Macro-management is the Issue

On the other hand at least two Muslim countries have been able to make a break-through with export led growth. Malaysia and Indonesia with annual growth rates above six per cent may serve as role models for many other Muslim countries.

This is happening in a world in which the most advanced countries, indeed the entire developed world, is struggling hard to reach and maintain a three per cent annual rate of growth and to help their large number of unemployed find jobs.

Then we have the latest UNDP report (for 1994) naming a number of Muslim countries making "big advance" up the HDI (Human Development Indicators) ladder: Iran, Turkey, Malaysia and Tunis.

The message is clear: No one is condemned to poverty and backwardness for all time to come, as no one is assured of being at the top for ever. It is works that count.

What can Islamic economics contribute? Are there any signs it is going to make some difference? When, where, and what is expected?

The most likely place seems to be the universities, to begin with. The most promising subject is a sane and sound system of money and finance for which the search is on.

There is also the possibility that some Muslim countries manage to have sustained growth over the next few decades, accompanied by improved Islamic living. Of special importance in the context of Islamic living will be the family.

If a drug free, crime free, ecologically balanced growth which is every heart's desire materializes in some Muslim countries within the next few decades Islamic economics will have made a significant impact. Practical results are, after all, the ultimate touchstone for theory. The event itself is sure to lead to further refinement and development of the theory of Islamic economics.


Source: Dr. Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi, Economics An Islamic Approach. Republished with permission.
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