Datuk Prof Dr Akram Laldin Transitions from Executive Director of ISRA Consulting to Faculty Member at INCEIF University

INCEIF University Kuala Lumpur, 1 April 2024 – INCEIF University would like to record our utmost gratitude to Datuk Prof Dr Mohamad Akram Laldin for his 16 years of stewardship and service to the institution.

Datuk Akram was part of the pioneering group who set up the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance or ISRA, the research arm of INCEIF, in 2008, and helmed it as the Executive Director until 2023. He subsequently assumed the post of CEO & Executive Director of ISRA International Consulting, the consulting subsidiary of INCEIF, a post he held until 31 March 2024.

In recognition of his wealth of knowledge as a Shariah and Islamic Finance scholar, Datuk Akram would continue to be part of INCEIF in his capacity as a Faculty Member. He is currently teaching Seminar in Shariah course in INCEIF postgraduate programmes.

Prior to joining INCEIF he was an Assistant Professor at the Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University, Malaysia. In 2002-2004, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

At present, he is a Member of Bank Negara Malaysia Shari’ah Advisory Council, Member of MIFC Leadership Council, Chairman of Shari’ah Board of Employees Provident Fund Malaysia, Chairman of Shariah Supervisory Council of Labuan Financial Services Authority (FSA), Member of Internal Shariah Supervisory Committee, Dubai Islamic Bank, Member of AAOIFI Public Interest Monitoring Consultative Committee, Chairman of The Shariah Advisory Committee of Permodalan Nasional Berhad,  Member of Shariah Advisory Committee of Lembaga Tabung Haji, and a Member of Institute  of Corporate Directors Malaysia and other Board locally and internationally.

Datuk Akram holds a B.A. Honours degree in Islamic Jurisprudence and Legislation from the University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan and a PhD in Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.

He has presented numerous papers related to Islamic Banking and Finance and other Fiqh topics at national and international level, particularly on Islamic Banking and Finance for different sectors since 1999. He is a registered Shariah Advisor for Islamic Securities with the Securities Commission of Malaysia and has acted as a Shariah advisor on the issuance of a number of sukuks.

Datuk Akram is also a prolific author of academic works specifically in the areas of Islamic Banking and Finance. He was the recipient of Zaki Badawi Award for Excellence in Shariah Advisory and Research, recipient of the Most Outstanding Individual Contribution to Islamic Finance at the KLIFF 2016, and Winner of the 2017/1439H Malaysian Islamic Personality Award conferred by the Government of Malaysia on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).



Iftar Gathering On Campus


INCEIF Campus, 18 March 2024 – INCEIF University tonight hosted its second Iftar gathering on campus for over 200 students, alumni, staff and members of the Governing Bodies. Congregational Maghrib, Isya’ and tarawih prayers were also held on campus.

Organised by the Alumni Office, the gathering saw the INCEIF community from diverse background and nationalities having a `reunion’ in the blessed month of Ramadan where Muslims are encouraged to increase their good deeds, particularly providing food and beverages for those who fasted to break fast. It was an opportunity for the INCEIF community to strengthen the bond between staff, faculty members, students and alumni. Joining the attendees were INCEIF Chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and President & CEO Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar.

Twenty children between 7 and 12 years old from Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK) were also part of the guests for the Iftar. The non-profit organisation, located 3.6km from the University, caters to the needs of at-risk disadvantaged children and teenagers as well as disadvantaged B40 families around Chow Kit in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city centre. The children each received a basket of food essentials, INCEIF bag pack and duit Raya, all made available from the funds donated by INCEIF staff organised by the University Social Responsibility Unit.

Before leaving the campus, the children expressed their gratefulness to INCEIF for including them in the Iftar as well as the duit Raya by performing a short `Thank You’ song with the word thank you sung in different languages including Mandarin. As part of INCEIF’s long-term plan to cultivate meaningful relationships with the neighbourhood communities, the YCK children and their guardians have been the university’s guests on a number of occasions including as recipients of Qurban meat at `INCEIF Qurban On Campus’ event last year.

Earlier in the day, former Education Minister of Malaysia, Dr Maszlee Malik was the guest speaker at a special session with students, staff and members of the Governing Bodies where he shared his thoughts and lessons from the battle of  Badr with a talk on `Ramadan: The Ibrah of Badr’. Dr Maszlee, who is a prolific author, also generously donated nine books, authored or co-authored by him, to INCEIF KMC.


INCEIF University and SSTC Institute inked collaboration to develop professional courses for the Islamic banking and finance sector


INCEIF Campus Kuala Lumpur, 6 Feb 2024 – INCEIF University and SSTC Institute of Singapore have signed a collaboration agreement to develop a range of professional courses in the Islamic banking sector to fill the widening skills gaps in the market.

The MoU, signed between Ms Rose Yeo, SSTC Chief Executive Officer, and Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar, President & CEO of INCEIF University, provides a framework for collaboration between the parties to promote activities related to the development of skills and knowledge in Islamic finance.

The partnership will bring together INCEIF’s world class evidence-based curriculum development with SSTC’s forty-six years track record of teaching excellence and delivering world class qualifications for young professionals.

Prof Emeritus Dato’ Azmi said: ‘’There is strong competition for talent in the rapidly emerging Islamic banking sector which means there are abundant opportunities for young people with the right skills to chart unique career pathways in Islamic banking.”

On what skills learners need in Islamic banking, Mr Emil Dereinda, Executive Director of SSTC emphasised that, ‘’Our aim is to increase employees’ knowledge and skills in Shariah compliant product innovation, Islamic banking practices, social finance, data analytics, collaborative problem solving, shariah law, risk management of Islamic banks, audit and compliance. Our courses and qualifications are designed to accelerate learners’ skill development in these critical areas.’’

With job growth expected to increase exponentially in Southeast Asia, the collaboration between INCEIF and SSTC is a timely welcome to support sector employers develop their talent base. Demand for Islamic banking is on an upward trend globally, particularly in Southeast Asia, one of the largest markets for Islamic financial services, amid a global increase in awareness of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

The partnership will transform access for learners wanting to fit a structured learning programme around their work and family commitments and aims to bring new standards of delivery and success rates to all students.

Mr Damar Osman, Executive Director of SSTC and an INCEIF Alumnus from Singapore said the collaboration fostered academic excellence and thought leadership globally. SSTC, known for its articulation programmes towards tertiary education domestically and internationally, achieved a milestone by incorporating highly sought-after professional courses from a renowned university of Islamic finance.

“As a witness and participant in this journey, I am proud of the transformative impact it will have on Islamic finance education. We are excited about the prospects of this alliance and the myriad of benefits it will bring to students, academics, and industry practitioners within the sphere of Islamic finance. This partnership holds great promise for enhancing the quality of education and paving the way for ground-breaking research and professional development opportunities in the field. The fusion of these two esteemed institutions is a testament to the shared vision of advancing knowledge and promoting innovation in the realm of Islamic finance,” he added.




Kuala Lumpur, 11 Jan 2024 – The global Islamic capital market (ICM), currently valued at USD966.3 billion, has not only experienced substantial growth but has also seen an expansion that creates new opportunities and dynamism. The latest trends shaping this sector include the synergies between waqf, fintech, and sustainability initiatives, further propelling the development of the ICM.

However, alongside these opportunities come challenges that require the ICM sector to continually adapt to changing economic landscapes, redefine its presence in markets, and consistently provide a diverse array of Shariah-compliant products and services to meet evolving market demand.

Despite significant efforts, a persistent challenge hindering the ICM’s development is the scarcity of quality information, both from theoretical and practical perspectives. This dearth has resulted in a shortage of experts with the right skill sets, qualifications, and knowledge.

Recognising the critical need for quality literature to bridge this gap, INCEIF University’s research arm ISRA Research Management Centre, in collaboration with the Securities Commission Malaysia and the joint sponsorship of Khazanah Nasional Berhad, took on the challenge and published the first edition of Islamic Capital Markets: Principles & Practices in 2015. Authored by over 30 globally reputed scholars, academics, and world-class practitioners, the book demystifies concepts, builds a comprehensive understanding of the ICM, exposes readers to its operational intricacies, and provides insights into practical issues and challenges.

The newly released second edition, with CIMB Islamic Bank as the main sponsor, and co-sponsored by Credit Guarantee Corporation Malaysia Bhd and BNP Paribas Najmah Malaysia, promises even greater value. This edition incorporates recent data, literature, trends, case studies, international practices, future directions, and other pertinent information to keep pace with the industry’s latest advancements in product offerings.

Reflecting on the importance of collaboration and support, INCEIF University President & CEO, Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Mohd Azmi Omar, said: “Without the unwavering support of sponsors, particularly CIMB Islamic, this second edition would not have come to fruition. We hope that this book will ignite new insights, foster further development in the ICM, enhance readers’ knowledge, and benefit all stakeholders in the Islamic finance industry.

“Today’s borderless and digitalised world requires Islamic finance practitioners and scholars to continuously upgrade their skills in order to expand the frontiers of Islamic finance knowledge and practice in general and the ICM in particular. Only with the right talent and values can Islamic finance create an enduring and meaningful impact on society and the economy.

“INCEIF would like to record our gratitude to everyone – partners & sponsors – for your support for today’s initiative, one of many which we hope will elevate Islamic Finance not just in the country and the region but globally. We look forward to you staying on board with us on this journey in pursuit of not only knowledge & skills, but also of `Doing Good, and Fighting Harm and Evil (Amar bil Ma’aruf Wan Nahi Anil Munkar),” said Dato’ Azmi.

Today’s collaboration signifies CIMB Islamic Bank’s dedication to advancing the Islamic finance industry through one of the banking group’s key impact areas, attaining knowledge.

The book, which has become a reference in higher learning institutions offering Islamic finance courses in Malaysia, is referred to by both practitioners and regulators. With the release of this second edition, Islamic Capital Markets: Principles & Practices is set to be an indispensable resource, contributing to the ongoing development and enlightenment of the Islamic capital market sector.

To mark the book release, the book was reviewed and discussed by a panel at the 11th edition of INCEIF Discourse Series held on INCEIF Campus and attended by industry players, academicians and university students. The panel comprised:

  • Moderator: Ms Siew Suet Ming, Chief Rating Officer, RAM Rating Services
  • Panellists:
  1. Mr Ahmad Shahriman Mohd Shariff, CEO, CIMB Islamic Bank
  2. Ms Sharifatul Hanizah, Executive Director, ICM, Securities Commission Malaysia
  3. Prof Dr Obiyathulla Ismath Bacha, Faculty Member, INCEIF University

Following the panel discussion, CIMB Islamic Bank CEO Mr Ahmad Shahriman handed a mock cheque of RM315,000 to INCEIF University, which was represented by PCEO Dato’ Azmi, for the sponsorship of ISRA Corner at six local institutions of higher learning. Representatives from the six institutions were on campus to receive a memento to mark the sponsorship. The locations of the six ISRA Corner are:

  1. Perpustakaan Imam Al-Syafi’i, Universiti Islam Selangor (UIS), Bandar Sri Putra, Selangor
  2. Perpustakaan Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), Bandar Baru Nilai, Negeri Sembilan
  3. Perpustakaan Tuanku Bainun, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Tanjung Malim, Perak
  4. Perpustakaan Al-Ghazali, Universiti Islam Melaka (UNIMEL), Melaka;
  5. Perpustakaan Kolej Universiti Islam Perlis (KUIPs), Kampus Seberang Ramai, Kuala Perlis, Perlis
  6. Pusat Sumber Politeknik Nilai, Politeknik Nilai, Bandar Enstek, Negeri Sembilan.

In 2021, CIMB Islamic Bank sponsored RM120,000 for three ISRA Corners in which are located at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Selangor; UiTM Puncak Alam, Selangor; and International Islamic University Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur.

ISRA Corner is a dedicated gathering space for academic materials in Islamic economics, banking and finance, muamalat and halal economics. The one-stop space, located at each institution’s library, provides books, journals, research papers, resources and computers. It is an on-going initiative by INCEIF to share knowledge and experience related to Islamic finance with local and foreign institutions of higher learning. To date, there are 14 ISRA Corners, including at Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali Brunei in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei; Universiti Utara Malaysia in Kedah; and University Malaysia Kelantan in Kelantan.

Caption: CIMB Islamic Bank CEO Mr Ahmad Shahriman (left) handed a mock cheque of RM315,000 to INCEIF University, represented by Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar, for the sponsorship of ISRA Corner at six libraries of local institutions of higher learning.

Congratulations Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar


Kuala Lumpur, 25 Nov 2023 – INCEIF University is delighted to announce the conferment of Professor Emeritus on President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar by International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) at its 39th Convocation. It was presented by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah, who is the constitutional head of IIUM.

The conferment is a testament to Dato’ Azmi’s contributions to his field of expertise. The title of Professor Emeritus is a well-deserved honour, reflecting his dedication to excellence, leadership, and continuous commitment to advancing knowledge.

Dato’ Azmi is one of IIUM’s pioneering staff when he joined the then newly set up university in Nov 1983 as a lecturer at the Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences. In his 36 years of service to IIUM, he was a professor at the Department of Finance, and Department of Business Administration, Kulliyah of Economics and Management Sciences. He was also the Dean of the Kulliyyah from 1996 to 2003. From 2003 to 2008, he held the position of Deputy Rector (Academic and Research). He was the Dean of the Office of Corporate Strategy and Quality Assurance from 2008 to 2009 and the Dean of IUM Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance from 2009 to 2011.

Over the years, Dato’ Azmi has received awards and recognitions at the international and the national levels, among them are:

  • Top 500 of the world’s most prominent and influential personalities in the Islamic world in Islamica 500.
  • The Most Outstanding Individual Contribution to Islamic Finance at the KLIFF Islamic
Finance Awards in Kuala Lumpur in 2015.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Islamic
Economics and Finance at the 3rd World Islamic Economics and Finance Conference in Pakistan in 2020.

Prior to joining INCEIF, Dato’ Azmi was the Director General of Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) at Islamic Development Bank Group in Jeddah (Jan 2012 – Sept 2017). At IRTI, he had introduced a number of innovative policy research which culminated into flagship reports such as IRTI Islamic Social Finance Report and IsDB-World Bank Global Report on Islamic Finance. He has also advised and provided technical assistance to several IsDB member countries in their implementation of Islamic Finance.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to Professor Emeritus Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar on this significant accomplishment. May he continue to make meaningful contributions to the academic community and beyond.



Recommendations of the 18th International Sharīah Scholars Forum


Kuala Lumpur, 15 Nov 2023 – The 18th International Shariah Scholars Forum (ISSF2023), organised by ISRA Research Management Centre with the theme “Maximising the Application of Maqasid al-Shariah in the Islamic Finance Industry and its Impact on Sustainability”, concluded with a number of recommendations.

ISSF2023 was officially launched by INCEIF University Chairman Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar and attended by 150 participants with 35 presenters from among Shariah scholars, researchers and professional experts. The Forum discussed the term ‘sustainability’ in reference to investment with the aim to maximise returns and create positive change against social, environmental and ethical aspects. Participants also got to learn more about the term ‘value-based intermediation’ (VBI), which Bank Negara Malaysia has defined as a function to achieve the objectives of Shariah in Islamic finance through practices and conduct that generate positive and sustainable impacts on the economy, society and the environment – without compromising returns and the rights of shareholders.

After a two-day deliberation, ISSF2023 issued the following recommendations:

  1. A Maqāṣid approach must be adopted regarding the concept of sustainability as well as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Sharīah scholars, Islamic economics experts, and the Islamic financial industry should undertake to establish the appropriate Shariah, supervisory, and technical parameters.
  2. Due consideration should be given to the Islamic legal maxims related to sustainability goals and ESG activities within the framework of the objectives of Shariah, such as the maxims related to facilitation and relief of hardship, justice and benevolence, and mutual consent. Attention must also be paid to the parameters when applying them to ongoing developments related to the respective topic.
  3. The comprehensive principles and objectives of the Shariah should be relied upon in dealing with the challenges of activating sustainability and ESG activities, in particular: consideration of the consequences of actions, balancing benefits and harms, achieving justice, balancing contractual rights and responsibilities, and removing difficulty. This is to ensure discipline in contemporary ijtihād and its proper application.
  4. A framework and mechanisms need to be established for compliance with sustainability requirements emanating from Shariah rulings and their objectives in the current Islamic financial industry business model.
  5. Shariah rulings and their objectives should be relied upon in incorporating policies and initiatives to integrate sustainability requirements such as international basic standards, climate and environmental disclosures, and their convergence – in the plans and strategies of Islamic financial institutions.
  6. There is a need to identify the most prominent challenges facing ESG activities, and non-compliance with the overall objectives of Shariah and its provisions. The areas of sustainability and the distinctive nature of Islamic financial institutions need to be pinpointed with the aim of aligning them with the Shariah objectives.
  7. It is necessary to conduct in-depth applied studies of the technical requirements for meeting the demands of sustainability in Islamic finance within the objectives of the Shariah. Scholars and experts from different specialisations should participate in it with the aim of preparing the legal, regulatory and Shariah framework for sustainability from the Maqāṣid perspective.
  8. A framework and mechanisms should be developed for managing the risks facing complex ESG activities. It should aspire to manage financial and sustainability risks and to facilitate policies and initiatives aimed at managing sustainability risks.
  9. Studies should be conducted to evaluate the ESG practices of Islamic financial institutions in order to determine the indicators of sustainability and evaluate their risks so as to avoid sustainability risks, in particular Shariah non-compliance risks and climate risks.
  10. The international foundations for sustainability and ESG practices should be utilised to benefit the institutions that support Islamic financial institutions, which should set general frameworks and performance indicators for IFIs with the help of specialised institutions.
  11. It is necessary to hold periodic specialised sessions at different levels – international, regional and local – between Shariah scholars and specialised experts to discuss sustainability issues and ongoing developments; respond to the challenges and present solutions within the Maqāṣid dimension.
  12. The principles of justice and contractual balance should be given due consideration, and parameters based on them should be developed to organise the activation of sustainability requirements based on Shariah objectives.
  13. There is a need for the state as well as financial institutions to benefit from the best international, regional and local approaches to address the challenges of sustainability requirements, and establish enduring preventive measures.
  14. It is important that Islamic financial institutions innovate products based on sustainability within the VBI framework. They should combine the profit aspect with social and environmental responsibility, and contribute to achieving sustainable development, shared prosperity, and added value.
  15. There is a need to reduce obstacles to the institutional integration of the Islamic finance industry by reducing the gap of jurisprudential differences, establishing training programmes, and increasing public awareness of the objectives of Shariah in establishing sustainability.

ISSF2023 also recorded its gratitude to everyone in ensuring the success of the Forum including official bank Bank Rakyat and sponsors Co-opbank Pertama, Association of Shariah Advisors in Islamic Finance Malaysia (ASAS), ISRA Consulting and Islamic Financial Services Board.



INCEIF Stands With Palestine


Kuala Lumpur, 15 Nov 2023 – INCEIF University staff and students today expressed their solidarity with the besieged Palestinian people by wearing green as part of the worldwide “Wear Green for Palestine” campaign today – the Palestine Independence Day. Wearing green is a symbolic visual declaration of our unity with the global population in calling for justice, and accountability for the crimes against humanity being committed in occupied Palestine. INCEIF stands united in amplifying the global collective voice for an end to atrocities on Palestine and its inhabitants specifically, and oppression in general. We uphold the principles of Maqasid Al-Shariah which revolves around five pillars, namely the protection of faith (al-din), life (al-‘nafs), intellect (al-‘aql), lineage (an-nasl) and property (al-mal/wealth).





Kuala Lumpur, 4 Nov 2023 – INCEIF University today held its 14th Convocation which saw 106 graduates received their scrolls from Chancellor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus. The graduates of INCEIF’s professional certificates, Masters and PhD programmes comprised Malaysians and internationals from 21 countries including Ethiopia, Maldives and Spain.

In 2009, INCEIF’s inaugural convocation saw 32 graduates from 7 countries received their scrolls. The increasing number of countries where INCEIF graduates come from reaffirms INCEIF’s role in developing world class talent for the global Islamic financial services industry. Among them are graduates from Muslim-minority countries including Canada, Japan, South Korea and US. They are joined by graduates from neighbouring countries of Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand as well as from the Gulf and African countries. The foreign graduates are part of the international INCEIF students from 83 countries.

The diversity of INCEIF students is not confined to geographical boundaries as they are also from different faiths, and diverse academic and professional backgrounds. In addition, INCEIF’s syllabus and programmes are also adopted and adapted by international partners. This demonstrates Malaysia’s global leadership in Islamic finance from the perspective of human capital development.

The highlight of this year’s convocation is the presence of Tan Sri Andrew Sheng, a highly regarded commentator in global finance, as the commencement speaker. In his commencement address, he discussed the prospects of an Islamic stock exchange and offered a perspective on the integration of Islamic finance principles within the global financial infrastructure.

In the lecture, titled `Thoughts on How to Build an Islamic Stock Market ‘, Tan Sri Sheng argued that the technology and infrastructure for such a market was readily available. However a market was more than just its infrastructure – it is the ecosystem or human construct, comprising the people – companies that list on the exchange, the institutional players, investors, agents, intermediaries, supporting commercial services, such as lawyers and accountants and today technology experts, plus regulators – who shape how the market ecosystem thrives or simply survives.

But in the end, it is the quality of the companies, their entrepreneurship and innovation, that determines whether they will outperform the competitors. If these companies are basically risk-adverse, then the stock market may only deliver the average ROE that other markets deliver.

The resulting market will be only average and thus neither add nor subtract to the economic power of Islamic finance. What is true of individual companies is also true for stock markets.

”All I know from experience is that we must create the diverse eco-system which will grow them through a disciplined process of transparency, accountability and integrity. We hardly need extra changes in taxation or mechanisms, only policies and programmes that reduce the transaction costs of MSMEs, so that they have a more level playing field against giant institutions,” Tan Sri Sheng said. (For the full speech, click)

INCEIF President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar, in his speech at the convocation, said the graduating class stood as a testament to INCEIF’s commitment to academic excellence, research, and fostering future leaders in the field of Islamic finance and sustainability. He also reminded the graduates that they now have a duty to make a substantial, transformative change in the field of Islamic finance.

“No matter your chosen path in the immediate future, now more than ever, we have a fervent duty in not only advancing the Islamic finance cause in bettering our lives, but more importantly uplifting the lives of the underserved, downtrodden and oppressed not only in our immediate surroundings but those beyond our borders.

”We have the laws and regulations, and we have consistently introduced innovative mechanisms and products. Yet these alone cannot guarantee the full impact of this ideal and all-encompassing system. As the world undergoes incessant environmental, geopolitics and socio-economic shocks, the next wave of Islamic finance has to be about achieving deliverable impact and producing realistic results,” Dato’ Azmi said.

In the speech, he also put on record INCEIF University’s united support for Palestine. “The resilience of the Palestinian people in the face of one of the worst humanitarian atrocities in modern times is both inspiring and a testament to the strength of the human spirit. As advocates of justice and fairness, we should all aspire to be a `Palestine’ – unequivocal strength and unflinching stand for the right to live in peace, dignity, and freedom.” (For the full speech, click)

Also present at the Convocation were INCEIF Chairman of the Board Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, members of INCEIF Governing Bodies and faculty members.

Press Release:  Click Here




ISRA Consulting Kicks Off SC’s Shariah Mentorship Programme


Kuala Lumpur, 30 Oct 2023 – ISRA Consulting, the wholly-owned subsidiary of INCEIF University, has been appointed as the strategic partner by The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) to run SC’s Shariah Mentorship Programme for Shariah professionals.

An Induction Day was held on INCEIF Campus today for the first cohort of the Shariah Mentorship Programme and attended by 11 participants who will undergo a two-month intensive classroom learning, followed by a six-month internship placement at participating organisations. Participants will also receive a RM2,000 monthly allowance throughout the programme tenure. The call for application was made in August 2023 and a total of 273 applications were received from the Shariah fraternity, comprising both fresh graduates and experienced hires.

The capacity-building programmes is designed to create a continuous talent pipeline of Shariah professionals equipped with adequate technical competencies and knowledge on Islamic Capital Market (ICM) products and offerings, and appropriate regulatory expertise. By 2025, the programme would have produced more than 40 Shariah professionals and fresh graduates with enhanced capabilities and abilities of ICM practitioners in Shariah governance, particularly in the entry requirements.

The multi-year programme focuses on developing capable Shariah professionals to enhance the level of professionalism and technical competencies through a series of mentorship session and selected blended learning syllabus covering ICM core modules. It is part of SC’s continuous efforts in building an innovative and competitive ICM, with talent development as a key enabler for broadening the breadth and depth of the ICM in Malaysia.

ISRA Consulting CEO and Executive Director Datuk Prof Dr Mohamad Akram Laldin said participants of the programmes stood to benefit from renowned facilitators from among leading academicians and industry practitioners, some of whom were currently on Shariah Committees in Malaysia and abroad. The facilitators have been conducting in-house Shariah management training programmes for fresh graduates over the years.

“Much as Artificial Intelligence plays a significant role in today’s globalised and digitalised world, the in-depth knowledge and invaluable experience of Shariah experts can never be replaced. This mentorship programme is crucial and timely in ensuring the continued succession of future-ready Shariah advisors. Only with the right talent and values can Islamic capital market make an enduring and meaningful impact on society and the economy,” Datuk Akram added.

The Shariah Mentorship Programme is the SC’s first capacity building programme that is catered to a specific target group which are Shariah officers with less than three years of experience in Islamic finance or ICM, including fresh graduates with Shariah background. The programme is also the first of its kind to offer a mentorship component with opportunities to benefit from the guidance and wisdom of the members of Shariah Advisory Council of the SC, as well as Shariah and subject matter experts in the industry. Participants benefit from a comprehensive learning experience which encompasses a broad spectrum of contemporary topics and practical training, equipping participants with up-to-date knowledge in meeting the growing market demand in the ICM.

For more information on the Shariah Mentorship Programme, and details on when to apply for the second cohort, please visit www.inceif.edu.my/shariah-mentorship-programme/



ISRA RMC, ISRA Consulting & INCEIF University Voted Top Placings In Their Respective Fields By The Industry


Kuala Lumpur, 25 Oct 2023 – ISRA Consulting, the consulting subsidiary of INCEIF University, is voted as the Best Islamic Consulting Firm for the fifth year in a row in an international poll conducted by leading Islamic finance news portal, Islamic Finance News (IFN).

The research arm, ISRA Research Management Centre, is also voted the Best Islamic Finance Research Firm for 2023, improving its position from second runner up last year. This is its 8th Best Islamic Finance Research Firm award from IFN since its establishment 15 years ago.

INCEIF University, meanwhile, is voted second runner up in the Best Educational Institution Offering Islamic Finance Courses category. The category makes its debut this year, bringing the total number of categories to 11.

The IFN Service Providers Poll is unique in its recognition of the vital role that third parties and service providers play in smoothing the path for Islamic finance and setting the benchmark for its ongoing quality, consistency and creativity by supporting the underlying operations that are crucial to its success. This year a record 22,353 votes from industry practitioners, investors and corporates were received from all over the world, the highest number of votes cast in the poll’s 18-year history.

ISRA Consulting defended its Best Islamic Consultancy Firm title, ahead of Masryef Advisory and Amanie Advisors. The firm has prepared Islamic finance related acts and guidelines for a number of countries and central banks and conducted Shariah review and audit exercise. In over a decade, it has built a strong network both locally and globally with its strategic alliances both in the industry and regulatory bodies.

ISRA RMC has won the Best Islamic Research Firm award numerous times from many international organisations since its establishment in 2008. The awards highlight ISRA’s increasing dominance in the research space, and its active developing activities in making a real contribution to industry knowledge. Worthy of mention is that ISRA has over 200 Shariah research and publications that consist of textbooks, journals and research papers that are constantly referred internationally.

INCEIF University continues to enhance its programme offerings as the world’s sole dedicated postgraduate university in Islamic finance, and recently added sustainability, Islamic Social Finance (ISF) and Fintech to its modules. To be on track as the bridge between academia and industry, the University continues to investigate workable initiatives to incorporate Islamic finance and ISF as the solution to address the socio-economic challenges, particularly in the post-pandemic world, and execute workable long-term projects to address poverty among vulnerable groups in society.

INCEIF University President & CEO Prof Dato’ Dr Azmi Omar said: “First and foremost, Alhamdulillah. We would like to record our gratitude to our students, partners and clients around the globe that have given us the opportunity to serve them. The award also goes to all our staff for their hard work, and support. Indeed, the award has reminded us to never rest on our laurels, and work harder to always deliver the best, Insya-Allah.”