Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Thesis of religion: normative basis of Islamic economics

Shaikh, Salman Ahmed (2011): Thesis of religion: normative basis of Islamic economics. Published in: Journal of Islamic Banking & Finance , Vol. 28, No. 4 (1. October 2011)

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Abstract

This paper discusses the ethical void in Capitalism which does not look prominent in welfare societies and states. But, its effects become more eminent in tough economic conditions. Unbridled pursuit of self interest, moral relativism, incentive-led economic choices and apathy to communal responsibilities would lead to a society where economic interests become the sole basis of maintaining and sustaining relationships. This inner void of identity and purpose at individual level and social void in the form of a stratified society bound together only for economic interests can be better filled with incorporating religion. Humans are much more than utility driven species, they are capable of using both instrumental and critical reasons to differentiate right from wrong and need reinforcement to adopt virtues influenced by an inner urge other than material interests as in Capitalism. This inner urge can be rekindled by looking beyond utility maximization to re-acknowledge the fundamental identity that humans are moral being than just an instrument for material advancement. Other sections of the paper provide an outline and salient features of Islamic Economics on different economic themes and perspectives for a comparative study. These provide a unique introduction to Islamic Economics in a mainstream framework.

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