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Book Review 11

Page history last edited by caloy 15 years, 11 months ago



Ethics defined


    Ethics is defined as a set of moral principles that distinguish what is right from wrong, and in an Islamic context, the Qur'anic term khuluq is closest to it. Also, some other terms referenced from Qur'an describing the concept of good are khayr (goodness), birr (rightousness), qist (equity), and 'adl (equilibrium and justice).


Islamic Ethical System


    The chapter compares six dominant ethical systems prevalent today and draws out some of the key parameters that shape the Islamic ethical system. Some of these referenced include the importance of an individual's intention in judging ethical behavior, freedom to believe, and the importance of humankind to experience tazkiyah through active participation in this life. By behaving ethically in the midst of the tests of this worldly life, Muslims prove their worth to God.


Developing an Ethical Organization


    In framing a business organization's ethical responsibilities, the author first reviews the need for developing an ethical organization. As done throughout the book, the author uses examples of contemporary multi-national businesses, here referencing the rash of scandals on Wall Street, in the savings and loan industry in the U.S. and in other countries.

    The chapter talks about how a culture of loose ethical oversight or leadership can essentially impact the whole organization's business climate. Even though some of the examples are outdated, we are very well aware of the Enron's of the world today including the dismal ethical reputation of many businesses from the Muslim world with issues such as bribery/ kickbacks, discriminatory labor treatment, non-transparency, not upholding promises, cheating/lying etc.

    For an organization to practice ethics from an Islamic perspective the author switches to referring to the concept as an organizations 'social responsibility.' This interestingly very much correlates to the existing global emphasis and debate on Corporate Social Responsibility. Perhaps CSR is a separate topic, but interesting comparisons could be made between the current global CSR models and the Islamic perspective on Corporate Social Responsibility.

Reference: Islamic Business Ethics, Author Dr. Rafik Issa Beekun




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