Friday, May 27, 2022
Islamic banks do business according to the guidelines of Islamic law (Sharia). That law does not allow for interest of any kind on loans. Further, investments are to be made only in goods considered permissible by Islam (halal). For example, they do not invest in alcohol or pork products or gambling.
Islamic banks have the same goal as all other banks: they want to make a profit. So, how do they do that? They change words used in the financial industry in order to avoid their religious prohibitions. Accordingly, instead of lending money and collecting interest on it, they “rent” the money and collect “rent” on it! Instead of collecting interest for credit card purchases, they collect “penalties” for not paying the full balance immediately!
When you plan to buy a home, you need a mortgage. If you go to an Islamic bank, the bank buys the house from the original owner and turns around and sells it to you at a profit. Then they let you pay the price in monthly installments!
Each Islamic bank has a board of Muslim scholars to make sure that transactions comply with the rules of religious law.
O the depth of your riches and wisdom and knowledge, Lord God! How unsearchable are your judgments and how inscrutable your ways! (Romans 11:33).
You care for all peoples, tribes and nations. You know about the exponential growth of the Islamic financial industry around the world. You also know that fanatic fundamentalist beliefs initiated these banks, and that the incredible income from oil has nurtured and amplified their success.
I pray for the owners of these banks, for their employees and workers, for shareholders, investors and borrowers. Bless them by leading them to the knowledge of Christ the Lord and Redeemer of all humankind. May they confess Jesus as their Lord and King. Help them dedicate their lives and talents to the cause of the Gospel of grace and love.
I pray for the scholars on the Sharia boards of these banks. Bring them to Calvary to see Jesus, who gave himself to save humans from sin. In his name I pray. Amen.
Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the LORD and turn away from evil. Then you will have healing for your body and strength for your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8, NLT).