Since its establishment in Brunei Darussalam 20 years ago, the Islamic finance institution has faced various challenges. However, while the world is struggling in the midst of a financial crisis, the Islamic finance institution shows a potential to remain progressively forward. Various issues were raised at the recent 6th Regional Shariah Scholars' Dialogue, MCSN, among them the challenges shared by countries in the archipelago.
The Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali, UNISSA said the existence of the islamic finance institution comes from individuals who desire to conduct muamalat or business according to syariat or islamic law. According to Hajah Rose binti Abdullah, with the individual's awareness and understanding , it will in turn give rise to a community with the aspiration that in the end produces islamic finance institutions that allows muslims to conduct muamalat according to syariat. Such awareness will also give rise to several clusters comprising the users themselves until the operator level or any parties that provides islamic finance services. She added that the important clusters out of all the levels include the community and students who will become scholars in the field. At the operator level it is vital to observe, monitor, and ensure the product offered is truly syariah compliant. For example, at the community level, if the community does not have understanding nor awareness, it will give rise to queries viewed with apprehension by the operators namely competition with conventional finance institutions causing them to continuously think about the profitability of their organisation. This will cause a situation where the islamic finance sector will continuously search for products that can compete with conventional finance institutions and in the end it is of a concern that scholars will try to find a way of making halal the products which are found in the conventional finance institutions.
The Executive Director of the International Shari'ah Research Academy, ISRA for Islamic Finance, Associate Professor Dr Mohamad Akram Laldin, explained that the biggest problem faced by Islamic finance institutions is the development of the human capital which are practitioners working in the Islamic finance market as well as syariah scholars who also assists in ensuring that everything is based on syariah.