One Lawyer’s Journey to Islamic Finance
I currently work for the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and previously worked as the Distribution Manager for the National Zakat Foundation. And before that as an Islamic Wills lawyer. I, therefore found myself in professional roles which related to finance, vulnerability, and Muslims.
In law school I loved the Islamic Law module however there was no option of Islamic finance. I had a deep interest in studying Islamic finance further but I wasn’t interested in studying secular corporate banking modules. There wasn’t really an avenue to go forward in this space that I knew of at the time. At around this time while researching online, I found out about Ethica—I immediately registered for their free course.
Fast forward and I had been subscribed to Ethica’s mailing list for about 8 years and by now had taken the free course twice but Ethica’s Certified Islamic Finance Executive (CIFE) program remained at the back of my mind. The right opportunity to study deeper never arose...until I joined AFCA.
AFCA is a new financial ombudsman body in Australia which arose after a Royal Commission. They deal with all complaints against financial firms in Australia, from financial hardship to investments to pensions.
I was very suprised to see that there were many complaints being made about Islamic financial firms! Despite servicing Muslims in Australia, there was clearly a disconnect between the theory of Islamic finance and the practice. Knowing that I had a background in Islamic law and was a practicing Muslim, many non-Muslim colleagues began to come to me with technical questions. This is when I realised that while I could offer them basic fiqh answers from my Islamic studies, I urgently needed to strengthen my knowledge of Islamic finance specifically.
This realisation gave me the urgency needed to speak with my managers at AFCA about Ethica, who accepted my study proposal and agreed to support my studies of the Islamic finance qualification. The time had finally come! Alhamdulilah!
I studied part time alongside my full time job and was supported to take a day off work to sit the Ethica exam. I am very glad to have finally had the long dream of becoming an Ethica CIFE realised. The course is decades ahead of its time mashaAllah in terms of its accessibility. My desire to complete the course started in London as a law student and was realised in Sydney as a financial case analyst! The blessing of an online global learning portal!
The course content is presented in a clear, concise, and easy to digest manner. The handouts, supporting material, and quizzes are excellent. The best aspect for me I believe is how the course covers both the theory of the Shariah and the practical application with brilliantly relatable, current day examples, making it truly applicable in the modern context.
Overall the experience surpassed my expectations. Even the exam itself was so thorough and valuable! Alhamdulilah.
The support and customer service from the Ethica team is also excellent. JazaakumAllah khayran for always being available to answer burning questions.
I am truly grateful to Ethica for producing an excellent learning portal and feel very blessed to say that I studied Islamic finance through Ethica. I can’t wait to continue my studies with Ethica InshaAllah.
May Allah bless you and reward you for your course and continued efforts in this field. The time has come where not only is it valuable to Muslims but also non Muslims in the banking and finance world, as the world further integrates, as my experience illustrates.
Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)