Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics
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Handbook of Research on Islamic Business Ethics

Edited by Abbas J. Ali

The complex relationship between society and business is vividly captured by ethical standards and obligations. This is especially pertinent in the Islamic world, where religion plays a key role in both social and commercial interactions. Many people see the presence or absence of ethical commitments as an indicator of whether business actors uphold their social responsibilities, and there is an increasing recognition of the significance of ethical value for business. This Handbook explores the interweaving relationship between Islamic business ethics and the market, and examines the critical role that ethics can play in ensuring that business thrives. By offering theoretical perspectives on research it goes beyond the conventional treatment of Islamic ethics, and asks what is important for the various market and social actors in the business world to behave in a morally responsible manner.
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Chapter 11: Islamic finance and social justice: a reappraisal

Raza Mir and Muqtedar Khan


In this chapter, we attempt to juxtapose the principles of Islamic humanism against the practices of Islamic finance to uncover potential tensions and offer ways in which these tensions may be resolved. In order to do so, we first survey the existing instruments of Islamic finance as they are being practiced in various parts of the world. We then articulate the principles of economic justice as articulated in various Islamic texts, notably the Holy Qur’an. We then offer a friendly evaluation of the state of Islamic finance, suggesting ways in which it can be oriented toward social justice issues. Islam as a religion is characterized by a fierce commitment to social justice. The Qur’an abounds in verses that extol the virtues of charity, proscribe hoarding and warn against usurping the rights of the poor and dispossessed. Similarly, there are several Hadith traditions ascribed to the Prophet Mohammed exhorting Muslims to make the agenda of social justice the cornerstone of all economic and trading activity. It should follow, therefore, that all commercial activities that aspire to Islamic standards should focus on reducing inequality and utilizing commerce for social welfare rather than on profiteering. As the economic principles of capitalism become increasingly hegemonic in the world, they come into conflict with the economic principles and traditions of Islam. It becomes increasingly necessary, therefore, for Islamic economists, organizational theorists and social scientists to offer a way forward for Muslims engaged in commerce.

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