Shariah-compliant mutual funds are investment options that follow Islamic principles. They avoid interest (riba) and investments in businesses that go against Islamic ethics (haram), such as alcohol, gambling, or pork. This makes them suitable for Muslim investors who seek ethical and religiously compliant investment opportunities. This article will help you to understand Shariah-compliant mutual funds in detail.
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"Shariah" refers to the principles of Islamic law that adhere to ethical and religious guidelines of Islamic finance. The Shariah-compliant mutual funds ensure they invest in a socially responsible and ethical manner.
Important Points to Learn About Shariah-Compliant Mutual Funds:
Shariah-compliant mutual funds are also known as Halal mutual funds.
Shariah/ Halal mutual funds avoid investing in assets that are considered haram or prohibited under Shariah law, such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and pork products.
They also prohibit earning or paying interest (riba/ usury), which is considered unethical in Islamic finance.
Instead, these funds generate returns through permissible means such as profit-sharing agreements and ethical investments.
Shariah-compliant mutual funds offer a way for Muslim investors to participate in the financial markets while aligning with their religious beliefs. This makes them a unique and ethical investment option for investors.
The aim of halal mutual funds is to provide Muslim investors with an investment option that aligns with their faith and values, allowing them to earn returns in a manner consistent with Islamic principles.
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The key features of Shariah-compliant mutual funds are as follows:
Ethical Investments: They avoid industries like alcohol, gambling, and pork, in line with Islamic principles.
No Interest: They do not engage in interest-based transactions, as interest (usury) is prohibited in Islam.
Asset Screening: Rigorous screening to ensure investments comply with Shariah guidelines.
Profit-sharing: Returns generated through ethical means, like profit-sharing agreements.
Transparency: Regular disclosure of investments and compliance with Shariah principles.
These features cater to Muslim investors seeking investments aligned with their faith.
Under Shariah law, halal mutual funds or Shariah-compliant mutual funds must comply with certain restrictions and principles, which are as follows:
Shariah-compliant mutual funds cannot invest in companies or instruments that involve interest, as earning or paying interest is considered unlawful in Islam.
Investments in activities that involve excessive uncertainty or gambling-like speculation are not allowed. Mutual funds must focus on ethical and transparent investments.
Shariah-compliant mutual funds must exclude businesses involved in activities considered haram (forbidden) in Islam, such as alcohol, gambling, pork, or weapons manufacturing.
Shariah law limits the amount of debt a company can have. Mutual funds should avoid investing in businesses with excessive debt.
Investments should follow a profit-sharing model where investors and the fund manager share profits and losses in accordance with a pre-agreed ratio.
Shariah-compliant mutual funds should focus on investments backed by tangible assets or services, ensuring that there is an underlying value.
Investments should be transparent and not involve excessive uncertainty or ambiguity in contracts.
Mutual funds must avoid income derived from haram sources, even if the primary business of a company is halal.
*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance plan. Standard T&C Apply
Some of the most popular and well-regarded Shariah-compliant mutual funds in India are listed in the table below:
|Name of Halal Mutual Funds||Fund Size||Risk Category||3-Year Returns||5-Year Returns||10-Year Returns||Investment Objective|
|Tata Ethical Fund||Rs. 1,879 Crores||High Risk||22.62%||18.56%||15.98%||To achieve long-term capital growth, this fund invests in carefully selected, Sharia-compliant stocks and related assets from promising value and growth-focused companies.|
|Taurus Ethical Fund||Rs. 108 Crores||High Risk||17.42%||15.06%||14.73%||To grow your capital and provide income through investments in a diverse range of Shariah-compliant stocks.|
|Nippon India ETF Shariah BeEs||Rs. 18 Crores||High Risk||11.87%||14.31%||11.97%||To match the returns of the S&P CNX Nifty Shariah Index by investing in the same stocks in the same proportions as the index itself, before expenses.|
*Returns as of 10 October 2023
Eligibility Criteria: Anyone can invest in Shariah-compliant mutual funds, regardless of their religion.
Some people choose to invest in Shariah-compliant mutual funds for ethical reasons, while others may invest because they believe that Shariah-compliant companies are better managed and more profitable. There is no right or wrong reason to invest in Shariah-compliant mutual funds, and they can be a good option for investors of all faiths.
Investing in Shariah-compliant mutual funds offers several benefits, some of which are listed below:
Alignment with Islamic Principles: These funds adhere to Shariah laws, ensuring ethical and morally sound investments in line with Islamic values.
Diversification: They provide a diversified portfolio, reducing risk by spreading investments across various assets and industries.
Professional Management: Expert fund managers make investment decisions, maximizing potential returns.
Transparency: Investments are transparent, with clear adherence to Shariah guidelines and regular reporting to investors.
Long-Term Growth: Designed for long-term wealth accumulation, they aim for both capital appreciation and income distribution.
Risk Mitigation: Screening for Shariah compliance may exclude high-risk businesses, potentially lowering investment risk.
Access to Global Markets: Some funds invest globally, providing exposure to international opportunities.
Tax Benefits: Depending on your location, there may be tax advantages associated with Shariah-compliant investments.
Social Responsibility: Investing in ethical businesses promotes social responsibility and ethical finance.
Peace of Mind: Investors gain peace of mind knowing their investments align with their religious and ethical beliefs.
Tata Ethical Fund
Taurus Ethical Fund
Nippon India ETF Nifty 50 Shariah BeES
No interest-bearing investments (like bonds and bank accounts)
No investments in companies that engage in haram/ forbidden activities (such as alcohol, tobacco, pork, and gambling products)
No investments in companies that harm society (e.g. companies that produce weapons or pollute the environment)
Another reason why interest is haram in Islam is that it is seen as a form of gambling. When someone lends money at interest, they are essentially betting that the borrower will be able to repay the loan with interest. If the borrower is unable to repay the loan, the lender loses money. This is similar to gambling, which is also prohibited in Islam.
*All savings are provided by the insurer as per the IRDAI approved insurance
*Tax benefit is subject to changes in tax laws. Standard T&C Apply
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