Crash Course in Islam — Finance
>>STEVE ST. GEORGE: Hi. I'm Steve St. George. And this is your crash course in Islam. With the current state of the economy it's hard not to have money on the mind or not to wince when hearing reports of gouging by payday lenders. While for most of us those payday lenders seem a little like loan sharks, in Islam, they're not really allowed at all. There is a whole industry surrounding Islamic finance and banking. It's considered un Islamic to practice usury or in plain English to charge people a lot of interest on a small loan. What payday lenders do? Usury is seen as a way for the wealthy to make money off the backs of the poor as well as encourage selfishness and chip away at community cohesion. When it comes to personal banking charging interest is a big no no. Although there's limited support for the idea that the interest generated on government bonds and regular savings accounts is OK. But for most Muslims any interest at all is un Islamic. When it comes to investing, there's even an Islamic way to go there. Corporations such as the Amana Fund put their money in companies that follow precepts of Islam. So they avoid investing in companies that might sell alcohol or pork products, two things which are prohibited in Islam. For Crash Course in Islam, I'm Steve St. George.