Conceptualizing Poverty in Capitalism and Islam
This study investigates poverty in Capitalism and Islam in terms of both; as an economic ism and as a living ideology. Capitalism as a living ideology, based on its’ philosophical foundations, eventually yields class conflict, deprivation, discrimination and accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few capitalists. Capitalism as an economic ism has become unpopular in the world not only because of socioeconomic injustices but also due to environmental degradation and losses in biodiversity. Theoretical analysis reveals that the built in mechanism (Demand-Supply) of capitalism is incapable to resolve the issue of poverty effectively. Poverty in Islamic context is a pure economic concept which does not affect the social class system and social values of humans. Furthermore, the measurement concept of poverty in Islam is different from the Capitalism. Poverty has been measured based on the minimum prescribed amount (Nisab) postulated by Islam. Various categories of the poor have been identified while benchmarking the minimum prescribed amount. Keeping into consideration the philosophical foundation of the Capitalism and Islamic Economic System (IES) the study reveals that IES has more potential to resolve the issue of poverty on more fair and equitable basis than the Capitalism.
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