Towards an Environmental Economics of Islam
In Islam, ecology and economics are two systems that are part of the divine cosmic order. The role of humans is purely to discover, and use, these systems for the betterment of life in all its forms. This article examines certain essential principles of Islamic economics that might help in understanding the contrast between Islamic economics and the “economics of growth,” which has a devastating impact on the natural environment. The article examines the values and principles that emanate from the sources of law, specifically in the context of Islamic economics. It explores various items of Islamic economic terminology such as economics (iqtiṣād), provision (rizq), usury (riba), and healthy growth (namā') to propose a platform for an environmental economy that sees life as based on the “real value” of the elements of nature. The article maintains that one of the most observable aspects of fictitious economic growth is found in money, which has no tangible or intrinsic value. This is in contrast to the model of economic growth followed in Islam, which is based on tangible reality rather than on hypotheses. Finally, the article connects environmental sustainability with what is called real growth as seen and advocated by Islam in the Qur’ān.
- Fiqh and Usul Al Fiqh [5 items ]