IFG Sharia Policy
IFG started as a humble blog in 2015. Alhamdulilah over the years things have grown and now we have a much larger following.
Given the deeper responsibility this brings, as a team we have decided it is vital to be crystal clear about exactly how we approach Islamic/fiqhi issues so that it is clear to you – the reader- how to understand it and process it within your own Islamic framework.
(Skip to the bottom for Cur8 Capital specific commentary)
Competence & Who We Are
First, a quick word on who we are.
This is a link to our team page. As you can see, our leadership team has extensive traditional and mainstream Islamic, investment, legal and economic qualifications.
We have primarily been trained in the Hanafi school, with teachers from the Subcontinent, Middle East and Africa. We do not align ourselves as a company to a particular grouping. We are simply Muslim.
Our leadership team to this day will be the final eyes on every article going out to ensure quality control and sharia standards.
Our leadership and many of our wider team are enrolled into weekly advanced Islamic finance lessons such as this one. We as a team are deeply committed to going far above and beyond in our personal studies.
Ultimately though, competence is for you to judge and the proof is in the output.
IFG’s mission is to help make the Muslim ummah better off and get back to a level financial playing field. That is our core role, not passing verdicts.
However, of course, when we are discussing Islam and investment, a lot of our content does touch on Islamic law and we will cover it properly, with a view to helping people ultimately manage their finances better.
Where we cover topics that are talking about Islamic law in a substantive way we will always give our position. We don’t think it is intellectually honest to readers to hide our view or sit on the fence. This has been a key value we have held from the start.
Where our view is not fully-formed, tentative, or we are only inclining in a direction, we will also flag that. We will never give fatawa and always invite readers to do their own research and consult their own local scholars.
Our content is positioned to provide a great source of research so that you can form your own mind – not as a source of fatawa. If you need those, we have the Fatwa Forum.
Where we are aware of credible and largely-held alternative views to our own, we will also flag examples of these in our content. The key word there is credible. In Islamic law, as we all know, there are 50 views on everything so we will always end up missing out something. But what we are aiming to do in each article is definitely cover the 2-3 main credible views.
Where the subject is a particularly sensitive one, we will refer to our regular Mufti contacts to get their take, and where appropriate, to share some written contributions by them on the article as well. These thoughts will be entirely their own.
Where we adopt what we understand to be a minority view, we will clearly flag this.
On the sharia compliance of third party products we may review, we will use our own judgement of course, but, as long as that company has credible Islamic scholars, we will defer to their ruling on the sharia compliance of a particular product.
Where a product has not yet been reviewed by an Islamic scholar, we will typically avoid covering the product unless it is a very simple product and obviously halal from our perspective. Where we do this, we will state that.
Social Media Content
Short-form and video content is challenging as you can never truly capture the full nuance and unpackage things entirely. We will ensure that for all such short-form content we signpost to the longer in-depth article and the Fatwa Forum.
We also get a lot of comments on our content and our moderators will signpost you to the relevant places as well. However, please do note that our moderators are not Islamic scholars or Ibrahim or Mohsin, so our comments should not be understood as our established view on something.
Just to make it easy for you on where we stand on certain “hot topics” we have summarised those below:
Islamic mortgages: Halal, but room for improvement. We should work with Islamic banks to make those improvements.
Credit cards: we think it is okay to use credit cards as long as you definitely don’t go into the interest-based lending component. Where you have halal options in Muslim countries they should be used instead.
Forex: we think it is impermissible.
Crypto: in principle fine. We see many projects as either currency or digital assets. However each project needs specific analysis and there are many haram ones out there too.
Insurance: we adopt the minority view that many forms of insurance may be permissible. However, we encourage people to do their own research and if in any doubt go with the majority. We also strongly encourage takaful (Islamic insurance) models as they are more ethical and impactful than anything we have now. Where takaful models are available they should be used instead.
Car finance: in principle, we think PCP, PCH and HP contracts can be permissible, but it is critical to always read the contract carefully for problematic terms and talk to a mufti if in any doubt.
Cur8 Capital Sharia Screening
All investments we bring to our investors are sharia-compliant.
We cover 3 main types of investment: investments into businesses, real estate and fixed income.
Investing in businesses is by its nature is Sharia-compliant as it is a pure equity based investment. We screen companies to make sure they are not operating in any non-Sharia compliant industries such as alcohol or gambling. We also ensure that our startups are not in sectors where they are very likely to require debt finance at a later date. We carefully negotiate legal terms to navigate around some of the less obvious sharia-compliance issues as well.
On the real estate side we partner with sharia-compliant providers who use only Islamic financing if necessary.
On the fixed income side we partner with sharia-compliant providers who invest only in Islamic investments. Investments are “fixed” insofar as rents continue to get paid, but if they don’t there is the risk of loss which the sharia requires.
Since Cur8 itself invests and/or gets a profit share from deals, we’re as concerned about sharia compliance as you are. We regularly turn down interesting investments before because of sharia-compliance issues.
We are definitely not infallible.
In fact, we are very conscious we make mistakes and we publicly share those here. We do this because it improves our own standards and keep our relationship with the reader as real and honest as possible.
We as an organisation are working very hard to create a culture where we remain as objective as possible about ourselves. We publicly (and uncomfortably) share mistakes, we publicly make apologies where necessary, and keep on learning.
The mission is not about us, it is bigger than us. Please make dua for us all – especially the purity of our intentions.
If you spot any issues or mistakes or want to give us advice please use our contact us page here.