Demystifying Riba through the Methodology of Muslim Jurists
In the post-colonial world when Muslims tried to restructure their public life in accordance with the shari‘ah, they developed a new discipline known as Islamic economics one of the central constructs of which is prohibition of riba. Unfortunately, the discussion among modern academic circles assumed a wrong methodology, which resulted in mystification of this concept and, hence, in a number of unsettling questions. This paper explains the nature of the mistake committed by modern Muslim scholars and economists. It also outlines the structure of correct methodology, which was laid down by premodern Muslim jurists for understanding the concept of riba and all other legal terms. The paper develops a consistent analytical framework for addressing majority of the questions on the subject of riba and attempts to rectify the mystification created around this concept.
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