Thought Leadership

We are widely recognised for our knowledge-based events, proprietary research and industry-wide recommendations that have and continue to influence positive change across the industry globally.

With a team of leading and respected Islamic finance practitioners, our individual and collective expertise uniquely positions the UKIFC to provide leadership and insight on current and future issues in Islamic finance. Our thought leadership activities are intended to be innovative, inspirational and geared to developing solutions to market challenges that demonstrates praxis.

Getting to the Heart of the Key Islamic Finance Issues

Our Thematic Workshops are unlike typical conferences in that they tackle head on the key industry issues and challenges. For the sector to progress, we believe that we should not shy away from emotive topics. Over 140 bankers, financiers, academics and scholars joined us in London in 2018 to discuss the trend of positioning Islamic finance within the broader umbrella of ethical finance. Our event showreel highlights our pedigree in delivering impactful events.

UKIFC/ISRA London Summit 2019

Reimagining Islamic finance


Over 150 bankers, financiers, academics and scholars  from around the world convened on the 2nd October 2019 for the UKIFC / ISRA London Summit. Hosted by international law firm Clifford Chance, the event explored the relationship between Islamic finance and social purpose. Islamic finance is often positioned within the broader umbrella of ethical finance and the summit provided a platform to understand the Islamic banking and investment industries, and examine the positive social outcomes that have been achieved and the future vista for Islamic finance.

For more details, please downlaod the event summary.

UKIFC / ISRA Thematic Workshop 2018

How Ethical is Islamic Finance?


Attracting over 140 bankers, financiers, academics and scholars, the workshop, hosted by the Islamic finance practice of global law firm K&L Gates, took place on 21 February 2018, considered the trend of positioning Islamic finance within the broader umbrella of ethical finance. Following Shariah principles, it is argued Islamic finance is seen to be intrinsically interwoven with ethical finance values and strategies. However, this view is not shared across the whole of the financial services industry and the Muslim community.

For more detail, please download the report.

UKIFC / ISRA Thematic Workshop 2016

Is the Current Model of Shariah Governance Fit For Purpose?


Attracting over 100 participants and 19 local and international industry experts, the Islamic Finance Council UK (UKIFC) and the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) were proud to organise a thematic workshop entitled “Is the Current Model of Shari’ah Governance Fit For Purpose”. The event, which took place on 26th October 2016 and was hosted by K&L Gates LLP, included the launch of the UKIFC/ISRA’s External Shari’ah Audit Report, provided an opportunity for leading Islamic finance experts to reflect on and respond to the increasing focus, across all financial markets, on issues of Shari’ah governance, regulation and personal ethics.

For more detail, please download the report.


This report explores how external Shariah audit can augment existing internal Shariah compliance in the Islamic finance industry. It highlights the differences between internal and external assurance approaches and provides what regulators and multilateral bodies are doing with regards to external Shariah audit. The review focuses on four jurisdictions – Pakistan, Oman, Bahrain and Malaysia, and includes insights from the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) and the Account and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI).

This pioneering report has been warmly welcomed by regulators looking to introduce external Shariah audit.

For more detail, please download the report.


This report is designed to enhance the robustness of the Shariah governance and assurance frameworks. It covers six areas: (i) Avoiding audit impairment by understanding the risk of self auditing; (ii) Effective utilisation of Shari’ah Supervisory Board (SSB) audit opinions within annual reports; (iii) The opportunity for established audit firms to undertake limited scope audits to provide enhanced external shari’ah audit assurance; (iv) Improving transparency by enhancing disclosures by shari’ah scholars; (v) Maintaining and developing competence amongst the current and future body of shari’ah scholars through Continuous Professional Development (CPD); and (vi) Addressing gaps in the audit and disbursement of mandatory purification amounts by Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs).

The report has led directly to the adoption of scholar training as a mandatory requirement by regulators globally.

For more detail, please download the report.

Representative Activities

Preparing reports and papers on emerging themes within Islamic finance

Researching, analysing and producing proprietary technical reports

Planning and organising technical workshops, round tables, seminars and conferences

Contributing to media reports and articles


Published the seminal “Enhancing Shariah Assurance” report which directly influenced policy setters, leading to external Shariah auditing being made mandatory by Central Banks in Oman, Bahrain and Pakistan

Published (in collaboration with ISRA) the “External Shariah Audit” report which examines the policy development, practice and challenges associated with implementing external Shariah auditing

Commissioned by a Gulf based PE investment manager to conduct a research project on the Tayyib concept which seeks to integrate social and financial returns in creating a new class of Islamic financial products

Lead partner for The Times Islamic finance educational supplement

Contributed as reviewing partner to the CISI Islamic Finance Qualification text book

Presented at multiple international conferences including World Islamic Economic Forum, World Islamic Banking Conference, Euromoney, Global Ethical Finance Forum and Responsible Investor Summit

Contributed to numerous broadcast news reports on media platforms such as BBC, Bloomberg, CNBC, Islam Channel and press articles in the FT, The Times, IFN and The Guardian


“ISRA and UKIFC share the common goal of bringing Islamic finance to the next level and, through our pioneering thought leadership reports, we have developed a strong, productive and mutually beneficial partnership. We are proud to work with UKIFC and commend them for their passion, expertise and commitment to growing the industry.”

Prof. Dr. Mohamad Akram Laldin,
Executive Director, International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)