Islamic Banking

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DEFINITION of 'Islamic Banking'

A banking system that is based on the principles of Islamic law (also known Shariah) and guided by Islamic economics. Two basic principles behind Islamic banking are the sharing of profit and loss and, significantly, the prohibition of the collection and payment of interest. Collecting interest is not permitted under Islamic law.

BREAKING DOWN 'Islamic Banking'

Here's an example of how the Islamic banking system uses methods of profit/loss sharing to facilitate financial transactions: for some types of loans, the borrower only needs to pay back the amount owed to the lender, but the borrower can choose to pay the lender a small amount of money to serve as a gratuity.

Since this system of banking is grounded in Islamic principles, all the undertakings of the banks follow Islamic morals. Therefore, it could be said that financial transactions within Islamic banking are a culturally distinct form of ethical investing (for example, investments involving alcohol, gambling, pork, etc. are prohibited). The Dubai Islamic Bank has the distinction of being the world's first full-fledged Islamic bank, formed in 1975.

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