In mainstream economics, Adam Smith argued that human and business entities should attempt to maximize profit. The argument was supported further by Milton Friedman who said that one thing which a person can always be sure of is that everyone would put his or her interest before others. This basic understanding of economics influences many public policy and behavioral decisions in economics.

Pandemic Covid-19 brings the world to a multidimensional crisis. The crisis that was happening in the health sector creates impact on sosial, politic and economic aspects. This domino effect due to Covid-19 makes the world wonder about economic public policy that is suitable to encounter and dealing the multidimensional crisis. Referring to the self-interest theory and invisible hand by Adam Smith, the economics system will barely recover.

This pushed Puskas Baznas to conduct the Puskas Webinar Series where philosophical understanding of mainstream economics was discussed and basic perspectives of Islamic economics were compared. Titled ‘Puskas Webinar Series : Mainstream and Islamic Economics in Anticipating the Crisis of Covid-19’, Puskas was inviting a distinguished speaker from Pakistan, Dr. Salman Ahmad Shaikh to the discussion by using Baznas’ youtube channel. This webinar is the second series of Puskas Webinar Series and was successfully conducted on Wednesday, 22 April, 2020.

In the discussion, Dr. Salman explained that during the crisis, the role of stakeholders is essential to combat the impact of multidimensional crisis. Communal work in rebuilding economics requires economics to abandon the very basic of mainstream economics; self-interest. Especially when the policy of lockdown was implemented, there are many people lost the source of income and hence the prosperity of the society is expected to sharply fall. In anticipating this, the mainstream economics with its greediness concept fails to be a solution.

On the other hand, Islamic economics exists by the alternative for the parties that do not agree on the thought of mainstream economics. In Islamic economics, the main principle is the multi-interest in economic activities. This is explained on Maqasid Sharia, which is the objective of Sharia, where Islamic economics attempts to protect five elements of human wellbeing: religion, life, intellect, lineage, and wealth in society. In other words, the value of communality is prioritized, then the individual basic. The concept of communal understanding of Islamic economics is reflected on Islamic teaching in zakat, infaq dan shadaqah. This islamic social finance encourages people to be generous and shapes altruism as the most basic normative value in human activities.

The audiences of the webinar discussion via Youtube showed their high enthusiasm by giving many interesting questions to the lecture. Puskas Baznas hopes that the discussion that was conducted can raise awareness of people in regard to the value of Islamic economics and attempt to start implement the value by helping others, especially in the upcoming Ramadhan.

 

Rep: Puskas BAZNAS