Muhammed Shaahid Cassim


Humanity faces a plethora of extraordinary challenges. In recent times, such challenges have been widely exacerbated and compounded by the effects of disease, war, and unscrupulous ideas. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mass dislocation of civilian populations, and increasingly aggressive forms of technocapitalism are but a few examples. The resultant scale of negative disruption to faith, life, intellect, progeny, and wealth increasingly highlights the urgent need for effective, compassionate, equitable, and just solutions. One successful method used to discover beneficial solutions is social innovation. Social innovation involves developing “new ideas that work to meet pressing unmet needs and improve people’s lives and capacities to solve their problems” (Mulgan et al, 2006). As such, it is a fundamental requisite of the Islamic lebenswelt (lifeworld). In fact, serving the other – especially the weak, the poor, the orphan, and the needy – is the default universal Qur’ānic narrative. Ergo, achieving the Maqāṣid, as strategic objectives in an Islamic system of governance, requires social innovation. This raises the question, what drives Human Agency to be more socially innovative? This presentation explores some of the drivers of social innovation in the Qur’ān and introduces a Qur’ānic model for developing a social innovation mindset.