Criticisms of Islamic Finance

Answering some of the critics about Islamic finance.

Criticisms of Islamic Finance

#Criticism 1: Some Islamic banks are owned by conventional banks, and some conventional banks open Islamic windows or branches.

Answer: This is fine as long as the Islamic Bank adheres to the Islamic Sharia and its Islamic identity, and as long as the Sharia Supervisory Board and the internal Sharia department are functioning, and as long as the bank›s balance sheet is separated from that of the conventional Bank.

These conditions are set by the AAOIFI Standards.

Source:
Bahrain Islamic Bank - BisB


Criticism 2: Islamic banks claim that they grant credit cards on the basis of “Qard Hassan” while they are actually receiving interest (the so-called fees).

Answer: Credit cards vary from one bank to another according to the contract signed between the two parties and the mechanism approved by the bank. Currently, the most popular one is the “Qard Al Hassan” (interest-free loan) card, which is granted against fees for service. It is well known that the bank bears some costs on the issuance of this type of card which vary according to the different characteristics and types of these cards. The bank also bears subscription fees for membership to the organization which provides these cards, as well as the costs of providing these benefits and services provided by the card. This card fee can be collected once a year or deducted as installments monthly.

These kinds of fees are taken even if the customer does not use the
card. Moreover, they are not linked directly to the “Qard Al Hassan”.

Source:
Bahrain Islamic Bank - BisB


Criticism 3: Islamic banks do not take into account the interests
of the poor.


Answer: It should be noted that Islamic banks are not charity or donation organizations, but they are for-profit commercial companies
and institutions which realize profits through purchase and sale.
Nonetheless, they provide monetary assistance to the poor and needy
through Zakat funds, and the like.

Source:
Bahrain Islamic Bank - BisB

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