Capitalism and Islam

Quick Reference

Islamic concepts of capitalism can be found in Quranic support for and protection of individual rights to private property, commercial honesty, and competition tempered by concern for the disadvantaged, and in hadith reports on the virtues of pious merchants. Some Muslims are opposed to Western capitalism because it served as the means by which the imperial West destroyed indigenous commerce and industries, blocking the paths of independence and prosperity. Muslims also denounce the primary concern for profit making over human welfare. The current trend in Islamic economics is the quest for identification of Islamically authentic concepts and trends. Islamic economics has developed since the 1970s. Current theories stress the primacy of private property, free enterprise, cooperation between the private sector and the state, cooperation between Muslim firms and governments internationally, the need for just redistribution of wealth within and between Muslim nations, and environmental preservation. Major state-supported Islamic banks seek to centralize investment and power while sharing risk and profit and avoiding interest payments at fixed rates. Rather, they offer depositors shares in gains and losses.

See also Economics (Islamic)

Subjects: Islam.

Reference entries