Islam and Capitalist Development: A Critique of Rodinson and Weber

  • K. S. Jomo

Abstract

Maxime Rodinson’s Islam and Capitalism was first published in France in 1966 and translated into English in 1974. It seeks to examine whether or not Islamic tenets can explain why capitalism did not develop indigenously in Muslim countries but was introduced from outside. It also seeks to determine whether or not Islam is opposed to capitalist development, as is often claimed. In particular, Rodinson refutes the Weberian thesis that Islam lacks the rationalism necessary for the successful development of capitalism. He outlines the elements of economic doctrine present in the Quran and the Sunnah (Islamic tradition) and examines the relationship between doctrine and practice in both the medieval and contemporary Muslim world. He identifies certain areas of ambiguity and contradiction within the doctrine itself and reveals the divergence between doctrine and economic practice in the Islamic world. He examines Islamic ideology and questions whether it has hindered or favoured capitalist development, on the one hand, and whether it provides sufficient basis for an anti-capitalist struggle or for promoting socialism, on the other. His answer to both these questions is negative. He further argues that the economic paths followed by Muslim countries, historically and today, cannot be attributed to Islam, but rather are primarily the result of the social forces of production.

Keywords

Income Coherence Expense Ditioned Malaysia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alatas, S. H. (1972) ‘The Weber Thesis and Southeast Asia’, in Modernisation and Social Change (London and Sydney: Angus and Robertson).Google Scholar
  2. Coury, R. (1975) ‘Why Can’t They Be Like Us?’, Review of Middle East Studies, 1.Google Scholar
  3. Gordon, S. (n.d.) ‘Contradictions in the Malay Economic Structure’, Intisari, 1 (2).Google Scholar
  4. Hodgkin, T. (1972) ‘Some African and Third World Theories of Imperialism’, in Studies in the Theory of Imperialism, ed. Roger Own and Bob Sutcliffe (London: Longman).Google Scholar
  5. Keddie, N. R. (ed.) (1968) An Islamic Response to Imperialism (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  6. Kessler, C. S. (1972) ‘Islam, Society and Political Behaviour: Some Comparative Implications of the Malay Case’, British Journal of Sociology, 23.Google Scholar
  7. Kessler, C. S. (1974) ‘Muslim Identity and Political Behaviour in Kelantan’, in Kelantan: Religion, Society and Politics in a Malay State, ed. W. R. Roff (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  8. Kessler, C. S. (1978) Islam and Politics in a Malay Society: Kelantan State 1838–1969 (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press).Google Scholar
  9. Maxwell, W. E. (1890) ‘The Law Relating to Slavery among the Malays’, Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 22.Google Scholar
  10. Mokhzani, A. R. (1973) ‘Credit in the Malay Peasant Economy’ (Ph.D. thesis, University of London).Google Scholar
  11. Parkinson, B. K. (1975) ‘Non-economic Factors in the Economic Retardation of the Rural Malays’, in Readings on Malaysian Economic Development, ed. David Lim (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  12. Rodinson, M. (1971) Mohammed (London: Allen Lane).Google Scholar
  13. Rodinson, M. (1974) Islam and Capitalism, trans. Brian Pearce (London: Allen Lane).Google Scholar
  14. Sivalingam, G. (1975) ‘Non-Economic Factors in the Economic Retardation of the Malays — An Empirical Refutation’, Development Forum, 5, (1) (June).Google Scholar
  15. Sukarno, I. R. (1971) ‘Nationalism, Islamism and Marxism’ (first published in 1929), reprinted in Religion, Politics, and Social Change in the Third World, ed. D. E. Smith (New York: Free Press).Google Scholar
  16. Wilder, W. (1975) ‘Islam, Other Factors and Malay Backwardness: Comments on an Argument’, in Readings on Malaysian Economic Development, ed. David Lim (Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jomo K. S. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. S. Jomo

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations