Islamic finance seeks young scholars to lead growth, improve products
With Islamic finance a $1 trillion industry globally and expected by ratings agency Moody’s to reach $5 trillion in time, students of sharia have more opportunities than ever before to take their skills beyond the mosque doors and into the boardroom.
Reflecting the change in times, many current scholars now prefer to call themselves sharia advisors or technicians to suggest that their duties are more professional rather than simply clerical.
(Photo: Dubai Islamic Bank, January 28, 2008/Jumana El Heloueh)
Professionally, it can be a lucrative endeavor. Scholars working on Islamic finance deals are paid consulting fees, depending not only on the services provided but also the seniority and fame of the scholar.
Every Islamic finance company has a sharia board that monitors compliance, and ad hoc boards often set up for individual deals. While there is no benchmark for fees, a renowned chairman of a sharia board, for instance, could earn $50,000 to $100,000 per board as a result of retainer fees, fees for issuing edicts, audit fees and documentation fees. Junior scholars make significantly less.