The Islamic faith has a unique, holistic view of the economic system model to be adopted, and applies moral filters to the earning and spending of wealth. It has a wealth distribution policy which takes into consideration the needs of the poor, elderly, children, women and fulfilment of basic welfare needs of its citizens (food, shelter, clothing, education, health).
Muslim economists view money as something to be earned, which is one of the many reasons that both gambling and loaning at interest (riba, usury) are prohibited.
Muslim scholars regard interest as being prohibited because it penalizes the poor for their lack of money and rewards the rich for their abundance of money, making the rich richer and the poor poorer. On the other hand, investment in business is highly encouraged because it involves some risk to the investor, which makes it a fair return. Investment also promotes the circulation of wealth and the growth of new businesses.
Applying this principle in the modern world is a major challenge, yet today there are over five hundred financial institutions offering Islamic finance in over eighty different countries. These institutions generate income through shareholding, leasing, lease purchasing, and rent sharing. Interest-free banking is an experiment in Islamic modernization. The fact that Islamic banks are now worth a trillion dollars attests to their modern viability. In fact, many western economists maintain that interest-free economies can be extremely beneficial.
Additionally, many economists have noted that during the recent financial crisis Islamic investments and banks were largely unaffected, since they did not deal with interest based financing such as mortgages or risky speculation.
However, unfortunately many Muslim countries do not operate any type of an Islamic economic system model and have not yet adopted it partially or fully, so its broader, wider benefits can be known to the people at large.