Islamic Economics & Shari’ah Sciences
The same framework helps in identifying, in the Islamic legal sources in particular and the Islamic heritage (historical, cultural, etc.) in general, what is relevant to Islamic economics. It is very important, for example, to know what constituted riba at the time Islam abolished it, only to enable the scholar to answer the practical question: what constitutes riba in contemporary transactions. This answer itself becomes very important when it is going to be the basis of a venture of far reaching consequences: devising a modern financial system free from riba [or, to put it differently, reforming the modern financial system so that it is freed of riba].
This example helps us understand how Islamic economics entered the world of Shari’ah sciences only to come out with something unique. None of the traditional Islamic sciences can lay exclusive claim to an interest free banking model that Islamic economics presented. Neither can economics. The middle of 20th century witnessed the emergence out of the old of something new. Though rooted in the old it was not there before.
The same is true of the entire discipline of Islamic economics.
Source: Dr. Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi, Economics An Islamic Approach. Republished with permission.
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