Islamic banking (or participant banking) (Arabic: المصرفية الإسلامية) is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of sharia and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees (known as riba, or usury) for loans of money. Investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to Islamic principles is also haraam ("sinful and prohibited"). Although these principles have been applied in varying degrees by historical Islamic economies due to lack of Islamic practice, only in the late 20th century were a number of Islamic banks formed to apply these principles to private or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community. What is an Islamic investment policy?
Islamic investments are a unique form of socially responsible investments because Islam makes no division between the spiritual and the secular.
The establishment of an Islamic investment policy, be it for the institutional or individual investor, starts with the Sharia Board, a group of Islamic scholars (jurists) that vests investment products for compliance with Islamic Law and conducts ongoing due diligence of them. Sources for interpretation follow a hierarchy of authority: the Quran, believed by Muslims to be the words of Allah verbatim as revealed to his prophet Muhammad in the seventh century; the Sunnah which are rules from the prophet's sayings (Hadiths) and actions; Qiyas which are scholarly legal deductions; and Ijma, the consensus of scholars on a particular issue.
The challenges that a Sharia-compliant portfolio faces would appear to be no different than those that any other portfolio manager would come up against. A manager formulates an investment thesis which drives portfolio selection criteria. He or she then needs to decide against the appropriate benchmark against which to measure...
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