In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent Most Merciful
It is fitting to start this blog with the name of God, seeking His assistance in fulfilling this task for there is no success in anything, religious or mundane, without His support.
What is the goal of Islamic economics and finance? As a practitioner in this industry it is easy to get lost in the minutiae of what transactions are allowed and which are not and which conditions as are allowed and which are not. But what is the overarching goal? I was fortunate to ask this question to Dr. Umar Chapra, one of the foremost fathers of Islamic economics, at the Islamic development bank and he said:
"The goal is to make the financial system a source of mercy to humanity."
This was the mission of the Prophet peace be upon him and he was described in the Quran as "mercy to all of the worlds". Therefore, anything that claims to associate with him should follow this ethical description of being a source of mercy to all. This mercy manifests in this world through justice, transparency, kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, and courage. In the next world it manifests in facilitating the avoidance of that which will harm others in the next world (such as falling into sins through inpermissible transactions) and supporting recommended transactions that will bring benefit in the next world (such as endowments, structured giving, debt forgiveness, removing hardship from people, and generally following the commands of God).
May Allah bless us to be instruments of His universal love and mercy in this world.