New Shariah standards for Islamic banking

Amanullah Khan


A set of new Shariah standards for Islamic banking and financing have been launched by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
Islamic finance scholars and specialists from across the region attended the launch ceremony, which was organised by the AAOIFI and Minhaj Advisory in Dubai recently.
The AAOIFI has been working in order to develop the field of Islamic banking and finance globally.
This event, the first of many, plays an important role in shedding light on the new Shariah standards that are being launched for institutions that wish to comply with Shariah rules and principles.
This event corresponds to the initiative of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position the emirates as the global capital of Islamic economy.
The event was supported by the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre and sponsored by strategic partner Noor Bank and bronze partner Emirates Islamic.
The AAOIFI has recently issued four Shariah standards – No.(55) Competitions and Prizes Standard, No.(56) Liability of Investment Manager Standard, No.(57) Gold and its Trading Controls Standard and No.(58) Repurchase Standard – covering a wide array of Islamic financial contracts and products, including those pertaining to banking, Islamic insurance, investment banking, capital markets and financing.
These standards are deemed important Shariah reference for the industry, including legislative bodies, regulatory authorities and financial institutions. They are also important to other professional entities such as law firms, accounting and consultancy firms, universities, academic institutions and research centres and fatwa-issuing bodies.
“Islam is the world’s fastest-growing religion and Muslims already account for about a quarter of the global population.
Coupled with economic growth, the Islamic finance sector will expand substantially over the next several years and we want to be at forefront to lead this positive development,” said Dr Hamed Hassan Merah, secretary-general of the AAOIFI.
“We have witnessed a positive growth in Islamic finance and banking over the past few years. Sheikh Mohammed’s announcement to make Dubai the capital of Islamic economy has drawn further traction to the field. Many institutions would like to be Shariah-compliant, but may be unsure of how to go about it.
Our role, through such events, is to raise awareness of the Shariah standards and to witness the growth of this field,” added Dr Amin Fateh, general manager of Minhaj Advisory.
Waleed Barhaji, business head of consumer finance at Noor Bank, added: “Looking at the progress of the Islamic finance sector, we strongly believe that the industry can move in leaps and bounds if our efforts are synergised and our communication, reporting and regulations are aligned with each other.”

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