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
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.
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.
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.