Edbiz Consulting, a dynamic global Islamic finance consultancy, has recently published the third annual Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) 2012. In association with the Saudi Based National Commercial Bank and Malaysian based CIMB Islamic and some other partners in Islamic banking and finance industry the Report comprises of in depth research and analysis on the Islamic financial industry. Professor Humayon Dar, CEO of Edbiz Consulting, states that “ the GIFR 2012 is a report that should be read by all those who have an interest in Islamic finance and social responsibility and philanthropy. The two should work hand in hand, and one without the other is a recipe for failure. We believe that this Report offers a unique way of approaching Islamic finance and philanthropy and this needs to be emphasised throughout the industry”
Following the success of the previous two GIFRs (2010 and 2011), the GIFR 2012 continues its objective of informing readers about the current state of the international Islamic finance market. Leading thinkers and practitioners have contributed to the Report and their insights and analysis provides a robust assessment of the multiple sectors that make up the Islamic finance industry.
A unique feature of the GIFR 2012, uncharacteristic for most Islamic finance publications, is its particular focus on social responsibility and philanthropy. The roots of Islamic finance are in societal improvement with profit maximisation intended to work in a symbiotic relationship. Pushing forth a capitalist ethos while ignoring the broader societal concerns was as never meant to be the raison d’etre of Islamic finance. In some regards, this principle has been forgotten. GIFR 2012 hopes to move the discussion back to its roots, proposing the idea that there needs to be harmonious balance between the two.
Hence, the core section of the GIFR 2012 is delineated into three virtual themes revolving around social responsibility and philanthropy. The first theme is the importance of ethics in finance, while the second theme is exposing real life examples. Global capitalism has undoubtedly taken a battering over the last few years and the picture of the avaricious fat cat is an image which is being associated with leading financial institutions. Islamic finance was always meant to be different: principled and valued based. The Report explores these ideas and shows how adopting an ethical approach to finance does not necessarily mean a reduction of profits. Ethical investments, Islamic microfinance and venture philanthropy offer impressive examples of ethical financial practice in Islamic finance.
The third theme revolves around philanthropy. Zakat, sadaqa and waqfs (as charitable endowments) have unfortunately been sidelined and left to the gumption of the individual. Yet these three types of Islamic philanthropic activity offers compelling evidence that Islam offers more than just prayer and meditation. There is undoubtedly a positive, and secular, angle to Islamic law – as hard it may seem for naysayers to fathom. In this regard, the Islamic finance industry is perfectly positioned to bring these aspects to the fore. The Report looks at the current state of Islamic philanthropy, charitable activity and corporate social responsibility in Islamic financial institutions and poses the question as to what more should the industry be doing.
The core section of the Report on philanthropy is buttressed by an analysis of various industry segments and a look into the state of the Islamic finance industry in over 40 countries. The Islamic Finance Country Index, a composite ranking and analytical tool which ranks countries according to its prominence and involvement in Islamic finance finds that once again Iran leads in Islamic finance, followed by Malaysia. However, over the year the ranking has shown subtle changes with positions changing from the previous year. This reflects that Islamic financial activity is ongoing and dynamic.
GIFR 2012 intends to be a leading resource book for the industry. In providing a snapshot of the industry for each year, it grants the reader a profound understanding of Islamic finance. By addressing the issue of social responsibility and philanthropy, the Report brings a fundamental feature of Islamic finance back to the fore. Rizwan Malik, Business Development Manager at Edbiz Consulting, states that the Report owes a huge debt to the industry leaders and sponsors. “It is due to the support of the industry players that we have been able to publish this Report for the third consecutive year. GIFR has developed itself into a respectable brand in a very short time span and we hope the industry players and sponsors continue to support this industry building initiative of Edbiz Consulting”
About the Publishers:
Edbiz Consulting is a truly unique, international Shari’a advisory firm, committed to engendering the value proposition that Islamic finance serves to offer in the global financial markets. Edbiz Consulting provides multiple services that balance the dual purpose of developing thought leadership in this niche industry and strengthening the Islamic finance capacity for businesses and banks. Our client base is diverse and includes financial institutions, education providers, established businesses and entrepreneurs.
For more information and receiving a copy of the Report please visit Edbiz Consulting Ltd website: http://edbizconsulting.com/
contact Rizwan Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in The zawya.com, April 16th, 2012.