Radical uncertainty, non-predictability, antifragility and risk-sharing Islamic finance

Umar Rafi, Abbas Mirakhor, Hossein Askari


Under conditions of radical uncertainty, risk sharing renders financial systems anti-fragile. Our goal in this paper is to show that risk-sharing Islamic finance (RSIF) shares the characteristics defined by Taleb for an anti-fragile system, by mapping some characteristics of anti-fragility onto those of risk-sharing Islamic finance. A key insight around which such a connection can be established is by relating the principle of “no risk-no gain”from Islamic finance to the concept of skin-in-the-game from anti-fragility theory. The relationship is then extended to other characteristics of the two frameworks, to show that RSIF overlaps with anti-fragility over many dimensions. The broader case for an antifragile system includes another important characteristic, namely “soul in the game” and concern for social justice. It is the authors’ hope that emerging research on anti-fragility, combined with the emerging research on RSIF, can have a lasting impact on the field of finance by laying the foundations for a compelling case that it is time for humanity to replace the dominant debt-based risk transfer/risk shifting financial system with a system in which everyone shares the risks faced by society. 

JEL: D81, D89, E44, F34, G32



Risk sharing, antifragility, skin-in-the-game, no gain without risk, Islamic finance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13133/2037-3643_69.279_3


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Copyright (c) 2017 Umar Rafi, Abbas Mirakhor, Hossein ASKARI Askari

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ISSN 2037-3643

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n.377/2009 del 19/11/2009