By Elaine Housby
The second installment in Edinburgh University Press's Guides to Islamic Finance series, as well as the first book-length study of Islamic financial services in Great Britain, this volume emphasizes how British examples of Islamic financial provision illustrate both the main characteristics of Islamic financial teaching and key issues in the lives of British Muslims. Coverage is comprehensive, with chapters on the history of Islamic financial provision in Great Britain, personal deposit accounts, personal finance and credit cards, home finance, investment funds and share dealing, insurance, sukuk, and commercial financing. Elaine Housby is broadly sympathetic to the general spirit and aims of the Islamic financial tradition, yet she is also critical of its manifestations in practice. Her book is especially topical, since most Islamic banks based in Britain remain relatively unaffected by the problems facing other British banks. This is partly due to the prohibition against toxic assets, which are not compliant with shariah law, and they are also forbidden to borrow from wholesale markets or pay riba (interest). Instead Islamic banks rely on their own deposits for funding, a traditional and more sustainable business model.