Iqtiṣādunā (Arabic: إقْتِصادَنا, literally: Our economy) is a book written by Sayyid Muhammad Baqir 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 mintaqat al-firagh (the Lacuna), one of the most important views of Shahid 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.
- Main article: al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr
Sayyid Muhammad Baqir 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.
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), mintaqat 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-Usus al-mantiqiyya li l-istiqra' (logical foundations for induction).
Motivation for Writing
In his preface to the first edition of the book, Shahid Sadr characterized it as an initial attempt to a deep investigation, and a systematic presentation, of the Islamic economic doctrine. According to 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 of the Book
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 (fiqhi) authenticity”.
Iqtisaduna consists of two general parts, under “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 the Book
In Iqtisaduna, 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).
Mintaqat al-Firagh (the Lacuna)
- Main article: Mintaqat al-firagh
The theory of the Lacuna (mintaqat al-firagh) is the most important view propounded and innovated by 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 “mintaqat al-firagh” (the Lacuna). Sadr believes that some laws legislated by the Prophet Muhammad (s) are examples of such laws filling the Lacuna, rather than laws conveyed to us by the Prophet (s) qua the prophet.
Shahid 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. Sadr himself points out that the views in the book come from three sources:
- Views of the fuqaha (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, Academic Specialized Research Center of 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.