Sustainable Islamic Development Recognizing The Primacy Of Trust, Iman And Institutions

  • Nazim Zaman
  • Shafiullah Jan


Modern socio-economic writings on trust have contributed much to its understanding as an important element in studying human behaviour in society. Recent literature on development studies has highlighted social capital as a term, which incorporates ideas of value and benefit embedded in social networking, while others have demonstrated trust to be very significant when studying social capital. This study will identify some fundamental assumptions of modernity which prevent the better understanding of trust as a human entity and then propose that Islamic ontology, not confined by any such assumptions, provides a greater understanding of the role of trust in society through the concept of iman (cognitive faith). Islamic economics in its modern form had set out to achieve the development of the axioms of Islamic thought in society by proposing that values derived from Islamic ontology such as wealth distribution and social justice could be amalgamated with conventional economic theory to make it morally more acceptable. However, these fundamental building blocks of Islamic society remain absent, whilst Shari'ah compliant tools and methods continue to grow in the market, which has led to criticism from some quarters in terms of the social failure of Islamic finance. This paper will attempt to understand possible reasons for this failure by addressing fundamental methodological issues. Analysing, through study of authentic Islamic ontological and epistemological foundations, the concept and functions of the essence of iman, with its actualisation and its relation to the human developmental paradigm of Islam, a dual phase model of Islamic development methodology is proposed by this study. This model seeks to elaborate the multiple functions of iman at the individual, societal and institutional levels and then compare these with those of trust and social capital in modern thought. Hence the dynamic and interdependent nature of the Islamic development methodology will be highlighted and the function of trust will be located within the Islam-Iman-Ihsan paradigm. This sequential approach indicates theprimacy of iman as both the foundation and the continuing core of all Islamic development upon which frameworks and institutions are to be built. As such iman is shown to provide the bonding fabric, or trust, which subsequently organically spawns Islamic institutions and those institutions must be such that they, in turn, bolster the level of iman in the society. Hence using this model, the reasons for failure can be located at both the foundational level and the institutional level in terms of failures of iman or trust.
How to Cite
ZAMAN , Nazim; JAN , Shafiullah. Sustainable Islamic Development Recognizing The Primacy Of Trust, Iman And Institutions . Business & Economic Review, [S.l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 30-45, apr. 2010. ISSN 2519-1233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 08 may 2021.