In Islam there is no conflict between matter and soul, as there is no separation between economy and religion. Although Islamic economics is young in comparison with conventional economics, its characteristics, value and essence are appreciated by Muslims and the non-Muslims. The over-arching values of Islamic economics lie in the principle that it is an economic strategy that can achieve unity and harmony between the material and the spiritual life of the people.
To ensure the true well-being of all individuals, irrespective of their sex, age, race, religion and wealth, Islamic economics does not seek to abolish private property, a practice done by communism, nor does it prevent individuals from serving their self-interest. It recognizes the role of the market forces in the efficient allocation of resources. It seeks to promote brotherhood, socio-economic justice and well-being of all through an integrated role of moral values, market mechanism and good governance. The differences between conventional and Islamic economics are as listed below.
1. The Role of Moral Values
While conventional economics generally considers the behavior, tastes and preferences of individuals as given, Islamic economics does not do so. It places great emphasis on individual and social reforms through moral uplift. This is purportedly to be the purpose for which God's messengers have come to this world. Moral uplift aims at changing the behavior, tastes and preferences of the individuals, and thereby, it complements the price mechanism in promoting general well-being. Before even entering into the market place and being exposed to the price filter, consumers are expected to pass their claims on resources through the moral filter first, where conspicuous consumption and wasteful and unnecessary claims will be filtered out. The price mechanism can then takes over and reduce the claims on resources even further to...