In The Problem of Wealth: A Christian Response to a Culture of Affluence, theology professor Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty writes that Islamic financial institutions "do not consider money to be a commodity or capital. Rather, money is understood to be 'potential capital' that can only be put into productive use through the labor and services of a human being."

Islam prohibits charging interest (riba) on money loaned. Not only do Islamic banks not charge interest on loans, they only invest in real assets, and they do not invest in drugs, alcohol, gambling, pornography, weapons or military equipment, or pork.

The Islamic finance system is an equity system in which the creditor and borrower are more like shareholders, sharing both in the benefits and in the losses in accordance with their level of participation in the service or labor performed. Take a moment to consider the merits of this perspective. What do you think of the idea that money isn’t capital until it has been put to productive use by someone? Do you think a lender should be a person who sees that money is used productively? What are the benefits of such a system? Are there any ways you can modify your purchasing to go interest-free?

Habib Todd Boerger in Practicing Democracy with Your Money Guide by Habib Todd Boerger, Kristin Ritzau