Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr (excerpt from the book ‘Iqtisaduna – Our Economics’)

The capitalistic doctrine is based on three main elements which constitute its peculiar organic entity which distinguishes it from other doctrinal entities. These elements are: Firstly, adherence to the principle of private ownership in an unlimited form. Thus, while the general rule in Marxist doctrine was the collective ownership, not to be forsaken except in an exceptional case, the question is entirely reverse in the Capitalist doctrine. Thus private ownership, under this doctrine, constitutes the general rule extending to all the fields and different fields of wealth, which could not be violated except under exceptional circumstances, obliging, at times, nationalization of this project or that and making it a property of the State. Therefore so long as the collective experiment did not prove the necessity of nationalization of any project, private ownership remained the general rule in force.

On this basis, capitalism believes in the freedom of ownership (possession) and lets private ownership raid all elements of production such as land, tools, buildings, mines and other forms of wealth and the law in the capitalist society guarantees safety of private ownership and preservation thereof by the proprietor. Secondly, opening the way for every individual to exploit his ownership and possibilities as he likes and to allow him to develop his wealth with different means and methods he can. If he owned, for instance, an agricultural land, he was entitled to exploit it himself in any way of exploitation. He had also the right to hire it out to another person and make such conditions to him as he might deem important. He had similarly the right of having it unexploited.

This capitalist freedom which the doctrinal capitalism grants to the owner aims at making the individual the only worker in the economic movement as no one was better aware of his real benefits than he himself, nor was anyone else more competent to gain them. And nobody could be in such a position unless he was provided freedom in the field of exploitation and the preparation thereof and as long as interference from any side, Government or otherwise, was not removed from his way. In this way, therefore, everyone had a sufficient opportunity to choose the method of exploiting his wealth, the profession he should adopt and the methods which he might adopt for realizing greatest possible amount of wealth. Thirdly, guaranteeing freedom of consumption in the same way as freedom of exploitation is guaranteed. Thus every individual enjoyed the freedom to spend his money and wealth as he liked, to satisfy his desires and meet his needs. He was free to choose whatever the goods he liked for consumption and he could not be prevented therefrom by the Government banning, at times, the consumption of certain commodities for considerations relating to public interests, such as the consumption of an anaesthetic.

So these are the main signposts of the Capitalist doctrine, which could be summed up in three freedoms: Freedom of ownership, freedom of exploitation and freedom of consumption.

At the very first sight there appears the glaring inconsistency between the capitalist doctrine and the Marxist doctrine, which lays down collective ownership at the principle instead of the individual ownership and ends the Capitalist freedoms based on private ownership and replaces them with the State’s control over all the utilities of the economic life. It is generally said that the variance between the two doctrines, the Capitalist and the Marxist, in their signposts, reflects the difference existing in the nature of the view with which they look at the individual and the society because the Capitalist doctrine is an individual doctrine, which sanctifies personal impulses and regards the individual as the pivot for whose interest it is incumbent on the doctrine to work and whose interests it must guarantee. But the Marxist doctrine is a collective one which rejects personal impulses and the ego, extirpates individual into the society and adopts the society as a pivot for him. For this purpose it does not recognise individual freedoms but ignores them for the sake of the fundamental issue, that is the issue of the society as a whole.

As a matter of fact both the doctrines rest on individual view and depends on personal impulses and ego. Thus Capitalism respects fortunate individual’s ego by ensuring him freedom of exploitation and activity in different fields unmindful of the injustice and the evading that might result from the freedom let loose for that individual so long as others enjoyed the freedom in principle, as did the exploiting individual and while Capitalism provides fully for the satisfaction of the personal impulses of the fortunate ones and promotes their propensity, Marxists turns to other individuals who are not fortunate enough to have those opportunities. Its doctrinal call, therefore, centres round inciting personal impulses and their ago and the satisfaction thereof. It tries to promote these impulses with different methods, regarding it the power used by history for its development, until it is able to exploit them in a revolutionary way. It explains to those with whom it comes into contact that the others steal their efforts and wealth and therefore it was not possible for them to confirm (accept) this theft in any case as it constituted a blatant aggression on their peculiar (private) entity.

Thus we find that the fuel on which the Marxist doctrine depends is but these personal and individual impulses which Capitalism adopts. Thus both the doctrines adopt (adhere to) satisfaction of personal impulses and promote them. They only differ in the matter of the kind of the individuals whose personal impulses and ago respond to this doctrine or that. As for the doctrine which deserves to be described as being a collective doctrine, it is one which depends on a fuel of another kind, that is, on powers other than the ago and personel impulses.

The collective doctrine is that which cultivates in every individual a deep consciousness about the responsibility towards the society and its interests and which makes it incumbent on him to forego something of the fruit (benefits) of his work and efforts and his private wealth for -the sake of the society and others, not because he had stolen others’ property and consequently they had risen against him to regain their own rights but because he feels that this was a part of his duty and on expression of the values he believes in. Indeed the collective doctrine is that which safeguards rights of others and their welfare not by raising their personal impulses by collective impulses in all and by letting springs of good come forth in their minds. In the future discussions would see what that doctrine is.

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Masked realities

by Mohamedarif Suleman (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Whereas Islam absolutely forbids deceit and trickery, contemporary life with its multiple challenges and adversities compels many to adopt the path of lies and pretense, to secure social recognition, professional acclaim or an an uneven advantage over perceived rivals.

Self-promotion is attempting to present yourself to others as an accomplished, capable, smart and skilled person. Self-promotion can be done through face-to-face conversation, on blogs or social media platforms, in public speeches, or even through our mannerisms, posture, speech or dress. Self-promotion is a natural tendency as we like for others to perceive us as having wonderful qualities, such as intelligence and talent –

If we look around today, we may as well spot visible features within the Muslim society that literally con their way through life making others believe what they are, in reality, not. While some self promotion is both necessary and tolerable, the practice of building an entire CV on concoctions, can potentially be dangerous as well as harmful. People who self-promote tend to believe that others will respond to their self-promotion in a favorable manner. Yet, research studies have found the opposite to be true.

Although self-promotion may make the braggart appear more competent, skillful, intelligent and successful, it usually makes them less likable. Self-promotion can make people come across as conceited and annoying to others. In fact, the more people try to make others like them through methods of self-promotion, the more likely others will dislike them –

In the age of knowledge and technology, the currency for social acceptance does seem to be the declaration of one’s voluminous qualifications. And as long as an unlettered society holds one to a high pedestal, one may enjoy the accrued benefits. Yet, for the discerning, and mostly quieter population, it is common knowledge that qualifications are literally on sale with so many online merchants of hope promising academic bliss, that the line between a true qualification and a ‘cowboy qualification’ is getting increasingly blurred.

The most common platform for self promotion is the social media, where likes and followings are harvested in carefully crafted campaigns, that often twist reality in favour of the self promoters. It could be a young boy with no life experience, giving advice in, say, marriage, or an adult masquerading as a highly qualified sage, using self praise and self adoration as their only tools to collect attention. Or those craving for attention who show off their new car or phone, to win an identity war.

In all these cases, the one common factor that unites them is a profound craving for social attention and acceptance. These individuals are probably trying to undo a disturbed childhood or to avenge society for their past miseries.

The forty-fourth sin which will be punished by damnation in Hell is intrigue, deception and failure to observe covenants etc. In the book al-K?fi, Book of Im?n and Kufr, six traditions are mentioned under the chapter, ‘Intrigue, Deception and Breaking covenants.’ Wasa’il ul-Shia records a prophetic tradition saying that we must never cheat or deceive Muslims.

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Amazing Appeal of Good Morals

by Maulana Sayyid Zafar Hasan Amrohi from the book Akhlaq al-A?imma, Morals & Manners of the Holy Imams

The aim of sending the Holy Prophet (S) was to perfect the morals. That is, the mission that did not reach the peak of perfection even after the arrival of 124000 messengers, it was done in theory and practice to such a level of perfection that now there was no more any need of a new prophet or messenger. This required extraordinary capability. That too in the land of Arabs, which was the cradle of ill manners. As if, shameless traits had hammered the ?nal nail in the cof?n of humanity. This severe necessity could neither be ful?lled by wealth and money nor by a military system or by the edge of the sword. This needed another type of power.

The verse: “Certainly you are upon the best morals,” has revealed this secret and announced to the world that the aspect of Prophet’s behavior is such that it transformed the Arab society completely. It displayed such a miracle of human intercourse that the world was spellbound. What actually happened may be understood in the words of Quran: People entered the fold of Islam in hordes.

The good moral behavior of the Prophet of Islam had the most important role in this magni?cent victory. Though Khadija’s wealth served a great deal in helping the poor and deprived ones among the Muslims and the awe of Abu Talib afforded some security but the thing that struck the hearts and minds of the polytheist and disbelieving Arabs was the good moral behavior of the Messenger of Islam. It was this that left an indelible mark on the hearts of ignorant Arabs and attracted the wild Arabs to the Prophet like a magnet pulls a needle.

At that time Prophethood was veiled due to hidden wisdom when the Prophet started secret propagation and obtained confessions of his truthfulness from those who were dead enemies of good morals, becoming well known as “The Truthful” and “The Trustworthy” among the Arabs. The blood of human perfections had started running in this body known as Muhammad from the day it breathed its ?rst in the atmosphere of water and clay.

The teachings of Islamic morals to the people did not consist of mere oral admonitions, but it was accompanied by practical feats for every aspect. When those lacking any type of moral embellishments saw the ?awless character of the Holy Prophet (S) they realized the degraded and shameful position of their own humanity.

And on every occasion their created nature was shook with a deep yearning. The moral teachings that the Prophet imparted were the nourishment of the face of Islam and the life of its body. When these teachings was recorded on the pages of history and reached the different corners of the earth, and when with the Muslim travelers those teachings reached the people of other nations they were awakened abruptly from their slumber like a slow horse is spurred by the crack of the whip. It was it was an opportunity for the religions to compare that they make Islamic morals the criterion of comparing their differences. Those who did this realized very soon what is the difference between genuine and arti?cial pearls.

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Emotional Intelligence

Contributed by Shk Hassanain Rajabali

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Miracles of the Quran: The Pyramids

Contributed by The Muslim Vibe

For centuries, Egyptologists and geologists thought that the Egyptian pyramids were made of limestone blocks (up to 70 tons) that were quarried by chiseling limestone. Workers then carried those blocks up the pyramids on ramps. This building procedure was thought to be so superhuman that it made the pyramids become one of the Seven Wonders of the World. However, electron microscopes revealed that the blocks at the top have chemistries found nowhere in nature. Those blocks at the top must have been baked and then cast like modern cement (not chiseled from existing limestone).

Professor Michel Barsoum, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University, and colleagues have found scientific evidence that parts of the Great Pyramids of Giza were built using an early form of concrete, debunking an age-old myth that they were built using only cut limestone blocks.

Electron microscopes reveal that these are not natural limestone: they found that the tiniest structures within the inner and outer casing stones were indeed consistent with a reconstituted limestone. The cement binding the limestone aggregate was either silicon dioxide (the building block of quartz) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral.

Pyramid of Giza – Nazlet El-Semman, Egypt – Simon Matzinger

The stones also had a high water content – unusual for the normally dry, natural limestone found on the Giza plateau – and the cementing phases, in both the inner and outer casing stones, were amorphous, in other words, their atoms were not arranged in a regular and periodic array. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone are seldom, if ever, amorphous. The sample chemistries the researchers found do not exist anywhere in nature. “Therefore,” Barsoum said, “it’s very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block.”

More startlingly, Barsoum and another of his graduate students, Aaron Sakulich, recently discovered the presence of silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres (with diameters only billionths of a meter across) in one of the samples. This discovery further confirms that these blocks are not natural limestone.

However, 1400 years ago the Quran said that Pharaoh used baked clay (like modern cement; not chiseled limestone) to build their high rises:

And Pharaoh said to his people: “I have not known a god for you other than myself; so Haman, light me a fire to bake clay so that I could build a rise high enough, maybe I see Moses’ god whom I think is a liar.”

[Quran 28.38]

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that those uppermost blocks were made from baked clay?

To read the original article, click here.

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