University of Glasgow hosts Sakinah Finance

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Glasgow, 5 April 2014. This time, University of Glasgow hosted Sakinah Finance seminar that was combined with several discussions on Islamic finance such as issues  on development under the big theme of  “ISLAMIC FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT SEMINAR”. The program was initiated by Indonesian Students Association in Glasgow (PPI-Glasgow) in collaboration with Malaysian Community in Glasgow (Komuniti Malaysia Glasgow), and Indonesian Muslim Families in Great Britain (Kibar-Glasgow). The sponsors of this remarkable event are the Recruitment and International Office (RIO), University of Glasgow and The Indonesian Embassy in London.

In session one, the speakers elaborated the development of Islamic finance in the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and Malaysia.

Each speaker emphasised problems and challenges of the current Islamic finance in each coutnry besides its potential growth. Omar Shaikh highlighted that David Cameron has recently unveiled plans to issue £200m Islamic bond, to make London as one of the world’s “great capital of Islamic finance.”Luqyan Tamanni showed milestones of Islamic finance development in Indonesia which documented an encouraging progress from year to year although it has not reached even 5% of the market share. Islamic micro finance is another potential development that is according to him will be able to combat poverty in the country.

Brunei Darussalam with its population of 400,000 people has also participated in the international development of Islamic finance but there is a huge shortage of manpower who is expert both in Shari’ah and finance. In this session, Mohd. Azrin Hj. Besar explained the features of Islamic insurance as a part of Islamic financial products that are different from the conventional insurance. Norasikin Salikin on the other hand, mentioned that Malaysia has been the leading country for Islamic finance with variety of products and services offered to public. However, there are not many people aware of the development and tend to choose traditional way of investment. She encouraged the audience to make investment in gold, both in physical gold bars or coins or paper gold offered by several Islamic banks in Malaysia. The price of gold that has been historically stable can become one of the best alternative of investments.

In the second session, Luqyan Tamanni started the discussion on the importance of managing personal and family finance. He said that Islamic financial management covers several dimensions such as managing income, managing needs, managing dreams, managing surplus, managing deficit, and managing contingencies. In concluding session, Murniati Mukhlisin wrapped up the whole day sessions by bringing the messages into practical life. According to her, engaging Islamic finance into daily life is for the sake of seeking blessing from Allah S.W.T. and meeting the stage of tranquillity. “This word of tranquillity gave the idea to Sakinah Finance book that I authored with Luqyan Tamanni” Murniati said. Eventually the main features of Islamic finance such as no riba, no gharar, no maysir, no haram, no unethical are to create peace in one’s mind.

She involved the audience on how to draw personal and family dreams after measuring their financial position, followed with good budgeting, and engaging family members in financial discussions.The session was full of laughters as she gave several examples on planning and recording daily transactions. She hoped that Islamic financial management practices will help build harmonious families.

This one day seminar was closed with a comment from Prof. John McKernan, the Head of Department of Accounting and Finance subject, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow:”It is very important on how you bring a value based finance into something practical and really works for modern society.” The sessions were informative and very enjoyable, WELL DONE! he added.

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