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


  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hasan, Zubair, 2006. "Sustainable development from an Islamic Perspective: meaning implications and policy concerns," MPRA Paper 2784, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2784

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    Cited by:

    1. Dina M. Abdelzaher & Amr Kotb & Akrum Helfaya, 2019. "Eco-Islam: Beyond the Principles of Why and What, and Into the Principles of How," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 623-643, March.
    2. Anto, Mb Hendrie, 2011. "Introducing an Islamic Human Development Index (I-HDI) to Measure Development in OIC Countries," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 19, pages 69-95.
    3. Hasan, Zubair, 2008. "Markets and the role of government in an economy from Islamic perspective," MPRA Paper 12233, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Hasan, Zubair, 2017. "Growth, environment and Islam," MPRA Paper 76347, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Sakiru Adebola Solarin, 2019. "Modelling the relationship between financing by Islamic banking system and environmental quality: evidence from bootstrap autoregressive distributive lag with Fourier terms," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 53(6), pages 2867-2884, November.

    More about this item


    Sustainable; Development; Islamic perspective; Policy concerns;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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