‘Islamic finance’ is defined as finance that embodies the ethos and values of Islamic law. It is much wider than the term ‘interest-free banking or finance’. Interest-free finance refers to a number of financial instruments and operations which try to avoid interest. However, Islamic finance does not only avoid interest-based transactions. It is also required to avoid Gharar (speculative behaviour), which is forbidden under Islamic law. Moreover, parties are required to exchange benefits as profits without exerting unlawful pressure on the other party, and without applying fraudulent methods. Other prohibitions under Islamic finance includes investments in activities related to tobacco, alcohol and drugs, speculation, gambling, pornography and weapons manufacturing. As a result of embodying all these principles, Islamic finance has been hailed as a “socially responsible” way of investment which provides safeguards for vulnerable populations. 
The global market capitalization of Islamic finance, covering its three main sectors (banking, capital markets and takaful – Islamic insurance) has been estimated at USD 1.89 trillion in 2016. It is expected that its global assets will surpass USD 3 trillion by 2020.
In 2014, the UK became the first country outside the Muslim world to issue its first Islamic bonds (known as Sukuk) worth of £200 million.
 Muhammad Ayub, Understanding Islamic Finance (John Wiley & Sons 2007) 73.
 Abdur Rahman Doi, Shari’ah the Islamic Law (Ta Ha Publishers 1984) 351.
 Magdy Martínez-Solimán, ‘Islamic Finance: An Innovative Avenue For Financing The Sustainable Development Goals’, UNDP Geneva (3 March 2017) <http://www.europe.undp.org/content/geneva/en/home/our-perspective/2017/3/3/Islamic-Finance-An-Innovative-Avenue-For-Financing-The-Sustainable-Development-Goals.html> accessed 31 May 2018.
 Islamic Financial Services Stability Report: Stability Report 2017 (IFSB Malaysia 2017) 7.
 Martínez-Solimán (n 4).
 ‘Government Issues First Islamic Bond’, Gov.UK, (25 June 2014) <https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-issues-first-islamic-bond> accessed 31 May 2018.