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An Approach to Islamic Economics

An Approach to Islamic Economics
Dr. Mohammad Nejatullah Siddiqi
October 2007

"The subject matter of economic analysis, behavior of economic agents, is susceptible to human volition. There are no iron laws. One can do things in a manner then change to another way of doing. In one’s choice of how to behave/do things, one is influenced by a number of factors. Self- interest seems to be the most influential of these. But tradition, what the others are doing, what is the easiest course of doing, impact on others, public interest, what is morally preferable, what is spiritually higher, etc. are also involved.

Some abstraction is necessary for scientific analysis to proceed. Traditions change only in the long run and can be abstracted away in a short-term analysis. Demonstration effect and peer pressure also belong to that category, though to a lesser extent. Taking the easiest course (by maintaining the status quo, for example) leads to different paths in different cases and cannot be handled scientifically. It is better left to be taken into account at the policy level, if and when needed. The remaining four factors are of a different nature. They should not be abstracted away without careful consideration of the implications of doing so."


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