Islamic Banking a boon for India: Abdul Raqeeb of JIH

By Dr. M. Iqbal Siddiqui,

“Islamic system of banking can surely be a boon for our country as it is for the whole mankind”, said H. Abdul Raqeeb, National Convener of the Islamic Banking Committee and member of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s (JIH) Central Advisory Council. He was addressing media persons in Jaipur.

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“Islamic system of banking, contrary to the conventional one, is based on Islam’s interest free economic system, in which the money flows from higher towards the lower segments of the society,” he explained. He further said that the worldwide trends show that a change is taking place in the policies of prominent banks. A number of banks including the HSBC and Standard Chartered have opened Islamic outlets at their certain branches.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has formed a special committee in July on the direction of the Government of India, for the study of ‘instruments of Islamic Banking and its possibilities in India.’ The committee is headed by Anand Sinha, Chief General Manager of RBI.

“Islamic Banking offers financial products and services that conform with the Islamic principles, hence it can lead to the unlocking of large financial capital that the Muslims are now unable to invest in the interest based system”, added Abdul Raqeeb. According to him the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, which has been campaigning for Islamic Banking for long, is optimistic about the RBI move.

“Interest based banking can create havoc, and can lead to the Andhra Pradesh like cases of farmers committing suicide while Islamic banking is more compassionate as it is based more on sharing of responsibilities. Also Islamic banks will provide micro finance to the poor and the daily basis workers for their small wants,” said Abdul Raqeeb.

The concept of Islamic banning is moving across the world. The assets controlled by Muslims in India are estimated up to $1.5 trillion that is growing at a rate of 15% a year. In the year 2004, Islamic Bonds (Sukook) collected $30 billion. The Malaysian headquarters of Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) has emerged as a hub of Islamic banking. At least 265 Islamic banks with assets worth $262 billion are in function across 40 countries. Services provided by Islamic banks are popular among non-Muslims also as more than 50% business of the HSBC’s Islamic banking division is with non-Muslims.

While talking about the fallout of the Indo-US nuclear deal on India’s economy, Abdul Raqeeb said, “This treaty is totally one sided and will prove to be a burden on our economy, in addition our security and sovereignty are also in peril.” JIH has appealed to all political parties and public to unanimously oppose and struggle against the deal.

(The author is Media Secretary of Rajasthan Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, can be contacted at [email protected])