Shariah permanent or may meet infrequently, with its members

Shariah adviser A professional trained to a high level in Islamic Law (Shariah) who oversees banking and other business operations and ensures that products and services offered are Shariah-compliant. Such advisers must be persons of high esteem because Muslims need to trust their decisions, as they are effectively placing their own Shariah compliance in the hands of the advisers (as most members of the general public do not have in-depth knowledge of finance or a scholarly understanding of the Shariah). To reinforce the strength of their decisions, many larger institutions will have a Shariah board, so a consensus can be reached or so that individual members can concentrate on areas in which they are specialists. Shariah advisers can be employed full-time for a bank or can be hired for specific jobs or maintain a consultancy role for one or more institutions. Because there is a need for talent and expertise on such boards, top Shariah advisers can be highly sought after members of boards.

Shariah advisory board (see Shariah board).

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Shariah board A group of Shariah advisers who work for a bank and scrutinise its products and services to ensure that they are compliant with Shariah (Islamic Law). Depending on the arrangement enforced by the institution, boards may be permanent or may meet infrequently, with its members either being full-time employees of the institution or hired as consultants when needed.

Shariah compliance Although the term is used frequently to determine whether a product or service is legitimate in terms of Islamic Law (Shariah), all aspects of a Muslim’s life are regulated by Shariah compliance, which simply means obeying and remaining within the limits of Shariah as written in the Qur’an and the Hadith, but also determined through Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).

sharif An Arabic title given to tribal leaders placed in charge of a tribe’s assets.

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