Islam has very strict and specific financial rules, some of which may not be compatible with traditional investments. Also, Islam has nearly 2 billion adherents, making the market huge enough to create investment opportunities that cater specifically to Muslims.
Halal in Arabic means ‘permissible,’ and halal investing apps are simply apps that are permissible for Muslims to use as investment aids. They don’t have to have Arabic names or have a halal tag; as long as none of the app’s policies contradict Islam’s rules regarding finances and investments, it’s a halal investment app.
We know the topic of halal investment is tricky and sensitive, but it’s also ripe for discussion. In this article, we’ll start by analyzing the permissibility of investments in Islam before jumping into our list of the best halal investment apps.
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What is Halal Investing?
halal investing, as hinted earlier, is any form of investing that follows Islamic principles regarding finance and investments. It mostly entails investing in halal businesses under terms and conditions that don’t contradict the divine laws of Islam, or in other words, lawful investments.
While determining the legitimacy of an investment opportunity in Islam can only be reliably done by an Islamic juror, there are general guidelines you can follow to guide your investments.
guidelines for halal investing in Islam
Here are some guidelines for halal investing in Islam.
Also Read: 14 Best Islamic Apps
1. Prohibited businesses
Some businesses are expressly prohibited in Islam, and it’s impermissible to invest in them. One relatable example is a business that focuses on manufacturing or distributing liquor, as alcohol itself is prohibited in Islam.
Alcohol is only an example; there are tons of prohibited businesses that you should generally avoid, including those involved in the adult entertainment industry, gambling, and non-halal food processing. Since it’s the easiest to describe, this guideline is seen as the clearest when discussing halal investing.
2. Interest-based businesses
Islam frowns on interest or ‘riba,’ as it’s referred to in the Arabic language. However, riba is slightly different from interest, or otherwise, halal investing wouldn’t even work in the first place. It’s not unlawful for Muslims to earn interest or return on investments from their stakes in companies; the interest being discussed here is mostly those on debts or loans.
It’s generally impermissible for a Muslim to invest in a business that profits by loaning out money to people and charging interest on those loans, as it’s considered exploitative. However, any company that profits from legitimate business dealings is safe and doesn’t violate this guideline.
3. Speculative investments
Islam frowns upon speculative investments for the same reasons it prohibits gambling. Betting on an asset that’s purely or mostly speculative is deemed impermissible in most Islamic schools of thought, but the topic is still more nuanced than I can cover in this article.
What’s a Halal Investment App?
Before going on to provide a list of ‘halal investment apps,’ it’s essential to define what we mean by that to help you understand what the list is all about, and most importantly, how you should use it as a socially responsible investor.
Halal investment apps, as listed in this article, are like a means to an end, and not the end itself. You shouldn’t fire up one of these apps, throw caution to the wind, and start making every trade you see on there. Do that, and you’ll likely end up with a bunch of non-halal assets in your investment portfolio.
However, any investment service that offers you tools and features to help you gain control over your investment and invest in a socially responsible way qualifies as a halal investment app. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them for ‘non-halal’ investments; pretty much every entry you’ll see on the following list does halal investments as well as it does traditional ones.
To make the most out of any halal investment app, it’s essential to go through the guidelines by Islamic legal experts and learn how to use them in a socially responsible or halal way. With that clarified, we can now jump into our list of the best halal investment apps.
8 Best Halal Investment App
Here’s a list of the best halal investment apps for Muslims.
1. Amana Funds
Amana Funds is an American nonprofit to offer ethical investment opportunities to Muslims in a simple and hassle-free process. Unlike most services on this list, Amana Funds will do most of the work for you; you only need to sign up, invest your money, and wait for profits.
Amana Funds screens all the companies listed on its platform to ensure they meet the ethical requirements for a halal business.
Any business with over 5% of its income from Haram sources is screened out, and companies with over 33% of their cash flow in debt also undergo extra scrutiny. No doubt, Amana Funds is one of the most convenient halal investment apps for Muslims.
2. Wahed Invest
Despite key backlash from some prominent voices in the Islamic finance community, Wahed Invest has continued to market itself as a halal investment app. The company claims to follow the rules and regulations of Sharia in its business and even claims to have a Sharia board that approves companies before they’re listed as investment options to clients.
Wahed Invest is one of the most popular investment apps out there, thanks to its aggressive marketing and low barrier to entry. With as little as $100, you can start your Halal investment journey with Wahed Invest with the option to withdraw your investment or deposit more at any time.
ShariaPortfolio is exactly what it sounds like; an app that focuses on populating your investment portfolio with Sharia-compliant businesses. It follows the principles of Sharia but also offers some degree of control to the user and factors in their risk tolerance before recommending investment opportunities.
Its unique mission already earns it a place among halal investment apps, as you’ll hardly find apps with such a laser-focused vision.
Unlike Amana Funds or ShariaPortfolio, you shouldn’t expect Robinhood to do any work for you as far as halal investment is concerned; Robinhood only offers a service that allows for Sharia-compliant investing, it’s up to you to make use of that in a socially responsible way.
Using Robinhood as a halal investing app requires due diligence on your part, as you want to ensure you’re investing in halal businesses; the app won’t do that for you. Concerning the permissibility of using the app itself, most Islamic schools of thought regard it as halal.
If you want an easier entry to halal investment with an app you already use, Wealthsimple is likely the best solution for you. It’s a traditional trading app like Robinhood, but it also comes with a Halal Investing Portfolio feature designed to help Muslim investors make socially responsible trades.
Wealthsimple claims its ETF is certified by Sharia scholars, a feat that shouldn’t be difficult for a company with 1.5 million users. The Sharia-compliant investing feature may not be perfect for all Muslims yet, but it’s a decent start for halal investments.
Zoya is another Halal investment app designed for Muslims to make lawful investing accessible to Muslims. It follows AAOIFI guidelines and claims to have an internal Sharia advisory board that guides its policies.
With features like feeless trading and an automatic Zakat calculator, you’ll struggle to find another done-for-you Zakat investment app that works nearly as well as Zoya.
Aghaz uses a unique business model that lets customers invest and save for a particular and often halal goal. For that to work, however, every investment option on the app must be halal, and if we’re to go by the company’s words, they seem to be.
Investments through Aghaz undergo AAOIFI and Amanah Advisors screening to ensure they’re Sharia-compliant and all prohibited businesses won’t even show up on the app. The service requires a tiny subscription fee and an annual maintenance fee, both of which are fair prices to pay for the company’s services.
Like most other entries on this list, Fundrise isn’t a halal-only investment app, but you can choose what investments you want to make to ensure you’re following all Islamic investing ethos. In addition to traditional stocks and ETFs, Fundrise lets you trade in private real estate, making it a better all-around investment app than most competitors, especially for Muslims.
To simplify your investment experience, you can employ a third-party screening service with Fundrise to ensure you’re only investing in halal assets. With that, Fundrise quickly rises from being a traditional investment app to one of the best halal investment apps on the market.
Is Investing in Islam Allowed?
The fact that there’s a thing such as halal investing should already point to the fact that it’s indeed permissible for Muslims to invest like anyone else. There are some rules guarding the entire Islamic investing topic, but there’s certainly no rule preventing you from investing as a Muslim.
Is Bitcoin halal in Islam?
This article is not an Islamic legal opinion, and we don’t plan to move it in that direction. Since it’s virtually impossible to discuss the permissibility of Bitcoin without delving into complicated legal arguments, we’ll recommend you get in touch with a qualified Islamic finance advisor for an answer to this question.
What app is halal for trading
Most traditional investment services can also be halal investment apps, depending on how you use them. If you don’t use them to incur excessive debt, profit from interests, or invest in prohibited businesses, you should be fine with most investment apps.
Halal investing is a contentious topic, and Islamic scholars from different schools of thoughts disagree on the nitty-gritty of what constitutes a halal investment. However, with our eight halal investment app recommendations, you should have no issues investing in assets as a Muslim.
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