THEORETICAL DEVELOPMENT AND SHORTAGES OF CONTEMPORARY ISLAMIC ECONOMICS STUDIES
Dr. Valentino Cattelan in this report describes the development of contemporary Islamic economics, from the 1960s-1970s onwards, as a collective enterprise of research achievements whose distinctive object consists in the provision of answers to human economic problems through solutions that are grounded in Islamic religion. By referring to the broad range of research programmes that have been undertaken in the last few decades under this discipline, the report assesses the coherence of Islamic economics epistemology.
In particular, on the one side it critically evaluates which rationales underlie the moral economy of Islam; on the other side it argues that a more consistent methodology can be identified in a paradigm of shared prosperity that replaces the postulates of scarcity, division and competition of conventional capitalism with axioms of abundance, distribution and cooperation, derived from the tawhidi framework of Islam. Accordingly, suggestions are advanced to overcome persistent weaknesses in Islamic economics studies both with regard to the solutions that its paradigm can offer within the changing nature of the global economy, and their effective implementation in the diverse sociologies that belongs to the contemporary practice of Islamic finance.
To conclude, next to the recognition of the Truth that Islamic economics embodies for Muslim believers, the report also highlights the truth-s that it holds for non-Muslims as an alternative to conventional capitalism, and the benefits that it can bring about.