Fellow seekers of truth and ‘ilm…Dr. M. Umer Chapra’s writings would be a good start if you’re looking for some really great, no-nonsense and very down-to-earth writings on Islamic Economics. You can read most of his books online here:
I’d recommend you to start with Islam & the Economic Challenge. This book was one of the main reference used by Prof. Saiyad Fareed who taught me Sociology of Economic Behavior back in IIUM 12 years ago :).
About Dr. M. Umer Chapra (courtesy of www.muchapra.com) :
Dr. M. Umer Chapra is Research Advisor at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), Jeddah. Prior to this position, he worked at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), Riyadh, for nearly 35 years, retiring as Senior Economic Advisor.
He has also taught as Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin (Platteville) and the University of Kentucky, Lexington; as Senior Economist and Associate Editor of the Pakistan Development Review at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics; and as Reader (Associate Professor) at the Central Institute of Islamic Research (Pakistan).
He has authored 16 books and monographs and more than 100 papers and book reviews. Some of his books, monographs and papers have been translated into a number of languages, including Arabic, Bangla, French, Indonesian, Japanese, Malay, Persian, Polish, Spanish, Turkish and Urdu.
1. Towards a Just Monetary System (1985)
“The most lucid presentation yet of the monetary theory of Islam” – Prof. Rodney Wilson, Bulletin of the British Society for Middle Eastern Studies (2/1985, pp. 224-5)
“The book is a through analysis of the problems in the field of money and banking on the basis of Islamic economics … the issues raised in the book are well taken and interesting not only for the Islamic economist but also for the economist in the Western industrialized countries…I have read the book with pleasure and with a feeling that it makes a valuable and thorough contribution to the understanding of Islamic economics”. – Prof. H.C. H. Albach, Director, Institute Fur Gesellchafts, Universtat Bonn, Germany
“It is an excellent book” – Prof. Maurice Allais, Nobel Laureate
2. Islam and the Economic Challenge (1992)
“This is an excellent work… His sections on both the virtues and the defects of capitalism, communism and the welfare state, are brilliant analyses… His understanding is quite sophisticated. At the same time his style is clear and he writes with humanity and a very deep concern for the welfare of the human race. Those concerned with the ethical problems of society will find his analysis very valuable… This work makes an important contribution to the understanding of Islam for those who do not belong to its culture, and if it is taken seriously within Islam itself, it will produce very desirable changes.” – (Late) Prof. Kenneth Boulding, Distinguished Prof. of Economics Emeritus, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder
“The book is well-written and offers a balanced synthesis of the literature on contemporary Islamic economics. Reading this text will be a healthy intellectual challenge for Western economists”. –Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society (U.K.), September 1993, p. 1350.
“The book stands out as an exceptionally clear exposition of the market-tolerant strand of Islamic economics. Its critiques of existing systems are unusually sophisticated and well documented. Chapra has read widely on capitalism and socialism, so his negative assessments carry some weight. For anyone who wants an introduction to Islamic economics, Islam and the Economic Challenge is an excellent place to start” . Prof. Timur Kuran, University of Southern California, Journal of Economic Literature, September 1993, p. 1486
3. The Future of Economics: An Islamic Perspective (2000)
“The importance and timeliness of the book cannot be overstated. In all honesty, I consider it to be among the most crucial books of this century for the revival of Islam… The subjects he treats are highly complex but he makes reading about them easy”. – Dr. Murad Wilfred Hofmann, Former German Ambassador to Algeria and Morocco
“I greatly admire the author’s new book” – Prof. Samuel Hayes III, Graduate School of Business Administration, Harvard University
4. Muslim Civilization: The Causes of Decline and the Need for Reform (2008).
“This humane book is very well conceived and makes real progress towards achieving the laudable goals it advocates…. each chapter plays an effective role in explaining the decline and, therefore, conceiving of ways to achieve reform.” – Prof Robert Whaples, Director EH-NET, Department of Economics, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
“Dr Chapra’s endeavour is outstanding, no less for its extremely ambitious goal (to explain the great historical mystery of why and how Muslims declined) than for its admirable actual achievement …. He has provided a coherent framework for analysis and reform for all those concerned with the Ummah revival and development.” –Prof Anas Zarqa, Ex-Prof. King Abdul Aziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Adviser, The International Investor Kuwait
He has lectured widely at a number of universities and professional institutes in different countries around the world, including the Harvard Law School, Loughborough University, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, the London School of Economics, Universidad Autonoma, Madrid, the University of Malaga, Spain, the House Commons, London, and the Islamic University of Rotterdam, and the Asia Pacific and Kyoto Universities in Tokyo and Kyoto, Japan. He has participated in a number of meetings of international and regional organizations like the IMF, IBRD, OPEC, IDB, OIC, GCC. He has also served for three years (2002-2005) as member of the Technical Committee of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) established in 2002 to prepare standards for the Islamic financial industry.
He is on the editorial board of a number of professional journals and has acted as referee for a number of others, including the Economic Journal of the Royal Economic Society, UK, and the Journal of Socio-Economics, USA, the Journal of Islamic Studies (Oxford) and the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization (USA).
He has received a number of awards, including the Islamic Development Bank Award for Islamic Economics and the King Faisal International Award for Islamic Studies, both in 1990. He was awarded the IOP (Institute of Overseas Pakistanis) gold medal in August 1995 by the President of Pakistan for service to Islam and Islamic economics at the First IOP Convention in Islamabad.