Islamic Perspective for Sustainable Financial System
Sustainable Growth and Finance From Islamic PerspectiveZubair Hasan
Sustainability in general refers to maintaining the level of a phenomenon in some specified sense over the foreseeable future. The term gained currency in economic literature after the 1987 Commission on Environment and Development linked it to growth. This paper examines this linkage with finance added from a sustainability angle with reference to human well-being adding an Islamic perspective to the discussion where relevant. It is theoretical work with little empirical content using library-based methods including internet resources. It keeps growth at the forefront in view of expanding populations, provided welfare requisites are enhanced. The paper spells out the goals of growth eventually converging on environmental sustainability. Finance is brought into the picture as one cannot imagine growth without finance – the two constitute a connection. The position of Islam is found as supportive of the goals of growth and development as in mainstream literature when hedged with Shariah requirements. A distinctive contribution of the paper that separates the work from others is the section dealing with the impact of war on growth, welfare and the environment. It argues that, with the arms industry being the most lucrative, leading arms manufacturers have a vested interest in generating wars and local conflicts. In a way, they are merchants of death and destruction – ironically, creative destruction as some say. Interestingly, the top arms exporters are the western developed countries while top importers are the developing ones with Muslim prominence. The peace dividend is far greater than war gains.