A few decades ago, developing contemporary banking and financial institutions that encompass Islamic values within their core principles and practices seemed to be unachievable. Today, however, Islamic banking has become a viable financial approach that attracts an increasing amount of capital investment at annual rates that vary between 10% - 15% with signs of consistent growth. As it continues to penetrate new and emerging markets every year, Islamic Banking services were first introduced in the Republic of Maldives in March 2011 by Maldives Islamic Bank.
The concept of Islamic Banking was developed by Muslim scholars to address the religious prohibition of the payment or receipt of interest, along with other unethical practices found in the conventional banking system. The fundamental principles of Islamic Banking are found in the laws of Islamic transaction or 'Mu' amalath', which goes back over one thousand four hundred years. They are set out in the Islamic Shari'ah and are enshrined in the Qur'an and the Sunna, the main two sources of Islamic Shari'ah. Today, these principles form the basis of the contemporary Islamic Banking range of evolving and fast growing Islamic financial products & services.
The Vatican has put forward the idea that "the principles of Islamic finance may represent a possible cure for ailing markets."