Liberalist and capitalist visions cannot provide total felicitous in our subjects of wages, profit, hire, and interest. Their saying “yes” for the interest which is a kind of cancer of economy, besides wages, profit and hire; causes crisis in the application. We can clear up missings, defectiveness, and contradictions in the economy by using the analogy method which is one of the information generating bases in especially social sciences today.
According to the definition of Serahsi, interest is surplus more than law consideration in trade conditioned before. In the Quran, interest has been named with the word “riba”. The meaning of this is increase, becoming more and rise. For this reason, interest is an unrequited excess amount. In wider meaning, interest is excess and surplus in national income.
Interest has been a discussion topic in ancient Greek, and Rome, since the Middle age up to now. Aristo put forth his idea on getting interested with very severe accusing words. In fact, interest has been prohibited subject by all religions, thoughts, and philosophies, up to the sixteenth century. All the holy books, including The Torah (Old Testament, The Bible, The Psalter, and The Quran have prohibited interest. Şükrü Baban has said:” They would not be deceived as much as they have been thought, on the prohibition of preachers by the religion, and interest by the philosophers. (8). Jean Kalvin was the first person who has given permission to be interested in the West. Halil Şakir Kahyaoğlu explains this subject in his book called “General Economy” with his sentence: ”The Church has been started to see interest as legal obviously after Calvinist Protestantism”. (9). Money is not a value itself, unlike a property. It does not compensate for a need. Because, it cannot be eaten, drunk, and put on, and any needs cannot be eliminated with it. For this reason, money cannot be let out on hire. Because it does not increase or decrease unless an extra effort and a risk are present. For example; if you put your 10 billion dollars in a cupboard, instead of lending it to a friend or putting it in a bank; will it stay as it was before? Thus, why do you take interest when giving it to a bank or a friend? There is no explanation for it. As a result, interest does not contribute anything to the economy, but it harms the economy. However, humans have not understood it yet, up to now.
The understanding of income distribution of Islam and that of other systems are quite different. To European scientists, instruments of production are four: Nature, effort, capital, and enterprise. Earning of effort is called wage, earning of capital is called interest, earning of landowners is called hire(rent), and possible earning of enterprise is called profit. Islam never accepts this distribution. Islam has a specific view of nature, effort, capital, and enterprise appropriate itself. Islamic order does not resemble any of today’s orders. Islam sees individuals and society, person and state as the same. Therefore, in Islamic order, all the individual’s rights are under the state guarantee. In Islam, everybody owns what he/she earns by spending effort. Because in the Quran it has been said: “For a man, there is nothing, but the return of his/her effort.”(15). On the other hand, some people who have no labor, or capital can exist in society and can be a partner of income distribution because of their existence or effect, and they take their salary from the poor and the shiftless entries.(16). That is, in the Islamic economy, there is an understanding of sharing, including everybody, even people who do not produce can have the right of consuming, besides property has been basic in production.
Unfortunately, labor does not have products, even they do not have their efforts which have been accepted as means of production, either. Because union aghas sell their efforts to capital owners, bosses, by bargaining. As we mentioned above, society is a whole and production is a subject which all people are concerned about. Even, since the state makes a contribution to the economy by providing water, electricity, road, protection, lookout, and confidence; it takes taxes which return of them. Thus, the tax is a share in return for the contribution which state has done to production. This fact, unfortunately, has not been known by any of sentiments.
In the Islamic economy, there are hires either legal or not; and things can either be hired or not. In Islam, it has been accepted as legal to hire something such as houses, fields, animals, and clothes. Hiring a field has been tied to some conditions, especially by İmam Azam Abu Hanifa. Because everybody has a right on the field.
As a result, we can say that Islam has a specific (sui generis) understanding of sharing and income distribution, itself. Unlike other systems, not only producers but also non-producers have share owning. For example distribution of alms that is tax, inheritance, spoil and fey income and transactions such as subsistence, atonement, donation and will show this clearly.
BY: PROF. DR. OSMAN ESKICIOGLU