The Islamic finance industry came under scrutiny in the aftermath of Dubai World's debt trouble and after some high-profile defaults from Middle Eastern issuers.
Investors raised questions about the structure of such Islamic deals and the risks it entailed linking it to the lack of transparency that prevails in the sector. Experts have said that even though the defaults are mainly a credit issue rather than an Islamic one, the perception of risk has dampened investors' appetite.
"We see rating sharia funds as a way to enhance credit-risk awareness in this asset class," the ratings agency said in a statement.
Strong economic growth combined with abundant credit available in the Gulf region has helped fuel the Islamic finance industry in the past decade making the Middle East market the biggest, but also generating interest from Europe and the U.S.
"Revenue growth in this region has particularly benefited the asset management sector," S&P said.
The Islamic finance industry is estimated to be worth around $1 trillion and is forecast by Moody's to hit $5 trillion over time.