The General Council for Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions, the global umbrella of Islamic financial institutions, has successfully organized a high-level Islamic Economy Strategic Meeting on Professional Ethics in Islamic Finance and the Role of Stakeholders in the Implementation. The meeting was held in conjunction with CIBAFI Board of Directors meeting and was supported by Albaraka Forum for Islamic Economy in Madinah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Online through Zoom.

The participation of industry leaders representing Boards of Directors and Senior Executives in Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) at this meeting highlighted the importance of promoting ethical standards in the Islamic finance industry. Their insights and discussions on the future of Islamic finance provided valuable guidance and direction for the industry.

It is noteworthy that IFIs carry the responsibility of upholding the ethical message of Islamic economics, and emphasizing the importance of achieving the objectives of Shariah. IFIs can play a critical role in building a stable and sustainable financial system that serves the needs of individuals, businesses, and communities. As the industry continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial for leaders to prioritize ethics and responsible practices to ensure the stability and sustainability of the financial system.

CIBAFI Secretary General, Dr. Abdelilah Belatik inaugurated the meeting by welcoming the participants. In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Belatik said: “Promoting professional ethics in the Islamic finance industry is of utmost importance. Ethical standards are the foundation upon which the industry operates, and they are essential for building trust and maintaining the confidence of stakeholders. By promoting ethical standards, Islamic financial institutions can build a strong reputation and demonstrate their commitment to the principles of Shariah, which can in turn attract customers and investors who share similar values.”

The opening session also witnessed a special opening address from the Chairman of CIBAFI, H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Saleh A. Kamel. In his speech, the Chairman added: “Cultivating a culture of professional ethics in the Islamic finance industry is a collective responsibility that requires the active participation of all stakeholders. By upholding ethical standards, we can build a financial system that is not only stable and sustainable but also serves the needs of the entire community. As leaders and decision-makers, it is our duty to ensure that ethical conduct remains a top priority, and we must continue to work together to implement and enforce best practices throughout the industry.”

This meeting featured two sessions. During the first session Dr. AbdelHameed Mohammed Jameel, General Manager, Omdurman National Bank, Sudan and Dr. Moahmmed Mustafa Shoaib, Supervisor of the Observatory of Fatwas, International Islamic Fiqh Academy (IIFA), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, discussed the principles and distinct features of Islamic economics. The session highlighted the importance of incorporating ethical standards into Islamic financial transactions considering current developments, while also addressing challenges faced by the industry.

In the second session, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Asutay, Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy & Finance, Durham University Business School, United Kingdom and Dr. Abdelilah Belatik, Secretary General, CIBAFI engaged in a thought-provoking discussion on the social responsibility of IFIs. The speakers examined the relationship between the objectives of Shariah and the attainment of sustainable development goals. Additionally, the speakers shared their experiences and insights on the role of Shariah control and auditing in effectively regulating financial contracts and products.

CIBAFI continues to support the Islamic financial services industry through various activities and initiatives. These initiatives include providing industry stakeholders with a platform to discuss emerging issues, representing the industry at major global financial events, and sharing knowledge through specialized publications and comprehensive training programmes.

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