Canada’s Muslim population is growing fast and so is the need for Islamic-friendly mortgages. As a result, several Canadian institutions are developing “sharia-compliant” mortgages as we speak. The Royal Bank reportedly tested such a product as well, but without much success. Nonetheless, the Globe & Mail reports that a major Canadian bank will unveil a Muslim mortgage alternative in the next 18 months. Currently primarily smaller lenders–mostly credit unions–offer these products. Islamic mortgages are similar to rent-to-own arrangements. The idea is to avoid interest since charging interest is not allowed in the Muslim faith. Canada has an estimated 750,000-1,000,000 Muslims.
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