Murabahah Investment Funds
Murabahah is a specific kind of sale where the commodities are sold on a cost-plus basis. This kind of sale has been adopted by the contemporary Islamic banks and financial institutions as a mode of financing. They purchase the commodity for the benefit of their clients, then sell it to them on the basis of deferred payment at an agreed margin of profit added to the cost. If a fund is created to undertake this kind of sale, it should be a closed-end fund and its units cannot be negotiable in a secondary market. The reason is that in the case of murabahah, as undertaken by the present financial institutions, the commodities are sold to the clients immediately after their purchase from the original supplier, while the price being on deferred payment basis becomes a debt payable by the client. Therefore, the portfolio of murabahah does not own any tangible assets. It comprises either cash or the receivable debts, Therefore, the units of the fund represent either the money or the receivable debts, and both these things are not negotiable, as explained earlier. If they are exchanged for money, it must be at par value.
Source: Republished with the kind permission of Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani.
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