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DR JAMSHAID ANWAR CHATTHA

FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL TECHNICAL AND RESEARCH, IFSB

You have a wide range of experience in Islamic financial regulation and supervision, having worked extensively on
regulatory policy and supervisory capacity development over the last decade. What are your views on the major
regulatory impediments to the development of Islamic banking and finance?

The growth and popularity of modern Islamic finance throughout the past decade is evident in many jurisdictions.
We can now see a lot of measurable progress of Islamic finance in various jurisdictions. With the exception of Iran
and Sudan (which have fully Sharī’a-compliant banking systems), all Islamic finance industries are operating under the
dual banking systems, where conventional financial institutions operate in parallel to Islamic financial institutions (IFIs).
The degree of regulatory developments varies from one jurisdiction to another. Some countries have well-developed
public and market infrastructure supporting Islamic finance, while others are developing at a slower pace, gradually
proportionate to the market share of Islamic banking in the country. From my experience, there are four key elements
which have an impact on the regulatory framework for Islamic finance. They are:

• An enabling legal framework has a direct impact on the business of the financial institutions including the IFIs.
A fair and transparent legal framework, (including proper enforcement), brings legal certainty and predictability
of outcomes. A sound legal framework includes the appropriate legal infrastructure – with appropriate financial
laws that accommodate the specificities of IFIs and markets. For example, having the appropriate contract laws,
insolvency laws, trust laws, laws governing collateral, etc., will affect the types of products and services IFIs can
offer within the jurisdiction. Tax neutrality provisions are also part of this framework as they are imperative to
ensure that Islamic financial instruments and structures are not subject to higher tax liabilities relative to their
conventional counterparts.
• A strong prudential and regulatory framework is an important component in the development of Islamic finance
to support sustainable growth and foster financial stability. This includes providing a robust supervisory and
regulatory framework, in line with the recommendations of both the BCBS and the IFSB – covering the core
elements inter alia, investment account holders, risk management policies, corporate governance, transparency
and Shari’a governance, stress testing, and capital adequacy – to ensure a level playing field to market participants.

• Active financial market infrastructure is also key.
Lack of active primary and secondary markets for
Shari’a-compliant instruments (i.e. sukūk issuance),
trading and settlement, limited Islamic inter-bank
market and inefficient financial infrastructure including
liquidity infrastructure to support the Islamic finance
remain serious concerns for IFIs. In terms of liquidity
infrastructure, IFIs require Shari’a-compliant liquidity
markets and financial safety nets such as Sharī’acompliant lender of the last resort (SLOLR) and Shariacompliant deposit insurance scheme (SCDIS) from the
central bank.
• Supervisory capacity is also a key element in the
development of Islamic finance. Lack of qualified
professionals with a depth and breadth of Islamic finance
knowledge and experience is common in many countries
in which Islamic finance operates. It is therefore
imperative for academic and training institutions to work
together with market participants and supervisors to
develop and enhance the skills, expertise and capabilities
needed to support the development of the industry. The
range of expertise should include broad-based approach
covering finance professionals and Sharī’a scholars.

Your career has included substantial time, as a Project
Manager, and then again as Assistant Secretary-General
(Technical), at the Kuala-Lumpur based Islamic Financial
Services Board (IFSB), the international standard-setting
organisation for Islamic finance. What do you consider
your best memories with regard to the technical work at
the IFSB and its contribution to the development of global
Islamic finance?

The IFSB has, for me personally, been a great place for
acquiring a wealth of Islamic finance expertise by virtue of
its broad interactions with the regulators and international
institutions.

There are many memories on which I take pride in while
serving the organisation. One such memory is related to
the development of IFSB’s Core Principles for Islamic Finance
Regulation (CPIFR) (Islamic Banking segment) or IFSB-17. I was
also involved in developing the projects, among others, for the
development of frameworks for the stress-testing of Islamic
banks (IFSB-13), and financial safety nets including Shari’acompliant lender-of-last-resort (SLOLR) (WP-1), and the Pillar II equivalent (IFSB-16: key elements of the supervisory review
process) for supervisors regulating Islamic banks.

Let me share the story of the IFSB’s CPIFR – its importance
in the development of global Islamic finance, and as a tool for
supervisory authorities to carry out self-assessments on the
progress of their regulatory frameworks in achieving greater
consistency in the implementation of the IFSB Standards.

The CPIFR is a compendium of the IFSB Standards including
IFSB-1 (Risk Management), IFSB-3 (Corporate Governance),
IFSB-10 (Shari‘a Governance), IFSB-12 (Liquidity), IFSB-13
(Stress Testing), IFSB-15 (Revised Capital Adequacy), GN-6 (LCR
and NSFR), and IFSB-16 (Pillar II). Each CPIFR is supported
by a set of assessment criteria, which is further divided into
essential and additional criteria. Compliance with the CPIFR
will demonstrate an increased implementation of the IFSB
Standards.

I was the Project Manager (back in 2012) for the development
of the CPIFR project, coordinating a working group comprising
of 23 regulators (central banks), the IMF, the World Bank, the
Basel Committee, the IsDB, as well as the ADB. I remember
that within the working group was a strong determination
and commitment to developing high-quality CPIFR, which
could become best practices for the purposes of undertaking
financial sector assessments and preparing Reports on the
Observance of Standards and Codes by the IMF. The CPIFR
were approved for adoption (among member countries) by
the IFSB Council in April 2015.

On May 24, 2018, after years of rigorous due process and
high-level interactions by the IFSB, the IMF’s Executive Board
endorsed the use of the IFSB’s CPIFR and the associated
assessment methodology for its Financial Sector Assessment.

Program (FSAP). This was a game-changer for the Islamic
finance industry. Another milestone came two years later,
in January 2020, when the IFSB announced that its CPIFR
will also be included in the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB)
Compendium of Standards.

These two major developments at the international level
reflect the importance of the CPIFR and consolidates the
international recognition of Islamic finance’s robust regulatory
eco-system.

The IMF’s endorsement of the CPIFR is not just a momentous
landmark for the Islamic finance industry as a whole; on the
national scale, the CPIFR will help supervisors in achieving
greater consistency in supervisory surveillance and oversight,
and lays down an integrated prudential framework which
complements the international architecture for financial
stability

Currently there are 15 jurisdictions where Islamic banking
accounts for more than 15% of the market share. These
“systemically-important” jurisdictions are the primary
beneficiaries of the IMF’s implementation of the CPIFR,
and would subsequently serve as benchmarks for other
jurisdictions where Islamic finance is yet to gain a market
share of above 15%.

Finally, let me add that as a result of compliance with CPIFR,
we should see an increased convergence of supervisory
practices for Islamic finance across jurisdictions.

Critics argue that the work of the IFSB is predominantly
a ‘copy and paste’ of the regulatory framework of its
counterparts such as the Basel Committee on Banking
Supervision. Having been directly involved in some of the
IFSB’s pioneering work, how do you feel about this? Is this
criticism valid?

Actually, this issue has been misunderstood by the
critics. The ‘copy and paste’ phenomenon has been under
scrutiny for a while. We, at the IFSB Secretariat, always had
this discussion. There are two views among the supervisors
– those who prefer to have all the guidance in one document
so that they could apply such regulation to Islamic banks, and
those who wanted to have separate guidance focusing only
on Islamic finance specificities.

However, beyond that, there are two things that we need to
understand in the context of this criticism.

First, the IFSB has a broader mandate to promote and
enhance the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial
services industry by issuing global prudential standards and
guiding principles for the industry, broadly defined to include
Islamic banking, Islamic capital markets and Islamic insurance
(takāful). In this context, the work of the IFSB complements
its conventional counterparts – the Basel Committee on
Banking Supervision (BCBS), International Organisation
of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International
Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS).

Second, Article 4 of the IFSB Articles of Agreement
(AOA) states that the IFSB has a mandate to promote the
development of a prudent and transparent Islamic financial
services industry through introducing new, or adapting
existing, international standards consistent with Shariʻa
principles, and to recommend these for adoption.

In the process of executing Article 4 of the AOA, we need
to understand the approach of not needing to rewrite nor
‘reinvent’ the wheel; rather the approach taken was to adapt
the existing guidance which are common (and thus applicable)
to both conventional and Islamic financial institutions, and
add an additional layer to reflect the context and specifics
of Islamic finance. The IFSB has a Shari’a Committee which
reviews and advises the potential Shari’a issues in the
adaptation of any conventional guidance for Islamic finance.
However, key issue has been with the degree of value
addition for supervisors and promptness by the IFSB to the
industry.

However, taking the criticism positively, in 2019, the IFSB
has responded by making relevant amendments in the IFSB
Guidelines and Procedures for the Preparation of Standards.
Among others, the revised Guidelines introduced changes in
the due process of developing new standards to take into
account either “comprehensive” or “supplementary” approach.

The comprehensive approach would involve the IFSB
providing a complete regulatory and supervisory guidance
for Islamic finance (which could include adoption of certain
principles directly from conventional standards as they do
not require any changes). These principles will be retained
as unamended by the IFSB, as they are equally applicable to
both Islamic and conventional finance, and do not raise any
Shari’a concerns.

The supplementary approach would involve the IFSB only
providing specific regulatory and supervisory guidance
in area which either require modification of conventional
standards to meet the specificities of Islamic finance, or
additional aspects within Islamic finance which not covered
by conventional standards. In this approach, the principles
from conventional standards which are equally applicable to
both Islamic and conventional finance will not be included in
the IFSB standard, and supervisors would be asked to refer to
the conventional standards for details in managing them. The
IFSB will provide the mapping of such guidance.

The adoption of these two approaches is also to address the
speed to which the IFSB is able to respond to changes in the
global financial industry. In both these contexts, we should
start seeing the results in the near future, and I am hopeful
that this may change any negative perceptions about the
IFSB and the important work it is doing.

You have worked with international organisations in
developing Islamic finance regulatory frameworks. What is
the nature of your involvement with the IMF? Why are the
multilateral institutions like the IMF and the World Bank
interested in promoting Islamic banking and finance?

One of the reasons for the international recognition of
Islamic finance is because international organisations such
as the IMF and the World Bank, and international standardsetting organisations for conventional financial systems such as BCBS, IOSCO, and IAIS have been closely working with the IFSB.

In particular, the IMF’s engagement with Islamic finance
is longstanding. For the past 20 years, the IMF has been
cooperating fastidiously with many regulatory and supervisory
authorities overseeing Islamic finance and providing technical
advice as needed, and with other international organisations
(e.g. World Bank, the Arab Monetary Fund, and the IsDB)
as well as standard-setters on Islamic banking issues (e.g.
IFSB and AAOIFI). It is important to recall that the IMF
played a crucial and catalytic role in establishing the IFSB –
coordinating and hosting many consultative meetings among
stakeholders, which culminated in the establishment of the
IFSB in November 2002. The IMF has, since 2003, been an
Associate Member of the IFSB.

My engagement with the IMF started from the IFSB as shortterm expert (STX) for my first IMF technical assistance (TA)
mission (in 2008) on Islamic finance regulatory framework for
the Kyrgyz Republic. This was followed by participation in a
few IMF missions while I was with the Central Bank of Kuwait.
Since September 2019, I have been working with the IMF as an STX (Islamic banking supervision advisor) for various
central banks for Islamic finance regulatory framework.

Working with the IMF is a great experience in developing
supervisory capacity on Islamic finance. In particular, my role
involves drafting policy advice, developing specific regulatory
framework, amending exiting and developing new regulatory
templates for supervisory reporting, and conducting training
on supervisory capacity for Islamic finance professionals.

To date, as an Islamic banking supervision advisor to the IMF,
I have provided policy advice to various central banks through
13 IMF TA missions – for Djibouti, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Kyrgyz
Republic, Nigeria and Yemen, as well as one TA mission with
the World Bank for Saudi Arabia.

Let us ask you a hypothetical question. Say you are in the
position to influence the direction of Islamic banking in
a country with significant Islamic finance market share.
What would be your considerations to develop a policy
framework to replace conventional banking with Islamic
banking?

Currently, there is no such precedent available where
a conventional banking system by any regulator has been
completely revamped and replaced with Islamic banking.
However, at political leadership level, there is the case of
Libya which has enacted a new banking law in which the
banking system is in transition from a conventional to a fullfledged Islamic banking system. This will make it the third
country, after Sudan and Iran, where there will be 100%
Islamic banking. All other jurisdictions where Islamic finance
operates continue to have dual-banking system.

As far as I know, no authority to date has announced, or will
publicly announce, its intent to convert the conventional
banking with full-fledged Islamic banking.

In my opinion, the considerations to develop a policy
framework to replace conventional banking with Islamic
banking in any jurisdiction should be market-driven rather
than politically-driven. If there is adequate rising demand
among the customers for Islamic banking products, then
it should be considered by the relevant authorities in their
policy framework as a road-map for forward guidance on the
Islamic finance industry.

The key considerations in the policy should include ensuring
the enabling environment for Islamic banking operations
together with addressing key preconditions for an effective
Islamic banking supervision, and the necessary public and
market infrastructure – including financial safety nets and
insolvencies regime. This is a point which is elaborated in the
next question.

You have worked in various countries, as well as interacted
with, and travelled to a great number of countries in
relation to your work for Islamic financial regulation and
supervisory capacity development. What are the key
elements and priorities, within a regulatory framework
that gives an indication on the seriousness of the country/
regulator in implementing Islamic finance?

It is crucial to acknowledge that Islamic banking has
distinct operations with differing risk profiles and balance
sheet structures compared to conventional banking.
Therefore, the approach to regulating and supervising Islamic
banking should be reflected in parallel with the nature of
risks to which Islamic banks are exposed, which would
consequently require additional or different regulatory and
supervisory practices.

We need to assess the seriousness objectively. There
are at least two fundamental conditions to being a good
Islamic finance jurisdiction: (a) robust and deep financial
infrastructure; and (b) financial sector catering to Islamic
finance specificities. The former emphasises on the need
to have a proper framework in place in the jurisdiction. The
latter requires making suitable adjustments to the existing
infrastructure components to cater the peculiar features of
the Islamic finance.

In my experience of conducting 100+ technical workshops on
Islamic finance for supervisors, (for the IFSB, IMF, World Bank,
IsDB, Toronto Centre, AMF, Cambridge IFA), in Middle East,
South Asia, Central Asia, Africa and Europe, the jurisdictions
which have developed a medium-term action plan for an
Islamic banking regulatory framework and have addressed
the following seven components are the ones which are very
serious in supervising Islamic finance:

  1. Have a formal unit/division, with a clear mandate and
    adequate internal capacity and skill-sets, within a
    central bank or supervisory authority to oversee Islamic
    finance operations. In this formal structure, the unit is
    well-integrated with other organs such as policy affairs,
    supervision and surveillance, financial stability, and
    consumer protection to achieve long-term sustainability
    of Islamic finance growth, stability and resilience;

2. Have addressed key pre-conditions (e.g. financial safety
nets such as SLOLR and SCDIS, insolvency regime,
and financial infrastructure including Islamic inter-bank
market) reflecting the local financial and institutional
environment complexities;

3. Adopted comprehensive and well-defined accounting
principles and rules that are internationally accepted,
including implementing International Financial Reporting
Standards such as that of the AAOIFI for Islamic banks;

4. Strengthened the supervisory approach and techniques
for Islamic banks including On-site and Off-site manuals,
and enhancing the periodic supervisory reporting;

5. Developed and issued key prudential regulations (core
minimum) and norms for Islamic banks in line with the
Basel and IFSB standards;

6. Have in place secure, efficient and well-regulated
payment and clearing systems (e.g. real-time gross
payment and settlement system and market information
systems such as clearing house, and trade repository) for
the settlement of financial transactions including those
of Islamic banks; and

7. Developed Shari’a-compliant high-quality liquid assets
(sukūk) for financial sector liquidity management
purposes and have active primary and secondary
markets for sukūk issuance, trading and settlement.

Let us take a step back. There are those in the industry
that are not entirely satisfied with the work of the Islamic
finance infrastructure institutions – the likes of the IFSB,
AAOIFI, IIFM and CIBAFI. What is your take on these
views, and do you feel these bodies can be more effective?

Actually, in our daily life, very few like constructive
criticism. I tend to believe, some criticism from the industry
has been unwarranted. On the other hand, some criticism is
fair. Criticism such as the performance and pro-activeness
of Islamic finance infrastructure institutions in adding value
on a consistent basis to their stakeholders, have to be taken
constructively and investigated accordingly.

Let us not forget that even the BCBS has been criticised,
despite it being very proactive in responding to the needs
of the banking industry. This tells us that challenges and
criticisms have to be faced by all industries, and Islamic
finance infrastructure institutions are not spared. Each
journey has it bumps.

There are needs and expectations from the industry
stakeholders that all these institutions should respond to
in a timely manner. Take a case of issues related to the (still
ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic – BCBS issued its guidance
to stakeholders within a month (in March 2020), and has
subsequently issued a lot of guidance notes. Similarly, the
IASB/IFRS issued guidance to the industry promptly to
take into account accounting issues due to moratoria. On
the other hand, AAOIFI issued clarity on COVID-19 in May
and June 2020, and the IFSB is yet to issue any guidance to
its stakeholders. This highlights the issue of promptness to
address issues in a timely manner. This is where I see much of
the criticism is valid.

Each of the Islamic finance infrastructure institutions has
its own resource envelope, as well as constraints and
challenges in which it operates. Hence, the desire to bring
the organisation ‘up to speed’ – to increase effectiveness and
efficiency, for example – needs to thoroughly examine every
element of these institutions and their capacity. Let me shed
light on few issues which may be worth looking at.

First, we need to ensure consistency of the governance
structure among the three standard-setting institutions
(IFSB, AAOIFI and IIFM). Each of these institutions has its
own mandates and governance structure. At this time, only
the IFSB operates in a relatively more robust governance
structure. The consistency of governance structure will
increase the principle of accountability and performance.

Second, the quality of the first and second-tier leadership to
steer Islamic finance. This has been a great challenge for these
institutions. There is a strong need to have leadership that
not only delivers the mandated key performance indicators
but also develops more leaders and spends on human capital
in order to remain relevant and sustainable.

Third, higher expectations versus limited resources. There are
serious issues with the resources that these Islamic finance
infrastructure institutions, limiting their capacity to deliver
timely and proactively. For instance, the work of the IFSB
complements that of the BCBS, IOSCO and the IAIS. This
suggests that the IFSB is doing the work of three major
standard-setting bodies with the same resources and effort
of its counterparts. This is not the case.

In terms of forward guidance, I believe, there are still areas which
require full attention by these Islamic finance infrastructure
institutions. For instance, there is need to develop policy
and regulation for Islamic social finance instruments and its
integration with mainstream Islamic finance, as well as a focus
on regulation for Islamic microfinance institutions.
I believe that these four institutions should actively be within
each other’s core membership circle, and at the very least,
have reciprocal arrangements to reduce/streamline the
redundancy and duplication of efforts.

You have worked with a number of leading personalities
in the world of Islamic banking and finance. Who amongst
them has influenced your own thoughts and work the
most?

It is indeed a blessing to have a good boss who can
inspire you, and who believes in you.

There are few leading personalities who I have been lucky
enough to work with and learn from, in the Islamic finance
world. It is not possible to mention all here, but these
thoughtful leaders include H.E. Dr. Mohammad Y. Al-Hashel,
Governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait, the inaugural
Secretary-General of the IFSB, Prof. Datuk Dr. Rifaat Ahmed
Abdel Karim, IFSB Consultant, Professor Simon Archer, and
Mr. Abdullah Haron, then IFSB’s Assistant Secretary-General
and my immediate supervisor.

Each one of them has helped me in different ways, with
mutual respect, to shape my thoughts and grip on Islamic
finance.

Let me share with you – Professor Rifaat provided me and
the IFSB team sound technical mentoring on Islamic finance.
But above and beyond that, he showed a great amount of
kind-heartedness and fatherly touch in terms of intellectual
growth and leadership. I can honestly say that I would not
be where I am today, or where I inspire to be, had he not
believed in me by providing me the opportunity to serve the
Islamic finance industry 13 years ago.

While working with H.E. Dr. Al-Hashel, I learned clarity of
thought on Islamic finance implementation, leadership
skills, and technical understanding of the broader Islamic
finance issues. It was always challenging for us to meet His
Excellency’s expectations due to his high standards. He was
always appreciative of good work, and this is where I learned
a rigourous due process of solving problems and issues
pertaining to Islamic finance.

Working with Abdullah Haron was great experience. As a
supervisor, he gave us space, allowed us to make mistakes,
and take lessons from those mistakes. He did not cherish the
team failures. This is a legacy that I still carry in my career.

Prof. Archer, who I still enjoy working with, albeit remotely,
on the other hand has profound technical knowledge and
has immensely contributed to Islamic finance and the development of the Islamic finance regulatory
framework. A man who I have learnt much
from, a true teacher and mentor.

Central banks around the world are
facing extraordinary times as a result of
the COVID-19 pandemic. In your view,
what could be the response of the Islamic
banking and finance industry, and what
advice you would offer with regard to the
potential implications of COVID-19, to
supervisors regulating Islamic banks?

No doubt, supervisors are facing
extraordinary times with the COVID-19
pandemic, and the start of a ‘new normal’,
which may last for some time. This pandemic
has brought with it numerous supervisory
implications which require measures that are
both pragmatic and extraordinary. In such
testing times, it is expected that supervisory
policy choices, for the containment of the
crisis, will involve certain degrees of tradeoffs. However, supervisors should ensure
they act with agility and resilience, as ensuing
financial stability is a marathon task.

The speed, magnitude and dramatic economic
effects of COVID-19 – engulfing not one
country or region, but the whole world – are
seemingly greater than those from the 2008
Global Financial Crisis (GFC). We should
recall that Islamic finance was protected
from the first wave of the GFC; nevertheless,
when the liquidity conditions, together with
credit availability were tightened globally,
certain Islamic financial institutions were
exposed to the spillover effects, which in turn
led to problems of viability and, in extreme
cases, insolvency of certain institutions. This
COVID-19 pandemic on the other hand
brings immediate (but certainly proportionate)
implications for all types of banking systems.

In the context of the pandemic, I have
penned two comprehensive articles – one
for ISFIRE (April 2020) and one for Toronto
Centre (May 2020). The latter outlines seven
implications and priorities for supervisors
regulating Islamic banks, as:

  1. ensuring supervisory transparency, clarity in regulatory
    interventions, and a level-playing field for Islamic banks;
  2. navigating a tricky trade-off between regulatory capital
    requirements and economic growth;
  3. managing Islamic banks’ asset quality and the treatment
    of moratoria and non-performing financing;
  4. dealing with a liquidity crunch and providing Shari’acompliant liquidity support and lender-of-last-resort
    facilities;
  5. providing supervisory support for issuing sovereign
    sukūk for fiscal deficits;
  6. evaluating stress testing and credit quality; and
  7. reviewing financial safety nets and insolvency regimes
    for Islamic banks.

You have been a banking regulator, standard-setter, and a
policy advisor – quite an achievement at such a young age.
Which of these roles you have enjoyed the most, and what
would be your advice and direction to young graduates,
who wish to pursue a career in Islamic banking and finance?

I am humbled to have achieved these roles, and been
given this exposure, at this age. Alhamdulillah.
What I can say is that from these experiences, with each role
having its own uniqueness and a complementary perspectives,
I have enjoyed both the learning and the contributing
experiences offered by the respective organisations.
However, policy advice is something I have enjoyed the most.
Let me explain.

I have learned in 14 years that policy formulation, policy
implementation and policy advice, are three different things.
When you develop a particular policy, you think about
entire Islamic finance industry; when you are in position to
implement such a policy, you have to take into account the
local context and environment. On the other hand, when you
provide advice on a specific policy (to a regulator), you are
required to link it with other preconditions, which should be
in place in order for such policy to be effective and successful.

My advice to young graduates would be, among others:

On campus, choose one field of Islamic finance – Islamic
banking, takāful (Islamic Insurance), Islamic capital markets,
Islamic microfinance, etc. The approach should be generic
to vertical specialists on learning Islamic finance. Once you
choose your field, learn not only a theoretical perspective
about that field including theory and variations in practice,
but adequate problem solving skills and knowledge of
industry developments. Thus, your assignments, research,
thesis, and market knowledge, shall focus on that particular
field. As Islamic finance itself is expansive, this focused
approach will help young graduates avoid being a “jack of all
trades, but master of none”.

I hold on to a sharing by Sirajuddin Aziz, a prolific writer and
CEO Group Financial Institutions at Habib Bank AG Zurich,
who said that “having aspirations (or being ambitious) is not
a negative thing. It actually makes us diligent”. This teaches a
person to be confident and humble at the same time. Never
indulge in self-deception that you are the best. Early in your
career, monetary rewards should not entice you to jump
ships, though, the proverb ‘a rolling stone gathers no moss’ has
great validity.

Leave behind a good legacy, wherever you work. In my
experience, it is impossible to succeed with in a negative or
toxic environment. Never compromise on your professional
integrity. Again Sirajuddin Aziz’s words resonate – “trouble
and challenges bring experience and experience is the Mother
of Wisdom.” As you grow, you learn how to deal with
disappointments. Hard work, passion, and sincerity are
a winning combination to possess, and “should be the
predominant armour in our personality.”

Finally I would like the young generation to believe what
Martin Luther King once said: “Our lives begin to end the day
we become silent about things that matter”.

What can we expect from you in the coming years? Are
there any interesting plans in the pipeline, or aspirations
that you wish to share with our readers?

It is always good to have something beautiful in sight.
Likewise, it is great to have quest for knowledge, and clarity
of thought in Islamic finance issues. I have held a strong view
that one does not need a formal position to contribute to the
Islamic finance industry, (or to any industry or endeavour), as
everyone is able to contribute in many ways and on different
platforms.

I am in the Islamic finance field by choice for life. Over the
last one and a half decade, I have only worked six months
for a conventional bank. All my career and post-graduate
education has been in the field of Islamic banking and
finance. I believe, being a strong advocate of Islamic finance
regulatory framework, I have a role to play in the development
and promotion of robust Islamic financial ecosystem globally.

Having said that, in this fast-evolving environment, it is
essential to polish talent, continue acquiring knowledge
and developing new skills. I intend to, with God’s will,
continue working with international organisations to develop
Islamic finance regulatory frameworks for central banks,and contribute through writing on pertinent issues for
supervisors regulating Islamic finance. I believe that writing
based on passion and conviction gives a beautiful feeling of
satisfaction. This I intend to consciously continue doing for as
long as I am able to.

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