Islamonomics: Islamic Finance, Trade and the Global Muslim Market

Akhtar Ismail Mohammed


"Islamonomics is a concise, fast-paced guide to Islamic finance from its origins to its new frontiers. Accurate, instructive, accessible."

Dr Benedikt Koehler, Economics of Religion Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London

"Islamonomics gives a whistle-stop tour of the history of the world through the lens of Islamic finance. Its focus on Asia is pertinent and important."

Dr Sajjad Khoshroo, Islamic Finance Practitioner, Counsel at Allen & Overy LLP, London

"In global efforts to secure sustainable business ethics, this Islamic voice offers an important contribution."

Dr Werner Menski, Emeritus Professor of South Asian Laws, SOAS, University of London

The Islamic Finance industry is valued at US$3 trillion and finances deals in London, New York, Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, Geneva, and Kuala Lumpur. Yet where does Islamic Finance come from? What has it accomplished? Why did it disappear? And why has it returned to prominence once again?

In answering these questions, Mohammed illuminates the history of Islamic trade, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the strategic maritime choke points of South East Asia, spanning the 7th century to the present. Along the way, he demonstrates how the Islamic principles of interest-free lending, the use of commodity-based currencies, and investment into tangible economic activity have always been adapted to each society’s circumstances.

As we enter the Asian Century, how do the principles of Islamic Finance apply to a globalized financial system formed by three centuries of British–American dominance? Can the Islamic Finance industry attempt to remain competitive in an Eastern-shifting global economy without losing its soul?

Mohammed argues that, if its principles are adhered to, Islamic Finance can make a lasting impact on the world by addressing systemic challenges from income inequality to climate change.

Akhtar Mohammed was born in Vancouver, Canada to Fijian Muslim parents of Indian/Pashtun descent. He obtained a BA in Political Science and History from the University of British Columbia and an LLB at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He received his LLM in Toronto, at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School, specializing in Capital Markets. His maternal grandfather was a veteran of the Second World War, serving with the Fijian Regiment.