William and Anita Newman Library
City University of New York
151 East 25th Street
New York, NY 10010
646.312.1610 Reference Desk
646.312.1660 Circulation Desk
Some terms to know to help with searches of Newman Library resources
Books, databases, and journals may use variant spellings. By using an "or" search, and searching for each spelling, you will retrieve more results. For example search: Shari'a or Sharia.
Qur'an or Quran or Koran or Al-Qur'an refers to the central religious text of Islam.
Shari'a or Sharia refers to the moral code and religious law of Islam.
Under Shari'a, charging interest (riba or Al-riba) is forbidden as it is thought to be exploitive. Interpretations vary, with some thinking that riba may refer only to excessive interest (also known as usury).
Sometimes "Shariah-compliant" or "Shari'ah-compliant" is used to describe a company. "Rules-based screens for Shari´ah compliance" is a term sometimes used in referring to specific financial products or services.
Gharar, from its Arabic root means deception. Islam forbids tadlis (cheating in business) and ghabn (deception.) More broadly, gharar encompasses uncertainty, risk, and hazard, which occur in all businesses, and a certain level is tolerated.
Sukuk is the Arabic name for financial certificiates but the term commonly refers to the Islamic equivalent of bonds, which are Shariah-compliant.
Takaful is the term that describes mutual insurance that is fully-compliant with Shariah principles.