Kuala Lumpur, April 29-30 – For the fifth year, the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic finance (ISRA) Malaysia, in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI, Saudi Arabia) and Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance (DCIEF), Durham University Business School, have successfully organized the Strategic Roundtable Discussion (SRD 2015) at the Pullman Hotel, Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur. This SRD brought together key stakeholders in the Islamic finance industry, namely, Shariah scholars, Islamic economists and industry practitioners, in a single platform that enables them to synergistically interact to express views, share expertise and exchange ideas.
In response to the declaration made in SRD 2011, which was held in Durham University and which called for achieving the maqasid al-Shari’ah in shaping the future direction of Islamic finance, the theme for this year’s SRD 2015 was 'Islamic Finance and Maqasid al-Shari’ah: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Issues’. The SRD 2015 aimed to assess the current state of maqasid and its progress in relation to environmental, social and governance issues from the perspectives of the three stakeholders. These issues are pertinent to be addressed by Islamic banking and finance because Islamic financial products should not only be Shariah compliant in their forms but must look into the substance, especially the impact of those products on the society and environment.
The representatives of the Islamic finance industry shared their views on the constraints and opportunities facing Islamic banking and finance in addressing ESG issues. Despite the many challenges facing the industry in realizing maqasid al-Shari’ah in a comprehensive manner, a number of insightful inputs and brilliant ideas were shared in the SRD on how to realize those ideals. Most of the participants agreed that it is timely for the Islamic finance industry to move to another stage to achieve the ultimate objective of Shari’ah in its real essence. However, this requires effort and hard work from the various stakeholders of the industry, including the boards of directors and management of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs), Shari’ah scholars, economists, regulators, investors and customers.
The summary of the sessions, topics of discussion and ice breakers are as follows:
Discussion Topic 1: “Critical Appraisal on the Current Status of Islamic Finance in the Light of Maqasid al-Shariah”
1. Datuk Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar (Council of Scholars, ISRA)
2. Mr. Rafe Haneef (HSBC Amanah)
3. Prof. Dr. Saiful Azhar Rosly (INCEIF)
Discussion Topic 2: “Towards the Realization of Maqasid al-Shari’ah: The Role of Islamic Finance in Addressing ESG Issues”
1. Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin (ISRA)
2. Mr. Hussam Sultan (HSBC Amanah, Malaysia)
4. Prof. Dr. Habib Ahmed (Durham University)
Discussion Topic 3: “Maqasid al-Shariah and Islamic Finance: ESG Issues from Economists’ Perspective”
1. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Asutay (Durham University)
2. Prof. Datuk Dr. Syed Othman Alhabshi (INCEIF)
3. Prof. Dr. Umer Chapra (IRTI-IDBG) - Online Presentation
Discussion Topic 4: “Maqasid al-Shariah: A Reconciliation between Islamic Finance Stakeholders’ Interest and ESG Issues”
1. Mrs. Azreen Ahmad (Bank Rakyat)
2. Mr. Syed Alwi Mohd Sultan (Bank Muamalat Malaysia)
3. Mr. Shamsun Anwar Hussain (CIMB)
Discussion Topic 5: Maqasid al-Shariah: An Ideal Panacea for Islamic Finance and ESG Issues
1. Mr. Mohd Radzuan A Tajuddin (Securities Commission Malaysia)
2. Ust. Nazri Chik (Bank Islam)
3. Dr. Salman Syed Ali (IRTI-IDBG) – Online Presentation
4. Dr. Sayd Farook (Thomson Reuters) – Online Presentation
At the end of the event, the participants agreed on “The KL SRD Resolution 2015”.