CSR Guidelines for the Financial Sector - page 83

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Understanding Islam’s linkwithCSR
“You are the best nation that has been raised up formankind; you enjoin right conduct, forbid evil and believe
inAllah”
(Qur’an, SurahAl-i-Imran, 3:110)
Since the 1950’smajor theorists and social advocates haveworked exclusively on developing ideas and frameworks
for organizations to follow in their quest to becomemore ‘business-society’ friendly.
As a general development, sixmajor theories onmodelingCSR have emerged that include; Relativism (Self-Interest
Based), Utilitarianism (Cost-Benefit Approach), Universalism (Intention based), Rights (Liberty Based), Distributive
Justice (Justice-BasedWealth and Benefits Approach) and Eternal Law (Scripture-based).
From these a concept that can be noted is that Eternal Law considers the dealings with society as described inDivine
Scriptures, a concept that will be addressed as we consider CSR in Islam.
Is it possible that the recently emerged concept of CSR has always beenwith us as a guideline handed to people
through Islam?
Looking into the full social system outlined in Islam is a very detailed concept and beyond the scope of this chapter.
There are some notableworks byMohammed (2007), BinHossain and Siwar (no date given), Dusuki (2008) and
Farook and Lanis (2007) which outlinemodels for CSR in Islam in significant detail that help outline in detail the
aspects of Islam that need to be considered by businesses attempting to building an Islamic basedCSR program.
Islam provides a basis and guideline for living one’s life.Within this, there is a very detailed concept of ethical and
social behavior that allows us to deduce that the concept of social responsibility automatically has a role in Islam.
This is a critical point that must be firstly understood, the role of moral ethics has been underpinned in Islam for over
1400 years whilst the concept of CSR remains relatively new for businesses today.
One of themajor five deeds that aremandatory in aMuslim’s life is that of charitable giving’s, again underpinning
that social behavior is held in the highest esteemwithin an Islamic lifestyle.
This is further emphasized by the saying of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), as narrated in the Sahih Bukhari, a
noted reputable source of Hadith:
“I have been sent only for the purpose of perfecting goodmorals”
(Sahih Bukhari, 1.56)
Looking at this from a business viewpoint, wemust firstly accept that themain problem that organizations face today,
in a global sense and not restricted to theMENA Region, is the practical implementations of CSR programs.
The first matter to consider is the Islamic viewpoint on business. Firstly, looking at the lifetime of the Prophet
Mohammed (PBUH) we can see that business is verymuch encouraged in Islam as the Prophet himself was a
merchant dealer andmany of his initial followers were also engaged in business activities. Indeed, theHolyQur’an
states that
“Allah (SWT) hasmade business lawful for you”
(HolyQur’an, Surah-al-Baqarah, 2:275)
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