Padjak or Pawnshops are economic institution that existed among the Moros a long time ago. It was introduced by the Chinese settlers in the Southern part of the Philippines. Pawnshops specialize in the business of making cash advances for person who pledges goods in security for payment. The pledges which are mainly gold and jewelry, ‘bulawan’ or ‘pamulawan’ are held as collateral until the period of redemption expires. The continuous increase in number of pawnshop today is attributed to the fact that there is a very good response towards pawnshop business and the majority of borrowers ‘magsasandah’ are from the lower income social strata or the poor people.
The practice of pagsanda in Zamboanga City is not Shari’ah compliant and despite the prohibition of riba, Muslim resort to pagsanda as a means to alleviate their financial conditions. The establishment of Ar-Rahnu or Islamic pawn broking in Zamboanga City is expected to be a good alternative for the existing system of pawning. This paper discusses the operations of the conventional pawnshop; Ar-Rahnu or Islamic pawn broking; and also Riba (usury). The analysis also find out that majority of the borrowers, ulama and businessmen are in favor of the establishment of Ar-Rahnu or Islamic pawn broking to help the poor in the needy.