Hussain Hamed Hassan
Shari„a Supervisor and Head of Shari„a Committee, Dubai Islamic Bank, Dubai, U.A.E.
Comments on Discussion Papers and Notes submitted for the Harvard – LSE Workshop on Sukuk
All praise be to Allah and His peace and mercy be upon His last prophet Muhammed. Following is a brief write up prepared to address some of the issues raised through some valuable and scholarly papers written by Professor Rodney Wilson, Shaikh Taqi Usmani and Dr. Najatullah Siddiqi and other learned scholars and distributed among the participants of Harvard – LSE Workshop on Sukuk with a view to enriching the discussion on the subject. While I appreciate the approach and concerns of the learned scholars in raising these important issues, I would like to seize this opportunity to emphasize the need for more deliberations and research work from scholars of Islamic Jurisprudence and experts in the fields of Finance and Economics so that Sukuk could be further developed and fine tuned as an established Sharia compliant product catering to the requirements of modern finance and Islamic banking. Our aim is to shed some light on those principles or mechanisms of Sharia which have been the subject of debate in relation to those Sukuk which are based on Mudaraba, Musharaka and Wakala contracts. I pray Allah to guide us to Truth, open our hearts and minds and to lead us to the Right Path. What is Important in Contracts? Form and Terminology or Essence and Purpose? Whenever a Sharia compliant contract is entered into or a product is structured in Islamic finance, it has to be in line with a basic Sharia principle, among others, which asserts that “It is the Essence & Purpose, nor the Form &Terminology, that Matter”. It means that we need to comprehend the core structure and essence of a contract or a product rather than its appearance or form. For example, if a Sukuk structure proposes return similar to a conventional bond then this will not form a basis to judge that such...