Opening Remarks at Nadwah of Shariah Advisers in Islamic Capital Market 2023

Speaker: Sharifatul Hanizah Said Ali, Executive Director, Islamic Capital Market Development, Securities Commission Malaysia
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Delivered: 6 March 2023


Esteemed members of SC SAC,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
and a very good morning.
  1. It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to today’s event, the inaugural SC Nadwah of Shariah Advisers - in Islamic Capital Market 2023, or SC Nadwah. Aspired to be a constructive and stimulating discourse, this platform to be held annually moving forward, signals Securities Commission Malaysia’s continued commitment in advancing applied Shariah knowledge sharing and charting the next wave of innovative Shariah solutions within the Islamic Capital Market.
  2. Today’s event is meaningful and timely since SC last hosted a similar face to face gathering for Shariah Advisers in 2018 and before the pandemic. As the nation emerges through the post-pandemic recovery, the long absence has allowed us to rethink and reconfigure both engagement and strategy to sustain our intent and aspiration for Shariah enrichment and agility in providing Shariah solutions and outcomes.
  3. The rapid uptake of registration for SC Nadwah is surely a testament to the keenness and drive of the broad fraternity’s thirst for knowledge, and exploration of viable Shariah approaches in Islamic Finance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. An integral component of the ICM lies in the wisdom, persistence and inquisitive mind of Shariah scholars or advisers to provide impactful, practical Shariah rulings and resolutions within the ICM to meaningfully serve and contribute towards greater maslahah or interest of the ummah.
  2. This year the SC celebrates its 30th anniversary, and alongside SC for more than 27 years, the Shariah Advisory Council of SC has produced more than 120 resolutions on practical and contemporary issues confronting the industry based on consensus and unity. Thus, we also take the opportunity today to express our gratitude to the members of the SAC of SC for their hard work, concerted dedication, support and commitment as we grow along this journey together in steering the good courses of commercial conduct and businesses in line with the commandment of Allah s.w.t.
  3. The SAC of SC in retrospect has established itself as a fundamental body which facilitates in developing and expanding the tenets of Shariah for ICM. As an apex Shariah advisory body at the regulatory level, the SAC of SC invaluable contributions have enabled navigation of complex issues and continues to play its significant role in providing practical, actionable, strategic and impactful Shariah resolutions that drive innovation and spur the development of ICM products and services for the benefit of ICM and Islamic finance industry in Malaysia.
  4. Shariah or Islamic law has a comprehensive set of principles and approaches according to universal objectives to manage financial transactions and wealth accordingly. There are approaches and principles of Islamic financial dealings and transactions of wealth based on Shariah’s rules as well as objectives of Shariah, or maqasid al-Shariah, a concept which places value on advocating righteous behaviour, moral conduct and acts of goodness. According to Ibn Ashur, a renowned Shariah scholar in the field of maqasid al-Shariah, in one of his classifications of maqasid al-Shariah, highlighted on specific maqasid al-Shariah in relation to financial transactions which includes transparency, wudhuh, and certainty, thabat. Under the objective or maqsad transparency, it was emphasised that all financial transactions must be conducted in such a manner to avoid all causes of risk and disputes to any party involved. This maqsad is supported by verse 282 of surah al-Baqarah which mentioned that any financial transaction should be recorded to achieve fairness between the parties involved. On the other hand, maqsad certainty emphasises on and the certainty of ownership over property or wealth to its owner without risk and dispute. This maqsad is supported by verse 41 of surah al-Rum which mentions that corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by the hands of people and there will be consequences to them, perhaps even returning to righteousness.
  5. Through the spirit of maqasid al-Shariah as highlighted by Ibn Ashur, transparency and certainty are part of the main objectives that need to be taken into account in the deliberation of SAC of SC resolutions to prevent such resolutions from being misunderstood, misused or disputed, and to avoid incongruence amongst stakeholders. Taking a page out of that, SC Nadwah can also facilitate as an information conduit between the SC and relevant stakeholders.
  6. As an example, last year, the SAC of SC issued a comprehensive resolution on Shariah-compliant preference shares. As a result of this resolution, it provides greater clarity and exploratory options for market-based funding and a wider array of instruments. There will be a session later discussing this further.
  7. The expanding range of Islamic Finance is defining the future landscape of tomorrow. Islamic fintech and sustainability are becoming increasingly important and influential in shaping the future. Shariah advisers can pave the way to foster an ecosystem and future proof the industry by inculcating the spirit of learning and continuously up-skilling themselves.
  8. The complexity of Shariah issues is expected to grow and evolve with the passage of time. In line with our objective, SC Nadwah aims to enhance the professionalism and competency of Shariah Advisers. To this end, we invite Shariah Committee members and Shariah officers of Islamic Financial institutions to join us as registered Shariah advisers.
  9. The SC is committed to foster a culture of continuous learning whilst enhancing the skills and aptitude of registered Shariah advisers with the introduction of an annual mandatory participation for attending SIDC CPE-approved courses. With elevated breadth of capabilities and knowledge, the modern-day Shariah fraternity present here today will be in prime position to influence and shape the future of ICM. Greater focus on building capacity and continuous enhancement to the capabilities of ICM practitioners in the area of Shariah governance is of utmost importance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Today, the Islamic Capital Market Development of SC is exploring outcomes towards meeting the maqasid al-Shariah. This aligns with the SC's Capital Market Masterplan 3 which aims to establish a stakeholder economy by making maqasid al-Shariah a fundamental framework for business dealings. This approach will promote a more sustainable and accountable ecosystem in the capital market. Strategic thought leadership promoting greater ICM contribution towards maqasid al-Shariah will be developed, focusing on areas such as social finance, impact investing, SRI as well as Islamic fund and wealth management. This was also reflected in the SC’s collaborative partnership with the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies last year, whereby the roundtable conversations touched on how maqasid al-Shariah can serve as a unifying framework to ensure Islamic financial products and services are designed and implemented in a way that promotes the welfare of society and the environment. In addition, it provides a tool to assess and evaluate the ethical, environmental, and social impact of financial activities. We fervently aspire that the recommendations we aim to accomplish will facilitate a higher level of alignment in achieving the objectives of Shariah.
  2. As I come to the end of my speech, I express my sincere wish that this annual gathering will encourage a new outlook, highlighting the significance of Shariah advisers to serve as facilitators for developing innovative and effective Shariah solutions.
  3. Through collaborative efforts and the unwavering commitment and support of all parties, especially the relevant stakeholders, towards the developmental agenda for the ICM in Malaysia, I have full confidence that we can sustain and solidify Malaysia's position as the preeminent global marketplace for Islamic finance.
  4. I would also like to express my gratitude to Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Daud Bakar, the Chairman of SAC of SC, for sparing his valuable time to deliver a special talk session this afternoon. As an esteemed figure in Islamic finance thought leadership, and a recipient of esteemed awards such as the Royal Award for Islamic Finance 2022 and the Islamic Finance Premier Leadership Award, his knowledge and insights are invaluable to us all. I am certain that, like me, you are all eager to listen and learn from his wealth of experience and wisdom.
  5. Additionally, I would like to say thank you to the Shariah team of the SC’s Islamic Capital Market Development in being the Secretariat of the SAC of SC and putting together today’s programme.
  6. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to everyone present here today. I am excited and eagerly looking forward to the productive and engaging panel sessions that lie ahead.

Thank you.

Wabillahi taufiq walhidayah wassalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.

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