A one-day seminar on “Interest-Free Finances” was held on 8th February 2018 at the Scholars School Natipora Srinagar. The seminar was organized by Islamic Banking Kashmir (IBK) in collaboration with Crescent Co-operative Ltd. (CCL) Kashmir. At the outset the co-ordinator of the seminar Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Malik (Assistant Professor, J&K Higher Education), welcomed all the dignitaries and introduced before them the very vital issue on which the seminar was being held. Dr. Malik in his welcome address stressed upon the need of interest-free banking in Kashmir and in this backdrop highlighted the mission and vision of Islamic Banking Kashmir (IBK).
Mufti Muhammad Sultan of Siraj al-Uloom Srinagar officially inaugurated the technical session by the recitation of Holy verses from the glorious Qur’an. In the technical session, Dr. Ali Mohammad (Faculty Member IUST Awantipora), shed light on the working of Crescent Co-operative Ltd. Dr. Mohammad in his speech highlighted the need for having more interest-free financial institutions like CCL in Kashmir and its viability in promoting an ethical based micro financial system. Mr. Nazir ul Islam (General Secretary Institution of Islamic Civilization and Culture Srinagar), in his speech forcefully advocated the unity amongst the religious scholars (ulama), subject experts (Islamic economists) and practitioners (Islamic bankers). Mr. Nazir said that it is very important to have sincere intentions and strong commitment for the successful organization and working of this noble venture. Dr. Nasir Nabi (Assistant Professor University of Kashmir), in his speech shared his insight on the development of Islamic finance and banking in post colonial era upto current times. Dr. Nabi while highlighting the viable working models of Islamic banking in the West and South-East Asia strongly pleaded for the proper awareness programmes amongst the educated masses in Kashmir and to sensitize them about this noble and trending thing in the world financial system. Dr. Nabi also shared his extreme happiness with the audience over the fact that from the past one decade Islamic finance and banking has gained some ground amongst the academicians of the valley. Mr. Tanvir ibn Ashraf in his presentation made a critical analysis about some of the technical issues that is in vogue in Islamic banking while referring to the very nascent term fiqh-onomics. Mr ibn Ashraf stressed that it is the need of an hour that more focus should be on ijtihad based fiqh al-ma’mulat and research and dialogue in this field. Mr. Ajaz of CCL presented a statistical data about the recent operations of CCL and Mr. Mushtaq Ahmad elaborated upon the various schemes launched by the CCL.
The technical session was followed by brain storming group discussion in which all the scholars put forward their suggestions before the learned audience. All the queries were addressed upon and it was unanimously resolved to make an umbrella organization which will explore, co-ordinate, research and work for the establishment of interest-free state level bank and other micro level enterprises in the valley which will cater the needs of the society at large.
Mr. Mubashir Wafai, MD Foundation World School, Srinagar, as a guest of honour expressed his delight upon hearing all the scholars and enlightened the gathering with his inspirational and thought provoking address. Mr. Wafai offered his extended help at Foundation World School for similar events in future.
The seminar was concluded by the presidential address of Maulana Arshid Hussian Nadwi. Mr. Nadwi while commenting upon all the scholar’s presentation held that time is ripe when the religious scholars should jointly work with the subject experts for the promotion of Islamic banking in Kashmir. Mr. Nadwi stressed the need for Shari’ah advisory boards for such kind of endeavors in which only qualified shari’ah expert would be consulted. While promising all the possible support from his side Mr. Nadwi highly praised the efforts of organizers of the seminar for such kind of unique event.
Lastly, Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Malik presented the vote of thanks to all the dignitaries who made it convenient to attend and speak in the seminar especially to Principal Scholars School Natipora for their logistic support and kind hospitality.