Honors College Thesis

 

The Islamic Prohibition on Interest : Muslim Americans’ Financial Understandings, Attitudes, and Behavior Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/honors_college_theses/gb19fc05d

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  • In Islam, paying and receiving interest is prohibited based on the belief that money should not be a commodity that is “rented” out; instead, Islamic lending structures arrange loans on an equity basis. This work examines the historical origins of interest prohibition and explains how different Islamic financial products provide alternative frameworks for permissible transactions. Through survey data, recent trends were identified among Muslim Americans on their understandings of Islamic financial regulations, their attitudes on the prohibition of interest, and their usage of conventional and Islamic financing. Major findings show that Muslim American adults express high preference for Islamic banking services, but exhibit low usage. This was explained by barriers such as distance and availability of Islamic banks, but also sufficiency of conventional banks. Muslims exhibited comparable levels of conventional bank usage relative to non-Muslims. Muslim American adults exhibited low familiarity with Islamic finance products and mixed understandings and interpretations of the distinction between interest and usury.
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