Natural resource and human resources: these two are often postulated as the economic pillars for any country. Here I would like to emphasis that human resources is the main pillar and much more important. There could be two countries equal in natural resources, yet one is poor and the other is rich. The reason is the quality of human resource is better in one and not so good in the other. Also, there could be two countries; one rich in natural resources, and the other poor in natural resources, yet we can see the first is poor and the second is rich. Here again the distinguishing factor was not the natural resources, but the quality of human resources.
It is clear then that human resource is the most important prosperity factor in any economy. But what is the secret behind a human being, that makes him superior to gold, silver, fossil fuel and any other natural resources in this world?
It is the intellect, the free will, and -before this and that- the Godly gifts that Allah bestowed on human kind.
Because of this freedom, we always think and do. These dual gifts from the Creator of the mankind are the secrets of our success.
Our imagination and thoughts know no limits. The infant opens up its imagination on tricks to get mom’s milk. The toddlers opens up their imagination to nag dad for yet another toy. The teenagers opens up their imaginations to romance with the lover. The list goes on, until the dictator opens up his imaginations to spread fear and terror among the population.
Such imaginations lead to actions. People went deep to ocean beds, and up to the moon. These all started with imaginations and thoughts.
Allah has created in our psyche a number of attractions. These attractions fuel our imaginations. Attractions towards the opposite sex (that guarantees the sustainability of human race on earth), and attractions towards money, property and power (that guarantees economic progress and innovation on earth). Man is at exam hall while he is on earth. These attractions and the freedom of thinking and acting provides rich material for tests on this earth. Allah never left us to be subject to tests without providing us material to study and pass these tests. Prophets and messengers were like professors who delivered not only divine books and pamphlets as study materials but were sincere and exemplary in their personal lives and showed us through action how to reach objectives.
Man’s real thirst can not be quenched by water or oxygen, it is the spirituality and submission to Allah that makes him happy. When man’s huge power of imaginations and actions are governed by the spirituality, only then one would expect from such quality human resources to build ideal civilization on earth.
After Prophet Muhammad left this world, his companions and their companions were such a society that proved to the world what wonderful fruit human resource can bring. Land of Arabia had no natural resources, yet these human resources graduated from the school of Islam gifted to the world the best civilization. Through the touches of their magical wands, whichever city and land they went to, the indigenous population turned 180 degrees and embraced Islam and started to build the greatest civilization on earth. All facets of human development flourished and all sustainable development goals were achieved.
Contrast this with the mentality of plunder and extraction which the European powers demonstrated when they visited other lands. Their outlook of human resources were just to enslave the local population and use them in the extraction of gold and silver from mines or use them for sugar plantation in faraway lands.