During the last thirty years Islamic banking has emerged as another viable way of financial intermediation. It has gained credibility and respect in international financial circles. The practice of Islamic banking has spread to all corners of the globe. It is one of the fastest growing industries posting double digit annual growth rates for almost thirty years. The size of the industry has reached hundreds of billions of dollars. While it is the preferred way of banking for one fifth of humanity, it offers a wider choice of financial products to all. This text explains how this fascinating model of financial intermediation works, what it offers and how Islamic bank performance compares to that of conventional banks. Will Islamic banks survive in highly competitive and globalized financial markets? What are their prospects and potentials? The text aims to provide objective answers to these and similar questions. It is an essential read for anyone who wants to know about the features, participants and practices of Islamic banking and finance.