Top Islamic scholars to form monitor
London, October 31, 2013
Some of the world's most well-known Islamic scholars are launching a self-regulating professional association that will develop training and professional conduct standards for the gatekeepers of Islamic finance.
The Association of Sharia Scholars in Islamic Finance (ASSIF), a British-registered charity, will address a longstanding problem in the industry, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Boards of Sharia scholars at financial institutions rule on whether activities and products follow religious principles such as bans on interest payments and monetary speculation.
But scholars' rulings can contradict each other, confusing investors, and the approval process is open to accusations of conflicts of interest, since scholars are paid by the institutions whose products they vet.
The new association aims to work with the industry's existing bodies around the globe rather than replace them, Mufti Abdul Kadir Barkatullah, ASSIF's deputy president, said on the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum in London.
"ASSIF will help to organise advisory providers by a verifiable unified standard of Sharia guidance." – TradeArabia News Service