Commercial Partnership in Islam: A Brief Survey of Kitab al-Mudarabah of al-Mabsut by al-Sarakhsi (d. 483/1090)

Mohd. Hilmi Ramli

Abstract


Muḍārabah is a contract of profit-sharing known as partnership in capital and labour. Its concept and practices were notable in the history of Muslims specifically after its incorporation in the fiqh literatures that have spread to the entire education and economic institutions in the Muslim world. It combines two parties: those who have capital and those who are skilful in business to achieve a common economic objective underpinned by the Sharīʿah. This study analyses the work of al- Mabsūṭ by al-Sarakhsī (d. 483 A.H./1090 C.E.), an accomplished Hanafī jurist (fāqih) in the fifth/ eleventh century, pertaining to muḍārabah drawn from the analysis of the first chapter of the book titled Kitāb al-Muḍārabah. This study is significant as it fills the lacuna in the historiography of Islamic economic thought by focusing on al-Sarakhsī’s epistemic framework and definition of muḍārabah, as well as extending in its coverage from the individual to the institutional. It is a testimony of how Muslims conducted their economic activities based on the intellectual framework and moral guidance underlined by the Sharīʿah.

Keywords


al-Sarakhsi, al-Mabsut, mudarabah, profit-sharing, knowledge.

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