A continuation of practices that began a long time ago has led to the huge financial crisis on Wall Street. Large amounts of investor money continually seek areas in which to invest and â€œmake their money work and grow.â€ In the 1980â€™s these investments created the savings and loan crisis. In the 1990â€™s these investments created the high tech crises. This decade has seen these investments create a mortgage crisis. When the dust settles on the present financial excesses of greed and corruption, the holders of large sums of money will again seek a place where they can â€œmake their money work and grow.â€
Society has been imbued with the concept of making its money work and grow. Thrift institutions bombard people with different investment options such as IRAs, mutual funds, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, precious metals, and international currencies. People are continually told, â€œDonâ€™t let your money just lie around, put it to work.â€ This concept has affected and infected all of society.
The current financial situation validates the Islamic views of riba. It has led to corruption and the gain of the few off the backs of the many. Fewer and fewer people are controlling larger and larger sums of money. The number of banks, investment houses, airlines, shipping companies, and automotive manufacturers continue to decline as the concentration of economic power increases. Chairman Bernanke of the Federal Reserve had the power to invest 85 billion dollars in AIG without asking anyoneâ€™s permission. He canâ€™t get fired either. Thatâ€™s power.
Since 1990 the value of the stock market has increased fourfold. On the other hand, the person who toils for a living has seen his savings, retirement income, and investments decrease in value due to the inflation caused by the financial speculators.
The validity of riba aside, the collapse of our financial institutions represent but a part of the collapse of the grossly materialistic Western society especially in America. We have seen flooding occur from Iowa to Ohio and from Illinois to Florida and throughout the Gulf coast. Tornados ravaged areas where tornados rarely occur. Wildfires devastated California in the spring. Hurricanes and tropical storms left their mark through much of the Southeastern states. These natural disasters were not accidentalâ€”there are no accidents in Godâ€™s universe. These excesses of weather have cost the government billions of dollars. To this we add the collapse of the financial markets, and the cost of our involvement in Iraq. We continue to spend more than we earn and this practice will ultimately create economic collapse.
Whatever congress decides upon this week will be a patchwork for a corrupt system. The system cannot be â€œfixed;â€ it is built upon unsound principles. Western society is built upon gross materialistic thought and the self-aggrandizement that emanates from it. Whatever is in accord with the spirit or nature survives; whatever isnâ€™t, collapses. As the Messenger of Allah has saidâ€™ â€œDo not crave for property lest you should be absorbed in the desire of the worldly life.â€
The entire modus operendi of Western society is based upon desire of the worldly lifeâ€”it knows no better and is paying the price of its profound ignorance.
Elder Georgeâ€™s website is www.mensaction.net and he can be reached at 212-874-7900 ext. 1329.