Islamic Business Ethics

The main purpose of this blog is to critically review the academic journal article "Business ethics in Islam: the glaring gap in practice". The journal article was published in 2009 in the "International Journal of Islamic and Middle Eastern Finance and Management" volume 2, issue 4 pages 278-288.

The author of the journal in review, Samir Ahmad Abuznaid is the Dean of the Collage of Finance and Management, Hebron University and also a professor. The aim of his article was to examine as well as discuss, business principles and ethics but from an Islamic perspective.

Throughout the article, the author talks about according to Islam how things should be done, and how they differ from regular ethics.

At first glance, the author starts off the journal with a clear title which tells the reader exactly what the journal is about. It is simple and clearly gets the message across. However, as you read the article, it becomes increasingly noticeable that there isn't much discussion about the actual gap in practice as is mentioned in the title. This makes me rethink the title and wonder if I am interpreting it all wrong. Whilst I think that the title entails that the article will be talking about gaps in current business ethics, other may interpret it as the Islamic perspective being the gap. This should be clarified at the start.

The abstract is detailed and specific, telling the reader exactly what they will be covering throughout the paper such as the different factors which may influence ones ethical/unethical actions. The purpose of the paper is reiterated in the abstract, but again as mentioned previously, nothing about a gap in practice is addressed.

The author then goes on to give a historical overview of Islam, and speaks about the impact of Islamic ethics in business which I feel is very important to include because is allows the reader to understand not only, what the Islamic ethics are but why they are needed and followed by muslims.

The majority of the main discussion in the paper talks about the ethics in Islam and the factors which may affect them. This discussion includes facts using Quran literature as reference, making the facts authentic and original. Yet, even though majority of the discussion is relevant, there is quite a bit of irrelevant discussion translating Quranic words and going into depth about Islamic beliefs.

Since the purpose of the paper is to cover Islamic ethics, I believe that some of the ethics have been underemphasised. In one section, the author lists guidelines which Muslims are to follow such as being truthful, patient and humble. but they don't go into much details about it and don't talk about how these ethics differ from general ethics. Also, seeing as this is the main discussion of the paper, some examples may have helped to allow the reader to understand the logic behind the guidelines, rather than just a bullet pointed list of rules.

In the conclusion, the author mentions what was discussed throughout the journal. However, the conclusion is very broad and not very detailed. A conclusion should tell a reader what the outcome was, however the author just listed the topics which were mentioned, not going into any detail of what the result of his findings were.

Overall I think that the academic journal is very useful for studying Islamic Business Ethics and arguing why they should be implemented, however I believe that it sways from its purpose of analysing a gap in practice.

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