MUZAKARAH2023 Focusses on Syariah as a Catalyst for the Development of Fintech and the Sustainability Agenda – INCEIF

MUZAKARAH2023 Focusses on Syariah as a Catalyst for the Development of Fintech and the Sustainability Agenda


Singapore, 31 May-1 June 2023 – With the rising growth of the Islamic fintech industry and the ASEAN region already home to many successful Islamic fintech start-ups, Syariah scholars need to scale up their Fintech knowledge and skills to keep with its development.

The scholars were encouraged to understand the development of issues related to Fintech including online investment and metaverse and also the discussion on the sustainability agenda to provide appropriate Syariah guidance to the industry and also to the community.

The 17th Muzakarah Cendekiawan Syariah Nusantara (MUZAKARAH2023) themed `Syariah Pemangkin Pembangunan Teknologi Kewangan dan Agenda Kelestarian‘ (Syariah as a Catalyst for the Development of Fintech and the Sustainability Agenda) discussed contemporary issues related to Fintech and sustainability in the context of Islamic banking (including digital banking), Takaful and the Islamic capital market.

The conference, attended by more than 200 participants including Syariah scholars, industry experts, regulators and academics from the ASEAN region, was officially opened by Singapore’s Member of Parliament Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim.

For the first time, MUZAKARAH2023 introduced the Fintech Masterclass which provided a comprehensive overview of fintech ecosystem, AI, crypto, blockchain, and digital assets. The pre-event Masterclass was overwhelmingly subscribed with participations from scholars and industry players.

In his keynote address at the official opening of the two-day MUZAKARAH2023, Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim said in today’s rapidly evolving world, we see constant innovations in the financial sector, with fintech companies becoming one of the main drivers of this change. With the advent of AI, the way we interact with one each other would continue to change. Therefore, the challenge was to ensure that these developments were in line with ethical and moral principles governed by Syariah.

“As ASEAN member countries with a large Muslim population, we have a unique advantage in applying Syariah law as a guide for the development of Fintech in our society. Islam not only emphasises justice and balance in the financial system, but also supports transparency in relationships and a fair supervision process,” he added.

Pro-chancellor of INCEIF Tan Sri Dr Mohd Daud Bakar, in the first keynote speech emphasised that Fintech and smart technology, kept evolving; therefore, the industry and Syariah scholars needed to embrace it and remained relevant.

“I also urged Syariah scholars to shorten the time they take in making Syariah decisions and not take too long to discuss micro matters due to the urgent need for financial inclusivity. Otherwise the Syariah aspect on any financial decision will remain behind that of the current technology development,” he added.

While acknowledging Islamic social finance (ISF) has great potential for growth and development in the nusantara, Chairman of Bank Rakyat’s Syariah Committee, Prof Dr Azman Mohd Noor said current challenges must be addressed in order to realise ISF’s full potential. For instance, the ceaseless impact of COVID-19 has called for scholars, industry practitioners and researchers to find ways on how the social financial instruments (Waqf, Zakat & Sadaqah) could continue to commit to providing sustainable funds to its beneficiaries.

“This can only happen by creating sustainable social finance initiatives in terms of product structuring and implementation, which must be supported by the guidelines that beget these sustainable products. By strengthening institutional capacity and exploring new avenues for funding existing social finance funds, we can overcome these challenges and pave the way for a bright future in ISF, with the regional countries leading the way for the industry, and becoming a global reference point,” he added when delivering the second keynote speech on the second day of MUZARAKAH2023. Bank Rakyat is the event’s official bank.

INCEIF University thanks co-organisers Islamic Finance Singapore and S Tradition; strategic partner Lembaga Zakat Negeri Kedah; and the official bank Bank Rakyat. Appreciation also goes to Pergas Investment Holdings, Silverlake, ISRA Consulting and the Association of Shariah Advisors in Islamic Finance (ASAS) as sponsors of MUZAKARAH2023; and I-FIKR as the supporting apps.



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