The Future of Islamic Finance after the Corona Crisis

July 28, 2020
The Future of Islamic Finance after the Corona Crisis
Volker Nienhaus


There is much literature on the consequences of the corona crisis for the financial system, but usually without a distinction between conventional and Islamic finance. This research focusses on behavioral changes and market developments in the financial and real economy that will impact Islamic finance differently than conventional finance due to its conceptual peculiarities and prevailing practices. Particular attention is given to the real estate and construction sector, the universe of Sharīʿah compliant stocks, and the consumer finance of Islamic retail banks. Through these channels, “the world” will have an impact on the future of Islamic finance. But the corona crisis has also reinforced calls for more responsible finance, and promotors of Islamic finance emphasize the ideal of risk-sharing as well as the distinct instruments of Islamic social finance for poverty alleviation and social cohesion. Particular attention is given to innovations in equity-like financing, green and socially responsible ṣukūk, digital approaches for Islamic microfinance, and the broader usage for Islamic social finance instruments (zakāt, qarḍ Hasan, [cash] waqf, sadaqat). Through these channels, a revised future Islamic finance may have an impact on the world.

Keywords: stocks, consumer finance, ṣukūk, risk-sharing, Islamic social finance

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