This survey introduces a series of papers that examine the emergence and evolution of Islamic insurance Takaful from both the theoretical and practical perspectives. Our study begins with a brief description of the Islamic financial services industry, and the significance of the role played by Takaful in this market. We then discuss the evolution of Takaful as an alternative to conventional insurance and the contribution of Islamic jurisprudence in this field, followed by an analysis of the nature of Islamic insurance as proposed by Muslim scholars. After a comparison between Islamic and conventional insurance contracts, the study continues with a survey of Takaful empirical research. We finally highlight several key issues unresolved in the literature, and solutions that seem feasible to counter these issues are discussed. The study concludes by reporting the future prospects of Takaful, and points to some directions for its sustainable growth.