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Islamic Finance: Law, Economics, and Practice Hardcover – July 3, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This book is by far one of the best that has been published on the topic of Islamic finance and banking." - Choice

"This is a timely book providing an analytical critique of contemporary Islamic Finance by a leading Muslim scholar.... an important contribution." - International Journal of Middle East Studies

Book Description

This book provides an overview of the practice of Islamic finance and the historical roots that define its modes of operation. The focus of the book is analytical and forward-looking. It shows that Islamic finance exists mainly as a form of rent-seeking legal-arbitrage.
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Best Books of the Month
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (July 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521864143
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521864145
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,126,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By twilight on March 17, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Prof. Mahmoud is one of the few scholars who are well versed in Shari'a and economics. He provides a plausible account of the faults of the existing models of Islamic finance "IF", most of which comply with the letter but not the spirit of Islam. The term Shari'a arbitrage, which he coins, is simply is the practice of adding fees for making superficial modifications to a conventional product to make it comply with the formalistic aspects of the Shari'a without altering its unjust economic effect.

Unfortunately, Mahmoud's skepticism was ill-received by the Islamic finance industry and those who benefit from Shari'a arbitrage. Those who turned out to be quite dogmatic, exclusionary, and inexplicably sensitive to criticism. Rather than challenging his thesis in a civilized and academic manner, influential Islamic economists preferred to act in contrary to the precepts of Islam by simply alienating him for no valid reason. They tend to take the best of both worlds, theoretically they persistently emphasize that IF is all about risk-sharing and justice, while practically even the Islamic Development Bank, which is presumably the most Islamic of all, has little to no risk-sharing composition of its loan portfolio as shown in its annual reports.

In any event, Islamic Finance Law, Economics and Practice is a must read for those interested in genuine, neutral, edifying insights into the realm of Islamic finance. Among all books on IF, it provides a balanced approach to the topic calling for mutuality as a possible alternative framework that for all its faults is more compliant with the Shari'a than than the existing framework. IF is doomed to fail unless views of scholars like Mahmoud are taken into consideration to formulate better practices and policies as it grows to maturity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kate on February 24, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In conducting research for my thesis, I found El-Gamal's book to be an incredible resource. His scholarship brings new light to the perspectives on Islamic finance. This is a must-read for anyone looking to research the subject.
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By WALTER L. BANKS on September 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best form of banking on the planet.
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9 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Cheta on September 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Quite a scholarly work. I commend Dr. El-Gamal for his deep knowledge of the subject and his unmatched academic approach to a politically/religiously sensitive issue.

A must-read for everyone interested in understanding Islamic Finance.
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