Shortage of Shari’a Experts May Slow Down Merging of Islamic and Global Banking
Hat tip-Rachel E.
The fifth summit of the Islamic Banking Services concluded yesterday a three-day meeting in Oman. It was concluded that one of the difficulties of integrating Islamic and global banking is the absence of unified Islamic banking criteria. One of the problems is the shortage of religious jurists [fuqahaa] who must give their stamp of approval on new Islamic banking activities. According to the article, there are only 20 such jurists in the Islamic world, and the competition for their services is extremely keen. [As a result some of them, such as Muslim Brotherhood TV preacher Yusuf al-Qaradhawi, have become extremely wealthy.] The increase in the volume of Islamic transactions is further complicated by the complexity of their products, including sukuk (Islamic bonds) and a variety of Islamic financial instruments. The Islamic banking sector is growing at 20% annually. It is expected that Islamic financing will reach $1 trillion in 2010 from $900 billion in 2008, attributed in part to the rise in oil revenues. al-Ittihad, May 16, 2008