Private Property in Islam

Dr. Monzer Kahf, a prominent Muslim economist and counselor states:

“In brief, private property is an essential part of life in Islam, so much so that one of its pillars, Zakah, is actually based on it. Life becomes unbearable without private property. Furthermore, Islam believes that in the reality of life people are not equal in their abilities to produce and in their abilities to save and accumulate wealth. This reality is completely accepted in Islamic thought.

Equality between mankind is in matters of dignity, in access and opportunities, the standing of the individual before the law, and similar matters. But if one person is able to produce more than the next person then that person has full command on what he/she produces. Additionally, recognizing the differences in real life, Islam also establishes the principle of mercy, so that in spite of these practical differences, no person is to be left alone to fall below the level of human dignity. This principle of mercy is implemented through the obligation of paying Zakah, obligatory financial responsibilities (family, neighbors, etc) and voluntary charity. Islam is the only system/religion that makes helping others an obligation and an unequivocal right of the needy that does not require state legislation nor does it depend on it.”