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Islamic Finance Glossary

Internal Shari’ah Supervisory Committee

A body appointed by the IFI, comprising scholars specialized in Islamic financial transactions, which supervises transactions, activities, and IFI products independently to ensure their compliance with Islamic Shari’ah in all its objectives, activities, operations and code of conduct.

IFI compliance with Islamic Shari’ah

Refers to compliance with Shari’ah with respect to: 

  1. regulations, resolutions, fatwas, circulars, standards, and guidelines issued by the HSA in relation to licensed activities and businesses of IFIs (“HSA’s Resolutions”), and
  2. resolutions and fatwas issued by ISSC (“ISSC”) of respective IFI, in relation to the licensed activities and businesses of such institutions (“the Committee’s Resolutions”), provided they do not contradict HSA’s Resolutions.  

Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs)

CBUAE-licensed Financial Institutions that conduct all or part of their activities and businesses in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Shari’ah.


A lease agreement, whereby usufructs owned by a person (lessor) of a leasable item are leased (sold) to another person (lessee) for a specific period of time against a specific consideration.


A contract in which ownership of a fungible object owned by a person (creditor) is transferred to another person (debtor) on condition that the debtor returns the object (or of similar type) to the creditor at a future date.

Higher Shari’ah Authority (HSA)

The Central Bank’s Higher Shari’ah Authority for financial and banking activities.


A legal opinion issued on the basis of Islamic legal principles by a credible person in relation to the matter.


A sale agreement in which a buyer pays a spot price, whilst the seller delivers the object on a specific future date. 


Mortgage, or pledge of an asset, to secure a current or future financial obligation.


A sale agreement in which the seller is obliged to deliver a manufactured or constructed object to the buyer at a future date, whilst the price is paid by the buyer on the spot, or in instalments.



Refers to a monetisation arrangement comprising two transactions, independent from each other, in which one party (“Party A”) purchases an asset (“Asset”) from its owner on deferred payment basis. Subsequent to acquiring the asset’s ownership and taking its possession (constructive or physical), Party A sells the Asset to a third party in an independent sale agreement for a cash price.


Mudharaba is a silent investment partnership agreement, whereby a capital owner (rabb al-mal) contributes their assets to establish a business, whilst the other partner (mudharib) contributes their skills and labour solely to manage the business without interference from the capital provider. The aim is to establish an enterprise that will generate profit, distributing any net income between themselves based on a pre-agreed profit-sharing ratio.


A trust sale of an object for a price composed from the object’s cost plus a specific markup. Murabaha may be executed for a spot or deferred payment basis.


A contract in which one of the parties offers specified compensation (reward) to anyone who will achieve a determined result in a known or unknown period.


An agency agreement in which one party (muwakkil or principal) authorises another party (wakeel or agent) to undertake certain legitimate tasks, which may be delegated.


Refers to contributions mandated for Muslims who possess wealth. Zakah fulfils specific conditions, to be used for various social purposes specified by jurists of Islamic law, such as providing support for the poor and needy, supporting the resolution of disputes, settlement of debt owed by individuals, etc.


An agreement between two or more participants to contribute to creating a pool of assets (or funds), from which injuries and damages resulting from specific events to which all of the participants are vulnerable, will be covered fully or partially.


Refers to a unilateral promise in which a person undertakes to another person to perform certain task in future for the benefit of the latter, with the latter having an option to avail themselves of the promise.


Earnest money paid by the buyer to the seller at the time of a contract, on the basis that the buyer has the option to revoke the contract during an agreed period of time.

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Last updated on: Wednesday 03 August 2022

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