Comparison of the Eras of Banking
Table of Contents
Banking during the time of Prophet 3
Analytical comparison 5
Banking is an integral part of every economy in the current world and it controls the finances and financial status of every citizen in any country in the world. It is an institution that has undergone various economic changes and currently mobile banking is the order of the day. Banking began during the prophetic times, there are examples such as the story of Judas who was viewed to be Jesus’ treasurer, and kept all the financial records for Jesus, he later betrayed Jesus since he was the only one exposed to finances and valued money so much among all the disciples. There also existed stories about the Annaniah and his wife Saffira who stole from the treasury of the church and Zacchaeus the tax collector who was a corrupt official but later changed his ways for the better. It is believed that the types of currencies used during the prophetic times were gold and silver and any financial transactions were done in terms of gold and silver (Nandy, 2010). The book of revelation reveals the coming the beast where people will have a mark on their face and a chip on their hands that will be connected to their bank accounts and without the chip people will not be able to survive.
Banking during the time of Prophet
Going back down the history to the Old Testament, there are trade treaties between King Solomon and the neighbors of Israel and that led to the growth of Israel and expansion of the territorial boundaries of Israel. Solomon provides the perfect example of an evidence of banking services during the prophetic times, King Solomon had a robust banking services where he used to store and trade his gold and silver for the timber and all the supplies he needed for his palace.
In order for a territory such as Israel under the kingship of King Solomon to grow as strong as it was during the prophetic times, there was the need to exist a well-formed financial foundations for the purchase of all equipment of war such as chariots, swords, spears, shields among others. The existence of trade relationships with its nations also required a well-formed financial services to be able to promote and perpetuate any trade bonds, the bible clearly reports that king Solomon is the richest of all the kings in Israel and no one has ever risen in the history of kings of Israel as rich as king Solomon. Banking during the old times have various differences and similarities with banking performed at the current times (Kahf & Khan, 1992). Access of banking services during the two eras show some clear differences in the service, banking during the prophetic times was reserved for the rich and it is only the rich and mostly the kings that could get access to such services and carry out trade between the nations (El-Gamal, 2000). In the present times, the banking services is very accessible and it a big number of population can access services even the young population provided they have identification cards.
Banking was also available and accessible at specific geographical locations such as specific major towns and cities, in the current times. In the current times, banking has been made accessible to almost every town whether big or small and there have been recent developments to make the services to be available at the doorstep of every citizen. Availability of banking has gone through a series of stages during the history of mankind and technology enhances the banking services and to promote the rate of transfer of funds (El-Gamal, 2000).
The mode of transaction in the banking has also taken a lot of steps from the times of the prophets. During the days of the prophets, banking was on the goods only; this exists in the cases of storage gold and silver in the palaces of the kings. Such offered the means through which borrowing and lending could be done between territories and offered a fast way of transacting businesses between nations. On the contrary, in the current times, the baking services entail bot goods and services, there exist various varieties of service provisions such as the asset financing among others (Venardos, 2011). The charge of interest on the on the loans borrowed has also underwent certain changes between the prophetic times and the current times, this is because the old days had no ideas charged on the loans borrowed. In the current times there are various interest rates charged on the loans and the rates depend on the periods of repayments and the amounts of the loans borrowed. The concept of banking that existed during those times is discussed further below.
It can be seen that during the time of prophet, there were not actual banks but the purpose of providing the finance to the people was fulfilled by various means. It is seen that in the Islamic countries like Istanbul, Iraq and Iran, there were merchants who used to provide the financing facilities and they carried the exchange of currency. They were known as “sarrafs. This was observed shortly after the time of Prophet and this “sarrafs” serves to be the bases of the banking facilities that came into existence in the later period. Since the base of the currency was either gold or silver during those times, they were mostly exchanged against each other for the commodities and products as well as for providing finance for various purposes. During the time of sarraf, the term of sukk was used which refers to a piece of paper which is specifically marked by a particular sarraf. The depositor who gets this sukk, can make his payments to the merchants in the form of sukk by mentioning the amount of gold or silver coins on it. The merchant can then avail his amount from the sarraf regarding the amount that he has to take from the depositor. This was essential as they considered that the metal coins were very heavy to be taken everywhere and carrying them while purchasing products or other valuable things from the markets was a hectic task. It is the use of this specific piece of paper called as “sukk” which brings the concept of the origin of check that we use today (Kahf & Khan, 1992).
Thus, it can be observed that providing finance was also executed by specific merchants during those times which is now carried out by banks. So, the financial concept that was prevalent during those times was more personal and the policies that were formed and agreed upon depended on the merchant and the person who was safeguarding his finance or borrowing money from the merchant. It is also seen that the merchants used to provide the finance which sometimes led to the exploitation of the people due to their ignorance or inadequate knowledge of the accounts and finance. So, it was also seen that the people were exploited many times during those days by the merchants in the form of monthly debts or interests that the peasant workers, farmers and other sections of the society who had borrowed money from the merchants. This is actually not prevalent today, as compared to the standardized rules and policies that are followed by the specific banks across the globe. There is a consideration of each and every aspect which is required for the person who takes finance from the banks and the bank facilitates him with various opportunities and period through which one can repay the loan and clear the debts (Kuran, 1986). However, in the ancient times that we have discussed which is right after the time of the Prophets, there was the phrase in the Quran which stated that “It is one of the greatest sin to die in a state of debt and providing no assets to pay it off”. This concept created a sense of responsibility among the people where they would consider the repayment of their debts as a matter of importance and they would not betray the person from whom they have taken the money or any financial help in the form of valuable assets like farms, shops, etc. Thus, due to this religious compliance of the financing term which is related to the payment of debts (Hamid, Craig, & Clarke, 1993).
The number of banking service providers have also increased exponentially to the level that ownership of a banking institution has been made easier since it only require few individuals with good and strong financial bases to come to a consortium and open a banking institution. This differs with the situations in the prophetic periods when financial institutions were only owned by the kings of the nations and the ownership was transferred down the lineage of the family tree. The banking services is today offered as a form of business and any banking institution provides incentives in order to lure and gain the most number of customers (Hamid, Craig, & Clarke, 1993). This is opposed to the banking services offered during the olden days where banking was not a form of business but only a reserve of the rich. It is seen that the roots of the purpose of banking institutions can be derived from the time after the Prophet when people use to provide financial services to the needed and ensured that they calculated the interest as well as the debt that they had to get back from the ones that they have provided the finance. They used specific things like “sukk” that we have discussed above which is the earliest form of check ever used by the humans in providing finance and exchanging assets.
Thus, it can be observed that the concept of providing finance was also prevalent during the times of the Prophet. Though it was not termed under the frame work of banks or other such formal institutions, the merchants and other financial providers fulfilled the purpose of safeguarding the money and providing finance to the people whenever they needed it. It is then that the concept of banking came into existence. Banking provides means by which various individuals get financial assistance and provide help in the times of difficult economic times, there is therefore the need to understand the operations of the banks. Thus, we have carried the analytical comparison of the banking facilities that existed during the time of prophet and since then Banking is bound to undergo changes in the coming times and going with the prophecies of the old times, they are expected to conform to the ever-changing technology and lead to the fulfillment of the prophecies.
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