By Abdullah Ahmed Mohammed, Abdelghani Echchabi, Zurina Shafii,Supiah Salleh
This study attempts to identify the Shariah governance and assurance practices in Islamic banks in Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC) countries. It adopts both qualitative and quantitative techniques in two different stages. In the first stage, content analysis technique is performed to analyse data from Shariah Committee Reports and annual reports of Islamic banks in GCC countries. Upon the analysis and identification of Shariah assurance practices, the study computes an Index of Shariah Governance and Assurance practices for each of the Islamic banks under consideration, and benchmarks their applications against the best practices developed and derived from fatwa issuing bodies such as Majma’ Fiqh Academy, Kuwait Finance House (KFH) resolutions and Malaysia’s Shariah Governance Framework. The results of the analysis revealed that practitioners in different jurisdictions adopt distinctive Shariah governance and Shariah assurance mechanisms. The results from this study are useful for regulators in the Islamic banking industry in GCC to devise proper Shariah governance and assurance mechanisms, which in turn facilitates economic growth and development within the region.
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