Islamic DeFi: Back to Basics – I

The trajectory of the mainstream Islamic financial services sector, as we understand, has never been smooth. The maiden experiments in Islamic banking and finance perhaps started with the birth of institutions like the Dubai Islamic Bank and the Islamic Development Bank in the mid-1970s. A new breed of scholars, known as Islamic economists, dominated all…

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM): Is it an Ethical Game? – II

From our archives: IBF Review – Vol 1, No.16-17 September 2004 Pyramid or endless-chain distributor schemes ask people to make an investment and, in return, grant them a license to recruit others who, in turn, recruit still others into the scheme. In essence, the investor pays for the opportunity to receive compensation when his or…

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM): Is it an Ethical Game? – I

From our archives: IBF Review – Vol 1, No.16-17 September 2004 If you haven't been approached so far by someone from Amway or Gold Quest or Herbalife or Biznas, you have reasons to feel bad. This perhaps means that you still have a long way to go before you are perceived as someone with good…

Identifying Waqf Assets with Development Potential Using AI

Introducing Project Deliverance, I try to demonstrate here how public and private data sources that are commonly available can be used to create artificial intelligence for classification of awqaf assets in terms of their potential for development and address the twin challenges of preservation and development. The term “deliverance” implies the act of rescue or…

Contemporary Awqaf and SDGs – II

Waqf projects relating to economic empowerment of women (SDG5) have largely focused on decent work (SDG8). We may therefore, discuss them together. Projects have specifically focused on skill enhancement & assistance (SDG8.5 and SDG5), such as tailoring and dress making (YMA, Kenya and JCorp. Malaysia), mushroom cultivation (IWF in Indonesia), citronella and other cash crops…

Contemporary Awqaf and SDGs – I

In a recent blog I presented a framework for identifying action points for the awqaf sector to help achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). This was a component of our overall research agenda to examine the (mis)alignment between SDGs and Maqasid-Al-Shariah (MaS) and the role of Islamic social finance sector in general and awqaf sector…

When an SoS Turns into a Profiteering Opportunity

A real-life story that argues for waqf to play its desired role in curbing price anomalies and profiteering opportunities in the provision of essential services by introducing a fair benchmark in the market These are unusual times indeed. One keeps hearing about the rising graph of people affected by the pandemic and the consequent huge…

Maqasid Al-Shariah, SDGs and the Ottoman Waqf

The Ottoman awqaf addressed societal concerns far beyond the SDGs. People were born in waqf property, educated in waqf schools, worked in waqf enterprises, received medical treatment in waqf hospitals and were buried in waqf lands. During my research into the alignment of SDGs with the Maqasid al-Shariah (MaS) and how the awqaf sector can…

Setting a Maqasid-Driven Development Agenda for Islamic Finance – IV

More importantly, we examine how Islamic social finance in general and awqaf in particular can play a role in operationalizing the areas of alignment between MaS and SDGs. We also develop a comprehensive database of existing waqf-based initiatives across the globe with a view to documenting good practices by awqaf in meeting MaS as well…

Setting a Maqasid-Driven Development Agenda for Islamic Finance – III

The specific MaS corollaries that capture a clear spiritual and religious dimension could not be mapped to the SDGs that are faith-neutral, rooted in materialistic as well as moral considerations, and are mostly borne out of repeated market failures to address societal concerns. The Islamic vision of development has its origins in the Quran and…

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