Frequent Ask Questions

Thank you for your interest in finding out more about Shariyah Review Bureau. Below are the most commonly asked questions that we receive. If you do not find the answer to your question below, please contact us at +973 17215898 or email us at info @shariyah.com.

FAQ’s – Familiar with Islamic Financial Industry

  • Yes. The Islamic Financial world is flying fast and outsourcing is the Megatrend of the Islamic Industry. We are considered as the main driver of not just outsourcing Shari’a Board functions but also all Shari’ Supervisory functions such as Shari’a Consultation, Equities Screening, Shari’a Co-ordination and Shari’a Compliance Audit. Leading businesses identify outsourcing to us as a vehicle for Shari’a personnel arbitrage and more importantly as a powerful partnership vital and integral to their own process of transformation and success.

  • Yes

  • We were founded in 2004 and registered in 2005. We are considered as the first independent entity to offer integrated Shari’a Audit services in the Islamic Financial Industry.

  • Yes. We are the only Shari’a Advisory firm to be licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

  • We ensure all regulatory mandates of all Central authorities related to Shari’a Advisory and Compliance functions. Whether it’s having qualified number scholars, or Shari’a Certification (Fatwa) requirements or assigning professional Shari’a Auditors we will ensure that all regulations are accommodated and adhered.

  • Clients co-source or completely outsource their Sshar’a requirements to us for 4 main reasons,

      1. Reduced capital costs: We are Financially More Cost-Effective and help our clients free-up costs related to maintaining their own Sshara Supervisory structures, particularly as, attracting, retaining & maintaining scholarly expertise, logistics and other Sshar’a talent-knowledge is considerably high.
      2. Wide Industrial Sector Expertise: We Work around the World Serving a Wide Range Of Industries such as Banks, Asset Management, Private Equity and Insurance.
      3. Dealing With Institutes Rather Than Individuals: Being organizationally and managerially larger in manpower we have successfully institutionalized the complete “Sshar’a Supervisory” process. You will be dealing with a responsive, connected, professional, competent and licensed institute established for the sole purpose of serving the clients in the Islamic business World and achieving higher business satisfaction.
      4. Our Clients have direct liaison with a dedicated team of Shari’a professionals with an international range of Shari’a expertise. Apart from 27 Scholars worldwide we have an internal-office team which entails Shari’a experts with a combined experience culminating in over 30 years in the financial industries. They are focused on strengthening and governing Shari’a applications and customizing unique, practical and functional solutions for our clients.

  • We do not have fix fee structures. To save cost for our clients we believe in tailoring our fee based on the actual scope of work, timeline, personnel and scholarly resources being utilized. Our fee varies from a single transaction to Funds and from small businesses to large Islamic organizations.

  • We work with clients in various capacities. Depending upon the engagement terms we are available to work on-site as resident Shari’a Advisors and other times, we handle special tasks for single projects, such as, reviewing IPO’s, Engineering Shari’a Compliance Manual, and One-off Shari’a Supervisory audits. Other times we are retained indefinitely as an outside Shari’a resource available on-call at all times.

  • Yes. Many companies and firms we represent operate globally, from diverse locations such as Canada, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, KSA, UAE, Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain. This international exposure provides an opportunity for us to get to know diverse sectors, corporate culture and wide-business objectives thereby enabling us to continually refresh our knowledge of the emerging Islamic sector in the global financial landscape and to benchmark best practices from a Shari’a perspective.

  • The nature of the activities of Shariyah Review Bureau requires independency, impartiality and confidentiality. This is crucial. So it has also been officially laid down in the statutes of the company. And further we maintain strict discipline on functional separation to ensure confidentiality and objectivity in all our engagement with business clients and operations.

  • Since our activities are global and centered throughout the Shari’a compliant business World, hence, we are working for a broad range of clients from diverse sectors and with broad product portfolios. As it comes to our model & Shari’a consultancy and Advisory activities, our clients are, among other things, financial institutions, Banks, Insurance Companies, Data Intelligence Organizations, Real-Estate utilities, Universities, Transportation Companies, and government related financial organizations.

  • Three simple but compelling reasons,

      • We have the deepest roots in the region, having been the first and by far the only Shari’a Advisor to be licensed and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain, more than 8 years ago.
      • Apart from having people on the ground in US, UK, Kazakhstan and Egypt we are also present in three major jurisdictions in the GCC . This allows us to develop close relationships through proximity to our clients.
      • We are cost-effective.
  • These offices have local people on the ground supporting actual Shari’a commissioning processes. They are committed to serving the businesses locally and maintaining a pronounced degree of up-close and professional liaison with a fascinating, and comprehensive prime-channel of communication with our Shari’a experts headquartered in Bahrain.

FAQ’s – New Entrants in the Islamic Financial Industry

  • It is an official and formal recognition (similar to legal opinions) of the given financial product or transaction in light of Islamic law. The qualified person (scholar) or specialized institute well versed in the Islamic jurisprudence examines, reviews and analyzes the presented products’ documents, mechanism, and lays down guidelines for the working/mechanism of the Product and then issues a verification(if everything is in compliance to Shari’a law) by signing a Shari’a Certificate. The written authentication (Certificate) states clearly that the underlying structure is in light of Islamic Law and that he or the Institute approves it with the laid down directives and parameters.

  • From a regulatory purpose such Certifications address the mandate of central authorities. Additionally in Islamic Finance the regulators and thereby all Institutes must have Shari’a scholars or professional Shari’a Advisory institutes overseeing the activities and having them reviewed in light of Islamic Law. But on a broader scale these Certifications assure Muslim Investors that the investment they are looking at (or are interested in entering) has been reviewed and approved by qualified Shari’a scholar(s) or Shari’a institutes and thus are classified as “Shari’a Compliant.”

  • To meet regulatory requirements, to attract Muslim capital, to tap Islamic Financial Markets (now hitting $1 trillion) and/or the Halal market ($3 Trillion) etc. If there is no Certification then there can be no assurance to the Muslim in regards to the Product/transactions authenticity or validity from an Islamic law stance.

  • It would open doors to Islamic liquidity since Muslims and key Islamic Financial institutes would be able to invest, participate and/or finance your projects.

  • The process begins with you sending us Product structure and all related documents. Our Shari’a Advisor will review it in light of AAOIFI Shari’a standards and will open a line of communication with you or designated manager to discuss the potential issues and how they can be reconciled with Shari’a. Once all necessary modifications are accepted and implemented in the documents our Shari’a Review department will then coordinate and liaise with assigned Shari’a scholars for further verification. The process will end in us issuing an official pronouncement, also known as “Shari’a Certificate” signed by the participating scholars and endorsed by an official seal from Shariyah Review Bureau.

  • AAOIFI is an acronym of Accounting & Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutes – an Islamic international body that prepares standardized Shari’a standards (including Accounting, Auditing, Governance and Fatwa provisions) for Islamic financial institutions & the Islamic industry. They are supported by 200 institutional members and central banks from 45 countries, its standards are now adopted in countries like Kingdom of Bahrain, Dubai International Financial Centre, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar, and Sudan. There standards are mandatory in certain jurisdiction in the GCC.

  • Qualifying Products are judged on a case by case basis in light of Shari’a standards. To learn if your product will qualify we suggest you contact Mr. Mansoor Ahmed (m.mansoor@shariyah.com) with 1 or 2 pages step by step process flow chart exhibiting your product. And he will be glad to inform you the qualification of your Product.

  • This depends on the scope of work, assigned personnel, scholars and timeline of the project. For further information on fees, please contact Mr. Mansoor Ahmed (m.mansoor@shariyah.com).

  • No. Once a product is Certified it does not require additional levels of certification (unless changes are made to the structure of the product). However, it is mandatory to have Shari’a Audit so as to ensure the successful implementation of the guidelines and parameters laid out in the basic certification. The Shari’a Audit issues its own Certification, see question Question 10 below.

  • The latter is related to pre-launch and broadly entails the examination and analysis of presented Product’s documents, concepts, structuring directives and laying down the functional guidelines and parameters, while, the former is post-launch entails post-review audit where a team of Shari’a Auditors develops, implement, revise and oversee the Shari’a audit programs while auditing the actual compliance to pertinent Shari’a criterions, guidelines and parameters laid down.

  • Shari’a Auditors write reports to inform the management or shareholders in regards to the Shari’a stance of the product/transactions in a given period. Their job is to evaluate the transactions in light of the guidelines and parameters which were laid down during the Certification stage by the scholars.