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Rethinking Ḥalāl: Hegemony, Agency and Process

Sencal, Harun; Asutay, Mehmet

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Harun Sencal


Ayang Utriza Yakin

Louis-Léon Christians


This study critically explores the hegemony of the capitalist market system in the product development process and everyday operations of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs). The hegemony of the capitalist market system is revealed through its influential role in deciding an exception in IFIs in terms of Shariʿa compliance. We argue that some Shariʿa scholars resort to the concept of maṣlaḥa to legitimise the products and services otherwise impermissible according to Islamic law. Organised tawarruq which is a controversial instrument in IFIs is an example of such utilisation and can be considered as an exception in its original treatment, which is legitimised in IFIs by some Shariʿa scholars to operate in line with the principles of the capitalist market system. Although it seems that Shariʿa scholars are the ones who decide such an exception, it is the demand and hegemony of the capitalist market system which force them to issue such a ruling through the grafting process. After discussing the hegemonic nature of the capitalist market system, we offer a potential way to reduce its dominance through a civil society-based regulatory mechanism. In this, we propose to utilise a fuzzy logic-based evaluation system to measure the products and services in determining to what degree they are compatible with the objectives of Shariʿa beyond ḥalāl/ḥarām dichotomy.

Online Publication Date Mar 22, 2021
Publication Date 2021
Deposit Date Nov 6, 2020
Publicly Available Date Nov 6, 2020
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Pages 25-55
Series Title Muslim Minorities
Series Number 37
Book Title Rethinking Halal: Genealogy, Current Trends, and New Interpretations
ISBN 9789004459229
Public URL
Contract Date Nov 5, 2020


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