International dispute arbitration can be referred to as a specially established mechanism for the binding determination of a dispute with reference to a contract between two or more parties . The process involves and is determined by independent arbitrators in accordance with the procedures and standards which are chosen by the different parties involved in a contract. Arbitration is one of private dispute resolution technique or mechanism which provides the arbitrators with the relevant judicial powers over the dispute for the purpose of bringing understanding between the conflicting parties . Comparing this method to other forms of dispute resolution such as mediation, in arbitration process, the arbitrators have the authority and power to grant or deny awards . Mediation process aims at reaching at a working formula based on understanding and good will between the conflicting parties though a settlement rather than an award .
Today, arbitration is considered as one of the most important means of settling finance disputes especially in international trade and investments . In Islamic law (Shari’a), arbitration (Tahkim) is provided for by the Islam holy book, Qu’ran, as a way of settling disputes . Arbitration is allowed and provided for by the four sources of Shari’a law: Qu’ran, Idjma, Oiyas and Sunna. Arbitration therefore remains unquestioned by the four Islamic schools named Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali . The study on settlements of disputes is one of the vast areas of knowledge of different opinions from different Islamic and international law schools . This research proposal focuses on Islamic arbitration process in financial transactions. Since different countries especially the GCC states such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait follow different Islamic schools, while others such as United States of America are non Islamic yet they handle financial transactions of Islamic country origin, the study will incorporate transactions both in Islamic and non-Islamic countries to gather more insight into the topic.
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