Economics - Research Publications

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    Indonesian Islamic banking in historical and legal context
    SAEED, ABDULLAH ; Lindsey, Professor Timothy (The Federation Press, 1999)
    Since its emergence in the 1960s, Islamic banking has emerged as a new trend in the field of international finance. Despite its popularity throughout the Muslim world, many are still unsure as to what exactly Islamic banking involves. This article from the book Law and Society in Indonesia explores critical questions such as who the Muslim thinkers and movements are that have influenced the development of Islamic banking as we know it today, with its strong emphasis on interest-free banking; when Islamic banks first started to appear in the modern era; and how it was that the Islamic concept of riba (usury) came to be understood as interest, thus providing the raison d’être for much of today’s Islamic banking industry. It also explores the theory of profit and loss sharing as the basis of Islamic banking, and the aspects of this theory which are put into practice in the day-to-day reality of Islamic commercial banking. Using the case study of Bank Muamalat Indonesia (BMI), Indonesia's first major Islamic bank, this article also examines the rise of Islamic banking in Indonesia. In particular, it discusses BMI’s rise and establishment as a competitive player in Indonesia's commercial sector. The case of BMI is explored in the light of earlier discussions of the broader historical and legal context of Islamic thinking and the rise of modern theories of ‘Islamic banking’.