5th International Ibn Khaldun Symposium

Sustainable Development in the Viewpoint of Abdul Rahman Ibn Khaldun

Mahdi Abdolhamid, Amir Muhammad Esmaeili

Last modified: 28-04-2019

Abstract (400-500 words)

various fields from different dimensions. It is clear that in order to achieve a sustainable and evolutionary development, there should be a certain pattern which could be adapted on the basis of each social and cultural environment’s conditions. Unfortunately, most Muslim scholars refer to western resources and experiences when discussing sustainable development. When taking a look at Muslim contemporary history, we clearly see that in many cases, the adoption of western patterns is doomed to failure and as such, it is necessary to localize alien patterns as much as possible. Hereby, the very first step in localizing of sustainable development is studying the views and opinions of Muslim scholars. Abdul Rahman Ibn Khaldun, a prominent Muslim thinker and scholar, precisely and cleverly addressed sustainable development in his contribution has not been well addressed in the works of Muslim and non-Muslim researchers. Although, the concept of sustainable development was raised at the Brant-Land Commission in 1978 with virtual steps following the 1992 Rio Declaration, around six centuries ago, Ibn Khaldun had presented this concept in the most striking form. In this paper, which utilizes the documentary method and content analysis, sustainable development and its four foundations (politics, economy, environment and morality) are considered in Ibn Khaldun’s view. For him, when all four foundations operate cohesively and flourish, sustainable development is more achievable. In other words, the path to achieving urban growth and development depends on a comprehensive, inclusive and interconnected process. Arriving at this stage requires constructive interaction between all the components that are effective in the development. Finally, Khaldun’s principle of “moderate development” or “controlled development”, in lead towards a sustainable growth in different societies. In his view, the peak of development must be controlled by institutions so as to ultimately not lead to the collapse of civilization. This should be considered in a variety of areas, including resource consumption, environmental destruction, economic growth, income rate, population growth and migration. In studying Ibn Khaldun’s works, we face two types of institutions: functional institutions and sociohistorical institutions. The latter includes asabiyyah which plays a more significant role in controlling developments. and sociohistorical institutions. The latter includes asabiyyah which plays a more significant role in controlling developments.



Sustainable Development; Moderate Development; Politics; Economy; Environment; Morality