BARMM seeks Islamic financial institution establishment

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Technical Working Group-Islamic Finance in the Bangsamoro recently sought the opinion of Muslim scholars on their plan to “institutionalize the implementation of Islamic financial institution” in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

TWG-IFB chairperson and Member of Parliament Mohammad Yacob stressed that the role of the Ulamas are very important because they have the authority and knowledge regarding Shari’ah and Islamic finance institution.

An Islamic finance institution is a type of financing activity that must comply with the Shari’ah or Islamic Law and the concept can also refer to investments that are permissible under the Shari’ah.

“Islamic finance uses the Shari’ah as the backbone of its system. It contains the principles and foundations and provides guidance for setting the Islamic financial institutions’ direction,” said BARMM Wa’lī Sheikh Khalipha Nando.

“Wa’lī” is an elective position within the BARMM and is considered the “ceremonial head” of the region.

Nando said that among the prohibited acts in the Islamic finance institution are payment and receipt of interest (riba), speculation (maysir), uncertainty (gharar), and gambling.

He added that the Ulamas — particularly the Shari’ah scholars — are in charge of guiding these institutions as “they have a key role to play in maintaining the credibility and integrity of the Islamic financial institutions.”

Nando also emphasized that the presence of Shari’ah boards is significant in Islamic financial institutions and the decisions of Shari’ah boards are viewed as “crucial in Islamic finance development”.

Meantime, BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim underscored the need for esteemed Ulamas to help the regional government achieve its noble objectives such as implementing the Islamic financial system.

“We are one in the belief that our region and our people deserve to have and benefit from a more just and equitable system of regulating our businesses and finances that follow the Islamic doctrine and law that is free from the shackles of the current conventional system,” Ebrahim said.

“Islamic finance system is unique and fit for our people,” he added.

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