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Heaven's Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance

Heaven's Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance [Kindle Edition]

Harris Irfan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Islamic finance today is a trillion-dollar industry. It is fast becoming the main way in which large projects get funded globally - such as buildings, aircraft, shipping - and many financial analysts expect Islamic banking assets worldwide to double within five years.

In Heaven's Bankers, Harris Irfan provides an authoritative yet entertaining account of how a system of finance invented in the seventh-century Middle East is fast taking over the world of modern banking. The book draws on his first-hand relationships with some of the world's leading bankers, scholars and lawyers, many of whom attend a single mosque in Dubai - the Masjid Al-Samad - the epicentre of today's Islamic finance revolution. It provides a warts-and-all description of the industry; debunks some myths about Islamic finance - such as its perceived relationship with the financing of terrorist activity or its incompatibility with Western values; and asks whether today's Islamic finance industry is true to the fundamental principles of a faith committed to social justice.

From the Inside Flap

A trillion dollar financial industry is revolutionising the global economy. Governments and corporations across the Islamic world are increasingly turning to finance that complies with Sharia law in order to fund economic growth. Even in the West, Islamic finance is rapidly becoming an important alternative source of funding at a time when the conventional finance industry is reeling from the effects of the financial crisis.

From its origins in the seventh century, Islamic finance has sought to develop core ethical principles that are based in the foundations of Islam and Sharia. By engaging critically with the complexities of international finance, it has evolved and adapted into a world emerging from the economic and moral aftermath of a global financial crisis. But with an increasing Western interest, is it able to remain true to the principles of its faith? Can it maintain its ideals of social justice? Or is Islamic finance guilty of the very dangers it seeks to avoid?

In Heaven's Bankers, Harris Irfan, one of the world's leading Islamic finance bankers, gives unparalleled insight into the heart of this secretive industry. From his personal experience of working with leading bankers, scholars and lawyers, he debunks the myths of Islamic banking, analyses its greatest deals and looks to the future of a system that has reprioritised the very nature of money itself.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpectedly entertaining. 24 Aug 2014
In general, books on such specialist subjects as Islamic finance are over academic at best and and incomprehensible at worst. This book is different. Using a well paced narrative style, it attempts and largely succeeds in making this subject very readable to the interested layman as well as those in the banking profession. It traces a fascinating history of the origin of Islamic finance in the 7th century passing through the golden age of Islam along the way and more recent experiments. The author is quite critical of the way Western banks have jump on the bandwagon and jumped off again whilst trying to circumvent ethical considerations for the sake of short term profit. Despite such chapter titles such as 'The Doomsday Fatwa' and 'The Great Vampire Squid Arrives', the author clearly believes in the validity of a system where ethics and fair dealing come first and is hopeful for a more innovative future. Five stars for readability.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By C B Fry
Fascinating study of money, ethics and finance. Irfan's eye for detail and colourful cast of characters makes this read more like a novel than a book on finance. Simply brilliant.
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