Chairman and CEO, LARIBA – LARIBA Bank of Whittier

Dr. Yahia Abdul-Rahman

Dr. Yahia was born in Cairo, Egypt and immigrated to the US in 1968. He studied Chemical Engineering (B.S. Cairo University, M.S. & Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison) and International Finance (MA – University of Texas, Dallas.) He authored two books, numerous papers and many patents. The most world acclaimed book was published first by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in January 2010: The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance.  The book was on best sellers’ list in its category, two printings (over 10,000 Copies) were sold out and an expanded Second Edition: The Art of RF (Riba Free) Islamic Banking and Finance was released in November 2014. The book presents pioneering research results about many topics including Prohibition of Riba/Ribit in all Abrahamic Faiths, the Early warning Discipline of Detecting Price Bubbles and much other hands-on practical operating experience while operating Bank of Whittier Riba Free since 2003. The Turkish Language edition was launched in 2016.

He was a member of the team that started the Industrial Bank of Kuwait (1974-1975.) In 1984-1986 he returned to help restructure it. His group started banks in Houston, Texas (1982) and LARIBA Bank of Kazakhstan (1998.)

Dr. Abdul-Rahman invested 18 years (1986 – 2003) in the Investment Banking industry with CitiGroup / Smith Barney where he started (1988) and co-managed the first ever Shari’aa compliant stock portfolio that achieved superior performance and was a prelude to the Dow Jones Islamic Index.

Dr. Yahia is known as the Father of Islamic banking in North America. He started “American Finance House –  LARIBA” in 1987. In addition, the shareholders also own the first full service RF (Riba-Free) National Bank in America: LARIBA Bank of Whittier, NA (1998.) The LARIBA effort – capital and assets – are from the American community. LARIBA and LARIBA Bank of Whittier, serving all 50 states’ banking and financial needs, have proven that RF (Riba-Free) banking delivers superior results as it was tested in the 2008 meltdown. Please visit: and

LARIBA, under Dr. Yahia’s leadership, was the first company ever in the US to operate RF (Riba Free) a Riba Free Bank and to issue RF (Islamic finance) asset-based mortgage bonds (Sukuk) in the US with Fannie Mae and in Singapore with MUIS.

He serves as a member of a prestigious jury (in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016) to elect the best Islamic Banker in the world to receive the King of Malaysia “Malaysian Global Royal Award in Islamic Finance”.

He is a prolific Imam, speaker, lecturer and author of papers on RF (Riba-Free) banking & finance throughout the world. He was invited to present on RF (Riba Free) banking and finance in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Kazakhstan, India, Trinidad, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt.

Dr. Yahia is a distinguished Imam and Community leader in North America since 1968. He participated in the start-up and operation of many Islamic Centers and Schools in the US and Canada. He was an invited Jum’aa Imam in most US cities and in Canada, India, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and the UK. Please visit his site: .

Dr. Yahia spent 15 years in the Oil Industry in Production, Engineering, Corporate Strategic Planning and Finance in a major American Oil Company and refineries.