Skip to main content

The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance: Tools and Techniques for Community-Based Banking

The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance: Tools and Techniques for Community-Based Banking

Yahia Abdul-Rahman

ISBN: 978-0-470-57263-4

Dec 2009

432 pages

Select type: E-Book

Product not available for purchase


A detailed look at the fast-growing field of Islamic banking and finance

The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance is a modern American take on what it means to incorporate Islamic finance principles into everyday banking and investment techniques by introducing a new brand of banking for all people of all faiths: The Riba-Free (RF) banking.

The author is considered the father of RF (Islamic) banking in America. He has been a banker and an Imam/scholar for over 40 years in America since 1968. He started the tedious process with a finance company, LARIBA, in Pasadena, California in 1987. This is the first book ever in the field to trace the origins of prohibiting the renting of money at a price called interest rate and over-indulging in debt. The book reviews in great details the theological foundations of prohibiting interest in the Jewish Bible, the Christian Bible, and the Qur'aan. The author then discusses money and how fiat money is created, the role of the Federal Reserve, and the banking system in America. The book also discusses for the first time ever how to include an important aspect of RF (Islamic) finance using commodity indexation and marking the items to be financed to market in order to avoid participating in economic "bubbles." The author discusses how these rules work, how they affect consumer behavior, and how they change the role of the banker/financier.

  • Covers a new pioneering model that is based on the Law (Shari'aa) and how it is applied in every transaction from joint ventures and portfolio management to home mortgages and personal financing
  • Shows how to incorporate the Law (Shari'aa) into American financing and banking systems
  • Points to RF (Islamic) finance and banking as a way to emphasize socially responsible investing

The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance also includes a discussion on the emergence of a culture of RF (Islamic) banking and finance today, which is based on the real Judeo-Christian-Islamic spirit and very effective when compared to twentieth-century models that use financial engineering and structuring techniques to circumvent the Law (Shari'aa). The book also includes case studies based on the actual experience of the author and detailed analysis of the superior results realized by applying this new brand of banking to financing.



Chapter 1: Introduction.

Chapter 2: The Faith-Based Judeo-Christian-Islamic Foundation of the Prohibition of Interest and the RF (Riba-Free) Banking System.

An Introduction to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Foundations of Faith.

The Judaic Position on the Charging of Ribit (Interest) - Money, Lending and Interest in the Torah and the Jewish Tradition.

The Charging of Ribit (Interest) in the Catholic Tradition: Then and Now.

The Charging of Ribit (Interest) in the Tradition and Teachings of the Evangelical Christian Church.

The Prohibition of Charging of Ribit /Riba (Interest/Usury) in Islam.

Chapter 3: The Role of Community Indexation and the Principle of Marking to the Market.

Development of the Mark-to-the-Market Rule.

Riba-Free Business Transaction Models.

Chapter 4: Shari'aa: Shari'aa Boards in Islamic Banks: An Overview and a Vision for the Future.

The Law: Shari'aa.

The Shari'aa Board in an Islamic Bank or Finance Company.

The Development of Shari'aa Scholars and Shari'aa Compliance Committee for Riba-Free Banks and Financis Institutions in the 21st Century.

Chapter 5: Money and Its Creation: The Federal Reserve System (Central Banks), Interest Rates, and Commodity Indexation.

Those Who “Make” Money and Others Who “Earn” Money.

The Federal Reserve Board of the United States of America.

The Dollar Made As Gold! What a Wonderful Place to Be!

The Prohibition of Riba/Ribit: Rulings on Riba in Fiqh, the Science of Shari'aa.

Homes in America.

Price of Coal.

Price of Crude Oil.

Price of Natural Gas.

Price of Rice.

Gold: That Amazing Metal

Marking the Investment to the Market.

Chapter 6: Civility and Social responsibility of the Riba-Free Banking System.

The Judeo-Christian-Islamic Values: Civility, Morality and Social Responsibility.

The Vision of an Ideal Faith-Based Judeo-Christian-Islamic Society.

New Trends That Captured the Imagination of the Pagans of the Arabian Peninsula.

Elements of the Riba-Free Economic System.

The Riba-Free Judeo-Christian-Islamic System and Business Ethics.

Banking and Investment Banking.

Values and Business Ethics of the RF Banker.

The Ten Golden Covenants of the RF Bank.

Where Do We Start and How to Realize the Dream?

Chapter 7: The Conventional Riba-Based Banking System.

The Banking System of the United States.

Types of Banking Services in the United States.

Government Supervision of the Bank.

United States Banking Regulations.

Summary of Federal Banking Regulations in the United States.

Chapter 8: What is the Difference? Comparing Riba-Free Banking and Conventional Riba-Based Banking.

The RF Banking Brand: History, Development, and Stages of Growth.

An Overview of RF Banking.

Chapter 9: Islamic Banking in the 20th Century.

Islamic Banking Models.

Court Challenges of the Shari'aa-Compliant “Contract Fitting” Islamic Finance. Approach.


Chapter 10: RF Banking Model for the 21st Century: Developing the  Shari'aa-Based Finance Model.

The Puzzle and the Challenge of Developing RF Banking and Financing.

Shari'aa and the Laws of the Land.

Major Objections of  Scholars to the Conventional Riba-Based Finance Contract.

Building the Shari'aa-Based Finance Model.

The Results.

Chapter 11: Starting an RF Bank in the United States: Acquiring and Restructuring a Troubled Bank and Operating It Riba-Free.


Riba-Based Conventional Financing versus RF Financing.

Looking for a Suitable Bank to Acquire.

Making History: Acquiring the Bank of Whittier, NA.

Operating the First RF Bank in the United States.

The Staff and Employee Policy: Strategy Used to Build Up and Train Bank Staff.

The Audit Policy: Strategy Used for Auditing Bank Functions and Operations. 

Chapter 12: Operating an RF Bank in the United States.

Investing in and Operating a Riba-Free Bank in the United States.

The Added Value of RF Banking.

What is RF Banking and Finance?

Strategies Used to Build a viable RF Banking System in the United States.

Creating True RF Private Bankers and RF Credit Analysis. 

Training Program at the Bank of Whittier Open University.

The Balance Sheet of the RF Bank.

The Need for a Good Detail-Oriented Management Team at the RF Bank.

Restructuring at Riba-Based Bank to Operate as an RF Bank.

Chapter 13: Case Studies: Developing the RF Banking Investment Products.

The Investment Pyramid.

RF Asset-Backed Bonds (Sukuk).

RF Stock Market Investments.

Chapter 14: Visions for the Future of RF Banking.

The 2008 Global Economic and Financial Meltdown.

The Mega-Banks and Financial Institutions.

The Culture of Renting Money with Ribit/Riba.

The Lifestyle of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic Value System.

Some Advice for the Newcomers to the RF Lifestyle.

Chapter 15: A New Banking Vision for the 21st Century.