"People should know that the name
Islamic Banking is used just to give an impression that it works on
the Islamic principles. Otherwise, it is an open option and
everyone whether Muslim or not can take the benefit", says Maulana
Abdul Hadi Madani, Editor Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, Birmingham and
Member Islamic Shariah Council, Britain. Maulana Abdul Hadi Madani
was speaking to ummid.com while he was in Malegaon to inaugurate the
new building of
Kulliyah Aisha Siddiqua for girls at Mansoora. In
this exclusive interview for ummid.com readers, he described in
details about Islamic Banking, potential the system has today and
its possibilities in India and other parts of the world.
How do you think Islamic Banking
is capable of combating the economic slowdown?
We can never have a better rule or way
of life than the one framed by the Almighty Allah. For, He is the
Creator who created everything. He knows what is good for us and what is not. Through His messengers, hence, He
sent guidelines for a better life. Islamic finance is
also one of them. This is why people who adopted Islamic Banking System are not only safe from
recession but they are also flourishing and earning profits. That
too in a very high volume!
Encouraged by the results, other international banks like HSBC
and Barclay have also introduced special windows. These windows have
facilities for the people interested in dealing on the principles of
Islamic Shariah. Likewise is the Islamic Bank of Britain. The
very concept of these banks is that they are following the Islamic
principles, solely and in total, which is continuously monitored by the boards of Ulema
keep an eye on each and every thing.
However, the system is working to the
perfection. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who was the Finance
Minister when Islamic Banking was introduced in UK, was so confident
of the system that he predicted, London would prove a gateway for
Islamic Banking. The results today are proving his predictions
right. This is why at the time when other banks are facing closure,
the Islamic Bank of Britain is opening branches at different places
in UK and also receiving similar requests from Europe that has never
believed the system.
you think Islamic Bank is suitable for India also?
Certainly! I believe this is the best
available option not only to fight the economic slowdown but also
for goof earning. The records at different places where Islamic Banking is operational justify my
India has its own
problems. Like, it cannot adopt the system unless some amendments
are brought in its rules. How can you suggest India to have Islamic
banks under this situation?
This is not the case
only with India. Everywhere, whether it is UK or Sudan or any other
country, the respective governments had to bring changes in their
rules to accommodate the Islamic Banking System. If the British
Government can make changes in its rules for a better
available option, why can’t the Indian Government? That too, when
India says it is a democratic country and it has in its constitution
provisions that guarantee everyone's rights. If the Muslim community
wants to have a banking system suiting their religious principles,
the Indian government should not have any problem.
Then why the Indian
Government is reluctant?
The fact is that the Islamic Banking
System has the potential to overpower the existing banking
institutions. This is what exactly happened in Sudan. Before the
introduction of Islamic Banking in Sudan, it was thought it would
not work in the country. However, very soon Islamic banks in Sudan overshadowed the high-street banks. I think,
some people in the Indian Government who might be having some stakes
in the existing banks are going through the same dilemma.
this because of the name ‘Islamic Banking’ also that the government is
I cannot say exactly. But people should know that the name Islamic
Banking is used just to give an impression that it works on the
Islamic principles. Otherwise, it is an open option and
everyone whether Muslim or not can take the benefit. Islamic Bank of Britain and HSBC Al Amanah
Products are the best
examples. These banks do not look at the
religious identity of the customers. Whoever follow their regular norms, the banks
are ready to offer them their services.
it mean India needs an awareness campaign to make people realise
Yes, not only among
non-Muslims but also among Muslims. For, there are many Muslims
who consider Islamic Banks as charity like organizations to exploit
in whatever form they would intend to. Such people should be taught
that this is a banking system and the basic difference with other
banks is that its fundamentals are based on Islamic principles.
People should be explained about the advantages of the Islamic
Banking and the potential it has to fight any economic challenges.
Once people become aware, I don’t see any reason why they would not
adopt it. The Gulf countries and the countries like UK, Indonesia,
Malaysia and Sudan are live examples.
If the system has so
much potential, why it is taking time to become common?
Islamic Banking is still emerging and it
needs some more time before it becomes common. Moreover, since its
basis is totally free from interest, the existing bankers who
completely depend on interest for their survival are afraid. For
them, removing interest means endangering their entire setup.
Hence, they are creating hurdles for Islamic banking. Although it
is a better option.
But, the biggest
challenge to the Islamic banking is the attitude of some of the
Islamic countries. They are averse to adopting Islamic Banking
merely because it does not suite their selfish goals. The manner
with which educated and
financially strong Muslims are treating Islamic Banking is equally
strange. Islamic Banking at this stage needs active participation of
such people. However, despite having resources in plenty
they are not ready to realise the importance of interest-free
is also said that there is a dearth of manpower and trained
personnel in India to handle Islamic Banking?
It is a fact that we are short of people
who are masters simultaneously in Islamic and modern economic
systems. But this problem exists everywhere, whether it is Britain
or any other country. It is because, the system is new
and has not become common so far. Hence people are reluctant to choose it
as a career. But, in countries like Britain where the system is
running successfully, universities are offering specialization
and research opportunities in the subject. Ironically, contrary to a
very large number of non-Muslims in UK who are doing Masters and
Research in Islamic Banking, number of Muslims are very low.