How have we arrived here? I would argue that it has not been along a straight line leading back to the Mecca and Medina of the Prophet and beyond that to an earlier, promarket (though still pagan) Mecca.
Instead, the early Islamic economic regime included what we may call, in Polanyian terms, a surprisingly large dose of reciprocity, frequently expressed in Qurʾānic rhetoric and ethics, together with more predictable doses of redistribution and market exchange. Above all, the early Islamic economic order emerged from the large-scale movements and mixings of merchants, soldiers, and other people, together with the legal and moral principles, commodities, gifts, and other things that they bring with them. It also emerged from a long series of conflicts, such as those between Quraysh and their rivals in old Arabia over trade and access to markets; between the earliest Islam and its ideological, political, and commercial rivals; between the Umayyad ruling house and its enemies; and others that remain to be identified and charted.