Michael Gassner, who heads a leading Islamic-finance consultancy that has offices in London, Germany, and Dubai, argues that the basic principles of Islamic finance need to be reevaluated in order to allow microloan programs that can help poor Muslims start small businesses and improve their lives.
“What we need is not only to exclude things which are forbidden by Islam, but to include things which are recommended by the religion,” Gassner says. “So we have to look at how we can better finance the poorer people — how we can include poor people and serve them like clients and earn money with them, having profits even with the poorest. This is something that we need to look at in the future.”
Gassner says that many wealthy Muslims around the world are changing the way they think about Islamic investment. He notes there is a strong movement toward private-equity companies and local investment in the Middle East, despite the declarations of Islamic scholars that stock-market investments are a form of gambling.
Gassner concludes that in the core Middle East markets — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — investors are starting to think more about ways to improve living conditions for people in the Muslim world.
Shari’a-Compliant Finance Becoming Viable Part Of Global Banking
(Net News Publisher)