Friday, June 26, 2015

"WAAD" AND ISLAMIC CONTRACTUAL FRAMEWORK?


‘WAAD’ OR PROMISE: WHY IT IS INCONSISTENT WITH ISLAMIC CONTRACTUAL FRAMEWORK

In one of the previous posts, we raised up an issue pertaining to the use “waad” or promise in Islamic finance and how it seems that this concept has been widely employed to achieve some objectives aimed at helping one party but denying justice to the other side in a transaction. For a start, Islamic law right from the outset has recognized a distinction between a promise and a contract (‘aqd) where a contract has been viewed more important than a promise at least in the context of external binding effect. However even in the case of contracts, Islamic law does look at the nature of the contracts concerned when it comes to the question of their external binding effect  that will define whether the court will enforce the ensuing obligations or not.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

CHARGING FEES FOR FINANCIAL GUARANTEE: THE BASIC ISSUE

GUARANTEE FEES AND ISLAMIC FINANCE: WHAT IS THE BASIC ISSUE??

Islam prohibits charging of interest for money lending if such is contractually made compulsory on a borrower and as such has made it very clear that payment and receipt of interest made compulsory based on contracts between the two parties is prohibited. However the borrower is allowed out of his own accord without compulsion to pay more than what he had borrowed from the lender as a token of gratitude for the kindness rendered. Money lending must always be treated as a benevolent contract in Islam that its shall carry no interest charges.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

CRISIS IN ISLAMIC FINANCE EDUCATION

Islamic finance as practiced today is a new phenomenon that is very interesting to look at not because it is related to the so-called growth  rate that is so impressive according to many reports of late. True that to a certain extent,  the figure normally quoted to support this claim of impressive growth is there to be appreciated but the basic question to ask is whether such an achievement is truly an achievement worthy of celebration.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE EGYPTIAN DEBATE ON SUKUK LAW


THE EGYPTIAN DEBATE ON SUKUK LAW
The current Egyptian debate about the sukuk draft law that had been proposed by the government and tabled in the People Assembly and passed but rejected by some shows clearly that sukuk is such a topical topic in a country where Islamic finance was tested many decades ago even before many other countries started their Islamic finance movement. During the eighties of the last century, many would remember the controversy surrounding the so-called Islamic investment schemes that were mushrooming in the country including the famous case of al-Rayyan Investment  Scheme. The difference is that the government of the day at that time had a very different attitude toward Islamic finance and about anything Islamic generally.

Friday, October 26, 2012

SUKUK BACKED BY MIXED ASSET

SUKUK BACKED BY MIXED ASSET


Sukuk literally means “pieces of paper” or “documents that acknowledge something.” In a commercial sense it refers to instruments used in Islamic finance to allow one party to raise capital or funds in the capital market with the issuance of sukuk papers that list the rights and obligations of all parties involved in a transaction. Even though sukuk are sometimes referred to as Islamic bonds, they are not bonds in the conventional sense as holders of the former are not supposed to expect a fixed rate of returns from their purchase of these securities, as is the case with conventional bond holders. In the case of sukuk, what is important is that holders of the certificates must own the underlying assets to justify returns which are not fixed but are tied to actual returns/incomes generated by the assets owned. Hence, in the case of sukuk musharakah, for example, investors are sold portions of assets to be used in business. Returns to holders are in fact income or profit earned from the use of the assets in a manner specified in the sukuk contracts.

Friday, July 13, 2012

ISLAMIC BANKS AND HOUSES UNDER CONSTRUCTION

ISLAMIC BANKS AND THE SALE OF HOUSES UNDER CONSTRUCTION: WHERE IS THE FAULT?

Issues have been recently raised about the predicament faced by consumers who have to suffer due to houses they purchased using Islamic banking facilities provided by Islamic banks in Malaysia. According to one report by Islamic Consumer Association of Malaysia (PPIM) complaints received by the association from consumers about house financing   in the past couples of years run into thousands mostly related to non-delivery of the purchased houses due to abandoned housing projects. Many parties have voiced their displeasure at the way the relevant financing is done and called for an immediate review by competent Shariah authority to address injustice to the consumers. What is more damaging, it has been said, the good name of Islam has been compromised by such a banking practice resorted to by the so-called Islamic banks.

Monday, March 26, 2012

STANDARDIZATION OF SHARIAH OPINIONS


STANDARDISATION OF SHARIAH OPINIONS/LAW IN ISLAMIC FINANCE: WHAT ARE THE ISSUES?
We often hear people involved in Islamic finance talk (in seminars and conferences) about the need to standardize shariah laws/opinions related to the practice as they claim that without such a move the sector cannot grow. They say that the impediment to the so called growth lies with the conflicting views coming from jurists of Islamic law. But the same persons when confronted with facts about the conflicting and multiplicity of the legal systems of the world and the various judicial decisions made in various jurisdictions that are also appealable at various stages of trials in civil or conventional courts, they don’t dare to say even a word about it.