FAQ’s about Islamic finance and Banking

Islamic finance and Banking

  • What is the difference between Islamic banking and conventional banking?

    • Islamic banking is based on Islamic principles (Shariah) which prohibits earning interest (riba). Transactions involve profit-sharing, asset-ownership, and ethical practices. Conventional banking relies on interest-based loans and transactions.
  • What are the core principles of Islamic banking?

    • Riba-free: Avoiding interest and focusing on profit-sharing or other Shariah-compliant structures.
    • Risk-sharing: Banks and clients share risks and rewards in transactions.
    • Underlying asset ownership: Financing is often tied to the ownership of a real asset.
    • Ethical practices: Activities that are harmful or unethical (e.g., gambling, alcohol) are excluded.
  • What are some Islamic banking products?

    • Profit-sharing investment accounts (Mudarabah): Banks invest your money and share the profits according to a pre-agreed ratio.
    • Islamic mortgages (Ijara): The bank purchases the property and sells it to you in installments with a profit markup.
    • Islamic leasing (Ijarah wa Iqtina): You lease an asset with an option to purchase it at the end of the lease term.
    • Sukuk (Islamic bonds): You essentially invest in an asset or project and share in its profits.
  • What are the benefits of Islamic banking?

    • Shariah-compliant financial products for Muslims who want to avoid riba.
    • Potential for profit-sharing and ethical investment opportunities.
    • May promote financial inclusion for unbanked populations.
  • What are some considerations for Islamic banking?

    • Products can be more complex than conventional banking options.
    • Returns may be variable compared to fixed interest in conventional banking.
    • Availability of Islamic banking products may vary by region.
  • Is Islamic banking safe?


    • Islamic banks are subject to regulations similar to conventional banks. These regulations aim to ensure the bank operates soundly and manages risks effectively.


    • As with any bank, choosing a reputable Islamic bank with a strong track record is important. Research the bank’s financial health, history of Shariah compliance, and customer reviews.

    Product Understanding:

    • Islamic banking products can be more complex than conventional banking options. Understanding the terms and conditions of any product you choose is crucial. This helps you manage your expectations and potential risks.
  • How do I choose an Islamic bank?

    • Consider factors like product offerings, reputation, fees, and customer service.
    • Look for banks with a strong track record of Shariah compliance.
  • Can I switch from conventional banking to Islamic banking?

    • Absolutely! Contact an Islamic bank to discuss their account opening process and transferring your finances.
  • Do Islamic bank accounts pay any fees?

Unlike conventional interest-based accounts, Islamic bank accounts typically don’t offer fixed interest. Instead, they might have profit-sharing arrangements or charge service fees to cover operational costs.

  • How do Islamic bank accounts handle minimum balance requirements?

Some Islamic banks might have minimum balance requirements similar to conventional banks. However, instead of earning interest on the minimum balance, there might be profit-sharing opportunities or fee waivers for maintaining a minimum threshold.

  • What happens to my money in an Islamic bank account?

Islamic banks invest your deposited funds according to Shariah principles. This could involve financing trade deals, purchasing assets, or participating in Shariah-compliant projects. The bank shares the profits generated from these investments with you according to the agreed-upon terms.

  • Are Islamic investment products guaranteed to generate profit?

Unlike conventional fixed-income investments, Islamic investments are profit-sharing arrangements. The potential returns are not guaranteed and depend on the performance of the underlying assets or projects.

  • What is the risk profile of Islamic investment products?

Islamic investment products can vary in terms of risk. Some might be low-risk, focusing on stable assets with predictable returns. Others might be high-risk, offering the potential for higher profits but also with a greater chance of loss.

  • How can I diversify my investments within Islamic banking?

Similar to conventional banking, Islamic banks offer a variety of investment products with varying risk profiles. You can diversify your portfolio by investing in a mix of products like Sukuk (Islamic bonds) of different maturities, profit-sharing accounts in various sectors, or Islamic mutual funds.

  • How does Islamic banking ensure ethical practices?

Islamic banks have Shariah boards composed of Islamic scholars who review and approve financial products and transactions to ensure they comply with Islamic principles. These principles often exclude industries like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and pornography.

  • Can I be sure my money is being used ethically in Islamic banking?

While Shariah boards strive for ethical practices, it’s always a good idea to research the specific Islamic bank and their investment policies. Some banks might offer more transparency about how your funds are being used in Shariah-compliant projects.