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Conscious Capitalism and Islam: Convergence and Divergence

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The Spirit of Conscious Capitalism

Part of the book series: Ethical Economy ((SEEP,volume 63))

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Abstract

During modern times there are two major competing economic systems: Capitalism and Socialism. Although by the middle of the twentieth century Socialism had included almost one third of the world’s population and then it declined, in terms of practical impact Capitalism has outshined Socialism on numerous dimensions, and in purely economic terms has demonstrated its relative efficacy to bring broader prosperity. However, Capitalism is not an unmixed blessing; rather, it has some fundamentally rough edges that have created a number of key imbalances, including the ecological imbalance, which has now become an existential threat to the planet and thus to humanity. Thus, it is only natural that without discarding Capitalism, there would be intellectual and practical initiatives to address those rough edges so that Capitalism can serve the humanity in a better manner. There are many reformist contributions to re-shape the ideas about Capitalism, one such relevant contribution is Conscious Capitalism. The main goal of Conscious Capitalism is to create value for the stakeholders at the core of each business decision in such a way that impacts the humanity in positive, goal-oriented ways, while minimizing the negative impacts of Capitalism. An important dimension of Conscious Capitalism is that it does not find itself in conflict with various religions. Notably, uniquely among the peer religions, Islam views itself as a comprehensive way of life and offers a set of values, norms and parameters that can shape what is identified as an Islamic Economic System. As a cardinal value, Islam emphasizes “equilibrium”, “balanced way” or ‘moderation” to produce the best social order. Interestingly, several key features of Islamic Economic thought converge with Socialism, while others, and more so, with Capitalism. A careful review of the credo of Conscious Capitalism indicates that much of its credo converges with the precepts of an Islamic Economic System. In this chapter, we seek to explore the convergence of an Islamic Economic System with Conscious Capitalism, identify the common areas that can induce the adherents of Islam to take a closer look at Conscious Capitalism, and examine the potentials that an Islamic framework has for those aspects. We also intend to explore how values and theories found in classical Islamic literature have contemporary application within the conceptual framework of a modern Islamic Economic System that may significantly contribute to the humanity beyond Conscious Capitalism.

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Farooq, M.O., Ahmad, A.U.F. (2022). Conscious Capitalism and Islam: Convergence and Divergence. In: Dion, M., Pava, M. (eds) The Spirit of Conscious Capitalism. Ethical Economy, vol 63. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-10204-2_14

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