Preface: My Story with RF (Islamic) Banking and Finance in America

I came to the United States on my own from Egypt to study for my MS and PhD degrees at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in February 1968. I had essentially nothing except my BS degree in chemical engineering from Cairo University and a letter from the University of Wisconsin–Madison accepting me as an International Special Student on a trial basis. I did not have the funds to pay for tuition nor for accommodations, books, and other expenses. It was a big challenge for me, but I made it, through hard work, to where I am today managing a pioneering effort in America to establish what I consider a revival of the banking system that built America. Using a platform we call the LARIBA system (, we offer socially responsible, faith-based, and RF (riba-free) banking. Throughout this book, I will abbreviate it as RF banking.

In 1987, a group of dedicated friends invested $10,000 each to start a small company we called American Finance House LARIBA. We gathered $200,000 as the start-up capital. To my knowledge, this was the first time ever a group of American Muslims who immigrated from India, Egypt, Syria, and Pakistan had bonded together to start a joint project that would eventually become an important force in the American Muslim community and in many non-Muslim communities. Our goal was to start a finance company that would operate without the charging of interest and according to the foundations ...

Get The Art of RF (Riba-Free) Islamic Banking and Finance: Tools and Techniques for Community-Based Banking, 2nd Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.