Methodology for Theory Building in Islamic Economics

Journal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 11-37, June 2014

27 Pages Posted: 2 Sep 2016

Date Written: April-June 30, 2014

Abstract

Islamic economics has its roots in the divine sources of Islam. Despite a respectable body of literature on the subject, a little progress has been made in developing theory of Islamic economics. The paper proposes a methodology for making a beginning in this direction. The divine sources of Islam are sacrosanct. However, human understanding of the divine texts is not. The paper argues that the Muslim economists can proceed toward developing theory by translating human understanding of the divine texts into hypotheses. The format of the hypotheses should allow verification or falsification in light of empirical data or rational reasoning. The hypotheses which cannot be verified or which are falsified would be rejected. The process would allow accumulation of a body of hypotheses which can be extended for more general application under varying assumptions. The paper demonstrates application of the proposed methodology by suggesting a number of hypotheses on five themes of the Qur’an which have some content for developing economic theory. These themes are: riba, infaq, shukr, tauba and taqwa. The proposed hypotheses are only examples and would require refinement before they are adopted for actual testing. Once the methodology is accepted, it would be possible to develop similar hypotheses on other subjects in the Qur’an and hadith

Keywords: Islamic Economics Theory, Methodology of Islamic Economics, Hypothesis Testing in Islamic Economics

JEL Classification: A12, B59, P4

Suggested Citation

Khan, Muhammad, Methodology for Theory Building in Islamic Economics (April-June 30, 2014). Journal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, Vol. 10, No. 2, pp. 11-37, June 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2819481

Muhammad Khan (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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