How I Learned Islamic Finance
I wanted to learn Islamic Finance after experiencing the stress of interest-based lending and the continuous challenge of containing interest rate increases through ‘financial gymnastics’. Over the years I conducted much research and read various publications, but I studied with little structure or focus due to the breadth of the subject. The need to develop greater insight into Islamic Finance required a more structured approach.
When the first “Islamic" Bank in my home country collapsed because of poor governance and a superficial understanding of Islamic Finance principles, I became determined to grow my knowledge on this fascinating subject. I needed to structure my deep founded curiosity for Islamic Finance by pursuing a formal course in Islamic Finance.
Not having the privilege of full time study as my home country lacks such courses, and because I could not study at a foreign institution due to my commitments, I turned to the Net in search of credible online institutions. I was still wary of what I would discover around the online offerings including recognition, mode of delivery, quality of content and support. Having researched a number of institutions that offered courses on Islamic Finance, I opted for the Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) qualification with Ethica.
As a person that has been fortunate to have acquired many other qualifications over the years including international certifications, I am acutely aware of the importance of course content, relevance, application of new found knowledge and alignment to real life.
I found the CIFE course rigorous, well structured, fully supported, integrative, relevant with supported case studies and intriguing. The CIFE program provided me with a deeper understanding of a number of areas that I previously had superficial insight into. The modular approach of the course allows for better time management. The online method of delivery was a first for me. Ethica’s platform works well, supported by quality notes that require the student to really apply their mind and understand the dynamics of Islamic Finance.
My takings from the CIFE have triggered a number of interests that have resulted in further more focused research in a few areas of Islamic Finance coupled with critically questioning the need for accepting traditional banking and finance that we, as Muslims, have become accustomed to. I have also begun educating non-Muslims about Islamic Finance, where riba-free finance is available to anyone that wishes to move away from interest.
This opens a completely new chapter for many non-Muslims. The lack of understanding and perceived lack of availability of Islamic Finance products to the non-Muslim market offers a great opportunity to turn millions away from riba (interest) towards an alternate form of finance that is aligned not only with the Quran but other religious scriptures. It further offers opportunities in the areas of infrastructure financing, venture capital and traditional corporate finance, especially for emerging economies.
The Ethica team is well placed in the heart of the Islamic Finance industry and is exposed to the latest in this dynamic world that conventional riba based systems are uncomfortable with as it allows for the correct approach to financing for the masses. With Ethica’s superior service, balanced curriculum and quality content, I have now enrolled for the Advanced CIFE (ACIFE) Financial Analysis.
N.Dip (Elect Eng), Hons BCompt, CA (SA), MBA (EBS-Scotland), CISA (USA), CIFE
Mohsien is a Chartered Accountant, Certified IS Auditor (CISA) and holds an Executive MBA from Edinburgh Business School in Scotland. Having worked for Barclays and all the Big Four professional services firms in audit, risk, IT, strategy, financial services and consulting. He is a part-time MBA lecturer and MBA dissertation supervisor.