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Islamic Finance in a Nutshell: A Guide for Non-Specialists


The recent turbulence in the global financial markets has drawn attention to an alternative system of financial intermediation: Islamic banking and finance, which has so far remained on the sidelines of the unrest.

Islamic Finance in a Nutshell is a quick and easy guide to understanding the fundamentals of Islamic finance and how the Islamic financial markets work. Designed as a quick read for practitioners needing to pick up the basics of the industry, it will enable readers to understand the differences between Islamic and Western finance.

Starting with the rise of Islamic finance, the book highlights the key areas which practitioners need to grasp to understand the marketplace including financial statement analysis, Sharia’s law, making money in the absence of interest and regulation. The book also provides readers with a basic guide to Arab terminology and a guide to the top financial institutions within the Islamic markets.

This is an ideal guide for anyone with an interest in how these financial markets work, but who do not want to be bogged down in complex and unnecessary terminology.

Brian Kettell has a wealth of practical experience in the areas of Islamic banking and finance. He is currently based in London and works as a specialist Trainer and Consultant in Islamic banking and finance.

He worked for several years as an Economic Advisor for the Central Bank of Bahrain where he had numerous Islamic banking responsibilities, and has taught courses on Islamic banking and finance at a range of financial institutions including the World Bank, National Commercial Bank (Saudi Arabia), Global Investment House (Kuwait), Noor Islamic Bank (UAE), the UK Treasury, the Central Bank of Iran, the Central Bank of Syria, the Securities Investment Institute, the Institute for Financial Services and Scotland Yard.

Brian’s vast academic expertise in Islamic finance is highlighted by his role as Joint Editor of the Islamic Finance Qualification Handbook and his past teaching work at a number of top universities worldwide including the London School of Economics, the City University of Hong Kong and London Metropolitan University Business School.

Brian’s impressive list of publications include over 100 articles in journals, business magazines and the financial press including Islamic Business and Finance, Islamic Banking and Finance, the Central Banking Journal, Euromoney, the Securities Journal and the International Currency Review. He has also published 16 books on banking and financial markets and is the author of Islamic Capital Markets and Introduction to Islamic Banking and Finance.

Brian can be contacted at 


1 What is Islamic Banking?

2 If Islamic Banks Cannot Charge Interest.

How Do They Make Money?

3 Sharia'a Law.

It is Not Only Lawyers Who Need to Know About It.

4 Sharia'a Boards.

Roles, Responsibility and Membership.

5 Financial Statement Analysis for Islamic Banks.

6 The Islamic Banking Infrastructure.

Appendix 1: How Much Arabic do You Need to Know to Work in the Islamic Banking Industry?

Appendix 2: The Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions.