Shariah Banks Wants To Thrive? Be Kaafah!

Shariah Banks Wants To Thrive? Be Kaafah!



Many are disappointed with the current shariah bank. Various kinds of arguments. Some say that the products and services offered are a�?similar or samea�? to conventional banks. There was also some who were angry because it turns out the margin offered is higher than the interest rate. There is also angriness because the service is less sophisticated and more sluggish than conventional banks.

The sharia banks are quite overwhelmed. Some think hard to compete in a way to follow the conventional bank. As a result, they look a�?the samea�? with a conventional bank. However, some shariah banks still looks different, following the slogan of the Javanese, a�?alon-alon waton kelakona�? which means to be slow, but still following a clear legal basis. What is the right move?

Shariah Banks right now

When opening the iB Vaganza expo in Medan recently, Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Otorias Financial Services (OJK), Muliaman D Hadad, said that the role of the shariah finance industry, especially shariah banking, is very important in the economic sector of society today. In a press release, OJK assured that the shariah banking industry is now as good, as complete and as modern as conventional banks, and certainly with more blessing.

But, why there are still many Indonesian families who complain when they interact with shariah banks? Almost in every question and answer session of talkshows or training sakinah finance, there are always complaints and questions, a�?Is it true shariah banks are actually shariah?a�? There are several possibilities why this happens: Many people know that there are shariah banks, but are reluctant to know more about it; They follow social media, friends or relatives who discredit shariah banks; They interact with shariah banks but do not want to ask and only submit criticism; Shariah bank employees are not good at explaining the benefits of shariah products and services; Shariah banks are not good at explaining the benefits of shariah in its promotion; Shariah banks follow the conventional way of banking more practical than the shariah way of banking; Shariah bankers who do not behave according to shariah; and others.

The Indonesian families are of course confused, both Muslims and non-Muslims. Initially, all hoped that shariah banks can provide better solutions for their financial needs, but some experience a disappointing experience.

Currently, Shariah banks may be said to be a place to walk if seen from market share compared with conventional banks. According to OJK, as of January 2017, the shariah banking industry in Indonesia consists of 13 Shariah Commercial Banks, 21 Shariah Business Units owned by Conventional Banks and 166 BPRS total assets totalling up to Rp 356.50 trillion with a market share of 5.13 percent.

As well as the development of Shariah banks in Malaysia, which currently occupy the first rank in the world in terms of total assets, its market share only increased from 26.8 percent to 28 percent in 2016 with an asset value of RM 742 billion or close to Rp 3,000 trillion. Nevertheless, the growth is 10 times higher than Indonesia, although supported only by a population and country size which is 10 times much smaller.

Experience the loyalty

The author has been a customer of shariah banks since Bank Muamalat Indonesia was founded in 1992. When moved and settled in Malaysia for almost 10 years, the author remains active in interacting with shariah banks coupled with other shariah products. After returning to Indonesia, the writer more often transact with the products and services of shariah banks and other Shariah financial institutions.

Then the author got the opportunity to continue doctoral studies and became a lecturer in the UK for about five years. Again, the author uses the opportunity to become an active customer in the bank and shariah products there.


From the above experience, there are some messages and impressions about Shariah banks. Rasulullah SAW never established a shariah bank, so there is no exact model how a bank can operate. What the Apostle teaches are models of traditions such as Murabahah (sale and purchase), Greetings (buying and selling with prepaid booking), Istisnaa�� (sale and purchase with prepaid ordering), Mudharabah (partnership between capital owners and workers), Musharaka (partnership between the owners of capital), Ijarah (rent), and others. These contracts are then used to replace interest-based transactions; The initiative of shariah financial activists is to Islamicize the conventional banking system that has been running for hundreds of years and become one of the heartbeats of the world economy; Obviously some Shariah banking products and services become similar to conventional banks.

From afar they are similar, but in fact they are not the same; Both Shariah banksa�� forms and substances are different. In terms of form, products and services should not be directly and indirectly related to things that smells of usury, maysir, gharar, haram, zalim and dharar. In terms of substance, differences can be seen from the contract and its operations; Shariah banks are still very young in age and the principles are temporary when they are coupled with the conventional banking system. Do not be surprised if there are some principles of shariah banks that still can not be perfectly run; In its journey, the principles of Shariah banks have been widely accommodated through education to decision makers, responses to the insistence of people who wants shariah banks to still exist, and because it has been perceived as beneficial to families, the community and the country; Islamic banks are a form of rahmatan lil a�?alamin, a blessing to the whole of nature, not reserved only for the benefit of Muslim families but also for non-Muslims. The hope is that this institution can contribute to better economic growth and bring the Indonesian family prosperity.

In conclusion, all parties must tidy up, should more Indonesian families raise this institution through constructive criticism. At the same time, Shariah banks also need to improve their Shariah because that is the uniqueness that is sought for. If not unique or a�?the samea�?, then the families will go back to a conventional bank.

The author has heard that there is an a�?ustadza�� who gave an advice to his congregation: a�?better to go to conventional banks that are not a�?hypocriticala��, it is clear usury, compared to Shariah banks that are a�?hypocriticala��, they say that it is Shariah but the system is still ribawi a�?. Despite disagreeing with this statement, there is already a signal that shariah banks are required to be more sharia��ah (should be kaafah) in order to thrive. Wallahu aa��lam bissawab. Salam Sakinah! (

By: Dr. Murniati Mukhlisin M.Acc (Motivator Sakinah Finance / Vice Rector of STEI Tazkia)