Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2421001
 


 



Zakat, Dana and Corporate Social Responsibility


Arjya B. Majumdar


Jindal Global Law School

April 6, 2014


Abstract:     
The tradition of giving finds itself in every religious text across the world. There seem to be few other principles which are so globally accepted. Whether it is the Zakat, the Islamic practice of giving and consequent self-purification, or the Dāna, the practice of giving in both Hinduism and Buddhism, the concept of gratuitous transfer of wealth to the less privileged strikes a common chord between the three most popular religions in Asia.

This paper seeks to first identify the traditions relating to charity within religious texts such as the Hadith, the Manusmriti and the Tipataka. In the absence of institutions, including the concept of the corporation, during the time when such religious texts were envisaged, the directions mandating charity are by default, applicable to individuals. This paper goes on to examine the creation of the modern-day corporation through the lens of independent corporate personality as well as a nexus of contracts.

Arguing further that -- in the absence of a large number of shareholders, Asian corporations tend to be family and individual driven -- such families and individuals may have a propensity to inculcate their individual traditions into inanimate and juristic bodies such as the corporations they run and control. As a result, this paper finally considers whether the tradition of giving, as mandated by religion may be a significant factor to boost Corporate Social Responsibility. While most Asian countries have some form of voluntary guidelines on corporate social responsibility, mandatory laws relating to CSR have been passed in Indonesia and India. A recent report even suggests that Asian consumers would be willing to spend more on products manufactured by socially responsible companies. This paper posits that a tradition of giving, spurred by religious mandate, does make CSR far more relevant in Asia.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: Religion, Zakat, Dana, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility

JEL Classification: G30, G34, M14

working papers series


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Date posted: April 8, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Majumdar, Arjya B., Zakat, Dana and Corporate Social Responsibility (April 6, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2421001 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2421001

Contact Information

Arjya B. Majumdar (Contact Author)
Jindal Global Law School ( email )
Jindal Centre 12 Bhi12 Bhikaiji Cama Place
New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh/Haryana 110 066
India

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