Corruption is everywhere. It is one of the most extreme manifestations and a major endemic social disease of our time. It afflicts individuals and collectives, governments and businesses, and causes enormous loss and injustice.

Like any great thinker, Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) presents paradoxes to the inquirer. In his case, the paradoxes are patent, and deeply unsettling or enlightening, depending on your point of view.

Most Muslims know, or should know, that Ibn Khaldun was one of the greatest of social theorists, who lived at a time in the fifteenth century when the Islamic civilisation was perceptibly in decline.