Islamic finance has often been promoted as inherently ethical and therefore aligned with responsible finance. However, this claim rings hollow once one examines the actual workings of Islamic financial institutions. The ethical content in their operations is very marginal and the claims look hollow. Serious thought needs to be given to the operations of the Islamic financial institutions if they are to champion the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It is often argued that the SDGs can be seen as mirror images of the Maqasid al Shari'ah (Objectives of the Shari'ah) and as such should form the very heart of the operations of the Islamic financial institutions. It may require The challenges in actually mapping the SDGs to Maqasid al Shari'ah will require accepting changes needed in the structure of the Islamic Financial Institutions to achieve this mapping. Without this the claim of Islamic Finance to offer an alternative paradigm which is socially and environmentally responsible will continue to ring hollow.