This book provides valuable insights into the practical challenges faced by the nascent Islamic finance industry and compares the Australian experience to developments in the UK. It contributes to a greater understanding of how Muslims living as a minority in Australia and the UK negotiate Islamic doctrine in secular societies by focusing on one aspect of this negotiation, namely the prohibition of ribā.

There is little debate in the Islamic tradition on the prohibition of ribā. The differences, however, lie in the interpretation of ribā and the question of how Muslims live in a society that is heavily reliant on interest and conventional banking, yet at the same time adhere to Islamic guidelines. Through the words of religious leaders, Muslim professionals and university students, Imran Lum provides real accounts of how Muslims in Australia and the UK practically deal with conventional banking and finance products such as home loans, savings accounts and credit cards. He also explores Muslim attitudes towards Islamic finance and queries whether religion is the sole determining factor when it comes to its uptake.

Drawing on his own unique experience as a practitioner responsible for growing an Islamic business in a conventional bank, Lum provides a firsthand account of the complexities associated with structuring Islamic finance products that are not only sharia compliant but also competitive in a non-Muslim jurisdiction. Using ṣukūk bonds as a case study, he highlights the tangible and non-tangible barriers to product development, such as tax and regulatory requirements and the rise of Islamophobia. Combining academic and industry experience, Lum unpacks the relationship of Islamic finance with Muslim identity construction in the West and how certain modalities of religiosity can lead to an uptake of Islamic finance, while others can lead to its rejection.