I am still a student of Certified Islamic Finance Professional (CIFP), a Master equivalent course of International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), a division of Bank Negara Malaysia, but have reached the second stage of my course which can at least give me a bit of credibility to write a bit on a very basic level the meaning of Islamic finance. As I seem to learn quite well when I write, I am using this platform to dessiminate information on what I have learned while revising on my lessons especially as I am in the middle of my exams.
As I am still a student, although my legal firm has been offering retail Islamic banking to banks since its inception 8 years ago, I would welcome interaction or even comments on the concept I am going to write about. It is not going to be a formal writing or even an analyis. It will be off the cuff writing which most of you have been familiar with if you ever read my writing that is. May not be an academician cup of tea but from I know, even some academicians are not so keen on how they write. Its just that it is an industry standard. So, here is my take on Islamic finance.
The first question - What is Islamic finance?
Certain disciplines like praying and the spiritual part of Islam have been outlined by our Prophet and haven't change since Islam was gifted to us. This is the part of Islam called IBADAH and where it greatly differ from one religion to another. In Islam, this is our communication with Allah where we pray 5 times a day and do all the things which have been outline in RUKUN ISLAM. It outline the main things that we have to do in Islam to be considered as a Muslim but Ibadah does not restrict itself to this list only. Ibadah is a Muslim whole life. That is why Islam is a way of life and not just bits and pieces which one choose to take and discard. This is where we come to another component of Islam.
Islamic finance is a part of another discipline called MUAMALAT which is how Muslim interact with other people in his life. Its not that IBADAH does not require you to interact with people, Ibadah is done frequently between fellow Muslim but you do pick up points (PAHALA) if you help fellow human beings. There is this story about a person helping a dog to drink by scooping water from a well with his shoes and that is consider ibadah. Muamalat is where we trade among ourselves and how we do economic transaction among us. That is the basic of Islamic finance.
The nitty gritty part of it will be dissect later in various other postings which I hope to write later...