ISLAMIC banking has been cited as a vital financial instrument for promoting incomes of individuals and the nation.
This was said yesterday by Mr Seif Suleiman, the People Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ) Marketing Manager during the 37th Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF).
"Demand for Islamic banking has continuously grown even exceeding supplies thus calling for increased investments of the services," he said. He noted that the introduction of Islamic Banking in the Tanzanian market is aimed at ensuring that PBZ offers products which appeal to all Tanzanians regardless of their faith or background.
The service is being managed in line with the clear guidelines of Shari'ah laws on management of money, one of these guidelines being the absence of interest on current and savings accounts.
"The Shari'ah Law forbids the earning of interest, funds deposited in the accounts will be invested in businesses that are approved under Shari'ah Law," he insisted.
Mr Suleiman said although the service will mostly appeal to our Muslim clientele, it is completely open to everyone regardless of their faith. Islamic banking services will be available to all who choose an alternative to conventional banking. "Muslims and non-Muslims globally are choosing to make use of Islamic Banking," he added.
All investments made under Islamic banking are never associated with any of the traditional "in" industries, such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling or pornography; as a result the product stands on an individual's faith, ensuring not only financial security but also moral and mental satisfaction.
For example, PBZ provides interest free loans to business people for wholesale purchase of goods for retail selling and the bank adds certain amount as charges to the money lent. Wholly owned by the Zanzibar government, PBZ is one of the oldest commercial Banks in the country.