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Sharīʿah-compliant or Sharīʿah-based? The Changing Ethical Discourse of Islamic Finance

Sharīʿah-compliant or Sharīʿah-based? The Changing Ethical Discourse of Islamic Finance AbstractObservers call upon Islamic financial institutions to move beyond offering merely Sharīʿah-compliant instruments toward offering more Sharīʿah-based ones. But when did these terms come into usage, and why? What precisely do people mean by ‘Sharīʿah-based’? In this article we argue that the term ‘Sharīʿah-compliant’ emerged in the 1990s and allowed Islamic finance institutions to leave behind scandals of the 1980s, presenting Islamic finance anew as a technically rational project grounded in Sharīʿah expertise. In contrast, the call for Sharīʿah-based finance became popular in the 2000s, and especially after the 2008 global financial crisis, which made systemic stability and product transparency pressing concerns. Usages of ‘Sharīʿah-based’ fall into three categories: those that stress separation from conventional finance, those that stress authenticity, and those that stress welfare. This definitional multiplicity is not a problem but rather a starting point for debate and a sign of Islamic finance’s growing maturity as an ethical project. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arab Law Quarterly Brill

Sharīʿah-compliant or Sharīʿah-based? The Changing Ethical Discourse of Islamic Finance

Arab Law Quarterly , Volume 35 (1-2): 24 – Mar 26, 2020

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0268-0556
eISSN
1573-0255
DOI
10.1163/15730255-BJA10008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractObservers call upon Islamic financial institutions to move beyond offering merely Sharīʿah-compliant instruments toward offering more Sharīʿah-based ones. But when did these terms come into usage, and why? What precisely do people mean by ‘Sharīʿah-based’? In this article we argue that the term ‘Sharīʿah-compliant’ emerged in the 1990s and allowed Islamic finance institutions to leave behind scandals of the 1980s, presenting Islamic finance anew as a technically rational project grounded in Sharīʿah expertise. In contrast, the call for Sharīʿah-based finance became popular in the 2000s, and especially after the 2008 global financial crisis, which made systemic stability and product transparency pressing concerns. Usages of ‘Sharīʿah-based’ fall into three categories: those that stress separation from conventional finance, those that stress authenticity, and those that stress welfare. This definitional multiplicity is not a problem but rather a starting point for debate and a sign of Islamic finance’s growing maturity as an ethical project.

Journal

Arab Law QuarterlyBrill

Published: Mar 26, 2020

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