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Justice and Mercy

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Category: Culture & Community
Forum Name: Groups Men (Brothers)
Forum Description: Groups Men (Brothers)
URL: https://www.islamicity.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3569
Printed Date: 26 February 2021 at 2:29pm
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Topic: Justice and Mercy
Posted By: Tim Evans
Subject: Justice and Mercy
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 8:43am

 Helow everyone,

What I want to know is: How can it be just or merciful to exploit people for financial gain?

How is it merciful to take advantage of somene for a finacial reward?

Isn't it this exploitation that is at the root of so much troble?

 



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Tim in Britain



Replies:
Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 9:22am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

It seem you are alking about riba or Interest which is using the wealth of a person to gain more wealth without giving the person his rightful share of the profit.

or basicly using peoples hard earned money to make money for your self and not giving them any share of the profit.

This is haram (sinful) in islam.


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Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.


Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 9:38am
Thanks for that Rami but what I meant was:  If a person works for another person for a day, a week or a year or whatever, that employer makes a profit from that other persons work. Why should they not share the benefits equally in some way. Why should an employer make extra money?

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Tim in Britain


Posted By: herjihad
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 11:48am

Bismillah,

An employer has invested their time and money to build a business whereas an employee does not share in these worries.  If the business fails, the employee may lose a job, but the employer loses his investment monies and possibly will be in debt and have to find a job as an employee with someone else just to pay the debt back.

If people want to make a joint business venture, then they will share all of these risks and benefits together.  They can also apportion the money earned according to the money invested and/or effort put in.

Unfortunately, most people with power and money want to keep it for themselves and just exploit their employees who have no start up money but have lots of hard work to put in.



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Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.


Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 12:06pm

Thanks Herjhad,

But isn't it unjust to give less back to the person less than that person has put into the project?

I have read parts of the Holy Quran and havn't been able to find what it says about this.

Any help would be appreciated.



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: Angela
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 12:15pm

A person should be justly paid for their work.  If you find yourself unpaid and overworked.  Then its best to find another job.  But, I once worked hard on a project and brought my boss a $3,000 contract to his hotel.  My $7.50 an hour did not change, why, because I did the job he hired me to do.  If I had managed another $7,000 he had promised health insurance to the 6 of us that worked for him. 

Sometimes we put alot into things, but there is still more to do before we can see a benefit.

My current coworker makes more than me in 20 hours, than I do with overtime...but she's been here 14 years, I've been here 6 months.

Sometimes, what you think you are worth and what you're actually worth are two different things.

But, those are real world answers, I cannot give you Ayat or Hadith to help.  Sorry.



Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 12:52pm

Thanks Angela,

I understand how easely people (self included) can have jealousy about others or resentment about not being valued, but what I am trying to get at is this.  Is it just to take more from people than you give back?  Just because some people are a bit smarter or craftier than others should not be permission to exploit them.  I have been looing for any religious tradition that can explain this. 



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: Angela
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 1:01pm

No, it is not just.....

As a Mormon we believe in Tithing, giving back in charity.  So do Muslims, in Zakat.

We also believe in treating our fellow man with honesty and justice. 

Matter of fact, its part of the interview to go to the temple.  "Are you honest in your dealings with others?"

Islam believes this too.

For Hadiths and Ayat searches, here is a really good site.

http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/ - http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/



Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 31 January 2006 at 5:32pm

Thank, but I did not ask about giving a tenth or any other kind of 'charity'.  Is there anyone who can give an explanation of why it is OK to exploit people by paying them less than the value of their work

What was that I was told about truth? "It will set you free".



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: Megatron
Date Posted: 04 February 2006 at 11:12pm

Hey Tim,

That's the problem with capitalism.  My mother works like crazy for minimum wage at a coffee shop here in Canada.  It's called Tim Horton's and is a huge moneymaker in Canada.  Her employers make tonnes of money, while she gets minimum wage.

So I guess the sin is on the head of her employers.  I agree with you in that people should be compensated appropriately for their work.  However, you must consider that starting a business entails huge risks.  The employer has to save or borrow tonnes of money and invest it in a business.  The employee does not take that risk and is compensated less.  How much less is debatable.

Say you were staring clock company and you spent 400 000 dollars of your money getting that company started.  Wouldn't you want to be compensated in the future for taking that risk?  If you only made a measly profit while paying your workers exorbitant wages, you would probably not start the company in the first place.  Right?

So I guess ultimately there needs to be a balance.  If a person isn't compensated for their work, most people quit and the employer has to increase wages.  However, if the job market is poor, then exploitation often occurs.

I probably didn't answer your question but at least I tried.

 



Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 05 February 2006 at 7:14am

Thanks Megatron.

 OK lets start with the 400 000 dolors you mentioned. How dose a person start with all that capital if it is not the result of exploitation?

They didn't find that capital ready made in the ground or on a tree. The only place capital can be got is from the work of other people which adds value to the raw materials found in nature.  I know this is an historical crime and that slavery all over the world was how the corrupt stole the fruits of peoples work, but what is interesting to me is that all religions (as far as I can tell) support the continuation of this obvious injustice at the bottom of all inequality.

The great finacial profits that are made from this system are horded- up by fewer and fewer people and squandered in gambling on the stock market or military spending. It can't be right or a sensible way of running the world.

I know some of the wealthy give to charity but it is only a drop in the ocean compared with the theft from hundreds of millions of poor people everywhere.



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: peacemaker
Date Posted: 05 February 2006 at 9:46am

Tim Evans,

First of all, I would like to thank you that you are on your way to discover the truth. May Allah bless you in the process.

I will discuss with you and try to answer your question from Islamic point of view inshaAllah ( Allah willing ). To proceed further, I have a question. Could you please tell me how you think that Islam is exploiting masses on economic issues? That way I would be able to pin point the problem, and hence answer your question.

Peace

 



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Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13


Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 05 February 2006 at 12:17pm

Hi, Peacemaker. (good name)

I don't have an special argument with Islam on this matter, but I do have problem with all religions equally on this.

If a person works for an eight our day,  it takes four hours, to produce enough to sell and pay the wages. What happens to the money from production for the rest of the day after it has been sold for a profit? After all the other costs of production have been paid for. The profit must contain the four hours that the employee hasn't been paid for. Multiply that by billions of hours worked by the poor all over the planet and we have the injustice and oppression that causes so much strife.

Why will religions not condemn this?

 

 



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: peacemaker
Date Posted: 05 February 2006 at 5:46pm

Hi Tim Evans.

 I have a very close friend, and his first name is Tim. So, I like your name too.

You have raised a very good question. And what you are saying is basically referring to exploitation of labour. "Let them work at minimum possible wage, and take the profit as much as possible." That is why we see that in spite of all  technological and economic developments, we see that the gap between rich and poor is increasing across the globe.

From Islamic perspective, every owner of any company is supposed to pay 2.5 % of the profit in zakat ( charity ). That is minimum. If you look Islamic history, there were also situations when the companions of the Prophet Muhammad ( peace be upon him ) offered 100 % of whatever they had for the noble cause.

Islam strictly forbids exploitation of labour, and instructs the followers to be just with the workers, and promptly pay their due.

When starting a business, one invests time, money and intellect. If business fails, owner gets nothing, whereas a worker gets the wages.

If business prospers, owner should increase the benefits of the employees according to their skills and labour (if their "increased" skill and labour were factor(s) to the more prosperous business ). In that way, it would not be exploitation of the labour.

Hope it helps.

I suggest you start reading some books on Islam to get the idea what actually it stands for.

"Islam in focus" by Hammudah Abdalati can be a good starting point.

Peace

 

 



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Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13


Posted By: Megatron
Date Posted: 05 February 2006 at 8:35pm

You know what Tim, I think your argument doesn't just entail money but it's the problem with life.  There are people in this world who are stronger, better looking, richer, more powerful, smarter etc.

Humans were not created equal.  I used to have a huge problem not with Islam, but with the world because there were so many inequities in the world that people are born into. 

I'm lucky I live here in Canada and can live a relatively comfortable life, get a great education etc.  If I was born in Africa to a poor family, the best I could hope for was being able to feed my family.

I don't consider religion at fault for not addressing the issue, but you must realize that inequities are inherent in human existance.  Islam in a way accepts that.  It tries to instill change.  I can't remember how many times the Quran chastises people for hoarding money and encourages people to use their money for good works.  However, you must realize that no matter what people do, our societies will always be stratified by class etc.

I try to come to terms with it by realizing that this life on earth is fleeting.  The man who begs on the street and prays to God, will be rich in heaven.  All inequities shall be ironed out in Paradise(Heaven...whatever you want to call it).  You probably don't accept that.   I didn't accept it for years and I was...I hate to admit this, very angry with God for these inequities.  However, I believe that God is just and that God's rewards in the hereafter are better than what this life has to offer. 

I know I'm adding to the ideology that religion is a panacea for the masses, but I believe it with all my heart.  You can bust your butt all day trying to remove inequities from society but you alone can't do it. The only person you can control is yourself so make yourself as an example.  When you work and earn money, help those in a third world country.  If you own a company, pay your workers fairly and use the profits to provide for yourself with the excess going to charity. 

The world is full of selfish people.  You can't do anything to change them, but you can change yourself.

   



Posted By: Tim Evans
Date Posted: 06 February 2006 at 7:34am

Megatron,

Respect, and thanks for your honest post.

Thanks also to everyone on the different (pages?) on the site, who have taken up this issue. 

You are rite about the different 'qualities' people  have and I have no compliant there, but its no excuse for us exploitating others or being exploited by them. As for your (and my) good fortune in living in a wealthy country, I think we are only in such a position because, as you note, others are so poor. A lot of wealth in one place means a shortage in another. 

 Yes, I've noticed that Islam pays allot of attention, more than other religions do to social reform and charity. I simply can't understand why it will not move to that next 'theoretical' stage rather than accept injustice as inevitable.

 Life for the individual is indeed 'fleeting' but the results of our actions live on. I feel that this issue is not easy for you or many others of your faith, even if you do trust in God. I think that our true humanity will only flourish when people can face each other as equals and not as exploited and exploiter. COMPETITORS

A sincere thanks for your concern about busting my butt trying to remove inequalities. I'll bare it in mind. I do understand that it is not possible to simply wish away inequality. However, it gives me a sense of purpose knowing that we can have an effect whether or not we are around to see all the results.  

 As for your last point I think it has been our conditions of  insecurity throughout history that has given selfishness its prominent place. Our technological developments properly managed can help overcome our estrangement from each other. It is obvious to hundreds of millions now that we can't carry on as we are.I don't think 'human nature' is irrevocably selfish. You can think of as many examples of selflessness as I can I'm sure.



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Tim in Britain


Posted By: schwester
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 12:51am
i think it is not just to take more from people than you give back. i believe that mankind should be able to answer where from comes his every penny, at least to try to answer. but, nowadays everyone has his own rules, and rules of power are always right in this world.


Posted By: herjihad
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 7:54am
Originally posted by Megatron Megatron wrote:

You know what Tim, I think your argument doesn't just entail money but it's the problem with life.  There are people in this world who are stronger, better looking, richer, more powerful, smarter etc.

Humans were not created equal.  I used to have a huge problem not with Islam, but with the world because there were so many inequities in the world that people are born into. 

I'm lucky I live here in Canada and can live a relatively comfortable life, get a great education etc.  If I was born in Africa to a poor family, the best I could hope for was being able to feed my family.

I don't consider religion at fault for not addressing the issue, but you must realize that inequities are inherent in human existance.  Islam in a way accepts that.  It tries to instill change.  I can't remember how many times the Quran chastises people for hoarding money and encourages people to use their money for good works.  However, you must realize that no matter what people do, our societies will always be stratified by class etc.

I try to come to terms with it by realizing that this life on earth is fleeting.  The man who begs on the street and prays to God, will be rich in heaven.  All inequities shall be ironed out in Paradise(Heaven...whatever you want to call it).  You probably don't accept that.   I didn't accept it for years and I was...I hate to admit this, very angry with God for these inequities.  However, I believe that God is just and that God's rewards in the hereafter are better than what this life has to offer. 

I know I'm adding to the ideology that religion is a panacea for the masses, but I believe it with all my heart.  You can bust your butt all day trying to remove inequities from society but you alone can't do it. The only person you can control is yourself so make yourself as an example.  When you work and earn money, help those in a third world country.  If you own a company, pay your workers fairly and use the profits to provide for yourself with the excess going to charity. 

The world is full of selfish people.  You can't do anything to change them, but you can change yourself.

   

Bismillah,

I agree with you, Megatron.  Still to extend this thinking -- we can pursue political action, informing other people of what we know who have not become enlightened yet, and always remember, as you have said, to do the best we personally can.

Peace



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Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.


Posted By: jajabinks101
Date Posted: 03 June 2006 at 1:35pm

Hi Everyone...

If my post appears to be leading away from the topic of conversation, i apoligise...i have so much i want to say, but am not a person able to do it with reserve or compassion some times...perhaps my coversion to Islam will help me in future

I posted a couple of questions last week, and mentioned that I was seriously thinking of converting to Islam....I was ridiculed by Americans, more so because Im british, and they think we owe them something....Ive been thinking, and i am going to convert to Islam, Not for any other reason than, that it is the right thing to do...I there for no longer see the USA as an allie, but an enemy that we should not attack physically, but pity because of their ignorance to other peoples freedoms, and ways of life. the hate for Islam and Muslim people i have personally witnessed from Americans, is abhorrant, and comparable to that of the Nazi and the Jew...an arrogance that beggers belief, and a bully boy attitude that has to be confronted.

When everything in the world comes down to money, theres only one country to blame for much of the worlds unnaceptable state, both financially and physically and thats the USA..

with its false promises of help and release from oppresion, when it is infact they that are the oppresors..it is they that control the world economy, and if it looks to be sliding away from their favour they will put a pin in a map, and invade, which, honestly, only leaves them feeling better, they dont actually gain anything, and everyone else ends up losing out...because when the American pull out and leave the country to sort it self out, thousands who depended and believed in the US are singled out by the countries leaders and executed..no skin off the Americans noses, is it...they have gone home to their nice warm beds...the history of Americas policing of the world leaves only mayhem and death in its wake

America is the root of all the worlds problems today, her foreign policies show horrendous resemblence to that of past dictatorial leaders, and because of her military might, she feels free to throw her weight around where and when she pleases.

Like the criminal Americans who recently murdered innocent civilians in Iraq, Bush is a War criminal too, Blair on his leash is no better either....their greed for power and control both of world politics and money, does not allow the rest of the world freedom of their own affairs

The War in Iraq was illegal, any killings that have taken place are there for murder, regardless of incident, and The US lead forces should pull out from Iraq now, and stop their occupation. this would allow the worlds economy to settle down, and come under some sort of control. Her forces are stretched as far as they will go, her popularity has fallen to rock bottom, unless your an American of course, in which case your unable to see past your nose anyway..the only people that see The USA as the great almighty world police force, fighting for good against evil, is the American...the story of David and goliath should be a lesson though. Take heed America....the hate for America, an all it stands for is being fuelled by your actions around the World today, and you have only your selves to blame

9/11 was an horrendous episode, and totally unnacceptable, but the response at some stage was expected surely..Like the big bully at school, one day some one will turn and bloody his nose, 9/11 was the USA's bloody nose...the only trouble is, they drag everyone in with them, the UK and other european forces who went to the war in iraq, but DID NOT want to be there..the whole thing is unacceptable....if as a muslim i am called to fight america, I will, once all peacful avenues have been exhausted..to fight and kill like an american is to lower your self to their level...Allah teaches us that peace is what we stand for, and peace is what i pray for..how about the USA letting the rest of the world live in peace, keep your capitalist way of life within your capitalist borders, islam will grow, and it will surround the evil like an anti body, and it will shine light every where that Allah is, and the world will be at peace..

Allah Uakhbar..Allah is just, as he is true, he will guide us to everlasting light, and to paradise.

 

Peace to all my brothers and sisters

 



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lessons can be learnt from the past. if we want to learn.
Mistakes can be avoided, if we wish to avoid them.
Good will prevail over evil,how many have to die in the mean time.
Peace be upon us all


Posted By: Megatron
Date Posted: 04 June 2006 at 11:36pm
Wow...that post said a lot!! I can tell it came from the bottom of your heart.  A lot of emotion there.  I totally agree with everything you've said.





Posted By: jajabinks101
Date Posted: 05 June 2006 at 3:59am

thankyou megatron..

when more people start to believe, then perhaps America will too...

 

peace



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lessons can be learnt from the past. if we want to learn.
Mistakes can be avoided, if we wish to avoid them.
Good will prevail over evil,how many have to die in the mean time.
Peace be upon us all


Posted By: B.H.
Date Posted: 01 August 2006 at 9:40pm
Originally posted by Tim Evans Tim Evans wrote:

Hi, Peacemaker. (good name)

I don't have an special argument with Islam on this matter, but I do have problem with all religions equally on this.

If a person works for an eight our day,  it takes four hours, to produce enough to sell and pay the wages. What happens to the money from production for the rest of the day after it has been sold for a profit? After all the other costs of production have been paid for. The profit must contain the four hours that the employee hasn't been paid for. Multiply that by billions of hours worked by the poor all over the planet and we have the injustice and oppression that causes so much strife.

Why will religions not condemn this?

 

 

 

Ah, this is the classic Marxist objection to capitalism.

When I was an atheist I held rather Marxist economic positions.

The business owner is going to claim that he had to work hard to save up the money to start the business and therefore deserves the profits for the last four hours of work to compensate for his previous sacrifice.

The issue is how much is the business owner entitled to due to his ownership of the business and any previous sacrifice he had to make to start up the business.

I don't think any religion I am aware of can tell you just exactly what a fair wage should be for a given job, title, or position, nor what a person should get for doing a job over "X" amount of years.  I do think Islam provides the answer to what you are supposed to be able to do with what you make as a bare minimum.

Be back in a minute....

 



Posted By: B.H.
Date Posted: 01 August 2006 at 9:51pm

I am a new convert to Islam and do not by any means claim to be an expert on the Quran.

However, I do believe Islam has the answer to the problem our friend Tim and we all are concerned about.

The problem I think is that we are objecting to the wrong thing.  Really, it isn't wages and such that we ought to be concerned about.  It is obedience to the Quran.

I remember reading in the Quran somewhere that people and workers are entitled to items of common use.  I can't find  the scripture reference right now, but a website I was reading said it applied in an economic sense.  Items of common use include the basic necessities---food, clothing, shelter, basic health care, and basic education.  Also, one should not have to pay interest on loans and the needy should have access to zakat donations given by their brothers and sisters.

If a job does not pay you enough to provide the basic necessities of life or "items of common use" then you are indeed being exploited and the employer is violating the injuction found in the Holy Quran.  I do not believe it is wrong to expect an employer to see to it that his/her employees are paid enough to enjoy items of common use as a required cost of doing business.  Also, I do not believe it is wrong for those who lose their jobs due to market fluctuations to receive unemployment beneifts where offered and definetely should be able to take advantage of the zakat Allah commanded be provided for such in need.



Posted By: DigitalStorm82
Date Posted: 01 August 2006 at 11:30pm
Asalamu Alaikum,

The concept of labor is fair only in terms of contract.

Sorry, its a bit lengthy...

Business point of view is...  Employee establishes a contract with the employer to work for X amount for Y amount of Hours. 

Islam comes in when that contract is breached. If the employer is paying the employee less than what he said he would pay, of course we can take rulings from the financial transactions section of Islam and decide on the situation.

Employer has to pay for EVERYTHING...which includes raw materials, productions, marketing, facilities...etc..  

So now if the employer makes profit by selling the items...  you say that he should be paid more.  Why? Did he do more work than he was required to pay? Even if he put in overtime... he gets paid DOUBLE his wage.  Is that not fair?

Another scenerio... if the employer loses money because he wasn't able to sell the items... and the employees worked the same amount... isnt it fair that you get paid less?

Thats not how the businesses work... the profit goes back into the company for expansion... of course not always...  but thats the owners call... because its his business and his risk.

If you think you're not getting paid enough for your wages... ask for a raise. 

Today's world... people work really hard to build a house... carrying bricks and what not... and make for example $10 an hour..    while a computer programer makes $60 an hour sitting in an air conditioned office...   why the difference?  Knowledge...  To become the programer.. he went to college and paid for classes... he made an Investment... and his high paying job is the return on that investment.

similarly with businesses... the owners take a big risk... sometimes the business plan fails and they have to try again...

If the guy building a house feels he's not getting paid enough... he too can invest money in seeking knowledge...

Religion aspect is to provide a guideline to the complete way of life... and keep everything fair.

However, having labor in china or any other third world country... and paying that $0.70 an hour... of course thats just wrong, the labor is worth more than that... but at the same time... THEY CHOOSE to work for that low rate because they have no options... now that is exploiting for their own financial gains...

Religion can intercede at this point on the grounds of good morals and caring for humanity.  Ex.  You shouldn't sleep on a full stomach knowing that your neighbor is starving...  so knowing that these people are suffering from hunger and still paying them scrubs is obviously wrong.

But again, there is no compulsion in the religion of Islam... so you cant force someone to follow Islam... But if the country law is based on Islamic principles... they can provide and enforce a solutions to these exploiting companies...

I hope that answers your question.

W'salaamz,
Hamid







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Ma'Salama,
Hamid



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