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Sharīah and Conventional Law Objections to Derivatives: A Comparison

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In Islamic finance, many scholars advise against the use of derivatives, which is still in its infancy. Conventional law even voiced its objections to derivatives as early as the 17th century. This article surveys and compares the relationship between present-day legal objections to derivatives in Islamic finance and those objections held in the past by conventional finance. It was found that objections to derivatives, held by both separate fields of finance, show similarities as well as differences. For example, both Islamic and conventional finance object to the gambling nature inherent in derivative trading; in contrast, under Sharīah law, the scope of Islamic finance’s objections is broader, including other elements such as uncertainty and ignorance. Furthermore, Sharīah scholars also object to option trading that requires payment of a fee and to futures trading that involves payment of a debt with a debt.

Affiliations: 1: International Sharīah Research Academy (ISRA) Jalan Raja Laut Malaysia; 2: Taylor’s University Malaysia Selangor Malaysia

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