The Economic Thought of Muhammad Baqir al Sadr

Nasir Nabi Bhat

Abstract


Syed Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was a scholar, a philosopher and ideological founder of Islamic Dawah party (Hizbul Dawat al Islamiah) in al Kazimiya Iraq. He was born on Dhil Hajja 25, 1353 A.H. / 1 March 1934 C.E. He belonged to a religious family which had been a cradle for Islamic learning since decades. His father Haydar al Sadr was a well respected high ranking Shia cleric. Baqir al Sadr completed his religious education at religious seminaries under the guidance of Al-Khoei and Muhsin al Hakim. Eventually he emerged as a profile writer and wrote twenty six books and numerous articles, on various disciplines including; Jurisprudence, exegesis, philosophy, logic, history, theology, Islamic culture and economics. Some of these books (originally in Arabic) have been translated into Persian, English, Urdu and Turkish languages. In 1960-61 he wrote his most celebrated book on economics namely Iqtisaduna (Our economics). In this voluminous work he criticizes the existing economic doctrines; capitalism and socialism and presents Islamic economics as an alternative for both the systems. Baqir al Sadr holds the view that, every economic system has got two aspects; scientific aspect and doctrinal aspect. The scientific aspect of Marxist economy is the historical materialism, while as its doctrinal aspect comprises of Socialism and communism. Historical materialism as an interpretation of history in terms of single factor (economic) does not explain most of the historical and social events which are the results of social, political, religious and psychological factors. Capitalist economy like Marxist economy has also got two aspects; scientific aspect and doctrinal aspect. However, the laws of the capitalist economy are doctrinal in nature, because, they are influenced by human will and differ from society to society. The distinctive nature of Islamic economy is that it adopts a moderate approach, while solving man’s economic problems. The edifice of Islamic economy comprises of dual form of ownership, judicious economic freedom and social Justice. The various aspects of the system are integrated together, besides the entire system is intimately related with other aspects of Islam such as social, political spiritual and Psychological. The present paper intends to highlight the contribution of Baqir al Sadr towards development of Islamic Economics in the twentieth century.

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