CHAPTER 1 Introduction

This book is for all people of all faiths. Many may think that RF (riba/ribit-free) Islamic banking is for the Muslims only or for the Judeo-Christian-Islamic communities and that Islamic banking is a gateway to the significant wealth amassed by the oil-producing countries in the Gulf.

That is not true! And that is why I am writing this book.

This book is about riba/ribit-free banking, or RF banking, a new brand of banking and finance service. It can be identified as a faith-based, socially responsible, and community-based approach to banking. It is a service that aspires to serve all people of all faiths and backgrounds. It is believed that there is great demand for RF banking in the United States and the West, as well as in many developing nations worldwide. RF banking is a system that is not built on renting money to those who need it at a price called the interest rate, but is based on renting a tangible asset, such as a car, home, tools and equipment, and businesses at the prevailing actual market lease rates.

In 2001, we at LARIBA (, and later (since July 2003) at the Bank of Whittier, NA ( started a dedicated effort to brand Islamic banking with a new name: riba-free, or RF, banking to describe what this new brand of banking and finance really is. The effort we invested has paid off, and the riba-free description and the RF brand name are now used globally. RF is slowly replacing the name “Islamic” banking. ...

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