Foundation for an Equitable Economy in Contemporary Middle Eastern Society? The Legacy of Muhammad Al-Ghazzali (1058-1111)

  • Imran Malik (Speaker)
  • Kasim Randeree (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The economic and social writings of Muhammed Al-Ghazzali have the potential of impacting the socio-economic environment in the Middle East, to such a degree that, if implemented, would put ethics and justice at the heart of economic policy. Al-Ghazzali’s philosophy is based on the rejection of revolutionary change on the premise that disorder is worse than injustice, preferring orderly change and reform from within. Al-Ghazzali, the idealist, provided a coherent vision of the future of global governance. He believed in the force of human knowledge and reason to shape human behaviour for ethical living. Economies could benefit from such a revolution to develop an ethics-centred economic philosophy with its application in Arab society likely to have far reaching effects on economic and social governance.
The Arab world had a proud tradition of providing security to its working class especially in the early Islamic period, but has lapsed on this obligation in the recent past. To be relevant in the future, developing Arab societies will need to deconstruct their Euro-centric premise and strive to serve global equity through a balanced philosophy.
Thus, the contemporary strategist in the Arab world needs to be inspired by the humanism of Al-Ghazzali and strive towards the goal of integrating economics with ethics and social justice to achieve sustainable growth in addition to avoiding the exploitation of a largely foreign labour class.
Internationally, the contemporary challenge is the promotion of global equity built on actual shared prosperity for all. The principles for good governance (knowledge, justice, wisdom and tolerance) were articulated by Al-Ghazzali a millennium ago and remain valid today.
This paper thus examines the possibility of integrating economic and social prosperity with ethics and justice, in an effort to create sustainable and moderate Arab societies through developing social and economic strategies inspired by the works of Muhammed Al-Ghazzali.
Period25 Jul 2006
Event titleAnnual Conference British Society for Middle East Studies 2006
Event typeConference
LocationBirmingham, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational