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Awqaf South Africa and AlHuda-CIBE sign an MOU at Johannesburg
AWQAF SA and Pakistan based Al Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (Al Huda CIBE) formally entered into a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) at Gallagher Estate, Sandton , Johannesburg, at the closure of the International Conference on Islamic Banking and Finance in Africa organized by AlHuda CIBE.....
Mr. Zuair Mughal, CEO Alhuda CIBE & Mr. Zeniel Kajee CEO Awqaf South Africa at MOU signing Ceremony
An Exclusive Interview with Mufti Zubair Usmani

You are requested to introduce your self with educational background?

As far as my educational background is concerned, I took my education from Karachi University. I completed my ‘Durs-e-Nizami Course’ from Karachi University which was 8 years’ course after matriculation. After getting over with it, I completed ‘3 years’ Mofti Specialization’ from Karachi University too. After the completion of specialization, I did Bachelors from Karachi University with Economics as a major subject. Right after that, I Mastered in International Relations from the same university. Then I completed my PhD from Karachi University as well. Thereafter, I thought to gain a degree in Law which I am currently doing. 

Please elaborate that how Shariah supervision is integral part of Islamic financial Industry.

Shariah Supervision is very core and integral part of Islamic Financial Industry. And its role is as essential as of blood in the human body. It is one of the reasons that we have to be very careful that our Islamic products and practices should be rightly in keeping with the Shariah Compliance. We need to be very careful in this regard. Shariah advisor plays a very important role in Islamic Banking System because sometimes a very minor mistake can do much harm and all these matters related to Shariah compliance should be taken care by Shariah Advisor as that these matters should not be neglected. In this connection, I request all the Islamic financial institutes to hire good qualified Shariah Advisors because it’s very important for the quality services and quality products’ delivery of Islamic Banking Institutions.

Being the seasoned Shariah Scholar of Islamic Banking, What is your greatest achievement in the field of Islamic Finance to date?

As far as any achievement is concerned, I think if we are successful in getting rid of Interest System then it would be a very important success.

Usmani’s family contributed a lot in the field of Islamic Finance worldwide. How yours family start this journey towards the prosperity of Islamic Finance?

It has got a superb background. My grandfather Grand Mufti Muhhamad Safiullah took the initiative of Islamic Finance even before my youth. He organized many meetings on Islamic banking system. He wrote many books on this topic, for instance ‘Distribution of Wealth in Islam’ is one of his best books. Then in 1980s General Zia ul Haq took the initiative of establishing Islamic banking structure which he prominently took over in Islamic Ideology Council. As my uncle was also working with Islamic Ideology Council, he also worked hard on this project. Thereafter Transformation Commission was founded in which my father worked as a member. When State Bank Task Force was set up, I and my cousin were its members. I well remember when Supreme Court gave a detailed decision against Riba that was one of the memorable decisions in the history of Pakistan.

Three month back some Shariah Scholars Issue Fatwa against Islamic Banking in Pakistan. Please give your comments on it?

Islamic banking is very sensitive issue. The matters related to Islamic Banking System are very complicated and sensitive. I know many people who gave Fatwas against banking system but most of them have not read about the system and products because there was not any research work by them. Most of the people were agreed with us when we gave them arguments that their stand was not rightly directed. When in 1989, there was a meeting held in Karachi University most of them were arranged on the basic initials of Islamic Banking. So it is not right that Usmani family has taken the charge of solely looking after Islamic banking.

Pakistan’s Shariah Scholar do not allow many Islamic Financial Products for Pakistan  Bai Enna, Bai Tawarruq etc, please give your opinion upon it ?

We have various products but there are a few products which are contradictory to Islamic Products and Shariah Scholars do not only allow them i.e. Bai Enna, because it was restricted by our Holy Prophet PBUH. Tawarruq Mujmul Fiql Islami gave statement that it should be forbidden. It is not the issue of Pakistan only but it is the combined issue all over the world except Malaysia but there are various scholars who want to get them forbidden.

What are the factors contributing to success of Islamic Finance in Pakistan?

The factors which contributed to its success are competent scholars, business men’s sincerity, bank and state bank and especially Supreme Court verdict was very helpful in the success of Islamic Finance in Pakistan.

Give us the detail of Shariah Audit? What are their major functions?

It ensures whether compliance of audit is fulfilling. For example if we are auditing Murrabbaha we will go through its agreement details, asset details, name of its owner, the verification of the asset, whether the payment is paid to client or to the bank and so on. 

In how many institutions where you are serving as Shariah Advisor?

I have been serving in many institutions i.e. MCB, Pak Qatar Takaful General, ICAP, accounting and auditing. I am working as State Bank Task Force member. I have been associated with many institutions in Dubai and America where I have attended many meetings, seminars, and conferences. I m still associated with UM Financial Canada. And I am also associated with many institutions as a faculty member. I am visiting faculty member of Alhuda CIBE too.

What are the obstacles facing by Islamic Financial Industry?

Major obstacle is human resources. Trained people are not with us or their number is very low. If they won’t be with us then we’ll be very behind in near future. We don’t have proper syllabus, faculty, institutions, we are working on it but most of the work is still pending.

Elaborate the role of State Bank of Pakistan for developing Shariah Supervision in Islamic Banking Industry?

It played very important role in Islamic banking sector. It established forum, Shariah board, Islamic banking Task Force, and banking products. It also streamlined major features, roles and audit system of Islamic Banking. State Bank is still working hard to standardize the processes as well.

What do you think about Al-Huda CIBE? Give suggestions how it can improve their working for the promotion of Islamic Banking?

Its achievement is very wonderful. The need is to focus on the enhancement of trainings’ standard and development. Secondly MBA in Islamic banking and PhD should also be started by Alhuda CIBE. You should also introduce some courses to Islamic scholars so that they could have conventional banking trainings as well so that their knowledge of supervision should be two pronged in order to judge the both systems.

Any Message to the readers of True Banking?

Students and the bankers should read this magazine in detail with the idea to have the details of getting rid of Riba.

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