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Understanding Islamic Finance

Islamic finance is a subject that has now been recognized as a distinct academic discipline to be included in the curricula of economics, business, finance and management faculties of institutions of higher learning. There are several universities and institutions, both in Muslim and other countries, that are teaching courses on Islamic banking and finance. These teaching programmes, however, have been seriously constrained by the non-availability of a standard textbook to be followed. I can say with confidence that this book carries the status of a textbook to be prescribed in the senior levels of undergraduate programmes as well as in graduate programmes in the relevant faculties.

Islamic finance is still a new subject. There is great interest in conducting research on different aspects of its theory and practice in the contemporary set-up. Students of economics and finance keenly look for topics of research in this field. The analytical approach adopted in this book is conducive to bringing to light potential areas of research. Thus, research students in the area of Islamic finance should find this book a must read.

The author of the book has a long experience of research in the State Bank of Pakistan (the central bank of the country), which has played, during the last decade, a significant role in promoting Islamic finance in the country. By virtue of his position in the research department of the State Bank of Pakistan, he has a very valuable insight into the operations of Islamic banks as well as their feasibility to survive in competition with the conventional banks in the country. His approach in presenting the material in this book is very pragmatic. The book, thus, is a useful guide to all those who would like to establish an Islamic bank or would like to work in Islamic financial institutions.

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