The Time Factor – Toshihiko Izutsu and Islamic Economic Tradition


  • Sami AL-DAGHISTANI Research Fellow at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo Research Scholar at the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life, Columbia University



Toshihiko Izutsu, time, money, Islamic economic thought


This paper interrogates the notions of time and money in Islamic (economic) tradition by applying Toshihiko Izutsu’s theory of the key terms of a worldview. A Japanese scholar of Islam, Toshihiko Izutsu (1914–1993), wrote extensively on Islamic studies, eastern mystical traditions, and Sufism. His theory of key ethical concepts in the Qur’an is a semantic analysis of an Islamic worldview, which can be applied also more specifically to economic thought in Islamic tradition. Applying Izutsu’s theory would shed light on the main ethico-economic concepts and postulates in Islamic intellectual history, such as the notions of time, money, and commodity purchases, as well as their relation to man as a time-contingent being. As well as the introduction and conclusion, this paper is divided into three main parts. In the first part, I introduce Izutsu’s life and his semantic theory. The second focuses on Islamic economics and its relation to Sharī‘a as a moral concept, whereas the third part inquires more specifically upon the notion of time and money in classical and contemporary Islamic economic thought.  


Download data is not yet available.


al-Attas, Seyed Muhammad Naquib. 1978. Islam and Secularism. Kuala Lumpur: International Institute of Islamic Thoughts and Civilization.

——. 1985. Secularism and the Philosophy of Future. London, New York: Mansell. Al-Daghistani, Sami. 2014. “Premišljanja o realnosti, absolutu in popolnem človeku – Izutsujevi pogledi na sufizem in daoizem.” Poligrafi Mistika in Misel 71/72: 267–88.

——. 2016. “Semiotics of Islamic Law, Mas�lah�a, and Islamic Economic Thought.” International Journal of the Semiotics of Law 29 (2): 389–404. al-Faruqi, Isma’il. 1982. Islamization of Knowledge. Herndon, VA: IIIT.

——. 1989. “Toward a Critical Word Theology.” In Toward Islamization of Disciplines: Proceeding and Selected Paper of the Third International Conference of Islamization of Knowledge hel in Kulal Lumpur, Malaysia, 409–54. Herndon, VA: IIIT. al-Ghazālī, Abu Hamid. N.d. Ihyā’. Beirut: Dār al-Nadwah.

——. 2001. Kimiya-yi Sa’ādat, translated by Muhammad Asim Bilal. Lahore: Kazi Publication.

al-Muhāsibī. 1987. Al-Makāsib wa al-Wara‘. Beirut: Mu’ssasa al-kutub al-thaqāfiyya.

Aydin, Necati. 2013. “Redefining Islamic Economics as a New Economic Paradigm.” Islamic Economic Studies 21 (1): 1–34.

Azhar, Rauf. 2009. Economy of an Islamic Economics. Leiden: Brill.

Chittick, C. William. 2007. The Essential Seyed Hossein Nasr. Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom.

Choudhury, Alam. 1994. “A Critique of Modernist Synthesis in Islamic Thought: Special Reference to Political Economy.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 11 (4): 475–503.

——. 2013. “Toward Islamic Political Economy.” American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 13 (3): 366–81.

Crone, Patricia. 2004. Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam. New Jersey: Gorgias Press.

Ghazanfar, Mohammad, and Abdul Azim Islahi. 1997. Economic Thought of Al-Ghazali. Jeddah: Scientific Publisihing Centre King Abdulaziz Univesity.

Haneef, Mohamed Aslam, and Hafsa Furqani. 2009. “Ethical Foundations of Islamic Economics.” Intellectual Discourse 17 (2): 173–99.

Ibn, Taymiyyah. 1963. Majmu’ Fatāwa Shaykh al-Islām Ahmad. Al-Riyad: Matābi’ al-Riyād.

——. 1976. Al-Hisba fī al-Islam. Cairo: Dār al-Sha‘b.

Islahi, Abdul Azim. 2005. Contributions of Muslim Scholars to Economic Thought and Analysis. Jeddah: Islamic Economics Research Center, King Abdulaziz University.

Izutsu, Toshihiko. 1964. God and Man in the Qur’an. Tokyo: Keio University.

———. 1983. Sufism and Taoism: A Comparative Study of the Key Philosophical Concepts. Berkeley: California University Press.

—–––. 1994. Creation and the Timeless Order of Things. Ashland, OR: White Cloud Press.

—–––. 2002. Ethico-religious Concepts in the Qur’an. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

—–––. 2007. The Concept and Reality of Existence. Petaling Jaya: Islamic book trust.

–—––. 2008. “Toshihiko Izutsu’s life and work.” Accessed August 20, 2017. http://

Hallaq, Wael. 2013. The Impossible State. New York: Columbia University Press.

Kamali, Mohammad Hashim. 2008. Shari‘ah Law: An Introduction. Oxford: Oneworld Publications.

Khan, Muhammad Fahim. 1991. “Time Value of Money and Discounting in Islamic Perspective.” Review of Islamic Economics 1 (2): 35–45.

———. 2002. “Fiqh Foundations of the Theory of Islamic Economics: A Survey of Selected Contemporary Writings on Economics Relevant Subjects of Fiqh.” In Theoretical Foundations of Islamic Economics, edited by Habib Ahmed, 59– 86. Jeddah: The Islamic Development Bank, Islamic Research and Training Institute.

Khir, Mohamed Fairoooz Abdul. 2013. “The Concept of the Time Value of Money: A Shari‘a Viewpoint.” International Journal of Islamic Banking & Finance 3 (2): 1–15.

Kuran, Timur. 2004. Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Mawdūdī, Sayyid Abul A‘lā. 2011. First Principles of Islamic Economics. Leicestershire: The Islamic Foundation.

Naqvi, Seyed Nawab Haider. 1994. Islam, Economics, and Society. London and New York: Kegan Paul International.

Ouda, Jasser. 2012. Maqāsid al-Sharī‘a. Herndon, VA: IIIT.

Rahman, Fazlur. 2002. Islam. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press.

Reinhart, A.K. 1983. “Islamic Law as Islamic Ethics.” The Journal of Religious Ethics 11 (2): 186–203.

Saadallah, Ridha. 1994. “Concept of Time in Islamic Economics.” Islamic Economic Studies 2 (1): 81–102.

Tripp, Charles. 2006. Islam and Moral Economy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Walras, Léon. 1926. Éléments d›économie politique pure, ou théorie de la richesse sociale. Paris, Lausanne: R. Pichon et R. Durand-Auzias, F. Rouge, Libraire-editeur.



30. 01. 2018



Islamic Theory and Philosophy

How to Cite

AL-DAGHISTANI, Sami. 2018. “The Time Factor – Toshihiko Izutsu and Islamic Economic Tradition”. Asian Studies 6 (1): 55-71.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 130

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.