EVER since I grew up, I have found Pakistan’s economy in a mess. After every change in government, we are told that the economy had been shattered by previous governments.

Over the years, various economic policies have been tried by different governments. Our finance ministry has, at different times, been led by economists, but to no avail. We must be making some serious mistakes because the efforts do not bear fruit.

Unfortunately, we have not paid any attention to the spiritual aspect of it.

The Holy Quran guides us in this respect. There are many verses throughout the Quran which stress that Almighty Allah is the provider of all sustenance (rizq). The holy book states those who do not abstain from riba must know that they are at war with Allah and His Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). This is a serious warning specific to riba and not stated for any other sin in the Holy Quran.

Unfortunately, our economic system is predominantly based on interest. Let me refer to Article 227 of the Constitution which states that “all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah, and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.”

Over the years, the Council of Islamic Ideology has submitted volumes of recommendations but these have not been affected. On the other hand, take the case of FATF recommendations and our level of effort that is put for compliance. Where there is a will there is a way.

Nevertheless, the government can take measures like funding research in our universities in the field of Islamic finance to work out the implementation strategies.

I believe, the day we start taking steps towards the eradication of riba, our economy will start improving.

Ijaz Ahmed

Islamabad

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2020

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