3(c) Labour as a Factor of Production

Labour as a factor of production is recognized in all economic systems irrespective of their ideological bias. Nevertheless the distinctive nature of this factor of production in Islam is due to the fact that labour, for that matter all factors of production, is not merely subject to a process of historical change as we find in the case of modern secular economics but also to a timeless moral and ethical framework under which all factors of production operate.
It is true that a modern worker has a property in his hand – labour which he is entitled to sell for as much as he can get, but in Islam he is not absolutely free to do what he wants to do with his own labour.
Normally he is not allowed to adopt the profession not permissible in the Shari’ah. Thus we see that in Islam, labor is used in a wider and restricted sense. It is wider, because it looks upon the labor services beyond pure monetary services; it is restricted because, he is not absolutely free whatever he wants to do with his own labour. Besides Islam provides a comprehensive moral code of conduct which is
expected to influence his work ethics. It is indeed a religious obligation that a labourer works sincerely and performs the task, assigned to him efficiently and honestly. This built-in psychological motivation can raise labor productivity and reduce labour alienation, if labourers are imbued with the Islamic values through appropriate training programs. This brings us to discussion on capital as a factor of production.