Conceptualising and Locating the Social Failure of Islamic Finance: Aspirations of Islamic Moral Economy vs. the Realities of Islamic Finance
Asian and African Area Studies, 11 (2): 93-113, 2012
21 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2012
Date Written: 2012
Islamic moral economy emerged in the modern sense in the late 1960s and early 1970s as an attempt to develop an authentic understanding of the Islamic system of economics and develop policies accordingly. As part of this concept, Islamic banks and financial institutions are considered as the institutional aspects of this moral economy, which can pool their resources together to finance real economy activity. However, the transformation of Islamic banking into a commercial banking form since mid-1975 has resulted in unprecentedly successful financial performance, which, however, has been at the expense of the ‘social and economic developmentalist’ aspirations of Islamic moral economy. Therefore Islamic banks and financial institutions are criticised for their social failure. This paper, therefore, aims to explore the social failure of Islamic banks and financial institutions and locate the sources of this failure. In moderating the social failure of Islamic banks and financial institutions, this paper suggests that a third institutional development in the form of non-banking financial institutions, such as Islamic social banking, Islamic microfinance, an awqaf system, ar-rahn or Islamic pawnbroking, and zakah funds should be created with the objective of serving the social and developmental needs of Muslim societies.
Keywords: Islamic moral economy, Islamic finance, social failure of Islamic finance
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