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Shariah Must be Contextualised Into Business Realities

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KUALA LUMPUR – Shariah has to be contextualised and applied into business realities, instead of being confined to a rigid framework, said Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim.

“It is therefore wise for us to widen our ‘peripheral vision’ to encompass business considerations in interpreting and applying the principles of Shariah. This is essential, if we aspire to break away from a compliance-based mentality into an outcome-based worldview.

“In this spirit, Bank Negara Malaysia is enhancing the Shariah Governance Framework for Islamic financial institutions, which calls upon the Shariah Committees to integrate relevant business and risk considerations in Shariah decisions,” he said at the 20th Anniversary Dinner of the Shariah Advisory Council (SAC) here tonight.

BNM aimed to position these committees as an enabler and catalyst in supporting the board and senior management to drive innovation by providing practical, actionable and impactful Shariah advice.

Meanwhile, Muhammad said the recent launch of the Certified Shariah Advisors (CSA) and Certified Shariah Practitioner (CSP) programmes demonstrated BNM’s commitment towards shaping and nurturing high quality Shariah talent locally and internationally.

These professional certification programmes would raise the bar for the industry by elevating the professionalism of Shariah advisors and upskilling competencies in the community.

Furthermore, he said BNM would make the certification a pre-requisite for the appointment and re-appointment of SAC members to ensure Shariah advisors and personnel were equipped with the necessary knowledge that transcended across various disciplines including legal, finance and taxation matters.

“My final point is to engage the world more openly. Issues of Shariah are complex and sometimes difficult to discern, but they are important, and matter very much to a wide range of stakeholders.

“ln setting an example to inspire such exchanges, beginning January 2018, Bank Negara Malaysia’s website will feature an enhanced version of the SAC microsite, starting with the Bahasa Melayu version to provide more detailed disclosure of the SAC’s works,” he added.

This new microsite would serve as a repository for key discussions on fiqh matters and underlying reasoning of Shariah rulings, to promote greater understanding and appreciation of the thought process and rationale in arriving at a ruling. – BERNAMA

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