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Better values- better economy

By Syeda Asma Andrabi,

Islam a religion fully embedded with the high moral values, according to a hadith (by Sahih Muslim, Book 033 # 6426) The Prophet Muhammad (SAWW) said “No babe is born but upon fitrat (as Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a polytheist.” Islam is the religion of all the prophets, Adam to Muhammad (SAWW). Children are not born out of any sin, original, inherited or derived. They are born on the religion of their nature i.e. Islam.

Considering the pluralistic view of Islam, few of the top notch value of Islam are: Acceptance, forbearance, Respect, Care, Love, Peace, Harmony and countless universal values that it promotes (Universal values provide a common ground for most of the people around the globe in order to set a common criterion for global peace and prosperity (Kinnier et al., 2000). These values are shared by almost all the Divine religions and even the atheists can be observed to follow these values.

The religion of Islam is immensely entrenched with highly diversified values and not just confined for the followers of the particular religion but for the humanity in general. Normally we don’t get to choose the religion but we are born in the culture and families that adopt some sets of values, beliefs or religion and we become the follower of those, there are percentages of those; who don’t believe in any religion at all. We are dealing with the substance of “Conflict of Heterogeneous Truth Claims”, as each religion has a pattern of faith and all followers believe in those truths. There is a daring if someone seeks for the contingency within these pattern of faith and truth, however following the comparative theology approach; that has to be done to ascertain the right truths based on universal values. Values are “general conceptions of “the good”, ideas about the kind of ends that people should pursue throughout their lives and throughout the many different activities in which they engage”. (Peter Worsley).
Values account for the stability of the social order. They provide the general guidelines for conduct. They facilitate social control. Values are the criteria people use in assessing their daily lives, arranging their priorities, measuring their pleasures and pains, choosing between alternative courses of action.

The Holy Quran asserts that monotheistic religions derive from the Divine, the Quran further states, “Say, ‘We believe in God and in that which He has revealed to us and to Abraham, Ismail, Isaac, Jacob, the descendants and that which was revealed to Moses, Jesus and that which was revealed to the prophets from their Lord, we make no difference between one and another and we bow in submission to Him’” (2:136).” “Let there be no compulsion in religion” (2:256) and “Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?” (10:99).

During the advent of Islam, for instance, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWW)negotiated a covenant between the Muslims and the Jews, binding each community to respect each other’s beliefs values and to provide mutual protection.

In another instance during the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWW)life, a visiting Christian delegation stayed at the mosque where they were permitted to conduct their religious services in one section of the mosque while Muslims prayed in another.

The event of the conquest of Makkah was another instance of the same. After the conquest he not only granted amnesty to the people of Makkah but also declared the house of his bitter opponent Abu Sufyan as a place of asylum and peace, regardless of who accepted Islam and who didn’t.

Pakistan an Islamic value based country, the founder of Pakistan “Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah laid the basis of the country on the core Islamic values: Unity, Faith and discipline, this is all what we dialogue about the basic top notch values imparted by our religion and many others even if these basic values are incorporated in the economic systems and individual behaviours; this can lead to overcome the malfunctioning of the diversified walks of life. Role of universal Values in governing the human economic behaviours that in turn governs the economic decision making of the individuals and masses in general.

The world religions are oriented towards the same Ultimate Reality, which is however manifested within their different thought-worlds and theologies Dialogue between the faiths must continue on an ever increasing scale. But the only stable and enduring basis for peace will come about when dialogue leads to a mutual establishment of universal values to work on longer terms and acceptance of the world religions as different but equally valid relationships to the ultimate reality. If the economies are directed towards the real excellence the whole humanity will struggle for sustainability of the universal value incorporation; the true welfare economy will be the consequence of the practical implementation of those values.

(The author is an MPhil scholar at Kashmir Institute of Economics, University of AJK)

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