Complementing community, business and microenterprise by the Islamic epistemological methodology: A case study of Indonesia
Masudul Alam Choudhury
Sofyan S. Harahap
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to address the following question: how do we derive a systemic understanding of community, business and microenterprise linkages in the light of the cardinal episteme of Islamic belief, Tawhid? Design/methodology/approach – The worldview of unity of the divine laws termed in the Qur'an as Tawhid (oneness of God or equivalently oneness of the divine laws and also unity of knowledge) is explained in the form of a general socioeconomic paradigm. This worldview is then used to address the complementary relationships between microenterprises and their embedded social environment comprising community and business. Findings – The participatory development interrelationships explained by means of circular causation between the variables representing community, business and microenterprise comprise a specific example of application of the Islamic episteme of unity of knowledge to entities that exist in embedded learning systems. Such learning systems are governed by the episteme of unity of knowledge as explicated by the Qur'an and the Sunnah (Prophetic guidance). These together form the foundation of every Islamic methodological inquiry and application. Examples of microenterprises are Pasar Pagi (morning markets) and Pasar Malam (night markets) in Indonesia. Other comparative examples are given. Originality/value – This paper shows how participatory development and sustainability-by learning paradigms arise uniquely from the epistemic foundations of unity of knowledge (Tawhid). The productive transformation of microenterprise groupings through their complementary relationships with community and business is shown to invoke the Tawhidi epistemic worldview. The result of such complementary social embedding is expected to result in enhanced organization and productivity of microenterprises. The paper offers policy prescriptions for such participatory development change.
Business links, Epistemology, Indonesia, Islam, Knowledge processes, Society
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