Perhaps the biggest impediment to greater participation by Muslims on Wall Street is that, by some readings, the Koran prohibits riba, or interest. Some Islamic scholars have interpreted the ban to be more inclusive of modern finance, and a subgenre of Sharia-compliant financial transactions, known as sukuk, has tried to bridge the gap.
Still, a vast majority of Wall Street deals are not Sharia-compliant. So observant Muslims at traditional banks are often forced to shift their boundaries. “What I was doing wasn’t 100 percent legitimate in terms of religious ruling,” Ms. Jukaku says of her work at Goldman. “But after a while, you stop feeling guilty, I guess.”Well, there is always the possibility that they could shift Wall Street's boundaries to become more sharia compliant.