How To Solving The Equation

While Islamic finance may stand separate from conventional finance, the latest thinking in the world of finance at large increasingly places a high value on ethics. In fact, following the financial crisis of the first decade of the 2000s, business school students cited social responsibility as an integral part of b-school, leading many business schools around the world to respond by integrating ethical components into their curricula. The goal? To train students with “big picture” perspective of the world aimed not just at making money, but at making meaningful change.

In short, the next generation of business leaders has witnessed first-hand the fallout of a finance system short on ethics, and they want something different. Enter ethical banking. Also called alternative, civic, social or sustainable banking, this movement brings previously marginalized factors like social responsibility and environmental consciousness to the forefront of investment and loan practices.

The Role of Islamic Finance

So how does Islamic finance factor in? In order to understand Islamic finance, its first important to realize that Islam is not just a religion, it’s also a way of life which transcends religion to unilaterally affect political, economic, and social spheres. In fact, Muslims approach every aspect of their lives according to the Islamic code of sharia. This includes financial practices.

Comprising banks, investment firms, capital markets, fund managers and other components of the conventional financial system, Islamic finance also shares many of the same operational practices. However, the ways in which these entities are governed is very different. Why? Because above all else they’re guided by the core concepts of Islam. Economic activity can very much thrive within the Islamic financial system so long as acts remain compliant to Islamic laws.

Specifically, key practices of Islamic finance focus on promoting social justice, including the distribution of wealth through property taxes (zakat); defined state obligations; the prohibition of interest-based transactions and gambling; and the benefits of risk-sharing.

You don’t need to be Muslim to recognize the value in these practices — designed not only to serve the real economy, but also the planet and the people who populate it. And with a worldwide push toward more ethical capitalism and a rise in social entrepreneurship well underway, Islamic finance offers both a time-tested model and bridge to sought-after change.

Careers in Islamic Finance

The projected value of the Islamic finance services industry around the globe is projected to reach a staggering $4 trillion by the year 2020, and the presence of Islamic financial institutions continues to grow. Factor in a reported 55 percent leap in savings account applications to The Islamic Bank of Britain in the wake of 2013’s Barclays scandal, and the rising demand for both Muslims and non-Muslims with advanced knowledge of Islamic and ethical finance is undeniable.

If you have a knack for numbers, drive toward innovation, and commitment to principles of social justice, a career in Islamic Finance may be right for you. But how do you get to there from here? With a degree from the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF).

Now in its tenth year of operation, INCEIF has not only experienced rapid growth, but also lays claim to being the world’s only university focused on providing postgraduate studies in the up and coming field of Islamic finance. Top faculty and a cutting edge campus adjacent to CNN-declared “finance hub of the future” Kuala Lumpur make INCEIF degrees in Islamic finance an even greater commodity.