The economic systems prevalent in the world can be classified into three types. There is one type of economic system that is not governed by any specified rules and regulations, and can be called a ‘system’ only for the sake of convenience. Some nations and countries never spelled out how their economic system would be run and had no specific plan or policy towards that end. Such societies do not distinguish between individual and national goals, and in the absence of a set policy, adopt any idea that appears convenient or practical.
The second system is nationalistic in its approach, that is, one where nations seek only to maximize their collective national interests.
The third system is individualistic, i.e., it gives individuals an opportunity to work on their own for the betterment and progress of their country. Workers as well as owners of capital are permitted to struggle for their rights and pursue their self-interest. Employees have the right to negotiate their wages and benefits with the management, which in turn is expected to institute clear rules and regulations governing workers. Thus the emphasis in this system is on the individual.
These are the three basic economic systems that exist in the world today. The first system is not bound by any definite laws or rules; the second system is nationalistic in its approach, while the third is driven by individualism. Islam does not accept the first system at all, for the Islamic system is based on prescribed principles and laws, which people are enjoined to follow. Islam relies on purpose and wisdom, and does not approve of indiscriminate adoption of economic policies. A system without well-designed laws is akin to feeding off of wild vegetation that grows on its own. Islamic system, on the other hand, can be compared to a farmer who follows a set routine for sowing seeds, irrigation, and nurturing plants. He knows what to keep in his orchard and what to throw out.