The situation that has appeared in the markets as a result of the recent economic crisis in America especially and the developed countries of Europe, has been seen as “Darwinism finance - literally the survival of the fittest for the banks,” by some sections of the foreign press. Some press organs have even claimed that “Darwinism rules the market” in the countries in question.
This description stems from the concept of the “strong overcoming the weak” that lies at the root of Darwinian thinking. The fact is, however, that the concept of the strong overcoming the weak is not one that came into being just when Darwin said it. It is not Darwinism that brought the concept into being. Therefore, an imaginary Darwinist concept is not justified by the survival of the strongest banks in the market, and the situation does not constitute an example of Darwinism.
In a technical sense, it is true that the strong defeat the weak. Bulldozers are not the same thing as axes. There is no doubt that a strong machine will crush a weak one. But this is true only technically. What is wrong is to make a moral principle out of it and act out of the logic of “the strongest must survive, and must be right.” It is a grave error, and the herald of terrible tragedy, to act in the light of the idea that “the strong must defeat and eliminate the weak.”
The idea of the strong crushing the weak is actually turned into a moral principle in Darwinism. That is why societies under the influence of a Darwinist mindset are constantly dominated by mass slaughter, murder, terror and disorder, insecurity and tension. Under the effect of Darwinism, eliminating the weak has been seen as essential in order to maintain the equilibrium in nature, which is why communist and fascist societies have had no qualms about mass murder. Social Darwinism constituted the greatest intellectual groundwork for communists such as Marx, Lenin and Mao, and for fascists such as Hitler.
However, in societies with a sense of conscience and that fear Allah, the strong always help the weak, strive to protect them and mobilize their resources to strengthen them. That, under normal condition, is what is best fitted to human nature. The moral characteristic required by fear of Allah, faith, reason and conscience is to look after the weak. Only then can societies progress, grow stronger and live in peace and security.
In one verse our Lord reveals:
What reason could you have for not fighting in the Way of Allah – for those men, women and children who, being weak, are oppressed and say, “Our Lord, take us out of this city whose inhabitants are wrongdoers! Give us a protector from You! Give us a helper from You!”? (Surat an-Nisa’, 75)
The Causes of the Financial Crisis:
The first cause of the financial crisis that has hit the entire world is the interest system. This, made unlawful by our Lord, has been shamelessly implemented as it has been depicted as attractive in societies based on self-interest only, and people thought they would never come to harm from it but would always make profits. Under the attractive-seeming appearance of the interest system, people were encouraged to invest their money in banks rather than in the direction of production or investment. Since there is no production or flow of capital in a system in which people hide their money in banks, in safes or under the mattress, financial troubles such as high costs of living, inflation or economic collapse are the inevitable result. That is what happened in the global financial crisis in question; the halt in production, the absence of a money flow and money being kept in banks to earn interest caused the economy to collapse.
In His verses, however, Almighty Allah advises us to avoid interest and tells His servants of the scourges it brings with it:
You who believe! Do not feed on usury, multiplied and then remultiplied. Have fear of Allah so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 130)
Those who practice usury will not rise from the grave except as someone driven mad by satan's touch. That is because they say, “Trade is the same as usury.” But Allah has permitted trade and He has forbidden usury. Whoever is given a warning by his Lord and then desists, can keep what he received in the past and his affair is Allah’s concern. But all who return to it will be the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. Allah obliterates usury but makes charity grow in value! Allah does not love any persistently ungrateful wrongdoer. (Surat al-Baqara, 275-276)
2. Lack of Trust in Allah
The second major cause of the financial crisis is lack of trust in Allah; in other words, people forgetting that money and property will come from Allah, the Lord of all things, panicking about the future and never thinking that Allah will give them the best of things so long as they seek shelter in Him. Allah, our Lord, has promised that He will answer society’s prayers so long as it trusts in Him, that He will protect them and enrich them direct from Him if He so chooses. Some people, however, believe that the money and goods they possess are a superior force and imagine that they will be able to protect and guarantee their futures with them. Therefore, they are always troubled, worried and concerned for the sake of protecting these possessions. As a result of that worry they hide their possessions away, and imagine that this money tucked away will protect them in the future. But they forget that true help comes from Allah. They never think that they will absolutely come by abundance and well-being so long as they put their trust in Allah. However, since that money that had been squirreled away was never put in action but was tucked away uselessly out of a concern for the future, the financial crisis eventually raises its head.
The fact is that all possessions actually belong to our Lord. All help comes from Him. Money hidden away can help nobody without our Lord’s permission. What will protect people now and in the future is not the money they have squirreled away, but only the help of our Lord. He reveals this in another verse:
If Allah helps you, no one can vanquish you. If He forsakes you, who can help you after that? So the believers should put their trust in Allah. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 160)
One of the main reasons why people greedily accumulate assets is a “fear of poverty” inculcated by satan, or a concern for tomorrow, to put it another way. Those who fail to believe truly live in a constant state of fear that something unpleasant will happen to them, of having no money, of getting old with nobody beside, of being needy, of being made bankrupt, and the like. They therefore spend just about every moment of their lives making plans and personal investments for the future.
These people, with their concerns and plans for this world, make almost no preparations for the Day of Judgment, which is in fact an inescapable reality. They think of this world every day, but hardly even once of the Day of Reckoning. Allah reveals in the Qur’an how those who do not believe in the real sense are made to worry about the future by satan:
Satan promises you poverty and commands you to avarice. Allah promises you forgiveness from Him and abundance. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 268)
3. Greed and Parsimony
Some people, greedy to accumulate goods and money out of concern for the future and a love of material things, are unwilling to spend the money they possess, and are parsimonious with it. These people’s policies are generally built on the increasing weakening and elimination of the weak while they save and become increasingly strong and rich. For that reason, they have no compunctions about exploiting the poor, never give alms, never behave generously, never spend money even on themselves, but constantly save up against some unknown day in the future. The fact is, however, that because of the lack of production, this money that they generally keep in reserve and think will bring them profits through the interest system is unable to keep pace with inflation and loses value. This money has never produced the anticipated abundance. Stagnant production has always been the consequence of this money excluded from the markets out of parsimony.
Yet if people abide by Allah’s command and behave generously, they will encounter an unexpected abundance. Almighty Allah has revealed that interest will not grow, but that alms spent for His approval will be rewarded with huge gains in this world and in the Hereafter:
What you give with usurious intent, aiming to get back a greater amount from people’s wealth, does not become greater with Allah. But anything you give as alms, seeking the Face [approval] of Allah – all who do that will get back twice as much. (Surat ar-Rum, 39)
The Solution Is to Behave According to Qur’anic Moral Values
It is impossible for such a financial crisis to arise in the absence of an interest-based financial system, where people are not parsimonious and hide their money away, when they employ it generously for production, when they make proper use of the money in their possession, when they give alms and, most important of all, when they submit to Allah and believe with all their hearts that it is Allah Who will bestow money and wealth. It is impossible for people to become poor under such a system. When the rich help the poor, the poor will also have purchasing power. That will make production necessary. When manufacturing rises and people have purchasing power, factories will operate and sales will rise to high levels. The markets will immediately revive and money kept in banks and under mattresses that benefits nobody at all will enter the markets again. The poor will grow richer, and the rich will grow richer still. The abundance caused by the re-emergence of money that had been hidden away will, of course, be very great. This is the only solution capable of solving the problems facing all the countries of the world.
There is no doubt that this solution is the only and most logical way of resolving the crisis. Above all else, this solution is compatible with the moral values of the Qur’an. There is no doubt that Allah’s help and response will be very great if people act according to Qur’anic moral values. Allah will show all the people the abundance that comes from acting in the light of the moral virtues of the Qur’an. Our Lord makes this promise to His servants in a verse:
The men and women who give charity and make a good loan to Allah will have it increased for them and they will have a generous reward. (Surat al-Hadid, 18)
Our Prophet (saas) has set out the signs of the appearance of the Mahdi in great detail in the hadiths. Nearly all of these have been taking place one after the other since the year 1400, Hegira style (1979). Our Prophet (saas) has described the severing of the waters of the Euphrates, how the Sun and Moon will be eclipsed during the month of Ramadan, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, extraordinary phenomena appearing in the skies, great earthquakes, instances of corruption one after the other, rising anarchy and disorder and social degeneration, all of which have taken place. One of the signs of the coming of the Mahdi revealed by the Prophet (saas) is a rise in economic difficulties and grave economic recession. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) reported how in the End Times trade will come to a standstill, how everyone will complain of having insufficient earnings and how the cost of living will go up, in short, how there will be serious economic problems. THE MAJOR GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS THAT BEGAN IN 2008 WAS REPORTED 1400 YEARS AGO BY THE PROPHET (SAAS) AS ONE OF THE SIGNS OF THE COMING OF THE MAHDI. The following are some examples of the hadiths on the subject:
In a hadith narrated by Naim ibn Hammad from ibn Masud, the period preceding the appearance of the Mahdi is described as “the time when TRADE and roads are SEVERED and strife increases.” The hadith goes on to report that this will come to an end in the time of the Mahdi:
"… We came to seek that person (the Mahdi) BY WHOSE HAND STRIFE WILL BE EXTINGUISHED. CONSTANTINOPLE (ISTANBUL) WILL BE CAPTURED THROUGH HIM. (In other words, the Mahdi will spiritually capture hearts and establish a huge cultural impact.) We recognize him by his name, and his mother and father’s names, and his army…" (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 52)
“Before the Mahdi appears, TRADE and ROADS between nations will be SEVERED, and strife between men will multiply.” (Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 39)
“(Before the coming of the Mahdi) THE MARKET WILL BE STILL, AND EARNINGS WILL BE REDUCED.” (Signs of the Last Day, p. 148)
“Everyone WILL COMPLAIN OF LOW EARNINGS, and the rich will be respected for their money.” (Signs of the Last Day, p. 146)
“Business will be stagnant. Everyone will complain, ‘I cannot sell, I cannot buy, I cannot earn!’” (Signs of the Last Day, p. 152)
“(The time before the appearance of the Mahdi) will be one when TRADE and roads are SEVERED and when strife multiplies.” (Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 52)
THE ABUNDANCE, WEALTH AND PLENTY IN THE TIME OF THE MAHDI
The Golden Age is a blessing from Allah on believers, that our Prophet (saas) says will be a good news on Earth of the heaven. This period, which every Muslim will want to see, with its abundance, plenty, comforts of all kinds for humanity and peaceful climate, is a very superior reward for believers in the life of this world.
The hadiths of the Prophet (saas) contain very detailed information and signs regarding the events in the time close to the Last Day. According to the information imparted by the Prophet (saas), a number of significant events will take place one after the other during this time. In the first stage of the End Times, there will be terrible degeneration, disorder, difficulty, troubles and economic problems across the world. In the second stage, however, peace and security will prevail on Earth as people live by true religious moral values.
According to the hadiths, this blessed age, which people have awaited longingly for centuries, will last for more than half a century, and will be similar to the “Age of Happiness” experienced in the time of our Prophet (saas). The Golden Age will be so delightful that everyone will wish to live during it. They will be unaware how time passes and will hope that Allah will prolong their lives in order to enjoy these delights for longer. This longing for the Golden Age is revealed as follows in the hadiths of the Prophet (saas):
There Will Be Unmatched Abundance and Plenty in the End Times
The matchless nature of the blessings in the Golden Age are described in great detail in the hadiths of the Prophet (saas). According to these descriptions, the Golden Age will be a time of very great plenty and abundance of goods and products. There will be a previously unseen wealth; and high costs of living, difficulties in making ends meet, hunger, poverty and shortages will be a thing of the past. There will be no more needy people, and people will be given many times more than what they ask for, and nothing will be counted or measured. Material and other means will be used for people’s comfort, ease, joy and well-being, and there will be not the slightest trouble, poverty or hunger. This is how the Prophet (saas) described the abundance and plenty in the time of the Mahdi:
“The Mahdi will come from my community. Almighty Allah will send him to make humanity wealthy. At that time, my community will be blessed, animals will be in abundance and there will be many plants of the Earth. The Mahdi will distribute many goods to people on an equal basis.”[i]
“… There will be many goods accumulated on that day.”[ii]
“In giving people goods, he will give generously and without counting them.”[iii]
“At that time, my community, the good and the bad, will be blessed with an amount of blessings they have ever seen...”[iv]
“... Goods will multiply so much that nobody will accept any.”[v]
There Will Be Great Advances in Agriculture
In the hadiths, the Prophet (saas) reveals that many more products than ever before will be obtained from the earth and that there will be an unmatched abundance and fertility in this area:
“People will find seven hundred measures of wheat in return for one measure sown... In his time, people will sow a few handfuls of seeds and reap 700 handfuls...”[vi]
“... The earth will give up foodstuffs and will hide nothing from people...”[vii]
“… At that time, my community will be blessed, animals will be in abundance and there will be many plants of the Earth…”[viii]
Again according to the hadiths of our Prophet (saas), in the Golden Age there will also be great abundance in terms of water resources, and as means of irrigation increase, all the land will become more fertile than ever before:
“... Although there will be much rain, not a drop will be wasted, and the land will be fertile and productive without asking for a single seed.”[ix]
“... In his time, all the waters will be fresh, rivers will be extended, the earth will multiply its plants and it will give up the treasures (within it).”[x]
“... In his time, even flowing rivers will increase their waters...”[xi]
“... The sky will send down rain, the earth will give forth abundance, and my community will be more comfortable at that time than ever before.”[xii]
These hadiths of the Prophet (saas) may be referring to a transition to modern agriculture in the time of the Mahdi, and to increased production as a result of the development of new production techniques, research into seed improvement and the collection of rain water in new dams and reservoirs. Rapid progress is being made in agriculture today, and there can be huge increases in the quality and quantities of products. They can now be preserved for longer and grown using less water. Thanks to newly developed technologies, a great variety of products can now be obtained and fruit and vegetables of all kinds can now be grown all year round.
These advances will progress still further in the Golden Age, and there will be a huge rise in product quality. A greater variety of products with better smells and flavors will be grown. Allah reveals in one verse of the Qur’an referring to this:
The metaphor of those who spend their wealth in the Way of Allah is that of a grain which produces seven ears; in every ear there are a hundred grains. Allah gives such multiplied increase to whoever He wills. Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. (Surat al-Baqara, 261)
According to the indications in the hadiths, great importance will be attached to irrigation in the Golden Age; broad reservoirs, dams, canals and artificial rivers will be constructed, and nowhere will be arid any more. Sea, rain and flood waters will be purified and used in agriculture, and arid areas will thus attain great abundance and plenty. Technologies that are only used in narrow areas today will cause the deserts to flourish, and humanity will obtain wide expanses of agricultural land. Again according to the hadiths, all these advances in agriculture will also lead to a great improvement in livestock quality, and the production of all forms of animal products will increase:
“... The community will be blessed, animals will eat and drink much, and the earth will give forth plants...”[xiii]
Underground Riches Will Be Unearthed
Another development in the time of the Mahdi is the unearthing of all underground riches, and their use for the well-being and comfort of humanity. This feature of the Golden Age is described as follows in the hadiths of the Prophet (saas):
“... The Mahdi will bring forth treasures...”[xiv]
“In his time, the earth will cast forth the treasures within it.”[xv]
“… The earth will give forth all the riches concealed within it in the form of gold and silver pillars.”[xvi]
[i]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 23
[ii] Sunan ibn Majah, 10-347
[iii]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 21
[iv]Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 16
[v]Sunan ibn Majah, 10/340
[vi] Signs of the Last Day, p. 164/ Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 24
[vii]Sunan ibn Majah, 10-347
[viii]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 26
[ix]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 21
[x] An-Najm al-Thaqib Fi Bayan Aal al-Mahdi min Aulad Ali bin Abi Talib, p. 43
[xi]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 31
[xii]Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 9
[xiii]Al-Burhan fi Alamat al-Mahdi Akhir al-Zaman, p. 15
[xiv]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 33
[xv]Al-Qawl al-Mukhtasar fi Alamat al-Mahdi al- Muntadhar, p. 43
[xvi]Imam Sharani, Death, the Last Day, the Hereafter and the Signs of the End Times, p. 464