Comparing_Traditional_Islamic_Concept_of.docx - Comparing Traditional Islamic Concept of Al-Mal Modern Financial Capital Implications for Theory and

Comparing_Traditional_Islamic_Concept_of.docx - Comparing...

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Comparing Traditional Islamic Concept of Al-Mal & Modern Financial Capital; Implications for Theory and Practice of Contemporary Islamic Finance Omar Javaid a & Abdul Wahab Suri b Abstract Purpose of Study: The contemporary theory of Islamic Banking & Finance attempts to build its foundations on the institutional machinery and its components having very different ontological, epistemological foundations & genealogical roots then that of Islam’s. Financial capital, being the most dominant & dynamic of its forms, is one of the components of the respective mega machine. This brings us to the question that can modern financial capital with all its particularities conform to metaphysical premise of Islamic episteme? This paper attempts to answer this question while comparing the concept of wealth or al-mal which conforms to Islamic episteme. Research Methods: The paper attempts to explain the ontological, genealogical, institutional, political and cosmological particularities which give meaning to modern financial capital, while comparing it the concept of wealth in Islamic traditional discourse. Findings: There are substantial intrinsic and extrinsic differences between the two concepts and in their respective contextual particularities so much so that both al-mal and capital can be said to have an antagonistic relationship with each other. Capital being politically more powerful can be assumed to have the capacity to steer away the direction of Islamic banking and finance toward its own ideals which are dichotomous with that of Islam. Limitations: The paper only compares the two concepts on a normative plane while excluding the pragmatic dimension from the analysis as it would require another paper. Various questions and hypothesis are presented in the end which may become the basis of further research. Originality & Value: The comparison done has serious implications for the policy makers who claim to uphold Islamic values and ideals. Ignoring the totalizing nature of modern financial capital and its subtle influence on traditional form of collectivities in the Muslim world (family system for e.g) may result in gradual disintegration of Muslim society. What role Islamic banking & finance would play, while going with the flow of modern financial capital, in preserving traditional collectivities in Muslim world is a question the policy makers need to ponder upon. Key words: Modern Financial Capital, Globalization, Islamic Banking, Capitalism, Post Modernism, Islamic Episteme _____________ a Senior Lecturer and Phd Fellow at Institute of Business Management, email: [email protected] b Professor of Political Philosophy, Philosophy Department, University of Karachi
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1. Introduction Modern form of capital, as it exists today, is around four centuries old. With the inception of Bank of England and circulation of bank notes, then government bonds and shares in the stock market, followed by forex and its digital exchanges in a nationalized yet globalized context, etc. we see a gradual evolution
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