Co-Founder, Advisory Board
Asad is one of the founders of Amanah and chairs its advisory board. He is a Melbourne based lawyer and finance professional with more than 20 years of experience as an adviser to some of the world’s largest Islamic banks and Shariah compliant funds in the South East Asian region and the Middle East. He has advised these institutions on more than $1 Billion of successfully implemented Australian Islamic finance transactions.
He is currently a Director in the international accounting firm, Deloitte in their Financial Services and Investment group and also served as a Special Counsel in the firm’s legal practice, Deloitte Lawyers.
He has held senior appointments with the Islamic bank, Kuwait Finance House and Australian top tier law firm, King and Wood Mallesons.
Asad was appointed to the expert panel of the Australian government’s review of the Australian taxation impact of Islamic finance. He has also been an advocate for the Australian Islamic finance industry through his appointments to various working groups of the Australian Financial Markets Association and Financial Services Council.
Waqar Mirza JP
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Waqar is a founder and Executive Director of Amanah. He has had many years of experience in Islamic finance working with some of the world’s leading Islamic finance scholars to find solutions for the Australian Muslim community which includes the development of innovative home finance and investment products.
As an experienced Australian mortgage manager he has managed the origination and servicing of more than $400 Million of Islamic home finance from credit assessment to settlement and through to the life of the finance.
This depth of experience has seen him work with leading Australian financial institutions in the development of procedures and guidelines for new home mortgage products that would meet credit requirements, consumer credit laws and most importantly, Shariah compliance.
He has deep links into the Australian Muslim community and passionately believes in delivering financial solutions to our community that are consistent with their Islamic faith.
Waqar manage Amanah’s operations and leads its team of finance professionals.
Imam Uzair Akbar
Head of Internal Shariah Supervisory
Iman Uzair has been the Imam of Holland Park Mosque for the last 20 years. He is a dynamic advocate for the Muslim community in Australia and has appeared in many public forums which includes the media and government. Imam Uzair has a very close relationship with the eminent Islamic finance scholar Justice (ret.) Mufti Taqi Usmani having hosted him to Australia on a number of occasions.
Imam Uzair’s role as the Head of Internal Shariah Supervisory is to liaise with AIFA’s Shariah Supervisory Board and ensure that the recommendations of the Shariah board are implemented by management. He plays a major role in communicating with AIFA’s Principal Shariah advisor, Mufti Imran Usmani (s/o Justice (ret.) Mufti Taqi Usmani).
Maya Marissa Malek
Maya Marissa Malek is the Managing Director of Amanie Advisors Dubai and GCC offices and also the Executive Director of Global Shariah Advisory and Compliance for the overall Amanie group. Maya joined Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd (Kuala Lumpur) since 2007. Her experience includes Shariah advisory and consultancy services in the areas of Islamic finance framework, structuring, enhancement and conversion exercises, establishment of Islamic financial entity as well as Shariah compliance review services.
She has been directly involved in a number of innovative and landmark Islamic financial instruments in the industry, globally. Maya graduated with an LL.B (Hons) from the University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom and has more than 16-years’ experience mainly in corporate legal and Islamic financial matters. She is also an Associate Member of the Chartered Islamic Finance Professional Association.
Aiman Aizuddin is a Consultant with Amanie Advisors Dubai, UAE office.
He graduated with a Master Degree in Islamic Finance from Durham University, UK. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the International Islamic University of Malaysia in 2010 and was admitted to the Malaysian BAR as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Courts of Malaya in January 2012.
Aiman has been involved in the structuring, development and enhancement of Islamic banking products for Islamic Window operations in the Middle East and East African region. On Islamic capital market, he has advised on Sukuk structures by corporate issuers. Aiman has also developed the Shariah Governance Framework and Shar’iah guidelines (product-based and operation) at both, national and financial institution level.
Prior to joining Amanie, Aiman was a lawyer with Zaid Ibrahim & Co (ZICOlaw), Malaysia’s largest law firm, based at its HQ office in KL and concurrently held the position as a Shariah consultant with the group’s Shariah Advisory firm (ZICO Shariah) to assist on both, the legal and Shariah aspects of Islamic Finance. There, he performed the first full-fledged regulatory Shariah Audit and enhanced the Islamic products of a major international bank, among others of his achievement.
Benjamin Clarehugh is a Director of Amanie Advisors based in Leeds, United Kingdom.
He is responsible for Shariah screening of equity & fixed income securities, Shariah monitoring & compliance review of unit trust funds and the operation of asset management companies.
Benjamin is also assisting the Shariah advisory team in structuring and developing Islamic Capital Market products. Prior to joining Amanie Advisors Sdn Bhd, he worked with Kuwait Finance House Research Ltd. As a Manager in the Islamic Capital Markets department. He completed various research and advisory/consultancy projects with various global Islamic finance institutions and partners.
How We Are Shariah Qualified
Who is qualified to provide a ruling on Islamic finance?
A ruling or Fatwa on a point of Islamic law can only be given by a recognised religious authority.
Generally, the rulings on Islamic finance are regulated through international organisations such as the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).
The appointment and on-going supervisory role of our Shariah scholar, Mufti Dr Imran Usmani, complies with the Shariah Governance standards outlined by the ISFB.
These standards are published by the IFSB: Guiding Principles on Shariah Governance Systems for Institutions offering Islamic Financial Services (December 2009).
You can download the standard by clicking the following link: Download PDF
Who is the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)?
The IFSB is an international standard-setting organisation that promotes and enhances the soundness and stability of the Islamic financial services industry by issuing global standards and guiding principles for the industry.
The IFSB has 188 members from 61 regulatory and supervisory authorities, 8 international inter-governmental organisations, and 119 market players (financial institutions, professional firms and industry associations) operating in 45 jurisdictions.
The authoritative views of the IFSB accords with the consensus of opinion of all the major scholars of Islamic finance including eminent scholars such as Justice (ret) Sh Mufti Taqi Usmani.
According to the IFSB what are the minimum competence requirements for Shariah scholars of Islamic finance?
According to the IFSB, a provider of Islamic financial services must ensure its Shariah board demonstrates its competence by meeting the following:
- Members hold at least a bachelor’s degree/ijazah from a recognised university in the sciences of Shariah, including Islamic transaction/commercial law (Fiqh al-Muamalat) and be able to demonstrate an adequate understanding of finance in general and Islamic finance in particular
- A Chairman of the Shariah board with at least three years’ experience of making Shariah pronouncements/resolutions in Islamic finance, or at least four years’ post qualification experience in teaching or research in Islamic finance
- Demonstrate specific skills in the financial services industry in accordance with the line of business of the financial service provider e.g banking, home finance, funds management
- Additionally the following must be satisfied:
- While carrying out his or her duties, a member of the Shariah board should always have complete moral, intellectual and professional independence e.g no conflicts of interest
- Clear terms of reference regarding its mandate and responsibility
- Well-defined operating procedures and lines of reporting
- A respectable character and be of good conduct, particularly in terms of honesty, integrity and reputation in his or her professional business and financial dealings
- Continuous and transparent disclosure on Shariah compliance e.g Shariah certification