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Sustainable development from an Islamic Perspective: meaning implications and policy concerns

Listed author(s):
  • Hasan, Zubair

Abstract This paper examines the debate on the meaning of sustainable development and the policy implications of different approaches from an Islamic perspective. It integrates mainstream and Islamic positions on the subject and argues that to whatever definition of sustainable development one might subscribe, eventually, each ends in an environmental concern. This paper attempts to show that the continuous increase in output of goods and services worldwide imposes a trade off between material prosperity on the one hand and pollution poisoning of human beings on the other. It engages in the intensifying debate about how the benefits of the former and the negative impact of the latter could be more evenly distributed. The paper takes inspiration from the maqasid (objectives) of the Shari’ah and verses of the holy Qur’an that indicate a way out of this impasse. It holds that the worldview differences of secularism and Islam are the basic reason of divergence between their approaches to development. It argues that the Islamic approach is more agreeable to environmental protection and concludes that issues surrounding sustainable development have moral, ethical, social, and political complexities and that economics or economists alone cannot resolve the problem.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2784.

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Date of creation: 2006
Publication status: Published in J.KAU: Islamic Economics 1.19(2006): pp. 3-18
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2784
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  1. Cabeza Gutes, Maite, 1996. "The concept of weak sustainability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 147-156, June.
  2. Akhtar, Muhammad Ramzan, 1996. "Towards An Islamic Approach For Environmental Balance," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 3, pages 57-76.
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