Archive for the ‘Islamic Economy’ Category


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Copyright (C) United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2005

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United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 20 621 234
Fax: +254 20 624 266


The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries, or regarding its economic system or degree of development. The analysis, conclusions and recommendations of this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the Governing Council of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, or its Member States.

Further Information:

This series contains eight brief position papers commissioned by UN-HABITAT. For a fuller treatment of the issues see Siraj Sait and Hilary Lim, Human Rights in Islam: Law, Property and Access to Land (London: Zed 2006) ISBN Numbers Paperback: 1 84277 811 0 Hardback: 1 84277 810 2. For longer versions and further information regarding the UN-HABITAT research and activities contact

Clarissa Augustinus, Chief
Land & Tenure Section,
Shelter Branch,
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
P.O. Box 30030
Nairobi 00100, Kenya
Web site:

ISBN: 92-1-131794-0
92-1-131785-1 (Series)


Global Coordinator and Substantive Editor: Clarissa Augustinus, Chief, Land & Tenure Section, Shelter Branch, UN-HABITAT with assistance from Florian Bruyas, UN-HABITAT

Researchers: M. Siraj Sait and Dr. Hilary Lim, University of East London, United Kingdom

Editing: Roman Rollnick and Tom Osanjo, UN-HABITAT


Partner Details

M. Siraj Sait
Dr. Hilary Lim
School of Law
University of East London
Duncan House
High Street
London E15 2JB

Telephone: +44 208 223 2113/2836

This research and publication was made possible through funding to the UN-HABITAT’s Global Campaign for Secure Tenure from the Governments of Belgium, Italy and Netherlands.

Paper 8: Islamic Credit and Microfinance



8.1.2 Modern revival of Islamic finance 9
8.1.3 Islamic economic foundations 9
8.1.4 Ethical dimensions of Islamic economic systems 9
8.1.5 Benefits of Islamic banking 9
8.1.6 Islamic economic principles – do they promote or stifle growth? 10

8.2.1 Principles of Islamic financial systems 10
8.2.2 Prohibition on speculation or risk (gharar) 10
8.2.3 Prohibition on usury (riba) and hoarding 10
8.2.4 Prohibition on usury (riba) and interest 10
8.2.5 Profits as distinct from usury (riba) 10

8.3.1 Interface of Islamic Banking Principles and Microfinance 11
8.3.2 Islam and microfinance 11
8.3.3 Social and development roles of Islamic banks 11
8.3.4 Informal Banking and Debt transfer (hawala) 11
8.3.5 Is Islamic microfinance truly Islamic? 11

8.4.1 Financial products 12
8.4.2 Islamic Mortgages 12
8.4.3 Conventional Banking through the ‘back door’? 12
8.4.4 Need for regulation 12

8.5.1 Expansion of microfinance in the Arab world 13
8.5.2 Islamic microfinance in the Arab world 13
8.5.3 Experiences in Yemen 13
8.5.4 Experiences in Bangladesh 13
8.5.5 Resistance to the Grameen Bank 13
8.5.6 Microfinance and Islamic values 13
8.5.7 Muslim women and microfinance 14

8.6.1 Authenticate Islamic finance products 14
8.6.2 Regulate Islamic microfinance 15
8.6.3 Diversify Islamic microfinance products 15
8.6.4 Ensure Stability of Microfinance Financial Institutions (MFIs) 16
8.6.5 Mainstream Islamic Microfinance 17


The global mandate and activities of UN-HABITAT (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) in promoting access to land and protecting security of tenure are derived from a range of international human rights and development standards. While land, property and housing rights are generally cross-cultural and asserted within every socio-economic and political system, it is recognised that practice regarding their regulation and protection may take different forms. The Land and Tenure Section, Shelter Branch of UN-HABITAT has carried out systematic research into distinctive land, housing and property issues and approaches in various regions of the world including Africa, Latin America and the Balkans. It uses a ‘best practices’ approach to develop affordable, pro-poor and flexible tenure types and land tools, particularly for women. These tools are incorporated into UN-HABITAT’s global campaigns and programmes as well as made available to governments, civil society and all stakeholders for their advocacy work and for implementation of relevant laws and policies.
During its work in a range of countries from Afghanistan to Indonesia, UN-HABITAT has been increasingly aware of the importance of Islamic land tenure conceptions and land rights. Over 20 percent of the world’s population is Muslim but there has been little research on the complex and distinctive forms of land tenure and land rights. Too often global reviews of land tenure are undertaken without taking Islamic laws relating to land sufficiently into account. The Land and Tenure Section of UN-HABITAT therefore commissioned two experts Mr. M. Siraj Sait and Dr. Hilary Lim from University of East London, United Kingdom to carry out a year long in depth study of the Islamic and other dimensions of land and property rights in the Muslim world.
The objective of this research was to produce a body of material, through eight position papers, accompanied by a database, with proposed strategies which could enhance the knowledge and augment the capacity of UN-HABITAT and its partners to work more effectively in Muslim contexts. However, these papers have been written for a general audience without any assumption of knowledge regarding Islam, law or property rights and are therefore offer basic information as well as an opportunity to revisit first principles.
The general findings of the research are that there are distinctive Islamic conceptions of land and property rights which are varied in practice throughout the Muslim world. Though Islamic law and human rights are often an important factor in the conceptualisation and application, they intersect with State, customary and international norms in various ways. In doing so, they potentially offer opportunities for the development of ‘authentic’ Islamic land tools which can support the campaign for the realization of fuller land rights for various sections of Muslim societies, including women. However, in order to facilitate that role, the various stakeholders must constructively review the normative and methodological Islamic frameworks and their relationship with other systems of formal and informal land tenure.

Paper I on Islamic Land theories and Applications contextualises and introduces Islamic property and land concepts as part of a sophisticated and alternate land framework running alongside international regimes. The Islamic property rights framework conceives of land as a sacred trust but promotes individual ownership with a re-distributive ethos. It argues that engagement with Islamic dimensions of land may potentially support land rights initiatives in Muslim societies and has implications for programmes relating to land administration, land registration, urban planning and environmental sustainability. Position Paper II on Islamic Land Tenure and Reforms explores how land tenure concepts, categorisations and arrangements within the Islamic world are multi-faceted, generally distinctive and certainly varied. This paper explores the socio-historical context and development of Islamic land tenure regimes leading to the ‘web of tenure’ in contemporary Muslim societies. An appreciation of the historical context of land tenure in Muslim societies and the range of land tenure forms contributes towards development of authentic and innovative strategies for enhancing access to land and land rights.

Position Paper III on Islamic Law, Land and Methodologies finds Islamic law (Shari’a) an important factor influencing land rights and tenure systems in Muslim societies. Islamic law can be seen as an evolving, responsive and assimilating sphere of competing ideologies and interests, though it is a site of struggle between conservatives and liberals. An appreciation of the distinctive features and sources of Islamic law, its methodologies and diversity in application and its dispute resolution mechanisms would contribute towards strategies aimed at enhancing security of tenure. Position Paper IV Islamic Human Rights and Land sets out to examine the relationship between international human rights and Islamic conceptions of human rights in theory and practice. It argues that, with respect to land rights, the difference between these two sets of rights appears minimal and a sensitive and careful recognition of Islamic religious and political sensitivities can help deliver international human rights more effectively in Muslim societies, without offending Islamic principles.

Position Paper V Muslim Women’s Rights to Property explores the nature and scope of women’s rights to property and land under Islamic law (Shari’a) through a socio-historical background to women’s property rights, an appraisal of modern legal reforms and the avenues for enhancing their security of tenure. It argues that despite assumptions to the contrary, there are potential empowering strategies for women through Islamic law which can enhance women’s access to land and enforcement of their other property rights. Position Paper VI Islamic Inheritance Laws and Systems considers how Muslim societies generally derived their inheritance rules from religious sources for the division of an individual’s property upon death, some of which are controversial. Yet, it argues that the application of these formal inheritance rules pertaining to designated shares must be understood in a broader socio-cultural and economic context and within wider inheritance systems of practice.

Position Paper VII Islamic Endowments (Waqf) and Indigenous Philanthropy outlines how the endowment (waqf. plural awqaf) is a key Islamic institution, which has incorporated within its legal sphere vast areas of land within the Muslim world, connected firmly with the religious precept of charity. Modern reforms in several Muslim countries have abolished, nationalised or highly regulated endowments but the endowment (waqf) remains influential and there are clear signs of its reinvigoration. The paper evaluates the role for the Islamic endowment (waqf) in strategies to improve security of tenure based on its legal foundations, history and socio-economic impacts. Position Paper VIII Islamic Credit and Microfinance considers the increasing demand from within Islamic communities that financial services be compliant with Islamic law (Shari’a). This paper explores the Islamic context which stimulates such alternative credit systems, the key distinguishing features of the Islamic banking models, the development of Islamic microfinance models and the practical challenges to these innovations. It considers how Islamic finance, banking principles and credit, particularly housing microfinance, can contribute to security of tenure and in transforming the lives of the poor.

The findings of this study were discussed at a workshop on ‘Land tenure and Land law tools in the Middle East and North Africa’ in Cairo, Egypt on December 17 2005. This preparatory meeting for World Urban Forum (WUF III) 2006 was part of a meeting hosted by the Government of Egypt and organised by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), UN-HABITAT, and the League of Arab States. This research was also presented at the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) at Bangkok, Thailand on ‘Secure Land Tenure: New legal frameworks and tools in Asia and Pacific’ December 7-9 2005 organised by UN-HABITAT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP), International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and World Bank.

Through this preliminary study, UN-HABITAT and its partners seek to discuss and develop appropriate strategies through identification and development of innovative and pro-poor land tools in their particular context.

Paper 8: Islamic Credit and Microfinance

[An] important function of Islamic finance that is seldom noted … is the ability of Islamic finance to provide the vehicle for financial and economic empowerment … to convert dead capital into income generating assets to financially and economically empower the poor …
(Mirakhor 2002)


Acquisition of land and the access to, improvement and enjoyment of property are often predicated on the ability of individuals to secure easy and affordable credit and a range of financial and banking services. The significant and increasing demand from within Islamic communities that financial services be compliant with Islamic law (Shari’a) has led to diversification and innovation of banking activities from both Islamic and Western commercial banking institutions. This paper explores the Islamic context which stimulates such alternative credit systems, the key distinguishing features of the Islamic banking models, the development of Islamic microfinance models and the practical challenges to these innovations. As part of an overall project concerning Islamic law, security of tenure and poverty alleviation, this paper sets out to explore the extent to which Islamic finance, banking principles and credit, particularly housing microfinance, may contribute specifically to transforming the lives of the poor.

Scope of this Position Paper: This position paper contextualises the development of Islamic Financial Systems in Section 1. It examines some of the distinguishing features of Islamic finance, particularly the prohibition against riba (usury) in Section 2. Section 3 analyses the application of Islamic principles to microfinance while Section 4 discusses some Islamic financial objectives and products, and the need for regulation. Section 5 assesses the experiences of Muslim countries with microfinance, particularly Yemen and Bangladesh, and the opportunities for women. Section 6 offers five strategies for empowerment through Islamic Microfinance

* Authenticate Islamic finance products
* Regulate Islamic microfinance
* Diversify Islamic microfinance products
* Ensure Stability of Microfinance Financial Institutions (MFIs)
* Mainstream Islamic Microfinance


Islamic financial systems are located within the larger context of Islamic religious, ethical and economic systems.
8.1.2 Modern revival of Islamic finance

Rapid growth in Islamic banking has led to most countries in the Muslim world, and many beyond, now having Islamic banks or financial institutions. In some countries, such as Iran and Sudan, Islamic banks are the only ones allowed to operate owing to their conformity with Islamic law (Shari’a). In other countries, such as Bahrain, Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt, Malaysia and Bangladesh, Islamic banking competes with conventional banking and finance. Islamic finance has seen annual growth rates of over 15% and the Islamic capital invested in global financial institutions is currently estimated at US$1.3 trillion. A key growth area is in the provision of Islamic mortgages, both within the Arab world and in Europe and North America.
8.1.3 Islamic economic foundations

The growth in Islamic finance is rooted in a desire for socio-political and economic systems based on Islamic principles. Economic activities are not considered to be a separate part of human behaviour within the Islamic framework and material pursuits occupy a sphere linked to spiritual values and religious beliefs. Commercial activities conducted in order to provide for the individual, family and loved ones are both permitted (halal) and in many circumstances commendable. There are sayings within the Muslim tradition in support of trade and which encourage, respect and praise it as a means for providing human sustenance, although not as an end in itself.
8.1.4 Ethical dimensions of Islamic economic systems

While the Qur’an celebrates good trading practices, it is also conscious of those who are unable to trade and praises charitable acts towards the poor and the destitute. The payment by Muslims of a levy or tax on certain kinds of wealth (zakat), to be distributed for charitable purposes, is one of the five pillars of Islam. It serves to purify both wealth and the person who makes the charitable payment.

Islamic law (Shari’a) lays down the boundaries of permissible economic behaviour and gains should not be achieved at the expense of spiritual or moral values.
8.1.5 Benefits of Islamic banking

Islamic banks have several interrelated benefits. They are able to mobilise funds and savings amongst those excluded from commercial banks because they are easier to access and conform to Islamic values. Islamic banks can provide a service for those who wish to assert their identity, are intimidated, or distrust large conventional banks, and/or prefer a system in which mutual co-operation between bank and customer is implicit. The close bank-customer relationship also offers responsible and profitable financial services.
8.1.6 Islamic economic principles – do they promote or stifle growth?

The role of religion in modern economics is controversial. Some commentators argue that Islamic principles are responsible for the backwardness of some Muslim countries, others that Islam promotes growth. There is no reason why Islamic beliefs should hold back development and there is space within the Islamic framework for ‘inductive reasoning’ in the development of Islamic economics.

8.2.1 Principles of Islamic financial systems

Islamic financial systems have distinctive principles including: avoidance of interest; risk sharing; treating of money as potential capital; prohibition on speculation; sanctity of contracts; avoidance of prohibited activities such as gambling; the encouragement of entrepreneurs; and the promotion of economic/social development through charity.
8.2.2 Prohibition on speculation or risk (gharar)

The prohibition on risk or speculation requires risk sharing by a lender (a bank) with the borrower, the bank should be a partner in the borrower’s risk. A relationship of creditor and debtor, as in the western model of commercial banking, in which interest is the price of credit and the pressure/risk is all on the borrower is not permitted.
8.2.3 Prohibition on usury (riba) and hoarding

The Qur’an prohibits usury (riba) in several different contexts and this prohibition arises out of an Islamic concept of money as nothing more than a means of exchange. Money has no value in itself and cannot be allowed to give rise to more money, it cannot accrue any return (i.e. interest). The prohibition against usury is a corollary of the prohibition against hoarding, or an excess accumulation of personal riches. Trade and financial gain are lawful, but excessive profiteering is immoral. Neither goods nor money should be hoarded.
8.2.4 Prohibition on usury (riba) and interest

The condemnation of usury as money lending for interest (riba) is well established within the Islamic framework. The dominant view, arising out of classical interpretations, is that the spirit of the prohibition on interest covers all forms of interest and ‘interest-like’ practices. There are a minority of Islamic thinkers who argue that there is a difference between usury, which is prohibited, and interest when it is for commercial lending, which is permitted.
8.2.5 Profits as distinct from usury (riba)

Labour and effort, including that of merchants and entrepreneurs, IS the creator of value and profits from trade are not unlawful. Profits are distinct from usury (riba). Profits do include a return on financial investment, but the rate of return is neither fixed nor predetermined and carries with it a risk.


Microfinance in Muslim countries offers a choice of conventional, informal and Islamic financial products, but Islamic microfinance is better suited to some contexts.
8.3.1 Interface of Islamic Banking Principles and Microfinance

Islamic microfinance has emerged from the same principles of Islamic financing that have been applied to trading, business, investing and mortgages within Muslim communities.
8.3.2 Islam and microfinance

Islamic principles of equal opportunity, advocacy of entrepreneurship, risk sharing, disbursement of collateral free loans, and participation of the poor are supportive of microfinance principles. Islamic finance has an important role to play in widening provision of funds to enable the purchase of, or building of, homes, and in enabling their owners to use the property for further income generation.
8.3.3 Social and development roles of Islamic banks

Islamic banking has multiple objectives. It facilitates commerce, investment and legitimate socio-economic activity, but consciously works towards the alleviation of poverty and the more equitable distribution of economic opportunities. Islamic banks often offer interest-free benevolent loans to the needy, on which the bank has no expectation of making a profit. Competition is accompanied, therefore, by a deeper responsibility for social welfare through financing and some Islamic banks have used innovative schemes to meet the needs of the poorest Sections of society. There is potential for Islamic banks to play an important role in widening the provision of funds to enable the purchase of, or building of, homes or the use of property for income generation.
8.3.4 Informal Banking and Debt transfer (hawala)

There are several informal financing systems, some which are beneficial. A system of transfer of debt from one debtor’s charge to another (hawala) operates in a number of Muslim countries. The lack of documentation circumvents official control and this debt transfer (hawala) system has been banned in most countries. The system is not, therefore, useful for extending housing, land and property rights.
8.3.5 Is Islamic microfinance truly Islamic?

In some social contexts MFI’s make only cosmetic changes to their operations and products, such as changing the term ‘interest’ to ‘service charge’, in order to acquire Islamic credentials. In other cases, where beliefs regarding the prohibition of interest (riba) are strongly held, MFI’s may have to make greater and more fundamental adaptations to their systems and operations.


An Islamic financial system/institution will try to ensure that its business activities avoid prohibited activities and that its financial products permit the financing of individuals or commercial enterprises through the profit and loss sharing principle.
8.4.1 Financial products

Islamic banks have developed a variety of financial products but only a few are commonly used in practice. These transactions include: mark up/cost plus sale (murabaha); joint venture (musharaka); trust financing or limited partnership (mudaraba); and lease (ijara). Other products have developed to permit forms of cooperative Islamic insurance (takaful and micro-takaful), which also use the solidarity trust model (mudaraba).
8.4.2 Islamic Mortgages

Mainstream lending institutions across the Muslim world, in Europe and North America have developed Islamic law (Shari’a) compliant financial products to enable the purchase of residential properties. The most commonly used instruments are the mark up/cost plus sale (murabaha) and mortgages involving the payment of rent, as opposed to interest (ijara). A further cooperative diminishing partnership model – which is particularly well established in Canada – may hold out greater possibilities for addressing the needs of Muslims in less privileged social sectors, not least because of its strong correlation to the microfinance institution.
8.4.3 Conventional Banking through the ‘back door’?

The Islamic credentials of Islamic banks and their financial products have been doubted in both newspapers and scholarly articles. It has been suggested that to the man on the street the Islamic bank may look very similar to its conventional counterpart. In particular the predominant murabaha contract, which is the financing of the purchasing of goods by banks and their subsequent sale to clients at mark-up prices, does appear to mirror conventional consumer credit.
8.4.4 Need for regulation

The relative infancy of Islamic financial institutions, in comparison to longer established conventional interest (riba) based banking, has led to some regulatory problems and some spectacular bankruptcies for Islamic investment institutions. There may be a lack of sufficient expertise amongst staff and/or a lack of training in some banks. No uniform regulatory and legal framework for an Islamic financial system has been developed, with Islamic banks having their own boards of guidance. The Asian Development Board, with the Islamic Financial Board set up in Kuala Lumpur, recently took the initiative to provide a regulatory structure. An appropriate regulatory framework for Islamic banks and microfinance institutions is critical for the robust financing of the housing, land and property industry, especially as housing usually forms a major part of the national asset of any country.

8.5.1 Expansion of microfinance in the Arab world

Although microfinance is a relatively new phenomenon in some parts of the Muslim world, its outreach in the Arab world has grown considerably to more than 700,000 borrowers at the end of 2003.
8.5.2 Islamic microfinance in the Arab world

Microfinance services, including some compliant with Islamic law (Shari’a), in the Arab region tend to be limited to credit for enterprise, rather than the building or purchase of homes or home improvement. The most commonly used Islamic transaction is one in which the MFI purchases goods at the request of the ‘borrower’ and then sells the goods to the ‘borrower’ for a fee to cover administrative costs, with repayments in instalments (murabaha).

8.5.3 Experiences in Yemen

A large proportion of microfinance initiatives in Yemen is based on Islamic financial principles. There are administrative challenges to these initiatives and additional costs, but their strength is in reaching out to those otherwise excluded and in terms of acquiring broader local approval from their clients and the communities in which they live.
8.5.4 Experiences in Bangladesh

The Grameen Bank is largely a success story, particularly in terms of reaching out to Muslim women in Bangladesh. Membership of the bank leads to an expansion of assets for many women, including home improvements, the provision of services and the purchase of land for building houses or agriculture. Though it is not organised consciously on Islamic financial principles, the beneficiaries who are Muslim have not had qualms about the authenticity of its products.
8.5.5 Resistance to the Grameen Bank

The Grameen Bank has been subject to criticism and resistance, both at a local level from groups like moneylenders who stand to lose from cheap collateral free loans and at a national level from forces which denounce the Bank as a manifestation of an un-Islamic, foreign and secular culture.
8.5.6 Microfinance and Islamic values

There is great potential to apply Islamic financial principles and banking practices in a concerted manner to the provision of microfinance, particularly housing microfinance which remains less widespread than the provision of entrepreneurial credit. The complementary aspects of microfinance and Islamic banking principles hold out considerable possibilities for social and economic transformation. The strong correlation between Islamic principles and the values underpinning microfinance, particularly the emphasis upon partnership and mutual guarantee, may provide the basis for innovation even in the seemingly inauspicious circumstances of informal settlements.
8.5.7 Muslim women and microfinance

One of the potential benefits of microfinance is the empowerment of Muslim women. The ability of MFI’s to deliver financial services to rural women is of particular relevance in gender segregated societies. The Arab region has seen a significant improvement in terms of outreach from MFI’s to women borrowers who form as a group more than half of such institutions’ clients. Working with Muslim women is a sensitive issue, sometimes raising accusations of meddling with social codes.

8.6.1 Authenticate Islamic finance products

Many customers of Islamic banks may have a history of banking in the conventional commercial banking sector. However, there is also evidence that an institution rooted in Islamic values and financial principles will draw in customers new to banking. These customers may have excluded themselves due to their religious beliefs, but the behaviour of the bank itself may also be a factor. The increasing demand for Islamic banking and financial products, the entry of a variety of financial institutions into the market and the sheer range of Islamic products, raises the question of whether these justify the label ‘Islamic’.

That demand, rather than inherent Islamic expertise, triggered the explosion in Islamic finance is well documented. For example, a Western bank, Lloyds TSB, opened its Islamic banking services in the UK on the basis that there is a ‘demand from over two-thirds of the 2 million Muslims in the UK who want Islamic banking’ (BBC 2005). Global financial institutions that have established Islamic banking with Shari’a compatible services include Citibank, BNP Paribas, UBS and ABN Amro. Equally, there are an increasing number of national and local providers in the field. In many countries Islamic and conventional microfinance coexist and the difference is not always obvious.
Fadel (2004) notes that this proliferation has led to Islamic Law in the area of banking and finance being in a ‘flux’ with Islamic products needing to be ‘sufficiently distinctive from conventional banking and finance to justify the label ‘Islamic finance’ (Fadel 2004). ‘Islamic’ banks are a co-operative venture between financial experts and shari’a experts (or committees) who comment on the Islamic validity of the product. However, there is room for interpretive differences of opinion among jurists and different Shari‘a committees may and do react differently to similar contractual provisions.
There are no easy answers, but sharing of best practice and harmonisation of general Islamic products, allowing for inherent diversity, would enhance the credibility of the Islamic finance industry. The demand for the development of Islamic microfinance products may not be as obvious or as strong as the demand for Islamic financial instruments in the commercial banking sector. However, it is also important in this regard that the vulnerable, particularly those on very low-incomes, are provided with the opportunities and fora to learn about Islamic products, particularly Islamic microfinance products, and ultimately to participate in their development. Microfinance schemes, particularly those funding the purchase of houses, their improvement or services, have an important role to play in extending and enhancing property and land rights, while alleviating poverty. In many Islamic countries, or in those countries with significant Muslim populations, Islamic microfinance which is both Islamic law (Shari’a) compliant and shaped by local communities has the potential for enjoying consumer confidence and acceptance within those communities, which may not be so readily available to conventional schemes.
8.6.2 Regulate Islamic microfinance

The modern Islamic microfinance institutions are still a recent phenomenon and have not yet fully evolved. They have experienced also haphazard growth. While diverse models and practices are inherent in the choice and flexibility Islamic microfinance offers, these services need to be regulated in order to provide transparency, instil consumer confidence and prevent fraud on beneficiaries due to the unfamiliarity with the products. State regulation, though necessary, has been ad hoc and sometimes an obstacle to the evolution of effective microfinance mechanisms. Housing microfinance programmes in particular, although less developed than entrepreneurial credit, tend to involve larger loans and traditionally require guarantees and/or collateral. Effective regulation of housing microfinance schemes which are Islamic law (Shari’a) compliant is, therefore, of particular importance.

A recent International Monetary Fund working paper (2004) points to the special risks surrounding Islamic banking. The first is that the profit and loss sharing modes of financing make the Islamic banks vulnerable to the risks that are normally borne by equity investors rather than holders of debt. The second relates to the special nature of investment deposits where capital value and rate of return are not guaranteed. Some suggest a modified CAMEL (capital adequacy, asset quality, management, earnings and liquidity) system of supervision for Islamic banking. There is a special risk for those banks involved in the profit-sharing forms of lending. In the case of microfinance, states should be encouraged to support the membership of Microfinance Financial Institution (MFIs) in the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and provide fora for sharing of best practice and success. An appropriate regulatory framework is required for a vigorous housing finance system, especially given the importance of housing as a key national asset in most countries.
8.6.3 Diversify Islamic microfinance products

Though Islamic microfinance schemes are relatively limited at present, their potential is significant. Islamic Microfinance products are suitable to enable housing microfinance that is within Islamic law and to enhance security of tenure, particularly for the poor. However, several studies of microfinance in the Muslim world show that there is an emphasis on loans to the ‘entrepreneurial poor’, rather than the variety of financial services that the poor need. In addition to credit, microfinance needs to offer savings, insurance, and money transfer services.

A study by a Harvard research group points to groups within the general finance industry’s target population that are not currently being served by housing microfinance programs. In particular, the poorest of the urban poor, including squatters on remote or unutilized land and those living in rental arrangements in overcrowded inner-city slum tenements fall outside the net. The study argues that the development of appropriate financial instruments to meet the shelter needs of this latter population group is without doubt the greatest challenge facing the housing microfinance industry today. Appropriate financial instruments have been developed by the Islamic banking sector, which avoid usury (riba) and can enable individuals to purchase houses, just as they can provide funds to start up or expand businesses and loan money to those in particular need.

Similarly, there are types of Islamic insurance, based on cooperation, which can enable the poor to avoid the asset sales, including the sale of various rights of access to land, which are a common response to natural and personal disasters. There are dangers of high expectations and the limits of microfinance in the overall macroeconomic poverty alleviation strategies must be recognized. However, while priorities may differ according to contexts, microfinance programmes must expand the range of products for their target groups which are sustainable and viable in the long term. Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh), with its emphasis upon partnership and a concern for community welfare, together with the expansion in Islamic banking and microfinance, has the ability to respond creatively to the needs of the urban poor.

8.6.4 Ensure Stability of Microfinance Financial Institutions (MFIs)

Though banks and financial institutions offer capital, general management and expertise, it is the MFIs that deliver financial services to the poor, particularly the rural poor in remote areas. The success of any microfinance project is dependent on the building of permanent local financial institutions that can attract domestic deposits, recycle them into loans, and provide other financial services. The failures of microfinance in general have occurred when MFIs have not been regulated or supported by either their funding bodies or government.

The MFIs cannot exist in a hostile economic environment, just as they need to cultivate their credibility in a given socio-cultural and religious community. The role of the government is not to be a lender itself but to work through MFIs. Their most important responsibility is to support macroeconomic stability and the promotion of an enabling policy environment for the development of a vibrant financial sector. Similarly, donor funds should complement private capital, not compete with it and the success of MFIs lies in their ability to sustain themselves in the long run through their own capital.

The capacity building of MFIs depends on building strong and transparent management structures. Merely espousing Islamic principles does not absolve them from creating a culture of accountability. As several reports have indicated, microfinance works best when it measures —and discloses —its performance. Reporting not only helps stakeholders to judge costs and benefits, but it also improves performance. Microfinance institutions (MFIs) need to produce accurate and comparable data on financial performance (for example on cost recovery) as well as social performance. An example of good practice comes from some smaller financial institutions. These are participative, not necessarily in terms of being owned and managed by the poor but in employing the poor, and have understood the experience, expectations and practices of the poor. Islamic MFIs which seek to enhance the position of the poor, including the realisation of their rights to secure shelter, must develop, like conventional microfinance institutions, a culture of financial and social accountability, which embraces innovative approaches to participation by their members.

8.6.5 Mainstream Islamic Microfinance

To improve the access of target groups to microfinance, it should shift from being considered as a marginal program and be integrated within the general banking and financial services industry. Microfinance will reach its full potential, both generally and with respect to extending housing and property rights, only if it is integrated into a country’s mainstream financial system. This is necessary to promote greater awareness of products, standardize regulation and transparency and strengthen outreach mechanisms. Rather than being ignored or bypassed on the basis of its perceived complexity or the sensitivity owing to its religious orientation, Islamic finance should be recognized for what it ultimately is – a financial product that needs to meet several standards. This is particularly important where microfinance is part of the informal economy or debt transfer (hawala) and based on trust and community practices.

Improving access to Islamic microfinance is not only an implicit social goal but also an imperative for the survival of most microfinance projects. In order to pay for itself it must reach out to very large numbers of poor people in order to be self-sustaining. Strategies to enhance the opportunities for the poor to participate in, and become educated about Islamic microfinance and products are an essential component of outreach. In the case of Islamic microfinance where interest is replaced by profit and loss methods and there may be uncertainty as to returns, reasonable service charges from a wider constituency are necessary to cover costs particularly where government subsidies and donor funds cannot be guaranteed in the long run.


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August 22, 2010 Leave a comment


“Dan jika Kami hendak membinasakan suatu negeri, maka Kami perintahkan kepada orang-orang yang hidup mewah di negeri itu (supaya mentaati Allah) tetapi mereka melakukan kedurhakaan dalam negeri itu, maka sudah sepantasnya berlaku terhadapnya perkataan (ketentuan Kami), kemudian kami hancurkan negeri itu sehancur-hancurnya.” (Al Qur’an surat Al Isra’ ayat 16)

Sebagai dampak dari krisis yang berkepanjangan, banyak pihak yang mulai mencari jawaban yang lebih hakiki atas penyebab terjadinya krisis yang berkepanjangan ini. Salah satu yang dianggap menjadi penyebab utama dari kerawanan ekonomi terhadap krisis adalah moral hazard dalam pembiayaan. Karena itu masyarakat mulai mencari sistim ekonomi lain yang diharapkan dapat mengurangi moral hazard. Sehingga sistim Ekonomi Islami yang berlandaskan etika keimanan mulai diterapkan di berbagai kegiatan. Perkembangan ini membawa dampak meningkatnya kebutuhan akan sumber daya yang berkompeten. Akibatnya mulai berkembang sistim pelatihan dan pendidikan untuk meningkatkan kompetensi dalam Ekonomi Islami, yang lazim disebut Ekonomi Syariah, termasuk dalam pendidikan tinggi.


Untuk memahami etika usaha yang Islami, terlebih dahulu harus difahami peran (dan tugas) manusia di dunia. Allah SWT telah berfirman dalam surat Adz Dzaariyat ayat 56:
“Dan tidak Ku-Ciptakan jin dan manusia melainkan (semata mata) agar mereka beribadah (mengabdi) kepada-Ku”.

Oleh karena itu semua tindakan manusia di dunia ini adalah semata-mata ibadah, semata-mata untuk mengabdi kepada Allah SWT. Dan sebagai abdi Allah SWT maka manusia dalam semua tindakannya harus mengikuti perintah-Nya dan menghindari larangan-Nya. Semua tindakan tersebut juga termasuk tindakan dalam berusaha.

Disamping sebagai abdi dari Allah SWT, manusia juga diangkat oleh Allah SWT untuk menjadi khalifah di muka bumi. Sebagaimana firman dalam surat Al Baqarah ayat 30:
“Ingatlah ketika Tuhanmu berfirman kepada para malaikat: ”Sesungguhnya Aku hendak menjadikan seorang khalifah di muka bumi.”

dan surat Al A’raf ayat 128:
“Sesungguhnya bumi kepunyaan Allah, dipusakakan-Nya kepada yang dikehendaki-Nya dari hamba-hamba-Nya.”

Karena itu semua tindakan manusia di dunia adalah sebagai wakil Allah SWT untuk memanfaatkan bumi yang telah dipusakakan kepada manusia untuk sebanyak-banyak manfaat dan maslahat bagi manusia, sesuai dengan ketentuan Allah SWT.

Ketentuan Allah SWT yang berkaitan dengan manusia disebut sebagai syariat yang artinya adalah jalan atau hukum/aturan. Menurut Imam Ghazali, tujuan utama syariat adalah memelihara kesejahteraan manusia yang mencakup perlindungan keimanan (aqidah), kehidupan, akal, keturunan dan harta benda (mal) mereka. Segala sesuatu yang menjamin terlindungnya kelima perkara ini adalah maslahat bagi manusia dan oleh karenanya dikehendaki oleh manusia.

Pendapat ahli fikir Islam ini sangat baik untuk dijadikan panduan dalam menentukan prioritas hidup. Urutan kelima perkara yang dikemukakan oleh Imam Ghazali pantas menjadi urutan prioritas hidup. Keimanan atau aqidah haruslah selalu menjadi prioritas utama. Segala sesuatu yang dapat mengganggu apalagi sampai mengurangi keimanan haruslah ditinggalkan. Kemudian kehidupan haruslah didahulukan daripada akal, atau hasil penalaran akal tidak boleh dipakai untuk mengganggu nilai kehidupan. Dan selanjutnya keturunan dan harta benda tidak boleh membuat manusia kehilangan akal.

Itulah sebabnya cita-cita manusia haruslah untuk menegakkan agama Allah – agama Islam – serta semata-mata untuk mendapat ridha Allah SWT, kepada siapa manusia mengabdi. Contoh yang paling sempurna tentunya adalah Nabi Muhammad SAW. Sebagai seorang rasul cita-cita Nabi Muhammad adalah berdakwah untuk menegakkan agama Islam, sebagaimana telah disabdakan oleh Rasulullah SAW:
“Demi Allah, seandainya mereka meletakan matahari di tangan kananku dan bulan di tangan kiriku agar aku meninggalkan da’wah ini, tak akan aku tinggalkan hingga Allah SWT memenangkan agama ini atau aku binasa tanpa agama”

Ahli fikir Islam, Ibnu Qayyum juga menyatakan bahwa orang yang tinggi cita-citanya hanya menggantung segala urusannya kepada Allah, tidak mengharapkan sesuatu balasan kecuali ridha Allah. Tingkah laku dan etika yang menghiasi pribadinya menjadi dasar dalam berda’wah yang tidak ditukar dengan sesuatu yg merusak kepribadiannya. Sehingga jelaslah bahwa syariat Islam akan menentukan kepribadian seorang muslim yang tentunya akan tercermin dalam tingkah lakunya sehari-hari, termasuk tingkah laku dalam berusaha dan dalam menghadapi tantangan hidup di dunia.

Dalam menjalankan perannya sebagai wakil Allah SWT menjadi Khalifah di dunia, manusia harus mengikuti tata nilai yang telah ditetapkan oleh Allah SWT. Tata nilai tersebut mengacu pada tujuan hidup manusia, yaitu memperoleh kesejahteraan hidup di dunia dan di akhirat. Allah SWT telah menentukan bahwa kesejahteraan di akhirat lebih penting dari kesejahteraan di dunia, namun Allah SWT juga memperingatkan manusia untuk tidak melupakan haknya atas kenikmatan di dunia, antara lain sebagaimana tercantum dalam surat Asy Syura ayat 20:
“Barangsiapa menghendaki keuntungan di akhirat akan Kami tambah keuntungan itu baginya dan barangsiapa menghendaki keuntungan di dunia Kami berikan kepadanya sebagian dari keuntungan dunia dan tidak ada baginya suatu bagianpun di akhirat”

dan surat Qashash ayat 77:
“Dan carilah dari apa yang telah dianugerahkan Allah kepadamu (kebahagiaan) akhirat, dan janganlah kamu melupakan bagianmu dari (kenikmatan) duniawi…”

Dalam menjalankan tugas mengabdi kepada Allah SWT sebagai khalifah di dunia, manusia juga diperingatkan untuk tidak terperosok dalam kenikmatan menggunakan rahmat Allah SWT semata-mata untuk memenuhi hasrat pribadi saja.
“Dijadikan indah pada manusia kecintaan pada syahwat dari wanita-wanita, anak-anak, harta yang banyak …”. (Q.S. Ali Imran:14))

“Telah nampak kerusakan di daratan dan di lautan disebabkan perbuatan tangan manusia, supaya Allah merasakan kepada mereka sebagian dari (akibat) perbuatan mereka, agar mereka kembali (ke jalan yang benar)” (Q.S. Ar Ruum : 41)

Islam juga menjanjikan bahwa semua manusia pasti akan memperoleh balasan yang sempurna atas segala sesuatu yang diusahakannya. Balasan tersebut dijanjikan oleh Allah SWT akan sempurna dalam jumlah maupun waktu menurut ketentuan yang digariskan oleh Allah SWT. Walaupun memang harapan manusia mungkin berbeda dengan ketentuan Allah, sehingga manusia yang tidak pandai bersyukur dapat merasa kecewa dengan ketentuan Allah tersebut.

“Dan bahwa seorang manusia tiada memperoleh selain yang telah diusahakannya. Dan bahwa usahanya itu kelak akan diperlihatkan (kepadanya). Kemudian (kelak) akan diberi balasan kepadanya dengan balasan yang paling sempurna” (Q.S. An Najm 38-40)

Islam menyatakan bahwa semua yang ada di langit dan di bumi adalah milik Allah SWT, dan sebagian manusia dijadikan untuk menguasainya dengan amanah untuk menafkahkan di jalan Allah karena sebagian dari harta tersebut terdapat bagian tertentu yang menjadi hak orang lain.

“Berimanlah kamu kepada Allah dan rasul-Nya dan nafkahkanlah sebagian dari hartamu yang telah jadikan kamu menguasainya. Maka orang-orang beriman diantara kamu dan menafkahkan hartanya memperoleh pahala yang besar.” (Q.S. Al Hadiid:7)

”Dan orang-orang yang dalam hartanya tersedia bagian tertentu bagi orang (miskin) yang meminta dan yang tidak mempunyai apa apa (yang tidak mau meminta)” (Q.S. Al Ma’arij : 24-25)

Demikianlah tata nilai kehidupan menurut ajaran agama Islam, dimana :

Tujuan hidup manusia adalah untuk mencapai kebahagiaan di akhirat karena kesejahteraan di akhirat lebih utama dari kesejahteraan di dunia, namun manusia tidak boleh melupakan haknya atas kenikmatan dunia.
Kenikmatan dunia tidak boleh membuat manusia melupakan kewajibannya sebagai abdi Allah dan sebagai khalifah di dunia untuk membawa rahmat bagi seluruh alam guna mencapai kehidupan yang lebih baik (hayatan thoyyibah)
Manusia tidak akan memperoleh kecuali yang diusahakannya, dan Allah SWT menjamin akan mendapat balasan yang sempurna. Oleh karena itu manusia harus berusaha secara baik dengan bersungguh-sungguh untuk mendapatkan hasil yang halal dan thoyib.
Semua manusia yang beriman adalah bersaudara, karena itu di dalam setiap rahmat dari Allah berupa harta yang diterima oleh manusia terdapat hak orang lain, sehingga harta harus dibersihkan dengan mengeluarkan zakat, infaq dan shadaqah.


1. Berusaha hanya untuk mengambil yang halal dan baik (thoyib)
Allah SWT telah memerintahkan kepada seluruh manusia –jadi bukan hanya untuk orang yang beriman dan muslim saja- untuk hanya mengambil segala sesuatu yang halal dan baik (thoyib). Dan untuk tidak mengikuti langkah-langkah syaitan –dengan mengambil yang tidak halal dan tidak baik.

”Hai sekalian manusia, makanlah (ambillah) yang halal lagi baik dari apa yang terdapat di bumi, dan janganlah kamu mengikuti langkah-langkah syaitan; karena sesungguhnya syaitan itu adalah musuh yang nyata bagimu” (Q.S. Al Baqarah 168)

Oleh karena itu dalam berusaha, Islam mengharuskan manusia untuk hanya mengambil hasil yang halal. Yang meliputi halal dari segi materi, halal dari cara perolehannya, serta juga harus halal dalam cara pemanfaatan atau penggunaannya. Banyak manusia yang memperdebatkan mengenai ketentuan halal ini. Padahal bagi umat Islam acuannya sudah jelas, yaitu sesuai dengan sabda Rasulullaah SAW:

Sesungguhnya perkara halal itu jelas dan perkara haram itupun jelas, dan diantara keduanya terdapat perkara-perkara yang syubhat (meragukan) yang tidak diketahui oleh orang banyak. Oleh karena itu, barangsiapa menjaga diri dari perkara syubhat, ia telah terbebas (dari kecaman) untuk agamanya dan kehormatannya…. ……Ingat! Sesungguhnya didalam tubuh itu ada sebuah gumpalan, apabila ia baik, maka baik pula seluruh tubuh, dan jika ia rusak, maka rusak pula seluruh tubuh, tidak lain ia adalah hati” (Hadits)

Jadi sesungguhnya yang halal dan yang haram itu jelas. Dan bila masih diragukan maka sebenarnya ukurannya berkaitan erat dengan hati manusia itu sendiri, bila hatinya jernih maka segala yang halal akan menjadi jelas. Dan sesungguhnya segala sesuatu yang tidak halal –termasuk yang syubhat – tidak boleh menjadi obyek usaha dan karenanya tidak mungkin menjadi bagian dari hasil usaha.

2. Memperoleh hasil usaha hanya melalui perniagaan yang berlaku secara ridho sama ridho karena saling memberi manfaat.

“Wahai orang-orang yang beriman, janganlah kamu saling memakan harta sesamamu dengan jalan yang bathil, kecuali dengan jalan perniagaan yang berlaku secara ridho sama ridho di antara kamu”. (Q.S. An Nisaa:29)

Kemudian Allah SWT memerintahkan kepada orang yang beriman –jadi bukan kepada seluruh manusia- agar bila ingin memperoleh keuntungan dari sesamanya hanya boleh dengan jalan perniagaan (baik perniagaan barang atau jasa) yang berlaku secara ridho sama ridho. Jalan perniagaan itu sendiri mungkin sudah cukup jelas, namun kaidah ‘berlaku secara ridho sama ridho’ –bukan sekedar ‘suka sama suka’- mungkin tidak terlalu jelas. Untuk penjelasannya dapat dikaji hadits berikut ini:

Nabi Muhammad saw. pernah mempekerjakan saudara Bani `Adiy Al Anshariy untuk memungut hasil Khaibar. Maka ia datang dengan membawa kurma Janib (kurma yang paling bagus mutunya). Nabi Muhammad SAW bertanya kepadanya: Apakah semua kurma Khaibar demikian ini? Orang itu menjawab: Tidak, demi Allah, wahai Nabi Utusan Allah. Saya membelinya satu sha` dengan dua sha` kurma Khaibar (sebagai bayarannya). Nabi Muhammad SAW bersabda: Janganlah berbuat begitu, tetapi tukarkan dengan jumlah yang sama, atau juallah ini (kurma Khaibar) lalu belilah kurma yang baik dengan hasil penjualan (kurma Khaibar) tadi.

Intisari dari pelajaran yang diberikan oleh Rasulullah SAW adalah bahwa harga dalam setiap perniagaan harus mengikuti penilaian (valuasi atau mekanisme) pasar. Karena penilaian yang dilakukan (oleh masyarakat) melalui mekanisme pasar akan memberikan penilaian yang adil. Tentunya selama pasar berjalan dengan wajar. Sehingga kaidah ‘ridho sama ridho’ yang disyaratkan dapat dicapai. Dan untuk memfasilitasi perniagaan melalui mekanisme pasar tersebut diperlukan prasarana alat tukar nilai yang disebut sebagai uang.

3. Fungsi Uang yang utama adalah sebagai alat tukar nilai di dalam transaksi.

Dalam syariah Islam, uang semata-mata berfungsi sebagai alat tukar nilai. Oleh karena itu salah seorang pemikir Islam, Imam Ghazali, menyatakan bahwa “Uang bagaikan cermin, ia tidak mempunyai warna namun dapat merefleksikan semua warna.” Maksudnya uang itu sendiri seharusnya tidak menjadi obyek (perniagaan) melainkan semata-mata untuk merefleksikan nilai dari obyek. Dan bagaikan cermin yang baik, uang harus dapat merefleksikan nilai dari obyek (perniagaan) secara jernih dan lengkap. Oleh karena itu pada zaman Rasulullah SAW uang dibuat dari logam mulia (emas atau perak) dan mempunyai spesifikasi (mutu dan berat) yang tertentu.

Pemerintahan Rasulullah SAW sendiri tidak menerbitkan uang. Karena pemerintahan Rasulullah SAW tidak perlu menerbitkan uang sendiri selama uang itu mempunyai nilai yang dapat diterima di semua pasar yang terkait. Sehingga pemikir Islam lainnya, Ibnu Khaldun menyatakan “Kekayaan suatu negara tidak ditentukan oleh banyaknya uang di negara tersebut, tetapi ditentukan oleh tingkat produksi di negara tersebut dan kemampuan untuk memperoleh neraca perdagangan yang positif.”

Karena dalam syariah Islam uang adalah alat tukar nilai, maka uang diperlukan untuk memperlancar perniagaan. Artinya peran uang sejalan dengan pemakaian uang itu dalam perniagaan. Sehingga bila uang disimpan dan tidak dipakai dalam perniagaan maka masyarakat akan merugi karena perniagaan akan mengalami hambatan. Karena pada zaman Rasulullah SAW uang dibuat dari emas dan perak, maka dalam surat At Taubah ayat 34 dinyatakan:

Dan orang-orang yang menyimpan emas dan perak dan tidak menafkahkannya di jalan Allah, maka beritahukanlah kepada mereka (bahwa mereka akan mendapat siksa yang pedih).

4. Berlaku adil dengan menghindari keraguan yang dapat merugikan dan menghindari resiko yang melebihi kemampuan.

Kemudian dalam melakukan perniagaan, Islam mengharuskan untuk berbuat adil tanpa memandang bulu –termasuk kepada pihak yang tidak disukai. Karena orang yang adil akan lebih dekat dengan takwa.

“Hai orang-orang beriman, hendaklah kamu jadi orang-orang yang selalu menegakkan (kebenaran) karena Allah, menjadi saksi dengan adil. Dan janganlah sekali-kali kebencianmu terhadap suatu kaum, mendorong kamu untuk berlaku tidak adil. Berlaku adillah karena adil itu lebih dekat dengan taqwa” (Q.S. Al Ma’idah:8)

Bahkan Islam mengharuskan untuk berlaku adil dan berbuat kebajikan dimana berlaku adil harus didahulukan dari berbuat kebajikan.

“Sesungguhnya Allah menyuruh berlaku adil dan berbuat kebajikan” (Q.S. An Nahl:90)

Dalam perniagaan, persyaratan adil yang paling mendasar adalah dalam menentukan mutu dan ukuran (takaran maupun timbangan).

“..Maka sempurnakanlah takaran dan timbangan dengan adil..” (Q.S. Al An’am:152)
“Dan Allah telah meninggikan langit dan Dia meletakkan neraca (keadilan) supaya kamu jangan melampaui batas neraca itu. Dan tegakkanlah timbangan itu dengan adil dan janganlah kamu mengurangi neraca itu” (Q.A. Ar Rahman:7,8,9)

Berlaku adil akan dekat dengan takwa, karena itu berlaku tidak adil akan membuat seseorang tertipu pada kehidupan dunia. Karena itu dalam perniagaan, Islam melarang untuk menipu –bahkan ‘sekedar’ membawa suatu kondisi yang dapat menimbulkan keraguan yang dapat menyesatkan atau gharar. Contoh yang diajarkan Rasulullah SAW adalah sesuatu (ikan) dalam air, karena pandangan pada segala sesuatu yang berada dalam air akan terbias dan dapat menimbulkan keraguan yang menipu.

Wahai manusia, sesungguhnya janji Allah benar maka janganlah sekali-kali kamu tertipu kehidupan dunia dan janganlah sekali-kali tertipu tentang Allah (karena) seorang penipu (al gharuur). (Q.S. Al Faatir: 5)

“Janganlah kalian membeli ikan di dalam air (kolam/laut) karena hal itu adalah gharar”. (HR Ahmad)

Sebaliknya atas harta milik sendiri dilarang untuk mengambil resiko yang melebihi kemampuan yang wajar untuk mengatasi resiko tersebut. Walaupun resiko tersebut mempunyai probabilita untuk membawa manfaat, namun bila probabilita untuk membawa kerugian lebih besar dari kemampuan menanggung kerugian tersebut maka tindakan usaha tersebut adalah sama dengan mengeluarkan yang lebih dari keperluan sehingga harus difikirkan dengan matang.

Mereka bertanya kepadamu tentang khamar dan maysir, (maka) katakanlah pada keduanya terdapat dosa besar dan beberapa manfaat bagi manusia, dan dosa keduanya lebih besar dari manfaat keduanya,
Dan mereka bertanya kepadamu apa yang mereka nafkahkan (keluarkan), maka katakanlah yang lebih dari keperluan, demikianlah Allah menerangkan kepadamu ayat-ayat-Nya supaya kamu berfikir.(Q.S. Al Baqarah:219)

5. Menjalankan usaha harus memenuhi semua ikatan yang telah disepakati.

Sebagai abdi Allah SWT menjalankan tugas sebagai khalifah di muka bumi, atas nama Allah SWT, dalam menjalankan usaha Islam mengharuskan dipenuhinya semua ikatan yang telah disepakati. Perubahan ikatan akibat perubahan kondisi harus dilaksanakan secara ridho sama ridho, disepakati oleh semua fihak terkait.

“Hai orang-orang beriman, penuhilah aqad-aqad itu.” (Q.S. Al Ma’idah:1)
“Tuhanku hanya mengharamkan perbuatan yang keji, baik yang nampak maupun yang tersembunyi, dan perbuatan dosa, melanggar hak manusia tanpa alasan yang benar..” (Q.S. Al A’raf : 33)
“Dan tepatilah perjanjian dengan Allah apabila kamu berjanji dan janganlah kamu membatalkan sumpah-sumpah(mu) itu sesudah meneguhkannya, sedang kamu telah menjadikan Allah sebagai saksimu..” (Q.S. An Nahl:91)

6. Manusia harus bekerjasama untuk memenuhi kebutuhan.

Manusia memang ditakdirkan untuk diciptakan dengan perbedaan, dimana sebagian diantaranya diberi kelebihan dibandingkan sebagian yang lain, dengan tujuan agar manusia dapat bekerjasama untuk mencapai hasil yang lebih baik.

“Kami telah menentukan antara mereka penghidupan mereka dalam kehidupan dunia, dan Kami telah meninggikan sebagian mereka atas sebagian yang lain beberapa derajat, agar sebagian mereka dapat mempergunakan sebagian yang lain. Dan rahmat Tuhanmu lebih baik dari apa yang mereka kumpulkan.” (Q.S. Az Zukhruf :32)

Pakar ekonomi Islami, Ibnu Khaldun menyatakan bahwa “Setiap individu tidak dapat dengan sendirinya memperoleh kebutuhan hidupnya. Semua manusia harus bekerjasama untuk memperoleh kebutuhan hidup dalam peradabannya.” Lebih lanjut Ibnu Khaldun juga menerangkan akan hasil kerjasama yang sekarang kita sebut synergy, sebagai berikut: “Hasil kerjasama sejumlah manusia dapat menutupi kebutuhan beberapa kali lipat dari jumlah mereka sendiri.”


Terdapat perbedaan yang sangat mendasar antara sistim ekonomi konvensional dengan Sistim Ekonomi Islami atau yang lebih dikenal di Indonesia sebagai Sistim Ekonomi Syariah. Menurut Alfred Marshall (1842-1924), “Economics is a study of mankind in the ordinary business life”. Sebagaimana telah diterangkan di atas, menurut syariah Islam “Ekonomi adalah ilmu untuk menggunakan sumber daya yang diamanatkan kepada manusia sebagai khalifah Allah SWT di muka bumi dalam menjalankan tugas manusia sebagai abdi Allah SWT.”

Dalam sudut pandang sistim ekonomi konvensional, seperti yang disampaikan oleh Samuelson, “Economics is the study of the use of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited human wants”. Jadi menurut sistim ekonomi konvensional terdapat kelangkaan dari sumber daya yang diperlukan untuk memenuhi keinginan manusia yang tidak terbatas. Sehingga timbul pilihan-pilihan atas penggunaan sumber daya yang bisa dimiliki. Akibatnya timbul kemungkinan penggunaan sumber daya dalam suatu kegiatan (produksi) dan menghasilkan konsep opportunity cost. Samuelson tidak menggunakan istilah ‘needs’ tetapi menggunakan istilah ‘wants’ untuk menandaskan ketidak terbatasan dari keinginan manusia.

Sedangkan dalam sudut pandang Islam, Allah SWT telah menyediakan sumber daya secara cukup dan seimbang bagi kebutuhan manusia.

“Dan Kami telah menghamparkan bumi dan menjadikan padanya gunung-gunung dan Kami tumbuhkan padanya segala sesuatu menurut ukuran (yang seimbang). Dan Kami telah menjadikan untukmu di bumi keperluan-keperluan hidup (ma’aayisya), dan (Kami menciptakan pula) mahluk-mahluk yang kamu sekali-kali bukan pemberi rezeki kepadanya. Dan tidak ada sesuatupun melainkan dari sisi Kami-lah sumbernya, dan Kami tidak menurunkannya kecuali sesuai dengan kadar yang (Kami) ketahui.” (Al Qur’an surat Al Hijr ayat 19 – 21)

“Tidakkah kamu perhatikan sesungguhnya Allah telah memudahkan bagimu apa yang di langit dan apa yang di bumi dan menyempurnakan untukmu nikmat-Nya lahir bathin.” (Al Qur’an surat Luqman ayat 20)

Kemudian menurut pandangan Islam, kebutuhan manusia adalah tertentu (terbatas) dimana Islam mengenal pembedaan (differenciation) antara kebutuhan (al-haajat), keinginan (al-raghbat) dan rangsangan jiwa (al-syahwat). Al haajat adalah sesuatu yang secara mendasar perlu dipenuhi untuk mencapai fitrah manusia, sehingga bila tidak dipenuhi akan mengganggu keseimbangan hidup sebagai manusia. Sedangkan al-raghbat adalah sesuatu yang diharapkan dipenuhi untuk mencapai kepuasan yang luas. Dan al-syahwat adalah hasrat untuk segera memenuhi keinginan nafsu (jiwa).

Untuk membedakan ketiga hal tersebut, Islam memberikan kaidah-kaidah dasar sebagai alat saring (screening) yang oleh Imam Ghazali didefinisikan sebagai ‘Maqashid asy-Syariah’. Alat saring atau yang disebut oleh Umer Chapra sebagai mekanisme filter dalam Islam adalah berlandaskan keimanan dan keihsanan yang memberikan motivasi untuk berbuat adil karena berharap mendapat pahala di akhirat.

Ibnu Khaldun menerangkan timbulnya keinginan (wants) sebagaimana yang disampaikan oleh Samuelson sebagai berikut: “Bila pekerjaan penduduk sebuah kota dibagi bagikan semua sesuai dengan kepentingan dan kebutuhan penduduk itu, maka hasilnya akan lebih banyak dari yang dibutuhkan. Kelebihan tersebut akan dikeluarkan untuk kemewahan dan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan penduduk kota-kota lain. Para penduduk akan saling mengambil barang-barang yang mereka butuhkan dan yang mereka kehendaki dari penduduk yang memiliki surplus melalui tukar-menukar atau jual-beli. Maka penduduk yang memiliki surplus akan mendapat bagian yang baik dari kekayaan.”


Menurut Islam, kepemilikan atas sumber daya adalah bersifat sementara dan merupakan amanat dari Allah SWT. Amanat ini diberikan dalam status manusia sebagai khalifah Allah SWT di muka bumi. Bukan hanya kepemilikan atas sumber daya yang bersifat sementara, bahkan keuntungan yang diperoleh seseorang tidaklah selalu menjadi rezeki (hak) dari orang yang diberi kepemilikan tersebut.

Dalam hal ini Ibnu Khaldun menyatakan :”Keuntungan adalah nilai yang timbul dari kerja manusia, namun keuntungan juga bisa datang tidak dengan usaha sebagaimana hujan menumbuhkan tanaman, dan lain sebagainya. Keuntungan akan merupakan penghidupan bila sesuai dengan kadar kepentingan dan kebutuhan manusia yang memperolehnya. Keuntungan akan merupakan ‘akumulasi modal’ bila ia lebih dari kadar kebutuhannya. Keuntungan (baik yang tergolong penghidupan maupun akumulasi modal) yang digunakan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan (masa kini maupun masa mendatang) disebut rezeki, sedangkan kelebihan dari keuntungan yang tidak digunakan untuk memenuhi kebutuhan (sehingga mubazir) adalah bukan rezeki.”

Menurut Islam, kegiatan produksi dalam memanfaatkan sumber daya untuk memberikan hasil produksi yang berguna untuk memenuhi haruslah berbasis pada pemanfaatan yang berkesinambungan dari sumber daya tersebut. Dalam hal ini Ibnu Khaldun berpendapat bahwa: “Pertanian adalah dasar (pelopor) bagi penghidupan karena yang paling sesuai dengan alam. Pertukangan adalah penghidupan yang kedua karena timbul dari hasil pikiran dan keahlian manusia. Perdagangan adalah termasuk cara penghidupan yang wajar karena ia berusaha menghubungkan antara hasil dan kebutuhan dengan mengambil keuntungan dari perbedaan antara harga pembelian dan penjualan. Jasa pelayanan bukanlah termasuk jalan penghidupan yang wajar dan alami, tetapi ia dibutuhkan karena ketidak mampuan sebagian dari manusia untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya.”

Jelaslah bahwa kebutuhan akan jasa pelayanan timbul karena ketidak mampuan sebagian dari manusia untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya. Baik karena secara total manusia tersebut tidak mampu memenuhi kebutuhan hidupnya (misalnya karena cacat, atau kebutuhan makanan dan tempat tinggal selama dalam perjalanan) ataupun karena manusia tersebut memusatkan perhatian (fokus) pada suatu aspek kehidupan agar dapat mencapai tingkat produksi yang optimal. Sehingga timbul defisiensi pada salah satu aspek pemenuhan kebutuhannya yang harus dipenuhi dengan memakai jasa pihak lain.

Tetapi disamping itu kebutuhan akan jasa pelayanan juga timbul karena keinginan manusia untuk mendapatkan sesuatu yang lebih dari yang dapat dikerjakannya (kemewahan), walaupun untuk itu ia harus menggantinya dengan sesuatu yang berharga. Misalnya kebutuhan untuk menikmati makanan yang enak, perjalanan yang nyaman, tempat pertemuan yang nyaman, pakaian dengan model yang bagus, dsb.

Karena manusia memang diperintahkan untuk saling memanfaatkan kelebihan yang telah dikaruniakan oleh Allah SWT kepada sebagian yang lain, maka timbul kebutuhan untuk berserikat. Perserikatan tersebut kemudian akan mengadakan transaksi dengan pihak lain sehingga perserikatan tersebut harus menggantikan peran manusia dan oleh karenanya harus menjadi ‘badan’ yang dapat bertindak mengadakan ikatan (hukum) atau yang disebut sebagai badan hukum. Badan hukum ini yang akan menerima manfaat (positif atau negatif) dari transaksi yang dilakukan untuk kemudian meneruskan hasilnya kepada pihak-pihak yang berserikat dalam badan hukum tersebut.

Pada dasarnya menurut Islam, perserikatan antar menusia dapat dikelompokkan dalam:

Perserikatan antar pihak-pihak dimana masing-masing memberikan modal dan tenaga serta sepakat untuk membagi tanggung jawab dan hasil menurut ketentuan tertentu. Perserikatan ini lazimnya berbentuk ‘Musyaraka’.
Perserikatan antar pihak-pihak dimana sebagian pihak (disebut Pemilik Harta atau shahibul maal atau rab-al-maal) menyediakan modal dan berhak mendapat pembagian atas hasil usaha namun harus menanggung resiko usaha sedangkan pihak lain (disebut Pemilik Usaha atau Mudharib) melaksanakan kegiatan usaha menurut kesepakatan dan berhak mendapat pembagian atas hasil usaha yang positif saja. Perserikatan ini lazimnya berbentuk ‘Mudharaba’
Perserikatan antar pihak-pihak dimana sebagian pihak yang memiliki modal atau harta (Pemilik Modal/Harta) menyerahkan kepada pihak lain (Pemberi Jasa) untuk bertindak atas nama Pemilik Modal/Harta tersebut melakukan suatu kegiatan usaha atau mengelola modal/harta yang diserahkan oleh Pemilik Modal/Harta tersebut. Semua hasil kegiatan usaha atau pengelolaan (positif atau negatif) adalah hak Pemilik Modal/Harta, sedangkan pihak Pemberi Jasa berhak untuk mendapatkan imbal jasa baik yang bernilai tetap, merupakan prosentase dari nilai Modal/Harta, maupun kombinasi nilai tetap dan prosentase pertambahan nilai Modal/Harta. Perserikatan ini lazimnya berbentuk ‘Wakala’.

Jelaslah bahwa dalam Islam, badan hukum atau perusahaan adalah personifikasi dari para pihak yang berserikat membentuk badan hukum atau perusahaan tersebut dan beroperasi semata-mata untuk kepentingan atau maksud dari para pihak tersebut. Sehingga bila badan hukum atau perusahaan tersebut ingin mengikuti Syariah Islam, maka badan hukum atau perusahaan tersebut juga harus mengkuti tata nilai berusaha yang sesuai dengan Syariah Islam adalah sebagai berikut:

Melakukan Usaha adalah semata-mata untuk mendapatkan hasil yang Halal dan Baik (thoyib) yang dapat diperoleh hanya melalui Perniagaan yang berlaku secara ridho sama ridho karena saling memberi manfaat. Obyek transaksi harus barang dan jasa yang halal, sehingga barang dan jasa yang haram tidak boleh menjadi obyek transaksi sedangkan barang dan jasa yang subhat sebaiknya dihindari.
Memakai uang dalam transaksi semata-mata sebagai Alat Tukar Nilai sehingga uang tidak dapat menjadi obyek perniagaan (komoditi). Akibatnya tidak boleh mencari keuntungan akibat penguasaan (pemilikan sementara) dari uang, termasuk mencari keuntungan dari perubahan nilai tukar valuta.
Berlaku adil terhadap pihak-pihak (counterparties) dalam bertransaksi dengan menghindari kondisi memungkinkan Keraguan yg Menipu. Akibatnya badan hukum atau perusahaan harus mengusahakan transparansi dari transaksi.
Berlaku adil dalam mengelola usaha dengan melaksanakan Praktek Terbaik dalam Pengelolaan (corporate governance).
Berlaku adil kepada pihak Pemilik Modal/Harta dengan menjalankan kegiatan usaha mengikuti Prinsip Kehati-hatian (prudential management), termasuk dalam menjaga rasio-rasio keuangan seperti rasio hutang terhadap modal, rasio piutang terhadap pendapatan/penjualan, rasio persediaan dll.
Menjalankan usaha harus memenuhi semua ikatan yang telah disepakati.
Bekerjasama dalam menjalankan usaha untuk mendapatkan manfaat yang optimal dan berkelanjutan bagi semua pihak, bukan semata-mata mengejar manfaat yang maksimal bagi badan usaha atau perusahaan itu sendiri.


Sistim ekonomi juga merupakan arus lingkar dari kegiatan usaha dalam masyarakat yang meliputi kegiatan dari rumah tangga (penyedia faktor produksi sumber daya manusia) dengan badan usaha (penghasil produk/jasa yang dibutuhkan oleh rumah tangga). Untuk dapat mengatur arus lingkar kegiatan usaha yang memberikan manfaat yang optimal dan berkelanjutan, masyarakat membentuk Pemerintah yang diharapkan akan bertanggung jawab atas pemenuhan kepentingan masyarakat tersebut.

Oleh karena itu, dalam sistim ekonomi Syariah, Pemerintah harus dapat memberikan dukungan pada kelangsungan arus lingkar kegiatan usaha dengan cara yang sesuai Syariah Islam. Dukungan tersebut meliputi :

Menciptakan infrastruktur pembayaran dan penyelesaian transaksi meliputi uang, pasar uang dan sistim perbankan.
Menjaga nilai dari kekayaan dan hasil produksi melalui pengendalian inflasi (kebijakan moneter)
Mendorong pengembangan produk domestik dan pelaksanaan distribusi kesejahteraan yang adil melalui kebijakan fiskal dan anggaran belanja negara.

Dalam menyediakan infrastruktur pembayaran dan penyelesaian transaksi yang sesuai dengan syariah Islam, Pemerintah harus memastikan bahwa:

Uang diterbitkan dan digunakan dengan cara yang sesuai Syariah Islam dimana Pemerintah harus menyatakan uang sebagai alat pembayaran yang sah serta menjamin nilai dari uang yang diterbitkan. Kemudian Pemerintah harus menjaga agar tersedia uang yang cukup untuk melayani kebutuhan transaksi serta menghalangi penggunaan uang untuk kegiatan spekulasi.
Pemerintah juga harus menyediakan mekanisme pasar uang yang sesuai Syariah Islam dimana pihak-pihak yang memiliki kelebihan uang dapat menyalurkan kepada pihak-pihak yang membutuhkan uang untuk kegiatan transaksi. Bila terjadi ketidak-seimbangan maka Pemerintah harus dapat mengatur jumlah uang yang beredar.
Pemerintah harus mendorong tersedianya jasa lembaga keuangan yang sesuai Syariah Islam untuk memenuhi kebutuhan masyarakat akan penyimpanan, tabungan, investasi serta pembiayaan.

Pemerintah juga harus dapat menjaga nilai dari kekayaan dan akumulasi modal serta nilai dari hasil produksi masyarakat dengan mengatur jumlah uang yang beredar untuk mendukung tata perniagaan sehingga terjadi keseimbangan antara kelebihan produksi dengan kebutuhan, baik antar pihak-pihak di dalam dan di luar negeri. Untuk itu Pemerintah harus dapat menjamin nilai dari uang dengan harta kekayaan dan sumber daya milik negara, yaitu harta kekayaan dan sumber daya milik Allah SWT yang disediakan bagi kepentingan ummat manusia yang membentuk Pemerintah/Negara.

Pemerintah juga harus dapat mendorong pengembangan produk domestik dan distribusi kesejahteraan dengan mengatur pengumpulan zakat dan cukai sehingga terjadi redistribusi yang wajar atas diperolehnya keuntungan akibat nilai tambah yang melebihi kebutuhan wajar pihak yang bersangkutan. Pemerintah juga harus menggunakan anggaran belanja negara untuk mendorong pertumbuhan produksi barang dan jasa yang diperlukan.

Dalam menjalankan perannya, Pemerintah bertanggung jawab atas tercapainya keadilan dalam masyarakat. Mengenai hal ini, Ibnu Khaldun menyatakan bahwa:

Kekuatan Penguasa (al-Mulk) tidak dapat diwujudkan tanpa implementasi Syariah
Syariah tidak dapat dilaksanakan kecuali oleh Penguasa,
Penguasa tidak dapat memperoleh kekuatan kecuali dari Rakyat (ar-Rijal)
Rakyat tidak dapat berdiri (sejahtera), kecuali dengan kekayaan (al-Maal)
Kekayaan tidak dapat diperoleh kecuali dengan Pembangunan (al-Imarah)
Pembangunan tidak dapat dicapai kecuali dengan Keadilan (al-’Adl)
Keadilan adalah ukuran (al-Mizan) perhitungan Akhirat
Berdasarkan pemikiran Ibnu Khaldun, Umer Chapra mengajukan relasi fungsional dalam sistim ekonomi syariah sebagai berikut:

G = f ( S, N, W, g dan j)

Dimana keberhasilan suatu Pemerintahan (G = government) merupakan fungsi dari penerapan Syariah (S = syariah) dalam masyarakat (N = nation) untuk mewujudkan kesejahteraan (W = wealth dan welfare) dengan menjalankan pembangunan atau pertumbuhan ekonomi (g = growth) dan menegakkan keadilan (j = justice).


Menyimak uraian mengenai sistim ekonomi dan etika usaha Islami tersebut di atas, maka harus diakui bahwa diperlukan penyesuaian dalam kurikulum pendidikan ilmu ekonomi dan ilmu manajemen untuk menghasilkan sumber daya yang mempunyai kompetensi dalam mewujudkan sistim ekonomi dan etika usaha Islami tersebut. Menurut hemat kami perbedaan mendasar adalah dalam dasar pemikiran dari sistim ekonomi dan etika usaha, bukan pada metoda pelaksanaan kegiatan ekonomi. Oleh karena itu ada beberapa pendekatan yang dapat diambil, antara lain:

Pendekatan yang melihat bahwa ada perbedaan antara sistim dan teori-teori ekonomi syariah dengan ekonomi konvensional sehingga perlu dibuat Jurusan Ekonomi Syariah dan Jurusan Manajemen Syariah yang terpisah dari Jurusan Ilmu Ekonomi (Studi Pembangunan) dan Jurusan Manajemen.
Pendekatan yang melihat bahwa sistim dan teori-teori ekonomi syariah adalah pengembangan dari sistim dan teori-teori ekonomi konvensional sehingga perlu diadakan mata kuliah pilihan pada Jurusan Ilmu Ekonomi (Studi Pembangunan) dan Jurusan Manajemen dimana untuk Jurusan Manajemen dapat dibuat Konsentrasi Manajemen Perbankan (atau Lembaga Keuangan) Syariah.
Pendekatan yang melihat bahwa teori-teori ekonomi syariah adalah salah satu pemikiran dalam sistim ekonomi sehingga perlu diadakan penyesuaian pada materi (silabus) dari mata kuliah yang telah ada di Jurusan Ilmu Ekonomi (Studi Pembangunan) dan Jurusan Manajemen.

Menurut hemat kami, pada akhirnya penyesuaian pada materi dari mata kuliah yang ada akan menempatkan sistim ekonomi dan etika usaha yang Islami pada posisi yang sejajar dengan sistim dan teori yang ada. Sehingga pembelajaran Ekonomi Syariah tidak terbatas untuk umat Islam saja. Oleh karena itu disarankan agar pada setiap silabus Mata Kuliah Dasar yang terkait ditambahkan materi mengenai sistim ekonomi dan etika usaha yang sesuai dengan Syariah Islam. Mata kuliah ini setidaknya meliputi Pengantar Ekonomi Mikro, Pengantar Ekonomi Makro, Teori Ekonomi, Pengantar Bisnis, Pengantar Manajemen, Pengantar Ekonomi Pembangunan, Pengantar Akuntansi, Hukum Ekonomi, Lembaga Keuangan, Perekonomian Indonesia, Akuntansi Biaya, Manajemen Pemasaran, Manajemen Keuangan.

Disarankan agar dibuat Mata Kuliah Konsentrasi Syariah, baik yang tergolong wajib maupun pilihan, misalnya untuk konsentrasi Ekonomi Moneter dan Ekonomi Pasar Uang & Modal di jurusan Studi Pembangunan, untuk konsentrasi Manajemen Keuangan dan Manajemen Lembaga Keuangan di jurusan Manajemen, dan Akuntasi Perusahaan di jurusan Akuntansi.

Wallahu a’lam


August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Strategi adalah faktor penting dalam pengorganisasian .yang merupakan sebuah proses dimana manajemen memutuskan tujuan dan cara mencapainya. Ekonomi Islam akan berkembang dengan pesat apabila ada sebuah grand design atau blue print sebagai acuan bagi semua stake holder. Hal tersebut akan berjalan secara sistematis dan komprehensif apabila ada sinergitas diantara semua pihak sehingga tujuan dari ekonmi Islam yang sebenarnya akan tercapai.
key word: Strategi, blue print, sinergitas.
Ekonomi merupakan bagian yang tidak bisa terpisahkan dari kehidupan manusia, karena ini menyangkut perilaku manusia dalam mengaktualisasikan diri untuk mencapai tujuan hidupnya. Islam merupakan fitrah manusia, karena itu ia bersifat holistik (syumul). Dalam Islam, ekonomi dibahas pada bagian tersendiri, fiqh mu’amalah. Jadi jelaslah sudah bahwa islam memilki ‘aturan main’ tersendiri untuk masalah ekonomi.
Kalau kita perhatikan prestasi ekonomi Indonesia sungguh tidaklah menggembirakan. Kemiskinan dibarengi pengangguran yang tertimpa pada Indonesia seolah-olah menjadi sebuah karakteristik yang melekat pada negara-negara berpenduduk muslim. Berikut tabel Pertumbuhan ekonomi dan
Pengangguran Terbuka.

Hal yang pararelpun terjadi pada tingkat internasional, dimana Indonesia mendapatkan peringkat yang jauh dan rendah dibanding negara tetangga. Termasuk studi yang dilakukan oleh IMD Swiss yang menempatkan Indonesia pada nomor 45 dari 47 bangsa di dunia sebelum krisis terjadi. Dan setelah krisis menempatkan kualitas SDM nomor 107 dibawah Vietnam.
Posisi Indonesia di Tingkat Internasional
Kualitas SDM No. 46
Kemampuan IPTEK No. 42
Kemampuan Manajemen No. 44
Keadaan Sarana dan Prasarana No. 46
Lobby & Hubungan Internasional No. 43
Kekuatan Ekonomi Domestik No. 45
Kualitas Pemerintahan No. 36
Akses terhadap Permodalan No. 43

Kemiskinan dan pengangguran serta masalah turunan tersebut perlu sebuah solusi yang tidak hanya bersifat analgetic melalui problem sympton yang
dihadapi, tetapi perlu sebuah alternatif, solusi tepat mengeliminir masalah tersebut.
Kesalahan umat dan bangsa ini tidak mau berpikir, walaupun berpikir, tidak bertindak. Sedikit orang-orang yang berpikir sesuatu tetapi tidak atau lebih sedikit orang yang melakukannya. “you see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know”.
Apabila kita lihat dalam piramida penguasaan ekonomi di Indonesia, jumlah umat Muslim terbesar, yakni mencapai 87,9 persen. Namun, umat non-Muslim, khususnya Kristen, yang jumlahnya tak lebih dari 12 persen menguasai mayoritas perekonomian nasional. Sekitar 58 persen ekonomi Indonesia dipegang oleh sekitar 300 group konglomerat besar, yang mayoritas merupakan non-Muslim. Sebanyak 24 persen dikuasai oleh 201 BUMN, sisanya dipegang oleh koperasi dan UKM.
¨ Sebagaian besar bangsa ini menilai bahwa Islam sebatas sebuah addien, sebuah kepercayaan dan keyakinan yang hanya dijalankan melalui ritual-ritual an sich. Padahal pada addien inilah yang dapat menuntun kehidupan manusia kepada kebahagian dunia dan akhirat. Islam dipandang sebagai ritual bukan sebagai solusi. Dan inilah yang terjadi, ketika di depan mata kemiskinan, kriminalitas dan hidup yang sempit malah banyak meninggalkan ajaran addien.
Ekonomi Islam salah satu jawaban dari permasalahaan ekonomi Indonesia ketika pasca krisis moneter terjadi bank syariah malah menjadi jamur yang tidak terbendung. Belum lagi sektor lainnya seperti keuangan publik ( Zakat, Infak Shadaqah ), sektor riil Syariah ( Hotel Syariah, Baju Islami dll ) mulai merayap menghiasi peradaban bangsa ini. Namun sayang konsep ekonomi Islam yang sebenarnya banyak yang tidak tahu, sehingga kadang menjadi salah kaprah bahkan menjadi bumerang bagi umat islam itu sendiri. Oleh sebab itu diperlukan staretegi jitu yang sistematis dan menyeluruh dalam sosialisasi dan pembumian ekonomi islam di negeri tercinta ini.
“ Manajemen strategi adalah suatu seni dan ilmu dari pembuatan (formulating), penerapan (implementing), dan evaluasi (evaluating) keputusan-keputusan strategis antar fungsi yang memungkinkan sebuah organisasi mencapai tujuan-tujuan masa datang “
Dari definisi di atas terdapat dua hal penting yang dapat disimpulkan, yaitu bahwa:
1. manajemen strategik terdiri dari tiga proses:
a. pembuatan strategi (formulating)
b. penerapan strategi (implementing)
c. evaluasi/control strategi (controling)
2. manajemen strategik, memfokuskan pada penyatuan atau penggabungan aspek-aspek sosialisasi, riset dan pengembangan, keuangan dan opersional dari sebuah bisnis/organisasi.
Definisi pembumian sendiri, dapat diartikan sebagai suatu tindakan dan proses penanaman, pengakaran dan pengkafahan yang dapat ditempuh dengan sosialisasi sehingga ekonomi Islam tertanam pada jiwa “masyarakat” dan dapat direalisasikan dalam kehidupan perekonomian sehari-hari.

Ekonomi Islam
Secara sederahana Sistem ekonomi Islam merupakan penerapan aktivitas ekonomi yang berdasarkan syariah untuk mewujudkan suatu kemakmuran yang berkeadilan. .Oleh karena itu sistem ekonomi Islam dalam penerapannya harus berdasarkan nash-nash Al-Quran (bagian-bagian yang tetap), dan ijtihad hasil karya para mujtahid (bagian-bagian yang berubah-ubah) dan ulil amri.
Persepsi sebagian orang tentang ekonomi Islam yang terlalu ideal mengakibatkan terhambatnya perkembangan ekonomi syariah itu sendiri. Teori Ibnu Kholdun atau yang dinamakan siklus chapra dapat menjawab pertanyaan mengenai ekonomi Islam yang sebenarnya.Siklus tersebut dapat digambarkan seperti di bawah ini:

Menurut M. Syakir Sula, perkembangan misi Ekonomi Islam menghadapi tantangan-tantangan sebagai berikut :
– Tantangan Internal :
– Bagaimana meningkatkan silaturahmi dan kerjasama konkrit antar praktisi, LKS dan akademisi.
– Begitu besar potensi masing-masing yang belum disinergikan
– Diperlukan ketulusan hati, kebersihan qalbu dan kelurusan niat
– Empat kebiasaan buruk yang merusak hubungan : su’udzan, ghibah, tajassus (memata-matai), namimah (mengadu-domba).
Khusus tentang Perbankan Syari’ah, Karnaen Perwataatmaja merumuskan tantangan internal atau kelemahan kita adalah :
• Masih terdapat berbagai kontroversi terhadap keberadaan dan sistem operasional bank syariah.
• Rendahnya pemahaman masyarakat
• Masih terbatasnya jaringan pelayanan
• Moral hazard
• Tantangan Eksternal
• Pihak-pihak yang tidak senang dengan berkembangnya ekonomi syari’ah bersatu untuk menghambat perkembangannya : menghambat UU, PP, sosialisasi dan implementasi di masyarakat
• Ekonomi Islam dikait-kaitkan dengan fanatisme agama
• Kompetisi teknologi, pelayanan dan perkembangan produk dari sistem keuangan konvensional (sekuler).
Menurut sumber lain, ada beberapa tantangan yang perlu mendapatkan perhatian umat Islam. Pertama, dampak globalisasi, misalnya pesaing dari LKS asing. Kedua, persaingan di bidang layanan (servis), termasuk di bidang teknologi informasi (TI). Ketiga, dukungan setengah hati dari pemerintah. Keempat, masih terbatasnya SDM yang andal. Kelima, pemahaman masyarakat tentang LKS dan bunga bank haram. Masih ada masyarakat yang masih kurang peduli terhadap hal tersebut.
Tantangan terbesar umat Islam adalah bagaimana mewujudkan umat Islam itu kuat, progressif, dinamis, dan maju. Untuk itu, perlu tiga hal, yakni iman yang kuat, ilmu dan teknologi yang mantap, serta ekonomi yang kokoh,
‘Semakin lemah umat Islam dari segi ekonomi, maka semakin lemah pula dakwah, pendidikan maupun hal-hal lainnya yang seharusnya merupakan pilar penyokong kekuatan dan wibawa umat,. Agama lain melakukan pemurtadan dengan menyerang dari empat sisi kelemahan umat Islam, yakni lemah ekonomi, lemah pendidikan, lemah di bidang kesehatan, dan lemah di bidang tauhid

Umat Islam harus menjadikan berbagai tantangan di bidang ekonomi menjadi peluang. ”Dengan jumlah penduduk Muslim mencapai sekitar 88 persen, idealnya pangsa pasar bank syariah di Indonesia mencapai sekitar 80 persen, dan bank konvensional 20 persen. Minimal, 50 banding 50.
Salah seorang praktisi ekonomi syariah, menyebutkan ekonomi syariah di Indonesia memiliki prospek sangat bagus untuk dikembangkan. Namun, upaya untuk mengembangkan ekonomi syariah masih menemui berbagai kendala dan tantangan. Meskipun demikian, umat Muslim tidak boleh gampang menyerah. ”Justru kita harus menjadikan tantangan dan kendala sebagai peluang. Masa-masa menjadikan isu ekonomi syariah sebagai wacana sudah lewat. Yang harus dilakukan sekarang adalah gerak nyata. Juga ditanamkan kemauan keras untuk mewujudkan ekonomi syariah dalam kehidupan sehari-hari,
Bicara mengenai prospek ekonomi syariah di Indonesia, ada lima faktor yang mendukung. Pertama, fatwa bunga bank riba dan haram. Kedua, tren kesadaran masyarakat Muslim, Ketiga, sistem ekonomi syariah berhasil menunjukkan keunggulannya, khususnya saat terjadi krisis ekonomi. Ketika bank-bank konvensional tumbang dan butuh suntikan dana pemerintah hingga ratusan triliun, Bank Muamalat, sebagai bank syariah pertama di Indonesia, mampu melewati krisis dengan selamat tanpa bantuan dana pemerintah sepeserpun. Keempat, UU Perbankan Syariah yang kini terus digodok, dan akan menjadi payung hukum bagi perbankan syariah di Indonesia. Kelima, tuntutan integrasi Lembaga Keuangan Syariah (LKS). Bank syariah harus menggunakan asuransi syariah untuk menutup pembiayaan terhadap nasabahnya. Sebaliknya, asuransi syariah harus menyimpan dananya di bank syariah, pasar modal syariah, maupun reksadana syariah.
Prospek ekonomi syaiah makin menjanjikan, seiring dengan eksistensi Dewan Syariah Nasional (DSN) yang makin bergigi. Lembaga pendidikan ekonomi syariah juga makin banyak.
Tantangan sekaligus dapat menjadi peluang bagi yang mampu memanfaatkan dan menggerakkannya. Umat Islam memerlukan orang-orang Muslim yang menguasai Fiqih Muamalat dan ilmu-ilmu umum sekaligus. Menurut data Bank Indonesia, diperkirakan bahwa dalam jangka waktu sepuluh tahun kedepan, dibutuhkan tidak kurang dari 10 ribu SDM yang memiliki basis skill ekonomi syariah yang memadai. Ini merupakan peluang yang sangat prospektif, sekaligus merupakan tantangan bagi kalangan akademisi dan dunia pendidikan kita. Tingginya kebutuhan SDM ini menunjukkan bahwa sistem ekonomi syariah semakin dapat diterima oleh masyarakat. Walaupun harus diakui bahwa ketika berbagai pemikiran dan konsep ekonomi syariah ini pertama kali diperkenalkan, kemudian diimplementasikan dalam berbagai institusi ekonomi, sebagian dari kaum muslimin banyak yang ragu dan tidak percaya.
Munculnya sikap semacam ini sebagai refleksi dari pemahaman bahwa ajaran agama Islam hanya mengatur pola hubungan yang bersifat individual antara manusia dengan Tuhannya saja, dan tidak mengatur aspek-aspek lain yang berkaitan dengan mu`amalah yang berhubungan dengan interaksi dan pola kehidupan antar sesama manusia. Padahal ajaran Islam adalah ajaran yang bersifat komprehensif dan universal, dimana tidak ada satu bidang pun yang luput dari perhatian Islam, termasuk bidang ekonomi tentunya.

Meskipun perkembangan ekonomi islam khususnya BPRS, BMT dan lembaga-lembaga keuangan Islam lainnya cukup mengesankan dari segi kuantitas, namun ekonomi ummat “ belum ada” tanda-tanda terangkat dari bawah oleh perangkat-perangkat kasar ini. Masih diperlukan perjalanan panjang untuk meningkatkan kualitas perekonomian umat. Penyebab keterbelakangan umat terutama di bidang ekonomi ini sebenarnya memiliki banyak faktor. Dengan kata lain fenomena keterbelakngan ini memiliki faktor multidimensional. Karena itu untuk mengatasinya diperlukan pendekatan multidimensional juga. Namun dengan perkembangan lembaga keuangan syariah yang ada seharusnya dapat dimanfatkan secara optimal untuk mengurangi keterbelakangan itu.
Sinergitas dari semua kalangan masyarakat baik itu regulasi, akademisi maupun praktisi harus terwujud agar tidak ada ketimpangan di dalam membumikan ekonomi Islam di Indonesia. Peran aktif dari masyarakat umum merupakan faktor penting dalam pembumian ekonomi Islam.
Peran Akademisi dalam Perkembangan Ekonomi Syariah
1. Mengupayakan adanya ‘paradigm shift’, menjadikan nilai-nilai universal yang berlandaskan Al Quran dan Sunnah sebagai ‘world view’ melalui pendekatan riset, pengembangan konsep-konsep.
2. Mengembangkan filsafat ilmu berdasarkan Al Qur’an dan Sunnah.
3. .Mengembangkan Metodologi Ilmiah berdasarkan Al Qur’an dan Sunnah.
4. Bagaimana ‘menangkap’ pengalaman-pengalaman praktisi di lapangan ke dalam kajian teoritis/akademis.
5. Di sisi lain, bagaimana ‘mendaratkan’ teori-teori yang ada di ‘awan’ ke tingkat implementasi di lapangan.
6. Teoretisasi dan positivisasi fatwa-fatwa baik lokal/regional maupun global sekaligus secara berkala melakukan purifikasi
7. Advokasi kebijakan : merumuskan kebijakan-kebijakan ekonomi dan pembangunan yang mengandung nilai-nilai universal berdasarkan Al Qur’an dan Sunnah.
8. Mengembangkan strategi pengajaran Ekonomi Islam di semua tingkat pendidikan (SD, MI, SMP, MTs, SMA, MA, PT, pesantren)
9. Menyiapkan dan mempertinggi kualitas SDI untuk terjun di kancah ekonomi secara Islami
10. Go Global :
i. Sertifikasi keahlian/profesi : Islamic Financial Analyst, Insurance Specialist, Insurance Agent, Community Development Specialist, Zakat/Waqf Specialist, Islamic Financial Planner.
ii. Menyusun buku-buku teks/modul-modul
iii. Menulis artikel-artikel ilmiah
Peran Regulator
Ekonomi islam dalam pembumiannya tidak dapat berjalan tanpa adanya regulasi-regulasi sebagai payung hukum praktik ekonomi syariah di Indonesia. Jelas sekali peran regulator yang bersinergi dengan masyarakat, akademisi, maupun praktisi, contoh lahirnya fatwa MUI 16 Desember 2003 yang mengharamkan bunga bank konvensional, dampaknya cukup besar terbukti antara lain sejumlah bank syariah mengalami kelebihan likuiditas. Dana masuk sangat cepat, sementara poses pembiayaan tak secepat penerimaan dana.
Peran negara dalam ekonomi selalu penting dalam pemikiran politik muslim sejak dulu hingga sekarang, yamg telah di bahas dalam sejumlah subjek, termasuk dia ntaranya adalah: al-ahkam as-sulthaniyyah’ regulasi pemerintah’, maqasid asy-syari’ah,as-siyasah as-syariah ‘ kebijakan syariah’ dan al-hisbah.
Namun, peran negara dalam ekonomi islam todak seperti “intervensi” pemerintah yang tetap komitmen kepada kapitalisme laissez paire. Ia juga tidak seperti kolektivitasi dan regimen tasi yang mencekik kebebasan dan iniiatif in dividu serta keinginan berusaha. Ia juga tidak seperti negra kesejahteraan yang sekularis yang karena penghindarannya dari penilaiaan, makin memperkuat klaim-klaim pada sumber daya dan menimbulkan ketidakseimbangan ekonomi. Ia adalah sebuah peran positif suatu kewajiban moral untuk membantu mewujudkan kesejahteraan semua orang dengan menjamin keseimbangan antara kepentingan privat dan sosial, memelihara roda perekonomian pada rel yang benar, dan men cegah pengalihan arahnya leh kelompok berkuasa yang berkepentingan. Makin besar motivasi orang utuk menerapkan nilai-nilai Islam, makin efektif lembaga-lembaga sosio ekonomi dalam menciptakan keseimbangan yag adil antara sumber-sumber daya dan klaim-klaim, juga dalam meralisasikan maqasid syariah , makin kecil peran negara dalam perekonomian. Namun apapun peran pemerintah, ia tidak boleh dimainkan secara acak, ia harus dimainkan dalam batas-batas syariah dan melalui saluran demokratis serta “konsultasi” (syura).

Peran Praktisi
para praktisi memegang peranan penting dalam pembumian ekonomi Islam karena di sektor inilah aplikasi riil ekonomi islam benar-benar terjadi. Baik buruknya ekonomi Islam barometer atau tolok ukurnya adalah praktisi sehingga kesalahan sekecil apapun “praktek” ekonomi syariah akan menjadi image ekonomi syariah itu sendiri secara menyeluruh. Oleh karena itu, para praktisi diharapkan sangat berhati-hati juga tetap melakukan introspeksi dan komunikasi dengan pihak lain dalam mengaplikasikan “produk-produk” ekonomi syariah.
Apalagi kondisi sebagian besar masyarakat Indonesia yang terlalu ideal pandangannya terhadap ekonomi syariah, misalnya praktek sebuah BMT yang diklaim tidak Islami menjadi kesimpulan umum atau generalisasi bahwa ekonomi syariah itu tidak baik.
Peran Masyarakat
Masyarakat diharapkan bisa ikut andil dalam proses pembentukan sistem ekonomi Islam . seperti melakukan transaksi di Institusi-Institusi Ekonomi Syariah dengan melakukan proses controlling terhadap praktek dan intitusi syariah sehingga terciptanya dinamika sistem ekonomi Islam yang kondusif.
Sinergitas merupakan salah satu kata kunci dari pembumian ekonmi Islam disamping kita menyiapkan konsep,sosialisasi , regulasi dan advokasi bagi masyarakat Kemajuan ekonomi Islam akan lebih efektif dan efisien ketika semua bekerja sama dengan koordinasi yang sistematis sehingga menjadi kekuatan yang luar biasa. Tahapan-tahapan perkembangan ekonomi Islam akan sistematis ketika ada master plan atau grand design dalam pencapaian target dan tujuan dari ekonomi Islam itu sendiri . Maka diperlukan sebuah Blue Print yang dijadikan
semacam panduan atau guidance bagi pertumbuhan dan perkembangan perekonomian syariah di Indonesia.
Agustinus Sri wahyudi, manajemen strategi, Binarupa Aksara, 1996 Jakarta
Aris Mufti ekonomi Islam sebagai solusi permasalahan ekonomi di Indonesia, makalah yang disampaikan pada MUNAS III FoSSEI 2003 Kalimantan Selatan
Aries Mufti, Repleksi dan Proyeksi Ekonomi Islam, Munas IV FoSSEI 2004: UNPAD Bandung
Bey Utama Sapta, Peran Akademisi dalam Pengembangan Ekonomi Syariah, makalah yang disampaikan pada Seminar Nasional dan Rakernas FOSSEI Pesantren TAZKIA, 2004 Bogor
Ekonomi Syariah Butuh Gerak Nyata, , Senin, 02 Mei 2005
Umer Chapra. islam dan tantangan ekonom, Gema Insani Press, 2000 Jakarta


August 22, 2010 Leave a comment




Islamic Economic Studies
December 1996
Vol. 4 No. 1

Managed money is a new phenomenon which has gained prominence after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in August 1971. There is no possibility of finding a precedence for it in the days of the Prophet (pbuh) or in early Islamic history. A number of questions. are, therefore, continually raised about the monetary system that a Muslim country may adopt. Is it necessary to go back to the then prevailing system or is it justifiable to continue the managed money standard that now prevails almost in every country around the world, including the Muslim countries? If so, what constraints may have to be placed upon this system to enable it to help realize the maqasid al-shari’ah (goals of Islamic teachings, referred hereafter as the maqasid), and what policy instruments may be used to realize these goals? This paper tries to answer these and some other related questions.
The monetary system that prevails in the world now has-come-into-existence-after passing.through several-stages-of evolution. The monetary system that prevailed during the Prophet’s (pbuh) days was essentially a bimetallic standard with gold and silver coins (dinars and dirhams) circulating simultaneously. The ratio that prevailed between the two coins at that time was 1:10. This ratio seems to have remained generally stable throughout the period of the first four caliphs. Such stability did not, however, persist continually. The two metals faced different supply and demand conditions which tended to destabilize their relative prices. For example, in the second half of the Umayyad period (41/662-132/750) the ratio reached 1:12, while in the Abbasid period (132/750-656/1258), it reached 1:15 or less. In addition to this continued long-term decline in the ratio, the rate of exchange between the dinar and the dirham fluctuated widely at different times and in different parts of the then Muslim world. The ratio at times declined to as low as 1:35, and even 1:50. According to both al-Maqrizi (d. 845/1442) and his contemporary al-Asadi (d. after 854/1450), this instability enabled bad coins to drive good coins out of circulation, a phenomenon which became referred to in the 16th century as Gresham’s Law.
When the United States adopted bimetallism in 1792, the gold-silver price ratio was 1:15. However, the fluctuating prices of both metals led the US to demonetize silver in 1873. Experience of several other countries suggests that bimetallism was a fragile standard. There was no dependable way to tie together full-bodied gold and silver coins at fixed rates. This was the main cause of its universal demise
Monometallism hence took its place. In the beginning, silver and gold both competed, but silver continued to lose ground and the gold standard became prevalent around the world. It emerged as a true international standard by 1880 following the switch by a majority of countries from bimetallism and silver monometallism to gold as the basis of their currencies. Under this standard, the value of a country’s currency is legally defined as a fixed weight of gold, and the monetary authority is under an obligation to convert the domestic currency on demand into gold at the legally prescribed rate. Historically there have been three variants of the gold standard: the gold coin standard, when gold coins were in active circulation; the gold bullion standard, when gold coins were not in circulation but the monetary authority undertook to sell gold bullion against the local currency at the official rate; and the gold exchange standard (or the Bretton Woods system), when the monetary authority was required to exchange domestic currency for US dollars which could be converted into gold at a fixed parity.
The UK was on a gold coin standard until 1914 and then a gold bullion standard from 1925 to 1932. The rules of the gold standard required deficit countries to deflate and the surplus countries to reflate their economies. This seemed unrealistic during the Great Depression when the deficit countries had no alternative but to reflate their economies to reduce unemployment. The United States and France, the two major surplus countries, also did not find it practical to follow the rules of the game. Instead of reflating their economies, they persistently sterilized their balance of payments surpluses, thus accentuating the deflationary pressure on the deficit countries. Such policies undermined the effective operation of the gold standard and it was abandoned after the Great Depression.
The financial needs of the Second World War and of post-War reconstruction made the return to the gold standard even more difficult and the Bretton Woods system became universally adopted after the Second World War. The US Dollar became the corner-stone of this system because at the end of the Second World War the US held around two-thirds of the world’s monetary gold. By the late 1950s, the growth of the world’s monetary gold stock was insufficient to finance the growth of world output and trade. The dollars supplied by the US deficit helped provide the needed liquidity. This could not, however, be a permanent solution. The persistent US deficits led to continuous decline in its gold holdings and undermined its ability to maintain the dollar’s convertibility into gold. Ultimately the US was forced to demonetize gold in August 1971. This led. to the end of the Bretton Wood’s system and ushered in a new era of fully-fledged managed money standard having absolutely no link with gold. Exchange rates are now generally floating with no official par values. This system, which at first became adopted by the force of circumstances, acquired an official character after the ratification of the Second Amendment to the IMF Articles of Agreement in April 1978.

Thus the international gold standard lasted for almost a century, while the Bretton Woods system was able to endure for only about 25 years (in reality even less). This is because the classical gold standard had some intrinsic strengths. It ensured an intrinsic value for the currency. Even the paper money in circulation was representative money and could be converted into gold coins or bullion on demand. This subjected the monetary authorities to a discipline. It was not possible for them to resort to excessive monetary expansion. In contrast with this, the now-universally-prevalent managed money system does not subject the monetary authorities to a built-in discipline, thus making it possible for the governments to incur large budgetary deficits.
Since the inception of the managed money standard the world has witnessed two undesirable phenomena, which may not necessarily be due to it. These are high rates of inflation and excessive instability in exchange rates.
During the period 1971-1990, consumer prices of industrial countries rose by more than three-and-a-half times while those of the world as a whole rose by more than fourteen times. This is so in spite of a substantial decline in the rates of inflation since the early 1980s. One of the major causes, though not the only cause, of these high rates of inflation is the rapid expansion in money supply during the 1971-90 period – more than five times in industrial countries and nearly twelve times in the world at large . In sharp contrast with this, the rates of inflation were much smaller in earlier periods. Over a period of more than two centuries, from the beginning of the eighteenth century until the eve of World War II, the overall price increase in the UK was only about 33 percent. During the 1940s, prices nearly doubled as a result of the War. Between 1951-1970, consumer prices of industrial countries rose by about two-thirds while those of the world as a whole more than doubled.
Fortunately the rate of inflation has declined significantly around the world in the 1990s, reaching a historical low of 2.3 percent in 1994 in the industrial countries. Even though there is a fear that the phenomenon of high rates of inflation may tend to gain momentum once again, there is also an air of confidence that it may be possible to control it in spite of -the managed money standard.
The world has also been plagued by a high degree of exchange rate volatility after the adoption of floating exchange rates in March 1973. The European attempts to stabilize exchange rates through the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) have not proved to be successful as the ERM crises of 1992 and 1993 as well as the steep Dollar decline in June-July 1994 have demonstrated. Persistent exchange rate volatility injects an additional dimension of risk and uncertainty into the markets and deprives policy makers of an effective anchor. It makes it difficult for businessmen and investors to make reliable projections for the future and thereby contributes to misallocation of resources both domestically and internationally. It is, however, generally acknowledged that it may be possible to stabilize exchange rates even in a system of floating exchange rates if a certain discipline is observed by all countries, and particularly the reserve currency countries, in the pursuit of both fiscal and monetary policies. One of the primary factors behind the lack of such discipline will be addressed later on in this paper.
In view of the high rates of inflation and the excessive exchange rate volatility, some Muslim scholars have felt nostalgic about a monetary standard based on precious metals. However, since both bimetallism and the gold standard have not been free from serious problems, it seems that Muslim countries may not possibly have any alternative to the managed money system that now prevails internationally. The question is whether this system is acceptable from the point of view of the shari‘ah and, if so, is it possible to make the system perform better in an Islamic environment.
There is no specific text in the Qur’an or the sunnah that would make it incumbent upon the Muslim ummah to use continually the bimetallic standard prevailing during the Prophet’s (pbuh) time and early Islamic history or even the full-bodied monometallic standard that came to prevail later on. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that Umar, the Second Caliph (d. 23/644), once thought of introducing camel-skin coins. These would have been in the nature of fiduciary money, the then equivalent of the now-prevailing paper money. However, the problem that may have perplexed him most might probably have been the control of its issue. When he was advised by experts that the virtual impossibility of controlling the issue might not only lead to an excessive creation of money but also to the disappearance of camels through their excessive slaughter, he abandoned the idea.
This did not, however, bring to an end the idea of the issue of fiduciary currency. It persisted, as is reflected in the writings of a number of prominent jurists throughout Muslim history. For example, Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 241/855) observed that there was no harm in adopting as currency anything that is generally accepted by the people. Ibn Hazm (d. 456/1064) also did not find any reason for the Muslims to confine their currency to gold or silver. Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 505/1328) felt that the dirhams and the dinars were not desired for their own sake but rather because of their ability to serve as media of exchange. Hence, there were no natural or juristic specifications for them. Their acceptance depends on custom and usage. In modern times also, the jurists have almost unanimously recognized fiduciary money. This recognition acquired. the character of near ijma‘ (consensus) when it became formalized by the juristic verdicts of the internationally constituted filth committees of the Rabitah al-‘Alam al-Islami in 1982 and the Organization of the Islamic Conference in October 1986.

This does not, of course, mean that anyone can issue currency in any amount. The jurists have almost unanimously emphasized that the currency must be issued by the ruling authority and must have a stable value, to enable it to perform efficiently its functions as a measure of value, a medium of exchange, and a store of purchasing power. This emphasis of the jurists on stability in the internal and external value of money is rightly deserved because of the unequivocal stress of the Qur’an on honesty and fairness in all measures of value (6:152, 7: 85, 11:84-85,17:35 and 26:181). This obligation to be honest and fair does not apply only to individuals but also to the society and the state. Moreover, it. need not be confined to merely conventional weights and measures, but should rather encompass all measures of value. Money is also an important measure of value and any continuous and significant erosion in its real value is bound to have an adverse effect on the realization of socio-economic justice and general well-being. Stability in the value of money should hence receive priority in the field of monetary management. However, price stability is only one of the socially-desired goals. It is now commonly realized that it also helps in the realization of other goals, some of the most important of which in the field of economics are general need-fulfillment, equitable distribution of income and wealth, optimum real rate of economic growth, full employment, and economic stability.
Even though the importance of all these goals is recognized, no country around the world, irrespective of whether it is rich or poor, Muslim or non-Muslim, seems to have been able to realize them simultaneously in the present-day world. There may be a number of reasons for this failure. One of the most important of these may perhaps be the lack of an enabling strategy. The discussion of a comprehensive strategy for realizing the desired socio-economic goals would be beyond the scope of this paper. It would be naive to assume that a single state policy could help realize all these goals. It may rather be necessary for all government policies to converge in the direction of their realization. Monetary management cannot be an exception. It

must also make a positive contribution toward the realization of all these goals, even though priority may be given to the goal of price stability.
Since monetary management is influenced by both monetary and fiscal policies, it would be ideal to discuss both of them. This would, however, make the paper too long. I shall, therefore, confine myself primarily to a discussion of why the effort to manage money through the manipulation of the rate of interest frustrates the realization of socially-desired goals and why a different mechanism for monetary management in an Islamic economy would be more conducive to their realization. Fiscal policy would be referred to only to the extent to which it affects successful monetary management.
The discussion of monetary management generally revolves around the determinants of money demand and money supply. Since both of these are extremely important, it may not be desirable to assume anyone of these as exogenous. It is rather necessary to discuss both and to show how they could be brought into equilibrium in a way that would be conducive to the realization of the desired goals.
Discussion of the demand for money has become quite complex and sophisticated. It takes into account a number of variables, including the rate of interest, total transactions, total output, nominal income, permanent income, wealth, wages, inflationary expectations, institutional changes, and financial innovations. While all of these are important, it is not our intention to take into account all of these. Our objective is limited, to see the impact of interest-based financial intermediation on the demand for money and the realization of socially-desired goals. We will, therefore, use the simple Keynesian model as our base and consider all other variables as exogenous.
Within the framework of the Keynesian model, money is demanded for three purposes. It is needed, firstly, as a medium of exchange to finance the transactions of households, firms and government for their day-to-day purchases of all goods and services (Y) related to consumption, investment, imports and exports; the capacity of any economy to supply these is relatively limited in the short-run. Secondly, it is needed by way of precaution to satisfy unforeseen needs, which is not possible for anyone to predict precisely. Thirdly, it is also needed for exploiting opportunities available for earning through speculation in the commodity, stock, foreign exchange and financial markets. However, not every household, firm or government agency has enough money for all these purposes. Some have a deficit while others have a surplus. The interaction of the deficit and the surplus sectors with the money supply determines the rate of interest. This, in turn, influences the demand for money for all three purposes.
Thus the demand for real money balances (Md/P) is said to be determined by total real output (Y) as well as the rate of interest (r), as reflected in the following generally used Keynesian approach:
Md/P = f(Y, r)
Ma/P varies directly with Y and inversely with the rate of interest. Aggregate output and the rate of interest thus occupy a central place in the discussion of real money demand in Keynesian economics. However, hardly any attention is given in this entire discussion to the different impact of the rate of interest on the various constituents of money demand (see the chart), particularly need-fulfillment and productive investment, even though the realization of socially-desired goals is significantly dependent on these.
Given a specific money supply, the greater the demand for precautionary and speculative purposes, the less money would be available for transactions purposes. Moreover, the entire transactions demand may not necessarily be for need-related consumption and productive investment, it may also be for conspicuous consumption and unproductive investment. Hence it may be stated that the greater the ability of an economy to reduce the money demand for precautionary and speculative purposes as well as for conspicuous consumption and unproductive investment, the greater may be its ability to satisfy the money demand for need fulfillment and productive investment in a non-inflationary way and to realize its socially-desired goals. If the money demand rises for all purposes, there may be macroeconomic imbalances, higher real rates of interest, and inflationary pressures. In such an economy, savings and investment may both tend to be low. This would lead to low growth rates and higher unemployment, there being clear limits to the extent to which external saving may be a substitute for domestic saving. Money demand that is conducive to the realization of all socially-desired goals may be considered to be ‘efficient’ and ‘equitable’, and money demand that does not contribute to, or frustrates, goal realization may be considered to be ‘inessential’, and ‘unproductive’. The greater the tendency of an economy to promote inessential and unproductive demand for money, the lower may be its ability to realize its goals in a non-inflationary manner. The best strategy for monetary management may thus be one that does not only help make money demand efficient and equitable but also brings it into equilibrium with a non-inflationary level of money supply. Since money supply tends to be demand driven in a managed money system, the greater challenge lies in managing money demand in an efficient and equitable manner.




Y = C + 1 + X – M
C = Consumption of both the public and the private sectors
I = Investment by both the public and the private sectors
X = Exports
M = Imports
The different impact of interest on the constituents of C, I, X and M are generally not discussed specifically in mainstream economics.

3.1 Frustration of Goal Realization
If there had been confidence that the demand for money in the world economy was being managed efficiently and equitably, there would perhaps be no need to discuss the mechanics of monetary management through a mechanism which is different from what now prevails around the world. However, Enzler, Conrad and Johnson have found compelling evidence to conclude that in the United States “the existing capital stock is misallocated – probably seriously – among sectors of the economy and types of capital”. The situation may perhaps not be different in other countries.
There may be a number of reasons for this misallocation. This paper is concerned with only one of these, which is the rate of interest. The fact that most major religions, including Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have prohibited interest, leads one to the hypothesis that the use of interest as a mechanism for allocation of money supply among the various constituents of money demand may perhaps be one of the major reasons for this misallocation. It is the contention of this paper that the nature of this misallocation is such that it frustrates the realization of the humanitarian goals of need fulfillment, optimum rate of economic growth, full employment, equitable distribution, and economic stability. Let us see how.
3.1.1 Need fulfillment
The criteria for satisfying the money demand of deficit sectors through the extension of credit in an interest-based economy are the ability of borrowers to provide acceptable collateral to guarantee the repayment of principal, and sufficient cash flow to service the debt. End-use of financial resources does receive attention, but does not normally constitute the main criterion. Hence, financial resources tend to go mainly to the rich, who fulfill both these criteria, and also to governments who, it is assumed, will not default. However, the rich borrow not only for productive investment but also for conspicuous consumption and speculation, while the governments borrow not only for development and public well-being, but also for excessive defense buildup and unprofitable public sector enterprises. This contributes to a rapid expansion in the demand for money for unproductive and wasteful spending and, besides accentuating macroeconomic and external imbalances, squeezes the resources available for need fulfillment and development. Raising of the rates of interest may not necessarily affect only unproductive and wasteful spending. It may also affect need consumption, which would tend to hurt the poor disproportionately. This may help explain at least partly why even the richest countries in the world like the United States have been unable to fulfill the essential needs of all their people in spite of abundant resources at their disposal.
3.1.2 Optimum growth and full employment
One of the major problems that the world economy is now facing is a significant slowdown in savings when the need for increased investment has become greater. The positive effect of saving on growth is now well-established. It raises capital formation, which in turn raises output and employment. High-saving countries have generally grown faster than low-saving countries. In the OECD countries, gross savings as a percentage of GDP have declined over the last two decades from 25.2 percent in 1973 to 21.2 percent in 1993. Even in developing countries, which need higher savings for accelerated development, savings have declined from 26 percent to 23.5 percent over this period. While there may be a number of reasons for this decline in savings, one of the major reasons may perhaps be the rise in consumption promoted by the easy availability of credit in a collateral-linked, interest-based financial system.
This shortfall in savings has probably been one of the major factors responsible for the persistently high levels of real interest rates and low rates of rise in investment, economic growth, and employment Unemployment stood at 8.1 percent in the OECD countries in 1994, close to three times its level of 2.9 percent in 1971-73. If ‘discouraged workers’ (those who have dropped out of the labor force because of the poor job prospects) and workers in involuntary part-time employment are also included, the overall rate of unemployment may be much higher Even more worrying is youth unemployment of around 25 percent, excluding the ‘discouraged’ youth. This hurts their pride, dampens their faith in the future, increases their hostility towards society, and damages their personal capacities and potential contribution.
Given the budgetary constraints and the ever-looming threat of inflation, the prospect of attaining the high growth rates needed for full employment may not be very bright in the foreseeable future in the Western world. A decline in government deficits and private sector wasteful spending along with a rise in savings and productive investment could be very helpful, but this may not be possible when the value system encourages both the public and the private sectors to live beyond their means, and the interest-based financial intermediation makes this possible by making credit available relatively easily without sufficient regard to its end use.
3.1.3 Equitable distribution
The inequitable allocation of financial resources in the conventional interest-based financial system is now widely recognized. According to Arne Bigsten, “the distribution of capital is even more unequal than that of land” and “the banking system tends to reinforce the unequal distribution of capital” The reason, as already indicated, is that interest-based financial intermediation relies heavily on collateral, giving inadequate consideration to the strength of the project or the ultimate use of financing. Hence, while deposits come from a cross-section of society, their benefit goes mainly to the rich.
As Mishan has rightly pointed out: “Given that differences in wealth are substantial, it would be irrational for the lender to be willing to lend as much to the impecunious as to the richer members of society, or to lend the same amounts on the same terms to each.” The established practice of banks is to lend mainly to those individuals and firms who have the necessary collateral to offer and who have, as Lester Thurow has observed, “large internal savings, regardless of whether they are earning above average rates of return on their investment”. The result is that “the winners are, as in a lottery, lucky rather than smart or meritocratic” Even Morgan Guarantee Trust Company, sixth largest bank in the US, has admitted that the banking system has failed to “finance either maturing smaller companies or venture capitalists”, and “though awash with funds, is not encouraged to deliver competitively priced funding to any but the largest, most cash-rich companies” Such behavior of interest-based financial institutions tends to accentuate, rather than reduce, inequalities of income and wealth.
3.1.4 Economic stability
The rate of interest has become one of the most important destabilizing factors in the present-day world economy. Milton Friedman, attributed the unprecedentedly erratic behavior of the US economy to the erratic behavior of interest rates. The high degree of interest rate volatility injects great uncertainty into the financial market and makes it difficult to take long-term investment decisions with confidence. This uncertainty drives borrowers and lenders alike into the shorter end of the market, makes short-term speculative investments more attractive, and generates a great deal of heat in the commodity, stock, and foreign exchange markets. This heat has been one of the important sources of instability in the world economy. According to a survey conducted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the total turnover in traditional foreign exchange markets, after allowing for double-counting, amounted to $1,230 billion per business day in April 1995, compared with $620 billion and $880 billion in April 1989 and April 1992 respectively. A preponderant part of this turnover is related to derivatives contracts (futures and options), which are highly leveraged and, in the case of some money centre banks, several times their capital and reserves. The notional value of total outstanding over-the-counter derivatives contracts was estimated to be around $40,700 billion on 31 March 1995. The daily volume of these contracts amounted to $839 billion. This was 45 times the daily average of world merchandise imports and exports of $26.3 billion in the first quarter of 1995. If the assertion normally made by bankers that they give due consideration to the end use of funds had been correct, such a high degree of leveraged credit extension for financing speculative transactions may perhaps not have taken place.
The dramatic growth in financial transactions over the past two decades, of which derivatives are only the latest manifestation, has resulted in an enormous expansion in the payments system. Such a large value of transactions implies that if problems were to arise, they could quickly spread throughout the financial system exerting a dominoes effect on financial institutions. Accordingly, Mr. Crockett, the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, has been led to acknowledge that “our economies have thus become increasingly vulnerable to a possible breakdown in the payments system”. The large value has also other adverse effects. It has been one of the major factors contributing to the continued high real rates of interest which have tended to discourage productive investment. It has also tended to inject excessive instability into the foreign exchange markets. The effort by central banks to overcome this instability through small changes in interest rates or the intervention of a few hundred million dollars a day has generally proved to be ineffective.
3.2 Concluding Remarks on Monetary Management in Mainstream Economics
Thus it may be seen that the effort to regulate the various components of money demand through the interest rate mechanism tends to squeeze the money demand for need-fulfillment and productive investment rather than for unproductive and speculative uses, thus frustrating goal realization. Moreover, since the demand for money related to conspicuous consumption and speculation tends to be relatively more unstable than that for need-fulfillment and productive investment, a high degree of instability gets injected into the whole economy. No wonder, recent empirical studies have revealed great instability in the aggregate money demand function as well as its major components.
4.1 Money Demand
Islam does not find interest to be an appropriate mechanism for the management of money demand in an efficient or equitable manner. Consequently, it tries to regulate money demand by a strategy that relies on a number of instruments, three of which are particularly important.
Firstly, since values and institutions play a crucial role in practically all aspects of human life, Islam does not have an anathema to value judgments. It is rather positively oriented towards them and tries to create an enabling environment for making them effective in actualizing an allocation and distribution of resources that is in conformity with its maqasid. It declares all resources to be a trust from God and makes their efficient and equitable use a major subject of human accountability on the Day of Judgment. While these values and institutions sanction money demand for need-fulfillment and productive investment, they do not sanction it for unnecessary and unproductive spending. This, Islam tries to do even before the demand gets expressed in the market place.
Secondly, since values may be disregarded, it tries to reinforce them by a number of social, economic and political institutions. One of these is the price mechanism, which it upholds for greater efficiency in the use of resources. While the price mechanism may by itself not be able to bring about an allocation of resources that is in conformity with goal realization, it can undoubtedly make a positive contribution when reinforced by the value system.
Thirdly, since interest-based financial intermediation has the tendency to give an edge to conspicuous consumption, speculation, and unproductive investment, Islam prohibits interest and reorganizes financial intermediation on the basis of profit-and-loss sharing. The linking of the return to the ultimate outcome of the business financed would help ensure that financing does not become available to satisfy money demand for any purpose just because the borrower has an acceptable collateral to offer and sufficient cash flow to service the debt. It would rather be available if the money demand is for a worthwhile project and is accompanied by the necessary ability to manage the project efficiently. Even a poor but competent entrepreneur may, thus, qualify if he has a worthwhile project. This may not only help minimize demand for money for wasteful and unproductive purposes but also enable the society to harness the pool of entrepreneurial ability from among the poor and to tap the rich contribution that such entrepreneurs can make to output, employment and need-fulfillment.
If the demand for money, even from the public sector were subjected to the test of project performance, the lender may be compelled to take a greater interest in the nature of the project and its satisfactory management. Financing may not, then, be undertaken on the assumption that a sovereign debtor does not go bankrupt; it may rather be available mainly for projects about the productivity of which the financier is confident. Governments may not be able to get financing for excessive defense build-up and unprofitable public sector enterprises. The application of such a test before satisfying the demand for money may tend to create difficulties in the short-run. In the long-run, however, it may prove to be a blessing because, by reducing budgetary and macroeconomic imbalances in an efficient and equitable manner, a healthy dimension may be injected into the economy, which a rise in interest rates may not necessarily be able to accomplish.
In addition to reducing the money demand for unproductive and speculative purposes, Islam tries to minimize the holding of idle cash balances by the levy of zakah. This would tend to induce savers to get into productive investments to save their net wealth from being eroded by zakah.
Since need-based consumption and productive investment tend to be more stable than conspicuous consumption and speculative investment, the demand for money may tend to be more stable in an Islamic economy. What may further reinforce this is that the profit-sharing ratio between the entrepreneur and the financier may also not fluctuate from day to day or even month to month like the rate of interest, because it would tend to be determined by custom and considerations of justice, and remain contractually stable throughout the duration of the financing agreement. Since the ultimate outcome of business depends on a number of factors which do not change erratically, expectations about the rates of profit would also not fluctuate erratically.

Therefore, equity-based financial intermediation is likely to be more conducive to economic stability than loan-based intermediation. This has been recognized by a number of prominent Western economists, including Henry Simons, Hyman Minsky and Joan Robinson.
Thus, the various elements of the Islamic economic system may not only help minimize the instability in the aggregate demand for money but also influence the different components of money demand in a way that would promote greater efficiency and equity in the use of money. The relatively greater stability in the demand for money in an Islamic economy may also introduce greater stability in the velocity of circulation of money.
The demand for money in an Islamic economy may thus be represented by the following equation:
Md = f(YS, S, ), where
YS = goods and services that are related to need fulfillment and productive investment and are in conformity with the values of Islam;
S = all those moral and social values and institutions (including zakah) that influence the allocation and distribution of resources and that can help minimize Md not only for conspicuous consumption and unproductive investment but also for precautionary and speculative purposes; and
 = the rate of profit or loss in a system which does not permit the use of the rate of interest for financial intermediation.
It may, however, be charged that even in Muslim countries, Y incorporates conspicuous consumption and unproductive investment. Hence, the characterization of Ys above is normative, not reflecting the existing reality. It may also be argued that ‘S’ stands for a complex of values and institutions which may not necessarily be quantifiable and which may not even be visibly practiced. While both these objections seem to be valid, the important point is to realize that if the actualization of goals is important, then Y needs to be cleansed of all elements that frustrate this objective. It is also important to realize that when there are a number of values and institutions that influence goal realization, then there seems to be no logic behind concentrating only on r, which, as shown above, has proved to be ineffective in influencing money demand in a way that would help goal realization. This realization may induce economists to identify at least the major values and institutions that affect resource allocation and to develop techniques of measuring, to the extent feasible, their effect on resource allocation. This may also lead to the identification of non-coercive ways of actualizing these values and institutions and making them more effective in curbing the inessential and unproductive part of Md. Economists would not then be concerned with just an explanation of what exists but also with what needs to be done to realize the maqasid.
4.2 Money Supply
Once money demand has been stabilized and related to the needs of general well-being and development, there arise the questions of, firstly, how to bring aggregate money supply into equilibrium with such money demand, and secondly, how to bring the allocation of this money supply in conformity with the needs of goal realization without using coercion. The first question acquires further significance because two of the most important instruments of monetary management in the capitalist economy, discount rate and open market operations in interest-bearing government securities, would not be available in an Islamic economy.
4.2.1 Monetary targets
To create an equilibrium between money demand and money supply, the most practical approach may be to estimate the demand for money that is consistent with the realization of desired socio-economic goals within the framework of price stability, and then to establish a target range for money supply growth that would help satisfy this demand adequately. Evidence from approximately twenty countries suggests that the rate of inflation is lower in countries that make announcements about monetary targets and even lower in those whose announcements turn out to be more precise. The German experience with monetary targeting has been quite successful, leading Prof. Helmut Schlesinger, Ex-Chancellor of the Deutsche Bundesbank, to state: “Both our own experiences and scientific findings have underlined- our conviction that monetary targeting geared to the growth of the overall economic production potential, such as that which the Bundesbank has now pursued for almost 20 years, can be of benefit to the future European monetary policy, not least also in terms of its credibility.”
The targeted growth in money need not, however, be followed rigidly and mechanically. This is because monetary targeting presumes that the income velocity of money is reasonably predictable over relevant periods. While, as indicated earlier, this may be expected to be truer in an Islamic economy, it may, nevertheless, be affected by domestic and external economic shocks. The targets should, therefore, be reviewed quarterly, or as often as necessary, and changed whenever this is warranted.
It may also be possible to consider the simpler Friedman rule of adopting a fixed annual rate of growth in M, in keeping with the secular growth in output and change in velocity, to avoid the frequent ‘tinkering’ which is otherwise necessary. However, if such a formula is adopted, it should be because of the ease it offers, and stripped of Friedman’s excessive free-market commitment. The positive role of the state and of fiscal policy cannot be dispensed with in an Islamic economy.

4.2.2 Attaining the targeted growth in M
This takes us to the instruments that may be used by the central bank to create harmony between the targeted and the actual growth in money supply (M), which. is the sum of currency in circulation plus commercial bank deposits. Since deposits constitute a substantial part of money supply, it may not be possible to regulate money supply without regulating total deposits. Deposits may also, for the sake of analysis, be divided into two parts: ‘primary deposits’, which provide the banking system with a substantial part of Mo, or high-powered money, and ‘derivative deposits’ which, in a proportional reserve system, represent money created by banks in the process of credit extension. Mo, consists of the currency held by the public plus commercial bank cash- in-vault and deposits with the central bank. The higher the savings, the greater may be the share of primary deposits in total deposits and the lower may be the need for expansion of derivative deposits. Since the growth in derivative deposits is generally recognized to be closely related to the growth in Mo, or high-powered money, the central bank has no option but to regulate closely the growth in Mo.
There are three important sources of high-powered money: government borrowings from the central bank, central bank credit to the commercial banks, and balance of payments surplus. The first of these has probably been the largest source after the Second World War, because of the unduly large government budgetary deficits in most countries. Excessive fiscal deficits put the entire burden of monetary stability on the central bank and make the pursuit of healthy monetary policy extremely difficult. It is not possible to control monetary expansion unless this major source of high-powered money is properly regulated. It may hence be unrealistic for Muslim governments to talk of Islamisation of their economies without making a serious effort to regulate their budgetary deficits in accordance with the demands of the maqasid, particularly price stability.
It may always be possible for the central bank to control successfully its own lending to the commercial banks. The abolition of interest and its replacement by profit-and-loss sharing may further reinforce this ability. The central bank lending to commercial banks would take the form of mudarabah advances. This implies that the central bank would be more responsible in its lending to the commercial banks. Simultaneously the commercial banks will also be more cautious in lending to their clients in both the public and the private sectors, particularly for speculative and unproductive purposes. It may thus be possible to check the expansion in derivative deposits without resort to the prohibitive 100 percent reserve requirement which some scholars have suggested. However, if at some stage this is felt necessary, the central bank should not hesitate to resort to it.
There may be a rare Muslim country which enjoys continued balance of payments surplus. However, even if such a surplus is experienced, it may be possible to sterilize it to a reasonable extent by using the instruments of monetary policy available even in an Islamic economy.
4.3 Instruments of Monetary Policy
Even if high-powered money is regulated by controlling government budgetary deficits, there are bound to be short-term fluctuations in its volume as well as its relationship with derivative deposits. The central bank may, therefore, have to use the quantitative instruments at its disposal to even out the impact of these short-term fluctuations on money supply. It may also have to adopt certain non-coercive measures to help ensure an allocation of credit that is conducive to the realization of the maqasid.
4.3.1 Quantitative controls
Some of the instruments that the central bank may be able to use for quantitative control of bank credit are:
a) Statutory reserve requirements
Many central banks have been reducing or eliminating reserve requirements to make banks more competitive. This may not be possible in an Islamic economy where reserve requirements may have to continue as an important instrument of monetary policy because of the non-availability of the instruments of discount rate and open market operations in government securities. Banks may be required to hold a specified proportion of their demand deposits with the central bank as statutory reserve. This would not only serve as an instrument of monetary policy but also as an independent source of income for the central bank. Small variations in this requirement may change commercial banks’ free reserves by a substantial amount and significantly affect their ability to expand derivative deposits.
The rationale behind a statutory reserve requirement only against demand deposits is the equity nature of mudarabah deposits in an Islamic economy. Since other forms of equity are exempt from a reserve requirement, there is no reason to subject mudarabah deposits to such a requirement. This would tend to make them less profitable compared with other forms of equity and thus put the commercial banks at a disadvantage by inducing a shift of mudarabah deposits from commercial banks to other financial institutions. It may also be argued that in practice the distinction between demand and savings or time deposits is hazy. This possibility may be substantially reduced in the Islamic system because of the equity nature of mudarabah deposits and the sharing in risk which this would necessitate.
It may also be argued that the statutory reserve requirement against total deposits does not aim mainly at regulating the quantity of credit. It is also concerned with ensuring the safety of deposits and adequate liquidity of the banking system. These other objectives may, however, be achieved through higher capital requirement and well-conceived and properly enforced regulations, including a suitable liquidity ratio. These measures may be supplemented by an effective bank examination system. The adoption of such an approach may be preferable to the immobilization of a part of mudarabah deposits through a statutory reserve requirement.
b) Credit ceilings
While the statutory reserve requirement may help the central bank in bringing about the desired adjustment in high-powered money, credit expansion may still exceed the desired limit. This is because: firstly, it is not possible to determine accurately the flow of funds to the banking system, other than those provided by the mudarabah advances of the central bank, particularly in an inadequately developed money market like that of Muslim countries; and, secondly, the relationship between commercial bank reserves and credit expansion is not very precise. The behavior of money supply reflects the interaction of a number of various complex internal as well as external factors, and it may be desirable to fix ceilings on commercial bank credit to ensure that total credit creation is consistent with monetary targets.
c) Government deposits
The central bank may be given the power to shift government demand deposits to or from the commercial banks, thus directly influencing their reserves. This instrument has proved to be a useful instrument of monetary policy in Saudi Arabia where it has performed the same function directly that open market operations perform indirectly in other countries in influencing commercial bank reserves.
d) Common pool
The instrument of establishing a ‘common pool’ for the commercial banks at the central bank may also be effectively used in the same way as the rediscounting facility is used by the conventional central banks to solve the liquidity problems of commercial banks. The banks may be required by the central bank to contribute to this pool a certain specified proportion of their deposits by way of a cooperative arrangement between them to overcome their liquidity problems on condition that the net use of this facility by any bank over a given period is zero.
e) Moral suasion
The normally suggested tool of ‘moral suasion’, may also acquire a relatively more important place in Islamic central banking. The central bank, through its personal contacts, consultations and meetings with banks, may be able to keep itself abreast of the strengths and problems of banks and to suggest to them measures that would help overcome difficulties and achieve desired goals.
Some other instruments have also been suggested in the literature on Islamic banking. The merit and effectiveness of two of these for monetary policy purposes are briefly discussed below.

f) Equity-based instruments
One of these is the use of equity-based instruments for open market operations. It may not, however, be desirable to do so for a number of reasons. Firstly, while the central bank’s purchase and sale of the stocks of public sector companies may not raise objections, its purchase and sale of private sector companies may be questionable. Secondly, equity-based instruments may not have the necessary depth that government securities tend to have. Open market operations in such instruments may, therefore, influence their prices significantly unless used to a very limited extent. This may not be adequate for monetary policy purposes. Thirdly, variations in the prices of equity-based instruments brought about by central bank open market operations may unnecessarily benefit or penalize the shareholders of companies whose shares are used for this purpose. This may not be desirable because the primary objective of such operations is to increase or reduce private sector liquidity and not to introduce inequities in the stock market. Fourthly, the possibility of raising the price of stocks through their purchase by the central bank, specially when their fundamentals do not justify such a rise, may induce corruption.
g) Changes in the profit-and-loss-sharing ratio
The Council of Islamic Ideology, Pakistan as well as some scholars have suggested variations in the profit-and-loss sharing ratio for mudarabah advances provided by the central bank to the commercial banks and for prescribing the depositors’ and the entrepreneurs’ share on the mudarabah deposits and the financing provided by the commercial banks. While the indication of a reasonable range of profit sharing ratios between depositors, banks and entrepreneurs may be helpful as a guide, it may not be desirable for the central bank to regulate these ratios, as the Council has suggested. This is because the ratio may be determined by profitability, which depends on a number of factors differing from sector to sector in business and industry and even from firm to firm in the same sector. Hence, prescribing a uniform ratio may not be equitable while prescribing a band may not be meaningful, particularly if it is wide.
Even if, in accordance with the Council’s suggestion, the ratio is regulated by the central bank to “reduce unhealthy competition among the financial institutions”, it may not be desirable to vary this ratio frequently as a monetary policy instrument. The central bank may itself, being a non-profit institution, not mind taking a lower share in the interest of realizing certain nationally cherished goals, but why should the depositors, commercial banks or entrepreneurs be coerced to accept less. than a just and reasonable share of profit? Moreover, if there is a loss, the shari‘ah requires the bearing of losses to be strictly in accordance with the ratios in which financing has been provided, irrespective of whether the financing comes from the central bank or the private sector. While the commercial banks may be happy to get a higher ratio in profit, if such a ratio is prescribed by the central bank, why would the depositors or the businesses being financed be willing to accept a correspondingly lower ratio, if it is out of proportion with their loss-sharing ratio? In addition, once the ratio has been set contractually, which is essential according to the shari‘ah, the ratio cannot be changed before the end of the contract. To change it even for new contracts may also not be desirable because this would introduce inequities.
Hence it may be better to leave the determination of the ratio to the negotiating parties in conformity with their perception of market conditions and profitability. The central bank or the government may, however, intervene when it is necessary to do so to ensure equity or eschew unhealthy competition. Tinkering with the ratio for purposes of monetary policy may not be desirable.

4.3.2 Realizing socio-economic goals
a) Treating the created money as fay’
The creation of Mo by the central bank results from the exercise of its social prerogative and leads to seigniorage (created money minus the cost). Since this leads to command over resources without effort, it may have to be considered in the nature of fay’ and used primarily for financing projects that would help uplift the socio-economic conditions of the poor and reduce inequalities of income and wealth. It would not be proper for the government to use even a part of it for projects whose benefit would go to the rich.
To fulfill this requirement, the central bank may make the total Mo created by it available partly to the government and partly to the commercial banks and the specialized financial institutions. The proportion of Mo diverted by the central bank to each of these three sectors may, like the total size of Mo, be determined by the dictates of monetary policy. The part of Mo made available to the government may be an interest-free loan to enable the government to finance its social welfare projects designed to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the poor through the provision of education and vocational training, housing, medical facilities, and other needed services. The part of MO made available to the commercial banks and the specialized credit institutions may be in the form of mudarabah advances and used mainly for providing self-employment opportunities to the rural and urban poor, who may not be able to obtain adequate funds for this purpose from these institutions.

b) Goal-oriented allocation of credit
Since bank credit comes out of the deposits of all sections of the population, its allocation may be able to satisfy the norm of socio-economic justice in Islam only if its benefit goes to an optimum number of businesses and leads to the production and distribution, of goods and services needed by all sections of the population. This is unfortunately not the case. The appropriate way to achieve this objective may not be an elaborate network of controls. Since the operation of market forces has been recognized by Islam, it may perhaps be better to overcome the reasons for the less than desired contribution of commercial banks for the realization of these objectives.
The reason normally given by the commercial banks for diverting a very small proportion of their funds to small businesses is the greater risk and expense involved in such financing. Hence small firms are either unable to get financing from banks or do so at highly unfavorable terms (in terms of cost and collateral) compared with their larger counterparts. Thus, the growth and survival of small firms is jeopardized even though they carry a great potential for increased employment and output and improved income distribution.
It may, therefore, be desirable to reduce the risk and expense of such financing for banks. The risk may be reduced by introducing a loan guarantee scheme underwritten partly by the government and partly by the commercial banks. In the case of Islamic banks, the guarantee scheme need not guarantee the repayment of loan with interest as is the case in the conventional system. The scheme should, however, be able to relieve the bank of the need to ask for collateral in the case of small businesses whose general credentials have been registered with or certified by the guarantee scheme. The scheme may do this after a proper investigation of the firms concerned. It may also arrange to train the businesses to maintain proper accounts and be prepared even to have these accounts properly audited where necessary. A large number of small businesses may thus be able to get financing from banks without being able to offer the collateral required by the conventional banks. The bank will receive its money back in case of moral failure of the business. The scheme may also be made to include most non-commercial risks desired to be covered for increasing the availability of funds to small businesses. In case of market failure and the resultant loss, the bank will of course share the consequences with the business in proportion to the financing provided by it.
The additional expense incurred by the commercial banks in evaluating and financing small businesses may be partly or wholly offset by the government depending on the nature of the case and the objectives to be served. The cost to the government exchequer arising from the above two schemes may be justifiable in the larger interest of the goals of the Islamic economy. However, it may be possible to offset the cost partly or fully by graduated fees to be collected by the government out of profits earned from such financing by the banks and the small businesses. In addition, the central bank may even accept a relatively lower profit-sharing ratio if this is considered necessary for realizing the objective of distributing commercial bank financing to an optimum number of businesses for the production of the goods and services which are most needed.
There seems to be nothing in the shari‘ah that would stand against the adoption of a managed money standard by the Muslim countries. In fact they do not probably have any alternative to this standard after the demise of bimetallism, which prevailed during a substantial part of Muslim history, the international gold standard, and the Bretton Woods system. What is necessary, however, is to ensure that this standard is operated in a manner that does not only not violate the Islamic imperative of price stability but also helps realize other socio-economic goals.
The prohibition of riba and the reorganization of financial intermediation on the basis of profit-and-loss sharing may in fact help in this task. It would help minimize the inessential, unproductive and speculative elements of aggregate money demand which it does not seem to be possible to realize in an interest-based system. The minimization of these elements of money demand would tend to promote greater efficiency and equity in the use of scarce resources and also help reduce the macroeconomic imbalances that accentuate inflationary pressures and economic instability and vitiate the realization of socio-economic goals. Once money demand has been managed, in a manner that is conducive to goal realization, it may not be very difficult to bring money supply into equilibrium with such money demand. This may be done with the help of some of the well-known instruments of monetary policy that would be available even in an interest-free Islamic financial system.
It would, however, be necessary to regulate the generation of high-powered money at source. Since a preponderant source of high-powered money results from the financing of government budgetary deficits by borrowing from the central bank, it may not be possible to have an effective monetary policy without substantially reducing government borrowing from the central bank. International experience has shown that highly independent central banks such as the Bundesbank and the Swiss National, Bank are able to resist dictates from the government to lend amounts which they consider to be beyond the dictates of price stability. It is perhaps for this reason that the 1992 Maastricht Treaty on European Union requires European Community members to give their central banks independence as part of establishing the European Monetary Union.

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Ekonomi Islam: Sebuah Mutiara yang Hilang

August 22, 2010 3 comments

Zhajang Lili Charli

“Hikmah itu adalah milik muslim yang hilang, maka ambillah ia dari mana pun engkau mendapatkannya”. (al hadist)

Selama kurang lebih 20 abad, perkembangan perekonomian dari waktu ke waktu mengalami kondisi yang kontradiktif (Ahmed, 2004, hal. 13). Di satu sisi, beberapa negara terus mengalami perkembangan dengan pertumbuhan yang meningkat tajam, perekonomian yang semakin membaik, serta tingkat kesejahteraan yang tinggi. Disisi lain banyak negara yang mengalami kemiskinan, kemelataratan dan keterbelakangan dibandingkan negara-negara maju lainnya.
Jika ukuran kemajuan negara adalah GDP (Gross Domestic Product) dan HDI (Human Development Index), maka sangat mengejutkan ketika kita melihat data yang dikeluarkan oleh UNDP (United Nation Development Program) pada tahun 2001. Dalam laporan tersebut dapat terlihat gap yang sangat besar antara beberapa negara. Dari 48 anggota IDB (Islamic Development Bank) memiliki 1,1 milyar populasi penduduk. Namun dari 48 anggota IDB ini hanya memiliki keseluruhan GDP $ US 1.31 trilyun. GDP dari 48 negara ini lebih rendah dari GDP Negara Inggris ($US 1.33 trilyun), 74 % dari GDP Prancis ($US 1.8 trilyun), 24 % GDP Jepang ($US 5.65 trilyun), 15 % GDP USA ($US 9.01 trilyun) (UNDP, 2003).
Padahal, jika kita menilik kembali sejarah keemasan Islam pada pemerintahan Umar bin Abdul Aziz (717-720 M), hanya dalam masa 2 tahun, ia berhasil mengentaskan kemiskinan sehingga tidak ada lagi yang mau menerima zakat. Semua rakyatnya merasa sudah menjadi muzaki (pembayar zakat) bukan lagi mustahik (penerima zakat) (Nasution, 2006, hal. 12). Pada masa itu Islam tidak hanya diterapakan dalam bidang-bidang tertentu saja. Islam diimplementasikan dalam setiap aspek kehidupan, tidak terkecuali dalam sistem perekonomian. Keberhasilan itu tidak hanya didukung oleh individu, tetapi juga peran strategis pemerintahan negara. Dalam konsep Islam peranan ekonomi dari negara adalah penting dan signifikan. Islam memiliki aturan yang luas dan komprehensif tentang peran yang harus dimainkan oleh penguasa, mulai dari panduan religius, penegakan hukum, menjaga keamanan dan perdamaian internal dan eksternal, hingga memenuhi kebutuhan ekonomi penduduk dan menjaga hak milik-nya.
Ekonomi Islam, Sejarah yang Hilang
Lantas jika negara-negara Islam (anggota IDB) pernah mengalami masa kejayaan dan memiliki kemakmuran yang tinggi, kenapa saat ini menjadi hal yang paradox? Tentu saja hal ini bukan tanpa alasan. Jika kita menilik perjalanan sejarah perekonomian dunia, terdapat noda kejahatan yang pernah tercatat. Sebut saja dalam penulisan sejarah pemikiran ekonomi. Kemajuan ekonomi islam tidak diakui sebagai kekuatan yang mempengaruhi tatanan ekonomi dunia. Seperti disebutkan dalam buku “Sang maestro: teori-teori ekonomi modern” yang dikarang oleh Mark skousen disebutkan bahwa, tidak ada yang mempengaruhi pemikiran ekonomi Adam smith selain filsuf Yunani dan sedikit sekali pegaruh ajaran Budha dari Cina (Skousen, 2005).
Jelas terlihat peran kontribusi ekonom islam pada waktu itu dihilangkan. Padahal jika kita amati sejarah dengan jeli ada perkataan Adam Smith yang sangat mengejutkan. ”Contoh masyarakat dengan ekonomi terbelakang adalah Indian di Amerika utara dan contoh masyarakat dengan ekonomi maju adalah Arab yaitu Mahomet and his immediate successors (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, Jilid 5 Bab 1, 1776)”.
Kemudian Joseph A. Schumpeter dalam karya klasik-nya, History of Economic Analysis (1954), mengatakan terdapat “Great Gap” selama “over 500 years” dalam evolusi dan perkembangan pemikiran ekonomi dari pertama kali timbul di Yunani pada abad ke-4 SM hingga bangkit kembali di tangan pemikir skolastik St. Thomas Aquinas pada abad ke-13 M.
Setelah diteliti kemudian, ternyata sejarah pemikiran yang hilang itu terjadi ketika zaman keemasan Islam pada babak ke-tiga sejarah Islam. Yaitu pada masa kekhalifahan, setelah masa khulafahu rasyidin berakhir. Hal ini terbukti dari kesamaan pemikiran Adam Smith mengenai spesialisasi kerja. Ide spesialisasi kerja (division of labour) dalam buku Welth of Nation telah dibahas oleh Imam al-Ghazali (1058-1111) dengan mempergunakan contoh pabrik jarum. Sama persis dengan analogi Adam Smith (1723-1790) yang mempergunakan contoh pabrik peniti hampir enam ratus tahun kemudian. (Wibisono, 2007, hal. 4).
Tinta Merah Sejarah Perekonomian
Tidak menjadi soal jika konsep dalam ekonomi islam ini diterapkan dalam keseluruhan perekonomian. Namun kenyataannya sistem yang ada sekarang hanya dipakai jika menguntungkan sebagian pihak. Sebagai contoh dalam pelarangan riba dalam basis perekonomian yang dilanggar. Pada sistem ekonomi mainstream saat ini, bunga menjadi basis perhitungan dalam semua bidang ekonomi.
Tinta merah sejarah perekonomian dunia juga diwarnai oleh perubahan sistem mata uang dunia. Sejak Amerika memenangkan perang Dunia ke-II banyak dana recovery yang dibutuhkan. Oleh karena itu pada Agustus 1971 dengan kekuatan yang dimiliki US, maka mereka tidak lagi mem-back up uang mereka dengan emas (Chapra, 1996). Ini menjadi pertanda berakhirnya Bretton Wood’s system dan akhirnya kita masuk pada era baru dimana pengaturan uang tidask lagi ada hubungannya dengan emas. US dengan mudahnya mencetak uang dan dunia harus mengikuti standar nilai pada dollar mereka.
Sejak berlakuknya standar ini ada dua fenomena yang tidak menyenangkan, tingkat inflasi yang sangat tinggi dan tingginya ketidakstabilan nilai tukar (Chapra, 1996). Bagi pengusaha dan investor hal ini mengakibatkan sulitnya melakukan proyeksi yang tepat dimasa yang akan datang dan akhirnya terjadi misallocation sumber daya baik di wilayah domestik maupun di Internasional.
Akibat lainnya sistem keuangan modern menjadi sangat labil secara sistemik. Karena sistem keuangan modern yang berbasis bunga dan fiat money dapat memfasilitasi kegiatan spekulasi. Pasar uang telah menjadi arena perjudian legal terbesar di dunia. Sejak runtuhnya sistem Bretton Woods pada 1973, gap antara perdagangan uang dan perdagangan barang semakin melebar dengan kecepatan yang semakin tinggi. Menurut BIS, pada April 2004, rata-rata volume transaksi harian valas mencapai US$ 1,9 triliun, yang terdiri dari transaksi spot US$ 0,6 triliun dan transaksi derivatif US$ 1,3 triliun. Sedangkan volume transaksi yang terjadi pada perdagangan dunia di sektor real hanya US$ 6 triliun setiap tahun. Ketidakseimbangan sektor moneter dan sektor riil akan memunculkan krisis. Sepanjang abad 20, telah terjadi lebih dari 20 krisis ekonomi, yang kesemuanya merupakan krisis finansial (Roy & Davies, 1996).
Dalam perkembangan ilmu ekonomi sekarang, cenderung mengarah pada ilmu yang menjauhkan dari kenyataan. Riset ekonomi menjadi terpisah dengan dunia nyata. (Leijonhufvud, 1981, hal. 347-359). Hal ini mulai terjadi ketika Ricardo membawa teorisasinya ke titik ekstrem dimana dia menggunakan semua asumsinya yang terbatas dan meragukan untuk mendapatkan kesimpulan yang dicarinya (Skousen, Sang Maestro Teori-Teori Ekonomi Modern, 2005, hal. 116).
Dampaknya adalah terjadi pada negara-negara yang sedang berkembang dan negara-negara miskin. Terdapat 2,5 milyar orang (40% penduduk dunia) hidup dengan pendapatan kurang dari $2 sehari. Jumlah ini setara dengan 5% pendapatan dunia. Namun hanya 10% penduduk terkaya dunia saja yang dapat menguasai 54% dari total pendapatan dunia (UNDP, 2005).
Perbedaan (gap) ini terjadi semakin parah dari tahun ke tahun. Seperti data yang ditunjukan oleh IMF yang membandingkan antara negara kaya dan negara miskin, terjadi pergerakan perbedaan pendapatan per kapita yang semakin jauh antara negara tersebut. Sehingga dapat terlihat dari grafik bahwa pertumbuhan pendapatan per kapita negara berkembang tidak terlalu tinggi. Sayangnya Indonesia termasuk pada kategori negara berkembang tersebut.
Gambar 1 Gap Pendapatan per kapita

Jika Indonesia menggunakan standar kemiskinan dengan pendapatan di bawah US $ 1 per hari, maka pada tahun 2007 jumlah rakyat miskin di Indonesia mencapai sekitar 36 juta jiwa atau sekitar 16,58%.
Gambar 2 Grafik perkembangan angka jumlah kemiskinan

Angka tersebut akan menjadi berlipat jika Indonesia menggunakan standar kemiskinan dunia yang ditetapkan oleh World Bank, penduduk yang dapat dikategorikan miskin adalah yang pendapatannya dibawah US $ 2 perhari. Maka pada tahun 2007 kemiskinan di Indonesia mencapai 49 % atau lebih dari 100 juta penduduk Indonesia berada dibawah garis kemiskinan. Berikut ini grafik proporsi penduduk hidup dibawah US $ 1 dan US $ 2 per hari di Indonesia.

Solusi alternatif
Tujuan akhir ekonomi adalah untuk mencapai kemakmuran. Sistem ekonomi sekarang telah terbukti belum mampu memberikan kemakmuran masyarakat Indonesia, selain itu gap pendapatan perkapita antara negara berkembang dan negara maju semakin membesar. Maka dibutuhkan sistem alternatif untuk menyelesaikan permasalahan ini agar tidak menjadi larut tak terkendali.
Kepemimpinan dan perubahan adalah kunci dari penyelesaian permasalahn ini. Peran-peran strategis harus difungsikan sebagai titik awal perubahan. Ekonomi Islam yang telah terbukti menjadi sistem yang dapat memecahkan permasalah ini harus di imolementasikan. Namun ekonomi Islam tidak akan kembali tanpa aktor-aktor yang melakukan perubahan itu. Dan inilah yang menjadi alasan mengapa kita disini. Di bina di PPSDMS. Tidak ada alasan lain, untuk mengembalikan kejayaan islam dan demi terciptanya Indonesia yang bermartabat.
Sistem ekonomi islam bukanlah sebuah sistem yang baru diciptakan pada saat sekarang. Namun sistem itu merupakan sistem yang hilang, dibajak, sekaligus didestruktif oleh oknum ekonomi demi kepentingan tertentu. Jika pada masa Umar bin Abdul Aziz (717-720 M) masyarakat Islam berada pada masa kemakmuran yang tinggi, dengan ditandai oleh tidak ada lagi masyarakat yang mau menerima dana zakat (mustahik) (Nasution, 2006), maka bukan terlalu muluk jika Indonesia mengalami hal semacam itu.
Sistem Finansial Ekonomi Islam
Fitur sistem ekonomi islam yang paling terkenal adalah sistem finansial non-ribawi (free base interest). Karena bunga adalah akar dari semua krisis finansial yang dialami perekonomian modern. Misalkan saja implikasi bunga dalam pasar uang. Dari data yang diperoleh dari BIS, pada April 2004, rata-rata volume transaksi harian valas mencapai US$ 1,9 triliun, yang terdiri dari transaksi spot US$ 0,6 triliun dan transaksi derivatif US$ 1,3 triliun.Sedangkan volume transaksi yang terjadi pada perdagangan dunia di sektor real hanya US$ 6 triliun setiap tahun (Nasution, 2006). Oleh karena itu gap antara sektor rill dan moneter majadi semakin tinnggi.
Penerapan bunga juga membuat output di sektor rill “dipaksa” tumbuh sesuai dengan tingkat yang diinginkan sektor finansial. Dengan demikian, penerapan bunga secara sistemik akan membuat upaya-upaya mendapatkan laba jangka pendek semakin marak sehingga mendorong eksploitasi sumber daya manusia dan alam secara berlebihan yang sering berujung pada krisis sosial dan ekologi. Di dalam dunia modern, dampak bunga terhadap perekonomian dan lingkungan menjadi semakin mengkhawatirkan. Ketika sistem bunga dikombinasikan dengan reserve fractional banking, maka efek inflasioner bunga bertemu dengan kemampuan sektor perbankan untuk menciptakan uang. Dampaknya adalah pertumbuhan uang beredar yang masif dan semakin cepat menuju tak terbatas.
Absensi Riba dalam perekonomian (sektor riil) mencegah penumpukan harta pada sekelompok orang (money concentration & creation), dimana hal tersebut berpotensi terjadinya misalokasi produksi (menghambat perkembangan sektor riil) dan eksploitasi perekonomian (eksploitasi pelaku ekonomi atas pelaku yang lain dan eksploitasi sistem atas pelaku ekonomi). Absensi Riba mencegah timbulnya gangguan-gangguan dalam sektor riil, seperti inflasi dan penurunan produktifitas ekonomi makro. Absensi Riba mendorong terciptanya aktifitas ekonomi yang adil, stabil dan sustainable melalui mekanisme bagi hasil (profit-loss sharing) yang produktif.
Dengan sistem finansial seperti ini (Syariah), sektor rill akan bergerak lebih cepat. Bergeraknya cepatnya sektor rill akan meningkatkan produksi dan lapangan kerja Maka hal ini akan bermanfaat bagi masyarakat karena produksi naik bersaman juga daya beli masyarakat naik. Artinya ada yang menyerap produksi tambahan atau dengan kata lain kenaikan kebutuhan diimbangi dengan kenaikan produksi barang sehingga tidak terjadi kenaikan harga-harga.
Sistem Moneter Ekonomi Islam
Dalam sistem moneter, Islam mendukung sistem moneter yang menghasilkan stabilitas nilai uang. Sistem seperti ini diraih Islam dengan cara:
1. Memastikan sistem bebas dari riba dan gharar.
2. Menjamin bahwa penciptaan uang terkontrol dengan system full-bodied money.
Oleh karena itu, jenis mata uang yang paling cocok untuk sistem ini adalah mata uang dinar-dirham. Hal ini dikarenakan nilai intrinsik dinar dan dirham sama dengan nilai nominal, selain itu mata uang ini memiliki nilai yang stabil sehingga perputaran uang tidak terganggu. Nilai Dinar ini telah terbukti memiliki nilai yang sangat stabil selama berabad-abad. Setelah lebih dari 14 abad daya beli/nilai tukar Dinar memiliki nilai yang tetap (Iqbal, 2007, hal. 55). Ha ini terbukati dengan daya beli 1 Dinar pada zaman Rasulullah SAW yang bisa ditukarkan dengan 1 ekor kambing. Pada saat inipun 1 Dinar dapat ditukarkan dengan 1 ekor kambing (1 Dinar sekarang sekitar Rp 800.000) (Iqbal, 2007, hal. 55).
Sistem moneter Islam berbasis emas ini superior dibandingkan sistem konvensional atas dasar sebagai berikut:
1. Excellent medium of exchange; emas diterima di seluruh dunia, setiap tempat, setiap masa.
2. Stable money; dalam sistem yang sepenuhnya didukung emas (fully gold backed system), penciptaan uang beredar yang berlebihan dan dampak buruknya (seperti business cycle) dapat dieliminasi.
3. Dinar promote a Just Monetary System; penggunaan dinar akan membuat keseimbangan antara sektor moneter dan sektor riil terjaga dengan baik.
4. Minimizes speculation, manipulation, and arbitrage; dengan emas sebagai mata uang tunggal dunia, maka aktivitas transaksi mata uang akan terhapus.
5. Dinar diversified risk and promotes trade; dengan mata uang tunggal, resiko inheren dalam sistem mata uang akan tereliminasi.
6. Promoting economic stability and efficiency; mata uang tunggal akan meniadakan kebutuhan terhadap instrument derivatif di pasar keuangan sehingga akan mendorong stabilitas dan efisiensi perekonomian.
Dengan demikian emas dan perak atau Dinar dan Dirham apabila digunakan sebagai alat ukur dan alat untuk menyimpan atau mempertahankan kekayaan umat Islam sudah memberi manfaat yang sangat besar karena kekayaan umat Islam (khususnya di Indonesia) tidak bisa dimainkan oleh spekulan pasar uang. Jika nilai uang selalu tetap maka tidak ada kekayaan masyarakat Indonesia yang dirampok karena kehilangan nilainya. Kekayaan akan tetap sama nilainya dan akan memperoleh manfaat yang maksimal dari harta yang dimilikinya.
Sistem Fiskal Ekonomi Islam
Sistem zakat dalam ekonomi Islam adalah sebagai garda terdepan sistem fiskal. Zakat memiliki fungsi alokasi, distribusi, dan sekaligus stabilisasi dalam perekonomian (Charli, 2007). Jika dikelola dengan baik, zakat akan menjadi salah satu solusi dari sasaran akhir perekonomian suatu negara (Charli, 2007, hal. 2). Yakni terciptanya kesejahteraan bagi masyarakat. Paling tidak ada beberapa effect jika zakat dikelola dengan baik :
1. Zakat Mendorong Pemilik Modal Untuk Mengelola Hartanya
Zakat mal itu dikenakan pada harta diam yang dimiliki seseorang setelah satu tahun, harta yang produktif dan digunakan untuk produksi tidak dikenakan zakat. Jadi jika seseorang menginvestasikan hartanya, maka ia tidak dikenakan kewajiban zakat mal. Hal ini dipandang mendorong produktivitas, karena uang selalu diedarkan di masyarakat, sehingga jumlah uang yang beredar bertambah. Akhirnya perekonomian suatu negara akan berjalan lebih baik.
2. Meningkatkan Etika Bisnis
Kewajiban zakat dikenakan pada harta yang diperoleh dengan cara yang halal. Zakat memang menjadi pembersih harta, tetapi tidak membersihkan harta yang diperoleh secara batil. Maka hal ini akan mendorong pelaku usaha agar memperhatikan etika bisnis.
3. Pemerataan Pendapatan
Pengelolan zakat yang baik dan alokasi yang tepat sasaran akan mengakibatkan pemerataan pendapatan. Hal inilah yang dapat memecahkan permasalahan utama bangsa indonesia (kemiskinan). Kemiskinan di Indonesia tidak terjadi karena sumber pangan yang kurang, tetapi distribusi bahan makanan itu yang kurang baik. sehingga banyak orang yang tidak memiliki kemudahan akses yang sama terhadap bahan pangan tersebut. Dengan zakat distribusi pendapatan itu akan lebih merata, dan tiap orang akan memiliki akses lebih terhadap distribusi pendapatan.
4. Pengembangan Sektor Riil
Salah satu cara dalam pendistribusian zakat bisa dilakukan dengan memberikan bantuan modal usaha bagi para mustahiq. Pendistribusian zakat dengan cara ini akan mendorong para mustahiq untuk melakukan usaha pada sektor rill. Hal ini akan memberikan dua efek yaitu meningkatnya penghasilan dari mustahiq dan juga akan berdampak ekonomi secara makro. Usaha yang dilakukan tersebut merupakan usaha yang meningkatkan sektor rill, menggerakkan pertumbuhan dan aktivitas perekonomian. dan hal ini sangat erat kaitannya dengan daya saing kompetitif dan komparatif suatu bangsa. Ukuran produktivitas suatu bangsa dapat dilihat dari kemampuan sektor riil-nya di dalam menghadapi persaingan yang semakin ketat.
5. Sumber Dana Pembangunan
Banyak kaum dhuafa yang sangat sulit mendapatkan fasilitas kesehatan, pendidikan, maupun sosial ekonomi. Lemahnya fasilitas ini akan sangat berpengaruh dalam kehidupan para dhuafa. Kesehatan dan pendidikan merupakan modal dasar agar SDM yang dimiliki oleh suatu bangsa berkualitas tinggi. Peran dana zakat sebagai sumber dana pembangunan fasilitas kaum dhuafa akan mendorong pembanguanan ekonomi jangka panjang. Dengan peningkatan kesehatan dan pendidikan diharapkan akan memutus siklus kemiskinan antar generasi.
Strategi Pengentasan Kemiskinan
Dari paparan sebelumnya dijelaskan mengenai fitur sistem ekonomni Islam. Pada bagian ini saya rangkum kembali bagaimana sistem ekonomi Islam dapat mengangkat mayarakat menuju masyarakat yang memiliki kesejahteraan tinggi. Ada empat strategi yang dapat dilakukan untuk mengatasi permasalahan kemiskinan, yaitu 2 strategi dari sisi makro dan 2 strategi dari sisi mikro (Ahmed, 2004, hal. 62).
Gambar 3 Macro Determinant of Poverty

1. Kebijakan Makroekonomi yang dapat mendorong Pertumbuhan
Kebijakan makroekonomi tidak hanya meliputi kebijakan fiskal dan moneter saja, tetapi juga harus diikuti dengan perjanjian dan transaksi yang meliputi kebijakan sektoral, pengaturan hutang, domestik dan external financing, kebijakan nilai tukar, dan berbagai kebijakan-kebijakan yang memberikan kemudahan secara eksternal. Selain itu, beberapa hal yang dapat meningkatkan pertumbuhan dalam ekonomi adalah reformasi sektor keuangan, perdagangan bebas, promosi ekspor, kebijakan investasi, pembangunan sektor swasta.
2. Kebijakan untuk redistribusi
Kesempatan dalam memperoleh peluang hidup yang layak dan distribusi pendapatan dapat ditingkatkan melalui kebijakan menyediakan peluang yang seluas-luasnya, memfasilitasi untuk menguasai sesuatu dan jaminan keamanan dan perlindungan bagi masyarakat miskin. Dengan mempromosikan peluang, membuat lapangan pekerjaan yang baik dan layak, membangun aset yang dimiliki masyarakat miskin adalah faktor kunci dalam redistribusi pendapatan kepada mereka.
3. Pembangungan kapasitas dan Menciptakan Kesejahteraan
Menurut Sen (1990), anak-anak dari keluarga miskin tidak memiliki kapabilitas dasar (The Basic Capabilities) yang mencukupi untuk menghadapi kompetisi di dalam pasar tenaga kerja secara maksimal. Rendahnya kapabilitas anak-anak dari keluarga miskin disebabkan oleh rendahnya modal sumber daya manusia yang mereka terima, baik itu dari segi pendidikan, kesehatan maupun lingkungan (Khan, 1992). Untuk itu diperlukan institusi-institusi yang dapat mendukung masyarakat miskin agar dapat meningkatkan sumber daya manusia yang dimilikinya.
Dengan adanya peningkatan modal fisik per-pekerja (physical capital per-worker) maka produktivitas yang dihasilkan oleh setiap pekerja akan semakin tinggi yang pada akhirnya akan menaikan jumlah penawaran sekaligus permintaan tenaga kerja. Sehingga pada akhirnya kesejahteraan masyarakat akan meningkat secara signifikan karena masyarakat secara aktif mendapat kesempatan untuk mengangkat tarap hidupnya dengan bekerja dan berpenghasilan yang mencukupi kebutuhan hidupnya.
Selain itu ada 3 hal lain yang harus ditingkatkan, yaitu perdagangan, produksi, dan tenaga kerja yang berdasarkan hak. Semua orang memiliki hak ikut ikut serta dalam proses perdagangan, produksi dan tenaga kerja.
4. Pendukung pendapatan
Banyak masyarakat yang tidak memiliki kemampuan untuk bekerja dikarenakan kondisi fisik mereka tidak memungkinkan untuk bekerja misalnya faktor usia yang sudah sangat tua, sakit, yatim piatu, cacat fisik dan lainnya. Maka, hal tersebut dapat diatasi dengan cara memberikan bantuan kepada mereka, misalnya dengan memberikan bantuan sosial oleh institusi/lembaga sosial, memberikan perlindungan dan jaminan hidup serta tempat tinggal yang layak bagi mereka oleh pemerintah. Mereka semua memiliki hak dan kesempatan yang sama untuk memperoleh kesejahteraan.
Untuk meminimalisir beban/peran negara untuk men-support masyarakat ini diperlukan sebuah kebijakan dari pemerintah. Kebijakan ini terkait dengan konsep penetapan upah buruh. Penetapan upah buruh yang direkomendasikan misalnya, harus berdasarkan kadar manfaat (jasa) yang diberikan oleh buruh, bukan berdasarkan daya beli upah untuk memenuhi kebutuhan-kebutuhan hidup minimum buruh, seperti dalam kapitalisme. Jika buruh tetap miskin dengan upah itu, maka yang bertanggung jawab atas kesejahteraannya adalah negara (Baitul Mal), bukan pengusaha.
Sudah saatnya ekonomi Islam diberikan kesempatan dalam perekonomian Indonesia sebagai alternatif sistem yang sudah ada sekarang. Sistem ekonomi yang telah terbukti dapat mensejahterakan masyarakat pada masa ke khalifahan Umar bin Abdul Azis (717-720 M). Maka menjadi hal yang sangat mungkin sejarah keemasan umat Islam dengan kesejahteraan yang merata dapat terulang kembali di Indonesia
Dengan mengambil kebaikan dari ekonomi yang ada sekarang dan koreksi dari sistem ekonomi konvensional akan menjadi kekuatan yang saling melengkapi dalam mensejahterakan rakyat Indonesia. Implementasi ekonomi syariah dalam berbagai bidang, seperti dalam sistem fianansial, sistem moneter, dan sisterm fiskal dalam perekonomian akan membuat sebuah sistem ekonomi negara yang kokoh dan stabil.

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Sollow, R. (1957). Tecnical Change and the Agregate Production Function. Review of Economic and Statistic , 312-320.
UNDP. (2003). Human Developement Report 2003: Millenium Development Goal: A Compac Among Nation to End Human Poverty. New York: Oxford University Press.
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Wibisono, Y. (2007). Sejarah Pemikiran Ekonomi Islam. Kuliah II (hal. 4). Depok: Fakultas Ekonomi Universitas Indonesia.

Development of Islamic Finance in Malaysia: A Conceptual Paper

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Darwis Abd Razak
School of Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia
11800, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 04 6533888
Fax: 04 6577448

Mohd Azhar Abdul Karim, PhD
Faculty Business and Economics
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400, Serdang, Selangor

Islamic finance has made significant inroads in the international financial markets that have achieved growing global awareness. Islamic finance now has a presence in over 60 countries, especially in Muslim countries. In the context of financial infrastructure, the Malaysian Islamic financial system is both robust and fast growing. The market has highly diversified players, with Islamic banks, investment banks, takaful companies, development financial institutions, savings institutions, fund management companies, stock brokers and unit trusts. The aim of this paper is provide a conceptual understanding on the growth in Islamic Finance in Malaysia by exploring its current and future development. It is observed that the participation in the Islamic finance process would require the development of a comprehensive and well established Islamic financial system such as: – a wide range of products and services; a good legal system, adequate financial infrastructure with competitive tax structures, low cost of doing business, high standards of business ethics, and conducive living conditions and cultural offerings. It would also need to be supported by adequate human talents that would drive the business and spur innovation. In addition, a strong regulatory regime in the Islamic financial system would be another pull factor. The implication of this paper is to provide a platform for industry players and regulators to highlights the recent developments in Islamic finance in Malaysia.
Key words: Development, Islamic Finance, Malaysia

1.0 Introduction
The Islamic finance industry is now in its fourth decade and, during that period, has developed extremely rapidly. In the past few years, overall market growth has been estimated at between 15-20 percent annually although individual Islamic banks have reported even faster growth (Howard, 2008). According to Bank Negara Malaysia (the Malaysian central bank), the number of Islamic bank branches in Malaysia increased from 126 in 2004 to 766 in 2005. Elsewhere, new Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) are being established rapidly in the industry’s traditional markets in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) countries. Islamic finance is also on the rise in new markets such as Syria, Lebanon, the U.K., Turkey and Canada. In the U.K., for instance, two new Islamic banking license applications are currently being considered by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), following the authorization in the past three years of the Islamic Bank of Britain and the European Islamic Investment Bank (Yong, 2007).

With the rapidly changing international Islamic financial landscape, Islamic finance in Malaysia is now becoming increasingly integrated to the international financial system (Zeti, 2008). The world has witnessed the emergence of Islamic finance, and this phenomenon, as observed has continued to grow strongly. Global asset size for Islamic finance is estimated to be between US$200 and US$400 billion, and growing at 15% per annum. Apart from financial institutions in the Middle East, global banks are also responding to tap the opportunities of this huge pool of capital. Today, the number of Islamic financial institutions worldwide now exceeds over three hundred in seventy-five countries and offering a wide range of Syariah compliant products (El-Qorchi, 2005). This development has taken place in all segments of the Islamic financial system in Malaysia including the Islamic banking and takaful industry, and in the Islamic money and capital markets. These include Sukuk, takaful insurance, murabaha financing, as well as deposits and property funds structured using Syariah principles. In conjunction with this, there are now a large number of diverse players and institutions in the Islamic financial system in Malaysia. There has also been a growing range of products and services being offered. The pace of product innovation has intensified with more sophisticated Islamic financial products including the structured and investment-linked products. These products have become competitive both in terms of product structure and pricing. There has also been enhanced depth of the Islamic financial markets. This has increased the attractiveness of the Islamic financial instruments as an asset class for investment.

As mentioned earlier, the growth rate of Islamic Finance in Malaysia is impressive by any standards. Malaysia, therefore, has the capacity to retain its leadership in global Islamic finance despite the emergence of competition from centers such as Hong Kong and Dubai (Yong, 2007). He said despite the stiff competition that Malaysia was facing, it was way ahead of other countries in terms of product offerings and its sophistication, having been developing the market for the last 40 years. This paper is therefore interested is provide a conceptual understanding on the growth in Islamic finance in Malaysia by exploring its current and future development. The following sections will discuss on the emergence of Islamic finance, operating environment for Islamic finance, barriers to growth and the concluding remarks.

1.2 The Emergence of Islamic Finance
In essence, the purpose of Islamic economics is to identify and establish an economic order that conforms to the precepts of the Islamic scripture and the narrated traditions of its prophet (Chapra, 1992 and Naqvi, 1994). In the contemporary era, the move towards formulating an Islamic economic framework that was in sync with prevailing economic needs took shape in the 1940s, and three decades later efforts to implement them were under way in dozens of countries (Rahnema & Nomani, 1990; Kuran, 1993, 1995; and Malik, 1996). Despite the fact that Islamic economics contains many distinguishing features, Islamic banking is now regarded as the defining characteristic of an Islamic economic system (Kuran, 1995). The term “Islamic financial system” is relatively new, appearing only in the mid-1980s. In fact, all earlier references to commercial or mercantile activities conforming to Islamic principles were designated as either “interest free” or “Islamic” banking. The first modern experiment with Islamic banking was undertaken in Egypt. This pioneering initiative based on the profit-sharing principle was helmed by Ahmad El Najjar. It involved the establishment of a savings bank in the Egyptian town of Mit Ghamr in l963. By 1967, the number of banks operating on the same principles had grown to nine (Siddiqi, l988). Thus, they functioned essentially as saving- investment institutions rather than as commercial banks.

Though similar initiatives were being made in Malaysia and Pakistan, the overall growth of Islamic banking was miniscule until the 1970s when the nascent reawakening was propelled forward by the oil boom of 1974. The ensuing prosperity enjoyed by the predominantly Muslim beneficiaries of this boom witnessed resurgence in the adoption of Islamic values in countries with substantial Muslim populations and a concomitant rejection of the political and economic structures of the West. This rejection was especially evident in the banking sector as many Muslims opted to deposit their money and conduct commercial transactions with Shariah compliant banks (Lewis & Algaoud, 2001). With the passage of time, the role of Islamic financial instruments in the economy, particularly in the banking sector, began to expand.

The increased popularity and visibility of the sector was especially evident in the 1990s when Islamic finance grew rapidly as Islamic and non-Islamic financial institutions devised new instruments and both Muslims and non-Muslim clients alike began to embrace and utilize Shariah compliant features such al-Muddarabah, al-Muassasah etcetera in their daily banking transactions (Zeti, 2007). Furthermore, Islamic banking expanded as western banks themselves (such as HSBC and Citibank) created a number of financial innovations consistent with Syariah in order to capitalize on the increased demand for Islamic capital investment products (Warde, 2000, 2001). The existence of such Islamic features in the Western banking sector served as a catalyst to draw financing from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Consequently, a number of predominantly Islamic countries such as Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan Islamized their banking systems using highly innovative banking initiatives.

The phenomenal growth of the Islamic Financial sector is underlined by the fact that there are now about 300 Islamic financial institutions in 75 countries, holding assets estimated at more than US$300 billion, and another US$400 billion in financial investments. The average growth of the sector is estimated to be approximately 15 percent per annum and it is projected to grow considerably in the foreseeable future, given the amount of oil wealth in much of the Muslim world and a pent-up demand for investment products developed according to the tenets of the Syariah, the legal and ethical code of Islam and the existence of an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims world wide (Beccalli et al., 2006). Thus it is hardly surprising that many multinational financial institutions are increasingly becoming actively involved in the sector. According to Chapra and Ahmed (2002), the conventional banking industry has utilized the services of commercial Islamic banks, Islamic investment companies, Islamic investment banks, insurance companies, asset management companies, e-commerce, and brokers and dealers to cater for current and future needs. As for financial products, the predominant ones are financial instruments based on a diverse set of Islamic principles, insurance products, mutual funds and unit trusts, Islamic bonds, and Sharia compliant stocks (Hasan & Basser, 2003). The growth of the Islamic financial system via the expansion of its banking sector from the historical perspective is captured in Figure 1.

Figure 1:
History of the Industry Development

Development of Industry
Evolving richness in products
1950s • Development of theoretical framework
• Muslim-majority nation independence
60s • Egypt and Malaysia pioneering institutions
• Establishment of OIC (1969)
70s • Islamic Development Bank (1974) and DIB
• One country-one bank setup
80s • Advancement of Islamic products
• Full “Islamiczation” of Pakistan, Sudan and Iran
• Formation of BIMB, Malaysia.
90s • Entry of global institutions e.g. HSBC
00s • Tipping point reached in some markets
• Development of industry building institutions

Sources: Stages of Evolution in Islamic Finance: Islamic Financial Services Industry

The above explication clearly attest to the fact that Islamic finance has been acknowledged to be a viable and competitive form of financial intermediation not only in Muslim countries but also outside the Muslim world through its offering of a wide range of financial products and services (Zeti, 2006). The viability, sustainability and competitiveness of Islamic finance have been mainly due to a number of congealing factors that are both intrinsic and extrinsic in nature. The intrinsic advantages of the Islamic financial system lay in its eschewing of conventional financial tools such as interest which is anathema to the precepts of the Holy Quran. Instead, the system adopted a sharia-based profit-sharing concept in its investment ventures thus spreading risk profiles in a more equitable manner. Figure 2 encapsulates the types of banks and the Islamic financial products offered in the relevant regions.

Figure 2:
Islamic Financial Services: Stages of Evolution in Islamic Finance
Products Area
Commercial Islamic Banks Commercial Islamic banking products Guff/Middle East
Takaful Takaful Asia Pacific
Islamic investment companies Mutual funds/unit trust Europe/Americas
Islamic investment banks Islamic Bonds Global/Offshore Market
Asset management companies Syariah – compliant stocks
e-commerce Islamic stock broking

Commercial Islamic Banks Commercial Islamic banking products Guff/Middle East
Takaful Takaful Asia Pacific
Islamic investment companies Mutual funds/unit trust
Broker/bankers Islamic Bonds
Syariah – compliant stocks
Islamic stock broking

Commercial Islamic Banks Commercial Islamic banking products Guff/Middle East
Takaful Takaful Asia Pacific
Islamic investment companies

Commercial Islamic Banks Commercial Islamic banking products Guff/Middle East
Source: Aseambankers, World Islamic Funds and Capital Markets Conference, May 2006, Bahrain

1.3 The operating environment for Islamic finance
There are now a large number of diverse players and institutions in the Islamic financial system. There has also been a growing range of products and services being offered. The pace of product innovation has intensified with more sophisticated Islamic financial products including the structured and investment-linked products (Guru et al, 2002). These products have become competitive both in terms of product structure and pricing. There has also been enhanced depth of the Islamic financial markets. This has increased the attractiveness of the Islamic financial instruments as an asset class for investment. The standards are developed by the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) to govern the operations of Islamic financial institutions (Zeti, 2006). The IFSB has, not only, an important role in the harmonization of standards, but also contributes towards the consistent development of Islamic finance across different jurisdictions. Several parts of the world, including in Malaysia, have implemented the prudential standards issued by the IFSB. These standards which have been designed to take into account the unique features specific to Islamic finance will contribute towards ensuring its soundness and stability.

In the Malaysian approach, the Malaysian scholars have applied the concept of bai al-dayn or the sale of debts. The formal definition is: “…the sale of debt as a type of contract in which the creditor sells his payable right upon the debtor either to the debtor either to the debtor… or to a third party. This sale [sic] contract between two parties may be either on the spot or forward basis. It may also be either at a discount price or at the cost price” claimed by Moustapha (2003). The growing role of Islamic finance in mobilizing and channeling funds to productive investment activities across borders contributes to more efficient allocation of funds across borders and facilitates international trade and investment. According to Zeti (2007), greater diversification of risks also contributes towards promoting international financial stability. The more recent developments in Islamic finance is the growing significance of the sukuk market to become an increasingly important component of the Islamic financial system. She added that modern sukuk, sometimes referred to as Islamic bonds, are better described as Islamic investment certificates. This distinction is as crucial as it is important, and it is stressed throughout this pioneering work that sukuk should not simply be regarded as a substitute for conventional interest-based securities. The aim is not simply to engineer financial products that mimic fixed-rate bills and bonds and floating-rate notes as understood in the West, but rather to develop innovative types of assets that comply with Shari’a Islamic law. Conventional bonds that yield interest, or riba, are of course prohibited under Shari’a law. Furthermore, those who buy and sell conventional bonds are rarely interested in what is actually being financed through the bond issue, which could include activities and industries that are deemed haram such as the production or sale of alcohol. Companies that are highly leveraged with bank debt may seek refinancing through issuing bonds, but such companies are not regarded as suitable for Muslim investors.

1.3.1 Developments in the sukuk markets
The year 2007 has seen an exceptional growth of the global sukuk market which expanded by more than 70 percent during the year. New issues during the year reached a record high to about US$47 billion and the outstanding global sukuk market has now surpassed the US$100 billion mark. Despite the more challenging international financial environment arising from the financial crisis that has occurred in a number of the advanced economies in the recent twelve months, the sukuk market while also affected, it has been to a lesser extent. Up until June 2008, it has held its ground with a total global issuance now exceeding US$10 billion (refer Figure 3 and 4).

Figure 3:
Sukuk Market in Malaysia

Figure 4:
Sukuk Types in Malaysia

With greater recognition of the sukuk market as a competitive and attractive form of financing, the global sukuk market is expected to continue its growth going forward. The International Islamic financial hub evolving in Malaysia is supported by five pillars as discussed below.

Pillar 1: Sukuk Origination
Following the first ever sukuk in the world that was issued in Malaysia in 1990, Malaysia has now developed a deep, liquid and vibrant sukuk market. Recently, the largest sukuk ever was raised in the Malaysian sukuk market in 2007 (Bank Negara, 2008). The magnitude was approximately RM15 billion or about USD5 billion equivalent. Despite being issued during the height of the sub-prime crisis, it attracted huge demand and was oversubscribed by more than two times. Sukuk origination has thus been identified as one of the important pillars of the Malaysian Islamic financial system. As of the end of 2007, more than 60 percent of the outstanding global sukuks originated from Malaysia. It has been increasing by an annual rate of about 20 percent and it accounts for about 56 percent of the outstanding bond market in Malaysia.

Pillar 2: Islamic Fund and Wealth Management
The sukuk market has been an important source of financing for productive investment activities, while for investors it provides potential for diversification into new asset classes. The second pillar in the Malaysia Islamic financial hub is the Islamic fund and wealth management industry. Malaysia is centrally located in the ASEAN region that has a population of 570 million. It is also positioned centrally between the major Asian economies of India, China, Japan and Korea. Malaysia has always been a highly open economy in trade and investment activities and has been a major recipient of foreign direct investment for more than a hundred years. As a destination for financial investment, the Malaysian capital market offers a wide range of world class financial products. More than 85 percent of the listed companies in the equity market are Shariah compliant, representing about 60 percent of total market capitalization. Other investment opportunities include in Shariah-compliant real estate investment trusts (REIT), in unit trusts and in the Islamic exchange traded fund (ETF).

Pillar 3: International Islamic Banking
The Islamic financial system has also been extensively liberalized to allow for the entry of foreign Islamic financial institutions that offer both domestic and international banking business. In addition, the foreign equity ceiling in Islamic financial institutions has been raised to a maximum of 49 percent as part of the effort to promote strategic alliances. The Islamic banking business in foreign currencies can be conducted by the international currency business units (ICBUs) that may be set up within existing financial institutions and the international Islamic banks. Such international Islamic banks may be established as either a branch or a subsidiary. Currently, about 16 percent of total assets in the Malaysian banking system are Shariah compliant.

Pillar 4: International Takaful Business
The fourth pillar is takaful and retakaful business. There are now eight takaful operators, several of which are joint ventures with foreign shareholding that conduct both domestic and international takaful business. In addition, licenses have been granted to three reinsurance players to undertake retakaful business in Malaysia. Several existing takaful operators have set up international currency business units (ICBUs) and one new international takaful company has been licensed as an international takaful operator to conduct foreign currency takaful business.

Pillar 5: Human Capital and Thought Leadership
The fifth pillar is human capital and thought leadership. Several important human capital development projects have been implemented to foster Islamic finance thought leadership and to create a supply of talent for the Islamic finance industry. Having a sufficient pool of the talent and expertise has been key to the development of the Islamic financial hub in Malaysia. The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) which has an international faculty and students from more than 40 countries is focused on programmes for Islamic finance professionals and specialists to meet the human capital requirements of the global Islamic financial services industry.

1.4 Barriers to Islamic Financial
The prospects for the growth of Islamic finance look bright. Nonetheless, there are several obstacles currently preventing faster uptake of Islamic financial products. These include the issue of regulatory capital and relative risk weightings and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) guidance; a lack of human capital; piecemeal financial and legal architecture; weaknesses in financial reporting and transparency; and the overarching problem of a lack of Shariah convergence. These barriers are discussed below:-

1.4.1 Risk weighting
In 2006, the IFSB issued two standards – the Capital Adequacy Standard (CAS) and the Guiding Principles of Risk Management for Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services. CAS offers guidance on the requirements for minimum capital adequacy to cover for credit, market and operational risks of IFIs that is equivalent to the Basel II Capital framework for conventional banking institutions. According to the IFSB, the key difference between CAS and Basel II provisions is the computation of an institution’s risk-weighted capital ratio (RWCR). In Islamic banking, given that the risks on assets financed by profit-sharing investment account holders do not represent risk to the capital of the institution, the CAS allows risk-weighted assets that are funded by the account holders to be deducted from the institution’s total risk-weighted assets in the calculation of RWCR.

1.4.2 Human capital
Human capital development is crucial, as the current lack of qualified young Islamic bankers looks set to hamper the development of the sector should it not be addressed. In part, this low investment in the industry stems from the fact that the sector lacks a global industry body to oversee standardization of continuous education and training. The lack of human capital in the sector affects all regions, including nascent markets such as the U.K. Training of Islamic bankers has not kept pace with the rapid growth of the sector and, as a result, there are shortages throughout the industry. The two centers for training have been KFH and Bank Islam Malaysia, which between them have been responsible for training many Islamic bankers. In 2006, for example, Bank Negara set up an RM500m endowment fund to support The International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), with the main objectives of making Malaysia the leading center for Islamic finance education and developing human capital for the global Islamic finance industry. Similarly in 2006, The Central Bank of Bahrain set up a US$4.6m Islamic Finance Education scheme in cooperation with eight IFIs based in Bahrain.

1.4.3 Regulation and legal frameworks
While rising demand for Islamic finance has helped lead to handsome returns for key players, some experts in the industry are concerned that the rapid proliferation of IFIs has not been matched by development in the Islamic finance regulatory and supervisory architecture and infrastructure, especially in the GCC states. “One thing that worries me,” explains Ali Al-Ghannam, Head of International Real Estate at Kuwait Finance House (KFH), “is that the IFIs should be controlled better to avoid any bubble in the industry. There are a huge number of new IFIs being established in the market. Many banks and traditional companies are converting to Islamic finance. Islamic banking windows at global majors are proliferating. Many of these institutions are not going after the concept itself, but are following the flow of money.

1.4.4 Financial reporting
The quality and transparency of financial reporting and disclosure in the Islamic finance industry differs significantly from one regulatory jurisdiction to another. There is a general concern in the market and among those interviewed that IFIs, with the notable exceptions of those operating in the U.K., Malaysia, Bahrain and perhaps Turkey, should have more rigor in their disclosure and financial reporting, especially to the general market.

1.5 Concluding Remarks
Islamic finance has made significant inroads in the international financial markets that have achieved growing global awareness. Islamic finance now has a presence in over 60 countries, especially in Muslim countries. In the context of financial infrastructure, the Malaysian Islamic financial system is both robust and fast growing. The market has highly diversified players, with Islamic banks, investment banks, takaful companies, development financial institutions, savings institutions, fund management companies, stock brokers and unit trusts. The aim of this paper is provide a conceptual understanding on the growth in Islamic Finance in Malaysia by exploring its current and future development. It is observed that the participation in the Islamic finance process would require the development of a comprehensive and well established Islamic financial system such as: – a wide range of products and services; a good legal system, adequate financial infrastructure with competitive tax structures, low cost of doing business, high standards of business ethics, and conducive living conditions and cultural offerings. It would also need to be supported by adequate human talents that would drive the business and spur innovation. In addition, a strong regulatory regime in the Islamic financial system would be another pull factor. The implication of this paper is to provide a platform for industry players and regulators to highlights the recent developments in Islamic finance in Malaysia.

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August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Critical Analysis of the Creative Accuntancy in relation to Corporate Culture of PT Bumi and Islamic Concepts

Mahasiswa Program Magister Sains Akuntansi, PPSUB

Zaki Baridwan dan Made Sudarma
Dosen Jurusan Akuntansi, FE UB


Tuntutan pasar pada perusahaan untuk membuat keuntungan sering menyebabkan praktek akuntansi kreatif, sehingga terjadi penurunan kualitas laporan keuangan yang dihasilkan. Kebijakan yang diambil oleh manajemen selalu menguntungkan pihak majority shareholder sebagai controlling. Budaya kerja telah mempengaruhi praktek akuntansi kreatif perusahaan, hal ini disebabkan adanya tuntutan dan campur tangannya direksi dalam akuntansi. Praktek ini bertujuan untuk mengiliminasi tindakan direksi agar transaksi yang mereka jalankan sesuai dengan kaidah akuntansi yang benar. Dengan demikian bagian akuntansi harus berusaha menyiapkan adanya data-data pendukung transaksi tersebut. Akuntansi kreatif yang dijalankan seputar manajemen laba dan SPE.
Praktek manajemen laba maupun SPE lebih mengarah pada praktek yang mementingkan pihak manajemen yang didalamnya ada direksi sebagai controlling. Perilaku ini tidak terlepas dari keberadaan para manajer yang diangkat dan direkrut oleh direksi, sehingga dalam pemahaman amanah, manajer merasa harus loyal pada direksi.
Namun jika dilihat dari hakekat amanah yang datangnya dari Allah, maka perilaku manajer maupun direksi diatas telah menunjukan perilaku yang tidak sesuai dengan hakekat amanah yang sesungguhnya. Pengkhianatan amanah merupakan tindakan yang dilarang agama, dan larangan ini hukumnya adalah haram jika dikerjakan.

Kata kunci : agency theory, praktek akuntansi kreatif, dan perilaku amanah.


Profit management and SPE have induced any practices which are oriented on the management interests, in which the direction as cotrolling agent. These behavior are due to the manager promoted by the direction, so their thinking about “amanah” tend to the direction interest.
In relation to the “amanah” phylosophy which is come from Allah swt., an above hehavior of manager and direction suggest any unsuitable behavior. Discrepancy actions from the amanah are haram.

Keywords: creative accuntancy, corporate culture


Tuntutan pasar pada perusahaan untuk membuat keuntungan sering menyebabkan penurunan kualitas laporan keuangan yang dihasilkan. Tekanan ini mempengaruhi manajemen untuk dapat menyajikan lapor-an keuangan dengan posisi laba. Tujuan pencapaian laba ini menurut (Triyuwono 1997) menjadi mapan ketika suatu organisasi disamakan dengan mesin, sehingga organisasi seolah-olah bagaikan mesin yang terdiri dari struktur formal, diskripsi kerja yang kaku, yang ditujukan untuk mencapai laba yang maksimal. Akibatnya realitas kehidupan manusia menjadi mekanistik dan tidak berbeda dengan mekanisme kerja mesin.
Organisasi bisnis merupakan sebuah pertemuan dari berbagai macam kontrak kepentingan, sehingga di dalam proses akuntansi, ada dimensi politis yang terlibat didalamnya. Sehingga dalam praktek akuntansinya telah memunculkan akun-tansi kreatif, dan akuntansi kreatif ini tidak di pahami oleh para akuntan saja melain-kan juga di manfaatkan oleh pihak-pihak yang mempunyai kepentingan dan kekuat-an untuk menggunakannya. Praktek akun-tansi kreatif di Indonesia menurut Hassim (2004) tidak terlepas dari keberadaan pendirian Perseroan Terbatas yang ber-cirikan : (1) dominasi anggota keluarga dalam mengelola perusahaan; (2) penipuan (vihicle) yang dilakukan perusahaan, sehingga muncul adagium umum bahwa “Perseroan Terbatas boleh kolaps tapi owner tetap mengkilap.”
Keunikan Perseroan Terbatas di Indonesia ini telah merpengaruhi perma-salahan keagenan perusahaan. Dengan pendekatan budaya dan melihat realitas kehidupan sehari-hari di perusahaan, maka penelitian ini akan melihat sejauh mana budaya perusahaan mempengaruhi praktek akuntansi kreatif di suatu perusahaan.
Rumusan masalah yang ingin dijawab dalam penelitian ini adalah: bagaimana proses terciptanya praktek akuntansi kreatif dalam konteks budaya organisasi PT. BUMI, dan bagaimana pandangan Islam terutama dari sisi amanah terhadap praktek akuntansi tersebut.
Seperti halnya penelitian terdahulu yang dilakukan Eddy R. Rasyid pada tahun 1998, bahwa budaya mempengaruhi prak-tek akuntansi pada suatu perusahaan, maka peneliti berusaha untuk menggunakan nilai-nilai partisipasi yang ada dalam perusahaan ini yang tujuannya untuk mengetahui hubungan antara budaya kerja dengan praktek akuntansinya, terutama dalam praktek akuntansi kreatif.
Penelitian ini diharapkan dapat mem-beri gambaran tentang hubungan budaya kerja dengan praktek akuntansi kreatif di perusahaan, sehingga dapat dianalisis relevansinya dengan pola agency theory Selain itu penelitian ini diharapkan dapat memberi kontribusi atas pengembangan pengetahuan akuntansi di Indonesia, dan dapat digunakan sebagai referensi bagi penelitian selanjutnya, serta dapat menam-bah wawasan terhadap dunia akuntansi yang selalu mengalami perkembangan.


Akuntansi dan Akuntansi Kreatif
Akuntansi selama ini telah dipahami sebagai seperangkat prosedur rasional yang dijalin untuk memenuhi kebutuhan infor-masi yang berguna bagi pengambil keputusan dan pengendalian yang rasional (Watts dan Zimmereman 1986; Horngren dan Foster 1991) dalam (Triyuwono (2000). Pemahaman seperti ini menye-babkan akuntansi diibaratkan seperti tehnologi yang keras, kongkret, kasat mata dan bebas dari nilai-nilai suatu masyarakat yang menyusun dan mempraktekannya.
Namun dalam perkembangannya akuntansi telah dipahami dalam konteks yang lebih luas yaitu dalam kontek organisasi dan sosial (Triyuwono, 2000). Dengan demikian akuntansi mulai dipandang sebagai suatu entitas yang terus berubah, tidak dipandang sebagai suatu entitas yang statis dan sudah selesai, melainkan sebagai suatu yang mengalami perubahan terus-menerus tergantung ling-kungannya (Hopwood, 1983, 1987,1990; Morgan 1988; Miller dan Napier 1993) dalam (Triyuwono 2000).
Akuntansi dalam praktek nyata dalam organisasi perusahaan telah membantu manajemen dari suatu organisasi untuk melihat secara jelas fenomena abstrak dan konseptual yang tidak pernah mereka pikirkan sebelumnya, misalnya pemaknaan laba dan biaya yang dalam praktek akuntansi dewasa ini merupakan simbol-simbol umum dan secara lazim memang diterima (Triyuwono, 2000).

Definisi Akuntansi Kreatif
Dalam beberapa pendapat tentang akuntansi kreatif, misalnya Breton, et al. (2000); Suwardjono (1990); Naser (1993) dan Amat et al. (2000) adalah sebagai proses pemanipulasian laporan akuntansi dilakukan dengan cara mencari celah-celah peraturan akuntansi demi keuntungan mereka, hal ini mempengaruhi cara pemi-lihan tolok ukur laporan dan pengungkapan laporan tersebut sehingga terjadi transfor-masi dari aturan sebenarnya, mereka mem-persiapkan pula bagian-bagian laporan yang lebih disukai, dan mengaturnya sedemikian rupa sehingga dihasilkan lapor-an akuntansi yang sesuai keinginan, ketimbang membuat laporan berdasarkan cara yang netral dan sesuai prosedur. Dari definisi ini, setidaknya dua hal pokok dalam menyikapi akuntansi kreatif yaitu, dalam kontek manajemen laba dan pere-kayasaan laba dengan cara SPE.
Manajemen laba ini merupakan re-fleksi sikap oportunis manajer untuk memperoleh keuntungan bagi dirinya sen-diri. Sedangkan persekayasaan laba dengan SPE mengarah pada unsur mani-pulasi data-data akuntansi. Praktek SPE ini banyak dilakukan oleh perusahaan-peru-sahaan kelompok besar, karena praktek ini akan melibatkan beberapa perusahaan afiliasi untuk mengatur transaksinya.
Istilah SPE itu sendiri mencuat di Indonesia ketika diketahui STT yang membeli saham PT Indosat menggunakan SPE yaitu Indonesian Communicate Limited (ICL) yang berkedudukan di Mauritus. Timbul kontroversi sekitar penggunaan SPE yang dibentuk hanya beberapa hari sebelum penutupan tran-saksi. SPE juga mengemuka pada saat perusahaan raksasa Amerika Enron meng-alami kebangkrutan tahun 2001.
Dalam perkembangan teori, Istilah SPE tidak memiliki definisi yang baku. Hartgraves et al. (2002) menyimpulkan bahwa SPE merupakan definisi teknis tentang instrumen keuangan yaitu: (1) SPE sebagai subsidiary; (2) SPE sebagai sekuritas; (3) SPE sebagai perusahaan sponsor; (4) SPE sebagai partnership atau joint ventures; (5) SPE sebagai instrumen khusus yang dibentuk untuk tujuan khusus dalam keuangan perusahaan.
Tidak mengherankan, bahwa dalam pelaksanaannya, SPE seringkali dinamakan sebagai off-balance sheet. Karena secara pencatatan, tidak tercatat dalam balance sheet parent company, baik sebagai aset maupun hutang (Hartgraves 2002).


Untuk mendukung penelitian ini, metodologi penelitian yang digunakan adalah metodologi etnografi kritis. Menu-rut Rudkin (2002) penerapan metodologi etnografi dalam kajian akuntansi telah menempatkan peneliti dalam konteks situsnya, serta mengasah kepekaan mereka terhadap pemahaman budaya yang khas disana.
Untuk merefleksi personal peneliti telah menemui tiga orang informan yaitu: manajer keuangan, manajer akuntansi dan manajer internal kontrol. Namun ketiga informan ini tidak bersedia untuk diungkap identitasnya secara detail, maka informasi yang mereka sampaikan dalam penelitian ini menjadi informasi bersama, walaupun dalam proses pengumpulan data dilakukan pada tempat dan waktu yang berbeda. Untuk itu peneliti tidak menyebut nama informan satu persatu dengan jelas.
Adapun teknik yang digunakan dalam pengambilan data, dilakukan dengan menggunakan Sensory experience dan communicative experience (Sawarjuwono, 2000). Sedangkan strategi yang dilakukan dalam pengumpulan data adalah dengan cara: interaksi langsung, melibatkan diri dalam pekerjaan subjek dan dengan wa-wancara.
Analisa data dilaksanakan sejak pe-ngumpulan data dilaksanakan sampai pe-nulisan penelitian ini berakhir. Informasi dan data yang berhasil dikumpulkan, dikelompokan berdasarkan subjek. Untuk mendukung informasi diatas, maka jika dimungkinkan informasi tersebut dico-cokan dengan data-data keuangan yang ada di laporan keuangan yang sudah diaudit oleh Akuntan Independen.
Waktu pengumpulan data tidak ditentukan dengan khusus dan formal. Kadang penulis berdiskusi sambil makan siang, diskusi pada istirahat siang, atau pada saat pulang kerja bersana-sama. Namun yang paling efektif yaitu interaksi langsung pada saat informan melakukan pekerjaaanya, sehingga penulis terlibatan langsung dalam proses akuntansi yang mereka jalankan.

Sejarah Singkat Perusahaan
Pada mulanya, PT. BUMI menga-dakan kerja sama dengan perusahaan terkemuka dari Jepang dalam jangka waktu 5 (lima) tahun dari tahun 1974 hingga tahun 1979, dan setelah masa kontrak berakhir pada (1979), perusahaan mela-kukan sendiri proses produksinya. Namun untuk pemasarannya, masih melakukan kerja sama dengan pihak asing.
PT. BUMI merupakan salah satu peru-sahaan publik di Indonesia dan perusahaan ini berada di bawah kelompok usaha JAGAT RAYA yang memiliki total anak perusahaan sekitar 20 perusahaan. Peru-sahaan anak ini menyebar di beberapa propinsi di Indonesia dan bahkan ada yang di Amerika, Eropa dan Singapura.

Pengorganisasian Perusahaan
Perusahaan memiliki struktur orga-nisasi sendiri dan struktur organisasi grup (bayangan). Pengelolaan perusahaan ba-nyak diperankan oleh organisasi bayangan yang di klaim bentukan dari para pendiri perusahaan yang terdiri dari lima ber-saudara, dan sebutan yang melekat pada orang per orang ini adalah “direksi”. Selain lima direksi diatas masih ada dua orang profesional yang menjabat sebagai direktur grup yaitu seorang “Direktur Akuntansi” dan “Direktur Personalia”. Namun kedua direktur ini tidak berhak menggunakan sebutan direksi. Organisasi bayangan ini tidak dibentuk secara notariil.
Wewenang direktur perusahaan hanya terbatas pada urusan pekerjaan, sedangkan urusan yang berhubungan dengan ke-uangan 100% urusan para direksi. Wewenang direksi ini sangat dominan, sehingga keberadaan direktur perusahaan hanya sebagai manajer.
Cash flow perusahaan dikelola lewat grup (kantor pusat) dengan harapan direksi dapat memantau secara langsung, dan kantor pusat ini mirip Bank-nya peru-sahaan grup ini. Untuk kebenaran transaksi dan saldo pihak perusahaan dan kantor pusat melakukan rekonsolidasi dengan cara telepon.

Budaya dalam Perusahaan
Karyawan di rekrut sesuai dengan kebutuhan perusahaan. Proses seleksinya ditangani langsung oleh direksi yang membutuhkan. Setelah semuanya selesai, maka karyawan tersebut disuruh meng-hadap direktur personalia. Baru pihak personalia menyiapkan kontrak-kontrak dan juga menjelaskan gaji dan fasilitas yang akan diberikan. Pada intinya besar gaji dan fasilitas yang ditetapkan oleh direksi dan direktur personalia ini berbeda, sehingga muncul istilah gaji kedua.
Budaya kerja di perusahaan ini me-munculkan kerajaan-kerajaan kecil, se-hingga untuk dapat masuk pada bagian-bagian tertentu harus mengatasnamakan perintah direksi. Perintah direksi dijadikan otoritas yang paling benar dan harus dilakukan.
Budaya kerja ini tidak terlepas dari sejarah panjang grup perusahaan JAGAT RAYA. Pada awalnya grup ini didirikan sebagai bisnis keluarga dengan menjual hasil laut Indonesia ke luar negeri, dan pada saat itu pengiriman dilakukan dengan lewat pesawat terbang. Pada saat ini walaupun organisasi bisnis sudah ber-bentuk PT, tetapi secara substansi adalah perusahaan perorangan/keluarga yang melibatkan banyak anggota keluarganya.

Praktek Akuntansi dan Akuntansi Kreatif di Perusahaan
Pengangkatan direktur akunting grup diatas menunjukan adanya Consern yang sangat tinggi terhadap akuntansi, sehingga tiap ada pemasalahan di perusahaan, semua direksi selalu melibatkan direktur akunting tersebut. Direktur akunting ini terkesan sebagai dewa penolong, kondisi ini ditunjang oleh performan orang yang menjabatnya yang mempunyai watak halus, sopan, tidak pernah marah dan selalu berkata bisa.
Permasalahan akuntansi perusahaan banyak disebabkan adanya campur tangan direksi dalam mengatur perusahaan, se-hingga untuk mengiliminasi transaksi tersebut bagian akuntansi melakukan akun-tansi kreatif. Akuntansi kreatif ini dijalan-kan agar transaksi tersebut seolah-olah benar dan legal.
Adapun praktek akuntansi kreatif yang mereka jalankan dalam manajemen laba adalah: (1) Menggabungkan beberapa perusahaan; (2) Kapitalisasi saldo laba; (3) Menghindari pajak final; (4) Menginflasi Modal Kerja dan (5) Penyusunan Proyeksi secara Optimis. Sedangkan praktek SPE yang dijalankan adalah : (1) Tidak meng-konsolidasi SPE; (2) Pengakuan sepihak atas pendapatan; (3) Meningkatkan pen-jualan ekspor; (4) Menstabilkan harga saham; dan (5) Melakukan window dressing.
Praktek akuntansi kreatif untuk manajemen laba ini banyak dilakukan pada saat perusahaan akan melakukan go publik dan right issue. Sedangkan praktek SPE dipraktekan pada saat perusahaan ingin mempertahankan harga saham di pasaran.

Penerapan Agency Theory Dalam Budaya Perusahaan
Dengan penjualan saham pada masya-rakat sebesar 20%, maka pihak direksi masih dapat mempertahankan kendali atas perusahaan-perusahaannya. Kepemilikan saham mayoritas oleh direksi ini menim-bulkan masalahan keagenan antara agent dengan owners, antara controlling sebagai mayority shareholders dengan publik sebagai minority shareholders, dan antara direksi sebagai mayority shareholder dengan kreditor dan pemerintah.
Direksi telah mempertahankan kendali perusahaan dengan jabatanya sebagai Presiden Komisaris dan Presiden Direktur, dengan demikian beberapa kebijakan yang diambil selalu menguntungkan pihak mayority shareholder. Kebijakan itu misal-nya: (1) Basic self-dealing, yaitu kondisi dimana seseorang melakukan transaksi atas nama perusahaan, tetapi untuk kepentingan pribadi atau perusahaan sendiri. (2) Executive compensation, yakni pemanfaat-an jabatan untuk menikmati fasilitas yang berlebihan. (3) The taking of corporate or shareholder property, yakni menggunakan aset perusahaan untuk kepentingan pribadi dan (4) Corporate action with mixed motive, suatu kondisi dimana pengambilan keputusan oleh manajemen tidak jelas untuk kepentingan siapa, apakah kepen-tingan perusahaan atau kepentingan pribadi.
Atas suatu jabatan, sebenarnya meng-emban tugas yaitu duty of loyalty, dute of care and diligence dan fiduciary duty. Ketiganya secara ringkas mengatakan bahwa direktur, komisaris pejabat publik ataupun manajer, tidak boleh mengambil keuntungan dari orang yang memberi kepercayaan (beneficiaries) melalui tindak-an yang menipu atau tidak adil. Untuk itu bagaimana pandangan Islam khususnya ajaran amanah terhadap praktek akuntansi kreatif diatas.

Tinjauan Amanah dalam Praktek Keagenan di Perusahaan

1. Praktek Self-dealing
Pihak direksi sering melakukan self-dealing berkaitan dengan perusahaan afi-liasi grup. Transaksi ini akan sangat merugikan pihak investor, karena seharus-nya dana tersebut dapat digunakan untuk meningkatkan deviden karena peningkatan laba perusahaan. Praktek ini mengakibat-kan munculnya ketidak adilan yang dilakukan oleh manajemen. Dengan demi-kian perilaku manajemen ini telah meng-khianati amanah, baik amanah dari pemilik minoritas saham atau amanah dalam menjalankan tugas yang dipercayakan pada manajemen tersebut.

2. Take Over Aktiva Tetap Secara Intern
Take over aktiva tetap perusahaan grup dilakukan dengan penetapan harga beli yang lebih tinggi dari harga pasar. Walaupun proses penetapan nilai pem-belian ini telah dilakukan oleh perusahaan penilai. Namun untuk meminta keterangan harga suatu aktiva di daerah setempat sangatlah mudah diatur, sehingga nilai aktiva tersebut masih sangat meng-untungkan direksi.
Prosedur melakukan take over juga telah dilakukan sesuai dengan peraturan yang ada misalnya: harus disetujui oleh mayoritas dari pemegang saham inde-penden (minority shareholders) dan pemegang saham mayoritas tidak boleh ikut dalam voting tersebut. Namun nam-paknya ketentuan ini dinilai tetap mem-punyai kelemahan, karena dalam RUPS (Rapat Umum Pemegang Saham) minority shareholder tidak ada yang datang. Minority shareholder mempercayakannya pada direksi, sehingga untuk memenuhi qorum rapat yang disyaratkan pihak direksi minta minority shareholder memberi kuasa pada orang yang di tunjuk oleh direksi, dan hasilnya sudah bisa dipastikan menyetujui hasil rapat.
Keterbukaan dan keadilan atas pe-nyampaian informasi oleh manajemen telah disampaikan dengan peraturan yang berlaku. Informasi yang disampaikan ini juga relevan, karena memuat langkah-langkah yang akan diambil perusahaan yang dapat diketahui dengan jelas oleh investor lewat publikasi di dua media. Prinsip-prinsip amanah dalam menjalankan tugasnya oleh manajemen telah dijalankan dengan baik dan benar, namun kenya-taannya dalam keputusan rapat masih selalu menguntungkan pihak mayoritas pemegang saham. Kondisi ini menggam-barkan bahwa sosialisasi peraturan pada publik harus lebih ditingkatkan lagi.

Tinjauan Amanah dalam Praktek Manajemen Laba

Praktek manajemen laba ini ber-hubungan dengan pengaturan laba, namun tidak mempengaruhi arus kas masuk perusahaan.

1. Menggabungkan Beberapa Perusahaan Anak
Menggabungkan beberapa perusahaan anak untuk tujuan go publik dilakukan agar perusahaan dapat membukukan asset lebih besar, operasional lebih bagus dan juga laba lebih besar. Kenaikan laba ini diharapkan dapat meningkatkan laba per saham yang mempengaruhi harga saham.
Praktek ini telah disajikan dengan transparan baik dalam laporan keuangan ataupun dalam prospektus yang diterbitkan oleh perusahaan, sehingga informasi ini tidak bertentangan dengan peraturan yang ada, dan tidak adanya asimetri informasi. Perilaku manajemen ini merupakan per-wujudan sifat amanah manajemen pada pemegang saham dan calon pemegang saham.

2. Kapitalisasi Saldo Laba menjadi Modal Saham
Kapitalisasi saldo laba menjadi modal saham ini dianggap sebagai langkah yang mengoptimalkan kekayaan direksi atas perusahaannya. Praktek kapitalisasi ini juga merupakan hak dari para pemegang saham untuk menjalankannya. Namun di-reksi menggunakan tehnik kapitalisasi ini untuk menghindari pajak final yaitu dengan mengalihkan saham direksi pada perusahaan holding yang disiapkan terlebih dahulu oleh direksi.
Langkah manajemen ini juga meru-pakan salah satu perwujudan dari sifat amanah yang diperuntukan pada pemegang saham. Namun pengalihan modal saham pada perusahaan holding jika ditujukan semata-mata untuk penghindaran pajak final merupakan tindakan yang tidak amanah, terutama amanah pada maka hal demikian merupakan wujud dari pengkhianatan sehubungan dengan wewenang dan jabatan yang dipercayakan oleh manajemen pada pemerintah dan pada masyarakat.

3. Menginflasi modal kerja untuk direksi
Menginflasi modal kerja untuk direksi ini diharapkan dapat memberi gambaran atas keberhasilan manajemen dalam me-ngelola perusahaan, sehingga direksi akan memberikan nilai tambah atas prestasi kerjanya. Mengingat peningkatan modal kerja perusahaan diartikan direksi sebagai tingkat keuntungan perusahaan, maka manajemen berupaya untuk meningkatkan modal kerja ini sebagai prestasi kerjanya.
Langkah manajemen ini merupakan salah satu dari upaya manajemen untuk mementingkan dirinya sendiri, agar presta-si yang bagus ini mendapat kompensasi bonus yang lebih tinggi. Perilaku mana-jemen ini merupakan wujud dari peng-khianatan amanah yang di berikan direksi untuk kepentingan dirinya sendiri.

4. Penyusunan proyeksi secara optimis
Proyeksi keuangan merupakan salah satu syarat pertimbangan persetujuan kon-trak dengan pihak perbankan yang disiap-kan oleh perusahaan. Dengan menyusun proyeksi secara optimis, maka diharapkan permohonan kredit dapat disetujui. Penyu-sunan proyeksi secara optimis ini juga sah-sah saja untuk dilakukan, karena pihak bank juga melakukan analisa atas proyeksi tersebut. Namun pihak perusahaan (direksi maupun manajer) dapat memberikan logika yang masuk akal dengan data-data yang dapat meyakinkan pihak bank. Peri-laku manajemen ini telah berhasil diman-faatkan untuk mendapatkan dana yang diinginkan perusahaan.
Namun selama tidak terjadi perma-salahan penungga’an angsuran dan pemba-yaran biaya bunga, maka tidak ada pihak yang dirugikan. Namun penyampaian informasi yang tidak semestinya ini dan ditunjang lagi dengan situasi krisis yang terjadi tahun 1977 yang menyebabkan diketahuinya jaminan yang tidak memadai, maka akan menimbulkan masalah perusahaan dengan para kreditor.
Penyampaian berita menyesatkan oleh perusahaan pada pihak kreditor khususnya perbankan telah mengidentifikasikan seba-gai sifat tidak amanah dalam menjalankan tugas. Hal yang demikian merupakan bentuk pengkianatan amanah yang diberi-kan padanya.

Tinjauan Amanah atas Praktek SPE

Praktek akuntansi kreatif dengan cara SPE meliputi: tidak mengkonsolidasi SPE, meningkatkan penjualan ekspor lewat SPE, menstabilkan harga saham lewat SPE dan melakukan window dressing dengan SPE. Praktek SPE ini dalam tinjauan amanah dapat di jelaskan sebagai berikut.

1. Tidak Mengkonsolidasi SPE
Dalam Prinsip Akuntansi Berterima Umum konsolidasi diatur atas perusahaan dan anak perusahaan dengan kepemilikan lebih dari 50%, baik langsung maupun tidak langsung. Namun jika tujuan SPE dibentuk untuk tujuan penggelembungan aktiva, menyembunyikan kewajiban dan juga meningkatkan laba, maka hal demi kian akan menyesatkan pemakai laporan keuangan. Transaksi ini sering dilakukan dengan tujuan untuk menyajikan informasi keuangan agar kelihatan besar, sehat dan juga bagus, dengan jalan memasukan informasi tidak benar. Ketidak benaran informasi ini bisa disebabkan adanya pene rimaan hutang dicatat sebagai pendapatan lain-lain.
Pada dasarnya para investor melaku kan investasi pada perusahaan ini juga secara tidak langsung melihat keberadaan grup perusahaan tersebut. Dengan demi kian pembelian saham perusahaan secara substansi juga membeli grup perusahaan tersebut. Dengan demikian transaksi intern perusahaan untuk menguntungkan salah satu perusahaan dan merugikan perusahaan grup lainnya tidak memberi nilai tambah atas kepemilikan saham tersebut bagi investor.
Praktek transaksi intern ini merupakan pembohongan yang dilakukan perusahaan pada para investornya. Secara konsolidasi praktek ini bisa jadi menurunkan asset perusahaan, karena peningkatan laba pada salah satu perusahaan afiliasi dengan merugikan perusahaan afiliasi dalam grup perusahaan akan menambah pajak dibayar perusahaan secara grup. Dalam sisi lain mengorbankan pengakuan pendapatan atau penerimaan laba perusahaan malah mengalami penurunan. Penurunan ini di-sebabkan adanya inflasi laba atas transaksi intern yang menimbulkan adanya pajak penghasilan, sedangkan pihak afiliasi beban atas transaksi tersebut tidak dapat mengurangi pajak yang dibayar, sehingga secara total terjadi kelebihan bayar pajak jika transaksi itu benar-benar dilakukan oleh masing-masing perusahaan.
Transaksi SPE ini jelas-jelas suatu pelanggaran, baik pelanggaran dalam pe-nyampaian informasi maupun pelanggaran dalam hal transaksi keuangannya. Pihak yang dirugikan adalah para investor dan juga pemerintah dan salah satu penyebab kebangkrutan perusahaan adalah praktek SPE. Dalam tinjauan amanah penyampaian berita bohong yang disampaikan oleh para manajer yang dipercaya, dan mereka telah menyalah gunakan amanah ini dengan cara memanipulasi informasi.

2. Pengakuan Sepihak atas Penda-patan Bunga Afiliasi
Dikatakan secara sepihak, karena pe-rusahaan mengakui adanya pengeluaran sejumlah dana pada pihak afiliasi, namun dana tersebut sebenarnya digunakan oleh direksi untuk investasi dan setoran modal pada perusahaan barunya. Praktek ini bagi perusahaan afiliasi tidak mencatat piutang tersebut.
Manajemen melakukan pelanggaran sehubungan dengan pembebanan sepihak atas pendapatan bunga tersebut. Direksi melakukan pelanggaran karena menggu-nakan dana publik atau dana perusahaan untuk kepentingan pribadinya, yaitu investasi pribadi. Praktek demikian jelas-jelas merupakan pelanggaran amanah.

3. Menginflasi Penjualan Ekspor ke SPE
Transaksi ini tidak mempunyai efek material berupa arus kas masuk yang dapat meningkatkan pembelanjaan perusahaan. Namun transaksi ini dapat digunakan manajemen sebagai dasar penerbitan surat hutang perusahaan. Dengan demikian proses menginflasi penjualan ini merupa kan suatu sifat yang tidak amanah ber kaitan dengan pemberian informasi bohong pada saat manajemen di percaya untuk mengelola perusahaan.

4. Menstabilkan Harga Saham Lewat SPE
Direksi telah melakukan intervensi perdagangan saham perusahaan dengan melakukan transaksi sendiri lewat peru-sahaan sekuritasnya. Praktek ini diharap-kan dapat untuk mengatur harga saham dan perdagangkan saham. Praktek demikian akan memberikan informasi yang menye-satkan bagi para investor. Transaksi ini dapat dikatakan sebagai praktek tidak adil atau tidak fair yang bisa mempengaruhi perilaku investor. Perilaku ini merupakan tindakan yang tidak amanah, karena direksi berperilaku tidak adil yang sangat meru-gikan investor.

5. Melakukan Window Dressing lewat SPE
Praktek window dressing pada intinya digunakan untuk menjadikan kondisi laporan keuangan menjadi bagus dan sehat. Praktek ini diharapkan menjadikan saham perusahaan banyak diminati oleh investor, sehingga harga saham perusahaan mening-kat terus dan performen perusahaan dimata investor dan kreditor nampak baik. Kondisi ini mempermudah perusahaan untuk men-dapatkan dana untuk operasional maupun untuk pengembangan. Laporan aktiva yang sering digunakan untuk praktek ini adalah transaksi kas, wesel tagih, piutang usaha dan persediaan.
Praktek window dressing ini jelas-jelas sebagai praktek yang merugikan penggunan informasi secara keseluruhan. Secara hukumpun praktek ini dianggap sebagai pelanggaran, dengan demikian manajemen yang diperankan oleh manajer dan direksi jelas-jelas menunjukan sifat yang tidak amanah.



Budaya kerja perusahaan telah mem-pengaruhi praktek akuntansi dan praktek akuntansi kreatif perusahaan. Praktek akuntansi kreatif ini banyak disebabkan adanya tuntutan dan adanya campur tangan direksi dengan tujuan untuk mengiliminasi permasalahan akuntansinya.
Sedangkan dalam tinjauan amanah praktek akuntansi kreatif baik dalam kon-tek manajemen laba maupun dalam kontek SPE termasuk dalam kelompok praktek yang bertujuan untuk mementingkan diri sendiri, baik oleh manajer maupun direksi. Perilaku manajemen dalam praktek akun-tansi kreatif ini lebih cenderung meng-untungkan direksi sebagai controlling, hal ini karena direksi adalah sebagian dari manajemen, dan para manajer telah di-angkat dan direkrut oleh direksi. Perilaku ini mengakibatkan para manajer mema-hami amanah sebagai sifat yang harus loyal pada direksi.
Namun demikian jika dilihat dari hakekat amanah itu datangnya dari Allah, baik manajer maupun direksi telah mela-kukan tindakan yang tidak sesuai ajaran amanah. Melanggar amanah merupakan tindakan yang menuju kearah berkhianat, dan hal yang demikian ini merupakan perbuatan yang dilarang dan larangan dalam agama adalah “dosa”.

Saran – saran

a. Pemerintah telah mengeluarkan aturan untuk melindungi minority share holder terutama dalam transaksi self-dealing yang menimbulkan benturan kepentingan. Meskipun demikian nampaknya ketentuan ini dinilai tetap mempunyai kelemahan, walupun pihak perusahaan sudah melakukan prosedur tersebut. Untuk itu hendak nya penelitian yang akan datang dapat meneliti sejauh mana respon dan pemahaman peraturan tersebut ter-hadap investor dan calon investor.
b. Alat ukur yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah nilai-nilai amanah dalam Islam. Untuk itu peneliti yang akan datang hendaknya bisa menggu nakan nilai-nilai lain dalam Islam, sehingga ajaran Islam dapat lebih diaktualkan lagi dalam akuntansi.

Keterbatasan Penelitian
Seperti halnya dalam penelitian kua-litatif dan penelitian dengan pendekatan budaya maka, penelitian ini memiliki subjektifitas yang tinggi sehingga tidak dapat digenerallisasi. Kasus di perusahaan yang diteliti dan penunjukan informan merupakan keterbatasan penelitian ini, sehingga dengan penunjukan informan yang berbeda akan menghasilkan pendapat yang berbeda pula.
Rujukan Islam yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah menunakan amanah, jadi simpulan yang ada dalam penelitian ini hanya terbatas pada faktor ini saja. Keterbatasan penelitian ini juga terletak pada pemahaman penulis tentang meng-artikan amanah secara detail dari sumber sama, sehingga jika ditemukan sumber lain tentunya akan menghasilkan pendapat yang berbeda.


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August 22, 2010 Leave a comment


Hawkamah, the Institute for Corporate Governance
Level 14, the Gate, P.O. Box: 7477 Dubai, UAE
Tel: +9713622551 Fax: +97143622552 Website:

Amanie Islamic Finance Learning Centre
No, 44, Level 41, Emirates Towers,
Sheikh Zayed Road,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Phone: +971 4 319 7688
Mobile: + 971 5 092 27652
Fax: +971 4 330 3365

26TH MARCH 2009
Lecture Room 2 Level 1, the Gate, P.O. Box: 7477 Dubai, UAE
“Towards Better Understanding of Islamic Risk Management”

Course Objective

The objective of this workshop is to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the Islamic risk management. The workshop will allow participants to examine the unique risks involved in Islamic finance particularly in the aspect of Shariah compliant risk management tools, scope of risk and overviews of Islamic prudential standards of International Financial Services Board, rating of risk for Islamic financial institutions (IFIS) and Islamic financial products from rating agency perspective. The workshop content will be drawn heavily from the key issues of the day, in particular those which raise supervisory and management effectiveness questions.

Benefits for Attending

The workshop offers comprehensive module on Islamic risk management which has been designed by experienced and renowned experts peculiarly in providing Shari’ah advisory services and structuring of Islamic financial products both local and international market. The workshop will enable participants to understand the unique risk facing Islamic banks and the risk management techniques involved in Islamic finance industry.

Who Should Attend?

Risk Managers
Central Bankers
Banking Regulators
Legal Advisors
Shariah Scholars
Internal Shariah Reviewers or officers
Asset and Fund Managers
Accountants & Auditors
Tentative Program
0830hrs Opening Remarks by Mr. Nickolai Nadal, Director of Hawkamah

0900hrs Scope of Risk for Islamic Financial Institution (IFIS) and Overviews of Islamic Prudential Standards of IFSB: Dr. Syed Musa Al Habshi

- Risk Management Framework, Capital Adequacy & Shariah Governance, Types of Risk exposures of IIFS
– Impact of Profit Sharing Investment Accounts (PSIA) on capital adequacy requirement
– Role of Shari’ah Review on governance of Shari’ah compliant activities

1030hrs Tea Break

1100hrs Application of Risk Management Tools and Standards for IFIS: Dr. Syed Musa Al Habshi
– Application & Impact of Risk Management Tools
– Importance and need for Risk management tools for Islamic financial transactions
– Issues on Shari’ah acceptance of risk management tools Potential Impact of risk management tools on IIFS

1230hrs Lunch

1400hrs Shariah Compliant Risk Management Tools – The Role of Islamic forwards, option and swaps: Dr Mohd Daud Bakar
1515hrs Tea Break

1545hrs Risk Management and Corporate Governance in Islamic Financial Institutions: Mr. Zulkifli Hasan

1615hrs Panel Discussion on Islamic Risk Management:
Amanie: Dr. Mohd. Daud Bakar
DIFC: Mr. Nik Norishky Thani
Hawkamah: Mr. Nickolai Nadal

1700hrs End of Workshop
Normal fees are USD1, 000 and 20% discount will be given to group registration of 3 or more and Hawkamah members.
About the Speakers
Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar
Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar is currently the Managing Director of Amanie Islamic Finance Learning Centre (DIFC Incorporated) Dubai. He received his first degree in Shari’ah from University of Kuwait (1988), PhD from University of St. Andrews, United Kingdom (1993) and external Bachelor of Jurisprudence at University of Malaya (2002). He has published more than 30 articles in various academic journals and presented more than 200 papers in various conferences both local and abroad. He is now Chairman of the Shari’ah Advisory Council at the Central Bank of Malaysia, member of the Shari’ah Advisory Council at the Securities Commission of Malaysia, (Malaysia), Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) (Bahrain), Dow Jones Islamic Market Index (New York), Unicorn Investment Bank (Bahrain), Financial Guidance (USA), BNP Paribas (Bahrain), Bank of London and Middle East (London), Islamic Bank of Asia (Singapore), Noor Islamic Bank (Dubai), Morgan Stanley (Dubai), Dubai Bank (Dubai) and in other financial institutions both local and abroad. He has been involved in advising Islamic funds and Islamic Sukuk both local and globally. In 2005 he has been awarded the Islamic Banker Award of 2005 by the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia

Dr. Syed Musa Alhabshi
As principal consultant of Amanie Business Solution, Dr Syed has been involved in Islamic financial product design and development, Professional module design and development of Islamic finance courses and programs as well as spearheading research for the Islamic Financial Services Industry. He actively conducted training in the area of Accounting, Risk and Governance for Islamic Financial Institutions, Islamic Finance and Banking in public seminars and in house training programs for various financial institutions, international audit firms, supervisory agencies and rating institutions in London, United Arab Emirates, Mauritius, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.
In setting the direction for the industry he had been appointed as a technical consultant with Centennial Group International where he was involved in developing Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) Prudential Standards. He had also served as a member of Accounting, Auditing and Governance Standards Board of Accounting Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). In Malaysia he is currently a member of Malaysian Accounting Standards Board (MASB) Working Committee of Islamic Financial Reporting Standards.
As an academic Dr. Syed Musa Alhabshi was an Associate Professor and Dean of Faculty of Business Administration, Tun Abdul Razak University (UNITAR) till February 2007. In postgraduate education he designed and developed doctoral and masters degree curriculum as well as graduate programs in both UNITAR and International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM). His teaching experience spans from undergraduate, professional to postgraduate programs in the areas of accounting and finance with special focus in Islamic finance and accounting. He supervised doctoral students in Islamic Finance and has presented papers in both local and International Conferences as well as published papers in academic journals and related academic literature which includes areas on Performance and Efficiency of Islamic Financial Institutions and Foreign Investments, Accounting, Auditing, Governance, Risk Management, Performance Measurement and Zakat particularly for Islamic Financial Institutions. In addition his previous employment as audit assistant in Coopers & Lybrand as well as a police inspector in Singapore provides early exposures to the demands of commercial and social environment.
His early education was from Singapore where he obtained a Diploma in Business Studies from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and later pursued and obtained first class honors degree in Bachelor of Business Administration (1989) from International Islamic University (IIUM), as well as conferred Bank Islam Malaysia Overall Best Student Award. He then proceeded to obtain Doctor of Business Administration (1994) (Accounting and Finance) from Strathclyde University, UK.

Nick Nadal

Nick Nadal is the Director at Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance, in charge of developing programmes for family owned enterprises, non listed companies, banks and financial institutions, capital markets, media and academia on corporate governance. Prior to joining Hawkamah, he was the Program Officer for Middle East and North Africa programmes at the Centre for International Private Enterprise, a non-profit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, building linkages with and supporting regional business associations, developing and conducting training programmes on association governance and developing programmes to advance entrepreneurship, economic journalism and corporate governance in the region.

Nik Norishky Thani
Nik Norishky Thani is Executive Director of Islamic Finance, at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has over a decade’s experience in advising and structuring Islamic financial instruments, in particular Islamic Sukuk. Prior to DIFC, he was the Head of Islamic Capital Markets for MIMB Investment Bank Malaysia and Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad. He was previously attached with Aseambankers Malaysia Berhad and Commerce International Merchant Bankers (CIMB), Malaysia.
Nik Norishky Thani was a Fulbright scholar at Georgetown University, Washington DC where he focused on Islamic law and finance for his Master of Law (LLM) and graduated top of his class with Distinction and Dean’s List. Subsequently, he was a fellow at the Center for International Environmental Law, a Geneva-based international body that promotes sustainable economic development. He also underwent the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School in Boston, Massachusetts. Nik Norishky Thani is a past winner of the Petronas scholarship, and holds a law degree (LLB) from the University of Cardiff, United Kingdom.
Zulkifli Hasan
He has worked extensively in Islamic finance industry as an advocate and solicitor, in-house counsel for Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad and member of Rules and Regulations Working Committee for Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia. As an academician, he has developed excellent research skills as senior lecturer at Faculty of Shari’ah and Law and hold various academic positions such as legislation editor for the Malaysian Journal of Shari’ah and Law, Shari’ah panel for the Institute of Fatwa Management and Research for Islamic Science University of Malaysia, ad-hoc reviewer for the International Journal of Business and Finance Research, the Institute of Business and Finance Research, USA as well as a member of the Advisory Editorial Board of the Shari’ah Law Reports. He has published numerous articles in various academic journals and presented many papers in various conferences both local and abroad. He obtained his first degree in Bachelor of Laws from International Islamic University (2001) and received his second degree in Bachelor of Shari’ah (2002) as well as Master of Comparative Laws (2004) from the same university. Currently, he is doing his Ph.D at University of Durham, United Kingdom.


August 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Isobel Lobo, Benedictine University
Frank Bonello, University of Notre Dame

In 1985, Pakistan declared that interest had been eliminated from banking. Its religious court ruled otherwise in 1991. The Supreme Court upheld the ruling and directed the government to bring a number of banking laws into conformity with Islamic injunctions by June 30, 2002. As the deadline approached, however, in a surprising last minute reversal, it remanded the case back to the religious court for reconsideration. Granted a reprieve, the country appears headed towards a dual banking system.

A Synopsis of the Elimination of Interest and the Evolution of Interest-Free Banking
Islam prohibits riba which is generally taken to include the interest banks pay and receive. Pakistan began planning for an interest-free banking system in 1977. It followed a cautious, and gradual transition that started with the acceptance of profit/loss sharing (PLS) deposits by the nationalized commercial banks in January 1981. The transition was declared complete in July 1985 when bank assets and liabilities (except for foreign loans and foreign currency deposits), were converted to various non-interest bases. The country’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), provided the banks inter alia with a list of approved modes of finance and a method for calculating rates of return on the banks’ PLS deposits.
A number of “qualitative deficiencies” were, however, found to characterize the procedures used by the banks. [Institute of Policy Studies]. Recognizing this, the terms interest-free or noninterest-based (NIB) banking, rather than Islamic banking, have commonly been used to describe the system in place since 1985. One of the main shortcomings of the noninterest-based system is the banks’ almost exclusive reliance on a single mode of finance – mark-up with or without buy-back arrangements – that closely resembles interest, and their virtual exclusion of any form of PLS or partnership-based finance (e.g. musharaka or mudaraba) that many Muslim scholars of religion and economics consider more truly reflects the spirit of the Quranic prohibition of riba. In 1992, for example, mark-up based finance accounted for over eighty percent of the finance extended by the nationalized commercial banks (who at the time accounted for about 90 percent of bank assets), while their musharaka finance was insignificant. Another shortcoming is the fact that banks are (still) allowed to invest in (interest-paying) government securities.
As one writer concludes, the elimination of interest “was carried out without serious regard to Islamic legal doctrine, leaving the interest-based banking system fundamentally unchanged, but covering it with an Islamic varnish.” [Ray]. The elimination of riba (interest) had not been carried out with regard to the true spirit of the prohibition. [Makhdoom]. Moreover, the minimal nature of the change was apparent to most people. [Gieraths].
Key Judicial Rulings on the Banking System From 1991 to 2002
Monetary and fiscal issues had been excluded from the jurisdiction of Pakistan’s religious court, the Federal Shariat Court (FSC) up to June 26, 1990. On November 14, 1991, after hearing 115 petitions challenging twenty banking and fiscal laws, the Court found that provision for interest in these laws came under the definition of riba and was, therefore, repugnant to the injunctions of Islam. It set a deadline of June 30, 1992 after which the various provisions would cease to have effect.
The Shariat Appellate Bench (SAB) of the Supreme Court of Pakistan upheld the FSC’s ruling on December 23, 1999. The Bench explained its opinion of the modes of finance that appear in the different laws under consideration. Unlike the FSC, the Bench noted that a sale on mark-up (murabaha) is permissible if it is based on the genuine sale of a commodity. Mark-up may not be charged on a money loan. It endorsed the use of some modes of finance (including lease and hire-purchase in approved forms) while emphasizing musharaka and mudaraba as true alternatives to interest Its judgment indicates that: (i) any amount over the principal in a contract of loan or debt is riba forbidden by the Quran; (ii) the prevailing interest-based financial system has to be subjected to radical change to bring it into conformity with Islamic injunctions; and (iii) provisions for payment of interest in eight specific laws (on money lending) would cease to be have effect from March 31, 2000 and all other laws considered in the judgment would be ineffective from June 30, 2001.
The Appellate Bench suggested the following measures be taken to transform the existing system: (i) austerity measures to curtail government expenditure; (ii) laws to regulate government borrowing powers; (ii) laws to ensure transparency and freedom of information; (iv) establishment of an institution to control “white collar and economic crimes; (v) establishment of credit rating agencies; (vi) establishment of evaluators to scrutinize feasibility reports; and (vii) establishment of special departments and a Shariah Board within the central bank (to scrutinize and evaluate procedures and products).
The Bench directed the government inter alia to establish a Commission for Transformation of the Financial System in the SBP to prepare a strategy, and to constitute task forces in the Ministries of Finance and Law, for preparation and approval of model financing agreements, and for conversion of the government’s domestic borrowing into project-related financing (inter-government loans and central bank finance were to be interest-free). The SAB admitted it would be difficult to implement the prohibition of interest in the area of foreign loans. It directed the government to renegotiate existing loans, to avoid foreign debt, and to structure any necessary future foreign borrowings on the basis of Islamic modes of finance. The Bench set deadlines for the government to comply with each of its instructions.
On December 29, 2000 the government issued a prompt and categorical reassurance that banking transactions would continue to be protected and that Pakistan would honor its foreign debt commitments. Despite this, the SAB’s ruling cast uncertainty over the country’s dealings with international lenders. [Bokhari 2000]. During the period between the FSC’s judgment in 1991 and the SAB’s decision to uphold it in 1999, all financing arrangements in the country contained force majeure clauses referencing the possibility of the riba judgment being finally upheld. [Raja]
In 2001, the Shariat Appellate Bench extended its earlier deadline to June 30, 2002. The United Bank appealed the SAB’s verdict and it was joined by the government early in 2002. Some of the country’s conservative religious groups sent their own lawyers to defend the earlier ruling. [BBC].
On June 24, 2002 the SAB reversed its own decision of 1999 (which had upheld the FSC’s ruling of 1991) and remanded the case back to the FSC for re-determination. It has been suggest that revised national priorities may explain the SAB’s reversal of its own ruling. [Shah and Wasti]. A constitutional lawyer notes that it is significant that prior to the SAB’s reversal, the President of Pakistan had removed from office a member who had been on the bench since 1980. [Raja].
In arriving at its decision, the SAB took note of a number of points raised by the counsels for United Bank Limited and the Federation. The counsel for United Bank contended: that the SAB had not properly distinguished between usury, interest, and riba; that usury is a kind of riba; that what is prohibited is not what is reasonable and fair, but what is doubled and multiplied; that Quranic verses explaining the prohibition mainly contrast riba with sadaqat (almsgiving); that banks cannot be made to give alms to industrialists; and that the business of banking is covered by the term “bai,” an approved method of finance, which includes sale, business, investment and so forth.
Counsel for the Federation argued that the FSC had no jurisdiction to declare riba illegal or impermissible: the Constitution makes it the duty of the Federal Government (not the FSC) to eliminate riba. He stated also that, in pursuance of the SAB’s judgment of 1999, the government had formed a Commission and two task forces to direct the transformation of interest-based government borrowing to Islamic modes of finance, to effect a transition in the financial sector, and to establish a legal and regulatory framework for an Islamic economy. In an affidavit to the SAB, the government stated that after its best efforts to find ways to implement the SAB’s directives, it had found that implementation was neither practical nor feasible, and if attempted would pose great risk to Pakistan’s economic stability and security.
The SAB took note of a number of contentions of other counsel for the Federation including inter alia the arguments (i) that the “impugned judgment amalgamated legal and moral aspects of riba” in violation of injunctions in the Quran and the Sunnah and against the opinion of eminent jurists; (ii) that the SAB’s failure to define the word qarz (which is involved in almsgiving) rendered the impugned judgment against Islamic law since the word “loan” is not the exact translation of qarz; (iii) that exploitation is an essential ingredient of riba; (iv) that the present system of bank accounts and investments in various government savings schemes do not involve riba; (v) that the views of certain jurists and scholars on riba and banking practice had been ignored; (v) that the SAB ought to have asked the FSC to decide whether indexation was permissible; (vi) that the SAB had applied the prohibition to non-Muslims although this was not the issue before it; and (vii) that the Islamic banking system suggested in the judgment under review was a misnomer and that (except for Musharaka) all the other recommended modes of finance involve riba in disguise.
The Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan filed an affidavit with the SAB stating that after taking steps to promote Islamic banking and after considering all other practical problems of transforming the financial system, it was the considered judgment of the Bank that
“a parallel approach will be in the best interest of the country. This means that Islamic banking is introduced as a parallel system of which a beginning has already been made … .This approach will eliminate the risk of any major costs/damage to the economy, give a fair chance to Islamic banks to develop alongside conventional banks, and will provide a choice to the people of Pakistan, and the foreigners doing business in/with Pakistan, to use either of the two systems.” [SAB]
In remanding the case back to the Federal Shariat Court, the SAB directed the FSC to re-determine the issues after thorough research, and after comparative study of financial systems in other Muslim countries and to give a definite finding on all the issues involved (which the FSC had not done in 1991). It asked the FSC to make its determination
“in the light of the contentions of the parties noted above and the observations made which are germane to the controversy. Besides the points … , the parties would be at liberty to raise any other issues relevant to these cases and the Federal Shariat Court may also, on its own motion, take into consideration any other aspect which may arise or may be found relevant … .” [SAB]
Towards A Parallel Banking System: Establishing an Institutional Structure and a Regulatory Framework for Islamic Banking
In December 2001, even before the SAB heard the appeals, the central bank took a step towards promoting a parallel banking system that would offer consumers a choice by announcing criteria for the establishment of private sector Islamic commercial banks. The criteria covered eligibility conditions, licensing requirements, guidelines on set up, Shariah compliance and other operational matters. In September 2002, after the SAB’s reversal of its earlier judgment, an amendment was enacted in the Banking Companies Ordinance (the major banking law), making it possible for commercial banks to establish Islamic banking subsidiaries. The banks were also allowed to apply for permission to set up Islamic banking branches in the country. On January 1, 2003, the central bank issued Policies for the Promotion of Islamic Banking. In it, the central bank enunciated its strategy of promoting Islamic banks, Islamic banking subsidiaries of existing commercial banks, and stand-alone branches of existing commercial banks that engage only in Islamic banking.
In September 2003, the central bank established within itself an Islamic Banking Department to regulate and promote Islamic banking. This department is responsible for the licensing, supervision, regulation, Shariah audit, and training the personnel of Islamic banks and Islamic branches. The central bank established a Shariah Board within the department to ensure Shariah compliance, and to advise banks on modes, procedures, laws and regulations for Islamic banking. The Board includes three religious scholars, a banker and a lawyer. The central bank also arranged for an accounting firm to conduct Shariah compliance audits of Islamic banks, to create a Shariah audit manual, and to train State Bank officers. Further, the central bank initiated an Islamic Banking Awareness Program to train banking and other personnel and a Learning Program to learn from the experiences of other Muslim countries.
To establish either an Islamic commercial bank, an Islamic subsidiary of an existing commercial bank, or an Islamic banking branch of an existing commercial bank, permission must first be sought from the Director of the Islamic Banking Department (IBD) of the central bank. The proposed institution must also appoint a Shariah advisor in accordance with the “Fit and Proper Criteria” issued by the central bank’s Shariah Board, and the advisor must be approved by the central bank (the institutions may also appoint a Shariah Committee if they so choose). To prevent conflict of interest, the central bank mandated that a bank’s Shariah advisor must not serve in the same capacity at any other Islamic banking institution. This restriction does not apply to the central bank’s nomination of a Shariah advisor to its own Shariah Board. Islamic commercial banks and Islamic subsidiaries of (conventional) commercial banks are subject to prevailing banking and other laws and to the rules and directives of the central bank. Islamic banking branches of commercial banks are required to comply with all the directives and guidelines of the central bank, particularly those applicable to Islamic banking.
Criteria specific to the establishment of an Islamic commercial bank include capital adequacy requirements, standards for integrity of sponsors and directors, measures for broad-based ownership and measures directed against interlocking ownerships of banks and other institutions. Their financial transactions must be in accordance with the injunctions of Shariah. The application for permission from the IBD must indicate the modes of finance proposed to be used to raise resources and extend finance.
According to IBD Circular No. 2 of 2004, an Islamic commercial bank inter alia: is a public limited company; must be listed on the stock exchange; must offer at least 50 percent of shares to the general public; must have a minimum paid-up capital of Rest. 1 billion and maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 8 percent of risk-weighted assets; and must have at least seven sponsor directors who subscribe at least 15 percent of total paid-up capital and retain their shares for at least three years (they must obtain the central bank’s approval if thereafter they choose to dispose of their shares). The sponsors may make foreign capital investment which is non-repatriable (dividends are repatriable). In addition, not more than 25 percent of the sponsor directors can be from the same family (as defined in the Banking Companies Ordinance). The directors cannot serve as directors of any other financial institution (nor can any one group own more than one bank). The proposed bank must begin operations within six months of permission and must open at least five branches within twelve months.
Existing commercial banks (who meet the central bank’s guidelines on capital adequacy and) who wish to establish subsidiaries to carry on Islamic banking must also apply to the IBD for permission. These subsidiaries are also public limited companies, and are considered to be Islamic commercial banks. Like the latter, the chief executive officer of a subsidiary of an existing commercial bank must be approved by the central bank. (In addition, each director of the subsidiary must be cleared by the central bank.) Applications for permission to establish both Islamic commercial banks and Islamic subsidiaries of existing commercial banks must submit risk management guidelines and plans for internal control. At least 51 percent of a subsidiary’s shares must be subscribed by the parent commercial bank and no more than 49 percent may be offered to the public.
Finally, existing commercial banks (including foreign banks) may apply to the central bank for a license to open stand-alone Islamic banking branches to offer Shariah compliant products and services. The applicant bank is required to maintain a minimum “Islamic Banking Fund” of Rs. 50 million funded by allocation from its head office (or 8 percent of the risk-weighted assets of its Islamic banking branches, whichever is higher).
In making its decision, the central bank will consider the financial strength of the bank. The applicant bank must inter alia indicate the number of Islamic banking branches it proposes to open in the next financial year and their location, the deposits, finance, investment, and other products and services proposed to be offered, how it will segregate the funds of its Islamic banking branches from the funds of its commercial banking branches, the accounting policies to be followed, and the profit and loss sharing mechanism.
After the central bank’s approval, the applicant bank must set up an Islamic Banking Division at its head office in Pakistan to control the Islamic Banking Fund and inter alia to ensure that all the central bank’s directives are followed including, for example, the statutory cash reserve and liquidity requirements. The Islamic branches have to meet the same cash reserve requirement as conventional banks i.e. 5 percent of their time and demand liabilities. They are, however, required to maintain a liquidity reserve of only 6 percent of their liabilities with the central bank – instead of 15 percent for the conventional banks – until such time as Shariah-compliant approved securities are developed. The central bank’s guidelines list the systems and control guidelines to be followed. For example, while the applicant bank may authorize some of its existing branches to sell Islamic banking deposit schemes, these branches must transfer the funds raised to the Islamic banking branch on the same day and must not receive or pay interest on such services. They may, however, receive a reasonable fee or commission on sale of deposit schemes.
On April 15, 2005, the central bank issued a press release communicating the “Essentials and Model Agreements for Islamic Modes of Finance” approved by its Shariah Board to “ensure compliance with minimum Shariah standards by banks conducting Islamic banking in Pakistan,” and to serve as guidelines which will eventually be enforced as prudential regulations for Islamic banks. The central bank also provided model agreements for the modes. Individual banks could, with the approval of their Shariah advisor, adapt these to suit the products they design. The main features of the approved modes are described below.
The seven Islamic modes of finance include: Murabaha, Musawama, Ijara (leasing), Salam, Istisna, Musharaka and Mudaraba. Only the last two modes involve sharing in profits and losses. For each of the five cases not involving profit (loss) sharing, the Shariah Board approved the stipulation of a penalty for late payment or default in the agreement. The penalty is expressed in terms of percent per day or per annum as an interest rate would be. The Shariah Board’s guidelines (and the model agreement forms) note, however, that the penalty will go to the bank’s charity fund and cannot become a source of further return to the bank. The bank may, however, ask a court for award of solatium, which is determined “on the basis of direct and indirect costs incurred, other than opportunity cost.” Furthermore, the bank is allowed to sell any collateral or security it holds (without court intervention). All of the agreements approved by the Shariah Board contain provision for insurance of assets under the Islamic concept of Takaful when this is available (and with a reputable insurance company until this time).
The Shariah Board defines murabaha as a sale of goods for cash or on a deferred payment basis. The seller is required to disclose the cost of the goods and a margin of profit is included in the sale price of the goods — which once determined cannot be changed. The financier bears the risk for the period between the purchase of the good (by the bank’s agent) and its sale to the buyer (the bank’s client). As noted earlier, much controversy surrounds the use of Murabaha. The Shariah Board’s guidelines therefore include caveats: murabaha contracts cannot be rolled over (although the repayment date can be extended with no increase in the sale price), and buy-back arrangements are prohibited.
A Musawama is defined like a Murabaha except that the seller is not obliged to reveal his cost. Ijara is a permissible lease arrangement. A Salam is an advance payment against deferred delivery of goods. The approved guidelines note that it can be made with respect to homogenous units of goods (traded by counting, measuring or weighing) but not, for example, in precious stones or cattle heads each unit of which is different. A salam cannot require the seller to buy back the goods. The bank is allowed, however, to enter into a parallel salam contract with a third party under given conditions. In an istisna (which is a mode of sale), the buyer (bank) places an order to manufacture a commodity to be delivered at a future date. If the seller fails to deliver the goods in the stipulated period, the price can be reduced by a specified amount per day as agreed upon. The bank (as buyer) is allowed to enter into a parallel but independent istisna contract with a third party in which it is the seller.
Musharaka is defined as a relationship to share profits and losses of a joint enterprise. All partners make an investment and share profits as agreed in the contract and losses in proportion to their capital. A managing partner may (under a separate agreement) receive a fee. Assets are jointly owned in proportion to capital contributed. Like earlier definitions of this form of financing, the definition approved by the Shariah Board is silent on the extent of the partners’ liability (i.e. whether limited or unlimited). In fact, the circulated model agreement for a musharaka includes a clause stating that the agreement shall not be deemed to create a partnership or company and that in no way has the client any authority to bind the bank. The model agreement also contains a clause (as in the other modes of finance) for payment of penalty for default of a payment due. The penalty (as in the case of the other modes) is expressed as a percentage per day (or per annum) and is to be used by the bank for charitable purposes only.
A Mudaraba is an arrangement in which one person (e.g. bank) contributes money and the other, the Mudarib (who may be a natural person, group of persons, legal entity or corporate body) contributes his efforts. Profit is divided in the proportion contracted for and losses (except in the case of fraud, negligence or willful misconduct) are borne by the party providing the funds (bank) and are limited to this amount. Mudaraba contracts may be multi- or single purpose, open-ended or closed, for a fixed period or perpetual, restricted or unrestricted. The Mudarib may be permitted by the financier to invest his own funds in the business as well. In this case, the financier may not receive a share in profits that is greater than the ratio of his capital to total investment, and losses are shared in proportion to the capital invested. Neither the model agreement nor the guidelines for a mudaraba include provision for penalty, solatium or damages. The model agreement for a mudaraba indicates that it is not deemed to create a partnership — just as the model agreement for musharaka does.
The central bank constituted a committee with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Pakistan to develop accounting standards for Islamic modes of financing. The committee has prepared the standard on Murabaha and is working on the Ijara and Musharaka standards.
In August 2004, the chairman of the Shariah Board expressed his appreciation of the proactive role being played by the State Bank of Pakistan in promoting Islamic banking in the country. He observed that the current regulations governing Islamic banking are in line with the best and the most progressive regulations being followed in countries like Bahrain and Malaysia. In a speech earlier that year, the director of the Islamic Banking Department described the central bank’s introduction of Islamic banking side by side with “traditional banking” as a hybrid of the Malaysian and Bahrain models. The central bank has collaborated with the Bahrain Monetary Agency on Islamic banking regulations and on sukuks (Islamic bonds or government securities). It also arranged an orientation program on Islamic banking and insurance (Takaful) with the central bank of Malaysia. It is actively involved with other Muslim committees and forums on Islamic banking and finance.
Islamic Banking in Pakistan: Performance and Issues
The Meezan Bank, which was the first bank to be issued an Islamic commercial banking license in Pakistan, was already operating as an investment bank. It converted and began functioning as an Islamic commercial bank in 2002 and has 25 branches today. The bank has a paid up capital of Rs. 1.7 billion contributed by local and international financial institutions (from Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia). According to its website, the bank strives to find “commonalities with the conventional banking system” while not compromising on Shariah rulings. Meezan Bank has a Shariah board staffed with Islamic scholars who also serve on the boards of Islamic banks in other countries. It recently introduced a new account, the Meezan Islamic Institution Deposit Account or MIIDA for Islamic financial institutions needing an outlet for their excess liquidity. Meezan Bank uses the deposit pool to provide financing on Islamic modes mainly on the basis of Murabaha and Ijara. The bank also issues a long-term deposit certificate for Pension Funds. Twenty percent of gross profit on the deposit pool goes to certificate holders. In September 2005, Meezan Bank’s Shariah Board approved of diminishing musharaka-based Islamic financing for medium and long term financing of plant and machinery and non-commercial vehicles. The Board also declared day trading (as currently practiced) unIslamic and approved an alternative product for futures trading.
Two other Islamic banks were issued licenses in 2005: Al-Baraka Islamic Bank, which is a foreign bank that converted to Islamic banking, and Bank Islami Pakistan, which was licensed on March 31, 2005. In addition, there are 29 Islamic banking branches of conventional banks (including two foreign banks) operating in the country. Al-Baraka offers a number of deposit accounts including PLS savings deposits, incentive accounts, khazana accounts, term deposits, AMI accounts, and foreign currency savings accounts.
According to the central bank, at the end of March 2005, the share of Islamic banking in overall banking in Pakistan was only about 1.6 percent. During the first quarter of 2005, the total assets of these banks in Pakistan had increased by 13.6 percent to Rs. 50.2 billion and their deposits had risen by 10 percent to Rs. 33.3 billion. Murabaha dominates as their preferred mode of finance (53%) followed by Ijara (28 percent), Diminishing Musharaka (8 percent), and Musharaka (1 percent). The central bank took up and resolved the issue of double taxation on murabaha transactions with the Central Board of Revenue. Savings deposits account for the largest share in the deposits of the Islamic banking institutions (47 percent), followed by fixed deposits (28 percent) and non-remunerative current account deposits (24 percent). The central bank is working on the creation of an Islamic inter-bank market once there is a sufficient number of Islamic banks.
Government securities that conform to Islamic principles are not widely available in Pakistan. The first Pakistani International Bond, the Sukuk Al-Ijara was launched in the international capital market at the beginning of 2005 and was heavily oversubscribed by conventional and Islamic institutions (resulting in a foreign inflow of $600 million). Meezan Bank, the first domestic Islamic bank was the local structuring advisor for the Sukuk issue and the government hopes that the issue will spur the creation of domestic Islamic capital and money markets.
According to the central bank’s strategic plan (2005-2010), a two-pronged approach will be followed to promote Islamic banking as a parallel and compatible system: attract international banks of quality to locate in Pakistan and nurture domestic professional Islamic bankers. The central bank also plans to design and implement new tradable instruments necessary for Islamic banking treasury operations. [SBP, Strategic Plan]. In addition, the plan briefly mentions the future enactment of new laws in the area of Islamic Banking.
The IMF believes that despite legal ambiguities regarding the process Islamization of the financial sector, the establishment of new Islamic banking institutions is likely to continue. It recommended inter alia close monitoring of the Islamic financial institutions, development and standardization of Islamic banking products and financial instruments, and the development of a specific framework for risk management and lender of last resort arrangements for the Islamic banking sector. The IMF regards the central bank’s vision of Islamic banking and conventional banking operating parallel to each other as appropriate since this set-up affords users a choice compatible with their religious beliefs and fits in with the country’s position as an emergent market that is integrated into the global economy.
The “conventional” banking system in Pakistan is the system in place since the transition to non-interest based banking. Banking in Pakistan has, however, undergone substantial reform in the last decade and more reform is envisaged. For example, the central bank’s strategic plan calls for a deposit insurance scheme. The structural changes already made include the privatization of four of the five nationalized commercial banks, the divestiture of a portion of the shares of the fifth bank, central bank autonomy, liberalization of the financial sector, and increase in the minimum capital requirements for banks from Rs. 500 million to Rs. 1 billion. The IMF noted improvements in financial soundness indicators as non-performing loans have fallen and profitability indicators such as return on assets and equity have begun to approach international norms.
According to central bank data, local private banks continue to dominate commercial banks in the private sector in terms of share in total assets (87 percent) although foreign banks are more numerous (20 versus 14). Foreign banks account for about 34 percent of profits of all commercial banks in the private sector although they only account for about 15 percent of deposits and 16 percent of advances.
The macroeconomic environment in which the banks operate has improved. The government of Pakistan’s data estimates real GDP growth at 8.4 percent in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005 (making Pakistan the second fastest-growing economy after China). Indicators of social and living conditions are also better. The country’s public (and external) debt burden declined to the lowest level in decades. The inflation rate (9.3 percent) is high, however, and the current account just turned deficit after three years of surpluses.
Closing Thoughts
There are about 300 Islamic banking institutions operating in some 70 countries with assets estimated at over $250 billion growing at the rate of about 15 percent per annum. The market is largely untapped, according to an article in Global Finance since the majority of Muslims still use conventional products. For example, Malaysia has 15 million Muslims, and nine Islamic financial institutions, but only 10% of total banking assets are held in Shariah compliant accounts.
Malaysia and Bahrain served as models for Pakistan’s dual banking system. In Malaysia, separate Islamic legislation and banking regulations exist side-by-side with those for the conventional banking system. The legal basis for the establishment of Islamic banks is the Islamic Banking Act (1983) which empowers the central bank with supervision and regulatory powers over Islamic banks. According to its central bank, Islamic banks in Malaysia offer over 40 financial products and services. An Islamic interbank money market began functioning in 1994. Takaful, an Islamic insurance system, began in 1985. Malaysia has set up a dedicated high court to try Islamic banking and finance cases.
Bahrain also has a dual banking system and the largest concentration of Islamic financial institutions in the Middle East region. It hosts a Liquidity Management Center and the International Islamic Financial Market, and its monetary agency has introduced a prudential and reporting framework that is specific to Islamic banking and finance. According to Pakistan’s central bank the interpretation and Shariah position of contracts (e.g. sale and purchase of debt instruments and grant of gifts on savings and financial papers) is different in Malaysia. Another source supports this view, “there is a certain polarization between the schools of thought centred in Asia and those centred in the Middle East with a general perception that the Middle Eastern schools of thought are more conservative in their views. This has a material effect on the acceptability of some Islamic investment products structured in Asia and offered to investors in the Middle East.”
The Federal Shariat Court’s re-determination of the case is widely expected to take several years and the IMF notes that “there remains a degree of legal uncertainty about the ultimate basis for banking activities in Pakistan.” In a letter of intent to the IMF, the government and the central bank, however, regard the Supreme Court’s decision as having cleared the way for the pursuit of “an evolutionary approach to Islamic finance, through encouraging the development of Islamic banking alongside traditional financial institutions.” Implicit in this view is the acceptance of the fact that interest is involved in the current operation of the traditional institutions. The central bank’s numerous explicit references to “interest” and interest rates” in its reviews and annual reports acknowledge the existence of interest in banking operations. It appears from the government and the central bank’s statements and actions that they implicitly believe (or hope) that the FSC will allow “traditional financial institutions” to continue functioning. It is not clear, however, whether these institutions will be able to revert to their original existence as truly conventional banks paying and accepting interest and forsaking the present unwieldy and burdensome trappings of an “interest-free” system.

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Developments of Islamic Banking in Pakistan & Malaysia: An Analytical Review

August 22, 2010 Leave a comment


This study compares Islamic banking operations currently practiced in Pakistan and Malaysia. Both countries started Islamic banking in early 1980’s but employed entirely different approaches. Pakistan attempted to convert the entire financial system in accordance with Islamic law at once at national level. Malaysia adopted the gradual application approach. It allowed Islamic and conventional banking systems to operate and to compete for deposits on parallel basis. This study examines the Pakistani and Malaysian approaches towards the implementation of Islamic banking in their respective countries. It recognizes lack of commitment and long term planning problems in case of Pakistan.


Islamic banking system has emerged as a competitive and a viable substitute for the conventional banking system during the last three decades. It is especially true for Muslim world where presently Islamic banking strides at two separate fronts. At one side, efforts are also underway to covert the entire financial systems in accordance to Islamic laws (Shariah). At the other side, separate Islamic banks are allowed to operate in parallel to conventional interest based banks. Pakistan and Malaysia are the two good examples of above mentioned approaches.
Both countries adopted different tracks for the same ultimate destination of developing full fledge viable Islamic financial system and produced quite interesting results. The Government of Pakistan tried to covert the entire financial system to an interest free system through presidential orders at a national level. However, the overnight practice of islamization didn’t achieve the required success. Most of the efforts have either been reversed or further developments have been stopped. Malaysia opted for the alternative gradual way of developing and implementing Islamic banking system. Starting with one Islamic bank it later allowed conventional financial institutions to offer and participate in Islamic banking products and services through their existing staff and branches. The country is now actively involved in designing new Islamic financial instruments for capital and money market transactions. This study provides the comparative analysis of implementing two opposite Islamic banking approaches, one in Pakistan and other in Malaysia along with their acquired results.

Origin of Islamic banking in Pakistan

The process of islamization the financial system of Pakistan is coincided with the globally resurgence of Islamic banking in the late seventies. Pakistan was among the three countries in the world that has been trying to implement Islamic banking at national level. This process started with presidential order to the local Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) on September 29, 1977. The council was asked to prepare the blueprint of interest free economic system. The council included panelists of bankers and economists who submitted their report in February 1980, highlighting various ways and sufficient details for eliminating the interest from the financial system of Pakistan. This report was a landmark in the efforts for Islamizing the banking system in Pakistan.

Origin of Islamic banking in Malaysia

In Malaysia, the roots of Islamic banking go back to 1963 when the government established Tabung Haji or Pilgrims Management and Fund Board. The institution was established to invest the savings of the local Muslims in interest free places, who intend to perform pilgrim (Hajj). Tabung Haji utilizes Mudarabah (profit and loss sharing), Musharikah (joint venture) and Ijara (leasing) modes of financing for investment under the guidance of National Fatawah Committee of Malaysia.
The first call for separate Islamic bank was made in 1980, in a seminar held in the National University of Malaysia. The participants passed a resolution requesting the government to pass a special law to setup an Islamic bank in the country. Responding to the request, the government set up a National Steering Committee in 1981 to study legal, religious and operational aspects of setting up an Islamic bank. The committee established the blue print of a modern Islamic banking system in 1983, which later enabled the government to establish an Islamic bank and to issue non-interest bearing investment certificates.

Initiatives Taken in Pakistan

The Islamic banking movement in Pakistan was a nationwide and comprehensive. As it was a mammoth task, the switch-over plan was implemented in phases. The process was started by transforming the operations of specialized financial institutions like National Investment Trust (NIT), Investment Corporation of Pakistan (ICP), and House Building Finance Corporation (HBFC) to the system conforming to the Islamic principles with effect from July 1, 1979. Separate Interest-free counters started operating in all the nationalized commercial banks, and one foreign bank from January 1, 1981, to mobilize deposits on profit and loss sharing basis. As from July 1, 1985, all commercial banking operations were made ‘interest-free’. From that date, no bank in Pakistan, including foreign banks, was allowed to accept any interest-bearing deposits. All existing deposits in banks were treated to be on the basis of profit and loss sharing. However, foreign currency deposits/loans were continued to govern on interest basis. The government meanwhile also passed Mudarabah Companies Act 1984, enabled financial institutions or business groups to setup special Mudaraba Companies in a country.

Initiative Taken in Malaysia

The establishment of Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad (BIMB) in July 1983 marked a milestone for the development of the Islamic financial system in Malaysia. BIMB carries out banking business similar to other commercial banks, but along the principles of Islamic laws (Shariah). The bank offers deposit-taking products such as current and savings deposit under the concept of Wadiah (guaranteed custody) and investment deposits under the concept of Mudarabah (profit-sharing). The bank grants finance facilities such as working capital financing under Murabaha (cost-plus financing), house financing under Bai’ Bithaman Ajil (deferred payment sale), leasing under Ijara (leasing) and project financing under Musharikah (joint venture). BIMB has grown tremendously since its inception. It was listed on the Main Board of the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange on 17 January 1992. At the end of 2003, the bank has a network of 82 branches throughout the country and staff of 1,200 employees.

Development of Islamic banking in Pakistan

The change management with regard to the introduction of new system is always a sophisticated job requiring long term planning and commitments. This is particularly true in case of present day financial system wherein the interests of the stakeholders are embedded and considered important ingredient. Only a well thought out plan with committed and continue efforts could lead to success. Unfortunately the economics managers in Pakistan lost the desired path of success. Currently, there is hardly any transaction deal in inter-banks , intara-banks or the government related financial activities which can be called as Islamic. In the beginning of islamization process the banks expressed some anxiety to adjust them to the new system and tried to develop methods to eliminate the interest form their transactions. But the issuance of BCD circular No.13 of June 1984 allowed banks to provide finance on mark-up and on buy-back agreement basis. The technique of buy-back agreements are nothing but disguised forms of interest. With the help of new terminology the financial institutes retained the conventional methods of interest bearing finance. The Islamic modes of finances such as musharikah, mudarabah, ijara, ijara wa iktina, were not adopted in majority of the cases. The aggressively established Mudaraba Companies also failed to continue their existence; most of them are either in losses or are in the process of agglomerated with other financial institutions.
The present day financial system is largely based on ‘mark-up’ technique with or without buy-back arrangement. This procedure was, however, declared un-Islamic by the Federal Shariat Court in November 1991. Appeals were made to the Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (the apex court). The Supreme Court delivered its judgment on December 23, 1999 rejecting the appeals and directing that laws involving interest would cease to have effect finally by June 30, 2001. In the judgment, the Court concluded that the present financial system had to be subjected to radical changes to bring it into conformity with Islamic laws (Shariah). It also directed the government to set up, within specified time frame, a commission and task forces for the transformation of financial system, to achieve the objective. The Court also indicated some measures related to the infrastructure and legal framework, which needed to be taken in order to have an economy conforming to the injunctions of Islam.
The Commission for Transformation of Financial System (CTFS) set-up in the State Bank of Pakistan submitted its report in August 2001 that mainly comprised the recommendation given in the two Interim reports submitted earlier in October 2000 and May 2001. Currently, a task force is working in the Ministry of Finance to suggest the ways to eliminate interest from government operations. Another task force has been set-up in the Ministry of Law to suggest amendments in legal framework to implement the Supreme Court’s Judgment.

Development of Islamic banking in Malaysia

The long-term objective of the Central Bank of Malaysia was to create an Islamic banking system operate parallel to the conventional banking system. A single Islamic bank (BIMB) did not represent the whole financial system. It required large number of pro-active players, wide range of products and innovative instruments, and a vibrant Islamic money market. Realizing the situation, the Central Bank introduced Interest Free Banking Scheme (now replaced with Islamic banking scheme (IBS) in March 1993. The scheme allowed conventional banking institutions to offer Islamic banking products and services using their existing infrastructure, including staff and branches. Since then, the numbers of IBS banking institutions have increased to 36 till the end of 2003, comprising 14 commercial banks (of which 4 are foreign banks), 10 finance companies, 5 merchant banks and 7 discount houses. The Central bank of Malaysia in its annual report (1993, page no 57) stated:
“With the implementation of the interest free banking scheme, Malaysia has emerged as the first country to implement a dual banking system, whereby an Islamic banking system functions on a parallel basis with the conventional banking system”.

The aspiration to establish a comprehensive Islamic financial system has created a spill-over effect to the non-bank Islamic financial intermediaries which also started to offer Islamic financial products and services under Islamic banking scheme. Such institutions include the Takaful Companies, the savings institutions (i.e. Bank Simpanan Nasional & Bank Rakyat) and the developmental financial institutions (i.e. Bank Pembangunan dan Infrastruktur Malaysia and Bank Pertanian.
In October 1996, the Central Bank issued a model financial statement for the IBS banks requiring them to disclose their Islamic banking operations (balance sheet and profit and loss account) as an additional item under the Notes to the Accounts. The Central Bank also setup a National Shariah Advisory Council on Islamic Banking and Takaful (NSAC) on 1 May 1997. The council considers as the highest Shariah authority on Islamic banking and Takaful businesses in Malaysia. On 1 October 1999, the Central Bank issued license for second Islamic bank, Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad.
The country also introduced Islamic debt securities market has made its debut in 1990 with the issuance of RM 125 million Islamic bonds. Islamic Inter-bank Money Market (IIMM) on 4 January 1994 to link institutions and Islamic investment based instruments. Since then, both the markets provide variety of securities ranging from two to five years medium terms Islamic bonds to short-term commercial papers one to twelve months.

Present scenario of Islamic Banking System in Pakistan

Pakistan after the gap of twenty years has now decided to shift towards interest free economy in a gradual and phased manner without causing any further disruptions . Some extracts from the affidavit submitted by the Deputy Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in the Supreme Court of Pakistan reflected the future policy of the Bank for the time being.
“That having taken a series of steps to promote Islamic banking………. and considering all other practical problems associated with the complete transformation of the financial system, discussed herein, it is State Bank of Pakistan’s considered judgment that the parallel approach will be in the best interest of the country. This means that Islamic banking is introduced as a parallel system, of which beginning has already been made; it is provided a level playing field vis-à-vis the existing conventional banks, and its further growth and development is supported by Government and State Bank of Pakistan through appropriate actions. The approach will eliminate the risk of any major cost/damage to the economy, give a fair chance to Islamic banks to develop alongside the conventional banks, and will provide a choice to the people of Pakistan, and the foreigners doing businesses in/with Pakistan, to use either of the two systems” .

State Bank of Pakistan issued detailed criteria in December 2001 for the establishment of full-fledged Islamic commercial banks in the private sector. Newly established Islamic bank can be listed on the stock exchange provided minimum of 50 percent of total shares must be offered to the general public. At least 15 percent of total paid-up capital should be subscribed personally by sponsor directors. Islamic bank are also required to maintain a minimum capital adequacy ratio of 8 percent based on risk weighted assets. Meezan Bank Limited (MBL) received the first Islamic commercial banking license from SBP in January 2002. At the end of 2003, MBL has a small net-work of 10 branches with total deposits of US $ 130 million.
In January, 2003 the State Bank issued detail instructions upon setting up subsidiaries and stand-alone Islamic banking branches by existing commercial banks. Accordingly six existing commercial banks including one foreign bank are allowed to open separate Islamic banking branches. Out of which eight branches of four banks have already started their operations since June 2004. Islamic banks are also allowed to maintain statutory liquidity requirements (SLR) and special cash reserve (SCR) deposits in current account with the State Bank to the maximum extent of 40% of SLR and SCR for other banks in order to avoid interest.
Some developments have also been witnessed in the capital market with regard to Islamization. During the last few years, numbers of companies have issued Term Finance Certificates (TFC) to raise redeemable capital on the basis of Musharika. The payments of profit of or sharing of loss with the TFC holders are linked to the operating profit/loss of the TFC issuing companies. Therefore, the investors assume the risk of sustaining losses proportionate to their principal amount in case of operating losses incurred by the company. In September 2002, Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) also allowed the Mudaraba companies to float Musharikah based TFC’s.
Another significant development during the year 2003 is the permission to set up ‘SME Modaraba’ with the participation of about 20 Modarabah companies to undertake SME businesses in the smaller towns and distant areas. SME Modaraba will resolve the problem of the individual Modarabah companies which do not have a big branch network to reach out to the prospective clientele.

Present scenario of Islamic Banking System in Malaysia

Today, Malaysia has a full-fledged Islamic financial system operating parallel to conventional financial system. In terms of products and services, there are more than 40 different Islamic financial products currently available in a country. However, differentiating fixed assets and overhead expenses are problematic in case of IBS banks. Usually, an IBS bank consists of a team overseeing Islamic banking transactions. Product development, marketing and other policy issues are conducted at the respective headquarters. At the branch level, there is no delineation over Islamic and conventional transactions. Each branch officer is expected to deal with both systems. Islamic and conventional transactions share the share computers and automated teller machines (ATMs) facilities. To some extent, overhead expenses on wages/salaries, office equipment and furniture etc. can be accounted for at the bank’s headquarter, but not at the branch level. The same applies to security systems, land and office premises as these cannot be divided into the Islamic and conventional individual components (Rosley, 2003).
Overall Islamic banking industry in Malaysia has continued to register strong expansion during 2003 to account for 9.7% of the total assets of the banking system (8.9% in 2002), 10.4% of total deposits (10.2% in 2002) and 10.3% of total financing (8.1% in 2002). The improved performance was characterized by strong growth in financing activities for the purchase of transport vehicles and residential property.
The thrust of Islamic financial policy in 2004 will continue to be directed at further strengthening the fundamental essential for progressive Islamic banking industry. The Central Bank is focusing on strengthening the institutional infrastructure, enhancing the regulatory framework, strengthening the Shariah and legal infrastructure as well as enhancing intellectual capital development and consumer education. In 2003, the Central Bank of Malaysia brought forward liberalization in Islamic banking to allow three full-fledged foreign Islamic banks to be set-up in Malaysia.


Islamic banking has proved vital potential as a competitive and better substitute against conventional banking system in many countries of the world. Currently, two different approaches are experienced towards the development of Islamic banking. First way experienced by Pakistan, Iran and Sudan is to implement Islamic banking on a country wide and on a comprehensive basis. Second, way is to setup individual Islamic banks in parallel to the conventional interest based banks. Pakistan and Malaysia can be assumed as the two leaders of Islamic Finance. Both countries selected different tracks to achieve the same goals of developing full fledge Islamic banking but gained different results.
The Governments of Pakistan has tried to employ Islamic banking system at once at national level. The overnight exercise of islamization didn’t produce the required results due to lack of required support and continue efforts to eliminate the interest (Riba) from the economy. Most of the Islamization efforts either had been reversed or at least, further progress was stopped. Since 2001, the Central Bank of Pakistan has started adopting the gradual policies of implementing Islamic banking which Malaysia has adopted twenty years back. Al-Meezan Bank in Pakistan (fully Islamic and independent commercial bank) and full fledge separate Islamic banking branches from few commercial banks are healthy indicators for positive expectations.
Malaysia employed the gradual approach of implementing Islamic banking. Although, the country is facing problems in segregating Islamic and conventional banking fixed assets and overheads expenses but, no doubt, it has successfully developed viable Islamic financial system. After developing Islamic banking infrastructure and Islamic instruments for financial investments and liquidity management, the country is actively progressing towards the development of Islamic capital market. Malaysia is now also inviting the international players to experience its new dual banking system.
Ahmad, A (1997),” Towards an Islamic Financial Market, A Study of Islamic Banking and Finance in Malaysia” Research Paper No 45, Islamic Research and Training Institute, Islamic Development Bank, Jeddah.
Rosley, S A (2003), “Performance of Islamic and Mainstream Banks in Malaysia” International Journal of Social Economics, Vol 30 – 12, PP 1249 – 1265.
The Central Bank of Malaysia, (1993-2003),”The Central Bank of Malaysia, Annual Reports”, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
, (1999), “The Central Bank and the Financial System in Malaysia: A Decade of Change (1989 – 1999)” the Central Bank of Malaysia Publication.
The Bank Islam Malaysia Berhad, (1994-2003),”The Central Bank of Malaysia, Annual Reports”, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
State Bank of Pakistan, (1999-2003),”State Bank of Pakistan, Annual Reports”, Karachi, Pakistan.


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