This paper aims to define the parameters of the reward-risk principle in Islamic finance. The paper is a good attempt to conceptualize the Fiqh basis of risk-reward principle and to use the understanding in revisiting both Ribā-based and Islamic finance contracts.
When a common person tries to form an opinion about Islamic banking, he hears cliché sayings about Islamic banking, such as ‘Currently, Islamic banking and finance are not truly Islamic’, ‘It is only changing of conventional terms into Islamic terms’ and ‘Islamic banking is an oxymoron as banking cannot be Islamic’. This brief article discusses some points that will help in better understanding Islamic finance and Islamic banking in particular.
In Islamic Ijarah and Diminishing Musharakah based contracts, Islamic bank charges rent for the use of asset in its ownership and risk, charges these rents after the asset has been provided to the client in usable condition and only till the asset remains in usable condition during the lease period. These differences also ensure strong links with the real economy and productive sector and limit credit creation other than for genuine value creating economic activities in the real economy.
Inclusivity, equitable distribution of resources and socio-economic mobility do not determine Shari’ah compliance or validity. However, these visionary goals are the aspirations of many people in academics and public at large. The realists contend that the visionary objectives of equitable distribution of income will be taken care of in the long run by Islamic social finance institutions, such as Zakat and Waqf. Islamic banks as one part of Islamic finance ecosystem will continue to serve the short term financing requirements of clients and for which debt based Islamic modes of financing are the suitable options.
If the virus had been growing at a linear rate, it would not have been that much dangerous. It is the exponential increase in the Corona Virus spread which makes it become uncontrollable and create havoc in the society. Compound interest in the financial system is such a Corona Virus. Interest accrued but unpaid increases interest in the future periods ahead at an exponential rate.
The difference in an Islamic framework would come with the normative distinction between investments which are declared as prohibited in the ethical injunctions of Islamic faith and other investments which are deemed as permissible.
“The term riba encompasses interest in all its manifestations irrespective of whether it relates to loans for consumption purposes or for productive purposes, whether the loans are of a personal nature or of a commercial type, whether the borrower is a government, a private individual or a concern, and whether the rate of interest is low or high” (Council’s Report, 1980).