Eliminating Ribba

As of now, at least one leading commercial bank has taken a commendable initiative by quietly but swiftly converting all its conventional operations into 100% Shariah-compliant, riba-free mode. There is no reason why other conventional banks, insurers & DFIs cannot follow suit when there is nothing in the law that hinders them from doing so. As regards any concern for KIBOR, let it be clear that KIBOR (like LIBOR) is merely a yardstick. Once all the commercial banks in the country start operating on a riba-free mode, then the KIBOR too shall be derived on a comparable basis with reference to those Islamic banks.

The regulators too, instead of patronizing the conventional riba-based transactions, should actively encourage, and in fact, require all those operating such Islamic/Takaful windows to either fully convert themselves into Shariah-compliant mode within a run-off period of twelve months (even this will be too long a period), or else, they should be told to shut off their Islamic/Takaful-windows operations so as not to confuse the general public.

It is hoped that the top managements, as well as the respective Boards of our financial institutions, shall not wait to have such a riba-free mode implemented by the above/regulators. Rather they should themselves take initiative to convert their existing conventional operations into a fully shariah-compliant mode within a planned period of twelve months or even shorter. In this way, they shall earn the respect and gratitude of millions of their countrymen and shall also stand vindicated in the Hereafter – when there is a will, there is a way!



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