Exclusive Interview with Mohamed Shakeel Salyani (PhD), Head of Islamic Banking Division, Craft Silicon Ltd. Kenya

Brief Introduction of Interviewee  

My name is Mohamed Shakeel Salyani. I am a career banker for the past 17 years with 13 years in Islamic Banking. My education is B com from Hailey College, MBA from Institute of Business administration, both from Punjab University and Certified Shariah Audit & advisory from IBA CEIF , Karachi, Pakistan.  I attained PHD in strategic management within Islamic Banking from MOI university Kenya. Am passionate to inculcate technology in Islamic Finance.

Keeping in view your present position what is your opinion about Islamic Banking?

Islamic Finance is still in its infancy though there is quite a lot that has been researched on and more is being currently done. IIF has a huge potential to penetrate the whole ecosystem of Life where we have become dependent on the conventional system.

What are the basic Guidelines of Islamic Banking?

Islamic Banking and Finance stand on the underlying principle of fairness and justice where value is given to the rightful person and in an honest manner.  In every situation of trade a fair value is determined and every party’s rights are taken into consideration

How do you ensure Shariah compliance in Islamic banking?

Shariah compliance starts from the borrower then to the financier. The borrower has to have sufficient knowledge of his rights and procedures and it’s the duty of the financier to make sure that information is conveyed rightfully to the borrower. The administration through shariah boards and shariah managers is a good thing but its responsibility to cascade that information down to the front line staff as well.

What can be called the major inventions of the Islamic banking system? Just highlight three.

The major innovations which have revolutionized Islamic finance are

  1. Sukuk which has changed the capital market approach and wealth management.
  2. Secondly its Islamic Fintech and crowdfunding and its impact on the community using technology
  3. Inclusion of Waqf and cash waqf are a game changer in the Islamic charity system

What is the concept of money in Islamic Economics?

Money was there 1400 years ago hence its not an innovative idea. Money is to only be used as a medium of exchange and not to be used as a commodity in its own capacity. Therefore, Islamic Economics does not focus more on money but on trade. The elements of money can be used to enhance livelihoods through charity which is the other side of Islamic Economics.

In the end, just describe the future of Islamic banking or in your Country.

Islamic Finance was introduced in Kenya in 2007 with 2 Islamic banks. The Country has adopted the system pretty well and has also introduced the Sukuk aspects in the Finance act of 2017. The Capital markets are also considering the growth of Islamic real estate investment trust together with Islamic leasing to be popularized as soon as possible. In brief Islamic Finance is getting traction in Kenya at a much faster pace than it was 11 years ago due to market awareness on the said system.