Morality and Justice in Islamic Economics and Finance
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Morality and Justice in Islamic Economics and Finance

  • Studies in Islamic Finance, Accounting and Governance series

Muhammad Umer Chapra

Mankind is faced with a number of serious problems that demand an effective solution. The prevalence of injustice and the frequency of financial crises are two of the most serious of these problems. Consisting of an in-depth introduction along with a selection of eight of Muhammad Umer Chapra's essays – four on Islamic economics and four on Islamic finance – this timely book raises the question of what can be done to not only minimize the frequency and severity of the financial crises, but also make the financial system more equitable.
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Chapter 2: Islamic economics: what it is and how it developed

Muhammad Umer Chapra

Extract

Islamic economics has been having a revival over the last few decades. However, it is still in a preliminary stage of development. In contrast with this, conventional economics has become a well-developed and sophisticated discipline after going through a long and rigorous process of development over more than a century. This raises a number of questions, some of which are: Is it necessary to have a new discipline in economics? If so, what is Islamic economics, how does it differ from conventional economics needed, and has it made any worthwhile contributions over the centuries? This chapter tries to briefly answer these questions in three parts. It is universally recognized that resources are scarce compared with the claims on them. However, it is also simultaneously recognized by practically all civilizations that the well-being of all human beings needs to be ensured. Given the scarcity of resources, the well-being of all may remain an unrealized dream if the scarce resources are not utilized efficiently and equitably. For this purpose, every society needs to develop an effective strategy, which is consciously or unconsciously conditioned by its worldview. If the worldview is flawed, the strategy may not be able to help the society actualize the well-being of all. The prevailing worldviews may be classified for the sake of ease into two board theoretical constructs: (1) secular and materialist, and (2) spiritual and humanitarian.

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