Enhancing Islamicity with Fintech: Case of the Investment Account Platform (IAP) – I

The purpose of an Islamic financial system is to mobilize funds from savings-surplus units and allocate the same among savings-deficit units in the economy and to do this in accordance with the goals of the Shariah. Taking the Malaysian example, one may observe that the contracts/products involved in the process have changed over time. From…

Awqaf’s Un-calculated Risks

Awqaf organisations, notwithstanding their religious and social objectives, in order to fulfill and promote their social mission, often find it necessary to expand their revenue base by actively engaging in commercial activities and investment. This means that in addition to the sector-specific risk determinants, awqaf are exposed to much of the same risks that affect…

Micro Waqf Banks: A New Breed of IF Providers for Indonesian Poor

I deem Indonesia, my new home, as the University of Islamic Microfinance. And I have good reasons for the same. If you exclude the replications of conventional microfinance models, most of the indigenous Islamic microfinance experiments owe their origin to creative Indonesian minds. The famous Baitul-Maal-wat-Tamweels (BMTs) continue to engage the Islamic finance community for…

Dynamics of Hajj Fund Management: Some Observations

It is now over a decade-and-half since I wrote a piece on the subject of financing of hajj in the monthly magazine published by the Makkah-based Muslim World League. The piece was in response to an on-going controversy in India over the issue of provision of government subsidy to Hajj pilgrims from India. It appeared…

Financial and Shariah Analysis of Hajj-Related Services

This paper co-authored with Dr Abdul Azim Islahi was first published in the The Muslim World League Journal,  Makkah Mukarramah in March 2003 (Vol. 31, No. 1, pp. 22-27). I reproduce this here, since I intend to follow-up with further discussion on the dynamics of Hajj Fund Management. This was triggered by my participation in the first…

A Visit to an Islamic Fintech Venture Builder

It was the last day of a training program I participated in Istanbul recently. Among the many site visits scheduled that day, the one that left a lasting impression on me was the visit to the headquarters of the alBaraka Turk Participation Bank at Istanbul. Sitting inside the premises of alBaraka Garaj, it was fascinating…

The Sustainable Development Goals from a Shariah Perspective – VII

Since the religion of Islam sets the agenda for development in predominantly Muslim societies, it is interesting to examine to what extent the SDGs conform to the Islamic vision of development. In order to explain the Islamic vision of development, Islamic scholars have come up with a broad framework rooted in what are called, the…