Islamic Finance Law, Economics, and Practice

Author/Publisher:  Mahmoud A. El-Gamal
Descriptions: 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. In every aspect of finance - from personal loans to investment banking, and from market structure to corporate governance - Islamic finance aims to replicate in Islamic forms the substantive functions of contemporary financial instruments, markets, and institutions. By attempting to replicate the substance of contemporary financial practice using pre-modern contract forms, Islamic finance has arguably failed to serve the objectives of Islamic law. This book proposes refocusing Islamic finance on substance rather than form. This approach would entail abandoning the paradigm of 'Islamization' of every financial practice. It would also entail reorienting the brand-name of Islamic finance to emphasize issues of community banking, micro-finance, and socially responsible investment.

About the Author

Mahmoud A. El-Gamal is Professor of Economics and Statistics at Rice University, where he holds the endowed Chair in Islamic Economics, Finance, and Management. Professor El-Gamal has also served in the Middle East Department of the International Monetary Fund (1995–6), and was the first Scholar in Residence on Islamic Finance at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2004. He has published extensively in the areas of econometrics, finance, experimental economics, and Islamic law and finance.


'This book is by far one of the best that has been published on the topic of Islamic finance and banking.' Choice Magazine, Outstanding Academic Title, 2007

'Islamic Finance is a fine work of scholarship. It will be controversial. It exposes the irrationality and inefficiency of Shari'a arbitrating prevalent in 'Islamic finance' and proposes a fundamental reform in Islamic financial practices. This book is also a valuable manual for those who need to understand the intricacies of Islamic financial practices and the Islamic jurisprudential justifications for them. This book is an important contribution to the modern understanding of Islam.' Sohrab Behdad, Denison University

•  Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (24 Nov 2008)
•  ISBN-10: 0521741262
•  ISBN-13: 978-0521741262