Daud Vicary Abdullah is Global Leader
of the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (DTT) Islamic Finance Industry group. Daud,
based in Kuala Lumpur, oversees the overall strategy and development of DTT's
Global Islamic Finance Industry group, and provide guidance to member firms on
governments, corporations, and financial institutions related to the Islamic
Finance sector. Daud was the first Managing Director of Hong Leong Islamic Bank,
and following that, he became the Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO at
Asian Finance Bank. A distinguished fellow of the Islamic Banking and Finance
Institute of Malaysia (IBFIM), Daud is also a Chartered Islamic Finance
Professional (CIFP) and a former Board member (2003 – 2007) of the Accounting
and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). He is the
author alongside Keon Chee of"Islamic Finance: Why it makes sense -
Understanding Its Principles and Practices" published in January 2010 (Marshall
Napoleon Bonaparte, when faced with the issue of
what to do with his army during the summer months, as it was too hot for them to
march, suggested that they plant trees. To this his advisors queried as to why
trees? As they take a long, long time in growing and how would it be beneficial?
Napoleon's response was to ask them how long does it take for a tree to grow and
provide shade. The reply was- about 25 years before a tree is fully grown and
provides shade. To which Napoleon responded by saying"then there is not a moment
to lose, is there?"
The moral of this story is that in order to affect social change one has to have
long term strategic thinking in place. Strategic thinking that leads to actions
which would make people query. As, through the process of enquiring, one obtains
knowledge. And that knowledge, when implemented, brings about social change
which is beneficial. Beneficial to future generations.
Do I have to be a Muslim to use Islamic
Like Napoleon's advisors, many ask this question
'do I have to be a Muslim to use Islamic Finance"? The answer is no! The author
understood that this question was not what it appeared to be. It was a
reflection of something much greater. Something that the people asking the
question were hiding. It was the lack of knowledge on the basics of financial
management. People didn't want to display how little they knew about financial
In 2007, the author undertook two, key, strategic steps in order to provide an
answer to this question:
1) By authoring a book, titled"Islamic Finance: Why it Makes Sense". Which
includes details on how, not just Islamic Finance works but, how the
conventional financial management system works and highlighting the difference
between Islamic Finance and conventional finance i.e.: Islamic Finance is
governed by Sharia but with practicality of use. Therefore providing clarity and
knowledge to the question of"what is the difference between Islamic finance and
2) And in a program that educated youngsters on financial management, the author
undertook to include an educational module on Islamic Finance targeted to the
youth. By providing this awareness and being educated on the benefits of Islamic
Finance it enabled the youngsters to choose between conventional finance and
Islamic Finance with full knowledge of the benefits that one would receive.
The social benefits that these two steps brought about:
1) Youth (6 years and above) are now being educated (and being aware) of how
financial management helps in one's life in terms of providing the link in
focussing common human aspirations to financial management in achieving those
2) In the long term, (15+ years), today's youth will become tomorrow's leaders.
Given this educational awareness they start with a solid foundation where
financial management is concerned and a clear idea of what Islamic Finance is
and the benefit of it.
3) Socially such an educational program also provides a strong platform
on"de-mystifying" Islam and showing its community benefit leading to a change in
attitude and perception on Islam for e.g. in China, though there are approx.
100milionl+ Muslims. Many of whom are Muslims in name only. To such an audience
a universal educational program on good financial management brings forth what
they want to know in order to achieve the aspirations they have whilst
understanding the benefits of Islamic Finance and thereby Islam. In USA, the
private equity business opportunity is huge. Yet it lacks a comprehensive
understanding of the benefits of Islamic Finance from the perspective of
achieving common human aspirations.
Planned education is the way forward in order to affect attitudinal and
perceptual change to take place on Islamic Finance and thereby facilitate entry
and willing acceptance in both Muslim and non-Muslim markets simultaneously.
Your feedback and comments are very important to us, please feel free to contact
the author via