far as capitalism and communism is concerned both are materialistic philosophies obverse and converse of the same coin. Former translates into cannibalistic and callous materialism the latter even into intellectual colonialism and strikes very hard at the fundamental liberties of an individual. Quran collapses the two extremes into the middle. It secures the individual right to earn money, stays the rights of poor in that on legal plane in terms of Zakat, on moral plane in terms of charity. But on universal high moral ground community is destined to the point where if people ask what we do spend in God’s way said O Prophet “whatever is more than your needs belongs to God [state property](2:219). It is the loftiest ideals of Islamic economic system, for the care of indigent is prerogative of state, what comes to its coffers ultimately goes for the welfare of people. Islam is too concerned for the destitute and community at large level that even the material heritage of the prophet was declared state property as Hitti puts in his “History of Arabs”. Besides, an overriding principle is being stated in Quran that “Be vigilant lest wealth should be limited to a few hands of wealthy among you (59:7). It urges the state to intervene when wealth is concentrated in a few hands of political, mercantile and religious elites. It was in this context, after the conquest of Iraq Omar the second caliph refused to divide that land among Muslim warriors as booty, in accordance with the general practice of the Prophet within Arabia. Umar’s intuition was that prophet’s practice concerning tribal territories was no longer practicable now that whole countries were being conquered. Umar finally appealed to Quran (59:1o) to buttress his stand without quoting any verse of Quran but in interest of Quran’s demand of social justice and fair play6. It was declared state property and the rank of file of Islamic community being the beneficiaries.

To strike parity and justice on economic plane, Quran condemns usury (2:275) and imposes Zakat(30:39) on Muslim community with the conviction that usury shrinks the blessings of God while multiplies it several folds.MuftiShafi struck a convincing parable: addition in wealth by usurious deal is like a soaring wound that whatever gets in size is harmful, while apparently decrease in wealth by Zakat is like surgical remove of pus and flesh from the wound that is decrement in body but is beneficial to it. So, in (9:60) Quran lays out the heads of expenditure of Zakat covers all the department and activities of a modern welfare state: 1)The poor and the needy; 2) the civil service(literally, Tax collectors; but the tax collectors were in the prophet’s days the only civil service, since his government was a simple, informal, and undifferentiated form of government) ; 3) diplomatic expenditure “to win goodwill for Islam; 4) to free Muslim war captives; 5) to relieve chronic debts of people who are unable to payback; 6) expenditure “in the path of Allah” a phrase which in the Quran means both jihad, that is defense and expenditure on social wealth, for example , health and education etc.; and finally 7) “facilitating travel,” i.e., communications expenditures7. Categories of Zakat are so broader that they comprise and encompass all the activities of a state. Dr. FazlurRahman derives this thesis regarding Zakat from Shah Wali Allah, and an unbiased observer gets spellbound how Shah Wali Allah pretty well before the advent of modern welfare state is interpreting Islam on such a fine lines. Yet, literalists of Islam came to understand these functions narrowly under a hide bound tradition, and Zakat became, in the course of time, necessarily defunct. A sole prerogative of state authorities to collect Zakat now, have fallen more in the jurisdiction of Orthodox than state, a matter of conscience rather than obligation; an issue on which despite Umar’s suggestion to avoid Abu Bakar the First Caliph fought wars against those who refused to pay Zakat. As we discussed Umar regarding division of booty on conquest of Iraq that within a decade or less the scenario and situation is so changed that even though Quran endorses the distribution of booty among the warrior and Prophet of Islam had always done so, Umar said now Islam is out of Arabian peninsula where only camels, goats and small amounts of gold, silver were obtained, now countries after countries of rich agricultural lands are being conquered, imagine the unimaginable huge amount of booty, if distributed on traditional line, feudalism and capitalism would flourish that tallies not social justice and fair play the basic tenets of Islam. Then, why it is necessary that in matter of Zakat we should remain clung to the basic 2.5% of Zakat ratio set in tribal territories of Arabia in Prophet days, if it be necessary, should have been at last once declared in Quran. No principle of Quran is so conducive to social development as is Zakat. If Zakat is implemented in letter and spirit the need and scope of charity is narrowed down. Quran stays poverty corruption on earth [fasadfilardh] and wanted Muslims to establish a political order on earth for the sake of creating an egalitarian and just moral social order. Such an order should, by definition eliminate gross socio-economic disparities and corruption on earth. Paying lip-service to such an endeavor, charity could not fill the yawning gap between haves and haves not, opulence and poverty, even though its scope is widened by the day. It causes social discord, retardation, fragmentation rather than social harmony, cohesion and development.

The English word charity is not equivalent of Quranic term Khair orKhairat which is pregnant with multiple serious connotations of Goodness. “It is no virtue that you turn your faces east and west [in prayer]. Virtuous are they who believe in God, the last day, the angles, the Book [ all revealed books], the prophets, who give of their wealth- despite their love for it- to needy kinsmen, orphans, the poor, the wayfarer, those who ask for financial help and for ransoming war captives, who establish prayers, pay zakat , fulfill their pacts when they make them, are steadfast in hardship, adversity and war- these are the true believers(2:177). In Medina when Muslims were recognized as Gold median and Ideal community along with Jews and Christian too as communities and change of Qibla was effected, it was said that … for each one of you we have appointed a Law and a way of conduct…..He may test you in what He has given you; so فاستبقوالخیرات compete in goodness (5:51). Here the word Khirattraditionally taken as charity in Muslim narrative actually encompasses socio-economic justice, fair play, just moral order, just political system, intellectual prowess, scientific and technological advancement, for the communities are weighed down on the just balance of natural and social Divine laws and an atomic size goodness or badness even does not escape His sight, God is sitting in a watch tower, only those turn victorious and rule the world who perform well.

However, a sort of charity or community service in Christianity is also acceptable in Islam if it carries the substance of goodness. The Pact of virtuous (Hilf al-fudul), in which chiefs and members of numerous tribes, pledged that it was their collective duty to intervene in conflicts and side with the oppressed against oppressors. During the heydays of Islam remembering that prophet said that even as the bearer of Islam he still accepted its terms and will not hesitate to participate again. It reflects that Islam is by no means a closed value system at variance or conflicting with other value systems8.

While inculcating a spirit of charity in believers, Quran sets high value on the dignity, honor and self-esteem of the beneficiary. Most often it encourages supporting them who could not state their needs for the safe-guard of their self-esteem. Prophet of Islam seeking the attention of Meccaninfluentials, had neglected and ignored a poor man, apparently of no significance to his cause, who was asking for spiritual solace; this mistake; this moral slip is recorded in Quran (80:1-11) which through this story teaches the Muslims never to neglect a human being, never to turn away from the poor and needy, but rather to serve and love them. So, the self -respect and honor of the beneficiary is of paramount importance in case of charity.

جو شخص جانتا نہیں رتبہ فقیر کا اس کی عطائے خاص بھی لینا حرام ہے

To condemn acquisitiveness and boosting charity is the recurrent theme of Quran. So, he who gives in (charity) and fears (God) and (in all sincerity) testifies to the best, we will indeed make smooth for him the path to bliss. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself Self-sufficient and gives the lie to the best we will indeed make smooth for him the path to misery (92:5-10). So, charity leads to prosperity and acquisitiveness brings misery in society. The prophet of God was so concerned with this norm of Islam that he termed words of benevolence as charity9; furthermore he said that the smile you offer to your brother [your sister] is charity10. Prophet of Islam held one of his companions called Abu Lubabah, in great esteem, so much so that he had left him in charge of Medina when he had left for the first expedition of Badar. Sometime latter a young man came to Muhammad to complain that Abu Lubabah had taken from him a palm tree that had long been his. Investigation showed that palm tree belonged to Abu Lubabah. But young man was much worried about the loss of tree. Prophet privately asked Abu Lubabah that after justice have been rendered, give the young back tree back. Abu Lubaba adamantly refused, because obsession veiled his heart and compassion. In this context revelation was to recall, on both the individual and collective levels “God commands justice and excellence (16:90). It was not a question of giving up one’s right (and Abu Lubabah had been justified in requiring it to be acknowledged); rather, it involved learning to sometime reach beyond, for the sake of those reasons of the heart that teach the mind to forgive, to let go, and to give from oneself and from one’s belongings, moved by shared humanity or love. The Prophet was saddened by the reaction of his companion, whom he held in great esteem: He realized that Abu Lubabah’s almost blind attachment to one of Islam’s recommendations, justice, prevented him from reaching the superior level of justness of heart: excellence, generosity, giving. Eventually another companion, ThabitIbnDahana, offered Abu Lubabah an entire orchard in exchange for that single tree, which he then gave away to the young orphan. Prophet rejoiced at that outcome and did not resent Abu Lubabah’s attitude. He latter entrusted him with other missions11.

Acquisitiveness and sense of possession is grand obstacle in the way of charity and social development. From possession sprouts obsession and spree of monopolization. To Shariati and other left leaning scholars, the earth was garden well until a consciousness of possession flashed on human conscience and he was out of paradise. To him, story of Cain and Abel brims with scientific facts. Cain and Abel were Adam children. Adam betrothed two of his daughters to two of his sons. Cain found his brother wife more attractive. Abel was pleased with what was chosen for him. Cain objected “No I must take away what you have”. Case was brought before Adam, He said each one of you choose a sacrifice and whoseever is accepted, the other will submit. Both agreed.Abel choose a red-haired camel, the best and most expensive he had, while Cain chooses a sheaf of wheat rotten and moldy. They took their offerings to the altar. Naturally Abel’s was accepted. Since Cain was disappointed, he continued his aggression, until he deceived him in the desert and killed him. This was the first blood spilt in the history of mankind. The episode symbolizes how man’s unity, equality, and brotherhood was changed to animosity. The cause of the disparity between the two individuals might lay in their occupation; Cain was a farmer (He offered wheat) , and Abel was a herdsman (He offered camel). Abel represented a phase in human history in which life depended upon nature, fishing and domestication of animals. On the other hand Cain represented a period in which the source of production became monopolized and private property came into being. So, when there was no sense of possession, no monopoly of resources in this phase of History resources are equally at everyone’s disposal. “Mine” and ‘yours’ have not yet developed in man. While Cain exemplifies an era in which a person fences a piece of land, tags his name to it and begins to exploit and enslave others12. Hence, with the disappearance of Abel history enters Cainian era, and we are all descendants of Cain since Abel never married. In social parlance of Quran, Pharaoh is a symbol of power, Croesus as a symbol of riches, and Balaam Ba-Ura, the clergy who monopolizes the religion. One grabs the masses head, the second robs its pocket, and the third whispers in their ears, “Don’t worry brothers! Be Quiet, God will take care of it tomorrow!”. These three features of Cainian order will continue to rule history.

It is the nexus of these three elites which is barrier to social development. Prophet himself successfully struck revolution against this nexus the political, mercantile and religious elites of Mecca and brought power, peace and prosperity to the Arabian Peninsula a hallmark of social development. Islam being a Din rather than religion seeks compatibility with requirements of space and time. In our own social milieu, we need to interpret Islam for social development. Abd-AlrehmanBadawi, an Egyptian scholar states that “ A school or a religion which expresses all its facts and connotations in direct, clear cut, and one dimensional sentences will not last long, since it is addressing diverse individuals from all walks of life. Further these people various strata and classes who vary in thinking, viewpoint, and outlook. And so a language which is selected for a religion must be multilayered and multidimensional so that each generation can decipher one layer and each group can understand one dimension at a time13”.

So, radical reforms are needed for social development in Muslim world, in each country within its own social milieu. Today’s Pakistan is plunged in its own social problems. Here, masses due to severe strong bond with Islam from Karachi to Khyber throb are benevolent to each other. Be an earthquake of October 2005 or calamities of floods or other natural disasters, our people outstripped the record of developed countries like USA. The major problem lies with state if it channelizes and regularizes the works of social welfare properly, we can achieve marvelous successes in social development. Pakistan is a constellation of diverse religious schools and NGOs working for social development on religious and humanistic grounds, if their potentials are harnessed administered and planned can struck revolution in social development and poverty elimination in the country. The role of state is crucial to administer and implement Islamic modes of social development to the tone, tenor and tune of Quran.

What state must do? The suggestions are given below.* The state should overhaul the institution of Zakat in accordance with élan of Quran and the exigencies of time.

  • First step towards it that Zakat should become obligation rather than discretionary right of the payer. It is incumbent on the state that it should collect zakat from every potential payer even if he is entitled only to pay a camel rope. For it is the duty of state to fulfill the fundamental needs of masses, Prophet said it is my duty to pay the debt of the deceased one.
  • Conduct of first caliph shows that state can declare war against those who decline to pay Zakat.
  • Collection of Zakat is the prerogative of state, no man is authorized to pay with his discretion, or orthodoxy is not entitled to collect and utilize it.
  • As earlier mentioned, according to interpretation of Shah Wali Allah and Dr. FazlurRahman the modern welfare Islamic state can run all its expenditure with Zakat money. From the salaries of civil and military bureaucracies to defense, health, education and communications all fall under the heads of Zakat expenditure. If Islamic ideological council had not been dominated by clergy, there is no reason to decline this wider scope of Zakat.
  • If within a decade or less after prophet the changed scenario compelled Omar the second caliph not to divide Iraqi lands among warring soldiers in favor of social justice and fair play, today state authority can re-define the ratio of Zakat to enhance social development.
  • In our milieu a political order for the sake of creating an egalitarian and just moral social order is an urgent need. Such an order should eliminate corruption of every sort. If socio-economic and political rights of every citizen are secured, it is the best recipe of social development as compared to charity. If justice in charity is delivered to Pakistanis, grand revolutions in social development would be the outcome.
  • If after devouring billions of national assets, someone is managing charity meals for poor, He should be kept away from the national resources.
  • If nexus between political, mercantile and religious elites remained intact, then charity works can never eliminate socio-economic disparities a great obstacle to social development. That is why the islands of opulence amidst ocean of poverty are but a symptom of profound disorder.

Today’s world is plunged in severe crisis of economic inequalities, for social development not only in Pakistan but the world over, Quran’s principle of “ they ask what we spend in God’s way, say o Prophet whatever is more than your needs belongs to God and His Apostle (Islamic state) is a sure recipe to an economic equilibrium. So, appreciating Marxism’s thrust for social justice Iqbal on Russian advancement said:

اس دور میں شاید وہ حقیقت ہو نمودار جو حرف قل العفو میں پوشیدہ ہے اب تک

But, it does not mean Iqbal holistically succumbed to Marxism, Iqbal in light of Quran wants equality and justice on both economic and spiritual spheres and condemned Marx for his only economic concerns.

برمساوات شکم دارد اساس دین ایں پیغمبر حق نا شناس

To Iqbal, قل العفو is the Quranic doctrine of supreme importance for social justice and fair play conducive to social progress. But intellectual-deficit of Muslims is also of major concern to Iqbal.

منزل و مقصود قرآں دیگر است رسم و ٓئین مسلماں دیگر است
دردل او ٓتش سوزندہ نیست مصطفے در سینہ او زندہ نیست


1. Karen Armstrong, Muhammad a biography of the prophet, a phoenix Press paperback, London, 1991, p. 250-51

2. FazlurRahman, Islam, Anchor Books, Doubleday &company,Inc Garden City New York, p.2

3. Benazir Bhutto presented this argument in Reconciliation: Islam, Democracy and the West.

4. Lesley Hazelton, The First Muslim the story of Muhammad,Atlantic Books London, p.65

5. PhilipK.Hitti, History of Arabs, p.230

6.FazlurRahman, Islam and Modernity, The University of Chicago Press Chicago and London, p.24

7.FazlurRahman, Revival and Reform In Islam, oneworld publications, Washington, USA, p.186

8. Tariq Ramadan, The Messenger: The meanings of the Life of Muhammad, Penguin Books, p.22

9. Hadith reported by al-Bukhari.

10.Hadith reported by Muslim.

11.Tariq Ramadan, The Messenger: The meanings of the Life of Muhammad, Penguin Books, p.133

12. Ali Shariati, Man and Islam, FILINC, p. 18-20

13. Ali Shariati, Man and Islam, FILINC, p. 2