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Can Bursa Malaysia’s Suq al-Sila’ (Commodity Murabahah House) Resolve the Controversy over Tawarruq?

Can Bursa Malaysia’s Suq al-Sila’ (Commodity Murabahah House) Resolve the Controversy over Tawarruq?
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, Head of Research Affairs Department, ISRA
ISRA Research Paper (No. 10/2010)

"In 2009, Bursa Malaysia launched a new trading platform called Suq al-Sila’ or Commodity Murabahah House. It was introduced to facilitate certain Islamic financial transactions, particularly commodity murabahah based on tawarruq. This platform is claimed to provide genuine commodity transactions where possession and delivery of the commodity can take place without any hindrance, as opposed to the controversial widespread form of tawarruq that uses platforms like the London Metal Exchange (LME). This paper discusses the practice of tawarruq using Bursa Malaysia’s Commodity Murabahah House. In particular the paper comprehensively examines the debates over tawarruq which eventually lead to the OIC Fiqh Academy’s declaration that organized tawarruq is impermissible. This paper concludes that despite the criticisms and some unresolved Shari‘ah matters entangling the practice of tawarruq, the effort made by Bursa Malaysia to introduce a platform such as Commodity Murabahah House is commendable. Furthermore, since the nature of modern organized tawarruq may not strictly comply with Shari‘ah principles, the reasons behind using this facility should be carefully taken into consideration, especially situations of real urgency and cases of need."

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