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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The writings on Islamic economics can be split into two distinct though related strands: First, following the Quranic sanction against ribā, one strand of writings explores the various Islamic financing alternatives to interest on the presumption that interest is precisely the same thing as ribā. Some of these alternatives are based on the idea of variable returns on capital-and therefore stipulate some sort of profit sharing arrangements-while others, in sharp contrast allow fixed returns to capital that are supposed to be compatible with Islamic Sharīʿa. The second, centers on the irrelevance of the assumptions of the benchmark model of economic analysis, namely the perfectly competitive model, and from there moves on to discredit the central place of competition in the ideology of the market system. This chapter presents an overview of how the other chapters of the book are organized.

Keywords: Islamic economics; Islamic Sharīʿa; Qurʾān; ribā

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