Towards a Plural Financial System
Edited by Valentino Cattelan
Chapter 4: Islamic moral economy as the foundation of Islamic finance
The reform movement in the Muslim world can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century and the search for authentic Islamic institutions has dominated the objectives of the reform movements of the Muslim societies since the beginning of the twentieth century. In the case of financial institutions the major developments have taken place in the last quarter of the twentieth century in the form of Islamic banks and financial institutions (IBFIs). With the establishment of the first Islamic bank (IB) in 1975 in the Gulf region the institutional development of Islamic banking took the ‘commercial form’ as opposed to the short-lived experience of Islamic social banking in the case of Mit Ghamr in Egypt in the 1960s. Since the first IB in 1975, IBFIs have not only successfully expanded in their asset bases, diversity and sophistication of products they offer but also in terms of numbers of such institutions. An important reason for the success of IBFIs is that they managed to find ways into the financial centres of the Western world as well; the UK, France, Germany and Luxembourg being amongst other countries that have attracted IBFIs.
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