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Islamic Finance news
= Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions
Bahrain-based Islamic international standard setting body established in 1991 for Islamic corporations and the industry. Members include central banks, Islamic financial institutions and other industry participants.

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= countable items measured in individual units rather than by volume, weight or length
Alternative spelling = `Adadiyyat
An example is eggs, which are customarily purchased by the dozen or half dozen rather than by weight

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= commission or fee charged for services


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= the hereafter


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= virtue, morality and manners in Islamic theology


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= rationale of profit sharing
Especially with regard to financial partnership (Shirkah) arrangements

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= Shariah jurists
Alternative spelling = Ulema


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= promise to sell


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= promise to buy


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= reliability, trustworthiness, loyalty, honesty
Alternative spelling = Amana
An important value of Islamic society in mutual dealings. It also refers to deposits in trust, where a person may hold property in trust for another.

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= agent
Someone who deserves compensation for completing a task, such as a mudarib in a Mudarabah or a zakat collector.

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= contract


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= set of beliefs


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= expert
Consultant in situations requiring an impartial, informed decision, such as the appraisal of property.

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= loan of small articles
Contract in which one party allows the other use of an asset for an indefinite period, without fee

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= currency or ready money
Gold, silver, coins, notes and any other form of ready cash. Often contrasted with dayn.

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= delayed-for-immediate sale
The sale price is paid immediately and delivery of the sale item is delayed. Synonymous with Bai al Salam.

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= deposit-secured sale
A sale agreement in which a security deposit is provided in advance as part payment towards the price of the commodity. The deposit is forfeited if the buyer does not meet his obligation.

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= sale and buy-back
The sale and buy-back of an asset for a higher price than that for which the seller originally sold it. A seller immediately buys back the asset he has sold on a deferred payment basis at a price higher than the original price. This can be seen as a loan in the form of a sale.

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= sale of debt for a debt
Prohibited sale, the most well known of which is where a lender extends his debtor’s debt repayment period in return for an increase on the principal, that is, interest.

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= future delivery
A contract whereby the payment is made in cash at the point of contract but the delivery of asset purchased will be deferred to a predetermined date.

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= deferred payment sale
Alternative spelling = Bai Muajjal
The sale of goods on a deferred payment basis. Equipment or goods requested by the client are bought by the bank, which subsequently sells the goods to the client for an agreed price, including a mark-up (profit) for the bank. The client may pay by installments within a pre-agreed period, or in a lump sum. This sale works in a similar way to a Murabahah contract, but with deferred payment.

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= debt financing
The provision of financial resources required for production, commerce and services through the sale and purchase of trade documents and papers. Bai Dayn is a short-term facility with a year or less maturity. Only documents evidencing debts arising from bona fide commercial transactions can be traded.

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= supply sale
When a supplier agrees to deliver to a client on a regular basis at an agreed price and mode of payment.

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= deferred payment sale
Alternative spelling = Bai Bithaman Ajil
The sale of goods on a deferred payment basis. Equipment or goods requested by the client are bought by the bank, which subsequently sells the goods to the client for an agreed price, including a mark-up (profit) for the bank. The client may pay by installments within a pre-agreed period, or in a lump sum. This sale works in a similar way to a Murabahah contract, but with deferred payment.

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= open bidding trading
The principle governing open auctions, where the asset is awarded to the highest bidder.

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= sale and buy-back
The sale and buy-back of an asset within a set time, when the original buyer agrees to the original seller's repurchase.

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= treasury


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= null and void


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= necessity
Muslims may disregard aspects of Shariah laws in order to save their lives, or to preserve the Islamic community.

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= debt
Alternative spelling = Duyun
Wealth that one is required to pay back to another

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= Creditor’s debt
A creditor’s forfeit on part of the debt when the debtor settles the balance of his debt earlier than scheduled.

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= guarantee
A contract of guarantee whereby a guarantor shall underwrite any claim and obligation that should be fulfilled by an owner of the asset. This concept is also applicable to a guarantee provided on a debt transaction in the event a debtor fails to fulfill his debt obligation.

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= liability
The concept may be likened to a virtual liability container that every responsible person has, which is constantly being filled with rights and obligations, such as the obligation to repay someone.

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= unit of currency
A unit of currency, usually a silver coin, used in the past in some Muslim countries and still used in some Muslim countries today, for example Morocco and the UAE.

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= to flourish
Success as measured in this world and Akhirah.

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= Shariah jurist
Alternative spelling = Fuqaha


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= poor person
Alternative spelling = Fuqara’


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= socially obligatory duties
Alternative spelling = Fard Kifaya
A collective duty of Muslims. The performance of these duties (for example funeral prayers) by some Muslims absolves the rest from discharging them. This term covers functions which the community fails to or cannot perform and hence are taken over by the state, such as the provision of utilities, or the building of roads, bridges and canals.

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= unsound or unviable
A forbidden term in a contract, which consequently renders the contract invalid.

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= dissolution of contract
Agreement canceled voluntarily by the parties. Compare Infisakh, used for cancelations that occur outside of the will of the contractual parties.

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= religious decree
Alternative spelling = Fatwah, Fatawa
Islamic legal opinion based on Quranic, Sunnah and Islamic legal precedent or the Shariah.

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= Islamic jurisprudence
The science of the Shariah. An important source of Islamic economics.

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= Islamic commercial jurisprudence


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= dealing with someone else’s property without permission
An example is when X negotiates and “closes” a deal with Y in which he sold some machinery without the owner of the machinery having made him his wakeel. X would be described as fuduli.

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= Gulf Cooperation Council
A political alliance and trade bloc consisting of six states of the Arabian Gulf: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

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= Mistake
A negative element that can affect the validity of `aqad. In Arabic, it connotes error in perception.

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= uncertainty
One of three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic finance (the other two being riba and maysir). Gharar is a sophisticated concept that covers certain types of haram uncertainty in a contract. It is an exchange in which one or more parties stand to be deceived through ignorance of an essential element of the exchange. Gambling is a form of gharar because the gambler is ignorant of the result of the gamble. The prohibition on gharar is often used as the grounds for criticism of conventional financial practices such as short selling, speculation and derivatives.

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=
Alternative spelling = Gharimun
A debtor who does not have the funds, after repayment of his debt, would not equal the nisab. The Shafi`i and Maliki jurists divide the gharimun into two types: (i) those whose debts were incurred in their own benefit; and (ii) those whose debts were incurred benefiting others. The gharimun are one of the eight groups mentioned in the Quran as legitimate recipients of zakah funds.

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= forfeiture
Wrongful appropriation of property by force

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= the Prophet's sayings and commentary on the Quran
Alternative spelling = Ahadith


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= pilgrimage to Mecca
There is a duty on every Muslim who is financially and physically able to carry out Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam, at least once in his lifetime. The pilgrimage takes place in the week from the 8th until the 13th day of the 12th Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah.

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= ownership right
A tradable asset in the form of ownership rights.

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= lawful, permissible
The concept of halal has spiritual overtones. In Islam there are activities, professions, contracts and transactions that are explicitly prohibited (haram) by the Quran or the Quran. All other activities, professions, contracts and transactions are halal. This concept differentiates Islamic economics from conventional economics. In western finance all activities are judged on economic utility. In Islamic economics, spiritual and moral factors are also involved – an activity may be economically sound but may not be allowed in Islamic society if it is not forbidden by the Shariah.

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= security deposit
Sum paid by a party who places an order to purchase, as security for his promise.

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= Islamic school of law
Islamic school of law founded by Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. Followers of this school are known as Hanbalis.

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= Islamic school of law
One of the major Islamic school of law, founded by Imam Abu Hanifa. Followers of this school are known as Hanafis.

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= rights on the financial assets
Haq Maliy are rights on the financial assets. Examples of such rights are haq dayn (debt rights) and haq tamalluk (ownership rights).

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= truth, right
A right which a party possesses, for example, the creditor’s right to payment.

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= unlawful, forbidden
Activities, professions, contracts and transactions that are explicitly prohibited by the Quran or the Sunnah. See halal above.

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= bill of exchange, remittance
Alternative spelling = Hiwala
A contract which allows a debtor to transfer his debt obligation to a third party who owes the former a debt. The mechanism of Hawala is used for settling international accounts by book transfers, thus obviating the need for a physical transfer of cash.

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=
The length of time that must pass before a Muslim in possession of funds equaling or exceeding the exemption limit (nisab) must pay zakat on his wealth. In the case of cash, gold and silver, it is one Islamic year, i.e. a lunar year of approximately 354 days.

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= gift
A gift voluntarily donated in return for a loan provided or a benefit obtained.

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= contingent hibah
Hibah contingent on the lifetime of the gift donor or the recipient.

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= conditional hibah
The gift donor stipulates that the recipient is to receive the gift upon the death of the former.

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= forbidden structure
Alternative spelling = Hiyal
A transaction which appears permissible, but is in fact structured in an un-Islamic way.

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= regulatory duty
The necessary steps in order to maintain a fair and orderly marketplace.

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= Islamic ruling
Alternative spelling = Ahkam


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= rebate
When a person withdraws the right to collect payment from a borrower.

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= Islamic Financial Services Board
A Kuala Lumpur-based international standard-setting organization that was set up in 2003 to promote the stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global prudential standards and guidelines. The IFSB helps regulators govern Islamic financial institutions in compliance with Basel II and evolving global standards.

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= hoarding
The prohibited practice of purchasing essential commodities, such as food and storing them in anticipation of a price increase.

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= offer in a contract
Also see Qabul

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= leasing
Alternative spelling = Ijara
A lease agreement whereby a bank or financier buys an item for a customer and then leases it to him over a specific period, thus earning profits for the bank by charging rental. The duration of the lease and the fee are set in advance. During the period of the lease, the asset remains in the ownership of the lessor (the bank), but the lessee has the right to use it. After the expiry of the lease agreement, this right reverts back to the lessor. This is a classic Islamic financial product.

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= forward lease
If there is a reasonable expectation that something will be made, then we may structure a forward lease for which rent is collected today. The lessor, however, must refund the rent if he fails to deliver the object of the lease.

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= leasing to purchase
The principle governing an Ijarah contract at the end of the lease period, when the lessee buys the asset for an agreed price through a purchase contract.

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= buy-back leasing
A hire and purchase mode of financing where an Islamic bank finances equipment, a building or other facility for the client against an agreed rental, together with an undertaking from the client to repurchase the facility at the end of the contract. The rental and the purchase price are fixed so that the bank gets back its principal sum along with some predetermined profit.

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= consensus
The unanimous decision of all or the majority of leading jurists on a Shariah matter in a certain age. Ijma has traditionally been recognized as an independent source of law, along with the Quran, Sunnah and Qiyas.

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= effort, exertion, industry
A faqhi's endeavor to formulate a rule on the basis of evidence found in the Islamic sources.

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= monopoly


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= divergence of opinion among jurists


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= hoarding wealth by not paying zakat on it


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= legal effective cause
Basis for applying analogy in determining the permissibility or otherwise of a transaction.

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= conviction, faith or belief


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= financial partnership


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= moderation


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= reform


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= wastefulness
Lawful spending but exceeding moderation in quality or quantity; includes spending on objects that are incompatible with the economic standard of the majority of the population and spending on superfluous objects while necessities are not met. (Also see Tabzir)

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= guiding choice
Judicial preference for one legal analogy over another, usually when public welfare is concerned.

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= recurring sale
Different quantities are bought from a single seller over a period of time. Sometimes it is also referred to transactions whereby seller delivers different quantities in different installments to complete the full purchase. Some divergence among the scholars in terms of the timing of fixation and pricing.

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= advance purchase of goods or buildings
Alternative spelling = Istisna’a, Istisna’ah
A contract of acquisition of goods by specification or order, where the price is paid in advance, or progressively in accordance with the progress of a job. For example, to purchase a yet to be constructed house, payments would be made to the builder according to the stage of work completed. This type of financing, along with Salam, is used as a purchasing mechanism, and Murabahah and Bai Bithaman Ajil are for financing sales.

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= pre-agreed contract
The sale and repurchase of an underlying asset. Prices are agreed in advance, prior to the contract, to allow the bidding process to take place.

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= pre-Islamic period
The era just before the coming of prophet Muhammad and, more generally, to the state of affairs which characterized this era, which was plagued by shirk (the crime of associating partners with Allah), infanticide, tribal strife and so on.

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= ignorance (of morality or divinity)


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= pre-agreed contract
A unilateral contract promising a reward for a specific act or accomplishment, also known to be a contract of reward.

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= stipulated price for performing a service
Alternative spelling = Ju’ala
Applied by some in Islamic banking. Bank charges and commission have been interpreted to be ju'alal by the jurists and thus considered lawful.

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= guarantee
Shariah principle governing guarantees. It applies to a debt transaction in the event of a debtor failing to pay.

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= ruler, steward, custodian
Alternative spelling = khulafaa


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= fraud
A form of fraud, either in word or deed by a party to the trading contracts with the intention of inducing the other party into making a contract. This is prohibited according to the Shariah.

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= deception
Refers to deception by not disclosing the truth or breaching an agreement in a hidden way. This is prohibited according to the Shariah.

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= power to annul contract
The option to rescind a contract upon the appearance of a defect.

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=
Some Islamic banks give loans with service charges. The Council of the Islamic Fiqh Academy has resolved that it is permitted to charge a fee for loan-related services offered by an Islamic bank, provided that the fee relates to service-related expenses. The service charge can only be calculated accurately after all administrative expenditure has been incurred (at the end of the year). However it is permissible to levy an approximate charge on the client, and then reimburse/claim the difference when the actual expenses are known.

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= Islamic school of law
Islamic school of law founded by Imam Malik Ibn Anas. Followers of this school are known as Maalikis.

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= way of going
Alternative spelling = Madhahib
A fiqh school or orientation characterized by differences in the methods and therefore in the Shariah rulings that are deduced from them. There are four well-known madhahib among Sunni Muslims whose names are associated with the classical jurists who are said to have founded them (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i and Hanbali).

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= detested
An action that one is rewarded for avoiding, but not punished for committing.

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= Capital or wealth
Valuable item that can be gainfully used according to the Shariah.

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= wealth that has commercial value


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= beneficial ownership
Usufruct associated with a given property, especially in leasing transactions. In an automobile lease, for example, “manfa’ah” might be used to describe the benefit which the lessee derives from the use of the car for the duration of the lease (as opposed to the actual ownership of the vehicle).

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= Shariah compliant property mortgage in the UK


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= general objectives of Islamic law


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= public good or benefit


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= gambling
One of three fundamental prohibitions in Islamic finance (the other two being riba and gharar). The prohibition on maysir is often used as grounds for criticism of conventional financial practices such as speculation, conventional insurance and derivatives.

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= goods that can be returned in kind


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= economic transaction
Alternative spelling = Mu'amalah, Mu'amalat, Muamalah
The lease of land or fruit trees for money, or for a share of the crop.

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= lawful objects


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= trust financing, profit sharing
Alternative spelling = Mudaraba, Modaraba, Modarabah
An investment partnership, whereby the investor (the rab al maal) provides capital to the entrepreneur (the mudarib) in order to undertake a business or investment activity. While profits are shared on a pre-agreed ratio, losses are born by the investor alone. The mudarib loses only his share of the expected income. The investor has no right to interfere in the management of the business, but he can specify conditions that would ensure better management of his money. In this way Mudarabah is sometimes referred to as a sleeping partnership. A joint Mudarabah can exist between investors and a bank on a continuing basis. The investors keep their funds in a special fund and share the profits before the liquidation of those financing operations that have not yet reached the stage of final settlement. Many Islamic investment funds operate on the basis of joint Mudarabah.

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= entrepreneur in a Mudarabah contract
The entrepreneur or investment manager in a Mudarabah who puts the investor's funds in a project or portfolio in exchange for a share of the profits. A Mudarabah is similar to a diversified pool of assets held in a discretionary asset management portfolio.

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= equal, unlimited partnership


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= qualified professional who issues fatawa, usually in response to questions posed


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= legal expert or a jurist who expends great effort in deriving a legal opinion or interpreting the sources of the la


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= Sukuk for specific projects
This technique allows a bank to float what are effectively Islamic bonds to finance a specific project. Investors who buy Muqarada bonds take a share of the profits of the project being financed, but also share the risk of unexpectedly low profits, or even losses. They have no say in the management of the project, but act as non-voting shareholders.

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=
Debt settlement by a contra transaction.

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= cost-plus financing
Alternative spelling = Morabaha, Morabahah, Murabaha
A form of credit that enables customers to make a purchase without having to take out an interest-bearing loan. The bank buys an item and sells it to the customer on a deferred basis. The price includes a profit margin agreed by both parties. Repayment, usually in installments, is specified in the contract. The legality of this financing technique has been questioned because of its similarity to riba. However, the modern Murabahah has become the most popular financing technique among Islamic banks, used widely for consumer finance, real estate, the purchase of machinery and for financing short-term trade.

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= agricultural contract
A contract in which the owner of agricultural land shares its produce with another person in return for his services in irrigating the garden.

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= general sale
The price of the commodity in question is reached through bargaining.

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= joint venture, profit and loss sharing
Alternative spelling = Musharaka
An investment partnership in which all partners are entitled to a share in the profits of a project in a mutually agreed ratio. Losses are shared in proportion to the amount invested. All partners to a Musharakah contribute funds and have the right to exercise executive powers in that project, similar to a conventional partnership structure and the holding of voting stock in a limited company. This equity financing arrangement is widely regarded as the purest form of Islamic financing. The two main forms of Musharakah are: Permanent Musharakah: an Islamic bank participates in the equity of a project and receives a share of the profit on a pro rata basis. The length of contract is unspecified, making it suitable for financing projects where funds are committed over a long period. Diminishing Musharakah: this allows equity participation and sharing of profits on a pro rata basis, and provides a method through which the bank keeps on reducing its equity in the project, ultimately transferring ownership of the asset to the participants. The contract provides for payment over and above the bank's share in the profit for the equity held by the bank. Simultaneously the entrepreneur purchases some of the bank's equity, progressively reducing it until the bank has no equity and thus ceases to be a partner.

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= partnership
One of the partners promises to buy the equity share of the other gradually until the title is completely transferred to him.

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= unrestricted


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= share-cropping
An agreement in which one party agrees to allow a portion of his land to be used by the other in return for a part of the produce of the land.

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= agricultural contract
A contract in which one person works the land of another person in return for a share in the produce of the land.

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= deception
The prohibited practice of deceiving and inciting a potential buyer during the course of pre-sale negotiations or bidding by egging him on.

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= exemption limit
Exemption limit for the payment of zakat, which differs for different types of wealth.

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=
The Islamic banking equivalent to non-performing-loans. NPF’s are based on a profit sharing basis and not interest as are their conventional counterparts.

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= discount
Qabdh means possession, which refers to a contract of exchange. Generally, qabdh depends on the perception of ‘urf or the common practices of the local community in recognizing that the possession of a good has taken place.

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= acceptance in a contract
Also see Ijab

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= loan


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= benevolent loan
Alternative spelling = Qard Hassan, Qard al Hassan
A loan contract between two parties for social welfare or for short-term bridging finance. Repayment is for the same amount as the amount borrowed. The borrower can pay more than the amount borrowed so long as it is not stated by contract. Most Islamic banks provide interest-free loans to customers who are in need. The Islamic view of loans (qard) is that there is a moral duty to give them to borrowers free of charge, as a person seeks a loan only if he is in need of it. Some Islamic banks give interest-free loans only to the holders of investment accounts with them; some extend them to all bank clients; some restrict them to needy students and other economically weaker sections of society; and some provide interest-free loans to small producers, farmers and entrepreneurs who cannot get finance from other sources.

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= gambling
An agreement in which possession of a property is dependant upon the occurrence of an uncertain event. By implication it applies to those agreements in which there is a definite loss for one party and a gain for the other, without specifying which party will gain and which party will lose.

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=
Synonym for Mudarabah

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= analogical deduction
Derivation of the law on the analogy of an existing law if the basis or Illah of both is the same.

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= the holy scriptures of Islam


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= capital
The money or property that the Rab al maal invests in a profit-seeking venture, often in a partnership such as a Mudarabah or Shirkah.

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= the investor in a Mudarabah contract
Alternative spelling = Rab al mal


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= collateral
An arrangement whereby a valuable asset is placed as collateral for a debt. The collateral may be disposed of in the event of a default.

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= interest
An increase, addition, unjust return, or advantage obtained by the lender as a condition of a loan. Any risk-free or “guaranteed” rate of return on a loan or investment is riba. Riba in all its forms is prohibited in Islam. In conventional terms, riba and “interest” are used interchangeably, although the legal notion extends beyond mere interest.

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= usury of trade
Also known as riba al fadl. A sale transaction in which a commodity is exchanged for an unequal amount of the same commodity and delivery is delayed. To avoid riba al buyu, the exchange of commodities from both sides must be equal and instant. Riba al buyu was prohibited by the prophet Mohammad to forestall riba (interest) from creeping into the economy.

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= usury of debt
Also known as usury of delay (riba al nasia). The usury of debt was an established practice amongst Arabs during the pre-Islamic period. It can occur as an excess increment on top of the principal, which is incorporated as an obligatory condition of the giving of a loan. Alternatively, an excess amount is imposed on top of the principal if the borrower fails to repay on the due date. More time is permitted for repayment in return for an additional amount. If the borrower fails to pay again, a further excess amount is imposed, etc.

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= goods subject to fiqh rules on riba


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= bribery


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= pillar
Alternative spelling = Arkan
An integral part of an act, such as a transaction, without which the act cannot be said to have been performed.

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= payment order
A payment order to draw money from the bank; used in the early Muslim period.

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= voluntary charitable giving
Alternative spelling = Sadaqat


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= sound, correct
Opposite of Batil. Hadith of the highest level of authentication.

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= loan for short, intermediate or long term
Also a synonym for Salam. Unlike Qard, however, the amount given as Salaf cannot be called back before it is due.

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= advance purchase
Alternative spelling = Al Salam, Bai al Salam, Bai Salam
Advance payment for goods which are to be delivered at a specified future date. Under normal circumstances, a sale cannot be effected unless the goods are in existence at the time of the bargain. However, this type of sale is an exception, provided the goods are defined and the date of delivery is fixed. The objects of sale must be tangible goods that can be defined as to quantity, quality and workmanship. This mode of financing is often applied in the agricultural sector, where the bank advances money for various inputs to receive a share in the crop, which it then sells.

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= Shariah compliant property mortgage in the USA


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= currency sale
Refers to buying and selling of currencies.

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= Islamic school of law
Islamic school of law founded by Abu Abdullah Ahmad bin Idris or Imam Shafie. Followers of this school are known as Shafi'es.

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= Islamic jurisprudence
Alternative spelling = Sharia, Shari'a, Shari'ah, Syariah, Syaria, Syari'ah, Syari'a
Islamic cannon law derived from three sources: the Quran, the Hadith and the Sunnah A “Shariah compliant” product meets the requirements of Islamic law. A “Shariah board” is the committee of Islamic scholars available to an Islamic financial institution for guidance and supervision in the development of Shariah compliant products. A “Shariah advisor is an independent Islamic trained scholar that advises Islamic institutions on the compliance of the products and services with the Islamic law.

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= stipulation in a contract
Alternative spelling = Shurut
Pre-existing condition for a transaction to be valid

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= partnership
A contract between two or more persons who launch a business or financial enterprise to make a profit.

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= right of pre-emption
The right of pre-emption in sale transactions, for example, a real estate sale in which one party has the right to compel the vendor to sell all or part of the real estate in the event of a sale.

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= formal exchange
Parties’ willingness to enter into the contractual agreement, which therefore constitutes the contract itself.

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= bill of exchange
Alternative spelling = Suftaja, Suftajal
A bill of exchange between three parties (the payor, the payee and the transmitter), which was used for the delegation of credit during the Muslim period, especially the Abbasides period. It was used to collect taxes, disburse government dues, transfer funds by merchants and was commonly used by traveling merchants. Suftajahs could be payable on a future fixed date or immediately. It differs from the modern bill of exchange in that a sum of money transferred by suftajah had to keep its identity and payment had to be made in the same currency. Also it usually involved three persons (A pays a certain sum of money to B for agreeing to give an order to C to pay back to A). Finally, a suftajah could be endorsed. The Arabs had been using endorsements (hawala) since the days of the Prophet Muhammad.

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= Islamic bond (Plural. Also see Saak.)
An asset-backed bond which is structured in accordance with Shariah and may be traded in the market. A Sukuk represents proportionate beneficial ownership in the underlying asset, which will be leased to the client to yield the return on the Sukuk.

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= practice and traditions of the Prophet Muhammad


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= deliberate delay in payment
Penalty agreed upon by the contracting parties as compensation that can rightfully be claimed by the creditor when the debtor fails or is late in meeting his obligation to pay back the debt.

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= Takaful donation
A contract where a participant agrees to donate a pre-determined percentage of his contribution (to a Takaful fund) to provide assistance to fellow participants. In this way he fills his obligation of joint guarantee and mutual help should another participant suffer a loss. This concept eliminates the element of gharar from the Takaful contract.

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= wasteful spending
Especially on objects explicitly prohibited by the Shariah, irrespective of the quantum of expenditure. (Also see Israf)

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= intentionally hiding the defects of goods
Refers to the activity of a seller intentionally hiding the defects of goods. This activity is prohibited according to the Shariah principles.

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= Islamic insurance
Based on the principle of mutual assistance, Takaful provides mutual protection of assets and property and offers joint risk-sharing in the event of a loss by one of the participants. Takaful is similar to mutual insurance in that members are the insurers as well as the insured. Conventional insurance is prohibited in Islam because its dealings contain several haram elements, such as gharar and riba.

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= manipulation
Refers to a conspiracy between a seller and a buyer wherein the buyer is willing to purchase the goods at a higher price. This is done so that others would rush to buy the goods at a higher price, resulting in the seller obtaining a huge profit. This transaction is not permissible in Islam.

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= reverse Murabahah
In personal financing, a client with a genuine need buys an item on credit from the bank on a deferred payment basis and then immediately resells it for cash to a third party. In this way, the client can obtain cash without taking out an interest-based loan. It has two forms: Tawarruq Munazzam (organized Tawarruq), in which the client simply seeks credit and has no interest in the original asset for sale; and Tawarruq al Asli, where the client buys goods on credit and then sells them to get cash.

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= fee
The financial charge for using services, or manfaat (wages, allowance, commission, etc).

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= the Muslim community


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= Common plight
An unfavorable widespread situation affecting most people which is difficult to avoid.

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= Contracts of partnership


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= Contracts of exchange


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= Charitable contracts


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= deposit
Earnest money which forms part payment of the price of goods or services paid in advance, but will be forfeited in the event the transaction is cancelled. The forfeited money is considered as hibah (gift).

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= Deposit
Alternative spelling = Wadia, Al Wadia, Al Wadiah
The safekeeping of goods with a deposit on the original stated cost. An Islamic bank acts as the keeper and trustee of depositors' funds. It guarantees to return the entire deposit, or any part of it, on the depositor's demand.

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= Savings or deposits with guarantee
Goods or deposits entrusted to the care of a person, who is not the owner, for safekeeping. The depository becomes the guarantor, thereby guaranteeing repayment of the whole amount or any part of the deposits that is outstanding in the account of depositors, when so demanded. The depositors are not entitled to any share in the profits but the depository may provide returns to the depositors as a token of appreciation.

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= agency
Alternative spelling = Wakala, Al Wakala, Al Wakalah
Absolute power of attorney: where a representative is appointed to undertake transactions on another person's behalf. In terms of Takaful operations, Wakalah refers to an agency contract, which may involve a fee for the agent.

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= charitable trust
Alternative spelling = Awkaf, Awqaf
An endowment or a charitable trust set up for Islamic purposes (usually for education, mosques, or for the poor). It involves tying up a property in perpetuity so that it cannot be sold, inherited, or donated to anyone.

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= will or testament
Document detailing the manner in which a Muslim’s wealth is to be disposed of after his death.

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= religious tax
Alternative spelling = Zakah
An obligatory contribution which every wealthy Muslim is required to pay to the Islamic state, or to distribute amongst the poor. According to Islam, zakat – the third pillar of Islam – purifies wealth and souls. Zakat is levied on cash, cattle, agricultural produce, minerals, capital invested in industry and business. There are two types of zakat: Zakat al Fitr, which is payable by every Muslim able to pay at the end of Ramadan. This is also called Zakat al Nafs (poll tax). Zakat al Maal is an annual levy on the wealth of a Muslim above a certain level. The rate paid differs according to the type of property owned.

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The proliferation in the desire to revamp regulations and tax guidelines as governments look to entice a new breed of investors is expected to enhance cross-border trade across jurisdictions. NAZNEEN HALIM reports.
 
Industry players are growing more optimistic about the channeling of GCC investments into Asia and Africa: particularly via infrastructure development projects and African agricultural land projects, and many of these are expected to be financed in a Shariah compliant manner. The increase of infrastructure development projects is expected to occur predominantly in the emerging markets of Asia, due to its growing population, as well as in North African countries: specifically Egypt, Libya and Tunisia - all of which were affected by 2011’s Arab Spring.

At the recent World Islamic Economic Forum, it was revealed that total trade finance among the 57 OIC members, which include Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Turkey, is expected to reach US$4 trillion by this year; making up one third of the current US$12 trillion global trade flows. Tourism and telecommunication are also high growth areas in Asia which have begun to entice GCC investors, while average income countries such as India and Malaysia have become prime choices for high net worth GCC investors looking to invest into financial institutions.

“There is a natural affinity in the Middle East and Asia for Islamic finance, but of course there has to be a genuine growth story for any investor. For Middle East investors, the key concerns are returns and strategic reasons, such as the relationship between countries and how it fits into their investment agenda,” an analyst revealed.

Global acceptance
Industry players are also becoming increasingly aware of the importance of a standardized regulatory framework in order to promote the cross-border flow of deals and to create an internationalized Islamic banking system. Hussain Al Qemzi, CEO of Noor Islamic Bank, commented: “If we are to challenge the conventional banks’ entrenched position in international financial deals, we must develop the capacity to structure multi-currency and cross-border transactions and to build scale. To do that we need to build deeper relationships between the key markets and between individual banks, so that we are better placed to compete on a global scale.

“The time has come for us to stop focusing on our differences as reasons for not doing business. It is time to talk about how Islamic finance can contribute to long-term inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth not just in Muslim countries, but in every country across the globe.”

According to a Malaysia-based practitioner, the main challenge in pushing products abroad - including Sukuk issuances - and particularly in creating a new investor base for Malaysian Sukuk, is a lack of products which can translate across borders into jurisdictions with varying requirements. “There is currently a lack of products in the market. To achieve internationalization of the Sukuk market and boost cross-border financing, we need more complex products and need to innovate to sell the product further. This is mainly because the global market is different from the Malaysian market in terms of yield and tenor; and there is definitely demand from foreign investors for higher yields. There is quite a challenge in swapping back to different currencies, and in order to encourage more Middle East investors into the Malaysian market in particular, there is still much room for innovation.”

The practitioner also added that the main reason why Malaysian paper suffers from a lack of international interest, despite its quality, is because the acceptability of products across jurisdictions is not uniform: “There needs to be more differentiation and more convergence in Shariah acceptability. I foresee products being much more complex- not merely based on Bai Bithaman Ajil or Murabahah, but a mixture of principles involved to adapt across borders,” he said.

For Middle East investors in particular, high returns are very much desired, and strategic reasons such as the relationship between countries and how this fits into their investment agenda are among the key concerns. “There are multiple scenarios to look at to determine the goodness of a deal, because it is not as simple as doing trade intra-Asia whether they have access to the highest levels of governance and are able to comprehend business cultures and norms,” another analyst revealed.

With Middle East institutions such as Elaf Bank and AlKhair Investment Bank (previously known as Unicorn Investment Bank) being the latest entrants to the Southeast Asian market via Malaysia, following Dubai Islamic Bank’s 60% acquisition of Bank Islam in 2006, it is evident that interest in growing cross-border capabilities and reaching a new investor segment is high on the agenda of these banks. With a more standardized outlook on regulations and tax allowances for Islamic instruments, there is no doubt that cross-border trade between the Middle East and the rest of the world is set for positive growth.

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Latest Issue
Wednesday 23rd July 2014
Volume 11 Issue 29
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  UAE’s mission to Mars
  Tadawul’s liberalization: A gateway to untapped opportunities
  Sovereign Sukuk market: Gears still moving
IFN Country Analysis
  Turkey — in a pinch
IFN Sector Analysis
  Walking the line: Shariah compliant corporate governance
Features
  Islamic finance in Turkey
Islamic banking is currently dominated by Iran, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, but offers significant promise in Turkey given the country’s strong financial structure and distinctive potential...
  Islamic finance corporate governance in Egypt — less than sophisticated
The corporate governance policies and practices of Islamic financial institutions, while similar in several aspects to those implemented in conventional financial institutions, include certain elements that correspond to and reflect the special characteristics of the products they offer and the image of such institutions in the market...
  Corporate governance in the UK Islamic finance industry
Despite anchoring itself in the Islamic finance space, the UK has yet to see its Shariah compliant retail banking sector take off, prompting for a policy re-think and governance framework restructuring...
  Takaful in Indonesia: Room for growth
Over the last five years, the market share of the Indonesian Islamic insurance industry has increased steadily to 4.2% in 2012 from 2.13% in 2008, according to the latest available official data...
Case Study
Al Hilal Bank’s sophomore Sukuk issuance

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