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What's On On The Exchange: Seminar on Islamic Wealth Management

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Good day to all reading this blog J

I can hardly believe it is already one month now that I am Singapore. Time flies! It has been a lovely experience so far, I would say, - unique, enriching, and versatile.

As it turned out, student life agenda at Nanyang Polytechnic is extremely rich in various events, seminars, sports competitions, companies’ open houses, and many more. There is always something interesting happening on the campus, and it is buzzing with activity until late evenings.

It is no secret that one of the best ways to experience foreign culture, is to immerse yourself into it. Very much willing to do so, I take advantage of every personally interesting opportunity. So far I have had a chance to attend three events, but there is even more to come! I would not be exaggerating to say that they were, by their content, eye-opening and even enlightening. If that was not the case, I would not bother you with a narrative of what I have learned there.

In this blog today I would like to tell you about one of those events that I got to attend - a seminar on Islamic Wealth Management. It was truly a chance, as I learned about it the day prior the event day shortly before the registration deadline.

The event brought two speakers to the audience - Mr. Sani Hamid, a go to person when it comes to Islamic Finance, and a high flying wealth manager Mr. Benjamin Ng, who deals with high net worth clients locally and abroad. While the topic of conventional wealth management alone is very engaging and interesting me, the Islamic angle on it was simply a discovery. Honestly speaking, by the day that I attended the event, my knowledge on Islam in general was limited to some well-known facts about Islamic dietary laws – particularly those concerning prohibition of pork and alcohol. Speaking of a narrower aspect of Islam - Islamic Wealth Management, my knowledge was even poorer. I didn’t know and could not even imagine there exists such a branch of science!

Almost all of us know that, according to the Quran, pork and alcohol are explicitly forbidden for Muslims. However, a person would not be guilty of sin in a situation where the lack of any alternative creates an undesired necessity to consume pork, which is otherwise unlawful. Much to my surprise, consuming either of them is not a major sin, as, for example, opposed to riba – commonly referred to as interest that occurs in borrowing and lending activities, which is a major sin. Simply speaking, it is a major sin to be involved into any activities which deal with interest rates. How then -  you would ask - they deal with saving accounts and get a mortgage? I will not go into details, and will leave it all for you to explore yourself!

I will, however, stir you into exploring it by giving some more food for thought. As you might know, halal is used to describe anything permissible under Islamic law, in contrast to “haram”. This covers aspects such as behavior, speech, dress, conduct, manner, and, as already mentioned, dietary laws. What then, do you think, makes an investment portfolio, fund, car insurance, and logistics service halal/haram?

I will not go further into details, as the topic is too broad to cover even briefly in just one blog article. You can research more on it on your own, if I stirred your interest.

I hope it was as interesting for you, as it was for me. I personally was excited to learn that there is an individual branch of science I have never heard before! Besides that, some of the common misconceptions were dispelled regarding major sin and dietary laws. All in all, it was once again a discovery for me.

This is all for today. In the coming articles I will share with you more of what was/is on in Nanyang Polytechnic, so follow the updates.

Have a nice week and see you soonJ

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