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Economic Thought of al-Ghazali

Islahi, Abdul Azim and Ghazanfar, Shaikh Mohammad (1998): Economic Thought of al-Ghazali. Published in: (2011): pp. 1-99.

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Abstract

Al-Ghazali′s economics is anchored on five necessary Shari‘ah -mandated foundations of individual and social life: religion, life, family, property, and intellect. He focuses on the economic aspects of maslahah (social utility), distinguishing between necessities, comforts and luxuries. Subsistence living is inadequate but wealth too has its dangers. Both extravagance and miserliness are to be avoided, a middle course is recommended. The authors seek to reconcile between apparently contradictory views of al-Ghazali on wealth and (voluntary) poverty. Al-Ghazali′s insights on exchange,production, money, role of the state and public finances are reported. Al-Ghazali emphasizes ethical behavior in the market and regards production and supply of necessaries to be an obligatory duty. He condemns hoarding and lauds cooperation.Usury is rejected and justice, peace and stability are projected as preconditions of economic progress.

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