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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Price Increase and Scarcity...

This morning when I write this article, international crude oil price is US$110/barrel, so that Dinar’s price is also increased. This time I want to write another issue, scarcity.

The scarcity is always become a main reason for conventional economist to justify the continual price increase. After world war II the crude oil international price was US$1.5/barrel and by this morning its become US$110/barrel, then they blame because of the scarcity of the natural resource which is crude oil (as a scapegoat).

Islam Economic Concept is based on Allah, The Supreme Reach and The Widest Knowledge. Allah provide our need sufficiently until the end of the world, our task is to make use of The Bounty of Allah. To make use of this, we have to be always continuously study of His Guidance by studying Al Quran (qauliyah), and also The Universe (qauniyah).

Because of their limited knowledge, conventional economist uses the scarcity of crude oil as a scapegoat of the increase of prices. Their knowledge is just like a drop of water in the sea if compare to Allah Knowledge.

In the sector of energy, the limited knowledge of human being very often cause energy crisis that seem could not be solved. Just after several years later they aware of what a silly that kind of crisis could be happened. In England year 1500-1650 the price of -fire wood and its derivatives (e.g. charcoal!) increased up to 8 times because their knowledge for energy was limited to fire wood and its derivatives at that era. When the forest land was cleared for the need of fire wood and almost finished, so they start to import fire wood from other countries, and causes the price of fire wood was increased drastically. They had not found the alternatives energy at that time because of still limited knowledge.

In this current era the people also has the same serious problem of energy crisis. The 70 times price increase within the last 60 years, since World War II with US$1.5/barrel up to now almost more than US$110/barrel this morning. Could you imagine how much will be the price for the next 10 years? It could be 10 times from now...or even higher !.

The crucial issue for the next few years is actually not the price, but the availability. If it will not available anymore, so what should we use for the main energy at that time ?.

The scientists from multi discipline have been trying to find alternative energy by doing a lot of research and development since several decades ago to maintain the human life. But up to now it has no sign of common understanding at all where do they go in developing the alternative energy.

There are so many kind of natural resources were developed as alternative energies such as: solar energy, geothermal energy, nuclear energy, waves, wind, bio diesel and even reused cooking oil, but is there any better or more efficient way to find the alternative energy rather than depend to the scientific research and development only?.

This is the importance of His guidance; we could never find the right answer unless Allah Will! So besides doing hard work to find the alternative energy, we have to have His Guidance. This is not something mystery, and only be given by Allah to a certain people, but will be given to anybody that Taqwa and seriously try to find it. And where is His Guidance? It is no where but in the Al Quran! Even Allah has informed us about His Absolute Guidance: “This is the Book (the Quran) in which there is no doubt. It is a guidance for the God conscious,”” (QS 2:2)

As a Guidance for the people in the era of the end of the time, we have to belief and very much believe that the truth of Al Quran is until the end of the world, so as of the guidance too. Everything in the Al Quran is never being out of date until the end of the time. And because Al Quran is the Guidance from Allah for the people, so that no single thing that is not in the Al Quran, more over it is in other to make the people wealthy, such as energy.

Hopefully now we are very much belief on the Guidance in the Al Quran, and His guidance is for sure always right until the end of the time. Let’s find His Guidance in the area of this Energy. My observation on the Al Quran in relation with Energy, it seems that Wind-Energy is dominantly mentioned in the Quran verses as follows:

• "Your Rabb is the One Who drives your ships across the ocean, so that you may seek His bounty; indeed He is ever Merciful to you" (QS 17:66)

• "Of His signs is that He sends the winds as bearers of good news, giving you a taste of His blessing, and your ship may sail by His command, and that you may seek of His bounty, and that you may be grateful." (QS 30:46)

• "Do you not see how the ships sail through the ocean by the grace of Allah so that He may show you some of His signs? Surely, there are signs in this for every patient, thankful person." (QS 31:31)

• "We have left the Ark as a sign, so is there any who would take admonition?" (QS 54:15)

• "We made the raging winds subservient to Sulaiman, pursuing its course by his command to the land which We had blessed; and We have knowledge of everything" (QS 21:81)

• "And We made the winds subservient to Sulaiman, which made a month’s journey in the morning and a month journey in the evening; and We made a fountain of molten copper to flow for him and subdued jinns for him who worked in front of him by the leave of his Rabb; and if any of them turned aside from Our command, We made Him taste the punishment of the blazing fire." (QS 34:12)

• "He is the One Who sends the winds as heralds announcing His Mercy and sends down pure water from the sky "(QS 25:48)

• "It is Allah Who sends the winds to raise the clouds, then He spreads them in the sky and breaks them into fragments as He pleases then you see raindrops falling from their midst . When He showers this rain upon those of His servants whom He please, lo! They are filled with joy," (QS 30:48)

• "It is Allah who sends forth winds to raise up the cloud, then drives them to a dead land and therewith revives the earth after its death. Similar will be to the resurrection of the dead. "(QS 35:9)

• "We accepted his prayer and subjected the winds to his power, which blew gently in whichever direction he wanted" (QS 38:36)

• "If He wants, He can cause the winds to become still and leave them motionless on their backs – surely in this example, there are signs for every such person who patiently endures and is grateful. "(QS 42:33)

• "In the alteration of night and day, in the sustenance that Allah sends down from heaven with which He revives the earth after its death and in the changing of the winds, there are signs for those who use their common sense." (QS 45:5)

• "Surely, in the creation of the heavens and the earth, in the alteration of the night and the day, in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind, in the rain which Allah sends down from the skies, with which He revives the earth after it s death and spreads in it all kind of animals, in the change of the winds and the clouds between the sky and the earth that are made subservient, there are signs for rational people" (QS 2:164)

• "He is the One Who sends the winds bearing good news of His blessings, so when they light up heavy clouds, We drive them along to a dead country-side and make the rain fall upon it and bring forth all kinds of fruits from the same dead land. Likewise We will raise the dead to life; this example is given so that you may learn a lesson from this observation" (QS 7:57)

So there is a lot of verses in the Al Quran indicating Wind as a source of Energy (such as to move the ship etc), the question is it only valid for the sailboat that at that time that is using the wind to move the sailboat? This for sure not the meaning, because the truth of Al Quran is until the end of the time, so the wind to move the ships (can be also to move the airplanes, cars etc.) is valid until the end of time.

After we belief on this Guidance, so the research and development for energy could be in line with these directions.
The basic principle is that what Allah wants is for sure will be happened, and what Allah doesn’t want, it for sure won’t be happened, so we have to develop the alternative energy to the direction of what Allah wants.

It will be useless to develop the alternative energy that Allah doesn’t want. Until now people have been developing Wind as the alternative energy as follows:

• Wind is happening through a complex process, but in a simple way could be explain that wind is happening because there is a flow of air that have a different temperature. This temperature difference will always exist because of the sun shines the earth in different heat from place to place because of the different distance; the temperature in Equator is always different with the temperature in the Pole, even in the same Equator the temperature between the seasides is different than in the landside. Because there is always a different temperature, so the wind will always exist.
• The researchers indicate roughly that the potency of the wind energy is 5 times of current global energy requirement and 40 times of current global electricity requirement, so it is more than sufficient to fulfill the need energy for the human being.
• Some countries are already using the Wind for alternative energy to reduce the dependency on the crude oil. There are three countries that already significantly using wind for the energy, which are: Denmark (20%), Germany (9%) and Spain (7%) from the total energy requirement.
• In the Scientific Magazine dated 24th of June 2005, it has been exposed that based on scientific analysis by M.Z.Jacobson et al that Hydrogen output through electrolytes process and Electricity output through windmills can be produced economically with the current technology. Based on this experiment, in United State of America in 2005 if the Hydrogen from the wind energy is used for cars. So the price for the fuel is similar with US$1.12 – US$3.2 per gallon of gasoline or diesel, in the meantime they have to pay around US$3.0 per gallon (depend on the location) for gasoline or diesel.

It means actually since 2005, the use of wind energy to produce electricity, and the electricity is used for electrolysis’ process to produced Hydrogen; it has been economically feasible to be used for cars to replace gasoline and diesel. It is only a matter of time that Hydrogen could be used for airplane’s and ship’s fuel.

In the last 25 years the cost of producing wind energy reduces by one fifth (20%) and in the mean time the price of oil increase almost triple! In other word in the years to come the wind energy will be more competitive.

From the scientific findings in the field of Wind Energy which is in line with Al Quran Verses, so it will be more effective if the direction of energy development in our country should be in line with them. It doesn’t mean that another alternative energy couldn’t be developed, but it is better and more efficient if the scientists (especially Moslem) to study Al Quran first, because It will be the best nothing but the best reference.

So what is the connection with the price increase as per our title? Energy resources and all other human needs until the end of the time are available sufficiently if we use Al Quran as our Guidance. So scarcity is not an excuse to justify the price increase. Wallahu A’lam.

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