Bismillahirohmanirohim (In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate)
entry about discussing in depth on the issue of naming and branding 'Islamic banks'.
In this era, we are always looking for Islam to suit our way of life. 'Islamic banking' is one of the perfect and popular example nowadays. Personally I do not have any objection on most of the legality transaction, but I could not see how Islamic banking contributes to Islam in general.
Is 'Islamic banking' contributing to the development of the Muslim society? No doubt that Islamic banking do provide a way to create Halal transactions but do they have any other impact to the Muslim community? In my opinion 'Islamic banking' should be named as 'Shari'ah banking' like in certain places. This will make more sense because shari'ah is a place where a Muslim seeks its legislation ruling. (I.e nikah, divorce, business & etc).
Islam on the other hand is a whole package. When one says 'Islamic banking', it cannot neglect any muslim, be it rich, poor, healthy, disabled and etc. This is not what 'Islamic banking' is at the moment. They only interact with those who are doing business transaction with them. In the Holy Qur'an, it mentions about rich, poor, those in authority, loyal followers, orphans and etc. Therefore 'Islamic banks' should not neglect any of them. However, we often see them contributing or providing to those who are capable and in transaction with them.
"O you who believe! Enter silm (Islam) perfectly and follow not the footsteps of shaytan. Verily he is to you a plain enemy." (Surah al Baqarah verse 208) The highlight of this ayah is "Enter silm(Islam) perfectly". This shows that Islam is not restricted to just one section (I.e business) but are wide open and involves a lot of things.
People may agree that they call themselves Islamic banks because they handle only banking transaction. So, what is a definition of a bank? Does it only restrict to a certain methods of transactions? Even the Financial Services Authority UK could not define a bank. This is because banking are always enhancing and new methods are being innovated so a banking transaction can never be restricted because if it was restricted, many banks will loose their license.
Coming back to 'Islamic banks', should their transaction be restricted to those who are their clients/customers? Again, what have they contribute to Islam as a whole? So the next time you step in those so called 'Islamic bank' ask them what have they contribute to Islam as a whole.
The whole point of my entry is not to go against the 'Islamic banks' but to expose how often we neglect on certain things to create a better Islam. One may say 'Islamic banks' are doing false advertising. Things that are false should have nothing to do with Islam because Islam is the truth. We as a Muslim community should help these Islamic banks to fulfil Islam whole fully and not partly.