Lectures on Islamic Economics

Videos of Five Lectures on Islamic Economicms delivered at Imam Sadiq University in OCt 16-18, 2010 are available from my website: http://asadzaman.net

Audio lectures given to students at IIIE in fall 2011 and 2012 are linked here.

Lectures given to students at IIIE in 2009 and 2010 are linked here. Below are 15 Lectures to be delivered to IIIE Faculty from February to June 2011. These are more advanced and difficult than the 2009 and 2010 lectures. 

SOMEONE (not me) has compiled the lectures into a single document and put them together in book format. I have not had time to look through/review it yet, though I was planning to do this at some later stage. These are attached at the bottom of the page. LECTURE NOTES ON ISLAMIC ECONOMICS. [VIEW] [DOWNLOAD]

A FUNDAMENTAL Lecture on RE-DEFINING ISLAMIC ECONOMICS, presents a new definition of Islamic Economics, and how it provides a dramatically different perspective on economics which is diametrically opposed to western views in ten different dimensions.

Some important papers of mine on the nature of money and banking 

An Outline and Reading Material for these Lectures are Attached:

Lecture 1: Principles of Islamic Education:

It should be obvious that if we want to teach and learn Islamic Economics, this must by done by Islamic methods, rather than western ones. In this first lecture, we will review Islamic teachings related to the process of the acquisition of Knowledge. There is no match, parallel, or analog of these teachings in the canons of Western knowledge.




CIIE01.doc: Current Issues in Islamic Economics, Lecture 1.   

“An Islamic Worldview: An Essential Component of an Islamic Education,” Lahore Journal of Policy Studies Vol. 1 No. 1, p95-106, June 2007.

Lecture 2: Origins of Western Social Science  (IKF10.doc)

Origins ofWestern Social ScienceJournal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, vol 5, number 2, May-August 2009, p. 9-22

ABSTRACT: On the whole, Muslims have accepted Western claims that both social sciences  and  physical  sciences  are  equally  fact  and  logic  based,  and  “positive” descriptions of reality. In fact, Western formulations of social sciences hide ethical and  social  commitments  to  secular  views  which  conflict  the  Islamic  views. Widespread acceptance by Muslims of these false claims to factuality and objectivity has  prevented  the  development  of  genuine  Islamic  alternatives,  and  has  been  a serious obstacle to progress in the project of “Islamization of Knowledge”. The goal of this paper is to examine the origins of Western Social Science, and to show how it is based on secular preconceptions antithetical to Islam.

Additional Reading:

Improving Social Science Education in Pakistan,” Lahore Journal of Policy Studies Vol. 2 No. 1, June 2008.

Lecture 3: Islamic and Western Conceptions of Scarcity

 “Scarcity: East and West,”  Journal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, Vol. 6, No. 1, January - March 2010.

Scarcity is considered to be the basis of economics. Yet the Quran states that Allah T’aala provides enough for us, and in abundant quantities. Islamic views on the sources and solutions to the problem of scarcity are dramatically different from western views. This paper seeks to explain the differences.

Lecture 4: Limits to Market Economy

Modern Economic theory is exclusively concerned with the market economy, and takes this way of structuring society for granted, as a universal of human behavior. This lecture studies the historical emergence of the market economy, and many of its unnatural and harmful features. A key insight is that proper functioning of a market economy requires a market society -- certain ways of thinking and being and socializing. The values of a market society are antithetical to Islamic values, and dominance of these values causes collapse of Islamic societies.


The Riseand Fall of the Market Economy,” to appear in Review of Islamic Economics

Download from:   https://sites.google.com/site/azcurrentresearch/home/ecmeth/rise

The Market Economy and Its Limits: Entry in Encyclopedia of Islamic Economics

Download from:   https://sites.google.com/site/azcurrentresearch/home/islamicecon/limits  

Lecture 5: Rebuilding Islamic Societies

 Just as a market economy functions within a market society, so an Islamic Economy functions within an Islamic Society. To create an Islamic economic system requires the creation of an Islamic society. However, this does not mean that we postpone our efforts to create an Islamic Economy because the society is not Islamic. Rather, the creation of an Islamic Economic system is part of the effort that is needed to create an Islamic Society. How this can be done is the subject of this lecture.


RIS4.doc, RIS4.ppt.

Lecture 6: Contrasts Between Islamic and Western Economic Views


An Islamic Critique of Neoclassical Economics.

In this lecture we discuss some of the fundamental principles of conventional economics are diametrically opposed to Islamic principles. Furthermore, Islamic principles provide a sound basis on which to build, while economics is built on wrong principles.


Lecture 7: Roots of European Thought

Current Social Science and Economic Theory is a reflection of the European historical experience. To understand it, we must understand European history, and how it has affected European thought. This lecture provides some basics of European history and how it has shaped the European worldview embodied in their economic thought.

European History: Lessons for Muslims

Lecture 8: Legitimization of Pursuit of Wealth


The accumulation and pursuit of wealth has always been considered a bad thing. The Bible states that the love of money is the root of all evil. Through a sequence of historical events, Europeans came to believe that “lack of money is the root of all evil.” This can be called the “great transformation”, and it has affected all of us. Once the pursuit of money become a virtue instead of a vice, only then is it possible to have banks, interest and other paraphernalia of a capitalist society. Several people have analyzed how the pursuit of money became desirable in the west. One analyst is Tawney, whose work we shall study in depth in this lecture. Understanding this is crucial to understanding the spirit behind the financial and ownership structures of a capitalist society. This in turn, is crucial to understanding economic theory.


Lecture 9: The Evils of Interest


It is widely believed that interest is necessary to the functioning of a capitalist society. In fact, the capitalist economy can function quite well without interest. However, interest-based financial transactions help the rich and the powerful in the society. This essay demonstrates the evils of interest and provides Islamic alternatives.

Interest and the Modern Economy.

 Lecture 10 Theories of Growth And Development 

This lecture discusses standard theories of growth and development, and shows how they are wrong. Then the correct theories are discussed. Basically the issues have to do with Power/Knowledge. 

Three assumptions of economic theories which are wrong lead to false theories.

We show how colonization destroyed the independence. That independence is needed for growth. That the co-opted class is crucial to understanding current affairs. That this class is still in power. That colonization never ended. 

Lecture 11: The Normative Foundations of Scarcity

 The elevation of scarcity to the fundamental economic problem rests on some unstated normative assumptions. These include a political commitment to private property, a methodological commitment to not inquire about taste formation, and the idea that human welfare is roughly equivalent to preference satisfaction. The problem arises because current methodology is based on certain positivist principles, and needs revision in light of  subsequent collapse of positivism.

Lecture 12: Islamic Economics: A Survey of the Literature Part I

Lecture 13Islamic Economics: A Survey of the Literature Part II

Lecture 14: Islamic Economics: A Survey of the Literature Part III