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Research in Islamic Finance & Economics (IFE) can be divided into two main categories – academic and applied research.

Academic research, which includes theoretical studies, is by far the more prominent, and is conducted at universities, colleges, and research institutes. Research in such environments is mainly conducted by economists, professional researchers, Shari'ah scholars, and students. Academic research forms the backbone of any discipline, as it provides the theoretical framework in which the discipline will function. Islamic finance is no exception, and the industry has long realized the importance of academic research for its growth. Indeed, this emphasis on a theoretical basis has led Islamic finance and banking to become a professional industry in its own right, and not merely a trade.

Applied research is conducted mostly in the corporate world and yields relatively less publicly available written material. However, their research work is as important as the work carried out within academia. Most applied research undertaken by professionals in the corporate world is usually geared toward serving specific short-term and long-term goals of the company in question. Data on applied research is less accessible than that from academic centres, as most research is not published (S. Nazim Ali, Islamic Finance and Economics as Reflected in Research and Publications).


Piero della Francesca, ‘La città ideale’, Italy XVI century