Scholars gather to discuss Ibn Khaldun in Istanbul

International conference to discuss views of leading Muslim scholar on economy and morality

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 27.04.2019 - Update : 27.04.2019
Scholars gather to discuss Ibn Khaldun in Istanbul Professor Recep Senturk, rector of Ibn Haldun University


A two-day international conference on 14th century Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun's view on power, economics and morality kicked off in Istanbul on Saturday.

Renowned scholars from across the globe are participating in the event hosted by Ibn Haldun University.

The conference will discuss the ideas of Ibn Khaldun on the accumulation of wealth and conspicuous consumption in corrupting the foundations of authority.

Ibn Khaldun is widely known for his scholarship on modern disciplines of historiography, sociology, economics, and demography. His most famous work is Prolegomena (Muqaddimah) which records the early view of universal history.

Besides, the conference will have presentations about Ibn Khaldun’s ideas to “understand contemporary relationships between economic progress and morality”. 

Delivering the keynote address, U.S.-based Columbia University professor Wael B. Hallaq said: "If we really want to understand capitalism, we must deeply understand the concept of negative liberty".

He said that orientalists have “severely misread Ibn Khaldun”. 

“Ibn Khaldun is no different from traditional [scholars] like [Imam] Ghazalli. [But] there is absolutely nothing respectable about Ibn Khaldun in western scholarship,” he added. 

Professor Recep Senturk, rector of Ibn Haldun University, said: “The relation between morality and power will be discussed through a multi-disciplinary perspective like history, economics, politics [during the course of the conference]." 

“Six centuries ago, Ibn Khaldun said that when there is economic development, group ties get weakened and morality [is] eroded,” Senturk said.

“So, is this inescapable, or is this a warning? We think it is a warning and some measures need to be taken; developing economically one can preserve moral standards and values as well,” he added.

“At the end of this symposium, we will have a bit of understanding and the solutions thereof,” he concluded.

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