Islamic Economic Goals

Islamic economics is a science and application of sharia guidelines and rules that prevent injustice in obtaining and using material resources in order to meet human needs and in order to carry out their obligations to God and society. (Hasanuzzaman, 1984: 8) And Islamic economics can also be defined as a branch of science that helps realize human welfare through the allocation and distribution of scarce resources in line with Islamic teachings, without limiting individual freedom or creating macro and ecological imbalances. (Chapra, 1996: 33)

Islamic economic goals that’s as the goal of Islamic law itself (maqashid ash shari’ah), namely realizing human goals to achieve happiness in the world and the hereafter, as well as a good and honorable life (hayyatan toyyiban). In the definition of welfare in Islam which is of course very different from the view in conventional secular and materialistic economics about the definition of welfare “well-being” itself.

Islamic economic view on welfare of course based on the whole Islamic teachings about this life. The concept of welfare is very different from the concept in conventional economics, because it is a holistic concept. In short, the welfare desired by Islamic teachings are:

  1. Holistic and balanced well-being, which includes both material and spiritual dimensions and includes both individual and social dimensions. The human figure consists of physical and mental elements, therefore happiness must be balanced between the two. Likewise, humans have individual dimensions, but of course they cannot be separated from the social environment. Humans will feel happy if there is a balance between themselves and their social environment.
  2. Prosperity in this world and in the hereafter, because humans do not only live in the world but also in the afterlife. If this ideal condition cannot be achieved, then welfare in the hereafter is of course prioritized, because it is a life that is more valuable in all respects.

The general term that is widely used to describe a state of material-spiritual prosperity in life in this world and the hereafter in the framework of Islamic teachings is falah. In a simple sense falah is glory and victory, namely glory and victory in life. The definition of welfare in the Islamic view, which of course is fundamentally different from the notion of welfare in the conventional secular and materialistic economy.

Actually, it is not easy to find the meaning of the word falah in Indonesian or English, because it comes from the Arabic root flh. In its verbal form falah, yuflihu means to thrive, to be happy, to gain luck or success or to be successful. In the Qur’an the word falah is found in 40 places. Falah concerns the concept of the world and the hereafter. For the life of the world, falah includes three meanings, namely survival (survival/baqa’), freedom from poverty (freedom from want/ghana) and strength and honor (power and honor/’izz). Meanwhile for the afterlife, falah includes the notion of eternal survival (eternal survival/baqa’ if mortal’), eternal prosperity (eternal prosperity/ghana if faqr), eternal glory (‘izz bila dhull) and free knowledge. from all ignorance (knowledge free of all ignorance/’ilm when jahl).

according to Al-Qur’anIn the end, the goal of human life is falah in the hereafter, while falah in the world is only an intermediate goal (ie a means to achieve falah in the hereafter). In other words, falah in this world is an intermediate goal, while the hereafter is the ultimate goal. Hereafter is a life that is believed to actually exist and will happen, and has a quantity and quality value that is more valuable than the world. This does not mean that life on earth is unimportant or should be ignored. In fact, the life of this world is a field for achieving the goal of the hereafter. If the teachings of Islam are applied thoroughly and seriously, it will undoubtedly achieve falah in this world and in the hereafter at the same time.

According to Muhammad Umar Chapra, a Muslim economist, the objectives of these economic activities can be formulated into 4 types.

  1. Economic activity or muamalah aims to obtain economic prosperity within the limits of Islamic moral norms. Islam allows humans to enjoy the sustenance of Allah but not excessive consumption patterns. In addition, Allah SWT encourages His servants to work hard to find sustenance after doing Salat Friday. (Surah 62:10). Every effort made by humans such as farming, trading and other businesses is considered as worship, this shows that efforts to obtain better economic growth must be one of the goals of the Muslim community.
  2. The economic order sought is aimed at fostering brotherhood and uphold universal justice. Economic activities carried out by humans should not cause a sense of hostility, war and economic injustice as is still common today. “With a sense of brotherhood among human beings, there will be no struggle for economic resources and which are helping for the common welfare.” (Qur’an 5:2)
  3. Balanced income distribution. Islam has a high commitment to human brotherhood and justice, therefore, economic injustice is not justified in Islam. The economic inequality will only undermine the sense of brotherhood among human beings that Islam wants to foster.
  4. The economic order in Islam aims to realize human freedom in the context of social welfare. One of the missions carried out by Prophet Muhammad SAW is to release people from the burdens and shackles that are on them. (Surah 7:157).

In the view of Islam, the economy is khadim (support or means of support) for basic values ​​such as: Islamic faith, worship and akhlaqul karimah. So if there is a conflict between economic goals for individuals or society and these basic values, Islam does not want to care about these goals and is able to sacrifice these goals willingly. This is in order to maintain the principles of purpose and human virtue itself.

In various conventional economics literature it can be easily found that the purpose of humans in meeting their needs for goods and services is to achieve well-being. Man wants happiness and prosperity in his life and for this he strives in every way possible to achieve it. What is prosperity? What is the state of being happy and prosperous, what are the conditions, what are the criteria and finally how to achieve it?

The concept of welfare as a goal in conventional economics turns out to be a controversial terminology, because it can be defined in many ways. One of them is interpreted in the perspective of pure materialism and hedonism, so that a state of prosperity occurs when humans have material abundance (not just sufficiency). This perspective is widely used in conventional economics today. This notion of welfare denies the linkage of human needs with spiritual elements/norms, or perhaps with only a few links. With an understanding like this, it is not surprising that the configuration of goods and services that must be provided is one that gives a portion of excellence to the fulfillment of personal interests, maximizing the wealth of physical pleasure and satisfaction of lust.

So, conclusion of the goal Islamic economics and conventional economics the end of the problem is both looking for “well-being”. Viewing the concept of welfare from the perspective of Islamic economics with conventional economic views as described in the previous chapter is very different. In short, welfare in the prospect of Islamic teachings is a holistic and balanced welfare as well as welfare in the world and in the hereafter then welfare in the conventional economic prospect is welfare that gives a portion of excellence to the fulfillment of worldly interests only.