The Political Economy and Underdevelopment of the Muslim World: A Juridico-Philosophical Perspective

Bangor Business School Working Paper No. BBSWP/12/011

22 Pages Posted: 6 Nov 2012 Last revised: 20 Nov 2018

See all articles by Muhammed Shahid Ebrahim

Muhammed Shahid Ebrahim

Durham Business School

Mustapha Sheikh

Bangor University - University of Wales System

Date Written: October 1, 2012

Abstract

The ongoing political turmoil in the Muslim world necessitates an investigation of the factors leading to centuries of underdevelopment. This essay studies the various perspectives (for and against) attributing Islam as a factor holding back the progress of the Muslim economies. We critically appraise why ‘Islamic’ banking is not truly Islamic to identify: (i) the retrograding outlook of the jurists (fuqahā’); and (ii) their flawed ijtihād (interpretation or deduction of the divine sources of law) as the prime factors responsible for the paucity of development of financial instruments, markets and institutions. We also scrutinize co-option of the jurists by the ruling elite, thereby legitimizing their autocracy. Finally, we conclude the paper recommending the rectification of these issues to develop institutions fostering economic growth and development.

Keywords: flawed ijtihād, economic underdevelopment, 'hīlah (ruse), intellectual stalemate, ribā (Islamic injunction protecting property rights).

JEL Classification: G20, O16, Z12

Suggested Citation

Ebrahim, Muhammed Shahid and Sheikh, Mustapha, The Political Economy and Underdevelopment of the Muslim World: A Juridico-Philosophical Perspective (October 1, 2012). Bangor Business School Working Paper No. BBSWP/12/011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2171175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2171175

Muhammed Shahid Ebrahim (Contact Author)

Durham Business School ( email )

Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3LB
United Kingdom

Mustapha Sheikh

Bangor University - University of Wales System ( email )

Bangor University
College Road
Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG
United Kingdom

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
116
rank
232,256
Abstract Views
670
PlumX Metrics