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Islamic Economics: Still in Search of an Identity

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  • Abdulkader Cassim Mahomedy
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    Abstract

    The last few decades have seen a phenomenal growth of the emerging discipline of Islamic Economics and Finance. In this paper I trace the origins and birth of this nascent science examining the various factors that gave impetus to its emergence and development. I contrast the different characterisations of the discipline as it has developed within the broader socio-political context and the reasons thereof. Despite the concerted efforts of the proponents of Islamic economics to shape for their discipline a distinctive paradigm they have had little success in doing so beyond arguing that it is underpinned by a strong moral ethic. By and large its epistemological roots have remained firmly within the framework of Rationalism and methodological individualism and consequently it has not been able to shed itself of its neoclassical moorings, the very paradigm it originally set out to replace. I illustrate several of the contradictions apparent in the discipline as hitherto enunciated and I critically analyse the reasons for some of these shortcomings. Finally, I conclude by arguing that if Islamic economics is to fulfil its raison d'être its proponents must resolve its theoretical and practical difficulties by clearly expounding on its weltanschauung and develop its content and form appropriate to this worldview

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 283.

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    Length: 20 pages
    Date of creation: 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:283

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    1. Timur Kuran, 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 155-173, Fall.
    2. Kuran, T., 1995. "Islamic Economics and the Islamic Subeconomy," Papers 9505, Southern California - Department of Economics.
    3. Kuran, Timur, 1995. "Further reflections on the behavioral norms of Islamic economics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 159-163, June.
    4. Kuran, Timur, 1983. "Behavioral norms in the Islamic doctrine of economics : A critique," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 353-379, December.
    5. Pryor, Frederic L., 1985. "The islamic economic system," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-223, June.
    6. Shams, Rasul, 2004. "A Critical Assessment of Islamic Economics," HWWA Discussion Papers 281, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
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