Islamic Economics and the Relevance of Al-Qawā‘id Al-Fiqhiyyah

Islamic economics, as part of the Islamic body of knowledge, has emerged as a new social science discipline that has gained currency and recognition in various institutions of higher learning in the contemporary Muslim world. Different sources of Islamic knowledge have significantly contributed to shape its evolution and development. The Islamic legal maxims, however, do not seem to have received much attention in terms of their contextualization in the present economic thinking. Using the content analysis approach, this article examines the relevance of qawā‘id al-fiqhiyyah, placing emphasis on the five normative maxims and some of their variants, to the understanding of Islamic economics. The aim is to assess their relevance to Islamic economic life and their contextualization within time and space. It was found that qawā‘id al-fiqhiyyah significantly contributes to the understanding of Islamic economics as a discipline in the Islamic tertiary educational pursuits. They help to understand certain economic theories from the Islamic ethical perspective. Therefore, it is concluded that if Muslim social scientists, especially, Muslim economists, embrace and pursue this branch of fiqh with an utmost concern and commitment, it would facilitate a better appreciation of economic theories from the Islamic perspective.

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