In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
Prophet Muhamad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him says “God almighty loves that when each of you does something he should do it to the best of his ability. ”
This narration from the messenger of Allah provides the criteria for excellence in whatever we do in life, be it individuals, groups etc.
Every genuine organization be it private or public has an organized annual training for its workers. This training includes capacity building which may be internal or sourced from external.
This is very important so as to abreast the organization’s ability with the dynamics of the rapidly changing business environment.
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Advisory and support services to other organizations by good standing firms is also pivotal if modern organizations will make meaningful progress. In addition, giving back to society has also become a feature of modern organizations affectionately known as corporate social responsibility.
Owing to this, Islamic banks and their related financial institutions are not excluded.
Globally, authentic Islamic banks must have two types of training in place; one mandatory Islamic banking orientation and concept training for all the staff of the bank and a second type of more advanced and specialized product training for different functional areas. Ideally, every new employee must go through a basic orientation session covering a list of mandatory modules on Islamic banking products.
The bank should also run a number of specialized courses ranging from shorter courses to advance and longer duration expert level courses; deliver face-to-face training and video training modules should be designed based on specific job requirements.
For instance, apart from the general orientation course, the Relationship Manager’s training should be different from the Branch Manager’s.
It is also very important that the bank conduct customer training workshops and general awareness seminars to educate clients on Islamic banking products and procedures. So, the bank’s training arm undertakes internal as well as external training.
The employees of the department must be up to date with all the latest products and how they work as they themselves are key resources in training new and existing staff.
Team members must be assigned different training functions and it should be one group’s responsibility to ensure training takes place.
In order to promote Islamic banking, the bank may offer advisory and support services to other institutions as well. It can organize workshops and seminars to spread awareness of the Islamic financial system, offer alternative solutions and highlight common mistakes and the ways to avoid them. It could host forums for Shariah Advisors to update them on the latest research findings in the field.
The Shariah department can also contribute towards corporate and social responsibility activities. In fact, it is to be noted that the corporate and social responsibility of Islamic banks is very stronger than all profit-making organizations in the world.
Financial statements which needed to be prepared and published by Islamic banks per AAOIFI standards (FAS 1, AAOIFI, 2010), has a special portion dedicated to zakat and charity purposes.
Further, some Islamic banks have created Waqf-based trusts independent of the bank which efficiently manage the distribution of charity to reliable and deserving institutions.
Ideally, the Shariah department should partner with other Islamic financial institutions to launch Islamic finance initiatives and publish research papers and articles on Islamic obligations and rites all of this goes towards promoting public awareness of the ethos of the Islamic value system which in turn goes a long way in determining the direction of the overall economy.
May Allah accept this from us and you, and offer us an opportunity to witness the establishment of an Islamic bank in Ghana. And Allah knows best.
YAHAYA ILIASU MUSTAPHA
The writer is an Islamic Banking and Finance patron and advocate in Ghana
Facebook account: facebook.om/Yahaya.iliasu.94
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