Tuesday 20 June 2023

Islamic Banking

  Islamic banking, also known as interest-free banking or Sharia-compliant banking, is a financial system that operates in accordance with the principles of Islamic law (Sharia). In Islam, charging or paying interest (riba) is considered usury and is prohibited.

The fundamental concept in Islamic banking is profit and loss sharing (PLS). Instead of lending money and charging interest, Islamic banks engage in various types of transactions that allow for sharing profits and losses with their clients. Here are some key principles and features of Islamic banking:

1. Prohibition of interest (riba): Islamic banking strictly prohibits the charging or payment of interest on financial transactions. This includes both excessive interest rates and any predetermined, fixed return on loans or deposits.

2. Profit and loss sharing (PLS): Islamic banks primarily use PLS contracts to engage in business activities. Two common PLS contracts are Mudarabah and Musharakah. In Mudarabah, one party provides the capital, and the other party manages the investment. Profits are shared based on a pre-agreed ratio, while losses are borne by the capital provider. In Musharakah, all parties contribute capital and participate in the management of the business, sharing profits and losses according to their respective investments.

3. Asset-backed financing: Islamic banking emphasizes the concept of asset-backed financing, where transactions are linked to real assets or economic activities. This ensures that transactions are based on tangible assets, avoiding speculative or purely financial activities.

4. Avoidance of prohibited activities: Islamic banks are prohibited from engaging in transactions related to activities considered haram (forbidden) in Islam, such as gambling, alcohol, pork, and activities involving excessive uncertainty (gharar).

5. Ethical investments: Islamic banking promotes ethical investments that are socially responsible and align with Islamic values. Investments in sectors such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and weapons are avoided, while sectors such as healthcare, education, renewable energy, and sustainable industries are encouraged.

Islamic banking has grown significantly in recent years, with numerous Islamic financial institutions and products available worldwide. It aims to provide financial services that are in compliance with Islamic principles while also meeting the needs of individuals and businesses within the Muslim community.



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