Business Ethics in Islam

Business Ethics in Islam

Abbas J. Ali

The book is the most original and comprehensive treatment of business ethics in Islam. It explores the thinking of early Islamic scholars on ethics, whilst encompassing the modern developments in the field. It is aimed at fostering discourse on business ethics by offering a framework for exploring a wide range of ethical issues and dilemmas that arise in the marketplace and raising ethical awareness and sensitivity of various market and non-market players. The book enables researchers to use Islamic ethical principles in advancing research and offers practical solutions to rising ethical problems. Furthermore, the book enables business people and policymakers to acquire the requisite outlook and understanding for the application of business ethics and guides readers to draw useful implications.

Chapter 7: Organization and work

Abbas J. Ali

Subjects: business and management, business leadership, corporate social responsibility


Though work can take place in any setting, it is in an organization that it thrives. Performing work in a planned and organized way eases economic transformation, progress, efficiency, and creativity. Indeed, scholars have credited organizations and their executives for the development that has taken place in countries that have experienced economic growth. Organizations and work, therefore, have never been separated in business and economic studies. These studies have underscored the interrelationship between organization and work, between work ethic and progress, and between progress and the well-being of individuals and communities. Studies on work and organizations have flourished in the West. In fact, the ethics of work is widely studied and is presented as the primary reason for the phenomenal economic progress that the West has made for at least two centuries. In Islamic tradition, and relative to the early centuries of Judaism and Christianity, work and its ethics have been underscored. Islamic prescriptions set the boundaries for what is considered ethical and unethical and have held work and engaging in economic activities in the highest regard. Thus, at times these prescriptions have profoundly changed how people have viewed work and business. This, however, is often ignored by researchers. This might be attributed to the economic stagnation that countries with Muslim majorities have experienced for centuries, especially after the destruction of Baghdad, the center of the Abbasid Empire, at the hands of Mongols in 1258.

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