Committed to community engagement since its inception, Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has recently held a series of public events, organised through one of its colleges, the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS). These community workshops, roundtables and conferences considered current challenges in Islamic Finance and Islamic Studies.
In March, HBKU’s QFIS brought more than 60 members of the wider community together, including students, faculty, experts and practitioners, to discuss ‘Shariah Governance Systems in a Globalized World’. Speaking at the roundtable event, which was sponsored by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Dr S. Nazim Ali, Director of the Center for Islamic Economics and Finance at QFIS, stated:
The motivation behind this workshop is borne out of the need to start progressive communication and dialogue opportunities between the two most important stakeholders of the Islamic finance industry.’
The conference explored topics such as Shariah governance policymaking, how to resolve conflicting fatwas issued by different banks on the same products, and the Shariah audit function in the Islamic banking industry. Dr Michael Reksulak, Director for Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at QNRF commented:
What made this workshop so attractive to QNRF is its focus on the intersection of modernisation and the preservation of culture and tradition, which is one of the Grand Challenges in QNRS. The question of how to manage the social and ethical dimensions of change as well as to assess the impact of rapid globalisation, economic growth, and wealth on Qatar’s national identity, history and customs, lies at the intersection of Social Sciences and Humanities. At QNRF we are focused on supporting research efforts and discussions that strike at the economic and innovation ecosystem. The burgeoning field of Islamic banking and finance is an essential part of that environment.”
Soon after the Islamic Finance roundtable, the university held another public event, this time targeting individuals interested in sustainability efforts in the Muslim World. Apart from attracting leading academics from universities in and beyond Qatar, the Second Annual Student Conference gathered representatives of various youth organisations to partake in discussions around the role of Islamic institutions in efforts that support sustainability. In addition to plenary discussions between professionals, the event featured student presentations and informal dialogue, culminating in an award ceremony honouring the most impactful community projects.
The college is maintaining the momentum behind its outreach efforts this month. In continued dedication to sharing its research and facilitating community conversation, the Muhammad bin Hamad Center for Muslim Contribution to Civilization (CMCC) at QFIS held an international conference on ‘Contemporary Issues in Qur’ānic Studies’ on 2 and 3 May. The event provided distinguished scholars from Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States with the opportunity to present their work and comment on emerging theories in the field. Among topics discussed were existing literature on the Quran, contemporary trends and the issue of text and context of the Quran.
Sharing her thoughts on the community outreach activities at QFIS, Dr Aisha Yousef Al Mannai, Director of the Center for Muslim Contributions to Civilization (CMCC) at QFIS, noted:
In line with HBKU’s objectives, we are proud to engage in academic pursuits that help to disseminate knowledge to the community, foster understanding, and build bridges between cultures.’
Although the 2015–2016 academic year is drawing to a close, the university will continue to prioritise community events through the summer months. The Center for Islamic Economics and Finance at QFIS will be holding an interactive workshop on Risk Management in Islamic Finance on 22–24 May in Education City. The event will be led by Alaa El Din Elghazaly, an expert at Qatar Central Bank.
To learn more about the workshop and keep up with the outreach efforts of the college, please visit QFIS website