The Financial Distress of Corporate Personality: A Perspective from Fiqh

Intellectual Discourse:245-268 (forthcoming)

Oriental scholars discuss the concept of corporate personalitywithout any reference to Islamic law. A leading proponent of this view isJoseph Schacht; a western scholar of jurisprudence who contended that Islamicjurisprudence is limited to individual personality and devoid of corporate laws,hence, contractual agreements between corporations has no basis in Islamiclaw. Several scholars and researcher have responded with sufficient literatureon the status of an artificial person in Islamic law, but there are still issues withthe legal implication of corporate personality in the event of financial distress.This study aims to explore Islamic threshold on fundamental principles ofcorporate personalities and its contemporary applications in the situation offinancial trouble. The study will employ the analytical approach in describingthe essential characteristics of a corporation as inherent in Islamic law throughinterpolation from the natural person and the possibility of adapting the existingconventional bankruptcy laws. This study employs an analytical approach to Islamic literature and regular related works. The study found out that eventhough the concept of financial distress has basis in Islamic law, it remainscomplicated as it entails insolvency, bankruptcy and interdiction in a debtorcreditorrelationship. Overall, further efforts need to be done to put theseconcepts into contemporary and applicable perspectives without violatingIslamic fundamental principle of justice and fair dealings.
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