Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Lending, the poor, and Islamic scripture: Islamic finance versus welfare Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Access Status

  • Embargoed (until 19/05/21)


This paper contributes to Islamic studies literature by exploring why many Islamic scholars believe that Islam bans conventional lending and mandates Islamic finance, and how the scriptural injunction against ribā is redefined when we consider the features of modern economic systems. The article advocates the view that ribā and charity are inextricably linked and must therefore be considered together. The latter emphasizes helping the poor and the former prevents exploiting them. Islamic finance, however, has been incepted by juxtaposing trade with lending. The study also discusses the fallacies raised by many Islamic scholars against conventional lending. This manuscript demonstrates the necessity of modernizing our religious understanding to accelerate poverty reduction in the Muslim world.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-482
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Religion
Issue number2
Early online date19 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Research areas

  • Islamic finance, Economics of religion, Riba

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Accounting regulations, enforcement, and stock price crash risk: global evidence in the banking industry

    Abedifar, P., Li, M., Johnson, D., Song, L. & Xing, S., Dec 2019, In : Journal of Contemporary Accounting & Economics. 15, 3, 100164.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. How Informative Are Stock Prices of Islamic Banks?

    Abedifar, P., Bouslah, K. B. H., Hashem, S. & Song, L., 2019, 31 p.

    Research output: Working paper

  3. Non-interest income and bank lending

    Abedifar, P., Molyneux, P. & Tarazi, A., Feb 2018, In : Journal of Banking & Finance. 87, p. 411-426

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Heterogeneous market structure and systemic risk: evidence from dual banking systems

    Abedifar, P., Giudici, P. & Hashem, S. Q., Dec 2017, In : Journal of Financial Stability. 33, p. 96-119

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  5. Finance-Growth Nexus and dual-banking systems: relative importance of Islamic banks

    Abedifar, P., Hasan, I. & Tarazi, A., Dec 2016, In : Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 132, Suppl., p. 198-215

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Journal)

    Nathan MacDonald (Editor)
    2007 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

ID: 259006873