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Islamic Finance at Crossroads

Mabid Al-Jarhi

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: After more than 40 years of practice, the Islamic finance industry is riddled with products that have a camouflage of Islamic form, but lack Shari'ah validity of purpose. The increasing tendency to mimic conventional finance, had the industry converging to its conventional counterpart. It is therefore seriously threatened with increasing cynicism and popular decline in interest. The paper looks into the essence of Reba prohibition from an economic perspective, using a concise classification of transactions, and how popular monetary theory looks on a positive rate of interest with disfavor. It evaluates Shari'ah scholars approach to the validation of contracts as well as the attitude of monetary authorities towards the Shari'ah content of Islamic finance transactions. It reviews the macroeconomic advantages of Islamic finance within an Islamic macroeconomic environment. Then it tries to explain why managers of Islamic banking and finance institutions, IBFI, mimic conventional products despite such advantages. The paper surveys the literature that measures the extent of conversion as well as provides an alternative explanation. The study finds that IBFI violate the true paradigm of Islamic finance, because its advantages are all external and impossible to internalize. It lists several pieces of empirical evidence on increasing convergence. The paper concludes by drawing a plan composed of regulatory actions, research agenda as well as a series of dialogues with stakeholders.

Keywords: Islamic economics; Islamic finance; interest rate; monetary theory; real and nominal transactions; Islamic finance regulation. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E02 E4 E42 E44 P51 P52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme, nep-isf and nep-mac
Date: 2017-10, Revised 2018-08
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