Still confused about Islamic finance? Islamic and conventional finance seem similar? What exactly is Riba? Search for answer to these questions led me to be a part of Islamic finance industry. Why?
Like many of you out there; who require answer to these questions; my research journey started with reading articles on the internet and papers by scholars and academicians. The review of this rich text sustained my initial interest in the subject while at the same time clarifying the questions that I had in my mind.
However while doing my personal research I realized two things. Firstly the text on Islamic finance is very diverse in nature with differing opinions between scholars and academicians. Secondly it presents Islamic finance as an idealistic or utopian model purely in a theoretical manner. This theoretical manner completely ignores the current realities of the business, economics, societal and other practical implications in the real world. This led me to question how far is the theoretical model implemented by Islamic banks and financial institutions in areas related to Corporate finance, trade finance, treasury, investment banking, etc. This question could only be answered by by observing and experiencing the practice of Islamic finance industry first hand.
In this introductory course, rather than focusing on theoretical aspects of Islamic finance only, we take a real world practice based approach to present the concepts of Islamic finance and how it differs from conventional banking. The course aims to equip students to acknowledge the theoretical aspects of Islamic finance and how far that theory is practiced by Islamic banks.
At the end of this course the students will be able to:
1) Understand the definition of riba as per classical texts
2) Identify whether riba is present or not in any given banking transaction.
3) Understand the ways in which Islamic banks avoid riba in there daily financial transactions.
4) Realize the difference between balance sheets of Islamic and conventional banks.
5) Understand and respond to the doubts raised on Islamic financial systems.