Speakers of an Islamic Financial Literacy summit hosted by International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) opined on Thursday that there is a sheer need of promoting Islamic finance with increased outreach to a wider segment of society. They recommended that instead of long-term finance to the new entrepreneurs and SMEs equity must be promoted.

The summit was organized by the Faculty of Management Sciences (FMS) and Iqbal International Institute for Research and Dialogue (IRD) at Faisal Masjid campus on “Islamic Financial Literacy summit: A way forward to financial inclusion and sustainable economic development.

The keynote speakers and scholars opined that a detailed roadmap is devised through which features of Islamic finance must be made easily elaborated to the general public and entrepreneurs. They recommended focusing on ways to foster innovation, technological adoption, accessibility, and sustainability in the Islamic financial system to aid its future growth and development.

Dr. Safdar A Butt, a finance icon, renowned entrepreneur, and author said in his keynote address there is no better solution than equity to improve the economic system. He opined that permanent finance equity shall be promoted and long term loans shall be discouraged as they may result in failure for the Small and Medium enterprises who are new in entrepreneurship. Talking about the ground realities, he advised there should be a formal way of business instead of assumptions. He added Islam has already given all such guidance through a comprehensive Islamic financial system, there is a need to be implemented.  Dr. Safdar also discussed various misconceptions prevailing about the Islamic financial system.

Director of Research & Training at Riphah Center of Islamic Business, Ayub Muhammad was also a keynote speaker who discussed the way forward for the Islamic financial system and its barriers such as misconceptions. Responding to a question he said that every return is not ribah and such confusions even prevail within the Islamic banking officials. He suggested a strong linkage of academia and industry for the promotion of Islamic financial literacy and added that Islamic banking and finance personnel are required to be trained in this regard. “Equity and venture capital are very good solutions for the economic system,” he said.

Professor Dr. Masoom Yasinzai, Rector IIUI in a thought-provoking speech called upon the universities to produce entrepreneurs instead of job seekers. “We must produce skilled youth and economic security must be our top priority” he maintained. He said IIUI is keen to be relevant to the needs of society while he also suggested a 3-day workshop of the leading Ulema, economic and financial researchers of Islamic countries, and academicians to produce a workable way forward for the promotion and speedy acceptance of Islamic financial system worldwide.

The activity was also attended by Vice President, Academics, IIUI Prof. Dr. Ayaz Afsar, Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences Dr. Abdul Raheman, Executive Director IRD Dr. Husn ul Amin, Deans, DGs, HoDs, Professors and scholars of the university.

Earlier, Dr. Abdul Raheman apprised the objectives of the summit and also reiterated the resolve that such activities on the important topic shall continue. On the occasion, Dr. Husn ul Amin also shared a vision of IRD and aspects of collaboration with the FMS on the topic. In the end, Rector IIUI presented university souvenirs to the keynote speakers.