This special issue of JEBO is motivated by the desire to advance research, especially empirical research, in the field of Islamic finance. The Islamic finance industry, albeit relatively small, is growing at a very rapid rate, almost 20%, which is believed to be double the growth rate of the conventional finance industry. The number of financial institutions reporting shariah-compliant1 assets and the number of shariah-compliant mutual funds reached 349 and 800, respectively, in 2013 (The Banker, 2013). Islamic finance assets are predicted to exceed the $2 trillion in 2014 (Ernst and Young, 2013). However, research in this field is still lagging behind, which is reflected by the limited number of papers published on Islamic finance in the top ranking journals. This creates a serious motivational problem for pursuing research in this nascent field, which should be guided, developed and criticized by pioneering research. Driven by such desire, we organized a conference in the fall of 2012, entitled “JEBO Islamic Finance Conference” that was sponsored by El Shaarani Centre for Islamic Business and Finance, at Aston Business School, UK and Durham Business School, UK. The objective of the conference was to offer a venue for analytical and empirical research in Islamic finance. This special issue, which is the first to be entirely dedicated to Islamic finance, crowns such efforts. The papers selected for this issue include a number of empirical and theoretical techniques illustrating the broad range of research questions that can be addressed by these methods.