Do Muslim Poor Self-Exclude Them from the Financial System for Reasons of Faith?

In a 2007 study “Islamic Microfinance Development: Challenges and Initiatives” undertaken by the Islamic Research and Training Institute, we observed that most of the member countries of the OIC with significant Muslim population had high and rising poverty levels. Just five of them – Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt accounted for over half a billion (528 million) of…

Maqasid al-Shariah, SDGs and Environment

In this blog I seek to demonstrate the convergence of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in general, and the goal of climate management in particular with the objectives (Maqasid) of Shariah (MaS). Since the MaS should determine the trajectory of Islamic finance, the latter should be geared towards achievement of the SDGs in general and climate management…

Making Sense of Onion Economics in India: Can Islamic Finance Help?

I was motivated to write this piece by the story of a poor farmer in India. The story of this 48-year old farmer Devidas Parvane from the Rasai village of Pune in Maharashtra state in India as reported in the mainstream media captures a classic unresolved problem of agricultural finance in India. The farmer brought…

Islamic Finance in India: A New Beginning?

It was an Indian scholar, Dr Muhammad Nejatullah Siddiqi who provided the first theoretical model for an Islamic bank in his celebrated book “Banking without Interest” in the 1960s. He went on to contribute immensely to the development of Islamic economics as a discipline. Way back in 1996, the Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar, India…