Central Bank of Bahrain
  

The Waqf Fund

The Waqf Fund was established in November 2006 under the auspices of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in partnership with Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Bahrain. Among the founding IFIs were Arcapita Bank, Bahrain Islamic Bank, Kuwait Finance House (Bahrain), AlBaraka Banking Group, Unicorn Investment Bank, ABC Islamic Bank, Shamil Bank (now Ithmaar Bank) and Gulf Finance House. The member institutions made one-time contributions to the Waqf Fund's corpus which is invested in Islamic money market instruments and the return is used to finance the Fund's initiatives. These initiatives are executed through partner organisations.

Current Initiatives

1. Graduate Sponsorship Program

Now in its fifth year, GSP serves to provide young Bahraini graduates and junior staff of Waqf Fund member institutions with an orientation in Islamic finance along with practical experience in IFIs. 20 to 25 graduates and bank employees are selected every year for a 6 month diploma program with BIBF. They study the following courses: (1) Islamic Commercial Jurisprudence, (2) Islamic Banking Operations, (3) Islamic Treasury and Capital Markets, (4) Islamic Accounting, (5) Islamic Insurance, and (6) Banking, Business and Trust Law.


2. Shari'a Reviewer Development Program

Aimed to provide basic orientation to Islamic and conventional finance/banking to Internal Sharia’ Reviewers of Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) and plug any knowledge gaps. These are designed as short courses of 10-30 hour duration. The topics covered include: (1) Understanding Financial Statements for IFIs, (2) Business, Banking and Trust Law, (3) Islamic Treasury and Capital Markets, (4) Risk Management for IFIs, (5) Shari’a Auditing & Corporate Governance for IFIs, and (6) Introduction to AAOIFI and IFSB Standards.

3. Advance Diploma in Islamic Commercial Jurisprudence

This program provides more depth in specific topics to the Internal Shari’a Reviewers of IFIs. Spread over a one year period and conducted in Arabic the Diploma consists of 8 modules: (1) The Theory of Contracts and its legal maxims, (2) Objectives of Shari’a and Jurisprudential Law (Usul Al Fiqh), (3) Principles of Fatwa and Applied Jurisprudence, (4) Islamic Financial Transactions, (5) Fiqh of Zakat and Waqf, (6) Fiqh of Takaful, (7) Shari’a Auditing and Compliance for Islamic Financial Institutions, and (8) the Research component that concludes the program. The research component has been added for greater depth and quality and to ensure that the program’s learning outcomes are thoroughly achieved by all the participants.


4. Roundtable Discussions

On topics of high importance to the industry the Waqf Fund arranges Roundtable Discussions from time to time where industry professionals, regulator and Shari’a scholars converge to discuss the relevant aspects in detail. Seven such Roundtables have taken place over as many years. Most of these Discussions were subsequently followed up with concrete action steps by the Central Bank or the Waqf Fund.

The Waqf Fund held its 7th Roundtable Discussion on "Development of internal Shari'a Review, Internal Shari’a Audit and External Shari'a Audit" on 23 February 2014. The half-day session was attended by a select group of professionals including representatives of professional Big 4 firms, CEOs of Islamic banks and AAOIFI, Internal Shari'a Reviewers and officials of the Central Bank. Please click the link below to view the three presentations delivered at the Roundtable.

EY presentation on Independent Sharia Audit
AAOIFI - Waqf Fund Roundtable Discussion - Feb 2014 V1
Presentation by Shaikh Abdulsattar Al Kattan
 

5. Preparation of "Islamic Banking Ethics for Bankers" course for junior staff of Islamic banks

The Waqf Fund provided financial assistance to draft an ethics course aimed at the junior staff of Islamic banks in order to make them aware of the ethical foundations of Islamic banking. The Central Bank has made it mandatory training for Islamic banks. The course is conducted through BIBF.


6. Upgrading of Curriculum - BIBF's Diploma in Islamic Finance

The Waqf Fund engaged a professional firm to enhance the curriculum of BIBF’s Diploma in Islamic Finance. This included preparing six text books.

 

7. Assisting University of Bahrain to launch 4-year Bachelor of Arts in Shari’a for Banking & Finance program

The Waqf Fund has joined hands with the University of Bahrain to support its 4-year bachelor program in Islamic finance. The Waqf Fund is providing financial assistance to the program as well as helped in curriculum development by providing the industry’s perspective. Now in its second year, this is a unique fusion program between Shari’a and Business. The graduates of this bilingual program will be well equipped to work for any Islamic financial institution in Bahrain and globally. They will possess a rare combination of Shari’a, financial, accounting, economics and business knowledge. They will be integrated with the industry through seminars and internships.

8. Shari’a scholar monthly program

The Waqf Fund has started a monthly session with leading Shari’a scholars in the Islamic finance industry whereby they address the Internal Shari’a Reviewers of IFIs in Bahrain on specific topics, followed by an extensive Q&A session. The purpose of this program is to provide an opportunity to up and coming Shari’a scholars to interact with and learn from leading Shari’a scholars through dialogue and discussion. Four sessions have so far been held with scholars of international standing including Shaikh Essam Ishaq, Shaikh Nizam Yaquby, Shaikh Osama Bahar and Shaikh Abdulsattar Al-Kattan.

 

9. Corporate Governance workshop for CEOs and Directors of IFIs

Given the increasing importance of corporate governance worldwide and the local Corporate Governance Code introduced by the CBB, there was a pressing need to improve the CG standards of IFIs. The Waqf Fund offered two workshops to its member institutions who participated enthusiastically including CEOs, Board Secretaries, Directors and Chairpersons.

 

10. Sponsoring AAOIFI in revamping its CIPA qualification

The Waqf Fund is sponsoring AAOIFI to revamp its flagship global Islamic accounting qualification Certified Islamic Professional Accountant (CIPA).

This will be the first major revision of the CIPA curriculum since its launch in September 2006. The objective is to develop the right human resources who combine conventional as well as AAOIFI accounting knowledge, understanding of the underlying Shari’a principles and standards and exposure of practical issues facing Islamic financial institutions. The revised CIPA curriculum will also include contemporary accounting and auditing issues that have come up in the last few years especially after the global financial crisis.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact The Waqf Fund:

Mr. Khalid Hamad A. Rahman

Chairman, The Waqf Fund

Contact Us

Tel: +973 1754 7400

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