Saturday, May 26, 2007

Recommended books on Islamic finance

I received the following email

Besides your book, what other books on "Islamic Finance" do you recommend (in English)? It would be a good idea if you could post your answer on your blog so that other viewers benefit.

Here's a partial list of some recent books that I have found most useful to read:

  • Saeed, Abdullah, Islamic Banking and Interest: A Study of the Prohibition of Riba and Its Contemporary Interpretation, Brill Academic Publishers, 1997. A wonderful scholarly work.
  • Lewis, Mervin and Latifa Algaoud, Islamic Banking, Edward Elgar, Pub., 2001. A good survey with a nice interfaith introduction covering Abrahamic religious views on usury.
  • Warde, Ibrahim, Islamic Finance in the Global Economy, Edinburgh University Press, 2000. The best political-economy coverage of Islamic finance that I have read.
  • Henry, Clement and Rodney Wilson (eds.), The Politics of Islamic Finance, Edinburgh University Press, 2004. The best collection of essays on the political economy of Islamic finance that I have read. See, in particular, Dr. Monzer Kahf's chapter.
  • Vogel, Frank, and Samuel Hayes, Islamic Law and Finance:Religion, Risk, and Return, (paperback) Springer, 1998. Very scholarly work. Vogel's part is a learned survey of classical jurisprudence and its interpretation by contemporary participants in Islamic finance. Hayes's part is an example of superior Islamic financial engineering (of which I am not fond, but if one is to do it, it is better to do it right).
  • Usmani, M. Taqi, An Introduction to Islamic Finance, Springer, 2002. This book was published earlier in Pakistan and elsewhere, and free versions were available online when I last checked. You can think of this as the bible for Islamic financial engineers. Justice Usmani is the most respected name on the "Shari`a scholar" circuit, so widely respected in fact that a number of his family members are quickly becoming prominent members of that scholar circuit as well as he nears retirement.
  • Maurer, Bill, Mutual Life, Limited: Islamic Banking, Alternative Currencies, Lateral Reason, Princeton University Press, 2005. An anthropologist's social scientific study of Islamic finance as a social phenomenon, with comparison to other unorthodox financial systems.
  • Kuran, Timur, Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism, Princeton University Press, 2005. A collection of earlier essays by Timur Kuran, constituting the most blistering attack on the bulk of Islamic economics, revealing its political and economic failures, as well as its academic incoherence. If you are sympathetic to Islamic economics, as I am, you have to get beyond your first (knee jerk) reaction to Timur's relentless attack. Once you get over it, you will see that most of his points are very valid, and accepting such criticism may be the first step toward coherent thought about Islam and economics.


Blogger Parvez said...


Where can I get a free version of Taqi Usmani's book


8:14 AM  
Blogger Mahmoud El-Gamal said...

I think I had seen it before at Meezan Bank's website, but that has now been replaced by another book by his son Ashraf, which seems largely based on the father's book. I am not sure where else to look. It is possible that the western publisher (Kluwer, and now Springer) asked for electronic copies to be taken off.

This looks like the book of Justice Usmani's book:

The earlier publication of the book still sells for a lot less than the western publication (the text is identical, though):

I am sure that you can find other options by searching the internet more thoroughly than I just did in a minute (someone must have cached the whole book; nothing vanishes in cyberspace).

10:32 AM  
Blogger Umar A. said...


Another area where Justice Usmani's book can be found is at:

Note: I'm not sure of its difference though from the one at darululoomkhi but for your info.


4:27 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Br. Mahmoud,

If you find a site were we can download Taqi Usmani's books (espically that covers Islamic finance with example we will all appreciate) please let us know. Also if you no other books which answer Islamic finance question which are asked on regular bases in western world espically when it come to buying house let us know. I want to see if Lariba and other are really done with Sharia law or not.

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1:58 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

You can read Maulana Usmani's book online on Google Books here:

Otherwise there is a download like for the pdf here:


4:56 AM  
Blogger Ruqia said...

Dear Mr El-Gamal

I’m university student, writing a dissertation on Islam banking and finance considering the reasons for the growth of Islamic backing and its respective growth in the UK banking sector. I have little knowledge of Islamic finance and banking and I have to write my dissertation in Arabic language. I was wondering if you have any advice or recommendation on where I can find some books/articles in Arabic on this topic and on the history of Islam banking. I’m not fluent in Arabic but I need to know the methodology of Islam finance in Arabic to be able to write this dissertation. I’m already started reading you book and other in English which I have to translate into Arabic.

Thank you for this blog is very useful.

10:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Your blog is very nice. You have full grip over the topic of islamic finance i am wondering for something related islam and debt

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