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Iqtisaduna (book)

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Iqtisaduna (book)
Author Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr
Original title إقتصادنا
Language Arabic
Subject Islamic economy
Published Beirut
Publisher Dar al-Ta'aruf li-l-Matbu'at
English translation
En. title Our Economics (Iqtisaduna)
Translator Kadom Jawad Shubber
En. publisher Bookextra Ltd (August 21, 2000)

Iqtiṣādunā (Arabic: إقْتِصادُنا, literally: our economy) is a book written by al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in Arabic about the Islamic economy. The book was written in order to state the foundations of the Islamic economy and its difference from other prominent economic doctrines. The book introduces and criticizes the economic doctrines of Marxism and capitalism, and then outlines the Islamic economic doctrine. The theory of Mantaqat al-Firagh (the lacuna), one of the most important views of al-Shahid al-Sadr about the Islamic economy, is propounded in this book. Iqtisaduna was translated to different languages, and has been subject to many objections and criticisms.

Author

Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, also known as al-Shaid al-Sadr, was born in Kadhimiya on Dhu l-Qa'da 25, 1353/March 1, 1935. He undertook the religious, as well as the political, marja'iyya (or authority) of the Shi'as in Iraq. He established Hizb al-Da'wat al-Islamiyya.

Al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr presented novel views in branches of disciplines such as usul al-fiqh, fiqh, political philosophy, and epistemology. His best-known views include the theories of Haqq al-Ta'a (the right for obedience), Mantaqat al-Firagh (the lacuna), and al-tawalud al-dhati (spontaneous initiation). His books include Falsafatuna (our philosophy), Iqtisaduna (our economy), Durus fi 'ilm al-usul (lectures on usul al-fiqh) also known as Halaqat, and al-Usas al-mantiqiyya li-l-istiqra' (logical foundations for induction).

He and his sister, Bint al-Huda al-Sadr, were arrested, and then martyred, by the Ba'ath regime in Iraq in 1400/1979.

Motivation for Writing

In his preface to the first edition of the book, al-Shahid al-Sadr characterized it as an initial attempt to a deep investigation, and a systematic presentation, of the Islamic economic doctrine. According to al-Sadr, his purpose was to formulate the fundamental views of the Islamic economy, to show its differences from other prominent economic doctrines, and to present the Islamic economy as being connected to other parts of Islam.

Position and Significance

Although Iqtisaduna was written over half a century ago, it is still the most significant and the most common book concerning the Islamic economy. It is a reference for Islamic economy in different universities around the world. In the Islamic world, the book has been taught not only in Shiite countries, but also in universities in some Sunni countries, such as Egypt. Dr. Muhammad Mubarak wrote: "Iqtisaduna has presented the theory of Islamic economy with an examination of Islamic rulings, and has formulated it by means of the concepts of [modern] economics while preserving its jurisprudential (fiqh) authenticity."

Structure

Iqtisaduna consists of two general parts, under the title "kitab":

The first part consists of three chapters:

  • Chapter 1: Marxism (introduction and criticism)
  • Chapter 2: capitalism (introduction and criticism)
  • Chapter 3: the main sign-posts of the Islamic economy

The second part consists of the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1: the operational discovery of an economic doctrine
  • Chapter 2: the theory of distribution before production
  • Chapter 3: the theory of distribution after production (theory of post-production)
  • Chapter 4: the theory of production
  • Chapter 5: state responsibility in the Islamic economy
  • Chapter 6: appendices

Important Issues

In Iqtisaduna, al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr distinguished the notions of "economic doctrine" and "economics". The economics (the science) seeks to discover economic phenomena in the society, their causes, as well as their interrelationships, while the economic doctrine offers a fair and just procedure to regulate people's economic life.

He believes that Islam has provided an Islamic economic doctrine, rather than an Islamic economics. Thus, the Islamic economy offers a fair and just procedure to regulate people's economic life, without ever seeking to make scientific discoveries in economic phenomena. For example, Islam did not seek to show the causes of usury in Hijaz; rather it prohibited it and constructed a new system on the basis of mudaraba (a sort of trust financing contract).

mantaqat al-Firagh (the Lacuna)

Main article: Mantaqat al-Firagh

The theory of the lacuna (mantaqat al-firagh) is the most important view propounded and innovated by al-Sadr in Iqtisaduna. According to this theory, in some cases, Islam gives the Islamic government the authority to legislate laws in response to the requirements of a time. This area of legislation is called "mantaqat al-firagh" (the lacuna). Al-Sadr believes that some laws legislated by Prophet Muhammad (s) are examples of such laws filling the lacuna, rather than laws conveyed to us by the Prophet (s) qua the prophet.

Sources

Al-Shahid al-Sadr did not seek to only express his personal jurisprudential views in Iqtisaduna. Thus, it is not the case that the whole book consists only of his views. Al-Sadr himself points out that the views in the book come from three sources:

  • Views of the faqihs (Muslim jurisprudents): most of the jurisprudential rulings in the book are views of one or a number of jurisprudents.
  • Views of the author: the jurisprudential views espoused by the author himself.
  • Jurisprudential views that might be acceptable after scholarly research, although the author himself might not accept them for some reasons.

Publication and Translations

Here are some publications and translations of Iqtisaduna:

  • Iqtisaduna, Pazhuhishgah-i 'Ilmi Takhassosi-yi Shahid Sadr, Qom.
  • Iqtisaduna, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut.
  • The book was translated into English by Kadom Jawad Shubber under Our Economics (Iqtisaduna), and was published by Bookextra, Limited.

References