Question: If the Islamic banks do not lend money on interest then what modes of financing can be used for the following:
Trade and industrial finance
Financing the budget deficit
Acquiring foreign loans
As a matter of principle, all the financial transactions between the parties are lawful in the eyes of Islamic Shariah. Islamic Shariah provides several interest-free modes of finance that can be used to satisfy various business needs of the customer. These modes can be clubbed into two main categories.
The 1st may include modes of advancing funds on a profit-and-loss-sharing basis. ( Mudarabah, Musharakah ).
The 2nd may include the modes of finance in which are used for the purchase/hire of goods and services on a fixed return basis. (Murabaha, Istisna, Salam & Ijara).
A) Modes for financing trade and industry:
Muarabaha, Musawama, Ijara and Salam are particularly suitable for trade while istisna is especially suitable for manufacturing or construction industry. Murabaha can be used for the financing of all purchase of raw materials and inventory. For the procurement of fixed assets including plant and machinery, building etc. either Diminishing Musharakah or Ijara can be more feasible.
B) Modes for the financing a budget deficit:
It is noted that in an Islamic state, all the efforts should be made to avoid the budget deficit.
However, in case of unavoidable circumstances, the budget deficit may be kept to the possible minimum limit. Sometimes the budget deficit is seen as a result of either extravagant expenditure or inefficient effort to generate tax revenue due too political, economic reasons or otherwise. There is a need to win public confidence about these needs and to create transparency in government expenditure. This can serve better in keeping budget deficit to minimum level. In case of unavoidable deficit, government-owned enterprises can obtain finance by way of Mudarabah, Musharakah or Sukuk, just like private companies do.
C) An alternative to foreign loans:
Seeking Islamic solution to foreign borrowing, arrangements could be made to attract foreign as well as domestic funds.