LEADING GLOBAL ISLAMIC FINANCE RESEARCH INSTITUTION: ISRA
ISRA is recognised globally as a leading Global Premier Research Academy in the Islamic finance industry
BRIEF INFORMATION ABOUT ISRA
ISRA was established in 2008 by the Central Bank of Malaysia as an Islamic Finance and Shariah research institution. ISRA is recognised globally as a leading Global Premier Research Academy in Islamic Finance industry with numerous accolades. ISRA has published over 200 Sharia research publications, including textbooks, journals and research papers that are constantly referred internationally and its I-FIKR Portal, which is gaining popularity for its one-stop online Shari'ah knowledge repository for Islamic Finance.
COOPERATION OF ISRA WITH TURKEY AND OTHER FOREIGN COUNTRIES
ISRA is recognised globally as a leading Global Premier Research Academy in Islamic Finance industry with numerous accolades. An ICD Thomson Reuters study in 2014 cited that ISRA contributed an estimated 6.2% of global Islamic Finance Research. ISRA has various types of collaboration in research, including in-house research, collaborative research, and commissioned research. In-house research refers to the work that is undertaken by ISRA's researchers, usually on issues related to the industry's needs and market demands. Collaborative research refers to research projects that involve combined efforts of internal and external researchers, each bringing distinct expertise to a project on a topic identified by both parties. Commissioned research means research work that is outsourced to an external party or parties based on topics identified by ISRA. The commissioned research could be done either in a collaborative form (known as commissioned collaborative), whereby ISRA researchers or practitioners may also be involved in the research or could be conducted exclusively by the commissioned researcher(s). Examples of recently commissioned research projects conducted thus far include the UNHCR Refugee Zakat Fund, Sponsored by UNHCR Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific.
ISRA has been cooperating with Turkey in translating several ISRA textbook. For example, Marmara University Institute of Islamic Economics and Finance (MUISEF) has taken the initiative to translate Shari'ah Standards of the Central Bank of Malaysia and the Islamic Financial System textbook. In addition, ISRA has collaborated with Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University in organising an International conference on the issues related to Islamic finance. In the same vein, ISRA has produced a report on The Role of Sukuk in Islamic Capital Markets, which was commissioned by the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (COMCEC), based in Ankara, to the International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and RAM Rating Services Berhad.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAMIC FINANCE IN MALAYSIA
The factors that contributed to the development of Islamic finance in Malaysia vary. One of the key factors is political will. The willingness and support of the government were crucial for the successful introduction of Islamic finance into Malaysia's ﬁnancial market. The government's support was followed by a comprehensive legal framework that governs the operation of Islamic finance institutions in Malaysia. Further development was also seen with the Shari'ah governance, which the Central Bank of Malaysia released in 2019. It is worth mentioning that the newly introduced framework has strengthened oversight responsibilities on the board of directors, Shari'ah committee and other vital organs involved in implementing Shari'ah governance. Also, the infrastructure support system plays a crucial role in facilitating and governing the work of Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) in Malaysia. Likewise, the establishment of the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF) by the Central Bank of Malaysia in 2005 ISRA in 2008 was a great initiative to meet the global demand for a broad base talent pool with deep Shari'ah understanding. All these factors have contributed to enhancing the growth rate and making Malaysia a pioneering Islamic finance model.
CONSIDERING SHARI'AH GOVERNANCE, WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FOR THE DEVELOPMENTOF ISLAMIC FINANCE GLOBALLY?
Islamic Financial Institutions (IFI) musthave a comprehensive Shari'ah governance framework to strengthen the Shari'ah compliance mechanism within IFIs and ensure that all relevant IFI regulations comply with Shari'ah rules and principles. Effective implementation of the Shari'ah governance framework will further promote stakeholder conﬁdence, as well as the integrity of the Islamic ﬁnancial industry, by reducing Shari'ah non-compliance risks. This will ultimately contribute to maintaining ﬁnancial stability. However, the development of Islamic finance globally requires harmonisation in Islamic finance to minimise the gap between fatwa and rulings. Doing so would strengthen the quality and accuracy of Shari'ah decisions within IFIs and promote stakeholder confidence and the integrity of the Islamic financial industry, thereby contributing towards maintaining financial growth and stability.
Executive Director of International Shari'ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin
You can view the content in the 25th issue of Katılım Finans. (LEADING GLOBAL ISLAMIC FINANCE RESEARCH INSTITUTION: ISRA)