The Shariah board of ‘Meethaq’ Islamic banking has approved RO 150 million capital assigned by BankMuscat for its Islamic banking window operations awaiting regulatory approval. The board from Shariah perspective endorsed the authenticity of capital allocation from BankMuscat shareholders’ fund for operations of independent Meethaq Islamic banking. Sheikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi, Chairman of Shariah board, explained that the capital allocation is in line with injunctions of al-Quran and as-Sunnah and the fact that various contemporary Shariah scholars have endorsed the usage of shareholders’ fund for Sharia compliant transactions.
Shaikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi, Chairman of Shariah board, Shaikh Essam Muhammad Ishaq, Sheikh Majid Al Kindi, board members, and Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group GM — Islamic Banking, addressed the media yesterday (Monday 30 April 2012) to highlight the strategy for the proposed ‘Meethaq’ Islamic banking operation.
Sheikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi said: “Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, will adopt the best practices in Islamic banking and finance worldwide and combine a robust model which will protect customers and complement the Islamic banking industry. Meethaq will reach out to customers with the promise of being true to their beliefs, offering all the advantages of banking by following the principles of Shariah law and its requirements.
The Meethaq suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity are in the pipeline to give the choice of staying true to one’s values. Inspired by faith and a tradition of trust, Meethaq will help customers stay true to their values.”
Shaikh Essam Muhammad Ishaq said: “Meethaq will stand out for its independent Shariah Supervisory Board, separate capital, unique risk management tools, fund segregation, separate books of account, core banking system which supports Islamic banking operations, separate Islamic banking branches and proper profit distribution mechanism among investment account holders/depositors. The adoption of AAIOFI standards will boost and streamline the ‘Meethaq’ Islamic banking practices in terms of standardisation of products and services.”
Sulaiman al Harthy said: “Subject to approval, BankMuscat is all set to launch ‘Meethaq’ Islamic banking window operations in Oman. As the nation’s leading financial services provider, BankMuscat is well positioned to provide Islamic financial expertise to diverse segments and thereby promote the good of society as a whole. The Bank has in place a comprehensive strategy to effectively respond to the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos on Islamic banking and thereby cater to the financial needs of people in accordance with the guidelines and regulatory framework to be prescribed by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).”
BankMuscat recently announced the decision of its Board of Directors to assign RO 150 million capital for Meethaq Islamic banking window operations. The final allocation will be determined by business opportunities in the market and the Board has indicated that the assigned amount may increase if required. The capital allocation is subject to necessary regulatory approvals.
Shaikh Dr Ali Qaradaghi received PhD in the area of contracts and financial transactions from Al Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt in 1985. He is currently a Professor of Islamic financial contracts and heads the department of Islamic jurisprudence in the College of Sharia and Islamic Studies at the University of Qatar. Presently, he serves on the Sharia boards of many Islamic financial institutions in and outside Qatar, including Emirates Islamic Bank and Dubai Islamic Bank in the UAE, Investment House and Investors Bank in Bahrain and First Investment in Kuwait. He is founding member of many charitable organisations and international Islamic jurisprudence bodies. He is the author of many research articles on contemporary issues in Islamic finance and banking. He has already published eight books and six books are in various stages of publication on topics including Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic thought.