PhD Thesis Abstract & Proposal
Islamic Finance & Law
ISLAMIC FINANCE IMPERATIVES FOR
CHINA’S BELT ROAD INITIATIVE (BRI)
Hassan Syed, PhD Candidate EUCLID University
Dr Charles Yassin Chan, EUCLID University
Submitted 18th September 2019
Moral Rights and Copyrights © for this thesis proposal are retained by the author and the institution awarding the Doctoral award.
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The Islamic Finance and Banking have emerged as an alternative to conventional finance
and banking. The global adoption of Islamic Finance is not just restricted to the Muslim world.
The City of London, Luxembourg and Hong Kong are amongst the top destinations for Islamic
Finance. The distinction of Islamic Finance from conventional finance is now globally accepted to
be on the basis of its ethical and moral values based on the teaching of the Glorious Quran. Quran
is the primary source of Islamic laws. The Sharia Ul Muamalat or Islamic Laws concerning human
life refer to the Islamic injunctions. These injunctions regulate human conduct for their social
day-to-day functions. These legal injunctions are based on moral and ethical principles of Islam
that define the entire scope of human society. These moral and ethical principles of the divine
Falah-being of the entire mankind.
China and the Islamic world converge through their shared heritage of culture, trade,
knowledge, linguistic and social similarities. This rich shared history spans over a thousand years.
It pre-dates the emergence of Europe as a significant world culture. Both China and the Islamic
world immensely contributed to the emergence of Europe from its dark ages. The Islamic scholars
are the knowledge source of European renaissance in the 13th century. China remains the reason
for Europe knowing the finer aspects of creature-comforts.
The other common thread between the Islamic world and China is their recent shared
history of facing the savagery of European colonisers between 16th and 20th centuries. The
European colonisation of Asia and Africa between the 15th to late 20th century is a contentious
topic. The tensions are evident from the attempts to clad the historical atrocities by majority
western scholarship. The official denial is result of apathy and indifference by the western
governments towards their ex-colonies.
China has emerged as a global power house for economic, military and innovative
advancements. The western gov contain
number one slot as the leading economy of the world. China and the Islamic world have learnt
response to stop the western hegemony and 21st century imperialism through perpetual wars in
Asia and Africa. The Islamic world is facing the worst form of western imperialism and the impact
of western perpetual wars. Millions have been killed and millions displaced. Asian and African
economies have been destroyed because of these perpetual wars. Oil rich countries like Iraq,
hope to the Islamic world for a more stable and better future which would be free from the proxy
wars of the western governments.
system has only widened the income gap between the rich and the poor. The top 1% of the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank are making urgent calls for the reform of the
current global capitalist system. China BRI that spans 70 of the poorest 77 countries, aims to
economically uplift two-third of the global population. China BRI is the best hope for a better
world. -Sahara Africa.
United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) announced in 2015 are fully
harmonised within the China BRI Strategy. The 2015 Paris Climate Change Accord signed by 157
countries is fully integrated within the BRI. China is now the world leader in Green Renewable
Energy and the largest investor in Green technologies. The ethical and socially responsible
development goals. Relations between China and the Islamic world are imperative for the
peaceful and sustainable future of our world. This thesis answers the question of critical
Glossary of Islamic Finance
Source: Wiley Online Library
Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions. Bahrain-based Islamic
international standard setting body established in 1991 for Islamic corporations and the industry.
Members include central banks, Islamic financial institutions and other industry participants.
Virtue, morality and manners in Islamic theology.
Shariah jurists. Alternative spelling: Ulema.
Al-Wa’d bi al-bai’
Promise to sell.
Al-wa’d bi al-syira’
Promise to buy.
Reliability, trustworthiness, loyalty, honesty. Alternative spelling: Amana. An important value of Islamic
society in mutual dealings. It also refers to deposits in trust, where a person may hold property in trust
Agent. Someone who deserves compensation for completing a task, such as a Mudarib in a Mudarabah
or a Zakat collector.
Set of beliefs.
Bai Ajil bi Ajil
Delayed-for-immediate sale. The sale price is paid immediately and delivery of the sale item is delayed.
Synonymous with Bai al Salam.
Bai al Arboon
Deposit-secured sale. A sale agreement in which a security deposit is provided in advance as part payment
towards the price of the commodity. The deposit is forfeited if the buyer does not meet his obligation.
Bai al Inah
Sale and buy-back. The sale and buy-back of an asset for a higher price than that for which the seller
originally sold it. A seller immediately buys back the asset he has sold on a deferred payment basis at a
price higher than the original price. This can be seen as a loan in the form of a sale.
Bai al kali’ bi al kali’
Sale of debt for a debt. Prohibited sale, the most well-known of which is where a lender extends his
Future delivery. A contract whereby the payment is made in cash at the point of contract but the delivery
Bai Bithaman Ajil
Deferred payment sale. Alternative spelling: Bai Muajjal. The sale of goods on a deferred payment basis.
Equipment or goods requested by the client are bought by the bank, which subsequently sells the goods
to the client for an agreed price, including a mark-up (profit) for the bank. The client may pay by
instalments within a pre-agreed period, or in a lump sum. This sale works in a similar way to a Murabahah
contract, but with deferred payment.
Sale and buy-back. The sale and buy-back of an asset within a set time, when the original buyer agrees to
Debt. Alternative spelling: Duyun. Wealth that one is required to pay back to another.
Dha ‘wa ta ‘ajjal
earlier than scheduled.
Guarantee. A contract of guarantee whereby a guarantor shall underwrite any claim and obligation that
should be fulfilled by an owner of the asset.
Liability. The concept may be likened to a virtual liability container that every responsible person has,
which is constantly being filled with rights and obligations, such as the obligation to repay someone.
Dirham Unit of currency. A unit of currency, usually a silver coin, used in the past in some Muslim countries
and still used in some Muslim countries today, for example Morocco and the UAE.
To flourish. Success as measured in this world and Akhirah.
Shariah jurist. Alternative spelling: Fuqaha.
Fard al Kifayah
Socially obligatory duties. Alternative spelling: Fard Kifaya. A collective duty of Muslims. The performance
of these duties (for example funeral prayers) by some Muslims absolves the rest from discharging them.
This term covers functions which the communities fails to or cannot perform and hence are taken over by
the state, such as the provision of utilities, or the building of roads, bridges and canals.
Unsound or unviable. A forbidden term in a contract, which consequently renders the contract invalid.
Sunnah and Islamic legal precedent or the Shariah.
Islamic jurisprudence. The science of the Shariah. An important source of Islamic economics.
Islamic commercial jurisprudence. GCC Gulf Cooperation Council. A political alliance and trade bloc
consisting of six states of the Arabian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Mistake. A negative element that can affect the validity of `aqad. In Arabic, it connotes error in perception.
Uncertainty. One of three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic Finance (the other two being Riba and
Maysir). Gharar is a sophisticated concept that covers certain types of haram uncertainty in a contract. It
is an exchange in which one or more parties stand to be deceived through ignorance of an essential
element of the exchange. Gambling is a form of Gharar because the gambler is ignorant of the result of
the gamble. The prohibition on Gharar is often used as the grounds for criticism of conventional financial
practices such as short selling, speculation and derivatives.
Alternative spelling: Gharimun. A debtor who does not have the funds, after repayment of his debt, would
not equal the nisab. The Shafi`i and Maliki jurists divide the gharimun into two types: (i) those whose debts
were incurred in their own benefit; and (ii) those whose debts were incurred benefiting others. The
gharimun are one of the eight groups mentioned in the Quran as legitimate recipients of zakah funds.
Ownership right. A tradable asset in the form of ownership rights.
Lawful, permissible. The concept of halal has spiritual overtones. In Islam there are activities, professions,
contracts and transactions that are explicitly prohibited (haram) by the Quran. All other activities,
professions, contracts and transactions are halal. This concept differentiates Islamic economics from
conventional economics. In western finance all activities are judged on economic utility. In Islamic
economics, spiritual and moral factors are also involved an activity may be economically sound but may
not be allowed in Islamic society if it is not forbidden by the Shariah.
Security deposit. Sum paid by a party who places an order to purchase, as security for his promise.
Islamic school of law. Islamic school of law founded by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Followers of this school
are known as Hanbalis.
Islamic school of law. One of the major Islamic school of law, founded by Imam Abu Hanifa. Followers of
this school are known as Hanafis.
Unlawful, forbidden. Activities, professions, contracts and transactions that are explicitly prohibited by
the Quran or the Sunnah. See halal above.
Bill of exchange, remittance. Alternative spelling: Hiwala. A contract which allows a debtor to transfer his
debt obligation to a third party who owes the former a debt. The mechanism of Hawala is used for settling
international accounts by book transfers, thus obviating the need for a physical transfer of cash.
Gift. A gift voluntarily donated in return for a loan provided or a benefit obtained.
Regulatory duty. The necessary steps in order to maintain a fair and orderly marketplace.
Islamic Financial Services Board. A Kuala Lumpurbased international standard-setting organization that
was set up in 2003 to promote the stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global
prudential standards and guidelines. The IFSB helps regulators govern Islamic financial institutions in
compliance with Basel II and evolving global standards.
Hoarding. The prohibited practice of purchasing essential commodities, such as food and storing them in
anticipation of a price increase.
Leasing. Alternative spelling: Ijara. A lease agreement whereby a bank or financier buys an item for a
customer and then leases it to him over a specific period, thus earning profits for the bank by charging
rental. The duration of the lease and the fee are set in advance. During the period of the lease, the asset
remains in the ownership of the lessor (the bank), but the lessee has the right to use it. After the expiry
of the lease agreement, this right reverts back to the lessor. This is a classic Islamic financial product.
Consensus. The unanimous decision of all or the majority of leading jurists on a Shariah matter in a certain
age. Ijma has traditionally been recognized as an independent source of law, along with the Quran, Sunnah
Divergence of opinion among jurists.
Hoarding wealth by not paying zakat on it.
Legal effective cause. Basis for applying analogy in determining the permissibility or otherwise of a
Conviction, faith, or belief.
Wastefulness. Lawful spending but exceeding moderation in quality or quantity; includes spending on
objects that are incompatible with the economic standard of the majority of the population and spending
on superfluous objects while necessities are not met. (Also see Tabzir.)
Recurring sale. Different quantities are bought from a single seller over a period of time. Sometimes it is
also referred to transactions whereby a seller delivers different quantities in different instalments to
complete the full purchase. Some divergence among the scholars in terms of the timing of fixation and
of goods by specification or order, where the price is paid in advance, or progressively in accordance with
the progress of a job. For example, to purchase a yet to be constructed house, payments would be made
to the builder according to the stage of work completed. This type of financing, along with Salam, is used
as a purchasing mechanism, and Murabahah and Bai Bithaman Ajil are for financing sales.
Pre-Islamic period. The era just before the coming of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH)
and, more generally, to the state of affairs which characterized this era, which was plagued by shirk (the
crime of associating partners with Allah), infanticide, tribal strife and so on.
Ignorance (of morality or divinity).
Stipulated price for performing a service.
Guarantee. Shariah principle governing guarantees. It applies to a debt transaction in the event of a debtor
failing to pay.
Khalif or khalifa
Ruler, steward, custodian. Alternative spelling: khulafaa.
Islamic school of law. Islamic school of law founded by Imam Malik Ibn Anas. Followers of this school are
known as Maalikis.
Way of going. Alternative spelling: Madhahib. A Fiqh school or orientation characterized by differences in
the methods and therefore in the Shariah rulings that are deduced from them. There are four well-known
Madhahib among Sunni Muslims whose names are associated with the classical jurists who are said to
have founded them (Hanafi , Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali).
Detested. An action that one is rewarded for avoiding, but not punished for committing.
Capital or wealth. Valuable item that can be gainfully used according to the Shariah.
Beneficial ownership. Usufruct associated with a given property, especially in leasing transactions. In an
from the use of the car for the duration of the lease (as opposed to the actual ownership of the vehicle).
General objectives of Islamic law.
Public good or benefit.
Gambling. One of three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic Finance (the other two being Riba and
Gharar). The prohibition on Maysir is often used as grounds for criticism of conventional financial practices
such as speculation, conventional insurance and derivatives.
trees for money, or for a share of the crop.
Trust financing, profit sharing. Alternative spelling: Mudaraba, Modaraba, Modarabah. An investment
partnership, whereby the investor (the Rab Al Maal) provides capital to the entrepreneur (the Mudarib)
in order to undertake a business or investment activity. While profits are shared on a pre-agreed ratio,
losses are born by the investor alone. The Mudarib loses only his share of the expected income. The
investor has no right to interfere in the management of the business, but he can specify conditions that
would ensure better management of his money. In this way Mudarabah is sometimes referred to as a
sleeping partnership. A joint Mudarabah can exist between investors and a bank on a continuing basis.
The investors keep their funds in a special fund and share the profits before the liquidation of those
financing operations that have not yet reached the stage of final settlement. Many Islamic investment
funds operate on the basis of joint Mudarabah.
Entrepreneur in a Mudarabah contract. The entrepreneur or investment manager in a Mudarabah who
similar to a diversified pool of assets held in a discretionary asset management portfolio.
Equal, unlimited partnership.
Qualified professional who issues fatwa, usually in response to questions posed.
Legal expert or a jurist who expends great effort in deriving a legal opinion or interpreting the sources of
Cost-plus financing. Alternative spelling: Morabaha, Morabahah, Murabaha. A form of credit that enables
customers to make a purchase without having to take out an interest-bearing loan. The bank buys an item
and sells it to the customer on a deferred basis. The price includes a profit margin agreed by both parties.
Repayment, usually in instalments, is specified in the contract. The legality of this financing technique has
been questioned because of its similarity to Riba. However, the modern Murabahah has become the most
popular financing technique among Islamic banks, used widely for consumer finance, real estate, the
purchase of machinery and for financing short-term trade.
General sale. The price of the commodity in question is reached through bargaining.
Joint venture, profit and loss sharing. Alternative spelling: Musharaka . An investment partnership in
which all partners are entitled to a share in the profits of a project in a mutually agreed ratio. Losses are
shared in proportion to the amount invested. All partners to a Musharakah contribute funds and have the
right to exercise executive powers in that project, similar to a conventional partnership structure and the
holding of voting stock in a limited company. This equity financing arrangement is widely regarded as the
purest form of Islamic financing. The two main forms of Musharakah are: Permanent Musharakah: an
Islamic bank participates in the equity of a project and receives a share of the profit on a pro rata basis.
The length of contract is unspecified, making it suitable for financing projects where funds are committed
over a long period. Diminishing Musharakah: this allows equity participation and sharing of profits on a
pro rata basis, and provides a method through which the bank keeps on reducing its equity in the project,
ultimately transferring ownership of the asset to the participants. The contract provides for payment over
the profit for the equity held by the bank. Simultaneously the entrepreneur
to be a partner
Partnership. One of the partners promises to buy the equity share of the other gradually until the title is
completely transferred to him.
Exemption limit. Exemption limit for the payment of zakat, which differs for different types of wealth. Non
Performing Financing (NPFs) The Islamic banking equivalent to non-performing-
a profit-sharing basis and not interest as are their conventional counterparts.
Benevolent loan. Alternative spelling: Qard Hassan, Qard al Hassan. A loan contract between two parties
for social welfare or for short-term bridging finance. Repayment is for the same amount as the amount
borrowed. The borrower can pay more than the amount borrowed so long as it is not stated by contract.
Most Islamic banks provide interest-free loans to customers who are in need. The Islamic view of loans
(Qard) is that there is a moral duty to give them to borrowers free of charge, as a person seeks a loan only
if he is in need of it. Some Islamic banks give interest-free loans only to the holders of investment accounts
with them; some extend them to all bank clients; some restrict them to needy students and other
economically weaker sections of society; and some provide interest-free loans to small producers, farmers
and entrepreneurs who cannot get finance from other sources.
Gambling. An agreement in which possession of a property is dependent upon the occurrence of an
uncertain event. By implication it applies to those agreements in which there is a definite loss for one
party and a gain for the other, without specifying which party will gain and which party will lose.
Analogical deduction. Derivation of the law on the analogy of an existing law if the basis or Illah of both is
The holy scriptures of Islam.
Capital. The money or property that the Rab al maal invests in a profit-seeking venture, often in a
partnership such as a Mudarabah or Shirkah.
Rab al maal
The investor in a Mudarabah contract. Alternative spelling: Rab al mal.
Collateral. An arrangement whereby a valuable asset is placed as collateral for a debt. The collateral may
be disposed of in the event of a default.
Interest. An increase, addition, unjust return, or advantage obtained by the lender as a condition of a loan.
prohibited in Islam. In conventional terms, Riba and
legal notion extends beyond mere interest.
Riba al Buyu
Usury of trade. Also known as Riba al fadl. A sale transaction in which a commodity is exchanged for an
unequal amount of the same commodity and delivery is delayed. To avoid Riba al buyu, the exchange of
commodities from both sides must be equal and instant. Riba al buyu was prohibited by the Prophet
Mohammad (P.B.U.H.) to forestall Riba (interest) from creeping into the economy.
Riba al Diyun
Usury of debt. Also known as usury of delay (Riba al nasia). The usury of debt was an established practice
amongst Arabs during the pre-Islamic period. It can occur as an excess increment on top of the principal,
which is incorporated as an obligatory condition of the giving of a loan. Alternatively, an excess amount is
imposed on top of the principal if the borrower fails to repay on the due date. More time is permitted for
repayment in return for an additional amount. If the borrower fails to pay again, a further excess amount
is imposed, etc.
Goods subject to Fiqh rules on Riba.
Voluntary charitable giving. Alternative spelling: Sadaqat.
Sound, correct. Opposite of Batil. Hadith of the highest level of authentication.
Loan for short, intermediate or long term. Also, a synonym for Salam. Unlike Qard, however, the amount
given as Salaf cannot be called back before it is due.
Advance purchase. Alternative spelling: Al Salam, Bai al Salam, Bai Salam. Advance payment for goods
which are to be delivered at a specified future date. Under normal circumstances, a sale cannot be
effected unless the goods are in existence at the time of the bargain. However, this type of sale is an
exception, provided the goods are defined and the date of delivery is fixed. The objects of sale must be
tangible goods that can be defined as to quantity, quality and workmanship. This mode of financing is
often applied in the agricultural sector, where the bank advances money for various inputs to receive a
share in the crop, which it then sells.
Currency sale. Refers to buying and selling of currencies.
Islamic school of law. Islamic school of law founded by Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Idris or Imam Shafie.
Followers of this school
ttee of Islamic scholars available to an Islamic financial
advisor is an independent Islamic trained scholar that advises Islamic institutions on the compliance of
the products and services with the Islamic law.
Partnership. A contract between two or more persons who launch a business or financial enterprise to
make a profit.
Islamic bond (Plural. Also see Saak.) An asset-backed bond which is structured in accordance with Shariah
and may be traded in the market. A Sukuk represents proportionate beneficial ownership in the
underlying asset, which will be leased to the client to yield the return on the Sukuk.
Practice and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H.).
Takaful donation. A contract where a participant agrees to donate a pre-determined percentage of his
contribution (to a Takaful fund) to provide assistance to fellow participants. In this way he fills his
obligation of joint guarantee and mutual help, should another participant suffer a loss. This concept
eliminates the element of Gharar from the Takaful contract.
Islamic insurance. Based on the principle of mutual assistance, Takaful provides mutual protection of
assets and property and offers joint risk-sharing in the event of a loss by one of the participants. Takaful
is similar to mutual insurance in that members are the insurers as well as the insured. Conventional
insurance is prohibited in Islam because its dealings contain several haram elements, such as Gharar and
Reverse Murabahah. In personal financing, a client with a genuine need buys an item on credit from the
bank on a deferred payment basis and then immediately resells it for cash to a third party. In this way, the
client can obtain cash without taking out an interest-based loan. It has two forms: Tawarruq Munazzam
(organized Tawarruq), in which the client simply seeks credit and has no interest in the original asset for
sale; and Tawarruq al Asli, where the client buys goods on credit and then sells them to get cash.
Fee. The financial charge for using services, or Manfaat (wages, allowance, commission, etc).
The Muslim community.
Common plight. An unfavourable widespread situation affecting most people which is difficult to avoid.
Deposit. Earnest money which forms part payment of the price of goods or services paid in advance, but
will be forfeited in the event the transaction is cancelled. The forfeited money is considered as hibah (gift).
Deposit. Alternative spelling: Wadia, Al Wadia, Al Wadiah. The safekeeping of goods with a deposit on the
original stated cost. An Islamic bank acts as the keeper and tru
Wadiah Yad Dhamanah
Savings or deposits with guarantee. Goods or deposits entrusted to the care of a person, who is not the
owner, for safekeeping. The depository becomes the guarantor, thereby guaranteeing repayment of the
whole amount or any part of the deposits that is outstanding in the account of depositors, when so
demanded. The depositors are not entitled to any share in the profits but the depository may provide
returns to the depositors as a token of appreciation.
Agency. Alternative spelling: Wakala, Al Wakala, Al Wakalah. Absolute power of attorney: where a
operations, Wakalah refers to an agency contract, which may involve a fee for the agent.
Charitable trust. Alternative spelling: Awkaf, Awqaf. An endowment or a charitable trust set up for Islamic
purposes (usually for education, mosques, or for the poor). It involves tying up a property in perpetuity
so that it cannot be sold, inherited, or donated to anyone.
Religious tax. Alternative spelling: Zakah. An obligatory contribution which every wealthy Muslim is
required to pay to the Islamic state, or to distribute amongst the poor. According to Islam, Zakat the
third pillar of Islam purifies wealth and souls. Zakat is levied on cash, cattle, agricultural produce,
minerals, capital invested in industry and business. There are two types of zakat: Zakat al Fitr, which is
payable by every Muslim able to pay at the end of Ramadan. This is also called Zakat al Nafs (poll tax).
Zakat al Maal is an annual levy on the wealth of a Muslim above a certain level. The rate paid differs
according to the type of property owned.
AAOIFI- Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions
ADB- Asian Development Bank
AfDB-African Development Bank
AILAC- Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean
AIIBAsian Infrastructure Investment Bank
APEC- Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
APDC- Asia and Pacific Development Centre
ASEAN- Association of South-East Asian Nations
BRIBelt and Road Initiative
CARECCentral Asia Regional Economic Cooperation
CNPCChina National Petroleum Corporation
COP21 Conference of the Parties
CPCCommunist Party of China
CPECChinaPakistan Economic Corridor
CRBCChina Road and Bridge Corporation
CSRCorporate Social Responsibility
DUNCHE- Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment
EAEUEurasian Economic Union
EBRDEuropean Bank for Reconstruction and Development
EC- Commission of the European Communities
ECHR- European Convention on Human Rights
EDF- European Development Fund
EU- European Union
FAO-Food and Agriculture Organisation
FAOUN-Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FDIforeign direct investment
GATT- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GCC- Gulf Cooperation Council
GCF- Green Climate Fund
GDP- Gross Domestic Product
GEF- Global Environment Facility (UNEP)
G8- Group of 8 top Economies of the World
HDIHuman Development Index
HPI- Human Poverty Index
IAEA- International Atomic Energy Agency
IATA- International Air Transport Association
IBRD- International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
ICT- Information and Communication Technologies
ICJ- International Court of Justice
IDC- Islamic Development Center
IDP- Internally Displaced Persons
ILO- International Labor Organization
IMF- International Monetary Fund
ITU- International Telecommunication Union
KP- Kyoto Protocol
MDGs- Millennium Development Goals
NATO- North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NGONon Governmental Organization
OBOROne Belt-One Road
OECDOrganisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
OIC- Organisation of Islamic Conference
OPEC- Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries
R&D- Research & Development
SAARC- South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
SCOShanghai Cooperation Organization
SDGs- Sustainable Development Goals
SEZSpecial Economic Zone
SME Small and Medium Enterprises
SR15- Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C
SREBSilk Road Economic Belt
UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights
UN- United Nations
UNASG- United Nations Agency for Sustainable Growth
UNCCC- United Nations Climate Change Convention
UNCDF- United Nations Capital Development Fund
UNCTAD- United Nations Committee on Tariff and Development
UNDP- United Nations Development Program
UNEA- United Nations Environment Assembly
UNEP-SBCI- United Nations Environment Programmes for Sustainable Building & Climate Initiative
UNESCO- United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
UN Habitat United Nations Human Settlements Program
UNHCHR- United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNHRC- United Nations Human Rights Council
UN OHCHR- United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNWTOUN World Tourism Organization
UN WSIS- United Nations World Summit on the Information Society
WEFWorld Economic Forum
WB- World Bank
Chapter 1: Introduction to the Research
way of life is based on the primary source of divine law that is the Glorious Quran.
source of Islamic teachings and law is Hadith and Sunnah of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad
(PBUH). In a famous Hadees Seek knowledge even if you have to travel
It is the absolute faith of all Muslims that every word and action of the Prophet (PBUH)
was based on the divine revelations.
for seeking knowledge is perhaps an indication of China as the farthest land from Arabia. It also
refers to Chinese knowledge as being beneficial to the mankind. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) only
encouraged acts which were for the benefit of the Believers.
China and the Muslim dominant Asia have a long history of shared culture and trade.
China and the Muslims of Asia share the British and European colonisation between the 16th and
late 20th centuries. Hong Kong was captured by the British during the 2nd Opium war. It was
returned to China in 1997 with conditions that still suited the British interests in the territory.
The British colonial history in Asia and Africa is marked by their savage treatment of the
Asian and African people. The atrocities committed under the Royal Charter granted to the
soldiers of East India Company are well documented in the scholarly literature and beyond the
scope of this thesis. The fall of the British Empire was precipitated by the independence
Do they seek a Deen other than the Deen of Allah Al-Imran, (Verse 3:83)
The All-Wise Quran)’ Al Yaseen (36:2)
Kitab Al 'Ilm of Imam Al Ghazali's Ihya Ulum Ad Din
Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed. He was taught by one Mighty in
Power (Quran 53:3-5)
He (Prophet Muhammad PBUH) allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is
bad. (Quran 7:157)
Allworth, Edward A., and Edward Allworth, eds. Central Asia, 130 years of Russian dominance: A historical overview.
Duke University Press, 1994.
Flowerdew, John. The final years of British Hong Kong: The discourse of colonial withdrawal. Springer, 1998.
movement of India and Pakistan in 1947. The India-Pakistan partition of 1947 also saw the
declining British imperial influence in the rest of Asia, including China.
Africa is still struggling
with the colonial and post-colonial legacy of the European rule in the region.
The British did not leave the resource rich Asia without sowing some forms of perpetual
conflicts in 1947. Examples are Tibet, Kashmir and by eliminating the sovereign State of Palestine
in 1948 through Acts of British Parliament
. The subsequent events are only a postscript to what
is now the continuing unrest in various parts of Asia and Africa. These conflicts are perhaps to
the benefit of western economies at the detriment of the people of the MENA
North Africa) region. The present-day turmoil in the rest of the Muslim dominant Asia is no
different than MENA. Western powers continue to fight their proxy wars in countries like Pakistan
and Afghanistan. These conflicts have deteriorated the public confidence in their governments
and also shattered their fragile post-independence economies.
China escaped the post-colonial stratagems of the British and American expansionist
strategies. China was saved by the Chinese Communist Party founded by Chairman Mao in the
China is a shameful history that has been skilfully covered by the British historians. The sordid
history of the Opium trade by the British in Indo-China to fill the coffers of the Imperial Britain is
Springhall, John. Decolonization since 1945: the collapse of European overseas empires. Macmillan International
Higher Education, 2001.
Levene, M. (1992). The Balfour declaration: a case of mistaken identity. The English Historical Review, 107(422),
Migration. Routledge, 2014. 24-45.
Melancon, Glenn. Britain's China Policy and the Opium Crisis: Balancing Drugs, Violence and National Honour,
18331840. Routledge, 2017.
Ward, John R. "The industrial revolution and British imperialism, 1750-1850." Economic History Review (1994): 44-
American and British foreign policies to contain China, with its largest proportion of the
global population have failed.
China, under the leadership of Deng Xiao Peng, took a course
that has altered the destiny of China.
the fastest growing economy, with a large population
, and leads the world in renewable
China is the global factory for advance engineering, shipping, consumer goods and
telecommunications technologies. China is also excelling and advancing in space technologies.
leading role on
of the western governments led by the US and UK take many forms.
China is labelled as a
draconian society that crushes any political dissent. The western governments forget their own
terrorism laws that revoke all human rights. People with Muslim names, blacks and Asians are
frequent targets of racial profiling by the western intelligence agencies
. China is labelled as
Far-Right European politics are all examples of western hypocrisy.
The recent fuelling of political riots in Hong Kong are an example of UK covert interference
in the internal affairs of China.
If the UK Parliament was stormed by a group of British Overseas
Shambaugh, David. "Containment or engagement of China? Calculating Beijing's responses." International security
21.2 (1996): 180-209.
Chang, David W. China under Deng Xiaoping: political and economic reform. Springer, 1991.
Joseph, William A., ed. Politics in China: an introduction. Oxford University Press, USA, 2019.
Journal of Energy Research 43.2 (2019): 717-741.
Inomata, Satoshi, and Daria Taglioni. "Technological progress, diffusion, and opportunities for developing
countries: lessons from China." GLOBAL VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2019 (2019): 83.
Kopper, Akos, and Tamas Peragovics. "Overcoming the poverty of Western historical imagination: Alternative
analogies for making sense of the South China Sea conflict." European Journal of International Relations 25.2 (2019):
Green, Todd. "Islamophobia." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Religion. 2019.
Social Currents 6.1 (2019): 14-31.
Mok, Florence. "Public opinion polls and covert colonialism in British Hong Kong." China Information 33.1 (2019):
armed forces would be brought upon those protestors, democratic or not. These double-
standards are conveniently ignored by the western governments and their paid western print
with Chinese policies.
China has learnt much from these western antics and their constant negative portrayal of
China at all social, political and diplomatic forums. China BRI strategy that aims to connect the 70
of the poorest 77 nations in the world with the global economy is no different. China has already
invested USD 340 billion according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and Heritage
Chinese Global Investment Tracker between 20142017. No western country can come close to
such massive global investment during the past 100 years. The total Chinese investment in BRI
till 2030 is only an estimate of USD 8 trillion.
China BRI is an evolving strategy that adjusts to
the ever volatile global geo-politics still controlled by the military might of the western
China BRI and the Muslim world have close links and similarities. The BRI strategy is based
The Islamic world is fast converging towards the ethical and moral principles of Islamic economics
that favours equitable economic prosperity. It is this convergence of the mutual cultural,
philosophical, ethical and economic interest that has brought China closer to the resource rich
Islamic world. The Islamic world has been plundered and pillaged by the western governments
since oil was discovered in Central Asia, Middle East and Africa in early 20th century. Precious
metal like gold, silver, diamonds etc. from Africa have been steadily pillaged under the patronage
of the western governments since the 20th century.
(February 2019)." Texas National Security Review (2019).
Hilson, Gavin. "Why is there a large--Saharan Africa?." Land use policy 81 (2019): 852-
China BRI strategy includes 27 major Islamic countries in Asia and Africa. The strategy has
the potential to change the global political and economic landscape. The Great Assembly of
People in China removed the two five-year terms limit for President Xi Jinping in March 2017. The
western media was up in agrab for power’.
The people of China are the descendants of Tsun Zhu and Confucius.
pedigree pre-dates the European philosophical thought by ten thousand years. Western political
and philosophical thought is based on the scholarly works of Arab-Islamic scholars. China has
placed one leader to oversee its BRI strategy until 2030 and beyond. This strategic move cannot
be understood by the short-sighted political commentators in the western institutions who are
paid through endowments and charities, which influences their shifting opinions.
1.2 Research Methodology
The element of the interpretation within social science for any aspect of academic
Weber paved the way in social science, explaining this methodological approach for
research. According to Weber, there must a close and intimate relationship between the actual
research and the historical context. This constant and intense mediation between the actual
research and its historical context allows for possible interpretations for the substantive
problems emerging from the theory and strategy of social science subjects.
This research is based on the objective and neutral interpretation of the common social
theories underpinning the Islamic economic thought and the Chinese social strategy for its global
Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI). The historical context in this research is the post-colonial identity
Shang, Huping. "What Is the Belt and Road Initiative?." The Belt and Road Initiative: Key Concepts. Springer,
Singapore, 2019. 1-25.
Xia, Ming. "China threat or a peaceful rise of China." The New York Times 22 (2005).
Weber, Max. Methodology of social sciences. Routledge, 2017.
of China and the Muslim world. The post-colonial identity is the result of European colonization
of Asia and Africa between the 16th and 20th centuries.
The reason Objective
that exists between -colonial identity context. Such contextual
analysis is supported by
on understanding the socio-economic structures of the German nation based on the legal history.
He did not base his pioneering work on this research methodology for social sciences as an
outsider. He was very much a part of the eminent German scholars working in the field of national
work has allowed deeper understanding of socio-economics research techniques
'Ethical Neutrality' in Sociology and Economics" was published in 1917.
Weber was able to
understand the partiality within the social science research arising from the polemics of the
prevailing political systems. The current exclusionist and protectionist politics in the United
States and Europe has given rise to far-ork helps us to understand why a
number of leading social science scholars have started to take sides with the popular far-right
political view in their interpretation of any economic successes in the East.
man dignity demands the capacity for
rational self-determination based on evidence and not on the powerful elements of popular
political views or social agendas. This research may reflect strong disdain for popular Anti-China
and Anti-Islam western scholarship. The reason for that disdain is the false confidence in the
Mahmut, Dilmurat. "Controlling Religious Knowledge and Education for Countering Religious Extremism: Case
Study of the Uyghur Muslims in China." FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education. Vol. 5. No. 1. Lehigh
University Library and Technology Services. 8A East Packer Avenue, Fairchild Martindale Library Room 514,
Bethlehem, PA 18015, 2019.
Gupta, Amitabha Das. Meaning, Agency and the Making of a Social World: Themes in the Philosophy of Social
Science. Routledge, 2019.
for ethical economics. This research aims to investigate the facts, which are to support the
The western scholarship quotes as authority the "trend of history
policies and the rise of Islamic economics.
These historical trends are not without their biases.
The current advancements in the field of social science research are constructed in a ways
to avoid conflicts. These advancements may even avoid raising problems that clash with popular
government strategic policies. The evidence of such avoidance can be seen with ostracizing the
Hijab Modesty Veil’ by Muslim women and even Christian nuns. The
academic research in the western institutions supports these government policies to deny
according to Weber
leaves the explanation of the problem to those who fund the research or
who are the end-users of the research. Weber helps us to understand that such intellectual
exercises produce research only for needs suited to those funding the scholarship.
in the power circles of governments and financial lobbies. These bodies fund research that suits
towards explanation of the core social theories through ad hoc common sense explanation.
These ad hoc explanation and ambiguous correlations can only suit a given set of parameters.
This research does not accept such narrow and pre-defined ad hoc research findings.
allows us to decipher such ambiguous correlations
among indices that are suited to produce predefined conclusions. We have seen this type of
social science research emerging from IMF and World Bank indices interpreting China BRI
Geda, Alemayehu. The Historical Origin of the African Economic Crisis: From Colonialism to China. Cambridge
Scholars Publishing, 2019.
McCarthy, George. Objectivity and the Silence of Reason: Weber, Habermas and the Methodological Disputes in
German Sociology. Routledge, 2019.
nation-building." National Identities 21.1 (2019): 1-19.
investments through correlations that only apply to loan condition parameters of IMF and World
Bank loans. The conclusion from such research carry analytical ambiguities and creates the
highest possibilities of manipulations that constitute barriers to reaching the truth.
theory provide explanations based on concrete phenomenon within the substantive social
provides a variety of theoretical systems constructed around the central problem of our research.
The central problem of our research is examination of China BRIs and the Islamic economics legal
and moral foundations. The China BRIs are social science problems, which, when coupled with
Islamic Finance, ultimately relate to values.
In social sciences we understand knowledge as an act of social and moral consciousness
connected to the temporal world.
The consciousness has a context to our material experiences.
These experience are related to the world. The scholarly meaning of the 'world' translates into
the experiences related to the temporal life with acts defined by their meaningfulness. The world
therefore is understood through meaningful experiences through conscious actions.
The scientific experiences are different than social experiences.
The science defines
distinct modes of knowledge. The scientific knowledge is based on a systems of constructs which
are a result of theoretical and physical concepts and ideals that can be derived and proved
through mathematics. The common thread between scientific knowledge and social knowledge
is understanding the world through known phenomenon. These phenomenon help us to describe
everyday life experiences of the world. The world for the purposes of these phenomenon is the
world based on the immediate experiences and without any scientific explanation.
Kirmayer, Laurence J. "Beyond the brain: Toward an integrative cross-disciplinary understanding of human
behavior and experience." Casting Light on the Dark Side of Brain Imaging. Academic Press, 2019. 153-157.
Vining, Joanne. Social science and natural resource recreation management. Routledge, 2019.
These specimen 'life experience-worlds' then are based on distinct socio-historic groups.
The 21st Century World is a world seen through the lens of Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence,
Robots and Augmented Reality for some socio-historic groups living in affluent western societies.
These socio- life experience-world’ of the starving and
suffering socio-historic group of Syrian war refugees or the socio-historic group of Palestinians
who have never known a free Palestine.
life experience-worlds’ also allow us to use the lens to examine and see
the 'life experience-worlds' of the peoples of Ancient China. These 'life experience- worlds' are
shaped by socio-historical circumstances. Therefore, no purposeful research outcome is possible
without understanding the historical and social standard by which these life experiences are
formed. There are no inferior or superior conceptions of the world based on this model of
research for social consciousness. Husserl
offered a 'transcendental phenomenology' model to
develop a Universal Theory of Consciousness.
is helpful in building an ontological model
life experience- world' for the purposes of this thesis. Such a model offers a universal
structures of -
cultural conclusion. The insights for this model will flow from the qualitative analysis of the
available literature. The conclusions, based on the researched qualitative analysis, would satisfy
the rigors of science and logic. If we are successful in building this model through our research, it
would satisfy the same objectives that positivism envisaged for the neutral observation of social
and historical facts. The only difference is that positivism achieves these objectives through non-
interpreted foundations for knowledge.
Mihas, Paul. "Qualitative data analysis." Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Education. 2019.
Works of Aron Gurwitsch (19011973). Springer, Dordrecht, 2010. 351-381.
mix method approach to draw insights through the ontology of socio-historic context provide
sociological explanations to satisfy the levels of meaning for causative effects. This approach is
also confirmed by Alfred Schutz
. Schultz combined the philosophical methods of Husserl to
was an ontological framework for an interpretative social science that treated the concept of
course. We will build a socio- life experience-world’ for China and the
Muslim world. This research will trace the colonization history of China and the Muslim world by
the Europeans between the 16th to 20th Century for the historical context. The development of
China and the Muslims world post-colonization is our social context for building the ontological
life experience-world’ to examine thoroughly the China BRIs and Islamic world
Husserl, Schutz and Weber all argued that placing firm interpretations of social science
require the examination of the character of daily life as the outcome of the activities of social
actors. For this model to work on national scales, it is critical that our analysis is the 'asserted
truth through subjective interpretation'. The subjectivity is the socio-historic context, in this case,
The research of this particular aspect of the social science for China BRIs and Islamic
Finance and economic will treat social actors as conscious beings.
The social actors in this
research are the people of China and the Muslim world as conscious beings, whose activities have
not necessarily the people of the west. The social realities of China and the Muslim world during
the European colonization and post-colonial era account for actions such as China BRIs and
Zaner, Richard M. "Theory of Intersubjectivity: Alfred Schutz." Social Research (1961): 71-93.
Grasswick, Heidi. "Epistemic Autonomy in a Social World of Knowing." The Routledge Handbook of Virtue
Epistemology (2019): 196-208.
Hirschmann, Nancy J. "Eastern veiling, Western freedom?." The Review of Politics 59.3 (1997): 461-488.
adoption of Islamic Finance by the Muslim world. These actions are the outcome of the conscious
interpretations made by China and the Muslim world as conscious action by the social actors
(China and the Muslim World).
The 'objects' which this postulate makes available for this research are inter-subjective to
life experience-world’ study of China and the Muslim World. This study will present to us an
objectified system of shared designations and expressive forms resulting from China BRIs
inclusion of the Muslim world. The world of everyday China and the Muslim world reflects the
life-experience’ through 'shared common values' and exhibiting the 'natural attitudes'.
shared common value’. The
attitude Other Other
the Muslim world within the context of BRIs.
shared common value’ which in this case is the BRIs, forms ubiquitous attitudes for
China and the Muslim world.
OtherThe attitude is then
Will China and the Muslim world, as the ‘Social actors’ in our study, retain this new ‘attitude’
based on their ‘common shared values’, defined by the BRIs, in long-term?
formed. The attitude is based on the shared values of the BRIs between China and the Muslim
Johnson, R. Burke, and Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie. "Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has
come." Educational researcher 33.7 (2004): 14-26.
Staerklé, Christian. "Policy attitudes, ideological values and social representations." Social and Personality
Psychology Compass 3.6 (2009): 1096-1112.
the future outcomes of this attitude and their resultant life experiences for our social actors,
trying to figure out ways
be dealt with in a manner that poses no threat to the existing world order.
The existing social science theories that examine the East as it stands today in terms of
China and the Muslim world is defined through 'typical' schemes of actions. For example China
connecting impoverished and land locked Central Asia with Europe through BRIs, is seen as
-developed countries and selling its surplus production. It can mean
nothing positive. Muslims offering regular prayers in mosques, avoiding alcohol and disapproving
homosexuality is extremism.
There is no alternative in the western social science theory to offer any other alternative
explanation for this 'typical' scheme of actions. The western academia uses over-simplified,
abstracted and generalized versions of social actors in the East, especially China and the Muslim
world. China has Hun Muslims and Uyghurs Muslims. Hun Muslims are well integrated in the
Chinese society and are respected for their Muslim faith. Uyghurs have been radicalized by the
Saudi version of extreme Islam and want to separate from China. The western scholarship would
simplify this as China being anti-Muslim.
For western scholars, China and the Muslim world are social-models and not social-actors.
Social models are 'lifeless fictions', 'constructs', 'ideal types', 'puppets' or 'homunculi'. Muslims
and Chinese are social-models created by the western social scientist to fit certain molds since
the white-Europeans came in first contact with these great civilizations. These negative models
logic, deficient subjective interpretation and knowledge adequacy that includes limited and
subjective knowledge of eastern languages and culture.
This research aims to distill the 'Objectivity' and 'Truths' that are based on 'life experience-
worlds' of China and the Muslims world based on the post-colonial identities. The objectivity and
truth in this case can only be found through the socio-historic context of European Colonization
of China and Muslim world between the 16th and 20th centuries. The present socially organised
settings of China and the Muslim world are a consequence of the post-colonization identity of
China and the Muslim world. The shared common values that have emerged from the BRIs
life experience- world’, and the
knowledge that it will generate.
The Schutz's phenomenology of social research
, will guide our qualitative research of the
available literature. The ontological model of our research will also influence the philosophical
doctrine of this methodology for social science. The knowledge that we hope to generate from
this study of social science related to China BRIs and Islamic Finance will engage with a western
worldview which is already pre-interpreted. This research proposes to challenge those pre-
conceived interpretations. These negative interpretations of China and the Muslim world,
especially with the BRIs coming to fore, are themselves subject to inevitable social and historical
circumstances. It is these kinds of misconception which raises the scales of the relativism within
This research is also about the fundamental issue of the subject matter of social science
pertaining to China and the Muslim world, as understood by the western scholarship. The
western scholarship considers eastern scholarship as not being rigorous enough to meet the
western scholarly standards. This intellectual arrogance comes from the dominance
An array of select ivy league based-research
Schutz, Alfred. The phenomenology of the social world. Northwestern University Press, 1967.
Corbetta, Piergiorgio. Social research: Theory, methods and techniques. Sage, 2003
Smith, David Woodruff. Husserl. Routledge, 2013.
Fenelon, James. "Race, research, and tenure: Institutional credibility and the incorporation of African, Latino, and
American Indian faculty." Journal of Black Studies 34.1 (2003): 87-100.
research adopted by eastern scholars lacks the validity of the techniques and methods of social
research acceptable by the Ivy league scholars. There is a case to be made that even by their own
standards such methods do not work. This intellectual inequality created by the western scholars
also raised an equally important issue of the framework for nature of the phenomena to be
Such critical intellectual differences can and ought to have a considerable bearing
upon the means of investigation and the kind of knowledge generated.
Research methods used in this research will not simply take up again the philosophies
discussed earlier. This research will also give due weightage to philosophical works in Chinese
and Arabic language. This will allow us to make our way through sometimes messy and rigid
western views. These are views about the socio-historical worlds of China and the Muslim world.
The eastern views of the socio-historic worlds of China and the Muslim world often collide with
the western views. The research will make efforts to acquiescently bridge the gap between the
views through rigorous investigations.
Weber correctly argued that all sciences, regardless of being natural or social, are partial
This inherent partial nature of science is heavily influenced by our historical,
cultural, social and economic analytical interests. Such conclusions must still not prevent us from
pursuing objective and realistic aspirations for scholarly precision.
Truth is never the result of blind and unquestioned following of prescribed research
methods, or confinements to rigid and orthodox research guidelines. Phenomenology allows us
to pursue the truth based on social consciousness. Such a research is shaped by social and
historical conditions that strip away and expose the most truthful knowledge. The research
method of this research is associated with qualitative research, rigorous historical review and
discourse analysis to develop independent interpretations of the perceived facts.
Mlambo, Alois S. "Western social sciences and Africa: The domination and marginalisation of a continent." African
sociological review 10.1 (2006): 161-179.
Breiner, Peter. Max Weber & democratic politics. Cornell University Press, 1996.
1.3 Literature Review
The number of millionaires in the world has increased by 155% as of October 2018.
number of people with ultra-high net worth above USD 50 million increased by 216% in the same
million people live in poverty in United States alone. 30 million children are growing up poor in
As of 2018, 736 million people live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than $1.90 a day.
poorest people live in Africa. These numbers have increased by 9
million people since 2016. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the number of people
living in extreme poverty increased 100% from 9.5 million people in 2016 to 18.6 million people
due to the US led wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
4.3 billion people in 104 developing countries,
To end extreme poverty worldwide in 20 years, economist Jeffrey Sachs calculated that the total
cost per year would be about $175 billion. This represents less than one percent of the combined
income of the richest countries in the world
poverty and hunger from the world? This is crazy talk and definitely not the tone one is supposed
to adopt in a serious scholarly work such as PhD thesis. The statement however, is a hard cold
fact. It reflects the reality of the western wo-driven capitalist model of
modernity and success. It is the anti-white-man’sfree-trade
the colonization of the world in the not so distant past.
Zucman, Gabriel. "Global wealth inequality." Annual Review of Economics 11 (2019).
McAuley, Colette, and Wendy Rose. "Child Welfare and Well-Being: The Impact of Poverty." (2019): 1-2.
UNDP Report 2018: Source- https://www.worldvision.org/sponsorship-news-stories/global-poverty-
Easterly, William, and William Russell Easterly. The white man's burden: why the West's efforts to aid the rest
have done so much ill and so little good. Penguin, 2006.
What is the world doing about this? What role do the western advanced economies play
in trying to reduce poverty? Why is the western economic system fueling global inequalities?
These are questions that can take up many PhD theses. Perhaps the questions can be answered
in one sentence,
This House Believes Capitalism has Failed the Third World
a provoking debate
on the effects of the capitalist system on the developing world
held at the Cambridge University
on 22nd January 2015. Dr Adam Booth of Cambridge University made the following closing
remarks at the debate,
The capitalism has failed not only the third world, but the whole world, and explored the notion
that alternative economic systems have not been explored, and it's up to us to do so or it will not
happen. He stressed that slavery, colonialism and imperialism were all central to the foundation
of our capitalist society. We have the resources to solve famine, to save the environment and to
tackle other global problems, but this is not done because it would not be profitable to the
Forbes Magazine, which is one of the most respected western capitalist journals, reported
authored by Mr. Drew Hansen, was published on 9th February 2016.
The article, described in
cryptic details how capitalism was not only creating a world that is becoming more unforgiving
to the marginalized, it is also destroyi
allegations and indictments against western capitalism. The same article made these scholarly
references to published research to support the assertions:
Public corporations are responding to consumer demand and pressure from Wall Street.
Professors Christopher Wright and Daniel Nyberg published ‘Climate Change, Capitalism and
Corporations’ last fall, arguing that businesses are locked in a cycle of exploiting the world's
resources in ever more creative ways. ‘Our book shows how large corporations are able to
continue engaging in increasingly environmentally exploitative behaviour by obscuring the link
between endless economic growth and worsening environmental destruction"
remarks about the unexplored options to replace western capitalism
are important. However, such remarks do not give us a viable solution to remove the legal
complexities that govern the global economic systems. Perhaps the collective will
governments is lacking in this regard.
Dr. Alicia Garcia Herrero is a Senior Fellow at Bruegel and a non-resident research fellow
at Real Instituto El Cano. She published an interesting article (English version) in October 2018.
She wrote about the erosion of global confidence in the western capitalist system after the 2008
decision to adopt state-capitalism after the 2008 global financial crisis. The most important take
Before blaming China for diverging from our economic model, we should be mindful of our
contribution to its decision-making process
capitalism/ (The article was first published by Le Soir: https://plus.lesoir.be/180446/article/2018-09-25/alicia-
It is rare to see such candid scholarship about the western capitalism in main-stream
academia. The main stay of the western economic thinker remains fixated on the supremacy of
western capitalism and the so-Free Market Economycrowning glory of the western
societies. Shreeram Krishnaswami
expounds the move from feudalism to capitalism in the
sixteen to eighteen century Western Europe. Krishnaswami focuses on a rare area of western
colonialism on the economies of Western Europe themselves. While the research is interesting,
what caught our attention was the analogy used by Krishnaswami to illustrate the relation
between the European colonisers and their colonies. Krishnaswami refers to Western European
etter and simpler explanation of the genesis
under the Royal Seals of their Western monarch which set-
around the world. Both East-India Company and the Dutch-East India Companies are apt
towards becoming a global economic power-house. The global rise of China defined its post-
The Muslim dominant Asian and African Islamic countries that were recently
freed European colonies started to define their post-colonial Islamic identities.
Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) played a pivotal role in setting the Pan-Islamic agendas
for Islamic economic development throughout the Muslim world.
no. 30, 1992, pp. PE81PE89. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4398689.
Nick Robins (2012) THE CORPORATION THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: HOW THE EAST INDIA COMPANY SHAPED
THE MODERN MULTINATIONAL, Asian Affairs, 43:1, 12-26,
International Journal of Maritime History 14.1 (2002): 1-31.
Dirlik, Arif, and Zhang Xudong. "Introduction: postmodernism and China." boundary 2 24.3 (1997): 1-18.
Hoggarth, Davinia. "The rise of Islamic finance: post-colonial market-building in central Asia and Russia."
International Affairs 92.1 (2016): 115-136.
Mohieldin, Mahmoud, et al. The role of Islamic finance in enhancing financial inclusion in Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC) countries. The World Bank, 2011.
Contemporary Chinese philosophy of long-term development comes from ancient
China Belt & Road Initiative, announced in 2013, spans 70 countries and will impact
two thirds of the global population.
There is no parallel in modern history to match China BRIs
for global social, financial, cultural and trade Connectivities.
65 countries were announced as the initial group of developing countries that are part of the
strategy. By January 2019, over 80 countries have signed on as partner nations to the BRIs. The
According to global experts on economics and finance,
The maturity and expansion of the program won't be stopped by US protectionism.
Instead, it would stimulate cooperation between China and other economies also pressured by
The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) was held with the close
cooperation of UNESCO on 15 May 2019 in Beijing.
High representatives and Heads of state
as the UNESCO Director General, attended the opening ceremony of the global conference. The
conference is significance as it explains the post-colonial identity of China. President Xi gave the
historical context to the contemporary Chinese socio-historical identity. He said,
Our forefathers in Asia have long engaged in inter-civilizational exchanges and mutual learning;
the ancient trade routes notably the Silk Road, the tea road and the spice road brought silk, tea,
Lin, Liang-Hung, and Yu-Ling Ho. "Confucian dynamism, culture and ethical changes in Chinese societiesa
comparative study of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong." The International Journal of Human Resource Management
20.11 (2009): 2402-2417.
https://eng.yidaiyilu.gov.cn/. This is the official China Government Portal for its Global BRI Strategy
porcelain, spices, paintings and sculpture to all corners of Asia, and they have witnessed inter-
civilizational dialogue in the form of trade and cultural interflow
To contemporary China, the links with Asia that includes cultural and trade dialogues are
stressed the need for the west to engage in dialogue with the East as equals. President Xi in
essence rejected the perceived superiority of the western governments and nations as they
engage with their past colonies. President Xi said the forum is an opportunity to engage and
creates a new platform for civilizations in Asia and beyond to engage in dialogue and exchanges
on an equal footing to facilitate mutual learning”
Figure 1.1- China BRI Corridors
China BRI strategy is the rejection of the supremacy-claims of western economic systems.
Such claims come with the colonial mind-set that still drives the western governments polices.
enly challenged by the Chinese
President as he addressed the western countries by saying,
Thinking that one's own race and culture are superior, and insisting on transforming or even
replacing other civilisations, is stupid in its understanding and disastrous in practice"
It seems evident that China is not only defining its own post-colonial identity as a leading
global economy, China is also encouraging other Asian nations to explore their post-colonial
identities. President Xi extended the customary Chinese diplomacy of mutual engagement to the
western governments. He offered,
There is no clash between different civilisations, we just need to have the eye to appreciate the
beauty in all civilisations
President Xi summed up the future role that China envisions for itself and for those
nations who have aligned their socio-economic interests with China. He said,
"Today's China is not only China's China. It is Asia's China and the world's China. China in the
future will take on an even more open stance to embrace the world,"
-colonial identity as the global leader
for nations that are part of the Chinese vision for breaking free from the colonial shadows of the
western governments. We have conclusively established our frame of reference for the further
research that we will carry-out within this post--historical
The western scholars are finding it difficult to fully comprehend the colonial and post-
colonial identity of Muslims in the past European Colonies in Asia and Africa.
Miled, Neila. "Muslim researcher researching Muslim youth: reflexive notes on critical ethnography, positionality
and representation." Ethnography and Education 14.1 (2019): 1-15.
Asia primarily in search of ancient manuscripts that were quoted in the Arabic to Latin
translations during the European renaissance periods of 13th to 15th century.
Jim Al-Khalili has eloquently explained the Islamic scientific impact on renaissance
Al-Khalili clears the waters about some of the so-called western innovations that are
infact the inventions of Arab Muslims. These works do help in drawing a socio-historic point of
reference for the research. These studies however, leave the question of post-colonial Muslim
The closest we get to such social identity questions is during the peak of Muslim rebellion
against the European colonisers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Dr. Muhammad Iqbal, in
his Persian and Urdu philosophical poetry, reached across the Muslim world and evoked the
Iqbal rejected the western thought of separation
between the temporal and spiritual worlds. Iqbal urged the Muslim Ummah to evoke their sense
of unity and shed the notions of Colonial identities. For Iqbal, Muslims are one-body, the Ummah.
of social equality transcends faith and geographical boundaries.
According to Iqbal, the rivalry of petty economics and social gains are the result of
contemporary European civilisation. Iqbal urged the unification of humanity by calling on their
shared ideals without eliminating their unique cultural distinctions. This has been referred to as
new world orderPakistan
Heschel, Susannah, and Umar Ryad, eds. The Muslim Reception of European Orientalism: Reversing the Gaze.
Al-Khalili, Jim. The house of wisdom: How Arabic science saved ancient knowledge and gave us the Renaissance.
Akhtar, Shameem. "Iqbal's Concept of a New World Order." Pakistan Horizon 30.3/4 (1977): 65-76.
Hilal, Abdul Aleem. Social Philosophy of Sir Muhammad Iqbal: A Critical Study. Adam Publishers, 2003.
approximate 7 billion people. Out of the 2 billion Muslims only 400 million or 20% of the Muslim
participate in any kind of institutional finance activities
. The majority of these 400 million
Muslims are concentrated in Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran. The smaller numbers are in
Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Sudan. A small minority of Muslims in North
America and Europe also participate in institutional finance based on Islamic Sharia
. Iran is the
only Muslim country in the world that has its entire economy based on Sharia compliant Riba-
free finance. Sudan was the first Riba-free’ banking model in the
The Muslims in Asia and Africa trace their modern post-colonial identity through their
shared struggle against the European colonisers in the late 19th century. China also identifies its
post-colonial identity through its struggles with the European colonisers. These shared identities
between the Muslim world and China make them allies in this highly polarised contemporary
world. The tensions between China and the western governments also directly impact the
Muslim world. These tensions have significantly contributed to the China Belt and Road Initiative
(BRI) announcement in 2013 by President Xi Jinping.
Zaher, Tarek S., and M. Kabir Hassan. "A comparative literature survey of Islamic finance and banking." Financial
Markets, Institutions & Instruments 10.4 (2001): 155-199.
El-Hawary, Dahlia, Wafik Grais, and Zamir Iqbal. "Diversity in the regulation of Islamic financial institutions." The
Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 46.5 (2007): 778-800.
Chong, Beng Soon, and Ming-Hua Liu. "Islamic banking: interest-free or interest-based?." Pacific-Basin finance
journal 17.1 (2009): 125-144.
Zhou, Weifeng, and Mario Esteban
Journal of Contemporary China 27.112 (2018): 487-501.
Figure 1.2 : China’s proximity to Muslim Asia
China sits right between the East-West Muslim majority Asian countries. This explains the
deep cultural, social, historical and economic ties between China and the Muslim world. These
relations have only grown stronger due to the shared pains of the European colonisation. China
BRIs envision significant part of the investments in the Muslim majority countries.
China is engaging the wider societies within these Muslim majority countries to support
conventional banking and finance.
The level of awareness amongst the Muslims and their
usury-based’ finance is part of the post-Muslim Identity’.
Selmier, W. Travis. "The Belt and Road Initiative and the influence of Islamic economies." Economic and Political
Studies 6.3 (2018): 257-277.
(BRI) in 21st Century."
Pal L.A., Tok M.E. (2019) Global Governance and Muslim Organizations: Introduction. In: Pal L., Tok M. (eds) Global
Governance and Muslim Organizations. International Political Economy Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Lewis, Mervyn K., and Ahmad Kaleem. Religion and Finance: Comparing the Approaches of Judaism, Christianity
and Islam. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019.
settled. Popular view amongst the scholars suggest that initialisation of Islamic Finance in oil-rich
Persian Gulf, with the exception of Iran, is distinct from developing Islamic countries, such as
ings. This distinction allows certain
Islamic banking products to deal with usury as distinct corporate feature, and not an act of an
not attribute to the acts of an individual Muslim is jugglery of words. The slow growth of Islamic
Finance in countries like Pakistan with a much larger Muslim population, is attributed to
n demand reforms of the
the reluctance of the Pakistani government to adopt such reforms as being wary of the success
potential of the Islamic financial systems. These are highly contentious and debatable views
which have little to do with facts. The fast growth of Islamic Finance at consumer level in the oil-
rich Arab states is directly attributable to the high-income rates and disposable incomes for
China BRI strategy is a global game-changer for the poorest nations in the world. The US
controlled IMF and World Bank have wrecked havocs with the economies of the poorest
countries of the world. The modus operandi of these two institutions is to place conditions
attached to their loans that eventually privatise the most lucrative resources to western
corporations. These institutions have allowed the western corporations to move in and take over
the control of these poor economies through strict privatisation agreements under IMF and
Calder, Ryan. "How religio-economic projects succeed and fail: the field dynamics of Islamic finance in the Arab
Gulf states and Pakistan, 19752018." Socio-Economic Review 17.1 (2019): 167-193.
International Journal Of Islamic Economics And Finance Studies March 2018, Vol:4, Issue:1
According to Eurodad Report 2006,
Radical reform of IMF and World Bank conditionality is needed immediately. The World
Bank and IMF need to totally re-think their current approach to development finance policy
conditionality. Recent attempts by both the institutions to ‘streamline’ development finance
conditionality have failed
The harmful impact of IMF and World Bank policies targeting some of the poorest
countries of the world have been recognised by the G8 leaders. Both UK and Norway recognise
the right of sovereign countries to decide the economic policies for the betterment of their
nations. IMF and World Bank have no right to interfere with the strategic economic policies of
the funded countries through the conditions attached to their loans. The key take-away of the
corporations by IMF and the World Bank.
These remarks highlight the intensity of the problem,
Our research found that 18 out of the 20 poor countries we assessed had privatisation related
conditions attached to their development finance from the World Bank or IMF. And the number
of ‘aggregate’ privatisation-related conditions that the World Bank and IMF impose on
developing countries has risen between 2002 and 2006
China BRI is a systematic response to the global hegemony and economic colonisation of
the world by the western countries and their puppet institutions like IMF and World Bank. China
BRI did not start in a vacuum. China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) caused much
unrest in the western world. AIIB has the potential to take away the strategic advantage from the
western governments to control Asian and African economies through their puppets IMF and
The scathing criticism of IMF and World Bank highlighted, by the Eurodad Report
Kovach, Hetty, and Yasmina Lansman. "World Bank and IMF conditionality: a development injustice." A report of
the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) (2006).
of Major Power Relations." Journal of Contemporary China 26.106 (2017): 489-503.
2006, does not seem to raise any concerns with the western scholars. In a highly critical research
of AIIB, led by a western scholar who is paid through a western think-tank
A new study reveals that the AIIB's standards for transparency, the environment and human
rights fall well short of those of other multilateral banks.
other multilateral banks’ referred in the above comment are IMF and World Bank.
The irony of failing IMF and World Bank policies pointed out by G8 Leaders in the Eurodad Report
seems to be completely lost on the so-long-standing expert for multilateral banks
western arrogance and false sense of superiority that has been mentioned earlier in our
discussion finally comes out in the later part of the criticism on AIIB.
European AIIB shareholders, who give the Bank international credibility, have a combined voting
share of just under 24 per cent. They must make use of it and advocate a strong, independent
complaints mechanism, more transparency and the control and limitation of the power of the AIIB
The contemporary European arrogance that is the result of their post-colonial identity
in global geo-
the Europeans is a world view detached from reality.
The fears of the Europeans and other western governments about China BRIs are
Life Experience World’ context of hegemony and power. The article goes further
It has recently become known that the AIIB is also mentioned in the agreements on Italy's
accession to China's ‘Belt and Road Initiative’. This feeds the concern that the Chinese government
could abuse the AIIB for its own geopolitical interests by rewarding political good behaviour
The wording is peculiar as it helps in understanding the context which the research uses
to understand the stated policy goals of the AIIB and the researchers interpretations. The
it recently became known’ that Italy joined China BRI. The insinuation is
of a sinister plot on part of China to hide the Italian support for BRI. Such remarks are not the
result of any academic rigour or research objectivity. These are comical statements projecting
the individual biases and insecurities arising from the rise of once subjugated nations, such as
BRI has struck a chord with the western governments. The BRI strategy has been
successfully reaching out to over 65 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. South America is also
keenly looking at this expanding global network of economies that are free from the western
Research is being conducted in the western countries, fully funded by the western
governments, to understand on one-cess, and on
A report of June 2019 by the US Congressional Research Service
China has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies, with real annual gross domestic
product (GDP) growth averaging 9.5% through 2018, a pace described by the World Bank as “the
fastest sustained expansion by a major economy in history.” Such growth has enabled China, on
average, to double its GDP every eight years and helped raise an estimated 800 million people
JOURNAL-JAPAN FOCUS 17.1 (2019).
out of poverty. China has become the world’s largest economy (on a purchasing power parity
basis), manufacturer, merchandise trader, and holder of foreign exchange reserves
China’s largescale purchases of US Treasury securities
(which totalled $1.1 trillion as of April 2019 ) have enabled the federal government to fund its
budget deficits, which help keep US interest rates relatively low
IMF data indicate that China overtook the United States
as the world’s largest economy in 2014 on a PPP (Purchase Power Parity with USD) basis. China’s
share of global GDP on a PPP basis rose from 2.3% in 1980 to an estimated 18.3% in 2017, while
the US share of global GDP on a PPP basis fell from 24.3% to an estimated 15.3%.
As a footnote the US Congress Research Study notes this historical fact about China,
to a study by economist Angus Maddison, China was the world’s largest economy in
1820, accounting for an estimated 32.9% of global GDP. However, foreign and civil wars, internal
strife, weak and ineffective governments, natural disasters (some of which were man-made), and
distortive economic policies caused China’s share of global GDP on a PPP basis to shrink
This is a very interesting insertion in the footnotes of the Congress Research Study Notes.
rest of the statement is a gloss-over to the British Imperial invasion of China for resisting the
British forced opium sale to the Chinese population. These minute admissions in the footnotes
of western government-funded research confirms the research methodology of this research
The socio-historical conte
influence on the global stage. If this is the correct frame of reference, we can assert that China
BRIs are the Chinese attempts to regain their lost prosperity at the hands of the European
colonists in the 19th and 20th centuries. The global share of Chinese economy was 39% in the year
1820. The start of organised opium exports attempts by the British in mainland China is also
recorded in 1820
. The port of Singapore was the spring-off point for the British opium export
1913 from Singapore is well documented.
Interestingly, the inflow of gold and silver bullion
from European empires to buy Chinese silk, porcelain, spices, artefacts and tea reached their
peak in 1820.
influence just before the British opium wars is a crucial link to understand the reasons for
European colonisation of Asia and Africa. These historical underpinnings are also crucial for the
Asia and Africa. Pakistan alone will receive over USD 62 billion in Chinese investments as part of
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for BRIs.
Chinese President Xi spoke clearly at the APEC Summit in November 2017. He laid out the
critical features of the China BRIs
The Belt and Road Initiative calls for joint contribution and it has a clear focus, which is to
promote infrastructure construction and connectivity, strengthen coordination on economic
Kobayashi, Atsushi. "Growth of Regional Trade in Modern Southeast Asia: The Rise of Singapore, 18191913."
Paths to the Emerging State in Asia and Africa. Springer, Singapore, 2019. 95-113.
Melitz, Jacques. "Some Doubts about the Economic Analysis of the Flow of Silver to China in 15501820." Open
Economies Review 30.1 (2019): 105-131.
policies, enhance complementarity of development strategies and boost interconnected
development to achieve common prosperity. This initiative is from China, but it belongs to the
world. It is rooted in history, but it is oriented toward the future. It focuses on the Asian, European
and African continents, but it is open to all partners”
1.4 Thesis Framework
“China is the fastest growing global economy. China BRI strategy encompasses the ethical
principles of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Paris Climate Change Accord.
These ethical principles are aligned with the principles of Islamic Finance. China and the Muslim
majority Asia and Africa are strategic partner for the success of China BRIs. It is imperative for
China to integrate Islamic Finance in its investments for BRI Muslim majority Islamic countries.”
1.5 Research Question
The research answers the three-China BRI’s imperatives for the
Islamic world-historical link between
China and the Islamic world with reference to their post-colonial identities. The second
dimension is the China-Islamic World interlinked geopolitical interests. The third dimension is the
shared ethical and moral principles that underpin China BRIs and Islamic Finance.
1.6 Structure of the Thesis
The thesis is organized in chapters to present a cohesive and logical structure for its
findings. It is always difficult to find the right balance in presenting complex social science
research that touches upon deeply contentious topics. The European colonial history is a
reverse the gaze from West to East’
during the past three decades do not fall in any pre-defined western economic theories. Islamic
Finance and the post-colonial Muslim identity is not a settled area of scholarly research. Islamic
Finance law itself is a complex area of law due to its application within mostly western legal
It was these diverging social science areas that made the research challenging yet interesting.
The research may come off as a critique of western capitalist system and the western
geopolitical policies. The objectives of the research, however, solidly remains focused on finding
the truth. This research is a combination of history, economics, political science, philosophy and
law. It is hoped that the lens of socio-historical context and post-colonial identities of China and
the Muslim world will bring a new perspective to the table. The six main parts of this thesis that
reflect the above structure are as follows:
Part 1- Research and establish the socio-historical context of European colonisation of China and
Muslim majority Asia and Africa. The research will provide the objectivity to understand the post-
colonial China and Muslim identity that underpins the BRIs (Chapters 1 & 2)
Part 2- Research Islamic Economic Doctrines, Foundations of Islamic Law, Islamic Economic
Thought, Influence of Arab-Islamic literature on Europe and the Islamic Finance Vehicle of Waqf
(Chapters 3 to 7)
Part 3- Research the Chinese BRI strategy and its objectives. As a sub-set of this research is BRI
investment in Muslim majority Asia and Africa (Chapters 8 to 12)
Part 4- Islamic Finance- Focus on Africa (Chapter 13)
Part 5- Research of UN SDGs and Paris Accord are indeed integrated in China BRIs. Research
why western capitalist system has failed. (Chapters 14 to 19)
Part 6- Conclusions & Future research flowing from this thesis (Chapter 20 & 21)