The two most important problems identified in a post-financial crisis look back are perverse incentives and de-linking of financial sector growth and activities with the real sector of the economy. Islamic finance principles by basing all financial products with real assets fill the gap and this feature alone is a very important risk management tool inbuilt into the system.
Islamic Economics Project
RESEARCH ON ISLAMIC ECONOMICS AND FINANCE AND ROLE OF FAITH IN MARKETS AND SOCIETY IN POST MODERN SCIENTIFIC AGE
Science does nothing more than substantiating that the design, variety and balance in universe is more ‘complex, intricate and detailed’ than previously thought of before scientific advancements. In light of the scientific body of knowledge developed thus far, the assertion of chance argument for the origin and dynamic organization of this universe becomes all the more weak.
Famine, death from hunger and debt enslavement is the fact of life for the half of the people on earth not because that overall, the societies have scarce resources, but because the distribution of resources is inequitable as empirically proven by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and noted by Thomas Piketty in his recent book ‘Capital in the Twenty First Century’.
Studies in primary-data based religious choices or economic choices by religious persons can explain differences in social and economic choices between religious and non-religious groups, but measuring both the religiosity and its causal effect on behavior is difficult to establish. Furthermore, it is only a Godly endeavor to truly judge about religiosity.
Human welfare in Islamic worldview encompasses economic welfare, but comprises much more than that. The achievement of human welfare is sought in both aspects of human life, i.e. worldly life and eternal life hereafter.
Even though the principles like prohibition of Riba and Zakat are binding as rules, they also have an important economic rationale and function in economic matters of an Islamic society. Hence, the mandate of Islamic economics will be to explain their economic merit using experimental and observational data and by applying statistical and other suited techniques to establish certain analytical hypothesis.
As much as people can be selfish, they can be altruist as well. They have free will and they can be as much responsible as they can be reckless. What we need is a conditioning mechanism that nurtures positive tendencies.
From the risk and profitability perspective, Islamic modes of financing keep the Islamic financial system liquid and less prone to risk due to asset backing. Often, the investors with bank (the deposit holders) are risk averse and want consistent returns. But, small savers do not have enough funds to finance big volume projects directly. But, using investors’ pool of funds to provide financing, the investors are able to share in benefit of such economic activities.
In Islamic economic framework, increase in investment through entrepreneurial activities could increase the labor demand and wages. Increase in wages will improve the standard of living of poor labor class and enable them to improve their productivity further.
The recent literature on Islamic economics hardly makes use of mathematics even for expositional purposes. Mathematics is a language. It keeps argument and logic straight. Just like growth models could talk of seemingly non-mathematical concepts like public infrastructure, social infrastructure and governance, one can incorporate Islamic principles to show how they could be more welfare enhancing. For instance, the need is to show the impact and effects of Islamic principles on allocation of resources, income distribution, externalities and so on using mathematics.