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Risk, Interest Rate and Theories of Justice: Islamic and Conventional Perspectives

24th April 2008

What is this lecture about?

The lecture is based on a research paper which tries to examine the practical and theoretical aspects of "interest rate" in Islamic and conventional contexts. We have been witnessing an unprecedented interest on Islamic finance and the issue of prohibition of "interest" under Islamic law in recent years from a very practical perspective, mainly from bankers and law practitioners. This is because the Islamic finance has been adopted in some Islamic countries such as Iran and Malaysia and has been followed by Moslems in other parts of the world. This approach has to be understood against a cultural, historical and ideological background within which Islamic rules of finance have evolved. There have been few works which have tried to combine Islamic legal theory and very practical needs of financing in modern financial capitalism.

The presentation will address the following issues:

â—?To unveil through a theoretical investigation the justice principles (both corrective and distributive) which under Islamic law, prohibit the charge of interest
â—?To link through a practical approach the analysis to the Islamic financial products which are currently used by banks
â—?To examine the implications of such practices against the process of internationalization of financial markets
â—?To examine the impact which international law could have on the Islamic financial law which is practiced by some Islamic countries and the right of Moslems to follow it in other jurisdictions.

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