Elasrag: Corporate governance in Islamic financial institutions

From the Introduction:

Islamic finance is the only example of a financial system directly based on the ethical precepts of a major religion, providing not only investment guidelines but also a set of unique investment and financing products.” Islamic finance is based on Shari’a, the Islamic law that provides guidelines for multiple aspects of Muslim life, including religion, politics, economics, banking, business and aspects of the legal system What shari‘a compliant financing (SCF) seeks to do is to shape financial practices and accompanying legal instruments that conform to Islamic law. Major financial principles of shari‘a include a ban on interest, a ban on uncertainty, adherence to risk-sharing and profit-sharing, promotion of ethical investments that enhance society and do not violate practices banned in the Qur’an and tangible asset-backing.

Money, according to Islamic teachings is a measure of value, not a commodity. Debt is a relationship in which risk and responsibility are shared by all parties to a contract. Money must be put to practical use in creating real value for the participants of the transaction. It must be used to create, and not be a commodity in on and of itself. It because of this that the perception of hoarding capital, and the earning of a passive return on capital keyed to the passage of time, -i.e. interest – is prohibited. In short, money must not be made from money. The establishment of modern Islamic financial institutions started three decades ago. Currently, there are at least 70 countries that have some form of Islamic financial services; almost all major multinational banks are offering these services.

 

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