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Principle of Inclusion & Exclusion

Once the place of Islamic economics in relation to Shari’ah sciences and economics is understood it is possible to evolve criteria for identifying what belongs to Islamic economics and excluding what does not belong to it. Let us take for example zakat. It is an important subject in Islamic economics. The obligation of the wealth owners to pay and the entitlement of specific category of people to benefit from it are of great economic significance. The principle of transfer payments, the target groups of recipients, and the public purpose served by the provision are the crux of the matter so far as Islamic economics is concerned. But the details of the law of zakat, especially those relating to the time of its inception, belong to Islamic law and not to Islamic economics.

There is, however, a close relation between Islamic economics and Islamic law. Islamic economics can help jurists in formulating operational details of the law of zakat in modem circumstances by tracing economic consequences of rules and regulations and their impact on public purpose. Once the target beneficiaries in a modern society are defined, for example, economics can indicate the most efficient means to deliver the benefits to them. Islamic economic analysis can also enlighten the jurists on how not to deliver benefits to target groups by pointing out such economic consequences of certain means of delivery as work against public purpose due to their negative effects on incentive to work, etc.


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