Photo: The front of the Central Bank of Kuwait on December 9, 2014. Philip Lange/Shutterstock

Islamic Finance

Kuwait central bank gives nod to Shariah committee for Islamic finance

The central bank of Kuwait’s board of directors has approved the establishment of the Higher Committee of Shariah Supervision for Islamic finance.

In a statement on Oct 5, the central bank said the establishment of the committee is “in line with rapid developments seen in the Islamic finance industry” in Kuwait.

The Committee’s key roles are to:

  • Give its opinions and advice to the central bank on Shariah compliance of financial transactions
  • Propose general guidelines for products and services
  • Propose controls to regulate the business of Shariah supervision bodies
  • Conduct internal and external Shariah audits
  • Govern the activities related to fatwa and Shariah supervision at Islamic banks and financial institutions
  • Pre-approve candidates for membership on Shariah boards at Islamic banks and financial institutions
  • Give final decisions where deliberations of Shariah supervision authorities are inconclusive
  • Present Shariah-based opinions on matters referred to it by the courts or arbitration centres related to issues of Islamic banking and finance

The central bank said the inaugural members of the Higher Committee, who are appointed for a three-year renewable term, are:

  • Dr. Essa Z. E. Shaqra - Chairperson
  • Dr. Khaled M. Y. Boodi - Member 
  • Mostafa Sayed H. A. Alzelzelah - Member 
  • Dr. Motlaq J. M. Aljaser - Member

Several countries have Shariah committees for Islamic finance at their central banks including Malaysia, Pakistan, Oman and the UAE. However, their powers differ from country to country.

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