The Islamic finance industry needs to work out a revenue generation aspect for a long-term socially-driven Waqf sukuk, experts have urged.
This was the consensus view in the first Islamic Finance Virtual Forum on ‘Covid-19 Economic Implications, Islamic Finance and the Way Forward’ organised by Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).
The half-day virtual forum was organised in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute, College of Banking and Financial Studies and Minhaj University. It was attended by more than 1,200 people on multiple online channels from 40 countries.
The forum received institutional support from more than 15 global institutions with more than 20 speakers and leaders participating.
Islamic bankers at the forum affirmed that they are responding to Covid-19 by taking a balanced approach of looking after the interests of all the stakeholders, and not just their shareholders. The speakers called for a focus on risk sharing which can be achieved through financial technology.
The forum also reiterated the possibility of using Zakat for overall social finance activities with certain restrictions.
The role of social finance via technology was reemphasised, in response to the idea that economic shocks accelerate innovation and when fintech curve flattens, the role of Islamic finance will become more evident.
AAOIFI Shariah Board chairman Shaikh Mufti Taqi Usmani delivered his keynote speech which highlighted the importance of riba-free system and urged Islamic financial institutions to benefit from this golden opportunity and carve a niche for themselves away from the competition from their conventional counterparts in these challenging times of the pandemic.
The chairman of AAOIFI Board of Trustees Shaikh Ebrahim bin Khalifa Al Khalifa in his keynote speech addressed the sense of opportunity of Islamic finance industry to take advantage of the current global situation to reiterate the relevance of Islamic finance principles to overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
He advised Islamic financial institutions to work out optimum solutions with their clients and stakeholders in line with Sharia guidelines, in addition to forming a joint fund to tackle this pandemic.