Applications of Islamic Principles to Meet New Needs
Proposed by the Founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement in his Al-Wasiyat and Announced in 1905 – Quran on Voluntary Contributions – How Al-Wasiyyat Proposes to Raise Funds for Islam – Expenditure of These Funds – Difference Between Bolschevik and Al-Wasiyyat Funds – Al-Wasiyyat a Peaceful Revolution – Voluntary Transfer of Properties to Society – Al-Wasiyyat at Universal – Steady Surrender of Properties in the Islamic World Order
Evidently, therefore, the means adopted in the time of the Holy Prophet(sa) and the schemes put into force by the first four Khulafa’ (Caliphs) to give practical effect to the Islamic social and economic teachings, will not prove adequate today. It is necessary, therefore, that in this age Islamic teachings should be given a practical shape which, while safe-guarding against the defects which I have pointed out in the other movements, should succeed in placing sufficient resources in the hands of those responsible for putting the Islamic principles into force to enable them to bring about conditions of equal opportunity for all and to provide for the legitimate needs of the people. The Khulafa’ (Caliphs) interpreted and gave practical effect to the teachings of Islam in this respect according to the needs of their time. As I have indicated, there used to be a regular census in the time of Hazrat ‘Umar(ra) and a record was kept of every individual. The Islamic treasury was responsible for the legitimate needs of every person. Originally, this system applied only to those who were capable of bearing arms, but Hazrat ‘Umar(ra) recognised that the responsibility of the State extended to other people also. Eventually, provision was made for all deserving persons out of the treasury.
In short, the Khulafa’ (Caliphs) gave effect to the Islamic teachings according to the circumstances of their time. Today human life and society have become much more complex, so a new system is called for to give effect to that teaching. For the establishment of the new system it was inevitable that some one, raised by God, should inaugurate a New Order to put an end to the pains and miseries of mankind, an Order not of man, but of Heaven, one really equal to the needs of the poor and able to restore peace and contentment to all mankind. Every person, who believes that the Holy Prophet(sa) had prophesied the advent of a Messiah and Mahdi, must admit that it was the function of the Promised One to find a remedy for the disorder, unrest and misery from which the world is suffering today. That remedy should not suffer from the defects from which Bolshevism, Socialism and National Socialism suffer. It should make it possible to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical relief and means of education for everybody and yet safeguard mankind against intellectual deterioration, the discouragement of individual enterprise and effort, and tyranny and exploitation of one people by another. In other words, it should secure peace and goodwill between nations and classes, and also succeed in finding resources to fulfil the needs of all individuals.
It was, therefore, the duty of the Khatamul-Khulafa’1 to devise a scheme in accordance with Islamic teachings which should prove adequate to the needs of the time and put an end to the miseries from which the world is suffering. As I shall presently show, he did succeed under Divine Command in devising such a scheme.
I have already explained that the essentials of the Islamic social and economic system are: (1) that the needs of all human beings should be provided for; (2) that in trying to achieve the first object the incentive behind individual effort and enterprise should not be weakened; (3) that the system devised should be voluntary and should not involve forcible dispossession or confiscation; and (4) that the system should not be confined to one country or one nation, but should be universal. All the movements that are being boosted today are in one respect or other limited in their application. They pertain to sections of mankind. The Islamic system is not national or sectional but universal. The Islamic teaching pays due regard to all the four factors that I have just mentioned. Any movement, that is based upon these four principles, is bound to prove more beneficial than, and to be preferred to, every other movement.