Ahmad Danyal Arif, UK
Message from Chief Editor: We’re happy to announce to readers the launch of a brand new ‘Economics’ part in The Overview of Religions. At the moment, the world is passing via an unprecedented financial disaster as a result of international Covid-19 pandemic. Just lately we revealed a collection of historic letters written to world leaders by His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba). Those that learn them will know His Holiness (aba) particularly highlighted the truth that extreme financial strains on nations could also be a possible reason for conflicts dangerously escalating and world stability being put at critical danger.An financial despair is at present a actuality worldwide with tens of hundreds of thousands dropping their jobs and future employment prospects for a technology of youth wanting bleak. As such we determined that economics is an space that requires a devoted part inside The Overview of Religions. Readers can anticipate the part to take care of on a regular basis financial points (comparable to Brexit, Covid-19) along with different options to at this time’s financial issues such because the Islamic financial mannequin, how economics impacts our on a regular basis lives, and the historical past of economics. Our new Economics Part Editor, Ahmad Danyal Arif, introduces the part on this article.
As soon as upon a time, economics was the science of managing a family, then a subset of spiritual, theological, moral, and philosophical disciplines. However, little by little, it appears to have grow to be one thing fairly completely different. Economists began to trade an excessive amount of knowledge and humanity for exactness and mathematisation. Because of this, we could generally really feel that economics has steadily misplaced all of its shades and hues to a technocratic world the place black and white rule. However the story of economics is way extra vibrant.
Let’s take the instance of the so-called theorist of contemporary capitalism: Adam Smith. Who is aware of that he was in the beginning a professor of ethical philosophy? Opposite to many assumptions, his work entitled The Wealth of Nations was not written to point out us the best way to make some huge cash, however reasonably the best way to promote truthful and equitable relationships between human beings. Rooted in ethics, the message hidden in all financial discourses has to do with human values and the sort of society we need to construct.
Since then, a whole lot of water has flowed below the bridge. Economists now are likely to view morality and beliefs of the previous from an amused distance. They’re educated to keep away from normative judgments and opinions as to what’s good and dangerous. The truth is that we stopped giving them the psychological instruments to know the complete. Because the widespread abandonment of theology, no subject of examine has sought to know the human situation as a complete.
Within the neighborhood of the bottom, the scenario isn’t any brighter. Whereas the socialist financial experiment has failed, the capitalist financial order, regardless of lengthy strides within the fields of financial development, is within the throes of an ever-deepening disaster. Within the ultimate evaluation, once more, we observe that the fabric developments of the century have hid from our eyes the persistent erosion of the ethical base of human tradition.
It’s true and universally recognised that sources are scarce in contrast with the claims on them. Nevertheless, it’s concurrently admitted by virtually all civilisations that financial justice and the well-being of all human beings must be ensured. For this objective, each nation must develop an efficient technique, which is consciously or unconsciously conditioned by its philosophy.
Secular and materialistic philosophies connect most significance to the fabric facet of human well-being and have a tendency to disregard the significance of the religious facet. They typically argue that most materials well-being may be greatest realized if people are given unhindered freedom to pursue their self-interest and to maximise their need in line with their very own tastes and preferences.
In distinction with this, spiritual worldviews give consideration to each the fabric and the religious points of human well-being. There’s a nice deal that’s widespread between the worldviews of most main religions, notably these of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Certainly, in line with Islam, there’s a continuity and similarity within the worth techniques of all revealed religions to the extent to which the unique message has not been misplaced or distorted over time.
On this regard, the second Caliph and worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Group, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad(ra), says:
“Religions that imagine within the hereafter basically, and Islam specifically, don’t view the problem in easy financial phrases, however from a spiritual, ethical and financial perspective. Faith doesn’t search a purely financial resolution as a result of such an answer may intervene with the ethical and non secular points of life, which might be unacceptable. A nonbeliever is in fact free to view financial issues in isolation. However a spiritual individual wouldn’t choose an financial system from purely an financial perspective. He would demand an financial system that additionally respects his ethical and non secular necessities.” 
Although not one of the prevailing worldviews are completely materialistic, there are nonetheless, vital variations amongst them by way of the emphasis they place on materials or religious targets and the function of ethical values in ordering human affairs. Whereas materials targets focus totally on items and providers that contribute to bodily consolation and well-being, religious targets embody nearness to God, peace of thoughts, inside happiness, honesty, justice, mutual care and cooperation, and so forth. These will not be quantifiable however are unequivocally essential for realizing human well-being.
What materialistic philosophies finally obtain is not only the dying of 1 God, however they instantly convey to life a myriad of gods: ego, self-interest, and the whole dedication to serving one’s personal ends develop stronger and extra highly effective.
Our financial woes are thus basically ethical, and we want an ethical revolution. This may not doable with out a perception in a beneficent God, who’s the one binding and assembly level of all types of creation. Along with abolishing the situations of capitalist loneliness, introducing the concept of a Supreme Being into the financial equation ushers an genuine accountability equipment for one’s actions and motivates one to serve His creation out of affection.
Concerning the Creator: Ahmed Danyal Arif is a French economist by schooling and is at present residing in London. He has a Masters diploma in Economics and Politics from the College of Paris Nord. After working for the French tax administration system, he revealed two books in French: Islam & Capitalism: For an Financial Justice (2016) and Financial Historical past of the Islamic World: From Pre-Islamic Arabia to the Umayyad Dynasty (2019). Arif is the Editor of the newly shaped Economics Part of The Overview of Religions.
Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmood Ahmad (ra), The Financial System of Islam, 2013, p. 39-40, Lecture given on 26thFebruary 1945 at Ahmadiyya Hostel, Lahore, Pakistan.