Is it permissible to study, teach and conduct research in conventional economics?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Asalamu alaaikum

I am a research scholar in Hyderabad University doing M.Phil. in economics, my question is that is it permissible to acquire such knowledge like we have in economics course which is wholly dominated by west scholars, especially the macroeconomics and the public policy . Also is it permissible to do research in areas like banking, development as taught in universities of world which at times is in clear contradiction with Islamic teachings. besides after completing my education I am thinking to work as a teacher, there also I have to teach the conventional economics to my students, does sharia permits this, please explain in detail and provide me suggestions how I can contribute in the propagation of Islam and also give suggestions regarding Islamic readings in economics so that I can challenge the conventional economic theory dominant in the world.

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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

By human nature, we are easily influenced and affected with what we see, hear, read and study. However, in studying or teaching at a secular institution, you should condition your mind to simply study, garner research and share this information with others while you do not have to belief in this information. Therefore, it is permissible to study, to pursue a career in teaching and to undertake research in conventional economics[1].

In attempting to comprehend the Islamic economic system, it may be more relevant and helpful to undertake lessons under a learned Alim who is well-versed in both, Islamic and conventional, economic systems. However, the following may be useful in providing you with a primary insight into the Islamic economic structure:

Taqi Uthmani, (Hadrat Mufti) Muhammad, Our Socio-Economic Order, Idara-e-Islamiat

Ahmad Qasmi, (Mufti) Nasim, Economy: The Islamic Approach, 2007, Darul Ishaat, Karachi

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hanif Yusuf Patel

Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.


[1] وهذا إنما يقع على من واطأ صاحب الربا عليه فأما من كتبه أو شهد القصة ليشهد بها على ما هي عليه ليعمل فيها بالحق فهذا جميل القصد لا يدخل في الوعيد المذكور وإنما يدخل فيه من أعان صاحب الربا بكتابته وشهادته


[Fat`h al-Bari, 4: 394, Qadimi Kutub Khana]

[Contemporary Fatawa, p.160, Idara-e-Islamiyat]