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Saturday, 3 November 2012

Al Baraka Islamic Bank expanding its network

LAHORE: Al Baraka Islamic Bank is introducing new Islamic financial products and opening up new branches in Pakistan to facilitate the consumers of Islamic products.

President and Chief Executive Officer of Al Baraka Islamic Bank Adnan Ahmad Yousaf talking to members Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said Islamic banking was in fashion today and has earned a shine that continues to attract funds.

“We do not treat money as a commodity, which just makes a few people richer and everyone else poorer. Our way generates economic activity and spreads money throughout society. 

Islamic finance is based on a system of asset leasing and partnerships rather than outright money-lending.” He said Islamic mode of Banking and all its tools were fast gaining ground in Pakistan when compared to conventional mode of banking, though it was a highly untapped market as yet. 

He said Islamic financing products such as Mudarbah, Ijara, Musharaka and Islamic Export Refinance, etc were catering to a diverse cross-section of the economy, including the corporate, SME and consumer sectors.

He said today a large number of Islamic financial institutions were operating worldwide from China to USA. Western banks through their Islamic units in UK, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg etc also practice Islamic banking. The basic principle of Islamic banking is the prohibition of Riba or interest, which has seldom been recognised as applicable beyond the Islamic world but many of its guiding principles have consciously or unconsciously been accepted. 

The majority of these principles are based on simple morality and common sense, which form the bases of many religions including Islam.

Islamic financial system employs the concept of participation in the enterprise, utilising the funds at risk on a profit-and-loss-sharing basis. This by no means implies that investments with financial institutions are necessarily speculative.

Since the inception of modern Islamic finance in 1960’s, Islamic banking has evolved from its relatively modest size to a vibrant industry with an increasing global footprint having a size of $1.35 trillion and annual growth rate of more than 20 percent.

LCCI President Farooq Iftikhar called for a mass media campaign to create awareness about Islamic banking to give further boost to the growth momentum of Islamic banking industry.

He said Lahore Chamber would hold seminars and workshops in collaboration with Islamic financial institutions for the promotion of Islamic mode of banking in Pakistan.

(Daily Times / 03 Nov 2012)

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