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Public Lecture on Islamic Banking by Dr Yahia

News Date: 
27 July 2010


Asia e University organised a public lecture on “The Spirit vs The Form in Islamic Banking” by Dr Yahia Abdul-Rahman, Chairman & CEO, LARIBA Bank of Whittier, USA at its campus in Kuala Lumpur on 27th July 2010.The lecture which was moderated by Prof Dr Hairudin Harun, Deputy President, Asia e University, was well received by members of the banking, private and academic sector.

The lecture focused on moving from the 20th Century Islamic Banking practices that was mainly based on the form by changing words and the language used in the contract and by the use of financial engineering ruses (heyal) to make the transaction “look” Islamic to a new 21st Century prudent approach that is based on the true spirit of the Law (Shari’aa.) The author, in his book: The art of Islamic Banking and Finance (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) advocates calling it Riba-Free Banking or RF Banking.

The lecture presented this new RF Banking movement to all people of all faiths as a movement based on the Judeo-Christian-Islamic body of the Law (Shari’aa) and applies two important but neglected rules which are:
• The Commodity Indexation Rule, and
• The Marking-To-Market Rule

These rules were applied successfully since 1989 in the United States by the author; considered to be the father of RF banking in America, with proven results. The application of this approach brings out the true spirit and added value of “Islamic” - RF finance to benefit all people of all faiths as experienced in America at the LARIBA System (www.LARIBA.com and www.BankOfWhittier.com)

Dr Yahia Abdul-Rahman is an expert in Islamic Banking and has participated and delivered key addresses at major International Islamic Finance Forums.
It was in 1968, during a period when the Islamic infrastructure of the U.S. was in its nascent stages that Dr Yahia Khairy Abdul-Rahman came to the United States from Cairo, Egypt. While he would later go on to be a key figure in the building of the emerging Muslim community in the U.S., upon his arrival, he set about to complete his education, earning both a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin and a master's degree in International Management and Finance from the University of Texas, Dallas.

Over the last few decades Dr Yahia has led a distinguished career in the world of banking and finance. This includes having been a member of the Founding Board of Directors of a U.S. bank in Houston, Texas and Chairman of the Resources International Corporation, also in Houston. In 1987, he founded the American Finance House- LARIBA in Pasadena, California. Specialising in interest-free lending, the American Finance House is among the most respected names in finance in the world and is frequently profiled in the domestic and international media. In the United States, as well as nations like Malaysia and Bahrain, Dr Yahia has delivered key addresses in the field of Islamic Finance.

As a devout Muslim, Dr Yahia Abdul-Rahman's presence in the Islamic community has been every bit as significant. A former President of the Islamic Association of North Texas and Finance Chairman of the Islamic Center of Southern California, most recently he served as the Elected Chairperson of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California- representing almost sixty Islamic Centers and over 500,000 Muslims. The founder of numerous Muslim community centers and schools throughout the United States and Canada, he also lectures and delivers khutbas (sermons) across the nation.

For over a generation, Dr Yahia Khairy Abdul-Rahman has educated Muslims and non-Muslims alike on how the integration of the divine teaching of Islam into our lives provides the greatest of benefits and blessings.