The unlimited needs of man are not physical, but spiritual- Associate Professor Veli Sirim


Associate Professor Veli Sirim from Tekirdağ Namık Kemal University, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, presented a paper on “The Concept of Needs According to Bediuzzaman Said Nursi” at the 12th International Bediuzzaman Symposium.

Assoc. Dr. Veli Sirim addressed the following in his paper:

  1. The unlimited needs of man are not physical, but spiritual.
  2. Infinite needs in the human soul, lead people to “Esma” (the beautiful names of Allah).
  3. The Western Civilization, which limited the need only to the material world, directed people from true servitude to material servitude.
  4. The needs of people should lead people to work, help and solidarity from a worldly perspective.
  5. It is not permissible to show off and consume luxury on a ground where needs and poverty are widespread.


  • According to the Western economic approach, there is a mismatch between the needs of people and the goods and services that will meet these needs. This system is based on the principle of unlimited human needs. In the Islamic economics approach, on the other hand, it is accepted that desires are unlimited, not needs. The thing to be satisfied is not the material desires of man, but the spiritual needs.
  • Western civilization turns many non-essential needs into essential needs. As a result, this directs people to consume and spend without saying halal or haram. Such a system, which is completely based on waste, makes people in need of many things, instead of bringing them to prosperity and wealth.
  • Islam considers the "legitimacy" is required for the concept of necessity. Things that are prohibited by religion are not considered in the category of need. On the other hand, according to the capitalist economic understanding, "everything that meets the need is useful".
  • According to Islam, while there are people who cannot meet their essential needs in a society, individuals in the high-income group cannot meet their secondary and tertiary needs. Therefore, Islam aims to establish a balance between individual needs and social needs. In fact, the Islamic human being, is a person who takes care of not only the needs of people but also the needs of all living elements of the nature in which they live.
  • The basic principle of consumption for a Muslim is not the maximization of the pleasure and satisfaction; it will be the unlimited spiritual pleasure of avoiding from haram, consuming what is halal, avoiding excesses such as extravagance and stinginess, sharing with those who are more needy, and protecting and caring for them.
  • Muslims also acts according to the principle of utility maximization. However, this maximization is not only for the life of this world, but also for the life of the hereafter, and this will bring a balance between the world and the hereafter.