Timur Kuran has written a book concerning the difference in the development of the economies in Europe and the Middle East called The Long Divergence from 2011. It is clear from this information that Islam as a religion has acted repressive on economic development.
The joint stock company did not develop for example and heritance rules made it more difficult to keep wealth in the family. The less equal primogeniture of Europe scored better during the crucial time of 1500-1700. The waqf, a type of trust that existed in the Middle East the existence of which is believed to have hindered the development of the corporation due to its locked-in type of construction. It was held by an individual and had a fixed purpose and fixed rules for its care. Interestingly, the corruption seen in the Middle East originated to a large extent from attempts to bypass these laws by bribing the kadi, the Muslim judge, setting up the waqf.
In general, the Muslim laws that governed both religiously and politically apparently gave commerce a bad name and there was not a development in the number of different professions in this field relative that of military and bureaucracy, education and religion. They still have problems separating church and state.
One unsolved question is whether the scientific development influenced the economic development or if it was the other way around. There was no scientific revolution taking place in the Middle East as in Europe and this could serve as an argument for saying that science and thus the relative disregard for religious dogma spurred the economic development. People began experimenting with economic improvements realizing that the status quo was broken. Dr. Kuran makes a point of the self-generating innovation taking place in business. One change leads to new problems that new innovations have to solve. Each innovation leads to many more questions, just like in science.
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