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banking is a new phenomenon that has taken many
observers by surprise. The whole banking system has
been Islamized in both Iran and Pakistan. In
addition, there are some thirty Islamic banks in
operation in other parts of the globe, including the
Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB), but
excluding numerous non-bank Islamic financial
institutions (see Appendix). What is more, the speed
with which Islamic banks have sprung up and the rate
at which they have progressed make it worthwhile to
study them systematically. An attempt is made in
this paper (a) to survey the growing literature on
Islamic banking, in particular (b) to trace the
growth and development of Islamic banking, and (c)
to highlight its salient characteristics.