In 2014, global Islamic financial assets reached an all-time-high of $2 trillion mark as expected by the industry pundits earlier. With the completion of the phase of creating a niche for itself, Islamic finance is now set to reach new horizons. A lot of work has been done in giving Islamic banking & finance an international standard.
However, the figure is still less than 1% of global financial assets. It clearly demonstrates that we are still a long way to go before we are taken seriously as a viable alternative to the conventional financial system.
We need to speak out to the remaining 99% of the conventional finance industry players about the merits and strengths of Islamic financial system. I have listed up top five ways to enhance the understanding of Islamic finance and the clear benefits it provides to the industry players and other stakeholders.
#1: Standardize the Education/Certification System of Islamic Banking & Finance
I have seen so many people/organizations lecturing and providing training to interested people in the finance industry without even knowing the basics of what Islamic Finance is. This is hurting the industry badly as they are not able to fully persuade their clients to consider the discipline of Islamic finance seriously. We need to setup certain standards and qualifications for the trainers to make sure that only the right type of information is passed on to the clients.
#2: Conduct Seminars/Conferences To Reach Out The Not-Yet-Convinced Players/Stakeholders
Major Islamic Finance industry players and other stakeholders need to conduct regular seminars, conferences in major financial centers of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Although, Japan is the third largest financial center in the world, no serious effort has yet been made to organize any major conference on Islamic Finance in Tokyo. Indeed, lot needs to be done to improve the situation and create awareness about the Islamic finance industry. Hong Kong is another such example where most of the financial industry players only have a rudimentary understanding of the Islamic financial products.
#3: Islamic Finance Industry Needs To Have More Spokespersons Than Now
We need to have more enthusiastic promoters and evangelists in the Islamic Finance industry who can go out to the world to herald the dawn of a newly-discovered economic system which provide a serious alternative to the conventional financial system and prove its resillience in the wake of both micro and macro levels.
#4: Conduct Extensive Research On Unresolved Issues In Islamic Finance Head On
Some research organizations such ISRA from Malaysia and academics such as Abbas Mirakhor, Umer Chapra, Late Dr. Ziuddin Ahmad, Fahim Khan, and others have done of groundwork in the area of Islamic financing, credit creation and control, and, deposit mobilization sides have been taken for granted so far. The available literature on these subjects and many is scanty, controversial and inconclusive.
New generation of Islamic economists have to rise up to the challenge and provide authentic solutions to the unresolved issues in the field of Islamic Finance.
#5: Spread The Word By Using All Channels Possible
Although, there are some publications, magazines, newspapers and other outlets which are making strenuous efforts to spread the word out to the general public as well as professionals and other stakeholders in the conventional finance industry, quality of these mediums is not yet up to the par.
So, wait no more, tell us what your views are on the above and how you would like to spread the word out to make the discipline of Islamic finance more acceptable among the general public and professionals in the industry.