Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Philosophy of Islamic Economics - 7 Apr 2010

Following up from the first lesson, this video highlights the dire need to live a halal living:

In Islamic Economics, it is not just about "I, Me and Myself", it comprises Shariah, Adl (Justice), Falah (Progress), man's relationship with 'Alm (Creation), Hablu minalLah (man's relationship with Allah SWT), Hablu minaNas (man's relationship with the rest), Ubudiyyah (Servitude) and Ummah (Community), subhan Allah. Islam is truly beautiful if we understand that we are custodian's of Allah's wealth.

On the contrary, the Western Worldview advocates Consumerism. This next video clip highlights that post World War 2, Victor Leibow, an economist and retail analyst said of US economy, "Our enormously productive economy ... demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our spiritual satisfaction, our ego satisfaction in consumption... we need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate." .

He claimed that ultimately producing consumer goods through planned obsolescence and perceived obsolescence (designed for the dump) is the way to go... but findings later show that having more stuff does not equate to happiness even if we are constantly on the "work -> watch -> spend" treadmill... as we spend less time with what really matters. This article further reinforces that the Consumer culture is no accident.

Afternote: I recalled Sheikh Abdul Halim cautioning us during our Tasawwur Islam's class that although we live in a secular society, Muslims have a choice - to be part of the 'rat-race' or not to be the 'rat' at all, as our Islamic Worldview's paradigm is separate from Western Worldview, especially in defining sa'adah (happiness), subhan Allah.

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