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Uniform framework for Sukuk al-Ijarah – a proposed model for all madhahib

Abdul Rafay (Department of Finance, School of Business and Economics, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)
Ramla Sadiq (Department of Finance, School of Business and Economics, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)
Mobeen Ajmal (Department of Finance, School of Business and Economics, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)

Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research

ISSN: 1759-0817

Article publication date: 4 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the urgent need to develop a sound and robust universal framework that would prove helpful in creating uniform acceptability of Islamic financial instruments. Among many problems, a particular problem in developing a uniform global framework for Islamic financial instruments is the existence of different madhahib within Islamic Fiqh. The leading and the most prominent Sunni madhahib that have survived till today are four, the Hanbali, Shafi, Maliki and Hanafi, while the most prominent Shia madhab is the Jafari madhab.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach was descriptive and exploratory in nature. Secondary resources were used except for a semi-structured interview with a Shariah scholar with the justification that his knowledge and experience regarding the subject matter may prove helpful. The methodology included a systematic review of already issued Sukuk by various madhahib. Compared to a simple narrative review of a few case studies regarding Sukuk, this methodology has a benefit to provide the reader the power to assess the review and even replicate it. The results of this systematic review are summarized in the form of tables.

Findings

Ingredients were determined that would help make a truly global Sukuk security, a model acceptable to all madhahib of Islamic Fiqh. These ingredients include rentals, relationship between special purpose vehicle (SPV) and originator, transference to SPV, Sukuk structure, guarantee, liquidity, listing and tradability, convertibility, subordination and post-Ijarah price. Moreover, specific steps were also analyzed that must be taken to issue such type of Sukuk al-Ijarah.

Research limitations/implications

This study is focused only on a type of Islamic financial instrument, i.e. Sukuk whose underlying was Ijarah-based contracts. This is due to lesser global acceptability for other Islamic financial instruments including other forms of Sukuk. Based on the nature of study, purposive/judgmental sampling was done. The sample population was 40 Sukuk (nine each from Hanafi, Shafi and Maliki madhahib, five each from Hanbali and Jafari madhahib and three from non-Muslim zones). Some Sukuk were dropped due to non-availability of enough data and to keep some semblance between the impact of the madhab on financial world and the data.

Practical implications

For practitioners and regulators, on the basis of the given recommendations, it would be possible to create a standardized product, acceptable for all madhahib of Islamic Fiqh. This standardization will lead to a unified platform that can attract a larger investor pool as well as better integration. For practical purposes, the proposed model of Sukuk al-Ijarah can be replicated for other Islamic financial instruments for global acceptability.

Social implications

For an Islamic society, the expansion of Islamic economic system depends principally on unity. So integration is critical and also essential for the success of any Islamic financial instrument. When the society will move away from Riba and its associated evil, the society will move in a positive direction, while still making profits. The proposed model may also be utilized for socially responsible initiatives like protection of natural resources, advancement of renewable energy, economic development and rehabilitation to name a few.

Originality/value

Previous studies were silent on the development of comprehensive frameworks acceptable to all madhahib of Islamic Fiqh. This research study is the first study of its kind and is the first step toward integration, as it would try to suggest a global framework for Sukuk al-Ijarah that can be acceptable by the followers of any madhab of Islamic Fiqh.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Major part of this study is extracted from MS Thesis of Mr Abdul Rafay, the principal author. The principal author shall remain thankful to his supervisor Dr Munawar A. Anees and external examiner Dr Hafiz Khalil Ahmad for valuable suggestions.

Citation

Rafay, A., Sadiq, R. and Ajmal, M. (2017), "Uniform framework for Sukuk al-Ijarah – a proposed model for all madhahib", Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 420-454. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIABR-09-2015-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited