Knowledge of Islamic Finance mandatory for every Muslim: Prof Irfan Shahid

Harvard university Islamic finance

By Abdullah Azzam for,

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Chennai: Asserting that acquiring knowledge of Islamic Finance (Ilmul Muamilat) is mandatory for every Muslim, Professor Irfan Shahid, Islamic finance expert, said Muslim youth should take up the subject in large numbers as there are plenty of opportunities in Islamic Finance industry in West Asia and North Africa.

“Islamic Finance is a branch of Muamilat (business), an inbuilt and essential part of knowledge. The Quran stresses on acquiring knowledge without any bonding of time, age and gender. More than 30 % verses in the Quran discuss about human behaviour and Muamilat. Those who are doing business according to Quran and Hadith will be raised along with martyr and truthful people on the Day of Judgement, it is promised by the Prophet (PBUH),” Professor Shahid, the shariah scholar, said during his lecture on the ‘Importance of Islamic Finance’ in a career development camp organized by Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) here.

Students, before joining any course in Islamic Finance, ask about job security but the same students do not ask about job security before joining any course in medicine, engineering and commerce, Professor Shahid said.

“Islamic Trade (Muamilat) has very significant role in spreading Islamic knowledge in non-Muslim countries such as India, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Africa. There are plenty of opportunities in Islamic Finance industry in West Asia and North African countries. Conventional bankers who are operating Islamic banking are playing with sentiments of Muslims. They are not giving chance to Muslim youth to work in Islamic bank. Many banks prefer to keep non-Muslim employee or Muslim graduates with no degree in Islamic Finance. For practicing medicine, one requires proper education and knowledge in medicine. So in case of Islamic Finance, bankers should keep employees who have some background in Islamic Finance.”

“Muslim Shariah scholars are more responsible for this discrimination. They should raise their voice against this injustice. In order to stop this practice, every Muslim consumer should ask educational credential of the employees of the bank. Before opening account or doing any transaction with Islamic Bank they must demand it. If banks fail to show the proper qualification of their employees’, people should not open account with that particular bank. Islamic Banking Regulator also should take positive measure to counter this discrimination,” he suggested.

Professor Shahid said this kind of measure may create a lot of demand for Islamic Finance graduates in the market, insha Allah.

He also quoted a research published in a banking magazine on the potential of Islamic Banking, which talked of more than 15% annual growth in Islamic finance industry. Currently more than 500 institutions are working in Islamic Finance industry in 72 countries, yet there is scarcity of jobs for Muslim graduates in the field of Islamic Finance. “This is really a shocking news. A UK-based accounting Firm CIMA has predicted 50,000 vacancies in Islamic Finance industry by 2020,” Professor Shahid said and appealed the Muslim graduates to study Islamic Finance, that too, “not just for the worldly benefit but for the purpose of hereafter also.”