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Economic Thought of Muhammad Abduh: An omitted aspect of his biography


  • Islahi, Abdul Azim


Mufti Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), a graduate of Jāmiʿ al-Azhar, was harbinger and precursor of Islamic modernism. He attracted attention of maximum number of researchers on modernism in the Muslim world. His contributions to fiqh, tafsīr, tawḥīd, literature, educational reform and politics are well known. He also thought and wrote on economic problem. He is one of the pioneer ʿulamā in the modern period who paid attention to this aspect of human life. He had deep concern for the poor; he opposed bonded labor and stressed upon the obligations of the rich towards the poor. He pointed out that the concentration of wealth caused the lack of effective demand. He gave wide meaning to the term fi sabīl-Allāh and al-afwā. He permitted insurance on the basis of muḍārabah. However, this aspect of his biography remained neglected. Ironically, the only thing reported about his economic views is ‘his permission of interest earned from the deposits in post offices’ for which no evidence is available in his writings. The present paper discusses all these points.

Suggested Citation

  • Islahi, Abdul Azim, 2012. "Economic Thought of Muhammad Abduh: An omitted aspect of his biography," MPRA Paper 68363, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:68363

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    1. repec:tep:teppwp:wp1215 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Unknown, 1962. "Economic Growth Through Regional Associations," Increasing Understanding of Public Problems and Policies:1962 17970, Farm Foundation.
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    More about this item


    Jamal al-Din Afghani; Economic History of Egypt; Muslim Economic Thinking in the Nineteenth Century; Abduh on Insurance; Post office interest.;

    JEL classification:

    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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