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Increased Cost of Living: Islam Is the Solution

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As days pass-by humanity under the shade of the corrupt capitalist economy keep uttering a painful statement, “yesterday was at least better” while Kenyans commenced the utterance almost 56 years since 1963 when Kenya got ” Independence” and before that during the colonial period under the British Kingdom! Latest report from World Bank (WB) reveals that in East Africa, Tanzania has more people living in extreme poverty at 21.9 million, followed by Kenya at 17.6 million and Uganda at 15.8 million! As per WB a person living on less than $1.90 (Ksh200), a day is in extreme poverty. Furthermore, WB says that 368 million people, which is a half of the total people living in extreme poverty in the world, are from 5 countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Bangladesh. They also happen to be the most populous countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. WB declared that Nigeria will overtake India and become a country with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty! By 2030, the share of the global poor residing in sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to be about 87 percent, “if economic growth over the next 12 years is similar to historical growth patterns.” (theeastafrican.co.ke, 06/02/2019)

As per the latest report from Wealth-X, countries that are primed to mint new millionaires at the highest rate in the next five years in Africa number one is Nigeria second is Egypt and third is Kenya! Kenya’s projected millionaire growth pace is the same as that of the world’s second-largest economy, China, which is tied with Kenya at number six globally! Furthermore, Realtor Knight Frank also published a report showing that Kenya created 180 new dollar millionaires in 2017, swelling the number of persons with a net worth of more than Sh500 million to 1,290! (africabriefing.org, 22/01/2019)

According to charity foundation Oxfam, the 26 richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet’s population. The wealth of the world’s richest 1% is equaled to the total wealth of the remaining 99%. In the 10 years since the financial crisis, the number of billionaires has nearly doubled. The wealth of the billionaires increased by $900bn in 2018. The world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, saw his fortune increase to $112bn. Just 1% of his fortune is equivalent to the whole health budget for Ethiopia, a country of 105 million people. The poorest are paying a higher effective tax rate than the richest. About 10,000 people per day die for lack of healthcare and 262 million children are not in school, because their parents are unable to afford the fees, uniforms or textbooks. Women are dying for lack of decent maternity care and children are being denied an education that could be their route out of poverty. Oxfam’s director of campaigns and policy, Matthew Spencer, also said: “The way our economies are organised means wealth is increasingly and unfairly concentrated among a privileged few while millions of people are barely subsisting (theguardian.com, 21/02/2019)

The above reports confirm that indeed humanity is condemned to the slave-master status quo arrangement as championed by the invalid secular capitalist ideology and its exploitative capitalist economic system anchored on the freedom of ownership. An evil economic system that is designed to ensure that it drains the peasants to their last coins and finally to their last drop of blood using taxation and preferential treatment-policies favoring the ruling elites!

Alternatively, we have Islam an ideology emanating from the Creator of man that was executed comprehensively and practical proven beyond reasonable doubt for the last almost 13 Centuries that it was able to solve all of humanity’s challenges. Islam under the Khilafah (Caliphate) established on the method of Prophethood its economic policy is anchored to ensure just distribution of wealth across its citizens. By guaranteeing all individuals, their basic needs: water, food, shelter, and clothing by providing a conducive environment for people/men (family heads) to work and earn a living. If working/not working does not meet the person’s basic needs then the relatives take the responsibility of meeting his basic needs if also they are not able to help him then the Khilafah (Caliphate) intervenes and provides for him and even enable him to meet his luxurious needs and at the same time meet the social needs: security, education and health etc. The Khilafah (Caliphate) will be able to provide from the collected Zakat whose distribution is predetermined to the eight categories of people only. In addition if there will be no enough Zakat; then it will utilize from the Baitul Mal and if not enough, wealthy Muslims will be requested to pay temporary taxes from their surplus wealth to meet any critical emergencies when the emergencies are lifted the taxes ceases immediately. Furthermore, Islam adopts gold and silver standard as the currency for its economic transactions and at the same time prohibits taxation and usury in all its forms, price-fixing, fraud, deceit and monopoly in trade and wealth hoarding amongst other vices. With such an economic policy in the Khilafah (Caliphate), citizens will be empowered to enjoy the blessings of their Creator since their livelihoods will be secured and so there will be genuine tranquility, development and prosperity.

Therefore, the fundamental questions are why are you still a slave of this failed secular capitalist ideology and it stinking systems that is the cause of your deplorable life and increased cost of living? Do you want to feel genuine liberation from political-socio-economic slavery and stagnation perpetrated by the economic capitalist system; that is only concerned with growth of imaginary national income or growth of domestic product (GDP) informed by the ever volatile paper money? The answer is you joining the calling for the resumption of the Islamic way of life by establishing the Khilafah (Caliphate) via the method of Prophethood. In addition, radically and comprehensively implement Islam and its Shari’ah (Qur’an and Sunnah) as an ideology revealed as a savior to humanity. Until then miserable living conditions and catastrophes will continue to wreck-havoc across the world! However, we must continue to work hard for the upcoming Khilafah (Caliphate) despite the hardships and obstacles on the way. Allah (swt) promises that:

(فَإِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا* إِنَّ مَعَ ٱلۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرً۬ا)

“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease (6)”

[Ash-Sharh: 5-6]

 Ali Nassoro Ali

Member of the Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya