Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan lit the candle on July 26, 2018 by saying that he is very keen on making Pakistan the first Islamic state of Madinah, to which he refers to as Naya Pakistan in the legacy of Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision. He outlined his vision for “Naya Pakistan” emphasizing the need to root out corruption, provide fast justice, revive the economy, and uphold the rule of law to realise a welfare state like Madinah. He wants Pakistan to be a debt free country. He reaffirmed his pledge to offer five million young people with jobs, low-cost housing, technical training, and playgrounds to encourage healthy activities. He also promised reforms in the legal system, law enforcement, health, education, civil service, and local government. Climate change, impending water shortages, and pollution were all identified as severe problems that needed to be handled immediately. Good relationships with all the countries, wiping out terrorism, improving the educational sector, providing free medical services to a limit of Rupees 500,000 are his major goals.
Imran Khan stated Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is his role model because he succeeded in uniting the Arabs who used to live in tribes and often fought with one another. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) turned them into a powerful nation in a few years, at a time when there were two major powers, the Roman and Persian empires. He claimed that the West was following and implementing the concepts of a welfare state introduced by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He also stated that the rule of law is the most important principle without which no nation can progress.
A State stands on 3 main pillars: Economy, Politics and Society. The Economy of a state supports its politics and society. Economics is a social science, which describes the consumer’s behaviour. Consumer behaviour is of two types, Brotherhood behaviour (an Islamic approach) teaches well-being of other individuals and society & cutthroat behaviour (conventional approach) is to let someone down for his own sake. The Riba-free economy is a real gateway to Naya Pakistan as economic prosperity is not possible by being at war with Allah, i.e. indulging oneself in Riba. (Interest).
Riba is a curse. It is prohibited (Haram) not just only in Islam but in other religions too. The following references from the Holy Quran, Hadees (sayings of Muhammad peace be upon him), Bible, and Torah will wipe out every trace of doubt from one’s mind.
Allah destroys interest and gives an increase to charities.
(Surah Al Baqarah 2: 276)
O you who have believed fear Allah and give up what remains [due to you] of interest if you should be believers. In addition, if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from Allah and his Messenger.
(Surah Al Baqarah 2:278) The Prophet peace be upon him says that Allah has cursed the one who consumes Riba, the one who gives it, the two witnesses, and the one who writes down the transactions.[Muslim]
Lends at interest, and takes profit; shall he then live? He shall not live. He has done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon himself. [Ezekiel 18:13]
The mixed economy system (Riba based system) is being practiced in Pakistan while the vision of Quaid-e-Azam for Pakistan is as follow:
”We should have a state in which we could live and breathe as free men and in which we could develop according to our own lights and culture and where principles of Islamic social justice could find free play”
According to the 1973 constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamic Provisions (Provisions relating to the Holy Quran and Sunnah) Part ix:
”All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, in this Part referred to as the Injunctions of Islam, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such Injunctions.”
Although we fall into a misapprehension that Interest is the crucial regulatory tool of an economy and consider the Islamic economic system as just wishful thinking, Islamic economist believe that Riba free economy is more stable and robust than a Capitalist economy. We can realize it too from the following facts:
In the state of Madinah, at the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), there was interest (Riba) free stable economy. After that from Caliphate’s time to the Ottoman Empire (632 AD to 1875), i.e. 1243 years Muslims ruled a non-interest-based economic system. Ottoman’s did first borrowing during Tanzimat Era (1854-1876) to close the budget deficit, which did not help them positively, and even later, there was no interest-based economic system in Mughal’s time. According to Times of India, around 1700, Mughal’s were contributing highest in the world’s GDP that was more than entire Europe.i.e. 24.4%.
On the contrary, an interest-based economy is a balloon filled with air that can be busted anytime with a single pin. The Global financial crises of 2008 is the biggest example, excessive lending turned into housing bubble and crises happened, as assets did not back them up. Lehman Brothers, the fourth-largest US investment bank got bankrupt. It is also known as the Great Recession in the US and Western Europe.
Moreover, there was a sensation in every city of Europe, ‘Let’s Bank the Muslim way’.
By the grace of Almighty, Financial inclusion in Islamic banking and Finance is increasing in Pakistan. On January 13th 2021, REDmoney Group Malaysia announced that the State Bank of Pakistan is voted as the best Central bank in promoting Islamic Finance for the fourth time. We, here, at Usmani & Co. along with our fellow Pakistanis endeavour to make Pakistan a Riba-free state.
About the author: Saman Mehmood is currently a student of Master of Commerce specializing in Islamic Finance at Jinnah University for Women and is a novice in the finance industry. She has a keen interest in growing into the field of Islamic Finance.
The Torah states that it is forbidden to charge a fellow Jew interest on a loan. (Leviticus 25:37).