Modes of Financing
The fact that Islamic laws prohibit paying and receiving interest does not imply that they frown on making money or encourage reverting to an all-cash or barter economy. They encourage all parties in a financial transaction to share the risk and profit or loss of the venture. Depositors in Islamic banks can be compared to investors or shareholders, who earn dividends when the Bank makes a profit or lose part of their savings if the Bank posts a loss. The rationale is to link the return in an Islamic contract to productivity and the quality of the project, thereby ensuring a more equitable distribution of wealth. Islamic financial instruments take the form of contracts between providers and users of funds to manage risk. As such, on the asset side Islamic banks engage in financing activities according to the various contracts available or what is known as modes of financing.
Murabahah is defined as a cost-plus sale, where the seller accurately mentions the cost he has incurred on the commodities to be sold and sells it to another person by adding some profit or mark-up thereon which is known to the buyer. As the requirement includes an 'honest declaration of cost', Murabaha takes three different forms; Bayu-Al-Amanah ('fiduciary' sale), Tawliyah (sale at cost) and Wadiah (sale at specified loss).
Istisna’ is a contract to purchase for a definite price something that may be manufactured or constructed according to certain specifications. In other word, it is a contract of sale of specified items to be manufactured or constructed with an obligation on the part of the manufacturer or contractor to deliver them to the customer upon completion. The contract of Istisna’ creates a moral obligation on the manufacturer to manufacture the goods.
An agreement between the Bank and the customer to contribute to a certain investment enterprise (existing or new), or to jointly own a certain property either permanently or according to a diminishing arrangement ending with the acquisition by the customer of the full ownership. The profit is shared as per the agreement set between parties while the loss is shared in proportion to the invested capital of both parties.
Bai' Salam means a contract in which advanced payment is made for goods to be delivered later on. The seller undertakes to supply some specific goods to the buyer at a future date in exchange of an advance price fully paid at the time of contract. It is necessary that the quality of the commodity intended to be purchased is fully specified leaving no ambiguity leading to dispute. The objects of this sale are goods and cannot be gold, silver or currencies based on these metals (these are “Ribawi” items). Barring this, Bai' Salam covers almost everything that is capable of being definitely described as to quantity, quality, and workmanship.
Mousawamah is the negotiation of a selling price between two parties without reference by the seller to either costs or asking for price. While the seller may or may not have full knowledge of the cost of the item being negotiated, they are under no obligation to reveal these costs as part of the negotiation process. This difference in obligation by the seller is the key distinction between Murabahah and Mousawamah with all other rules as described in Murabahah remaining the same. Mousawamah is the most common type of trading negotiation seen in Islamic commerce. This transaction is executed when a customer approaches the Bank for assistance in
purchasing a particular commodity. In such circumstances, the Bank buys
the goods from a third party (supplier) at a price agreed between the
Bank and the supplier without interference from the customer. The Bank
will then offer the goods to the customer at a price including profit.
The customer then has the option to accept the goods or reject it within
a specified period of time. If the customer accepts the goods, the Bank will
sell the goods to the customer and he/she will then pay the sale price
in installments to the Bank over an agreed period of time. A Mousawama
sale transaction is usually confined to goods purchased from the local
An agreement between the Bank and an agent whereby the agent utilizes
funds according to specific conditions in return for a certain fee (a
lump sum of money or a percentage of the amount invested). The agent is
obliged to return the invested amount in case of default, negligence or
violation of any of the terms and conditions of the Wakala.
An agreement whereby the Bank (Lessor) purchases or constructs an
asset for lease according to the customer’s request (Lessee), based on a
promise to lease the asset for a specific period and against certain
rent installments. Ijarah could end by transferring the ownership of the
asset to the lessee.
Sukuk is the Arabic name for a financial certificate which can be seen as an Islamic equivalent of bond. Sukuks are securities that comply with the Islamic law (Sharia’a) and its investment principles which prohibit the charging or paying of interest.