This text is a result of more than six years experience of teaching Islamic Banking and Finance as an adjunct faculty at Preston University, Ajman and at the Emirates Institute of Banking & Financial Studies, Sharjah. This text was designed to accommodate the needs of students who do not possess a basic knowledge in Economics, Business and/or in Business Values of Islam. Student demand for the course increased and subsequently many intensive courses were designed for the uninitiated and professionals in the field. The attempt of this book is to promote awareness and discuss relevant principles and guidelines of Islamic Business, Banking, Economics, Ethics, and Finance contributing to a contemporary system of Islamic Banking and Finance. In order to solve contemporary problems Islamically way, the ideas of previous scholars are to be considered and put into practice together with new experiences to fulfill the criteria of Islam and to introduce an ethical system that can work more efficiantly in an international environment. By linking between the realistic needs of human beings and Islamic value system, positive contributions to reduction of poverty, fair and just distribution of income, ethical cooperation between nations and a just economic welfare system could be established. Islamic banks started in 1975 with the establishment of Dubai Islamic Bank. It was the first Islamic commercial bank in the world begun with a capital of AED 50 millions which was increased to AED 2 billions in 2007. The number of Islamic banks scattered around the globe has reached more than 200 with a capital of around 480 billions in 2008. All relevant economic, banking, financial and Islamic concepts introduced in this book are clearly presented in an easily understandable way. Ideas of many Islamic schools of thought are presented in such a way that enables the student to apply them to various Islamic rules which he/she studied in chapter one. Accordingly a person can make selective rational choices between different alternative concepts in a balanced manner. The book is comprised of three chapters. The first chapter Basic Economic and Business values of Islam introduces basic Islamic analytical skills related to Islamic Banking and Finance. It gives an important background which is crucial for financial /research professionals/specialists as well as for beginners. The second chapter Islam, Economics and Banking introduces the main economic and banking concepts related to Islamic banking and finance. Together the two introductory chapters provide the students coming from other disciplines with a basic knowledge of Islamic concepts, Economics and Banking and this enhances students understanding of Chapter 3 : Islamic Banking and Finance . The book contains a lot of Arabic terminology which is explained in the glossary at the end of the book. From an Islamic perspective, exact translation of Quranic verses is impossible. Therefore, the translations mentioned in this book are the closest interpretations of the intended meanings. Additionally I have selectively choosen from various translations to convey the meaning I intended from an Economic perspective. Examples and relevant questions are provided to enable students linkage of the Islamic concepts with the applied banking practices.
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Abdel Fattah M. Farah is the Economic Advisor for the Ajman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and an Adjunct Professor of Economics, Islamic Banking, and Business Ethics at Ajman University of Science and Technology and at the Emirates Institute of Banking and Financial Studies. Dr. Farah received a B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Khartoum and earned two M.A. degrees, one in Islamic Studies and the other in Economics from Punjab University, in the years 1985 and 1990 respectively. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Economics from Omdurman Islamic University, Department of Economics and Management in 1996. He taught at Dubai Women s College from 1990 to 1996. After that he joined Dubai Islamic Bank working closely with its Sharia h Board as a researcher and trainer till 1999. Dr. Farah s research has primarily been in the area of Economics, with particular emphasis on Islamic Economics, Ethics, Banking and Finance. His publications include The Orientated Investment Of Zakaah: A Comparative And Analytical Economic & Jurisprudential Study, Dubai Islamic Bank Printing Press, 1st Ed. 1997 and Role of the Islamic Concept of Tawakkul in Decision-Making (Intellectual Works Organization, Ministry of Culture, Khartoum, 1st Ed. May 2004). His unique contribution to teaching banking and finance is his serious attempt to relate basic Islamic principles to current problems of decision making at corporate level. He has presented refereed research papers on Zakaah, Islamic Banking and Finance in a variety of Islamic banking and finance conferences in Malaysia, Cairo, Sharjah, Khartoum, Bahrain and Dubai, and has published academic papers in refereed economic magazines. Dr. Farah is also a commentator on Islamic Banking and Finance on radio and TV and has contributed articles to newspapers.Review:
This book, An Introduction to Islamic Banking & Finance, written by Professor Abdel Fattah M. Farah, is truly invaluable. It is an important addition to the field of Islamic Banking and Finance in particular and to Islamic Economics in general. It is an academic work exclusive in its field with important concepts explained in an easy, comprehensible manner while unrelated material is left out to not confuse the reader who does not have the relevant knowledge. The author follows the academic analysis approach in his study, making this book scientific in its field and providing the reader with the necessary information in an easily understandable way. The focus of this book is on the core goals of Islamic Banking, Finance and Investment. Every single unit of investment, by definition and analysis of Islamic Economics, should be a real investment, facing uncertainty in the future and hence, facing business risk. This means that Islamically there is no total risk-free rate of return. This book is suitable for students of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance, and for scholars and professionals of the relevant field who will find it to be a worthy reference. Besides investors and traders who desire to comply with Islamic Law will also find it useful. --Mohammad E.R. Al- Romaithi - Professor of Economics - UAE University, Al Ain, UAE
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