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How to Raise the Muslim World from Poverty?


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In the times of yesteryear when Prophet Muhammad banded together the followers of Islam into a single economic and political group people associated their livelihoods with their tribe. Purchasing, selling, earning money was predominately transacted through the ideology that the tribe must thrive and dominate. As Islam became more important it was evident that it superceded any consideration to the needs of other entities. Islam became the new standard of economic activity. As the borders of the Muslim world increased so did its economic strength. Eventually it was the most powerful entity on the Earth.

In modern times Muslim countries live in great poverty. Even though there are a number of wealthy pockets to be found, the vast majority have a difficult time feeding their children or building necessary infrastructure improvements. Why is this so? The reasons lie in the assumption of nationalisms superiority over Islam. In IslamÂ’s past there was no concept of country and national currency. Instead each city was viewed as a small state that lived and worked in the collective of the Muslim world. At that time the concept was revolutionary and lead to a great many economic changes. The Christian world was still squabbling and fighting wars against each other, furthering the economic drain on their local economies. They therefore, could not compete against Muslims effectively. The Muslims had a central authority that made great strides in reducing internal squabbles. Therefore, when they acted they could do so in a uniform manner.

Today the situation is reversed. The wealth countries of Europe have banded together in terms of economic treaties and military collaboration. The United Nations, the European Union and FTAA are all examples of this collaborated effort. This spirit of working together mitigates any internal structures they have by virtue of utilizing one of these larger organizations to arbitrate. The Muslim world, to its dismay, has reduced itself to internal squabbling and the active ”undermining” of each other.

The only way to reverse the Muslim misfortune is to change our entire way of viewing business. Islamic principles of fairness, hard work and collective effort need to evolve. The concept of nationalism needs to be viewed as outdated and the concept of the singular ”Ummah (community) should take its place. By working together the people can utilize their untapped wealth in terms of knowledge and natural resources to develop something for the betterment of all. Countries like Saudia Arabia, who desire a more secure food source, could invest in those countries with fertile soil but little capital wealth. Trade barriers between nations can be reduced to assure that easy flow of goods and money is possible. Leadership could be made accountable for the increasing the viability of not only their nation but that of their neighbors.

In essence the promotion of a singular Muslim currency and governmental body is necessary if any meaningful reform is going to take place. The structural governmental body would be much like that found under the European Union but with substantial Islamic improvements. Individual and national agendas would not be given full weight nor shall economic improvements be subject to corruption. Internal control would have to be developed that would help solve some of those problems that thrive in the Muslim world.

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Murad Ali is a two time published author of ”A Call to Greatness” and ”An American Mecca”. He works full-time in labor relations, is developing an heirloom farm, runs a small consulting business, is working towards his PHD, and edits the Muslim Times. If you are interested in more articles written by Murad please visit www.muradenterprises.org

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  • Posted On February 20, 2006
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