E the tool concept of competition is independent of

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Unformatted text preview: of economics and does not justify a claim of a different and “distinct” methodology. 25. This may be to the disliking of some Islamic economists, who prefer to present their subject-matter with a clear-cut independence from conventional economics. In so doing, such economists developed a tendency to reject many instruments of economic analysis out of the desire to be distinct. This may be caused, at least partially, by their confusing of axioms with methodology. For instance, the maximization mechanism is a mathematical tool independent of the function which is maximized. A completely materialist person with no consideration of ethics and morals would only maximize his/her material benefits.62 If such a person had to consider certain social ethics, he/she would maximize the same subject to constraints implied by the ethics he/she believes in. A Muslim who internalizes faith in Accountability on the Day of Judgement and the Divine reward or punishment attached to his/her economic decisions, and who acts within a milieu of Islamic social and legal institutions, would maximize a composite function that is derived from this kind of beliefs. All these three types of economic agents may still use the same mathematical tool of maximization. Therefore, the rejection or 62 Although many economists today argue that it is difficult to describe people as profit (or utility) maximizers and that fairness, and manners affect human behaviour in addition to utility. See, Colin Camerer and Richard H. Thaler “Anomalies; Altimatums, Dictators and Manners” in Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.9, No.2, Spring 1995, pp.209-219. 36 modifications of the objective function a materialist person maximizes does not warrant dissatisfaction with the tool of analysis he/she uses. To throw more light on this commonness of tools, let us take an example from the Qur’an. Since Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, Usulists (scholars of rules of derivation of Shari’ah positions and opinions) say that Qur’anic words must be understood in accordance with their meaning in Arabic language. The meaning of the Qur’anic terms íÊäÜÇ ÝÜÜÜÜÜÜÜÓand ÇáÜãÊäÜÇ ÝÓæä63 should be understood in accordance with the Arabic language. These two words, thus, mean: to compete and competitors respectively. The concept of competition used in the Qur’an with regards to the Hereafter pleasures is the same Arabic concept used by the Arabs, fourteen centuries ago, when they used to compete with each other in trade and other worldly matters, i.e., the tool (concept of competition) is independent of the objective, which is what people compete each other for. By the same token, unless proven incompatible, an IS-LM model, for example, can be used to analyze certain effects of Zakah in an Islamic society, though it is a tool invented by non-Muslim economists. 26. In their efforts to cleanse economics from partial value-loaded judgments incorporated by western economists and to enrich it with value-free axioms derived from revelation as a major source of human 63 The Qur’an, 83:26. 37 knowledge,64 Islamic economists may have to redefine and refine as well a few fundamental concepts of economic theory, but they do not need to negate its inductive methodology and tools of analysis on any ideological ground. 27. Lastly, it is important to note that the methodological controversy in economic theory is not yet over. Hence, Islamic economists who, rightly, reject homoeconomucus models, do not stand alone in this regards, as many conventional economists are already dejected with such models.65 This means that the rigidity of the neoclassical theorists is no more popular among the conventional economists themselves. It has become established in the economic profession that economics, as a social science, cannot be separated from other branches of social studies nor from the ideology and values of its professionals.66 Thus it is suggested that there should always be a degree of ideological influence that may be tolerated and accounted for by readers and theoreticians. It has also become established that any one-sided approach can only observe one part of the show. The call for a holistic approach to economics came from western quarters long time before Islamic economists started talking about it. The 64 Because this comes from God, the Most Knowledgeable, it must provide better and more comprehensive explanation of human behaviour than economists’ value-neutral postulates. 65 e.g., Gunnar Myrdal, “The Meaning and Validity of Institutional Economics” in Economics in the Future, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1976, pp.82-89. 66 See Mark Blaug, Op.cit., especially ch.5, and Lawrence A. Donald. The Foundations of Economic Methods, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1982, and several others. 38 Islamic economists’ claim over the holistic approach to economics doesn’t seem as original as we once thought.67 67 Akram Khan, Challenges of Islamic Econoics, Op.cit., pp.20-23. The same call was voiced by Myrdal many years earlier, Myrdal, Gumar, op.cit., Even J.S. Mill, the so called inventor of “homo economicus” never thought of a “homo economicus” separable from non-economic motives and objectives. See: Persky, Joseph; “The Ethology of Homo economicus JEP, V.9, No.2, Spring 1995. 39 References 1. Abu Ali, Sultan, in his "al Mushkilat al Iqtisadiyyah al 'Alamiyyah al Mu'asirah wa Halluha al Islami" (World Contemporary Economic Problems and their Islamic solution), a discussion paper by the International Center for Research in Islamic Economics, 1981. 2. Arif Muhammad, "Toward a Definition of Islamic Economics", JRIE, Vol. 2, No.2, 1405. 3. Blaug, Mark, The Methodology of Economics, Cambridge University Press, New York/London, 1980. 4. Draz, Muhammad Abdallah, Al Din [The Religion], Dar al Qalam, Kuwait, 2nd edition, 1970. 5. Camerer, Colin and Thaler, Richard H. “Anomalies; Altimatums, Dictators and Manners”, Journal of Economic Perspectives, V.9, No.2, Spring 1995. 6. Al Jabir, Taysir Abd, "Comments on the paper of Khurshid Ahmad on Problems of Research in Islamic Economics" presented at the Amman Seminar on Problems of Research in Islamic Economics, April 23-28, 1986. 7. Donald, Lawrence A. The Foundations of Economic Methods, George Allen and Unwin, London, 1982. 8. Kahf, Monzer, Al Iqtisad al Islami [The Islamic Economy], Dar al Qalam, Kuwait, 2nd edition, 1981. 9. Khaldun, Ibn, "al Muqaddimah", Dar al Qalam, Beirut, 1978. 10.Khan Akram, "Islamic Economics, Nature and Need", Journal for Research in Islamic Economics, Vol. 1, No.2, 1404, the Center for Research in Islamic Economics, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, 11.Khan, Akram, Challenges of Islamic Economics, All Pakistan Islamic Education Congress, Lahore, Pakistan, 1985. 40 12.Kristol, Irving, "Rationalism in Economics", the Crises in Economic Theory, Daniel Bell and Iriving Kristol, ed., Basic Books, Inc., New York, 1981. 13.Al Makarim, Zaidan Abu, Ilm al 'Adl al Iqtisadi,, Dar al Turath, Cairo, 1974. 14.Mannan, M. A., "Why is Islamic Economics Important?" Mimeograph of the International Center for Research in Islamic Economics, 1982,. 15.Ibn Manzur, Lisan al ‘Arab, Dar Sader, Beirut, no date, v. 12. 16.Myrdal, Gunnar, “The Meaning and Validity of Institutional Economics” in Economics in the Future, Westview Press, Boulder, Colorado, 1976. 17.Quraishi, A.I. "Islam and the Theory of Interest" . 18. Persky, Joseph, “The Ethology of Homo economicus” JEP, V.9, No.2, Spring 1995. 19.Al Sadr, Muhammad Baqir, Iqtisaduna, 2nd edition, Dar al Fikr, Beirut, 1968. 20.Samuels, Warrent J. “Ideology in Economics”, Sidney Weintraub, ed., Modern Economic Thought, Basil Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 1977. 21.Siddiqi, M.N., in "An Islamic Approach to Economics", knowledge for What?, the Institute of Education, International Islamic University, Islamabad, 1982. 22.M.N.Siddiqi in The Economic Enterprise in Islam, Publications Ltd., Lahore, Pakistan, 1972. Islamic 23.Tag el Din, Seif el Din, " what is Islamic Economics" Review of Islamic economics, Vol.3, No.2, 1994. 24.Al Tamimi, Shaikh ‘Izzeddin K. “Comments on Anas Zarqa’s Theoretical Problems in Islamic Economic Research” presented at 41 the Seminar on Problems of Research in Islamic Economics, held in Amman, Jordan, April 23-26, 1986 and organized jointly by the Islamic Research and Training Institute of the Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah, and the Royal Academy for Research in Islamic Culture of Jordan the Seminar Proceedings, in Arabic. 25.Zaman Hasanuz, "Definition of Islamic Economics", JRIE, Vol. 1, No.2, 1404. 26.Zarqa, Muhammad Anas, "Tahqiq Islamiyyat 'Ilm al Iqtisad", mimeograph. 27.Zarqa, Muhammad Anas, “Methodology of Islamic Economics” in Monzer Kahf, ed., Lessons in Islamic Economics, forthcoming, IRTI, Jeddah. 28.Al Zarqa, Shaikh Mustafa, al Madkhal al Fiqhi al ‘Amm, 1st part, 2nd Vol., Syrian University Press, 1958. 42...
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