Analysing the Present State and Future Agenda
Studies in Islamic Finance, Accounting and Governance series
Chapter 4: Methodology of Islamic economics
There is a general consensus among Muslim scholars that the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet are two divine sources of Islamic economics. These sources are immutable and have to be accepted as given. The ordinances given in these two sources relating to Islamic economics provide high-level assumptions and cannot be questioned. Subject to that, Islamic economics derives its subject matter from the study and analysis of human society. Developing Islamic economics as a social science poses various methodological challenges. Some of these are as follows: a. What is the methodology of Islamic economics? b. What is the role of reason and revelation in Islamic economics? c. How does the methodology of Islamic economics differ from that of conventional economics? d. Should Islamic economics use the tools of analysis developed by conventional economics? If so, would it still retain its identity? e. What are the assumptions of Islamic economics? f. What is the concept of Shari’ah and the objectives (maqasid) of the Shari’ah and how are they relevant to Islamic economics? g. What is the relationship of Islamic law (fiqh) and Islamic economics? The present chapter aims at presenting the methodology of Islamic economics as understood by Muslim economists. In the process we shall highlight the areas that require clarity or rethinking.
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