That development in general (and socio-economic development in particular) is an important goal in every country of the world is suggested by the fact that the United Nations designated the 1960s and the 1970s as the First and Second Development Decades respectively. The modern world, however, has emphasized only two antipodal theories of economic development - namely, capitalism and Socialism. This includes the contemporary Muslim world whose present economic systems, rather than being Islamic in nature, range from free market (with the private or public sectors or both dominant in thirty-six countries) to centrally planned markets (with the public sector which, in a few cases, is socialistic in orientation, dominant in seven countries). One country has a statecapitalism type of economy. (See Table 4.2, pp. 190-2, for a breakdown of economic and welfare indicators and type of economy by country. 1)
This chapter discusses economic development from an Islamic perspective. It opens with succinct presentation of two different perspectives - that is, the Western viewpoint and the Islamic viewpoint. This is followed by a discussion of Islam's 'third solution' to economic development, including historical development, Islamic
principles as revealed in the Qur'an and Sunnah, foundations of economic development - philosophical, ethical and moral, economic, and social-and traits of the Islamic economic system. What is the cause of the present underdevelopment? What are the strategies and methods needed to carry out socio-economic development? What is the role of the state as the major facilitator of development? And what are its most important goals?