The objectives of Shariah (Islamic law) in the Islamic economic system are rooted in promoting justice, equity, and social welfare. These objectives are derived from Islamic principles outlined in the Quran and Sunnah (teachings of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him). Here are some key objectives:
- Justice and Equity (Adl): Shariah aims to establish economic justice and fairness. It prohibits exploitation and the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. All economic transactions and policies should ensure equitable distribution of wealth and resources among members of society.
- Wealth Preservation and Redistribution (Hifz al-Mal): The economic system seeks to protect and preserve wealth while promoting its fair distribution. Zakat, a mandatory almsgiving, is one way wealth is redistributed to support the less fortunate and maintain social balance.
- Social Welfare (Maslahah): Shariah places a high value on the welfare of society. Economic activities are encouraged to contribute positively to the well-being of individuals and communities. Investments and business practices should avoid harm and enhance societal benefits.
- Elimination of Riba (Interest): One of the fundamental prohibitions in Islamic finance is the charging or paying of interest (riba). The objective is to prevent exploitation and ensure that economic transactions are based on fairness and mutual benefit.
- Property Rights (Hifz al-Mulk): Shariah protects property rights and encourages responsible stewardship of resources. Ownership is recognized as a means of promoting responsibility and accountability.
- Stability and Certainty (Tahqiq al-Manat): The economic system aims for stability and certainty in transactions. Ambiguity and uncertainty (gharar) in contracts are discouraged to avoid disputes and ensure fair dealings.
- Halal and Tayyib Transactions: Shariah encourages transactions that are permissible (halal) and wholesome (tayyib). This involves adhering to ethical standards and avoiding economic activities that are harmful or involve deception.
- Inclusive Growth and Employment (Takamul): The economic system aims for inclusive growth that benefits the entire society. Providing employment opportunities and ensuring fair wages contribute to the overall well-being of the community.
- Sustainable Development (Tazkiyah): Shariah emphasizes responsible and sustainable development. Economic activities should not harm the environment, and resources should be used wisely to ensure their preservation for future generations.
- Charity and Social Responsibility (Ihsan): The concept of Ihsan, or doing good, encourages individuals and businesses to engage in acts of charity and social responsibility. This includes voluntary acts of kindness and philanthropy beyond obligatory measures like Zakat.
In summary, the objectives of Shariah in the Islamic economic system aim to create a just, equitable, and socially responsible environment where economic activities contribute to the overall welfare of society while adhering to Islamic ethical principles.