İslâm, inananların dünya ve ahiret hayatında felaha ermesini gaye edinir. Müslümanların dünya hayatında makul bir iktisadi refah içinde hayatlarını idame ettirmeleri, kişilerin kulluk bağlamında kendilerinden beklenen sorumlulukları yerine getirebilmeleri açısından gerekli bir şart olarak telakki edilir. Makul iktisadi refahtan kasıt ise servetin belirli kesimlerde toplanmaması ve tüm kesimlerine adilâne bir şekilde dağılması suretiyle toplumdaki herkesin ortalama bir hayat standardını haiz olmasıdır. Nitekim bu gayenin yerine getirilebilmesi için, İslâm hukukunda bir takım kural ve kurumlar ihdas edilmiş; İslâm tarihi boyunca hüküm icra etmiş olan İslâm devletleri de bu kural ve kurumlara uymaya çalışarak, kendilerine tabi olanların makul refah içinde yaşamalarını sağlamaya çalışmışlardır. Tabiidir ki İslâm’ın iktisadi düzeni, insanı merkez edinmiş olması nedeniyle, sermaye birikimini ve kâr etmeyi nihai gaye olarak hayatın merkezine koyan ve insanı bu nihai gayeye varmada sadece bir vasıta olarak telakki eden ve adeta onu metalaştıran Batılı (konvansiyonel) iktisadi sistemlerden ayrışmaktadır. Çevirimize konu olan eserlerinde Barro ve Cleary, esas ve üstü kapalı olarak İslâm'ın makul refah yaklaşımını Batılı iktisadi büyüme doktrinlerinin bakış açısından sorgulamakta ve İslâm'ın, iktisadi faaliyetleri durağanlaştıran, statükocu ve dolayısıyla iktisadi büyümeyi yavaşlatan bir iktisadi doktrine sahip olduğunu iddia etmektedirler. Bu bağlamda yazarlar giriş kısmında GSYH cinsinden ölçülen iktisadi büyüme oranlarını iddialarına temel olarak almakta ve tarihî süreçte Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nu teşkil etmiş olan günümüzün Müslüman ülkeleri ile geçmişte ve günümüzde büyük ölçüde kapitalizmin bayraktarı olan Avrupa’yı teşkil eden OECD ülkelerinin GSYH büyümelerini mukayese etmekte; geçmişte geride olan Avrupa ülkelerinin günümüzde iktisaden neden ve nasıl daha ileri duruma geçmiş olduklarını irdelemektedirler.
Islam's ultimate aim for Muslims is to render Muslims to achieve the salvation (falah) in afterlife as well as their temporary life in earth. A moderate welfare in this life is required for Muslims in order for them to fulfil their responsibilities in terms of their personal religious life. What is meant by a moderate economic life standard is that the welfare of the entire society should not be accumulated in some certain classes of the society, and instead, it should circulate among all of the people, which in turn leads these people to achieve an average life standard. Thus, some certain rules and organizations were designed and created in order to reach the said ultimate aim and almost all Islamic states, which had reigned during this long period of Islamic history tried to practice these rules in a right way and aimed to ensure their citizens to live through the said moderate welfare. It is natural that the Islamic economic system that includes all these rules and institutions is different from the western (conventional) economic systems. In this chapter (that I have translated into Turkish) Barro and Cleary have been primarily and implicitly questionning Islam's approach of moderate wealth from a viewpoint of western oriented economic growth, and also asserting that Islam has an economic doctrine that can be defined as “status quoist” and thus leading economic activities and economic growth slowing down. In order to do so, authors use the concept of economic growth which is measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and compare GDPs of some contempopary Muslim states that had constituted Ottoman Empire in the past and of OECD counties which some of them, especially European ones, had been historical opponents of Ottoman Empire. By doing so, authors question why Muslim states remained behind, although they were scientific and economic leaders of the world in the past. In brief, other phenomena that the authors discuss throughout the text can be listed as follows: The generation and rise of Islam and how Islam changed Arabic political system; the role of madrasas and waqfs first in the rise and the second in the decrease of Islam in terms of science and civilisation; the role of Islamic jurisprudence; Muslim effects on European conflicts in terms of political and military situations; the effect of Ramadan on economic growth of Muslim countries; economic courses of Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism; the comparison of Islam with other world religions in terms of economic courses and implications. In the end, the authors conclude that Christendom have succeeded a transformation within its internal structure by letting the emergence of Protestantism, and Jewish people concentrated on so called earthly success of this world and also on human capital instead of concentrating on spiritual values. These together constituted reasons why Christian and Jewish nations are scientific and economic leaders of this age. Unlike them, Muslims were not able to perform enough scientific and economic progress since they did not succeeded a similar transformation and remained stuck to original religious values, rules and corporate structure of Islam. Of course, this kind of approach which only relies on limited criterion like economic growth and excludes other elements such as political and military contexts and worldwide conjunctures is defective and should be challenged by experts and academicians by evaluating this approach in terms of Islamic economics, Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), political, military and economic, cultural and civilisation history of both Islamic states and Ottoman Empire. It is only possible to constitute a counter-view against these type of approcahes to Islam in general and Islamic economics in particular, by generating such kind of all-inclusive academic works. Eventually my aim in translating this work into Turkish is to make negative approaches and dissertations against Islam's economic and financial order which have been longly become widespread in a harmony, especially those which appeared in the non-Muslim world and English-written academic literature, accessible in Turkish and to make the way to scholarly rebuttals and refutations of Turkish academicians against aforesaid negative approaches and dissertations.
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