Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Muslim Economic Thinking and Institutions in the 10th AH/ 16th CE Century

Islahi, Abdul Azim (2009): Muslim Economic Thinking and Institutions in the 10th AH/ 16th CE Century. Published in: Book : pp. 1-211.

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The state of Muslim economic thinking in the tenth century Hijrah corresponding to sixteenth century CE has been an un-researched subject. There are many lessons to be learnt from the economic ideas of the great lights of the period. The present study underscores the thesis that mercantilism was a reaction against Muslim powers and investigates the factors that promoted mercantilism in the Christian West and the reasons why it did not find favor in the Muslim East. It presents many interesting examples of financial innovations adopted in this period in order to protect awqaf properties. It also tells us how those innovations were misused and corrective legal measures were imposed and bypassed subsequently. It deals with the legal issues in contracts and their settlements that arose due to unstable currency values and monetary mismanagement. It highlights issues with respect to kharaji lands and looks at land prices in the perspective of the purposes of land sale. This gives us insight into the level of understanding about price formation based on expectations. It also underlines new thinking on preserving the incentives and maintenance of awqaf by resorting to financial innovation of ‘ijaratayn’ (combination of long- and short-term leases) and ‘istibdal’ (asset swap) as well as institutional innovation of cash waqf that provided flexibility and efficiency in its maintenance. It calls attention to fresh thinking on reclassification of sources of state revenues and adding left-over property as an explicit funding source for bayt al-mal as it had assumed significant proportions. In addition, the book provides detailed information about works on public finance, Shar`iyah governance and market supervision that have been depositary of economic ideas of Muslim scholars.

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