The world has gone through several crises since that of 1929, in which business lost 72% of its value, or 60% of volume. The last 20 years (1990-2008) in particular have seen major crises closely connected to the economy today; the 1992 European crisis, the Mexican crisis, the Asian crisis, the Russian and Brazilian crises, the Argentinean crisis and the latest US crisis…
The factor triggering a crisis may differ from country to country, and may be internal or external. For example, a significant change in the domestic political balance, or an economic collapse in a field such as real-estate or the banking sector, which previously enjoyed an unlimited flow of capital, may trigger a crisis inside a country. However, whether it be the latest U.S. crisis or the crises in the economies of the other countries of the world, the fundamental cause of all crises is moral degeneration.
Moral degeneration such as corruption, unequal distribution of income, bribery, and people tending to – rather than production – based revenue (the interest system, in other words) lies at the heart of all such crises. These are all things forbidden by God.
People with no fear of God, who do not live according to His commandments, have no hesitations about going down unlawful paths. In a society that knows no moral bounds, that fails to administer justice and that acts solely for the sake of its own interests, the climate of confidence essential if the economy is to remain healthy disappears.
Crises will naturally follow on one another’s heels when there is no climate of confidence. In addition, the post-crisis period bring with it a time full of injustices. As with Argentina, which suffered an economic crisis in 2001, mass protests on the streets, acts of looting and pillaging and even the deaths of many people are all fundamentally the result of moral deficiencies.
The true solution, therefore, lies in abiding by the moral values of the Qur’an, which prohibits injustice, corruption and bribery and instead commands people to help one another, to aid the poor and orphaned, to give alms and to compete with one another in performing good deeds.
Everything is under the control of God. Believers who know this and have a sincere faith in Him submit to our Lord under all circumstances, material and physical, in the awareness that they are following their destinies. God has flawlessly created every detail from the creation of the world right up to Doomsday. Everything, including the latest economic crisis, is recorded in the book known as the “Lawh al-Mahfuz” [the Tablet of God’s Decrees]. Everything has already happened in a single moment in the sight of God, Who is unfettered by time and space. The timing and place of every event has already been ordained, as set out in the verse, “communication has its time, and you will certainly come to know.” (Surat al-An’am, 67)
THE GLOBAL IMPACTS OF THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
* In the middle of September (2008) the 158-year-old Lehman Brothers, America’s fourth largest investment bank, filed for bankruptcy, as it was unable to weather the difficult conditions of the economic crisis.
* Merrill Lynch, the world’s largest investment bank, suffered losses of around $46 billion because of the global crisis. As a consequence of those losses, it was bought by Bank of America, the second-largest US bank.
* Following the collapse of investment banks, the USA’s largest savings bank, Washington Mutual, filed for bankruptcy at the end of September (2008). This brought the number of banks folding in the USA since the beginning of 2008 to 13.
* According to a report by the US Department of Employment, the number of those losing their jobs in August stood at 73,000, compared to 159,000 in September. This figure, the worst redundancy level for the last 5 years, brought the total number of job losses for the preceding 9 months to 760,000.
* Japan, the world’s second-largest economy, has also been affected by the global crisis. Yamato Life Insurance, an insurance company dating back 98 years with debts totaling $2.7 billion, declared bankruptcy in October 2008.
* Iceland, standing in third place on the United Nations’ List of Most Prosperous Countries, has been severely affected by the economic crisis. The country was unable to meet its external debt, and its three largest banks, with total debts of 44 billion euros, were taken over. Long queues began forming in front of Icelandic bank branches.
* A public opinion poll in Belgium showed that 57% of the public were worried about their savings.
* The Hertie retail chain, with 4,100 employees and 73 branches across Germany, declared bankruptcy in July 2008. The finance company affiliated to Hertie announced losses of 30 million euros.
* XL, Britain’s third largest tourism company with a fleet of 21 planes, went bankrupt in September 2008. British Airways also cited the crisis as the reason for making 1,200 employees redundant.
Qur’anic Moral Values Are the Only Source of Social Justice and Economic Stability
Since people who take the moral values of the Qur’an as their guide, act out of a fear of God, they strive not only for their own interests but for the interests and well-being of everyone. Because unity, togetherness, mutual aid and solidarity are very important in Islamic moral values. Nobody trespasses on anyone else’s rights, because God has forbidden such ugly behavior. No bounds are transgressed. No system that exhibits the injustice of atheism, that is based on self-interest, in which the strong oppress the weak and in which people misappropriate what rightfully belongs to others is possible in a society that lives by the moral values of the Qur’an. There is no waste nor wasteful consumption of resources in a society guided by the Qur’an. Thanks to solidarity and justice, people’s economic strength grows. A wealthy society emerges. This is one of the clearest proofs of the Age of Happiness, when people lived by Qur’anic moral values, and which is renowned for its wealth and well-being.
It must not be forgotten that various temporary solutions to poverty may be proposed. But the important thing is to believe that the true solution, as with all problems, is to live by the moral values of the Qur’an. Because the superior moral virtues revealed in the Qur’an, such as feeding the poor and orphaned even though one is in need oneself, never giving other people things one would not want oneself, and helping others without making them feel a sense of obligation, can only emerge when people fully live by Qur’anic moral values. God has revealed in Surat an-Nur how materially powerful people should behave:
Those of you possessing affluence and ample wealth should not make oaths that they will not give to their relatives and the very poor and those who have emigrated in the way of God. They should rather pardon and overlook. Would you not love God to forgive you? God is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surat an-Nur, 22)
Adnan Oktar's article on Wadsam Afghan Business News: