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Keywords:

  • D63;
  • Z12
  • consumer protection in Islam;
  • Islam and economics;
  • Islam and free markets;
  • Islamic economics;
  • religion and economics;
  • social justice in Islam

Abstract

This article reviews the shari'a approach to markets and examines its treatment by certain twentieth-century Islamic economists such as Nejatullah Siddiqui, Nawab Haider Naqvi, Umer Chapra and M.A. Mannan. It characterises the arguments of these economists as largely statist, redistributive and socialist, possibly reflecting post-colonial intellectual experiences. Yet shari'a endorses negative freedom by proscribing price controls and guaranteeing consumer protection from coercion. Islamic law, this article argues, as evinced in both revealed knowledge and human exegesis, has endorsed a market-friendly, libertarian and limited-government philosophy.