Publications (2013)

Death of a Metaphor: The Invisible Hand
International Journal of Pluralism & Economic Education Vol. 4(1), March 2013, p. 15-29

 Abstract:
Models are representations of reality. They simplify and ignore many complexities in order to focus on certain aspects. With constant and repeated use, theorists sometimes confuse the model with reality. This leads to many types of errors. In this article, we argue that the metaphor of the invisible hand has become deeply entrenched in the ways of thinking about and framing of economic problems. This has led to overuse and abuse of the metaphor. Why this happened, what harm has resulted from it, and how it can be remedied is the subject of this paper.
JEL Codes: A13, B41

Islam Versus Economics
Chapter 3 in Oxford University Handbook on Islam and the Economy
edited by Kabir Hassan and Mervyn Lewis, Oxford University Press, (2013 Forthcoming)

 Abstract:
An earlier & longer version of a draft of this paper, with title “Islamic Approaches to Fundamental Economic Problems,” is available from http://ssrn.com/abstract=2231398
The paper shows that fundamental Islamic principles regarding organization of economic affairs are directly and strongly in conflict with teachings of conventional economic theories.
Keywords: Islamic Economics, Human Development, Wealth, Waqf
JEL Codes: B29, B41

Re-Defining Islamic Economics
Chapter in Islamic Economics: Basic Concepts, New Thinking and Future Directions, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2013, Forthcoming)

Abstract:
There is a huge number of definitions of Islamic Economics available in the literature. The vast majority take existing definitions from the western literature and modify them to incorporate an Islamic angle. This leads to the widespread belief that Islamic Economics is a variant or a branch of conventional economics. We argue that something can be called “Islamic” only if it is based on the Quran and Sunnah. In this paper we propose a new definition based purely and directly on Islamic ideas and sources. We show that this definition differs radically from any available in the West, as well as the vast majority of definitions proposed by Islamic Economists. It creates entirely new ways of looking at and organizing the subject matter of Economics. This paper discusses ten dimensions of contrast, where our new definition suggests that the methodology of Islamic Economics is directly opposed to western methodology.

European Transition to Secular Thought: Lessons for Muslims
to appear in Insights,Da’wah Academy

Logical Positivist Methodology and Islamic Economics
to appear in Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Islamic Economics and Economies of Muslim Countries that Department of Economics, KENMS, IIUM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia held in 29-30 January 2013

Abstract:
We provide a detailed discussion of current methodology of economics and its emergence from secular roots in Europe. The foundational principles of this methodology, which is based on logical positivism, are in conflict with Islam. We then sketch some alternative methodologies which would be more suitable for Islamic economics.
We first describe how logical positivism emerged as the dominant philosophy of science, and how it was adopted into the foundations of economics. We then show that the current economic methodology is based on logical positivism. This philosophy is anti-Islamic, and therefore cannot be used to construct Islamic Economics. There are two main points of opposition. Logical Positivism rejects the unseen, while Islam requires faith in the unseen. Logical Positivism rejects morality as unscientific, while morality is a central part of Islamic teachings. This means that a methodology for Islamic economics must be radically different from that currently in use in conventional economic theory. Some essential elements of an alternative methodology are sketched.
Keywords: Logical Positivism, Methodology, Islamic Economics

Redefining Islamic Economics
to appear in Proceedings of the workshop on “Basic Concepts and Thoughts in Islamic Economics” held in Istanbul during 1-3 March 2013. submitted to Ninth International Conference on Islamic Economics and Finance (ICIEF) to take place in Istanbul during 9-11 September 2013

Abstract:
There is a huge number of definitions of Islamic Economics available in the literature. The vast majority take existing definitions from the western literature and modify them to incorporate an Islamic angle. This leads to the widespread belief that Islamic Economics is a variant or a branch of conventional economics. We argue that something can be called “Islamic” only if it is based on the Quran and Sunnah. In this paper we propose a new definition based purely and directly on Islamic ideas and sources. We show that this definition differs radically from any available in the West, as well as the vast majority of definitions proposed by Islamic Economists. It creates entirely new ways of looking at and organizing the subject matter of Economics. This paper discusses ten dimensions of contrast, where our new definition suggests that the methodology of Islamic Economics is directly opposed to western methodology.
Elsewhere, I have argued that Islamic Economics is currently in crisis; this has been widely acknowledged by leaders in the field. Conventional views are that Islamic Economics must be a compromise between Islamic ideals embodied in homo islamicus, and realistic views embodied in homo economicus. However, there is substantial disagreement on the nature and extent of the compromise required. Consensus on defining “Islamic Economics” appears to be a pre-requisite for progress. I believe that a definition which can be justified purely and directly from Islamic sources will be able to command consensus that compromises cannot. Furthermore, this definition opens the way to radically new approaches, which can fulfill the promise initially held out by Islamic Economics. This (now largely forgotten) promise was that Islamic Economics will provide justice, and eliminate oppression and inequities associated with capitalist, communist and socialist economic systems.
Keywords: Islamic Economics, Definition

Directions for Muslim Scholars in Social Sciences
to appear in Proceedings of Third Arab-Turkish Congress of Social Sciences, May 2013, Istanbul

Abstract: The European Enlightenment led to the development of several views which are incompatible with Islam. This article discusses and rebuts three of these views. The first is the Enlightenment Myth, according to which light of reason first dawned in Europe in the sixteen century. The second is the Deification of Science, according to which scientific knowledge is the most certain and superior type of knowledge. The third is the myth that European have progressed to the apex of civilization. it is an urgent need of Muslim scholars to develop alternative methods and subject material s for the education of Muslim children.