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Rethinking Ḥalāl: hegemony, agency and process

Sencal, Harun and Asutay, Mehmet (2021) 'Rethinking Ḥalāl: hegemony, agency and process.', in Rethinking Halal: Genealogy, Current Trends, and New Interpretations. , pp. 25-55. Muslim Minorities., 37


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.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Date accepted:05 November 2020
Date deposited:06 November 2020
Date of first online publication:22 March 2021
Date first made open access:08 November 2022

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