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Debate on Islamic Finance by Riazat Butt

Guardian Unlimited looks at Islamic Finance with Junaid Bhatti from the Islamic Bank of Britain, Ed Balls Economic Secretary to HM Treasury, Tony Levene from the Guardian, and Sharia-sceptic Dr Mohammed Saleem.

> Click here to download the debate now.

Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007

The History of Islamic mortages?

Like any other human being, Muslims also need and desire a secure dwelling for themselves and their families. Until 1975, owning a home was an unthinkable proposition for practicing Muslims, because usury is prohibited by Islam. The Qur'an (2:276) says: "Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury," and in 2:278 reminds the Muslims: "O ye who believe, keep your duty to Allah and relinquish what remains (due) from interest, if you are believers."

The Prophet (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam) forbade usury. One of the better-known ahadith, narrated by Ibn Mas'ud, quotes the Messenger of Allah (salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam), saying, "Allah has cursed the receiver, the giver of the interest and a lso the witness and the scribe of the interest-bearing transaction; they are alike." (Muslim, Tirmidhi).

The seed of interest-free mortgages was planted in 1975 when a group of Muslims based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada drafted the first working document. The precursor to today's Islamic housing finance deeds was a simple two-page document that spelled out the shared equity and rental terms. The first home financed under these terms in Halifax was paid off within three years. Although the originators of this idea worked hard, they could not reach a wider audience.

The concept of interest-free housing finance is still unknown in the west, thus the term "mortgage" is used here in the sense of collateral and as having the title of the property in the names of those who provide the fund.


Islamic Mortgages Info

Islamic Finance podcast

Mohammed Amin of Price Waterhouse Coopers, has recorded a pod cast on Islamic Finance; Mohamed gave a talk in London last year regarding its taxation (August 2006). To share this with readers, he has recorded the presentation in audio format.

> Click here to download this audio broadcast.


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The entire product range offered on this website is Shariah compliant. However, from time to time we will promote relevant none Halal products where no Islamic / Halal alternatives exist. Your home is at risk if you do not keep up monthly payments due under an Islamic / Halal mortgage agreement (your lease and / or diminishing ownership agreement).