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Understanding Islamic finance

The rapid growth in importance of Islamic finance to the UK has led to changes in the tax system, the creation of specialist qualifications and a new focus on legislative changes to support the development of Islamic financial products. On this page you can access a range of material that can help you understand the basics of Islamic finance.

Introductions to Islamic finance

The Library provides full text access to a selection of eBooks and online articles on Islamic finance, including the titles highlighted below.


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Financial and accounting principles in Islamic finance

This book provides an original account detailing the origins and components of a faith-based accounting system (Islamic finance) that was founded around 629 CE. By examining the historical development that the accounting systems underwent within the context of faith-based rules and values, the book explains what is meant by the term "faith-based accounting", together with a discussion of its characteristics in relation to various product structures and the underlying Islamic finance principles.

Mastering Islamic finance: a practical guide to sharia-compliant banking, investment and insurance

A practical and accessible guide to Islamic finance that helps demystify the differences with conventional banking, enabling practitioners to develop Sharia compliant products for customers. Mastering Islamic Finance will give practitioners an understanding of Islamic finance, from the basic techniques, through to advanced applications of Islamic financial instruments so they can sensibly apply them in practice. For each instrument there is a definition of the concept and how it differs from its equivalent in conventional banking. Includes examples and case studies to highlight practical applications.

Introduction to Islamic finance, An: theory and practice

Chapters cover the theoretical background of Islamic finance, the concept of riba, risk sharing as an alternative to debt, Islamic financial intermediation and banking, regulation of Islamic financial institutions, and the challenges of globalisation.

Understanding Islamic finance

Introduces the main prohibitions and business ethics in Islamic economics as well as the philosophy and features of Islamic finance. Includes chapters on the Islamic law of contracts and business transactions, trading in Islamic commercial law, and loan and debt in Islamic commercial law. Provides an overview of conventional and Islamic financial institutions and products, Murabaha and Musawamah, Salam and Istisna'a, Ijarah, Shirkah and its variants, Islamic capital markets, Takaful as an alternative to conventional insurance, and an appraisal of common criticism of Islamic banking and finance.

Islamic finance: law, economics, and practice

Chapters cover jurisprudence and arbitrage in Islamic finance, riba and gharar, sale-based Islamic finance, derivative-like sales, securitization and sukuk, Islamic financial institutions, governance and regulatory solutions in mutuality, and sharia arbitrage.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

The Islamic finance market

Global Islamic Finance Report
Annual report which includes an assessment of the size of the global Islamic financial services industry and the Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI), which ranks countries by the size of their Islamic financial assets. The Islamic Finance Country Index was first launched in 2011 and has quickly gained acceptance as a means to compare countries in this sector.

Global trends in Islamic finance and the UK market 2019
A  research report from TheCityUK, summarising global trends in Islamic finance with particular reference to how the market is developing in the UK. TheCityUK's Islamic Finance Sectoral Advisory Group aims to provide thought leadership on Islamic finance through engaging with government and international decision makers.

Islamic Finance in Europe
An online paper from the European Central Bank which provides an overview of the Islamic finance market in Europe and highlights the different approaches taken by the countries covered (France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg and the UK). Published in June 2013.

Islamic Finance: MENA edition
Islamic finance gateway from Zawya Thomson Reuters which includes latest news stories, featured research reports and economic indicators. The annual Thomson Reuters Islamic Finance Development Report looks in detail at the worldwide Islamic finance industry, its top performers and the trends that will propel future growth.

Islamic Finance News: IFN Annual Guide 2021
This annual IFN journal guide looks at overall markets for Islamic finance, with individual country summaries.

Misconceptions about Islamic finance
A web page from INCEIF, the Global University of Islamic Finance, which tackles some of the common misconceptions about Islamic finance.

Multimedia and video

Deloitte Islamic Finance
The online resources from Deloitte include a multimedia guide on the basics of Islamic finance and a series of thought leadership publications.

Differences between Islamic and conventional retail banking
Part of a collection of video presentations from the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance (IIBI), intended to increase understanding of Islamic finance practices. 

Introduction to Islamic Finance: Concepts & Structures
Video of an October 2013 presentation given by Farmida Bi (Partner and European Head of Islamic Finance, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP) as part of the LSE Department of Law's Islamic Finance Seminar Series. The presentation provides an overview of the particular features of Islamic finance, traditional Islamic contracts and Islamic finance in the UK.

Useful links

IMF Islamic Finance factsheet
International Monetary Fund (IMF) factsheet concisely answering the question 'What is Islamic finance?' and covering recent developments.

Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance (IIBI)
A charitable organisation which seeks to build a wider understanding of the principles and methodologies within Islamic financial services. The IIBI website includes an extensive collection of useful resources, including an Islamic Finance Glossary and an archive of their magazine New Horizon.

Investing within shariah: A guide to Islamic financial products
The framework of Islamic finance, main types of contracts and key terms such as Riba, Haram and Gharar are explained in this March 2019 Thomson Reuters Zawya guide for investors.

Malaysia International Islamic Financial Centre (MIFC)
An initiative launched by Malaysia's financial and market regulators to promote Malaysia as a major hub for international Islamic finance. The MIFC provides a knowledge centre which includes an impressive range of publications and guides on Islamic finance.

UK Excellence in Islamic Finance
UK Government publication which includes a short history of Islamic Finance in the UK as well as timelines that show the key dates in the development of Islamic Financial Institutions in the UK and the regulatory development of Islamic Finance in the UK. The publication also provides profiles of major industry players and education/training providers. Published in October 2014.

Further reading

This is a selection of recent articles and books in our print collection – click on the links to see our catalogue record and holdings for each item. Please contact us if you would like to borrow a book or request a copy of an article.


Islamic finance's growing pains
Economia, March 2017
The Islamic finance industry has seen rapid growth, with sharia-compliant banks often outpacing their conventional peers. However, the lack of standardisation and the complexity of adhering to multiple financial reporting systems could be holding the industry back.

How does Islamic finance work?
Economia, October 2013
Kamal Munir explains what sets Islamic finance apart from western models of banking and finance. 


Understanding Islamic financial services: theory and practice
K.Ullah (Kogan Page, 2017, 212 pages)
This book explains the basic concepts, principles, contracts and financial products of Islamic finance, using case studies and examples to bring the text to life. 

Mastering Islamic finance : a practical guide to sharia-compliant banking, investment and insurance
F.Karbani (Pearson Education, 2015, 191 pages)
A practical guide to provide practitioners with an understanding of the key concepts underpinning Islamic finance and the prevalent and developing market practices. It also explains the main products and service types and how they differ from comparable conventional finance instruments.

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

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