A two-day second World Islamic Economic and Finance Conference (WIEFC), held under the aegis of Minhaj University Lahore (MUL), began at a local hotel here on Saturday. The theme of this conference was titled “Adaptability and Dependability: Oriental and Empirical Innovations in Islamic Finance”. The conference was well attended by national as well as foreign experts of the economy, high-ups of business and banking circles, investors, traders and students and research fellows of various academic and financial institutions.
The first session was presided over by Deputy Chairman, Board of Governors, MU, Dr. Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri. It also included a book launching ceremony authored by him, “Islami Ikhlaqiat-e-Tijart (Urdu version of “Business Ethics in Islam”. Lifetime awards were given to the eminent people for their services in the field of Islamic Banking, Finance and Economy; and a presentation on fine tech solutions for “A Halal (Tayyab)/Human and Value-based Economic Behaviour” by Fingel Global Canada was also given.
The Conference included speeches, paper presentations and penal discussions by eminent local and foreign experts including, Prof. Dr. Rodney Wilson, Professor Emeritus at Durham University and INCEIF, Prof. Dr. M. Ishaque Bhatti, Director Islamic Banking and Finance Programme, La Trobe University, Australia, Dr Mughees Shaukat, Head of Islamic Finance, College of Banking and Financial Studies, Central Bank of Oman, Dr. Waqar Masood, former Federal Secretary Finance, Govt. of Pakistan, Dr Nadeem ul Haque, former VC PIDE Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, Dr Humayun Dar, DG Cambridge Institute of Islamic Finance, UK among many other scholars of international repute. The topics discussed during the first day of the conference include Lessons from Global Experiences, Inclusive Financial Development, Economic analysis of Islamic Banking and Finance, and Regulation and Stability of Islamic Banking and Finance.
The Minister of Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayon, in his address, stressed that there is an integral need for the implementation of the Islamic Bank and Finance system. The establishment of Islamic banks is the dire need of the time. Islam is the only religion where there is a strong pillar of ZAKAT. The essence of zakat is to love humanity, show mercy and have sympathy for the less privileged. For the best economics structure and environment, a system should be formulated based upon barren money, gifts, alms and charity. He highly appreciated the step of Minhaj University for arranging such a landmark conference. He added that it is an age of materialism marked by the maddening rate race. In such an era, it is vital to promote enlightened events like 2nd World Islamic Economics and Finance Conference.
Dr. Slueman Shah, former Federal Minister for Finance, while appreciating the initiative of Minhaj University Lahore to arrange a mega conference stated: “It is my deep contemplation and suggestion that there should be more and more work done in this respect. There is no doubt that Islamic Banking system is matchless; but, due to the fast urbanization, the Islamic Banking System is not achieving its desired goal. The Islamic Finance System is asset based. Without creating an asset-based system, the foundation of Islamic Finance Banking cannot reap the fruit. Innovation is the need of Islamic Banking System. On this very basis, the concrete infrastructure of the Islamic banking system can be built up.
Dr Toseef Azid, Professor of Economics at Qassim University Saudi Arabia, while addressing the conference said that the Islamic economic system is based on justice, ‘Ihsan’ (benevolence), ‘Sila–i-raham’, love and it creates the environment where everyone looks after each other. According to the teachings of Islam all Muslims are brothers and sisters unto one another and the Muslim Ummah is just like one body. If any part of the body feels pain the whole body feels it too. The same rule can be applied to the debt market. He elaborated the different cases where debt and its instruments are harmful for the society and where these will work for the protection and construction of Islamic community.
Dr Maryam Dikko, from Ahmedu Bella University Zaria, Nigeria, while talking on Corporate Governance and Takaful, stressed the need for the formation of corporate governance structure that could address the separation of shareholders and Takaful operators and participants.
Speaking on linking Islamic Finance to a real economy, Muhammad Ayub from Riphah International University Islamabad said that the major strength of Islamic economy lies in the total ban on interest and Gharar/ short selling. He urged the Islamic finance scholars and the practitioners to ensure linking the finance with real business and said that it’s only possible when they confine themselves to financing the real business and production sectors and avoid all means of earning money from money.
Dr Hussain Mohi-ud-Din Qadri, in his welcome address, extended a warm welcome to the guests at the 2nd World Economic and Finance Conference. He said God willing, the thought-provoking papers presented by the participating scholars will prove a milestone in the way of achieving the implementation of Islamic Banking and finance world over. He said that the Islamic Economic and Finance Conference is the continuity of the worldwide academic efforts of Minhaj University Lahore for finding a solution of the Socio-economic problems faced by the Muslim countries of the world. The scholars attending the Conference are from United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Malaysia, Netherland, Uzbekistan, and Saudi Arabia.
The Conference will also continue through Sunday.