Interview of Dr. Mohammed Masum BILLAH, Shariah Scholar on the relationship between Scholars and lawyers and how to optimalize Shariah Boards.
Has the role of the Shariah Scholar evolved over the last years/Months, notably vis-à-vis :
1. The development of Islamic finance on a worldwide scale
The role of Shari’ah Scholars is appreciable towards the development of the Shari’ah standard of Financial & Halal business as to principles, technicalities, products, operations & services across the world with gradual progressive culture. The statistic of the achievement in Shari’ah compliance is only about 40% perfectly, 30% debateable while 30% are not resolved yet.
2. The financial crisis since 2008
Ever since the financial crisis 2008, the Shari’ah Scholars from different parts of the world had been confidently contributing towards keeping up the sustainable existence of the appreciation & progress of Islamic Finance through their findings, research, sharing of ideas, decisions, advises and other relevant cooperation in view of new dimension in Islamic finance worldwide. Though the existing efforts of the rated as moderate, which requires furtherance improvement as to training, organization, professionalism, research & global standard.
How should a Shariah Board effectively operate, according to you? What are the challenges?
- Having Accurate Skill of Shari’ah.
- No ‘Fear’ or ‘Favour’ as to view or decision making.
- Shari’ah Board shall not be employed by the Company, but be an Independent decision making body endorsed by the Regulatory authority.
- Concealment of weakness shall be avoided.
The challenges for the Shari’ah Board are:
- Lack of accurate knowledge on the Issue concern.
- Fear & Favourism.
- Poor Research.
- Lack of Professionalism.
How to best structure a Shariah Board to operate at an international level?
- Shari’ah Board shall be established at the following levels with cooperative culture (holistic spirit of brotherhood):
- Standard Shari’ah Skill of the Members.
- Acceptable Perfect Decision with Accurate Shari’ah Compliant.
- No ‘Fear’ & ‘Favour’ shall have the room.
- Discovery of practical issues with Shari’ah solutions.
- Globally acceptable Professionalism.
- Globally acceptable but Shari’ah Compliance Standard, Policies & Guidelines.
- Enrichment of Shari’ah Professional Trainings with:
- Conceptual knowledge.
- Practical reality with Case Studies.
- Law & Policies (Shari’ah standard).
- Technicalities know-how.
- Socio-political & cultural concern with humanity, harmonization & professionalism by wisdom, tolerance & mutual respect
How do you see the relationship between the lawyer and the Shariah Scholar? How to make it optimal?
- Knowledge Sharing.
- Wisdom, tolerance & mutual respect towards harmonization within the Shari’ah principles.
- Sharing of efforts (Research & Development).
- Sharing in implementation (round-table discussion & solution with mutual respect, but within the Shari’ah principles).