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Economic Ideas of Rifa`ah al-Tahtawi

Islahi, Abdul Azim (2012): Economic Ideas of Rifa`ah al-Tahtawi.


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The present paper studies economic ideas of an Azharite graduate of the nineteenth century Egypt - Rifā‘ah Rāfi‘ al-Tahtāwī who was influenced by the French Scholars and Philosophers, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Mantesquieu. He wrote on significance of industry, productive and unproductive labor, importance of foreign trade, competition, and equal opportunity for all. According to him justice, freedom and human brotherhood are the foundations of economic welfare. He strived for women's economic empowerment. He was not simply a follower of Western economic ideas. He added to them human norms and Islamic values. Although born in an age of laissez faire, he advocated for a role of Government in economic matters.

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