It happened that at the time of Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- a person freed his only slave. This person had no property except this slave. Fearing this man could have been a victim of irrational decision, Prophet Muhammad annulled this action and kept the slave until another person came and purchased this slave from him 1.
This incidence shows that -under Islam- the government motivates individual to make rational financial decisions to the extent that it steps in to correct irrational decisions after taking effect. This man was poor and had no property except a slave. He was going to loose this only property. The next day he might need to pass by doors begging for money. His wife and kids would fall victim of this man’s irrational decision. The Prophet -representing the government- stepped in to check this irrational behavior of this man. Then opportunity came and he was able to sell this slave to another person resulting in monetary income.
Here is another story from the time of Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him.
There was a person at the time of Prophet Muhammad -peace be upon him- who was often a victim of deceit in buy & sell matters -because of his low IQ and a possible speech impairment. Prophet Muhammad taught him a remedy: “Whenever you engage in buying or selling then declare “No Cheating” to the other party”. So, from then onwards this man used to say “No Cheating” before purchasing or selling2.
In the heart of today’s market capitalism lies the concept of irrational consumerism. Big companies -aided by governments- manufacture irrational decisions by individuals. Advertisement industry spend billions to hypnotize the population and allure them to purchase their products. Marketing has been a science of deception and manufacturing irrationality in the subconscious mind of the household.
Since most money is in the hand of males, advertisements objectify women and play with the masculine sex drives and turn them crazy and irrational. Here is a quote from an article in Business News Daily.
Using sex to sell everything from alcohol to banking services has increased over the years: 15 percent of ads studied used sex as a selling point in 1983. That percentage grew to 27 percent in 2003.
Another irrationality tool is The Nag factor whereby your kids will start to nag for a product to the extent you loose your mind and make the irrational decision.
Conspicuous Spending is an excellent example of irrationality among the upscale society today. It is very absurd to note that the demand for certain goods increase with their price! That is because the high-class guys love to show-off their social status to peers. Here is an example.
..the “I am Rich” app was an app distributed on iOS that had no real purpose other than showing that the owner was able to purchase it.
The app cost $999.99 and in one day 8 apps were sold (6 in the US and 2 in Europe). The app did not have any practical utility; it just showed a red ruby that displayed a message when pressed.
How truthfully Allah depicted such behavior in the Quran (Surah Hadeed (57) verse no. 20):
Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children - like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.
Household spendings always represent the lion’s share in the GDP of any market capitalist country 3, hence all the effort by big companies to suck even more wealth from households. I am sure if governments protect their citizens from the hypnotizing effects of ads by big corporates then our society would be much happier and individuals would feel empowered and respected.