Does Money Matter in Islam Economics: Gold, Silver, Riba al-Fadl and Riba Nasi'ah

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Does Money Matter in Islam Economics: Gold, Silver, Riba al-Fadl and Riba Nasi'ah

Type: Master thesis
Title: Does Money Matter in Islam Economics: Gold, Silver, Riba al-Fadl and Riba Nasi'ah
Author: Verplancke, Tom
Issue Date: 2017-06-27
Keywords: Economics, Islam, Gold, Silver, Finance, Money, Riba, Coinage, Banking,
Abstract: This research deals with the question what the economic system based on precious metals (the natural situation) looked like in the Muslim world and if the evolution toward fiat money violated the commandments of the sharia concerning riba, particularly riba al-fadl and riba nasi’ah? These two forms of riba apply specifically to gold and silver, designated in the Quran and Sunnah as natural money. The evolution of money described by Fox and Ernst consists of five different stages, namely the natural situation where gold and silver are valued by their intrinsic value. This situation is sharia compliant but in the next stage coins were valued at face or nominal value, a violation of riba al-fadl which prescribes the exchange of weight for weight. Bank money is seen as the next stage, and this is problematic regarding riba nasi’ah as the exchange of gold and silver is deferred whereas the sources prescribe exchange being done on the spot. Paper money convertible to gold is the fourth stage. This again constitutes deferred exchange of metals, but also riba al-fadl as there is no 100% backing of the notes brought in circulation. Fiat money is totally divorced from gold and silver and is always brought into existence as a loan with interest. Islamic finance hasn’t really engaged with the topic of the permissibility of fiat money, but it appears interest in the subject is gaining traction as most Muslims feel that from an Islamic perspective there is something fundamentally wrong with the current financial system.
Supervisor: Berger, Mauritz
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Middle Eastern Studies (Master)
Specialisation: Modern Middle East
ECTS Credits: 20
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/50695
 

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