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Unformatted text preview: rally and otherwise. It is also misleading because it
may denote that the economic "laws" of "Islamic
economics" are not universal and generic to all human
beings and human socialization.35 Furthermore, the prefix a multi-disciplinary matter. Therefore, more than often, and in all societies, non-economic
means are always undertaken to solve economic problems. Once moral, technological, legal,
and other frameworks are changed, a new allocation problem is given to economists.
Many universal laws of human behaviour can be derived from the Qur'an and Sunnah.
Zarqa (ibid., pp. 15-16) gave several examples, some of them are the following: - Positive relation between richness and abuse of power from the Qur'an,
42:27 and a saying "... would you be waiting but .... a poverty that makes one
forget or a richness that makes one abuse one's means")
Men and women prefer more (of material things and wealth, etc.) over less
(from the Qur'an, 3:14-15 and a saying to the effect that no matter how much
a child of Adam gets he/she still likes more).
Positive relation between economic hardship and the prevalence of the
practice of Riba (from the Qur'an, 2:267 and a saying to the effect that those
among whom Riba prevails are given economic hardship.
Positive relation between hardship and lack of faith as well as between faith
in God and bounties (the Qur'an 20:124 and 7:96).
Men and women behave with extended time horizon (from a saying which
tells that the Prophet drew a line representing the hope of a person, and the
line extends out of human's life span).
One’s own holdings are dearer to a person than the holdings one's heir (from
an authentic saying). 19 "Islamic" can be restrictive36 especially when it reduces
the scope of the discipline to "within" the framework of
the Islamic value-loaded postulates.37
iii) The unfortunate historical incident, that Muslim fell in the
shadow or periphery of human civilization for the last few
centuries, allowed the discipline of economics, unlike ‘Ilm
al ‘Imran, to be developed under the Judo-Roman culture.
This stamps the science with a restrictive cultural imprint
that deprives it from becoming fully universal. Zarqa,
rightly, points out the need to clean our discipline from the
value-loaded postulates incorporated in it by economists
of the Judo-Roman heritage as well as from the effects of
such postulates on the descriptive premises of the
discipline.38 36 It seems that many Muslim economists think of Islamic economics as the study of the
application of economics to Muslim societies only, whether ideal in their perfect form or actual
in their realistic setting in Muslim countries today. See for example M. A. Mannan, "Why is
Islamic Economics Important?" Mimeograph of the International Center for Research in
Islamic Economics, 1982, especially his second, fifth and sixth reasons. Also, see Hasanuz
Zaman, Op. cit.
37 As done by Zarqa when he restricted the scope of the discipline to three areas: valueloaded Islamic postulates, positive postulates derived from revelation, and positive postulates
derived by economists from their observations and analysis. See Zarqa, op.cit., p.19.
Moreover, this limitation contradicts Zarqa's well pronounced universality of the revelationbased positive postulates (pp.14-18). Alternatively, he could consider value-loaded postulates
as special cases of the universal economic laws.
38 Zarqa, Ibid., pp.19-22. 20 iv) The Islamic economic system ought to occupy its place in
the discipline of economics on the same footing as other
economic systems. And like others, studying the Islamic
economic system should include the "ought" as well as the
effects of the "ought" on variables and relationships within
the Islamic economy. These effects should be analyzed in
the light of an economic theory of a universal and human
nature, that has been freed from any preconceived
In this regard, Tag-el-Din proposed definition of Islamic
economics, as a study of macro policies in the Islamic
society, may partially fit, because of its focus on what
should be done and how and towards what ends should
certain behavioral situation be changed by a global
decision from the authority. v) Finally, and back to the beginning of this section, the term
"Islamic economics" may loosely be justified as a subbranch of economics, that deals with the Islamic economic
system and its impact on the economic variables and
decisions. As far as economic theory is concerned, it is
the tool that allows us to understand the economic
response of men and women to the framework of the
Islamic economic system and to suggest suitable policies
21 for transforming the "is" into the "ought", or for how to
map the "ought" into the domain of Muslims' life39. 39
M.N. Siddiqi, in "An Islamic Approach to Economics" in knowledge for What?, the
Institute of Education, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 1982, pp.179-183, includes
such policy recommendations as an explicit part of the...
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- Fall '08