The Joseph Formula part 2

April 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm Leave a comment

By Dr. Hany El-Banna

Last week we told you the story of Prophet Joseph and his rise to become the Minister of Finance and Development in Egypt. This came after interpreting the king’s dreams and prophesising seven years of good harvest followed by seven years of drought and famine. Part of his responsibilities was to navigate Egypt through the drought and famine.

We will be looking at this through four key principles: leadership qualities, storing of agricultural stock & proper planning, relief distribution of food rations and the revitalisation of the local & regional market economy.

Leadership Qualities

During the first seven years, Prophet Joseph, the King and his soldiers never consumed full rations. Joseph took to eating only one full meal per day in order to save more food for other people. People from nearby countries affected by droughts learned of his wisdom and sense of justice.

They came to beg food from Egypt, which was considered at that time to be their global market for food supply and fair trade. Egypt benefited financially from Prophet Joseph’s fairness, justice and honesty.

Storing of agricultural stock & proper planning

Egypt would not have been able to have go through this period without a sound plan. Crops such as wheat, barley and rice were the main crops in the region. An important point which is raised in the Qur’an is that “for seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave in its ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat” (12:47). The reason to keep the crops in their ears was two-fold, protecting the seeds from being eaten by insects and protecting the seeds from damp and other weather conditions.

The crops were also split into two categories: crops to be consumed during the prosperous years and crops to be stored. The crops that were store were further split into another two categories:

  • Those which might be needed by the people because of drought and famine.
  • Needed for future plantation. These crops would be left untouched even during the famine, because this was considered the life line of the generations to come.

Relief distribution of food rations

The famine didn’t only affect Egypt other surrounding areas, what we now know as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, & Palestine, came to Egypt upon hearing of their fair and just minister for finance and development to seek help and trading opportunities.

Prophet Joseph gave all an equal measure of rations – one camel’s load worth – and prevented profiteers from making money out of this disaster and buying more than their fair share.

Revitalisation of the local & regional market economy

While people came from afar to seek food and help from Egypt, Prophet Joseph wasn’t giving the food away for free. It was given in exchange for other goods, such as animal skins, wool, woven materials, desert seeds and crops as well as what money they had.

These commodities enriched the Egyptian local market and revitalised its economy because such goods were recycled and sold again.

The outcome of this process was:

a.       Creating more low skilled jobs

b.       Revitalising and energising public initiatives

c.        Improving the quality of the imported materials before being exported again

d.       Encouraging the small scale businesses to grow locally and regionally.

e.       Opening new local markets and industries

f.        Having fair and just trade between Egypt (the centre of global economy) and the poor countries (famine stricken states)

From this formula it can be demonstrated that Prophet Joseph PBUH was a public leader and role model. He was an advanced economist expert and social planner, an idealist with long term realistic development programs. He was blessed with foresight and skills as a financial organiser & controller of local and regional markets as well as a quality controller of import and export. He was an adept at motivating individuals and adopting their pioneering initiatives. He revitalised local and regional trade markets as well as stabilised the principle of absolute justice and fair trade for all.

He was a human being who loved humanity and followed the heavenly directions to save it. He was a humble grassroots worker who became the minister of finance and development in the cabinet of the centre of the global economy and, ultimately he had the pulse of the people and put into practice the vision of the leaders which transformed an entire nation and region.

Entry filed under: Ethical Business, Funding, Our Community, Unity. Tags: , , , , , .

The Joseph Forumla: Part 1 Working at the Grassroots part 1

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