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.
In an Islamic system, as interest is prohibited, banks are expected to operate solely on the basis of profit and risk sharing. This paper describes the developments in Islamic banking in Iran and Pakistan. As these two countries have initiated the most far-reaching experiments with Islamic banking, their experiences have a significant bearing on the feasibility of such a system. The developments in these countries are evaluated against the theory underlying the Islamic banking, and suggestions are made to achieve a more efficient system.