Nowadays, it is possible to see people living on streets and eating from garbage in every country, from the richest to the poorest. This circumstance that awfully discomforts consciences is also a striking indication of unfair income distribution suffered across our earth.
Today, hundreds of millions of people are living in a way deprived of basic needs such as water, food, shelter, and health services. Eighty per cent of the world’s resources are consumed by 17 per cent of the world population; approximately five billion people are obliged to make do with the remaining 20 per cent.
Nearly one billion people sleep hungry. In spite of this fact, total assets of the richest 100 people are equal to total assets of half of the world population, i.e. the poorest 3.5 billion people.
The statistics concerning the issue are negative in general and reveal certain facts: Today an awful inequality and injustice prevails in the world. There is a huge gap between the rich and poor. Billions of people are in misery because of lack of love and compassion, and selfishness. The majority of people are in a cut-throat competition with each other based on the crazy spirit of wild capitalism.
The system of oppressor over the oppressed, stronger over the weak is dominant almost everywhere in the world. Well, what is the solution for this and how can social justice be achieved in the real sense?
Let’s answer this question by considering the systems which are prevalent in the world and have been tried so far:
As it is known, the world is largely under the influence of merciless and raging spirit of savage capitalism. The greediness of those who hold power and wealth in their hands paves the way for misery and great suffering. The measures taken for these social disasters usually yield no favourable results.
On the contrary, the practices bring new problems, not solutions. Thus, we face a gradually worsening situation.
History has also proven repeatedly that the solution to insolubility is not communism. The attempts of communists who appear in order to “ensure social justice and the liberation of oppressed peoples” have never gone beyond a romantic dream. One of the basic starting points of communist ideology is the principal of equality.
However, communist societies were only able to achieve equality in misery and poverty. They became equal not through getting rich, but growing poor. Moreover, the souls of those people were exploited, they were robotised; joy, peace, happiness and hope were taken from them.
Even though both capitalism and communism seem to have bright promises at first sight, they definitely failed in ensuring social justice and equality.
Indeed, this was a natural consequence of materialist philosophy.
Of course, social justice and equality couldn’t be possible in the communities consisting of aimless individuals who think their existence is just a coincidence, regard life as just eating, drinking and consuming, believe the lie that a permanent struggle for survival is present in nature and consequently they are supposed to oppress the weak.
Those who sincerely seek social equality and justice and adopt various ideologies for this purpose are making a great mistake.
The perfect social system sought by them is in the Quran. Social justice is one of the basic principles of the Quran and it is experienced exactly and perfectly in a community that acts in accordance with the morality of the Quran.
Undoubtedly, the reality meant here is Islam and morality of the Quran; it is not the hard and loveless bigoted model based on non-Quranic beliefs, fabricated hadiths and superstitions experienced in some Islamic countries or some terrorist organisations’ radical ideologies, repression and violent methods.
The era of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a period when Islamic principles of social justice, equality and solidarity were implemented completely and perfectly.
One of the most beautiful examples is the embrace of migrated Muslims who left all their assets in Mecca by Medina Muslims as their brothers and sisters; willingly and enthusiastically sharing their houses, food and everything with them.
Their superior morality of giving priority to the needs of their Muslim brothers even though they themselves were needy, their compassionate, generous and self-sacrificing approach, are all exemplified in the Quran (Al-Hashr, verse 9).
Savage capitalism is criticised in the Quran. God has forbidden the accumulation of the world’s wealth in the hands of a very small segment of society with the verse “… so that it does not become something which merely revolves between the rich among you” (Al-Hashr, verse 7).
It is also told in the Quran that love of property sears hearts, souls and consciences (Al-‘Adiyat, verse 8).
It is communicated that purification of the soul from stingy and selfish passions is a must for salvation (Al-Hashr, verse 9).
Surely, to possess properties is in compliance with the Quranic morality and it is the most legitimate right of every Muslim. But the wrong attitude is the ambition for property, not helping other needy people despite being wealthy, and accumulating this wealth by piling up. (At-Tawba, verses 34-35; Surat al-Humaza, verses 2-6).
The measure of giving away according to the Quran, in other words the measure of spending for the sake of God through zakat, alms, assistance, is “Whatever is surplus to your needs” (Al-Baqara, verse 219).
The behaviour that pleases God is to spend much on His way without detailed calculations. This model is also the key of a rich and vibrant economy, and a society of happiness, peace, and welfare.
Solidarity and sharing are encouraged on all occasions with various verses in the Quran. Furthermore, those who shall be helped are not just limited to Muslims; the social justice in the Quran also covers Christians, Jews or idolaters.
For example, as a necessity of the Quranic morality, people should share the meal with the poor, orphans and even captives in spite of their desire (Al-Insan, verse 8).
In other words, Muslims are obliged to share the meal even with a person taken captive while fighting and trying to kill them; moreover without expecting something in return and even any thanks (Al-Insan, verse 9).
The social justice model in the Quran is literally perfect and magnificent, and the only system that could be a solution for the problems of today’s world.
Adnan Oktar's piece in New Straits Times: