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The Employment of Shari'ah Scholars by Businessmen

Recently came across this article & discussion (in Arabic) from KAU's Islamic Economics Research Centre and wonder if anyone would have come across an English translation. Again we have some very interesting feedback within the Linkedin discussion forum.

The Employment of Shari'ah Scholars by Businessmen
Rafic Yunus Al-Masri
Islamic Economics Research Centre
King Abdul Aziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

The english excerpt raises some very interesting issues as they relate to agency costs and alignment of interests:

"Abstract. Can a Faqih work as an adviser for a businessman and get paid a salary from him? Why did the Shari'ah scholars prohibit taking a reward for fatwa? Is this salary similar to bribe? Is it permissible for a Faqih to absolutely defend his employer, whether the right is with him or with his opponent? Can a Faqih simply become a means to legitimize the work of the employer? Do the capital owners and businessmen really resort to scholars in order to commit themselves with the legal requirements or they do so just for promoting and marketing their products in religious communities? Is it permissible for the capital owners and businessmen to consult only with the scholars whose fatawa are expected to serve their benefits? For example, is it possible for a Faqih to pass a judgment or give an advice against his employer for the benefit of his employee? Is it possible for the employer to abide by the judgment of the Faqih if it is not in his favour? Do the members of the Shari'ah Boards in Islamic financial institutions work for the benefit of the institutions or for the benefit of the public? How can these bodies gain public confidence? This paper presents brief answers to these questions."



  1. Also, here is a paper that explores the very same points being discussed:

    Shariah, Economics and the Progress of Islamic Finance: The Role of Shariah Expert

    By Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqi

  2. Apologies if the link is broken, KAU has revamped the website of the Islamic Economics Research Centre - will endeavour to sort this out soon!