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Islamic social business to alleviate poverty and social inequality

M. Nusrate Aziz (School of Economics, University of Nottingham, Semenyih, Malaysia)
Osman Bin Mohamad (Graduate School of Management, Multimedia University, Selangor, Malaysia)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Article publication date: 13 June 2016




The purpose of this paper is to identify some well-set instruments in Islam that can efficiently alleviate poverty, solve social problems and reduce social inequality through a new operational framework called “Islamic social business (ISB)”.


This is a conceptual research that is based on Al-Quranic principles as well as contemporary social welfare philosophies, such as, augmented stakeholder theory, social enterprise and social business. Al-Quran, Al-Hadith and existing traditional and Islamic literature are consulted for this study.


The study proposes an efficient system of Islamic wealth sourcing and management to make the process of poverty alleviation sustainable. Other social problems for disadvantaged people, such as, health-, shelter-, literacy- and environmental-related issues are also addressed in the proposed system. The study identifies the inefficiency in the current practices and makes some propositions that are in conformance with Islamic principles and implementable by Islamic institutions all over the world. The authors propose a theoretical framework and operational propositions for ISB.

Practical implications

In following this study, social policymakers, Islamic financial institutions, Islamic social enterprises and Islamic charity organizations will find organized guidelines to initiate “new entities” or “reshape existing entities”.

Social implications

The study will be effective in solving social problems, alleviating poverty and reducing social inequality.


This is the first study that identifies all the potential Islamic sources of funding and the efficient management thereof through ISB. The study also proposes an ISB model and makes several propositions for different types of ISB.



The authors are thankful to the anonymous referees for useful suggestions.


Aziz, M.N. and Mohamad, O.B. (2016), "Islamic social business to alleviate poverty and social inequality", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 573-592.



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