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Islamic social finance a solution for better welfare

Islamic social finance should be one of the key solutions to social situations, said Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam (BIBD) Head of Government Relations and Special Projects Haji Mohammad Yusri bin Haji Wahsalfelah during a panel discussion titled ‘Islamic Social Finance – A Feasible Antidote?’ at the Brunei Islamic Finance (BIF) Summit 2023 at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Berakas.

The summit, which runs from June 12 to today, is organised by the Brunei Institute of Leadership and Islamic Finance (BILIF) in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and World Bank Group held in conjunction with Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2023 (Brunei MYCE 2023).

Haji Mohammad Yusri said Islamic social finance, like Islamic banking, shares the objective of promoting greater social welfare and well-being of the people.

“By adhering to Islamic principles and values of the Maqasid Syariah, Islamic social finance aims to ensure that financial activities are conducted in a manner that aligns with the broader goals of social justice and equitable wealth distribution,” he said.

He added that this form of finance, which includes zakat and waqaf, serves as a powerful tool to foster social and economic growth by channeling funds towards initiatives that benefit marginalised communities, support education, healthcare and provide opportunities for economic empowerment.

“To effectively achieve these objectives, collaboration with various stakeholders is essential. Partnerships with governments, relevant agencies, and the people themselves, enable Islamic social finance to maximise its impact,” said Haji Mohammad Yusri.

“To ensure the success of Islamic social finance programmes, it is crucial to have solid and clear programmes in place. These programmes should outline the specific objectives, target beneficiaries, and measurable outcomes as well as continuous and structured monitoring. By establishing transparent frameworks, stakeholders can better understand the purpose and impact of their contributions, inspiring confidence and encouraging further participation.”

He also shared BIBD’s multi-agency collaborative initiatives with the government and other stakeholders, such as the BIBD Advocating Long-Life Learning for an Aspiring Future (BIBD ALAF) and BIBD Special Entrepreneurial Empowerment and Development Scheme (BIBD SEED) and the Projek Tunas.

Bank Islam Brunei Darussalam Head of Government Relations and Special Projects Haji Mohammad Yusri bin Haji Wahsalfelah. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR