Today, we are witnessing an emergent Islamic finance industry with global assets of over $2 trillion and growing at around 10 per cent per annum, taking hold in leading international markets.
There is also a thriving Islamic capital market with issuances of Shariah-compliant asset-based securities (Sukuk) reaching to $98 billion in 2017. With these recent developments, it is pertinent to ask, does Islamic finance have something to offer to non-Muslims?
The origins of Islamic finance lie in Islamic scriptural texts that prohibit usury (interest). However, the same maxim can also be found in the religious scriptures of other Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Judaism. In fact, one expert in the field had even termed Islamic finance as ‘Abrahamic finance’.
Over the past 50 years, a modern form of Islamic finance has emerged and expanded rapidly, venturing into new countries with a myriad of innovative product offerings for household and business enterprises, built upon the traditional codified framework blended with latest international governance standards.—Agencies