In the past decade, Islamic finance has grown at rates exceeding 20% a year. Islamic finance is now a $200 billion industry, with operations in over 70 countries. This book explains the paradox of a system rooted in the medieval era thriving in the global economy. It traces the evolution of Islamic finance, explores its significance from a historical and comparative perspective, and considers the strategic, marketing, managerial, political, economic, regulatory and cultural challenges faced by Islamic institutions. Coverage is exhaustively comprehensive, defining Islamic finance in its broadest sense to include banks, mutual funds, securities firms and insurance companies. The author places Islamic finance in the context of the global political and economic system and covers core issues including the moral economy of Islam, differences between countries such as Pakistan, Iran, the Sudan and Malaysia, and religious issues and challenges. Based on rigorous academic research as well as considerable empirical work, this authoritative book is set to become an invaluable reference work for all those with an interest in Islamic and Middle Eastern economics, business and finance.