Chapter 13: Islamic Banking: The Convergence of Religion, Economic Self-interest and Marketing
Kenneth Beng Yap* INTRODUCTION Since time immemorial, religion in its various forms has had a major influence on humanity. The values it attempts to inculcate, which include equality and compassion, can have profound implications for the distribution of welfare in a society. For this reason, religious scriptures and teaching provide prescriptions for the management of human relations and exchange in everyday affairs. In Islam, many such prescriptions relate to the treatment of money and wealth, moral conduct in commercial exchange, ideology on greed and risk-taking, as well as undertaking of charity, among others. The Islamic banking concept encompasses all of these themes and provides a context in which religiosity, economic self-interest and marketing converge. Islamic banking precepts give rise to an alternative banking methodology which has been touted to deliver more equitable welfare distribution (Bjorvatn, 1998; Darrat, 1988; Khan, 1986; Siwar and Karim, 1997; Stiansen, 1995). What started out as a novel experiment in Egypt during the 1960s (Haron and Wan Azmi 2009) has today developed into an entire banking and finance system with over $800 billion in assets (Al-Jasser, 2010). Despite its rapid market growth and potential contribution to societal welfare, little is known about the marketing of Islamic banking and consumer behavior relating to it. The few studies that have examined Islamic banking from a marketing perspective may have provided some practical suggestions on improving customer satisfaction and service quality at Islamic banks (for example, Gerrard and Cunningham, 1997; Haron et al., 1994; Metawa and Almossawi, 1998; Naser...
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