'Syariah practitioners must grasp Islamic legal ethos'


SYARIAH practitioners must fully familiarise themselves with the methodologies used by Muslim jurists in deducting Islamic law in order to create more confidence in the market, said an Islamic finance expert.

Sheikh Faizal Manjoo, the director of Minarah MultiConsulting Ltd, said there is a need to train practitioners to grasp the Islamic legal ethos relating to Fiqh Al-Mu'amalat (Islamic rules on transactions) as an emerging discipline.

Sheikh Faizal said this nature of Islamic finance created the niche market, which is now rapidly expanding globally, as the methodologies create a level of stability and resilience for Islamic law.

"Finance in general is a legal construct derived from a secular law perspective. But when you talk about Islamic finance, it cannot be overruled by a secular law," said Sheikh Faizal, who was a guest speaker during the Application of Islamic Juristic Principles to Islamic Commercial Law Executive Training at the Empire Hotel & Country Club earlier this week.

"In the present environment of Islamic finance, there are four areas where our staffs, our public, our high profile people must be educated in order to understand how Islamic finance is different from conventional finance," he added.

Sheikh Faizal explained the various stages that Islamic law underwent to reach where it is today.

Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Law) was the first to be developed, mainly by Imam Shafi, which provided guidance on how to derive Islamic law from the sources of law in a very systematic way, he said.

Secondly, once a corpus of law was available, there was a move towards developing legal maxims to facilitate the development of law, which is presently being used by Syariah scholars.

Shafi Scholar Al-Juwayni then pioneered the idea of Maqasid Shari'yyah (The Objectives of Islamic Law) to make Islamic law more extendable, and was later refined by other scholars like Shatbi and Ghazali.

This new approach proved to be very efficient in a globalised financial market, said the director, as it opened a new vista for the development of Islamic finance and illustrated how to apply the holistic development of law by focusing on the higher objectives of Syariah.

The final tool developed was the formulation of Siyasah Shari'yyah (governmental policies), which is now gaining more prominence.

The workshop, which concludes today, is organised by Crescent Sdn Bhd. Professionals from the public and private sector within the field of Syariah were invited to attend.

Based in the UK, Sheikh Faizal specialises in Syariah, law and Islamic finance. He is a member of the Shariah Supervisory Board of few Islamic financial institutions in South Africa, Bahrain and Mauritius.

Earlier this week, Crescent organised a separate training programme for Takaful operators which was conducted by Sheikh Faizal and Adham El-Muezzin, treaty underwriter at Hannover ReTakaful.The Brunei Times

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