In case anyone has had a negative response to the title, please read through what I have written before making your judgement. I am not saying Islamic Financial law or Islamic law should be fully implemented in countries that it is not currently implemented or if the citizens of that country do not want to follow its law. Rather the concepts used within Islamic finance provides solutions to the problems within the conventional banking system.
In my opinion, it seems that the fundamental principles of the banking system is set up to allow the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Therefore, it is imperative that the core of the banking system is changed, rather then having more laws to correct a system that is flawed to begin with.
The following is copied from “An Introduction to Islamic Finance,” by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani. It should shed some light onto the issue.
” ‘Musharakah’ is a word of Arabic origin which literally means sharing. In the context of business and trade it means a joint enterprise in which all the partners share the profit or loss of the joint venture. It is an ideal alternative for the interest-based financing with far reaching effects on both production and distribution. In the modern capitalist economy, interest is the sole instrument indiscriminately used in financing of every type. Since Islam has prohibited interest, this instrument cannot be used for providing funds of any kind. Therefore, musharakah can play a vital role in an economy based on Islamic principles.
‘Interest’ predetermines a fixed rate of return on a loan advanced by the financier irrespective of the profit earned or loss suffered by the debtor, while musharakah does not envisage a fixed rate of return. Rather, the return in musharakah is based on the actual profit earned by the joint venture. The financier in an interest-bearing loan cannot suffer loss while the financier in musharakah can suffer loss, if the joint venture fails to produce fruits. Islam has termed interest as an unjust instrument of financing because it results in injustice either to the creditor or to the debtor. If the debtor suffers a loss, it is unjust on the part of the creditor to claim a fixed rate of return; and if the debtor earns a very high rate of profit, it is injustice to the creditor to give him only a small proportion of the profit leaving the rest for the debtor.
In the modern economic system, it is the banks which advance depositors’ money as loans to industrialists and traders. If industrialists having only ten million of their own, acquire 90 million from the banks and embark on a huge profitable project, it means that 90% of the project has been created by the money of the depositors while only 10% has been created by their own capital. If this huge project brings enormous profits, only a small proportion i.e. 14 or 15% will go to the depositors through the bank, while all the rest will be gained by the industrialists whose real contribution to the project is not more than 10%. Even this small proportion of 14 or 15% is taken back by the industrialists, because this proportion is included by them in the cost of their production. The net result is that all the profit of the enterprise is earned by the persons whose own capital does not exceed 10% of the total investment, while the people owning 90% of the investment get no more than the fixed rate of interest which is often repaid by them through the increased prices of the products. On the contrary, if in an extreme situation, the industrialists go insolvent, their own loss is no more than 10%, while the rest of 90% is totally borne by the bank, and in some cases, by the depositors. In this way, the rate of interest is the main cause for imbalances in the system of distribution, which has a constant tendency in favor of the rich and against the interests of the poor.”
Even if you don’t agree with the religion, the concept of God, or with aspects of Islam, I believe as human beings we must be open to find an answer from sources that we might not fully agree with.
Thank you for reading. Salam (Peace).