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Past Events

Public Lecture: “Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism” by Dr. Benedikt Koehler

Date : 25th February 2016 (Thursday)
Time    : 03:00pm – 05:00pm
Venue    : IAIS Malaysia

Jointly organised by
IAIS Malaysia, IDEAS and Istanbul Network
 
BenediktKoehlerLecture

Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism proposes a strikingly original thesis; that capitalism first emerged in Arabia, not in late medieval Italian city states as is commonly assumed.

Early Islam made a seminal but largely unrecognized contribution to the history of economic thought: it is the only religion founded by an entrepreneur. Descending from an elite dynasty of religious, civil and commercial leaders, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a successful businessman before founding Islam. As such, the new religion had much to say on trade, consumer protection, business ethics and property.

As Islam rapidly spread across the region so did the economic teachings of early Islam, which eventually made their way to Europe. Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism demonstrates how Islamic institutions and business practices were adopted and adapted in Venice and Genoa.

These financial innovations include the invention of the corporation, business management techniques, commercial arithmetic, and monetary reform. There were other Islamic institutions assimilated in Europe: charities, the waqf, inspired trusts, and institutions of higher learning, the madrasas, were models for the oldest colleges of Oxford and Cambridge. As such it can be rightfully said that these essential aspects of capitalist thought all have Islamic antecedents.

SPEAKER’S PROFILE

Benedikt Koehler was born 1953 in New York and raised in Germany. His university education was at Yale (BA History), Tübingen (Dr. Phil.), and City University London (MSc). He retired from a career in finance and economics in 2012, and has written biographies of the nineteenth century political economist Adam Müller and of the cofounder of Deutsche Bank Ludwig Bamberger. He is editor of “History of Financial Disasters 1857-1923.” A historian and former banker, his articles on early Islamic economics have appeared in the journal Economic Affairs since 2009.

PROGRAMME

02:30pm    Arrival of Guests & Registration
03:00pm    Opening Remarks by the Moderator, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil, Deputy CEO, IAIS Malaysia
03:05pm    Welcoming Remarks by Professor Dr. Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Founding CEO, IAIS Malaysia
03:15pm    Presentation by Dr. Benedikt Koehler
04:15pm    Q&A Session
05:15pm    Concluding Remarks by the Moderator; Adjournment and Refreshment.

CONTACT INFORMATION

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia.
Jalan Elmu, Off Jalan Universiti 59100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +603-7956 9188   Fax: +603-7956 2188 / +603-7956 2966

Email: email@iais.org.my

Hikmah

Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day (of Judgment) should not harm his neighbour. Anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously. And anyone who believes in God and the Last Day should say what is good or keep quiet.- Hadith: Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 47.

Quotable Quotes

Ali b Abi Talib stated, "You will not know the truth by (looking at the) men. Know the truth first then you will know who really possesses it." (Al-Qaradawi, al-Sahwah al-Islamiyyah, 107)

Humour Without Malice

David and Wilson were lost in desert. They were dying of thirst when they came upon an oasis, and there was a mosque. David to Wilson, "Look! There is a mosque, lets pretend we are Muslims, otherwise we'll not get any food or water. I am going to call myself 'Ahmad'." Wilson refused to change his name and said: "My name is Wilson and I will never pretend to be other than what I am!". The imam of the mosque received both of them well and asked for their names. David: "I am Ahmad." Wilson: "I am Wilson". Imam turned to his helpers and said, "Bring some food for Wilson only." And then Imam turned towards David and said, "Ramadhan Mubarak, Brother Ahmad!".

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