Swelling the Slums
Muslims never understood the modern economy, its trends, and its newest methods of conducting business. Their life-plans have remained simple: “Get a degree (at best), and find a job.” But, although business has increased, manpower requirement has decreased. They hear that many people are dealing with Cryptocurrency. As to how it works and generates profits, they have no idea, writes SYED IQBAL ZAHEER.
One of our readers writes, or, one might say, rants, or yet, laments. He writes: “Muslims are feeling the brunt of not joining the band wagon fast, and youth is looking to jump in on the quick returns on investments through stocks, SIPs, bonds and even IPOs. More concerning is the alarming rate of people investing in Crypto-currency without any knowledge of really anything about finance, economics or Halal and Haram.”
In one of his novels, P. G. Wodehouse is describing one of his characters. While doing that, he says about him, “What looks like his nose, is actually his nose.” It can be said about Muslims of our times – especially of the Indian Subcontinent – that they can be similarly described. The Qur’an asks them:
“Has the time not arrived for those who have believed that their hearts should be humbled at the remembrance of Allah, and for what has come down of the Truth? And not be like those who were given the Book earlier, and the term prolonged over them, and so their hearts hardened, and most of them are ungodly.” (57: 16-17)
The Final Call that was given to them never left any ambiguity regarding how they are to deal with this life. It was with promises that if they remained faithful to the new contract, they would not be forgotten in this life, will inherit abundant wealth in the Hereafter and, in the meanwhile, would be granted more.
“Say, ‘Who has forbidden the ornaments of Allah’s creation that He brought out for His slaves, and the good things of provision?’ Say, ‘They are for the believers during the tenure of this world, (but) exclusively for them on the Day of Judgment.’ Thus We expound Our revelations for a people who know.
“Say, ‘Verily, my Lord has only forbidden indecencies – be they open or concealed – sin, high‑handedness without justice, that you should associate with Allah that for which He has not sent down an authority, and that you should fasten upon Allah what you have no knowledge of.” (The Qur’an 7: 32-33)
But today, treating the above as what it is, that is, a license, Muslims have begun to treat it as their primary and prime duty to devote their lives to making a living. This is also supported by the common public’s attitude towards money-making business.
By now, the situation is that mankind was never as greedy as it ever was before. Wealth has become the objective of life, education, purposes, wealth, criterion, achievements – all in all. Anything else is now secondary in importance. But there are close to 8 billion people on the planet, and each of them is filled with insatiable hunger for money. On the other hand, resources are few and are dwindling. Exhaustion is gradually converting itself into threats of extinction.
Greed has become the driving force of all activities. Overall, wealth is increasing. Not to miss their chances, those nearest the wealth, are fast grabbing their share. Billionaires are growing in numbers. The poor are either marginally bettering their living conditions or growing poorer. The top 10% take away 50% of the wealth, leaving the rest for the rest – and the situation remains, as it has remained in Western countries. Says a report:
“The richest 10% of the global population currently takes 52% of global income, whereas the poorest half of the population earns 8%…
“The poorest half of the global population barely owns any wealth at all, possessing just 2% of the total. In contrast, the richest 10% of the global population own 76% of all wealth.”
Muslims never understood the modern economy, its trends, and its newest methods of conducting business. Their life-plans have remained simple: “Get a degree (at best), and find a job.” But, although business has increased, manpower requirement has decreased. They hear that many people are dealing with Cryptocurrency. As to how it works and generates profits, they have no idea. The impression that it generates quick profits is false. Says, one of those who know (Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, in an interview):
|“Crypto is the new shadow bank. It provides many of the same services, but without the consumer protections or financial stability that back up the traditional system.”|
|“Customers with crypto holdings can earn much higher interest rates than at traditional banks, and they can borrow money, using crypto as collateral, often with no credit checks. The high rewards come with potential dangers as deposits aren’t federally insured and networks can be vulnerable to hacks and fraud.”|
So, an element of gambling goes with it.
On the other hand, fraud has generally increased. So, the governments have increased their monitoring. Therefore, the fraudsters have increased complications in their business schemes to escape detection. Ponzi Schemes have multiplied, and so, investors are encountering quick losses instead of quick profits.
In India, a recent report is that the banks have incurred huge losses this year. The report says, “Banks lost Rs 2.85 lakh crore due to loan default of thirteen firms; UFBU calls for bank strike on December 16, 17.”
A news piece has appeared on 11th Dec. 2021 which is as follows:
“The sharp plunge, which was led by IT stocks, wiped off Rs 4.29 lakh crore equity wealth from the market. FMCG and pharma stocks were among other major casualties of the day…”
“The 30-share pack Sensex fell 949.32 points or 1.65 per cent to close at 56,747.14. Its broader peer NSE Nifty slumped 284.45 points or 1.65 per cent to 16,912.25.”
We may recall how the last century ended.The dot.com crash of the 1990s had cost the Arab investors around a trillion. The predictions now are similar. Just the other day, the Bank of England said “that bitcoin could be ‘worthless’ and people investing in the digital currency should be prepared to lose everything.”
Muslims must realize that dreams do not generate wealth. It is hard work that has to go with it. But hard work alone does not create money. It is money. That is, it is money which creates more money. You add to your money hard work, then, if you have been shrewd enough, you can wait at the other end for the returns.
Beware Muslims! Decades after decades, with credit to our indolence, inefficiencies, neglect of consistent hard work, refusal of serious devotion, and renewed applications, we have been swelling the slums.