The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Islamic banks are prohibited from charging or paying interest, and thus can operate only on the basis of profit-sharing arrangements. This paper provides a brief survey of the theory and practice of Islamic banking. It covers developments in Islamic banking since the mid-1970s, how such banks operate, and the analytical underpinnings of a financial system based on Islamic principles. Finally, the future of Islamic banking is assessed.