Unique study on ‘Islamic economics’
STUDY believed to be the only of its kind in South Africa took a Durban man close to a decade to complete.
Abdulkader Cassim Mahomedy, a lecturer at the School of Accounting, Economics and Finance at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, graduated with his PhD from the institution two weeks ago.
His studies, which he undertook part-time, were on Islamic economics.
“Islamic economics is part of a larger intellectual project of Muslim scholarships, which seeks to unify all knowledge within an integrated framework. It includes the infusion of ethics within knowledge, so that it may serve as the basis for establishing a just and morally-oriented society,” explained Mahomedy.
The difference between mainstream economics and Islamic economics, he said, was that mainstream economics was underpinned by certain key assumptions about the nature of human behaviour and how a person acquired knowledge. This included an individual pursuing his or her narrow self-interests to the exclusion of the greater well-being of society.
“While Islamic economics was founded as a direct response to the inadequacies of modern economics. It argues that economic choices need not necessarily lead to conflict between members of society. Harmony can indeed be achieved if we search for solutions to economic issues in ways that are complementary rather than substitutive as in modern economics.
“Second, if we avoid greed, wastage and debt, all of which are features of modern consumerist societies, there will be more than enough resources available to satisfy the needs of everyone.”
During his studies he was faced with challenges, including finding a suitable supervisor who had the breadth and depth of knowledge in the various domains of science.
“I was privileged to have had one of the world’s leading scholars in the field, Professor Masudul Alam Choudhury. I am indebted for the insight he provided over the years.
“The other key challenge was to manage the balance between the demands of work, family and study.”
He added that he viewed UKZN as uniquely positioned to establish a centre for integrative studies in Islamic economics, finance and management.
“This would be a first for southern Africa and it has enormous potential to impact positively on both academia and society. I hope to become part of this venture and contribute towards it.” When Mahomedy is not lecturing, he spends time reciting the Qur’an.
“I try to understand the meanings of its verses, for it is the source of great inspiration and guidance for all of humankind.”
Mahomedy added that it was important the younger generation pursued their tertiary studies and shared their knowledge to improve the lives of others where possible. and through this, they were able to strengthen their bond.
Brothers Ranvir and Ashen Jagroop congratulate each other on their BCom honours degrees.