Islamic banker 's call for 'responsible spending'
Posted On » September 29 - October 5, 2010 (Volume:9 / Issue 39)
A SENIOR Bahraini Sharia scholar and an Islamic banker has urged people to take a more responsible view of spending and to resist what he described as a growing culture of consumerism.
Dr Adel Marzooqie, the Ithmaar Bank Sharia adviser, said there appears to be a growing obsession over materialistic possessions with people in Bahrain and the rest of the region saving very little, if anything at all, of their monthly income.
"Islam's position on savings is very clear," said Dr Al Marzooqie. "According to the teachings of Islam, it is our duty to spend responsibly, to save and to invest in our children's future.
"There are many examples in the Quran and the Sharia that stress the importance of spending in moderation and of saving for the future.
"There are, for example, several Ayas, or verses, that call for a moderate, responsible approach to personal finance and offer us very clear instructions on how we should manage our income.
"Recent studies, however, indicate that people in Bahrain and the rest of the GCC region seem to have disregarded these teachings and are, instead, spending irresponsibly and saving very little, or nothing at all.
"One study, for example, shows that 16 per cent of people in Bahrain save less than five per cent of their income and that a shocking 30 per cent save nothing at all. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that the majority of people in Bahrain - 64 per cent - save less than 10 per cent."
According to the Bayt Salary Survey, which was published earlier this year, the percentage of people in Bahrain who save nothing at all is significantly higher than in Qatar (21 per cent), Oman (22 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (29 per cent).
However, Bahrain's figure is less than the worse case examples of people in Morocco (51 per cent), Syria (50 per cent), Jordan (54 per cent) and both Saudi Arabia and Lebanon (40 per cent).