Category Archives: Training and education

Become a Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE). After all, there are at least 7 reasons why bankers prefer it

Become a Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE). After all, there are at least 7 reasons why bankers prefer it, the only online Islamic Finance training organization, is about to launch its CIFE program. Learn how this will help you advance your career by logging on to


The Highest Accreditation Standard Available Online

The CIFE™ is rigorously tested by a team of bankers and scholars who check that the training, quizzes, and certification conforms with AAOIFI, the leading industry standard in Islamic finance. While other certificates claim “Shariah-compliance,” we explicitly abide by a known Shariah standard anyone can check against. And because we are a DIFC registered company, we have to ensure that we comply with international standards of quality and customer service.

Up-To-Date Certification

Can you really be sure that your 3-year old workbook or last year’s CD is up-to-date? With the CIFE™, when Islamic finance innovates, our online content innovates right there with it. So you can be sure that you’re never left behind.

More Training Than Anyone, Growing Every Week

At launch we had 20 modules. Today we have 35. And by next year we will have over 100, God willing. We’ve already been called the “Amazon of Islamic Finance.”

Beyond Workbooks, CDs, and Crash Courses: Interactive and Engaging

Do workbooks work? Are crash courses rushed? Do conferences bore you? No more. Designed to suit your pace, the CIFE™ runs on an interactive learning platform, filled with guided quizzes, exercises, and how-to explanations, overcoming the monotony of traditional self-study programs.

Cutting Edge Training, Not Distance Learning

The beauty of the Internet is that you get new training material all the time. So you don’t have to wait around for next year’s workbook. You never pay more for new material because once you subscribe, you get access to everything.

Practical Training from Bankers, Not MBA Theory from Professors

Degree programs are taught by professors, not bankers. So most of what you learn is theory, not practical tools. And the people who hire you know this too. The CIFE™ is based on the most practical Islamic finance training on the market. Find out for yourself. Try it before you buy it for free. Bankers simply love the training.


There are no study guides or CDs to juggle. Everything you need to take the CIFE™ is streamed directly to your computer, 24 hours a day. nominated for ‘Best Training Institution’ Award from Islamic Business & Finance Awards nominated for ‘Best Training Institution’ Award from Islamic Business & Finance Awards


We are thrilled to announce that has been nominated "Best Training Institution" by Islamic Business & Finance Awards, the industry’s leading award-granting body. To receive this honor so soon after our launch is as gratifying as it is unexpected. Keep the prayers coming.

Mark your calendars and register to vote for us at after September 25th.

In celebration, we’d like to have an award of our own. Write a 300 word entry explaining why you think is the "Best Training Institution" and email it to The winning entry joins us at the gala dinner, a $260 value, on November 25th at the Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, and we post the entry in our blog.

Atif R. Khan
Managing Director
Islamic Finance Training. Online. launches CIFE: The First Accredited Islamic Finance Certificate Available 100% Online launches CIFE: The First Accredited Islamic Finance Certificate Available 100% Online


The CIFETM (Certified Islamic Finance Executive) is accredited and rigorously tested by experts who execute Islamic finance transactions for a living.

Our training takes you from the basics to the most advanced real-world, number-based calculations you’ll ever need.

Our experts are bankers and scholars. Not professors. To judge for yourself "Try It Before You Buy It" here.

CIFE is the only certificate available online that complies with the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institution’s (AAOIFI) stringent Shariah standards.

The exam’s 150 questions are fairly challenging and require that you understand the material covered in the “Understanding Islamic Finance” track of modules.

Passing Criteria: Higher than 60%. If you fail the first time, you get a second chance. If you fail a second time, you pay $95 each time you retake the exam.

Testing begins September 1, 2009.

Islamic finance courses and postgraduate qualifications booming in the UK and Europe

The Guardian: Islamic finance courses and postgraduate qualifications booming in the UK and Europe

london bridge

With global finance on its knees, this summer’s business graduates face an even trickier jobs market than most. But there is one area of banking still experiencing boom time – Islamic finance – and universities have been quick to grasp its possibilities.

This September will see new courses and postgraduate qualifications in Islamic finance springing up throughout the UK and elsewhere in Europe, reflecting the fact that it has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global banking industry, expanding by between 15% and 20% a year. Assets held by institutions adhering to Islamic finance principles now amount to nearly 1 trillion dollars.

In the UK, interest in the sector also reflects the government’s commitment to promoting Britain as an Islamic finance centre. The UK already leads Europe in the number of Islamic finance training courses it offers, from entry to postgraduate level, and in 2006 saw the launch of the Islamic Finance Qualification, a joint initiative between a Lebanese business school and the Securities and Investment Institute.

London gateway

Last December, the Treasury published a paper setting out the government’s aim for London to be "Europe’s gateway to international Islamic finance". This acknowledged that the industry was still young and therefore not yet experiencing skills shortages, but predicted that it soon would be. It stated: "The pool of potential applicants in the UK will have to keep up with the rapid growth of the market."

Universities have responded enthusiastically. Newcastle University is offering an MSc in finance and law with Islamic finance from next academic year. Henley Business School at the University of Reading has been offering an MSc in investment banking and Islamic finance since last year, with students spending the second part of the year in Kuala Lumpur. The University of Bangor in Wales has also been running its Islamic finance MA and MSc for a year and is considering introducing a new MBA in the subject, while the first students to take an Islamic finance option as part of an executive MBA offered in Dubai by Cass Business School will graduate this summer. Durham, which has been offering postgraduate research degrees in Islamic finance for some time, is now introducing a taught MA and MSc (the MSc is more quantitative), to respond to demand. Elsewhere in Europe, Reims Management School is offering a new specialist course in Islamic banking and finance for students on its masters in management programme, taught in English.

Student demand is driving the subject as much as any urging from governments. According to Rodney Wilson, founder and director of the Islamic finance programme at Durham, it is coming mainly from south-east Asia, particularly Malaysia, and the Middle East, although there is plenty of interest from the UK as well.

Joanna Gray, professor of financial regulation at Newcastle Law School, says she is keen that their new degree course is not just seen as something for Muslims. "It’s for anyone interested in a fast-developing industry that in the UK has been quite busy in the past few years to accommodate forms of investment in finance that are sharia-compliant."

Sharia principles

Islamic finance really dates from the mid-1970s, with attempts to make products available through conventional banking, such as loans and mortgages, compatible with sharia principles. Sharia law prohibits any transaction that involves paying interest or investing in certain economic sectors such as gambling or pornography. It demands that both the investor and recipient of the investment must share any risk, and transactions have to be underpinned by tangible assets.

In the years immediately after 9/11, anything involving money and Muslims was viewed with suspicion by many in the west because of fears about terrorism, and Islamic finance is still taking off faster in the UK and France than in the US. But in the current global financial climate the principles it is based on have struck a chord.

"There is an extent to which, to a westerner, Islamic finance products look very similar to ethical finance products," says Stefan Szymanski, professor of economics at Cass. "There is a demand for morally upright investment vehicles, and Islamic finance is the Islamic version of that."

Philip Molyneux, head of the business school at Bangor, suggests that even if western banks do not want to introduce specific Islamic finance products – and an increasing number do – they still want to know how it is that many Islamic institutions escaped the worst effects of the credit crunch.

He has been surprised that demand for the MA and MSc has come not just from recent graduates and bankers wanting to improve their career prospects, but also from sharia scholars, who play a key role in Islamic finance. Any new financial product must be passed by them as sharia-compliant, so many financial institutions must now have scholars standing by ready to give their verdict. These scholars often disagree, and can even change their minds, but this offers plenty of scope for the kind of intellectual arguments that universities relish, not to mention graduate jobs.

On the whole, most of the new Islamic finance courses steer well clear of religious issues in favour of legal and financial questions because these are what most interest students. Khalid El Sheik applied for Bangor’s Islamic finance MA because, having taken a first degree in computer science in Sudan before switching to a career in marketing, he felt his CV needed a business boost. He saw it as a chance to mark himself out from other students and to have a headstart in an area that was likely to offer plenty of future employment opportunities. "I had read about Islamic banking and how it was going to increase in future, and how most of the banking sector is now looking to it," he says. His fellow students at the university, including one from China, had the same idea, he says.

Szymanski agrees that it is the idea of the moment in many universities, and while Cass is still waiting to see how the market develops before introducing any similar courses, it is certainly considering the possibility.

"You just have to measure how many billions of dollars Islamic finance already handles in a year," he says. "If that grows over the years, it will become a universal part of every business school." 2 minute tour

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