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Designing a Game-Changing Islamic Brand

Muslims know a thing or two about branding, after all they already own some of the world’s most well known brands. To Muslims, the brand ‘Islam’ represents a way of life; the ‘ummah’ is a transnational super-community; ‘Halal’ is a global food brand; Ramadan, Hajj, Jihad,and Zakat to name but a few are also all familiar names with their own brand values and brand experiences. All one billion Muslims – and significant chunks of the remaining global population – can identify these brands for you. That is to say, they can tell you the meaning, values and benefits of these ‘products’. A global bra...

IB Insights | December 10, 2013

Designing a Game-Changing Islamic Brand

Designing a Game-Changing Islamic Brand

Muslims know a thing or two about branding, after all they already own some of the world’s most well known brands. To Muslims, the brand ‘Islam’ represents a way of life; the ‘ummah’ is a transnational super-community; ‘Halal’ is a global food brand; Ramadan, Hajj, Jihad,and Zakat to name but a few are also all familiar names with their own brand values and brand experiences. All one billion Muslims – and significant chunks of the remaining global population – can identify these brands for you. That is to say, they can tell you the meaning, values and benefits of these ‘products’. A global bra...

IB Insights | December 10, 2013

Internationalising Islamic Finance: Prospects & Challenges

Not long ago, the Islamic finance industry was seen as a niche market, catering only for a specialised segment within the global banking industry. However, the credit crisis of 2007-08 and the more recent Eurozone debt crisis have catapulted Islamic finance into the mainstream. Today, the industry is worth over US$1 trillion, with market share crossing the critical 25% threshold, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. But Islamic banking has reached a crucial crossroads. As conventional banks increasingly come under pressure for damaging local businesses and global economies, can Isl...

Shakeeb Saqlain | November 26, 2013

Internationalising Islamic Finance: Prospects & Challenges

Internationalising Islamic Finance: Prospects & Challenges

Not long ago, the Islamic finance industry was seen as a niche market, catering only for a specialised segment within the global banking industry. However, the credit crisis of 2007-08 and the more recent Eurozone debt crisis have catapulted Islamic finance into the mainstream. Today, the industry is worth over US$1 trillion, with market share crossing the critical 25% threshold, in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. But Islamic banking has reached a crucial crossroads. As conventional banks increasingly come under pressure for damaging local businesses and global economies, can Isl...

Shakeeb Saqlain | November 26, 2013

Shariah Governance

Islamic Finance is very much now international in scope and depth. Increasingly this internationalisation is demanding that institutions have the framework for a Shariah compliant process in a much more coherent structured manner. Shariah governance needs to be more aligned to these globalisation trends within Islamic Finance Institutions (IFIs) as well as the general financial industry. There is increasing demand for and indeed an imperative requirement for proper, transparent and well thought-out Shariah corporate governance strategies.Shariah Governance is not a stationary process but evo...

IB Insights | November 18, 2013

Shariah Governance

Shariah Governance

Islamic Finance is very much now international in scope and depth. Increasingly this internationalisation is demanding that institutions have the framework for a Shariah compliant process in a much more coherent structured manner. Shariah governance needs to be more aligned to these globalisation trends within Islamic Finance Institutions (IFIs) as well as the general financial industry. There is increasing demand for and indeed an imperative requirement for proper, transparent and well thought-out Shariah corporate governance strategies.Shariah Governance is not a stationary process but evo...

IB Insights | November 18, 2013

Islam, Women and Empowerment

Islam gives credence to women, certifying towards them respect, honour, dignity and equality. In the centuries prior to Islam, women were illtreated, looked upon as commodities and were given very little or any value at all. The status of women in Islam can only really be appreciated when the position of women is examined pre-Islam, known as Jahiliyyah (the period of ignorance). Conversely, the Quran generally speaks about women with high regard, respect and dignity.In the context of the days of ignorance, women through Quranic revelation were uplifted and given a new lea...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

Islam, Women and Empowerment

Islam, Women and Empowerment

Islam gives credence to women, certifying towards them respect, honour, dignity and equality. In the centuries prior to Islam, women were illtreated, looked upon as commodities and were given very little or any value at all. The status of women in Islam can only really be appreciated when the position of women is examined pre-Islam, known as Jahiliyyah (the period of ignorance). Conversely, the Quran generally speaks about women with high regard, respect and dignity.In the context of the days of ignorance, women through Quranic revelation were uplifted and given a new lea...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

Islamic Finance: Translating Belief into Practice

Marketing Islamic finance in new markets requires educating its consumers in its products and practices. But in marketing to its potential consumers, the Islamic finance industry has a lot to learn about branding and product offerings from the experiences of the green economy. Although the growth of Islamic finance in regions such as Malaysia and the Middle East has historically been demand driven, its growth in non-Muslim economics such as the UK has been encouraged by both supply and the Government. However, whereas the UK has managed to develop a world-c...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

Islamic Finance: Translating Belief into Practice

Islamic Finance: Translating Belief into Practice

Marketing Islamic finance in new markets requires educating its consumers in its products and practices. But in marketing to its potential consumers, the Islamic finance industry has a lot to learn about branding and product offerings from the experiences of the green economy. Although the growth of Islamic finance in regions such as Malaysia and the Middle East has historically been demand driven, its growth in non-Muslim economics such as the UK has been encouraged by both supply and the Government. However, whereas the UK has managed to develop a world-c...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

British Government Policy on Islamic Finance

Despite having an established church, the UK generally maintains separation between church and state which leads to the following policy requirements:a) The same law applies to all citizens, irrespective of their religion.b) The state is not an arbiter on religious issues. For example, it has no interest in determining conflicting claims about what is Shariah compliant.c) The legal enforceability of a contract should not depend on whether it is Shariah compliant.d) Individuals and companies should be entitled to organise any form of business enterprises, provided th...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

British Government Policy on Islamic Finance

British Government Policy on Islamic Finance

Despite having an established church, the UK generally maintains separation between church and state which leads to the following policy requirements:a) The same law applies to all citizens, irrespective of their religion.b) The state is not an arbiter on religious issues. For example, it has no interest in determining conflicting claims about what is Shariah compliant.c) The legal enforceability of a contract should not depend on whether it is Shariah compliant.d) Individuals and companies should be entitled to organise any form of business enterprises, provided th...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

Our Problem with Terminology

Murabahah, Muharabah, Mubaraha, Murababa, Mudharabah, Marhabah and Muhababah are all Arabic words, not necessarily pertinent to Islamic banking and finance or to anything to do with the objectives of Islamic law. However, if anyone wants to be a true professional in the field of Islamic banking and finance he or she must be able to spot which of the above words are relevant.The issue doesn’t stop here. Whether one speaks Arabic or not, identifying which of the above words is relevant to Islamic finance is the easy part. It becomes more difficult when o...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

Our Problem with Terminology

Our Problem with Terminology

Murabahah, Muharabah, Mubaraha, Murababa, Mudharabah, Marhabah and Muhababah are all Arabic words, not necessarily pertinent to Islamic banking and finance or to anything to do with the objectives of Islamic law. However, if anyone wants to be a true professional in the field of Islamic banking and finance he or she must be able to spot which of the above words are relevant.The issue doesn’t stop here. Whether one speaks Arabic or not, identifying which of the above words is relevant to Islamic finance is the easy part. It becomes more difficult when o...

IB Insights | October 08, 2013

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