Category Archives: Training and education

Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

Ethica Institute Live Webinar: “Interest-Based Finance and Global Warming: Making the Connection”

How does interest-based finance contribute to global warming? And how does Islamic finance provide an alternative? We explore these and other topics in this 40 minute presentation and follow up with your live Q&A.

Register at:

Cost: FREE
Where: The comfort of your desk
When: 6pm Dubai time, Sunday, December 12, 2010

What You Get:

  • 40 minute presentation with slides
  • Live Q&A
  • Guidance on how to get active
  • Free downloadable article providing step-by-step guidelines

We briefly look at how interest-based finance imposes unnatural demands on humans and nature, and explain how Islamic finance offers the more ethical alternative. Most importantly, we ask you to get involved and give you some simple steps to get started.

Across the globe, every summer gets hotter and every winter gets milder. Between 1980 and 2007, the summer Arctic ice area shrank from ten million square kilometers to four million square kilometers. At this rate, the Arctic will be almost free of ice within fifteen years and the sun, with no large ice sheet deflecting its light, will have free reign to warm our oceans at will.

Rising sea levels and increasing global heat are not part of a natural, glacial shift in the Earth’s weather patterns, as some of those in moneyed quarters might have us believe, but rather a dramatic environmental shift all happening in a blink of the Earth’s archaeological eye. It is caused by us. A fact easily measurable from carbon data in ice stratigraphy dating back millions of years.

Space is limited—register today!

We’re limiting registration to ensure that each attendee gets the best experience possible. For more details and to register join us on Facebook.

Shariah Experts Push for Scholar Certificates

Shariah Experts Push for Scholar Certificates


Leading Islamic finance scholars are preparing the first global certification for Shariah experts, seeking to bolster the industry’s reputation and make it easier for banks to find qualified advisers.

The International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance in Kuala Lumpur will pick a board of regulators by year- end to issue permits for scholars qualified to sit on Shariah boards, said Aznan Hasan, the president of the oversight committee. The scholars decide whether financial products meet the religion’s precepts, including a ban on interest payments.

“We are worried that people who aren’t qualified to be Shariah scholars may enter and become members of the advisory boards as the market flourishes,” Hasan said in an Aug. 30 interview in Kuala Lumpur. “Banks try to search for competent advisers, sometimes they get the right person, sometimes they get the wrong person.”

Attempts to set up an organization with a code of ethics to certify Islamic scholars have been frustrated by differing interpretations of Shariah law across the Muslim world, Madzlan Mohamad Hussain, a partner at Zaid Ibrahim & Co., Malaysia’s largest law firm, said in an interview on Aug. 30. Scholars are now required to have recognized university degrees before they can act as advisers to banks and companies.

The council of scholars at the academy includes Sheikh Nizam Yaquby of Bahrain, Mohammad Daud Bakar of Malaysia and Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah of Syria, who were all ranked among the top-10 experts in a 2008 report by Chicago-based Failaka Advisors LLC, an advisory company that monitors and publishes data on Islamic funds.

‘Strengthen Confidence’

Yaquby serves on the Islamic boards of 52 institutions including New York-based Citigroup Inc. and London-based HSBC Holdings Plc. Bakar advises firms such as Paris-based BNP Paribas SA, according to the data.

“The whole idea is to further strengthen confidence by making Shariah scholars truly professional,” Madzlan said, adding that the majority of experts also have full-time careers. “The plan will materialize because there’s a need for it.”

A shortage of scholars versed in Shariah law means they tend to sit on a number of advisory boards simultaneously, which increases the risk of conflicts of interest, according to the Bahrain-based Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, also known as AAOIFI.

‘Common Platform’

“We desperately need an institution that could certify and standardize different Islamic products in the market,” Kaleem Iqbal, a senior executive vice president at Al Baraka Islamic, a unit of Bahrain-based Albaraka Banking Group, said in an interview yesterday from Islamabad. “The banking community will certainly welcome a common platform with a global mandate.”

Shariah-compliant bonds returned 10 percent this year, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index, while debt in developing markets gained 12.5 percent, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI Global Diversified Index shows. The Islamic notes rose 1.3 percent in August after a 2.6 percent increase a month earlier.

The spread between the average yield for emerging-market sukuk and the London interbank offered rate narrowed 16 basis points, or 0.16 percentage point, to 385 last month, according to the HSBC/NASDAQ Dubai US Dollar Sukuk Index.

Global sales of sukuk dropped 13 percent to $10.1 billion so far this year, compared with the same period in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The yield on Malaysia’s 3.928 percent government Islamic note was little changed at 2.72 percent today and dropped 21 basis points from the end of July, according to prices from Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc. It reached a record-low of 2.63 percent on Aug. 24.

Global Standards

The Islamic finance industry, with $1 trillion in assets, is facing a challenge to develop global standards to attract funds from the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

AAOIFI, whose standards have been adopted in countries including the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, is proposing rules for scholars to reduce the risk of conflicts of interest, Mohamad Nedal Alchaar, the secretary-general of the organization, said in an interview on Aug. 5 in Kuala Lumpur.

The guidelines by AAOIFI may address whether Shariah scholars can own shares in the institutions they serve and how many advisory boards they can join, he said.

A centralized regulator for scholars will help increase investment because banks would save time in choosing experts to ensure products meet religious principles, said the academy’s Hasan, who also serves on the Shariah board of Malaysia’s central bank. The institution doesn’t plan to restrict scholars on the number of advisory panels they can join, he said.

“Global regulation is beneficial, be that through a test of fit and proper criteria as to what makes one qualify as a scholar,” Omar Shaikh, a board member of the Glasgow-based Islamic Finance Council U.K., said in an e-mail yesterday. “The challenge will be on the operational execution of this and the acceptance, use by global regulatory bodies.”


–With assistance from Haris Anwar and Dana El Baltaji in Dubai. Editor: Simon Harvey, Shanthy Nambiar.

To contact the reporter on this story: Khalid Qayum in Singapore; Soraya Permatasari in Kuala Lumpur at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sandy Hendry at

Ethica Institute Makes History at Mashreq Bank: Delivers First Bank-Wide Islamic Finance E-Learning

Ethica Institute Makes History at Mashreq Bank: Delivers First Bank-Wide Islamic Finance E-Learning



For the First Time Ever, Bank-Wide Islamic Finance E-Learning is Now a Reality, Bringing the Still-Booming Islamic Finance Industry One Step Closer to the Rest of the World

Islamic finance just got one step closer to addressing its biggest problem: a lack of qualified bankers and scholars. Today, the UAE’s largest private bank, Mashreq Bank, rolled out the first ever bank-wide Islamic finance e-learning solution at its Islamic banking division, Mashreq Al Islami. Hiring Ethica, the Islamic finance e-learning institute, brings Mashreq 100% online Islamic finance training and certification across their entire network of branches.

The move marks a major turning point in an industry heavily bottlenecked by a lack of trained bankers and scholars. To date, banks have had to rely on external consultants to deliver short courses, but today’s announcement makes year-round, bank-wide Islamic banking courses approved by scholars a working reality.

Mashreq Al Islami’s Chief Executive Officer, Moinuddin Malim, said, “Our partnership with Ethica demonstrates our commitment to ensure imparting quality programs, which caters to both basic Islamic banking courses as well as more sophisticated programs. We hold Sharia’h compliance as the core value of our business.”

Ethica’s Managing Director, Atif Khan, said, “Whether training 100 bankers or 1,000 bankers, in tough times only e-learning provides the cost-effectiveness and year-round learning advantage over more expensive delivery channels such as classroom training. We are delighted to finally deliver Islamic banking courses to bankers anywhere, anytime.”

Mashreq piloted Ethica with a few hundred users before rolling out bank-wide training. Earlier this year Dow Jones affiliate and New York based Banker’s Academy signed on with Ethica as well.

In 2010, Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance ( was chosen by more professionals for Islamic finance certification than any other organization in the world. The Dubai-based institute received the award nomination for “Best Islamic Finance Training Institution” in 2009 and 2010 by Islamic Business and Finance Magazine. Mashreq Bank is the largest private bank in the UAE with assets of $25 billion and launched Mashreq Al Islami, their Islamic finance division, in March of this year.

For more information about this article, or to schedule an interview with Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, please call Sameer Hasan at +971-4-305-0782 or e-mail at

Ethica and Zawya Announce Partnership

Ethica and Zawya Announce Partnership

DUBAI, UAE, September 20, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance and Zawya today announced a partnership to jointly deliver online Islamic banking courses and certification. Ethica Institute’s certification is chosen by more professionals and students than any other Islamic finance certificate in the world, and Zawya is widely regarded as the leading provider of business and investment intelligence in the Middle East.

“We are very excited to partner with Zawya to offer their community of business professionals, nearly 1 million visitors per month, with online Islamic finance training and certification,” said Ethica’s Managing Director, Atif Khan. “This historic partnership addresses the greatest need in the industry: practical training developed by scholars and bankers and delivered online around the globe; rather than theoretical training taught by academics and delivered inside a classroom.”

Zawya’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Gunnar Skoog, said, “This landmark partnership with Ethica marks Zawya’s ambition to provide quality training and certification in Islamic finance. It will enable us to provide a one-stop platform for Sukuk news, reports, intelligence, connectivity and education developed by scholars and bankers.”

A partnership between Ethica and Zawya would bring unprecedented access to standardized Islamic finance training and certification to both companies’ extensive community of high-end users. In the coming months the two companies intend to jointly launch a specialized Islamic finance certification focusing on Sukuk.

Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance ( trains and certifies professionals and students in Islamic finance online and at its training facilities in Dubai.

Headquartered in Dubai with sales and support offices throughout the Middle East, Zawya ( is the leading provider of business and investment information serving high-end professionals focusing on the region.

Sameer Hasan, Business Director,, Office: +9714-305-0782

SOURCE: Ethica Institute Of Islamic Finance

Original Press release available here:

Ethica Institute Webinar: Career options in Islamic Banking & Finance

Ethica Institute Webinar: Career options in Islamic Banking & Finance

Learn how you can join the fastest growing sector in banking today! At a time when the financial industry struggles to recover from the global financial crisis, Islamic finance emerges the most resilient. Banks are still hiring in this exciting sector and new countries continue to develop their Islamic finance expertise. Demand for students and professionals continues to grow! Watch’s latest webinar “Career Options In Islamic Banking & Finance” to:

  1. Figure out what kind of Islamic banking job suits you.
  2. Learn how to connect with the right people.
  3. Gain the right kind of experience before applying for Islamic finance jobs.

Edcomm Banker’s Academy and Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance Announce Partnership

Edcomm Banker’s Academy and Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance Announce Partnership

NEW YORK, NY June 15, 2010 — The Edcomm Group Banker’s Academy and Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance today announced a partnership to work together to enhance the training programs they offer to the Islamic Finance community to provide the best possible solution to their clients worldwide.

Edcomm Banker’s Academy’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Clifford Brody said, “Edcomm Banker’s Academy’s 23+ years of training experience and thousands of course offerings combined with the great depth of understanding that the Ethica Institute possesses in Islamic Finance is a perfect combination.”

Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance is the most recognized Islamic Finance certifier in the world, delivering eLearning Islamic finance training and standardized certification to professionals and students around the globe. Ethica’s Certified Islamic Finance Executive™ (CIFE) certification conforms to 2010 Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) Shariah Standards and is accredited by leading Shariah scholars to help individuals worldwide learn the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s growing Islamic Banking industry.

Ethica’s Managing Director, Atif Khan said, “Ethica’s partnership with Edcomm Banker’s Academy creates the strongest training and certification partnership in the Islamic finance industry, giving learners across both Islamic and conventional markets unparalleled access to both industry leaders.”

Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance ( trains and certifies professionals and students in Islamic finance online and at its training facilities in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Edcomm Group Banker’s Academy is a 23-year-old multimedia education and communication consulting firm ( headquartered in New York City with locations and representation throughout the world.

Why Islamic Finance?

Why Islamic Finance?

What makes Islamic finance different from conventional finance? And what makes it better? We look at 3 real-world examples and find out. We also introduce you to the 4 principles that guide Islamic finance transactions.

At we believe that many of the world’s problems could be solved by providing alternatives to interest-based banking. If governments, companies, and individuals could focus on something other than repaying mounting debts, the world would be a much better place. We also believe that the industry urgently needs to comprehensively train the many people now entering Islamic finance.

Crash courses are not enough.

What is needed is ongoing, standards-based training for everyone. From single individuals to entire banks. Anytime, anywhere.

In an effort to meet this growing demand for Islamic finance training, we created, the world’s first dedicated Islamic finance e-learning portal. The site offers training modules, certification, discussion forums, member profiles, a Q&A database, podcasts, and live webinars.

For more training videos go to: