Dubai, one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is the birthplace of modern Islamic banking. I purposely did not say the birthplace of Islamic economy and finance, because according to Islamic beliefs, that journey started the day man set foot on earth. To understand it better, following is the economic philosophy of Islam, which is based on three pillars.
- Humanity's relationship with God.
- Human relationships with other human beings.
- The purpose of human existence on Earth.
Humanity's Relationship with God
The Qur'an teaches us that the human-divine relationship is governed by the concept of Tawhid, a belief in the oneness of God. Tawhid leads to the concept of total submission to the will of God and a commitment to shape human life in accordance with divine will.
All the material resources available to humanity on Earth are owned by God and have been given to humanity in trust by God for a short period (i.e., a human lifetime). The test is how we make use of these resources.
The doctrine of trust logically leads to the concept of accountability. Thus, humans are trustees and accountable to God in utilizing the trusted material resources of this Earth. Our success in the hereafter depends on our performance in this world.