The Methodology of Islamic Economics


Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran


his paper investigates the conformity of market participants’ decisions with the Islamic codes of conduct from the economic and philosophical perspectives. At the outset, the contributions of the renowned contemporary Muslim philosophers on the epistemological issues between the “is” and the “ought” are presented. Subsequently, a synthesized construct that would resolve the dichotomy between the normative and positive economy is outlined. The approach and the conclusions of this paper are expected to alleviate the dissatisfaction expressed by many Muslim economists for the sole application of the normative or positive economic methodology in the field. Furthermore, the paper validates arriving at conclusions in line with Islamic ethical norms by an empirical study of the actual economic behavior of market participants. The conclusions of this paper are not limited to economics but are expected to be applicable to all Islamic social sciences where similar issues are disputed.


Ahmad, K. (1994). Islamic Approach to Development. Islamabad: Institute of Policy Studies.
Askari, H., Iqbal, Z., & Mirakhor, A. (2015). Introduction to Islamic Economics. Singapore: John Wiley and Sons.
---------- (2009). New Issues in Islamic Finance and Economics. Singapore: John Wiley and Sons.
Chapra, M. U. (1992). Islam and the Economic Challenge. Markfield, UK: The Islamic Foundation and the Institute for Islamic Thought.
Al-Farabis Psychology and Epistemology. (2016). Stanford: Encyclopaedia of Philosophy.
Friedman, M. (1953). The Methodology of Positive Economics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Hairi Yazdi, M. (1982). Practical Reason. Tehran: Cultural Studies and Research Institute.
Iqbal, Z., & Mirakhor, A. (2007). An Introduction to Islamic Finance. Singapore: John Wiley and Sons.
Hume, D. (1888). A Treatise of Human Nature. In L. A. Selby – Bigge (Ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hands, D. W. (2012). The Positive-Normative Dichotomy and Economics; Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
Keynes, J. N. (1917). The Scope and Method of Political Economy (4th Eds.). London: Macmillan & Co.
Popper, K. (1959). The Logic of Scientific Discovery. London and
New York: Rutledge Classics.
Reichenbach, H. (1938). Experience and Prediction. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.
Robbins, L. (1935). An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science (2nd Ed.). London: Macmillan and Co.
Sadr, S. K. (2016). The Economic System of the Early Islamic Period. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
---------- (2003). Understanding the Organic and Interactive Relationship between Economic and Islamic Economic School. Discourse, 4(3-4), 67-110.
Sadr, M. B. (1982). Iqtisaduna - Our Economics. Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services.
Silberberg, E. (1990). The Structure of Economics (2nd Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
Soroush, A. (1988). The Logical Premises of Induction in Ayatullah Shahid M. B. Sadr’s View. Tehran: Soroush Press.
Tabatbaei, M. H. (1954). Ravesh Realism (The Principles of Philosophy and the Realism Methodology). Qum: Sadra Publication.
Toutounchian, I. (2009). Islamic Money and Banking. Singapore: John Wiley and Sons.
Zaman, A. (2012). Crisis in Islamic Economics: Diagnose and Prescriptions. JKAU Islamic Economics, 25(1), 147-169.
---------- (2006). Problems and Prospects. Journal of Management, Information and Technology, 2(1), 46-53.