Islamic Finance: Women Can Run Businesses That Are Sharia Compliant - Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf

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Sunday, November 11, 2019 / 12:35 PM /  Bukola Akinyele for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV

 

Islamic Finance has provisions for women to run their businesses that are sharia compliant, Dr Tajudeen Yusuf Associate Professor, Department of Actuarial Science and Insurance, University of Lagos disclosed in a recent interview with WebTV on the program "Islamic Finance Weekly."

He noted that "Mudaraba" is a funding system in Islam involving profit sharing.  According to him a woman can engage in businesses with permission from her husband.  Women can run their businesses, but such enterprises must be Shariah-compliant.

Speaking further he stressed the fact that there is nothing wrong for Muslim women to have economic assets; in terms of economic acquisition, women are allowed to transact businesses, own assets and invest in shariah-compliant businesses.

Giving his perspective on Islamic Finance as a preferred option for funding capital projects in economies like Nigeria, Dr. Yusuf highlighted "Salam" as the better option for driving the agricultural sector as it is receiving a lot of attention because of the policy of the government to grow the sector.

He noted that the existing Islamic banks are available for any individuals to solve financing through "Salam."

Yusuf made a strong case for crowdfunding, which can be used to get to a larger segment of society to participate in investments. He asserted that through crowd funding  "Mudaraba" or "Musharaka" can be used to grow the sector or improve entrepreneurial skills of the private organization and also government sector. He said his mode of financing are quite useful and appropriate for emerging economies.

In the area of supporting governance and fiscal policy, Yusuf noted that Islamic Finance is focused on human welfare, which is manifest through "Mokosidu Shariah" which has the objective of making life comfortable for everybody.

He stated that tax policies/ fiscal policies of the government must be shariah compliant, ensuring that people pay according to what they have acquired. The Unilag lecturer emphasized the need for  transparency, which does not stop Muslims paying "Zakat" or "Sadakat."

Looking at "Takaful," he said there is risk-sharing as opposed to risk-transfer in the conventional system. The practice according to him is currently in operation in Nigeria and more people are coming on board. 

"We have non-Muslims who also patronize Takaful outfits because it is non- discriminatory. It doesn't allow interest, gambling or investment in non-approved investment outlet and must be Shariah-compliant," Yusuf said.

He was optimistic that "Takaful" will go a long way in bringing more people into the economic sector and deepen financial inclusion.

The Insurance lecturer called for more awareness and sensitization of the public on the benefits of "Takaful" in the financial system and economy.

According to him, all the Islamic finance modes can solve a lot of challenges an economy like Nigeria faces.  It is ethically-based and relies mostly on trust. This means the people that patronize Islamic finance products must be trustworthy, creditworthy and must have the fear of God.

He identified "Istina" as an instrument that can do a lot in the area of  construction, manufacturing  and infrastructure. He called on people to patronize Islamic finance products and the capital market to ensure that they make use of these opportunities because risk- sharing is the hallmark of Islamic finance.

On the 2020 trip of the Islamic Development Bank's President to Nigeria, he said the major point of discussion should focus on how investors can come to Nigeria to set up Islamic financial institutions, either banks, Takaful, asset management outfits and attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) into the economy. 

 

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