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Introduction to Islamic Finance


Islamic banking and finance is a topic that is become ever more important and relevant in the changing global economic climate.

I am producing a comprehensive set of resources for education of Islamic banking and finance, and I am delighted to introduce you to the first step.

I have decided to create this course to help those who want a understand what Islamic Finance is all about, as well as those who know the basics, and wish to learn more details and the products and contracts.

Please read more below about the course and how it can benefit you.

Safdar Alam

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This course will help you ...

In this course, you will learn about how Islamic Finance is used to build transactions and products that are compliant with Islamic law.

I have spent my career in investment banking, and specialising in Islamic Banking. I have written five books on Islamic banking and finance. I really enjoy teaching and educating.

I am constantly surprised about how many of us actually know very little about Islamic finance. I am also quite disappointed in the quality of educational material that is available, and this includes commercial courses. Very often it is created and delivered by those with no real experience of the sector and the markets.

I aim to fix this by delivering courses that focus on the practical realities of the global markets, and explaining how contracts are structured and created. You will learn how the simple sale of commodity is used to create corporate loans of $1bn and more.


Image by ZQ Lee

Upon registering, you will have access to a course of around 30 videos that cover Islamic banking and finance. Each video is around 15-20 minutes long on average.

The detailed contents are listed below. You can go through the videos at your own pace. There will be a quiz at the end, to see how well you have digested and learned the topics.

You will also be provided with a certificate after completing the course, and this course will qualify for CPD (Continued Professional Development) if you work in a related field.


Islamic Law

Learn about the main elements of Islamic Law, and the four major sources of law. We will then move on to Fiqh al Ibadah and Fiqh al Muamalat, and introduce Islamic Commercial Law

Key Principles

We will cover the main rules and principles that are used in Islamic finance, including Riba, Gharar, speculation and rules concerning debt

Riba and Banking

Learn how the Islamic approach required differs from the approach of conventional banks, and how Islamic banks should create a new paradigm for banking and finance

Major Contract Types

We cover the most important contracts used in Islamic Finance, including Mudarabah, Wakalah, Murabaha and Ijara

From Contracts to Products

Learn how these contracts are utilised by Islamic banks to deliver real financial products. We will see how several transactions are required to complete a structure, and how banks deal with the risks that arise

Retail Products

We will see how Islamic banks deliver products such as savings accounts, credit cards, home finance and car finance. We will see that the banks often have a variety of structures to choose from

Corporate Finance

Moving from the retail space, we will cover how banks deliver financing to their corporate clients, including commercial loans and syndicated finance

Investments and Sukuk

Learn how investments and funds are structured, and how exposure to assets can be delivered. We also cover the major topic of Sukuk, and see how a structure is created from first principles


How Islamic commercial law is used to derive principles and rules

How major contract types are used to create the basis for financial products

How a contract type is used within a larger structure to deliver financial products to customers

How Islamic banks identify and deal with risks that arise from the changes required in contracts and products

How simple contracts can be used to deliver complex and detailed products like Sukuk and retail banking products


Interested in how Islamic banking and finance operates - not just the theory

Keen to discover how financial products are actually structured and created

A potential customer of an Islamic bank and want to understand the details behind their retail products

Working in the finance field and wish to expand your knowledge base

Not a finance professional and want a simple, clearly explained course on Islamic banking and finance


Safdar photo.jpg

Safdar Alam is an investment banker and has worked at some of the largest banks in the world, and has held senior positions at UBS, Credit Agricole and JPM Morgan as Global Head of Islamic Structuring. He writes, consults and teaches about Islamic banking and finance. As well as blogging at, he has written for a variety of the most respected publications in the world. He is a published author and his books are available on Amazon.

Safdar is a keen supporter of true Islamic finance and the potential it holds to deliver the transformation of the global banking sector that is required.

Topic Details

Topic 1

Islamic law and Islamic commercial law

In this section, we cover the basis for Islamic law, and the four major sources of law, being:

  • Quran

  • Sunnah

  • Ijma

  • Qiyas

We cover each course in some detail, and discuss the general approach by scholars in deriving Islamic law from these sources.

We then move to the topic of Islamic commercial law.


Topic 2
Principles of Islamic banking derived from law

We cover the major topics of:

  • Riba

  • Gharar

  • Speculation

  • Rules about debt

We cover Riba in some detail, as this is a topic that is quite complex in nature. We talk about Riba as it appears in the Quran, and as it appears in Sunnah and ahadeeth. We also discuss how, historically, it has been impossible to ban interest.


Topic 3
From rules to contracts

We cover the impact of the banning of Riba on traditional banking activities. We discuss how a shift in paradigm is required to establish a financial system that is in accordance with Islamic law. We discuss the nature of money, and how it has moved from being a physical asset to being an asset based on trust and perception.

We then talk about some classic contracts in Islamic banking and finance, such as:

  • Mudarabah

  • Murabaha

  • Ijara

  • Wakala

This covers the classic contracts – the next stage is to see how these are used to structure and deliver modern financial products

Topic 4
Applications of contracts

We see how the classic contractual forms are now amended and structured to deliver common financial products. We discuss the following products in detail:

  • Retail banking deposits and savings accounts

  • Credit cards

  • Personal loans

  • Home finance

  • Car finance

  • Commercial loans

Topic 5
Investments, equity funds and Sukuk

Here, we discuss these 3 key products.  We discuss that an asset must be halal, but also how you acquire exposure to the asset must also be in a permissible manner.

We cover equities and equity funds, and the different types of screening applie to ensure the stocks are halal or not. This includes qualitative screening (the main business of the company) as well as qualitative screening (financial ratios and levels of debt).


We then move onto the broad topic of Sukuk – Islamic bonds. We talk about the major commercial requirements of a Sukuk, and then we through a standard Ijara Sukuk structure. We look at how Sukuks are priced, and the difference between profit and interest payments on bonds.

We then go over additional Sukuk structures (Mudarabah Sukuk and Murabaha Sukuk) and examine the key differences in the various structures used in the markets.

  • I have never traded before, will this course be too advanced for me?"
    Not at all. You will have a series of 10 introductory videos to review to help you, before you review the video training course. Everything is explained in a clear manner without jargon. You can ask questions at any time in the trader's forum, or during the webinars.
  • I have traded before, will this course be too basic for me?"
    If you trade and consistently make profits, and manage your risk, then you are doing well! However, in my experience it is possible to be trading for several years without a clear approach, a defined strategy and being confused by all the conflicting methods. This course will assist you in all these areas,
  • What if this course is just not for me, can I get a refund?"
    Upon registering, you will have access to all the course material. As such, providing a refund is a difficult matter. However, if you have any concerns, please feel free to contact me before registering for the course. If, after registering, you still feel the course is not for you, I am happy to discuss this with you and make suitable arrangements.
  • I am not sure if I should do Level 1 first - is it too basic?
    Not at all. During Level 1, we cover a lot of areas, and some are quite difficult to grasp and understand well. Although we will still cover a lot of technical areas in Level 2, there is additional focus on strategy and management, which are vital areas to master in order to become a competent trader.
  • Do you offer 1:1 mentoring?
    Yes, this can be arranged after a brief consultation. Any mentoring will not be included in the basic cost of this course.Mentoring details are on our Discord Server, please contact me for details.
  • After reviewing the course videos, if I still have questions, can I ask you?"
    Of course! This is why each level includes 2 live webinars to cover all the questions you have. In addition, I am very responsive in the traders forum. This is where you will actually learn a lot about how to put the training into practice in your trading activities.
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Register here for the course

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