Islamic Banking and Sharī'ah Scholars in Nigeria


Compliance with sharī‘ah - rules is compulsory for all Islamic banks; and such compliance is monitored by sharī‘ah scholars. Therefore, the paper examines and gauges the level of understanding of Nigerian sharī‘ah scholars (the custodians of sharī‘ah rules in the country) and their perceptions of the Islamic banking and its rules particularly interest (ribā). Survey method involving the use of purposive sampling was adopted to administer 1,040 copies of a questionnaire on the Nigerian Sharī‘ah scholars though some key people were also interviewed. The questionnaire which contains 19 items was designed to elicit information from them on issues such as their understanding of ribā, its uses in the Qur’an, Islamic banking products, collateral security and promotion (promos). Our findings revealed that the respondents (917) who considered usury to be forbidden were more than those who considered (871) interest to be forbidden. A large number of Sharī‘ah scholars (93.6%) confused interest with usury which suggests that both interest and usury refer to ribā. Some believed that only usury refers to ribā (48.6%) while most of the respondents (74.1%) opined that all forms of interest are prohibited. About 73.7%, 86.3% and 27.6% of the respondents believed rahn (collateral security), innovating interest-free financial products and patronising conventional banks respectively were allowed. banking and finance.


Islamic banking sharī‘ah scholars ribā (interest/usury) Nigeria collateral