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Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

2001

Spiritual Goods: Faith Traditions and the Practice of Business

Jamal A. Badawi
Pages 295-323
DOI: 10.5840/spiritgds200127

Islamic Business Ethics

This essay focuses on the normative teachings of Islam. Justice, honesty, and public welfare are the pillars of Islamic business ethics. These values have two major roots: (1) belief in and devotion to Allah (God), and (2) the earthly trusteeship that grounds moral accountability. The business values of productivity, hard work, and excellence are encouraged. However, at the heart of various injunctions relating to business transactions are the imperatives of lawfulness, honesty, and fair play. Products or services must be lawful, and produced in lawful ways causing no undue harm to others or to the environment. Competition, distribution, and consumption must be lawful as well. Lawful behavior is enforced by consciousness of Allah, supportive social norms, and government control. Islamic norms may not be uniformly or strictly followed, yet they provide a helpful background to practitioners and researchers.