The Islamic Financial model is fast becoming a popular alternative to that observed by Western banks and financial institutions. It offers a Shariah-compliant model of financing that consumers and businesses alike are turning to, especially as the world continues to struggle through the economic turmoil of recent times. In fact, Islamic Banking is now the fastest-growing part of the global financial market. Due to it’s rapid growth, Islamic banks and financial institutions are on the lookout for qualified individuals, making a degree in Islamic finance a very lucrative prospect. In this article we take a look at the variety of qualifications available to those wishing to study the Islamic financial and banking system, along with the benefits of studying the subject abroad and the things to take into consideration.
There a many differences between the Islamic financial system and Western models of banking, but how are they different in the real-world? Well, if you wanted to buy a car using a loan from a Western bank, they would loan you the money and then charge you interest on your repayments. An Islamic bank would buy the car for you, then sell it to you at an increased rate, whilst you pay for the car in installments. Ultimately, you could expect to pay the same amount using both ways, but the Islamic model doesn’t charge interest on the money. This is because Islamic banks are not allowed to generate money in the same way as Western banks, most notably because charging interest isn’t allowed.
By studying Islamic Finance, you’ll learn more about the economics of the Islamic banking system and how it differs from traditional Western banking systems. You’ll also enhance your knowledge of the legal and regulatory frameworks which surround the Islamic banking model, along with Shariah compliance and issues such as risk which are central to the financial system. You’ll also cover the basic principles of Western banking practices, allowing you to further differentiate between the systems. Studying Islamic finance isn’t all about the banks and financial institutions though, as you will study business practices within the Muslim world. This makes this course ideal for those who wish to pursue a career within business in a Muslim-majority country, but not necessarily wish to be tied to the financial industry.
You may think you have to study Islamic finance in Muslim-majority countries to get the best education, but the Islamic banking system is becoming widely used in Western countries too, meaning you can gain a great education and valid experience in a variety of countries around the world. Some prefer to study the subject in Muslim-majority countries for a deeper understanding, whilst others like to study in the established study abroad destinations of the west, learning how the financial system can fit into other ways of life. Ultimately, it’s about finding the right place for you to study, but whether you choose a Muslim-majority country or not, studying abroad is a great opportunity to broaden your horizons and expand your cultural knowledge. In fact, studying abroad can improve your job prospects – as more businesses begin trading internationally, the need for financial departments who are trained correctly in Islamic financial systems increases. By studying Islamic Finance abroad you can improve your knowledge of that country’s financial system and how it fits into the Islamic financial framework.
For more information on what is included in a Finance Degree, please see our Finance Degree Guide.
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