Monday, 1 June 2015

Islamic Finance Glossary (Part – 2)

Islamic jurisprudence. The science of the Shariah. It is an important source of Islamic economics.

Uncertainty, hazard, chance or risk. Technically, sale of a thing which is not present at hand; or the sale of a thing whose consequence or outcome is not known; or a sale involving risk or hazard in which one does not know whether it will come to be or not, such as fish in water or a bird in the air. Deception through ignorance by one or more parties to a contract. There are several types of gharar, all of which are haram. The following are some examples:

• Selling goods that the seller is unable to deliver
•Selling known or unknown goods against an unknown price
• Selling goods without proper description
• Selling goods without specifying the price
• Making a contract conditional on an unknown event
• Selling goods on the basis of false description
• Selling goods without allowing the buyer to properly examine the goods

The root Gharar denotes deception. Bay' al-Gharar is an exchange in which there is an element of deception either through ignorance of the goods, the price, or through faulty description of the goods. Bay' al-Gharar is an exchange in which one or both parties stand to be deceived through ignorance of an essential element of exchange. Gambling is a form of Gharar because the gambler is ignorant of the result of his gamble.

That which is permissible. In Islam there are activities, professions, contracts and transactions which are explicitly prohibited (haram) by the Qur'an or the Sunnah. Barring them, all other activities, professions, contracts, and transactions etc. are halal. An activity may be economically sound but may not be allowed in the Islamic society if it is not permitted by the Shari'ah.

Bill of exchange, promissory note, cheque or draft. Technically, a debtor passes on the responsibility of payment of his debt to a third party who owes the former as debt. Thus the responsibility of payment is ultimately shifted to a third party. Hawala is a mechanism for settling international accounts, by book transfers.

Ijara (Leasing)
A contract where the bank or financier buys and leases equipment or other assets to the business owner for a fee. The duration of the lease as well as the fee are set in advance. The bank remains the owner of the assets. This type of contract is a classical Islamic financial product. Leasing is also a lawful method of earning income, according to Islamic law. In this method, tangible assets such as machinery, a car, a ship, a house, can be leased by one person (lessor) to the other (lessee) for a specific period against a specific price. The benefit and cost of the each party are to be clearly spelled out in the contract so that any ambiguity (Gharar) may be avoided.

Ijarah wa Iqtina (Lease to Purchase)
This term refers to a mode of financing adopted by Islamic banks. It is a contract under which the Islamic bank finances equipment, a building or other facility for the client against an agreed rental together with an undertaking from the client to purchase the equipment or the facility. The rental as well as the purchase price is fixed in such a manner that the bank gets back its principal sum along with some profit which is usually determined in advance.

Effort, exertion, industry, diligence. Technically, endeavor of a jurist to derive or formulate a rule of law on the basis of evidence found in the sources.

Istisna (Progressive Financing)
A contract of acquisition of goods by specification or order where the price is paid progressively in accordance with the progress of a job. An example would be for the purchase of a house to be constructed, payments are made to the developer or builder according to the stage of work completed. This type of financing along with bai salam are used as purchasing mechanisms, and murabaha and bai muajjal are for financing sales.

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