Islamic budgetary policy : in theory and practice
The raison d'etre for this thesis is the confused state of mind of contemporary Muslims regarding the modern methods and institution of Islamic budgeting. The study is focused on the macroeconomics ideas of Islam as they relate to Islamic budgetary policy. The objective is to analyse the relevant injunctions and principles, and to present them in a systematic way in order to prepare the ground for a working theory which could be applied to any method or institution of budgeting in order to ascertain its Islamicity. In order properly to comprehend the system envisaged by the Qur'an and the Sunnah, it is essential that we acquaint ourselves with its fundamental principles and philosophy. Hence, a thorough investigation is made to determine and to crystalise the Islamic system towards its unique policy of budgeting.The budgeting system of an Islamic state is too serious to matter to be left to the traditional scholars of Islam ('ulama') without having a new interpretation of its origin. The formulation of the budgeting theory of Islam, therefore, requires the serious attention of men adequately trained in economics, other branch of social science, and obviously, Islam. Hence, scholars from several fields will need to collaborate satisfactorily to resolve the theoretical and systematic problems of the economic system in an Islamic state. The budgeting organisation of an Islamic state is the most important of all its organisational problems. It affects the whole spectrum of life. It draws into consideration issues of al-Din as a way of life, including, of course, the laws of human society, and the welfare of the people as a whole. An examination of practices of the Khulafa' al-Rashidin (Right-Guided Caliphates) will give us basic guidance in respect of the formulation of budgeting policy in accordance with a new satisfactory solution to the economic problems of contemporary Islamic society.The best course would be to develop such a theory suited to the present situation. It should consist, among other things, of: a) a financial theory consisting of money, financial institutions (their structure and functions), taxation, government finance, and fiscal policy; b) a distribution theory and income policy, and c) a theory of the international economic relationship of an Islamic state with the rest of the world. These seem to be the leading areas in which the fact that an Islamic economy (an interest-less economy) will require a basic reorganising of budgeting theory which can help to build an economic society in the image of the teaching of the Shari'ah. All these tasks have not been completed in the present study. However, we have emphasised the fundamental problems connected with several of the above-mentioned areas, especially the first two. Frankly speaking, the project proved to be well beyond the ability of the present writer. His only hope is that someone abler and better will soon take up the subject and do it the justice it deserves. Meanwhile, please bear with the defects and shortcomings of the study in hand. For the selection of the budgeting policy of an Islamic state as my thesis subject I can only say: 'Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.'