Tuesday, October 18, 2005

(4) Response from FNB

Ebrahim Patel originally approached all Mufti’s in South Africa- none of which had a problem with a conventional bank offering ‘Shariah Compliant’ Services. I find this really strange as this list of Mufti’s includes PE which has been commonly known to take extremely hardliner views. But subsequently the following, after much expense for FNB, was obtained:

-FNB’s Wesbank car financing has been approved by Camperdown.
-FNB’s ‘Islamic Banking’ has been approved by Zakariyya.
(These have not been verified independently by me (I still find it extremely difficult to believe) as these schools are now on holiday- but our respected brother, Ebi Patel at FNB, has confirmed this.)

Br. Ebi Patel cannot make public the opinions received from these schools as large sum of money was spent on this process and FNB, understandably, does not want this to be merely copied and used by other institutions! I assume that once the schools re-open after the holiday, they will be willing to explain the process reached in granting the above certification.

Now, while I am still personally extremely unhappy with products being offered with no parallel educational initiative, the blatantly probable problem that we face is the likelihood of other unscrupulous persons using the ‘Shariah’ stamp on products that have not gone through the processes and without taking the important steps that Br. Ebi Patel from FNB has taken!

We could have a real circus on our hands, similar to the whole food certification debacle!

Imagine if banks and other financial institutions realise that they can go to different individuals to look at their products until they find someone who, for what ever reason, is willing to give them the go ahead- I believe that in light of this serious issue, someone needs to do something…

I propose a few ideas as a way forward-
A unified approach to this impending problem is needed- And this approach must be two pronged,
1. To find a means of offering temporary solutions for the needs of Muslims,
2. An organised educational process so that Mufti’s, professionals and the general population understand better the current economic environment, the essence of an Islamic economic system and what we need to do so that we can make the necessary changes to the current economic system.

All should come to the table- professionals who are MufT’s in the field of economics and commerce as well as Mufti’s who are professionals in the field of recorded Shariah- together both groups can grasp a full and proper understanding of where we need to be in the long term and take these steps so that we are not forced to accept half-baked, Islamically inferior products and services as the Real McCoy…

It may be unattainable in the short term, but I surely think it’s possible, that if planned well, the economic environment of this country can be changed to be more Islamic than any so-called Muslim country!

This email has been sent to Jamiat- Gauteng, Camperdown, Jamiat- Kzn, M Ml E Bham, Mufti Zubair Bhayat, Radio Islam and others. Can this discussion also be taken to Zakariyya, PE, and other Mufti’s…

The Economics and Finance Desk at Jamiat has agreed to a meeting after Ramadaan to address these and other issues- will notify those who would like to attend in due course.

Ebrahim Patel, CEO at FNB, has also agreed to a meeting where we can discuss the steps and processes that he undertook- inshaAllah this will also happen after Ramadaan.


Post a Comment

<< Home