Scholars of high repute with extensive experience in law, economics and banking systems and specialising in law and finance as prescribed by Islamic Shariah make up the AIBL's Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board. The Board is appointed by the bank's Board of Directors. The Shariah Board supervises the development and creation of innovative Shariah -compliant investment and financing products and services. The Board is empowered to issue fatwas on any matter proposed to it by different business units of the bank. The Shariah auditors ensure that all the transactions are carried out in strict compliance to Islamic principles of banking. This framework along with a stringent compliance to rules has made AIBL the pioneering organization to practice Islamic finance in true letter and spirit. The name AIBL has come to signify innovation, financial dynamism, leadership and above all a complete assurance that all the transactions are free from riba (interest).
The Board's Role
The Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board oversees the application of different aspects of Shariah in the Bank. It also ensures that all transactions are in strict compliance with the right of contradicting (fatwa) any violating procedures, if found. The Board of Directors is obligated to obey the fatwas, irrespective of whether a unanimous or a majority consensus secured the decision (clause ---- of the Bank's Memorandum & Articles of Association).
Board meetings are held periodically or whenever the need arises. The rights of the Board are enshrined in Article Seven o the Bank's Memorandum & Articles of Association (Clauses).
Important Duties of the Shariah Board:
As an expert source on Islamic Principles ( Including Fatwas), the Board through a representative, usually the General Secretary of the Board, supervises the Shariah compliance of all the transactions in the Bank.
To devote time and effort to devising more Shariah -compliant transactional procedures, templates and banking products that enable the Bank to adapt to market trends while maintaining a high competitive edge in deposit procedures, investments, and banking services. At the same time, the Board gives its opinion on proposed new templates, and banking transactions.
Analysing unprecedented situations that are not covered by fatwa, in the Bank's transactional procedures or those reported by different departments, branches and even the customers. This is to ensure Shariah compliance before the Bank develops any new products or implements any new procedure.
Analysing contracts and agreements concerning the Bank's transactions, as submitted by the Chairman of the Board of Directors or any department/branch within the bank or requested by the Board itself so that Shariah compliance can be evaluated and maintained.
Ensuring Shariah compliance in the implementation of all banking transactions and correcting any breaches.
Analysing administrative decisions, issues and matters that require the Board's approval.
Supervising Shariah training programmes for the Bank's staff.
Preparing an annual report in the Bank's balance sheet with respect to its Shariah compliance.
The Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board submits a complete annual report for the Board of Director, summarizing all the issues referred to the Board, as well as its opinion on the Bank's transactional procedures.
The AIBL's library houses a vast collection of more than 4,000 books on Islamic Fiqh, law, economy, banking and Shariah , The library was primarily established with the aim of serving the Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board's research team and the AIBL staff. The facility is also accessible to the bank's customers, researchers and students of higher education.
The Clause ---- of the Bank's Memorandum & Articles of Association requires the Board of Directors to appoint a Shariah Supervisor, responsible for monitoring all the Bank's transactional procedures and assuring Shariah compliance.
Also the General Secretary of the Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board, the Shariah Supervisor handles queries about the Bank's administration from staff members, shareholders, depositors and customers, liaises with the Shariah auditors and provides them with guidance. He submits reports and suggestions to the Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board and to the Chairman of the Board of Directors. The position also calls for participation in the Bank's training programmes.
The supervisory function forms a part of the Shariah Supervision procedures, its main task being to check Shariah compliance under the guidance of the Shariah Supervisor.
The auditors continuously review the Bank's transactional procedures to ensure adherence to the framework created by the Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board. The Shariah auditors submit periodic reports to the Shariah Supervisor so as to monitor and maintain Shariah compliance.