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It may be ironic, or even pushed by pure marketing and commerce, but spending tends to increase rapidly during Ramadan even though Muslims are told to keep expenses to bare minimum and fast. Ramadan is considered as an exceedingly generous and charitable month while also encouraging the importance of praying and spending time with family and friends.


It can be a way to lose track of your finances during this holy month as you head out to iftars, distribute food, and donate to charity. This can affect anyone’s short term or long term financial goals.


No matter what your beliefs are, it is always meaningful to change your habits, reflect on your financial situation and create a budget for Ramadan.



Do you know your sources of income?


The foremost tip to manage your finances, is to know your sources of income and keep checks on it. Apart from your monthly wage you may also be receiving other forms of income as a family. Some of you might have invested your money in areas delivering returns. The returns from your investments can be a significant part of your source of income. It is important to set aside a sum of money for special events such as Ramadan and Eid 


Create a budget and stick to it


Even though Ramadan has already started, it’s never too late to make financial decisions by creating a budget for spending. Planning your expenses beforehand tends to be a better strategy to stop you from overspending. Start by making a list of things you are most likely to spend on throughout the month and allocate a specific amount of money for them while also considering daily expenses and necessities.


It is important to stick to your budget and not bulk buy or overspend during this month. There is a golden rule that states one should never go grocery shopping when they are hungry. While you are fasting, hunger can play an important role in tempting you to make bigger purchases. Research also says not to bulk buy for the whole month rather cut short the expenses.



Patience is a virtue


The current economic situation has impacted everyone especially the job markets leading to increasing uncertainty about your financial situation. Like fasting, it is important to be patient with your finances and decrease your daily expenditure by a realistic budget. You will see hope and large rewards in the short term, that will benefit you in the long term.




Utilise rewards and discounts


This holy month does come with its fair share of excitement as the markets flood with rewards and discounts. These offers are a good way of saving and sticking to your budget. You can utilise your reward cards and make the most out of the discounts being given at supermarkets, clothing stores and restaurants.


Most importantly, remember to give back when you can


Ramadan is all about charity and being humble. This month makes us realise how fortunate we are to have food on our table and a roof above our heads. It is necessary to make charitable contributions and help the poor and needy. The coronavirus pandemic has affected millions of families and being a force of good during these tough times is crucial.

Most Muslims prefer giving Zakat in Ramadan because there are more rewards for doing so, but it is not necessary. Zakat benefits humanity and thus, by regularly paying it a Muslim performs his duty and discharged his obligation towards poor Muslims. Zakat being the backbone of the Islamic economic system, aims to improve the living standards of the poor and prevents the accumulation of wealth in a few hands.
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Islam as a religion guides Muslims on everyday aspects of life; that being said, Islamic finance is not only a way of investing or lending ‘ethically,’ it aims to be Shari’ah (Islamic law) compliant based on justice and equity. Islamic finance strictly follows rules set by Shari’ah that are dictated in the Quran and are the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W).


You may have heard that Riba is the only reason you should invest Islamically, however there are a many differences between Islamic and conventional finance methods. This system encourages the need for fair contracts and transactions that demonstrate economic purposes while discouraging excessive uncertainty, gambling and short selling. The question arises where a basic investment can help one spiritually and make us better Muslims. Some of the fundamental elements of Islamic Finance are outlined below.

 

Interest is forbidden (Riba)

 

Islamic finance is the most sin-free option available for investments. Muslims globally can invest without a predetermined fixed rate that is prohibited and defined as an exploitative practice. Islam encourages social justice through the fair earning of profits and shared rewards amongst lenders and borrowers for an equal distribution of wealth.

Surah al-Nisa states, “And for their taking interest even though it was forbidden for them, and their wrongful appropriation of other people’s property. We have prepared for those among them who reject faith a grievous punishment (4: 161)”

It can simply be expressed that people who believe that Islamic finance is unethical, don’t realize that by walking away from a Shari’ah compliant investment, they are supporting the conventional financial industry that acquires interest. Islamic finance and banking is still a developing industry and may not be perfect, but it’s certainly the most sin-free option currently available.

 

 




Managed Risk Sharing

 

When a risk is shared amongst two or more parties, the risk faced by each party is reduced and therefore, Islam encourages risk-sharing economic transactions. The principles behind this Shari’ah compliant finance do not eliminate potential risks involved with financial transactions, but instead seek to reduce them whereas conventional finance tends to unfairly place the risk on the borrowing party.

 

Consequently, Islamic Finance reiterates the utmost importance of disclosing information to lower risks and uncertainty at the time of investing in mortgages or contracts. This enables you to practice Islamic duties by providing any information that may or may not be a hindrance at the time of the contract or investment. Following these Islamic teachings can help one become successful in their ventures and refrain from investing in risky investments.

 

 

Required Zakat

 

Every able Muslim is supposed to donate 2.5% from their idle balance of money to impose social justice. In most Islamic countries, this amount is deducted from Muslims bank accounts during the month of Ramadan. Zakat management is one of the main components of Islamic Finance, aiming to distribute wealth amongst the poor. Muslims also, give Zakat by taxing their property to ensure the socially responsible distribution of wealth

Given this all-pervading purpose, it is safe to say that the Shari’ah addresses all the prominent aspects that are important in shaping our lives, such as family, spirituality and our on-going focus, wealth. 

Therefore every year in Ramadan you are engaging with instructions of Our Creator and performing acts according to Islamic teachings and the Shari’ah.

 


 

Choosing Islamic Finance over Conventional Finance

Islamic Finance distinguishes itself from conventional finance by avoiding risks and interests, promoting risk-sharing and the importance of Zakat. Similarly, financing Islamically can help one start a business, own a home and make investments without compromising their beliefs. If you support Islamic Finance because of its obvious advantages socially, economically and spiritually it is important to research the type of investment that you would benefit from in the future. We need to go an extra mile to promote this upcoming industry that will benefit not just Muslims but Non-Muslims too.

 

 

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As a woman one of my favourite, most uplifting quotes is ‘A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.’

These words speak up for themselves in regards to women’s rights and the fight for equality. It’s shocking to see that in 2021 we’re still fighting for equal rights! This has impacted women and young girls aspiring to be someone in the world. In the past year, during the pandemic we have seen the devastating struggles faced globally; nevertheless, it has changed everyone’s perspective on life but, even after the hardships faced there’s a lack of representation for women, girls have been removed from schools, and businesses have shut down leaving people hopeless.

This 8th March, on International Women’s Day, we at Taqwa Invest want to raise our voices in support of girls who cannot go to school or make their dreams a reality. It is critical to raise our voices for equal pay rates, for general equality at every point in life. As stated by our Holy Prophet (S.A.W), “Observe your duty to Allah in respect to the women, and treat them well.” We need to be treated equally regardless of our gender, at workplaces, for representation and to have access to resources.

Keeping this in mind we would like to mention stories of women who have inspired change, despite the challenges they faced. They have dared the stereotypes and fought for women’s rights globally.

Also, there is no particular order for these 5 influential Muslim women making their contributions in the development of Islamic Finance and Businesses! 

  1.       Khadīja bint Khuwaylid (RA)

Yes, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W)’s first wife was probably the most influential woman of her time. Having the honor of being the first convert of Islam, she set an example for not just women but for all of mankind to follow the right path guided by Allah. Islam owes its early success to her because it was her unflinching support, encouragement and influence that led Islam to grow initially.

Born in 555AD in present day Saudi Arabia, she was well ahead of her time. She was a successful entrepreneur and broke stereotypes when she asked her hand in marriage to the Prophet (S.A.W). She also worked after getting married so that Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) could focus on spirituality.

It was her who soothed and pacified the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) after the first revelation while believing and encouraging his role as a Messenger of Allah

 

 

  1.     Professor Dr Normah Omar

The UiTM director is an influential figure in Islamic finance. She is indeed a pioneer in her field as her contributions helped Malaysia become a hub for Islamic finance. Under her guidance, the UiTM Accounting Research Institute was recognised as a Higher-Learning Institution Centre of Excellence by the Higher Education Ministry in 2010 and till today, it continues to prioritise Islamic finance in its research agenda.

In 2017, Normah became the first woman selected by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to join its Anti-Corruption Certification Programme.

In addition to being well-reputed, she is also eager in promoting the status of women entrepreneurs. She continues to mentor dozens of academics, and her advice is highly considered.

Dr Normah is indeed a shining example and has rightfully earned her place in the 10 most influential women in Islamic finance.

  1.     Sayyida Dr Rawan Ahmed Al Said

Born in Oman, Sayyida Dr Rawan Ahmed Al Said is the CEO of Takaful Oman SAOG, one of the first full-fledged Shari’ah compliant Insurance Company. She has almost 30 years of experience in the financial industry, 20 of which are in the Public sector.

Sayyida Rawan remains to be the First and the only Female who holds a CEO position in a public listed company in Oman. She has been a member on the board of various well-reputed companies and financial institutions in both; public and private sectors.

As ranked 14th in Forbes Middle East for the ‘Most Powerful Arab Business Women in Listed Companies’, her achievements are exceptional, powerful and encourage a number of Muslim women to stand up on their feet.

 

  1.     Dr Nida Khan

Being the developer of two pioneering technological tools for the Islamic finance industry; Dr Nida Khan is credited with the development of a new block chain consensus mechanism, FAST, for high performance block chains for Zakat, an integral part in Muslims belief.

She has dealt with block chain-based micropayments and is contributing as a team member of Masdin, an associate team between the University of Luxembourg and France for management of software-defined infrastructure. She is working on the financial applications of block chain and data analytics under the supervision of Dr. Habil Radu State. 

Her achievements in diverse publications, innovative FinTech applications for various branches of Islamic finance have inspired young girls aspiring to work towards the development of Islamic finance in today’s rapidly changing world.


  1.     Farah Arakji

She serves as the CFO and Investor Relations of Abu Dhabi National Takaful, which is one of the highest rated Takaful operator in the world. Her contributions in the growth of Islamic Finance have been inspiring.

Farah Arakji is seen as a role model for millions of Muslim women globally, she presents herself as successful, creative and professional in her field. Her training sessions are considered to be an eye-opening experience for the staff at Abu Dhabi National Takaful. Her role as a media ambassador shows her progressive stance and willful contributions to the company.

Faced by the many backward thinkers telling her that a woman’s place is at home and not in a workforce, she has dealt with the social stigma and proven her capabilities through her achievements.









  1. Marwa Thabet

In our Islamic Finance Conference, this past weekend it was an honour for us to invite Marwa as a guest speaker to discuss women in the Islamic Business Industry and the hardships she faced while bringing Yalla Halal to life.

She is the Founder and CEO of Yalla Halal, that is home to a 100% certified, authentic and halal Middle-Eastern as well as Arabic cuisine. In her own words: “Although I loved living in such a vibrant and diverse city (London), I found myself missing the comfort and flavors of the food of Yemen. Therefore, I searched high and low to find halal Islamic restaurants that deliver the same authenticity of my family’s home-cooking, however, I was surprised to find out that my hometown Yemeni food was scarce in London.” 

Through Yalla Halal’s easy-to-use website, with a wide range of talented chefs who can cook food from your hometown, one can order freshly cooked and exquisite everyday meals as well as extra-special dishes for occasions such as Eid and Ramadan. 

Her dedication to make Halal food easily accessible in the UK is admirable and has encouraged many Muslim women across the globe to make their dream and passion a reality. 


  1.     Dr Areeba Khan

 Our Founder and CEO, Dr Areeba Khan, is an Indian woman who has completed her PhD in Islamic Finance from a well-reputed Indian central university. Her aim and dedication to make Islamic investments at Taqwa Invest more secure, sustainable and help in the development of Islamic Finance as a woman is highly notable. 

Areeba, is a specialist in Islamic Finance and banking. Her areas of expertise are: Islamic Finance, Islamic Equity Indices, Sukuks, Shariah Law, Corporate Governance and Portfolio management. She has experience in three core sectors of finance, banking and real estate. Her doctorate research focused on the performance evaluation of Islamic and conventional equity indices around the globe. Areeba has published two papers in Scopus Indexed Journals, two in Indian Journals and one chapter in Springer. She has worked with renowned organisations such as Aligarh Muslim University, DinarStandard and Westford University. 

Being a part of Taqwa Invest, I have seen Areeba dare the stereotypes and the fair share of hardships while building an Islamic FinTech so enthusiastically from scratch. In her own words: “Research and corporate experience have made me come up with the idea of Taqwa Invest. Working in different areas of Shari’ah, laws, governance, finance and capital markets have made me more passionate about spreading a good word about Islamic Finance. I have seen this dream come to life with proper strategizing and planning. Alhumdulillah our idea, finally got registered at DIFC and we obtained the innovation license.” Her achievements are an encouragement for Muslim women globally to take on the challenges and work hard to make a dream a reality.

Needless to say, these are just a few of the many inspiring women across the globe and throughout history. Their contributions to Islamic Finance and Businesses have helped its development in many areas and like them we need to challenge stereotypes, break barriers and demand equal rights and opportunities for women and young girls.

Around the world so many women are fighting poverty, inequality, violence and lack of justice. Women deserve so much more! We must raise our voices against injustice and take action now.

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بِسْمِ
ٱللّٰهِ ٱلرَّحْمٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ‎               

“Standing in the auditorium while giving a presentation on Islamic Finance during my PhD, I asked the ambitious attendees to explain the meaning of Islamic Finance, the lack of response concerned me. This is when I realized a need for a platform which can spread awareness as well as facilitate investment in halal products’’ – Dr. Areeba Khan, CEO Taqwa Invest.

  1. Q) What are the aims of Taqwa Invest?


The name Taqwa (fear of God) itself explains the importance of following the Shari’ah. As Muslims, we all wish to secure our Hereafter and tend to avoid anything that puts it under risk.


According to the hadith,
Riba is a curse for both the one giving and taking it. In today’s world the practices of conventional banks have deviated Muslims from Islamic values especially the normalised acceptance of Riba. Taqwa Invest aims to provide a halal solution to all types of investments by explaining the consequences of Riba. Our goal is to provide Muslims as well as Non-Muslims with the best and socially responsible investment techniques.


Taqwa’s vision is to make Islamic Finance accessible throughout Muslim countries as well as other regions in the future, aspiring to create a united platform where Muslims can invest without hesitation and suspicion. Transparency, being one of our core beliefs drives us to disclose all information and be honest with our dealings.
Alhamdulillah, we are also the cheapest Islamic Robo Advisory solution, making users around the world help expand the Islamic Financial markets.


 
MEET OUR TEAM

Our vision is backed by our team comprising of highly educated and knowledgeable individuals. Each one of us is Alhumdulillah united to work towards the development of Islamic Finance while portraying its importance.

Taqwa’s Shari’ah Advisory Board consists of Dr Mohammad Abdullah and Mufti Yousuf Sultan, two of the most knowledgeable scholars in their expertise.

Our CEO & Founder, Areeba Khan, a doctorate in Islamic Capital Markets and the first Indian woman to complete her PhD in Islamic Finance, is striving to make halal investments secure and sustainable.

Message from Our CEO:


“Research and corporate experience have made me come up with the idea of Taqwa Invest. Working in different areas of Shari’ah, laws, governance, finance and capital markets have made me more passionate about spreading a good word about Islamic Finance. 

My CSO, Farah, who I have known since college days, really was the one who had encouraged me to make my dream a reality. A vague discussion with her almost 2 years back about bringing a change in the way people think of Islamic finance and making investment in halal products easy has helped us in incorporating Taqwa. I have seen this dream come to life with proper strategizing and planning. Alhumdulillah our idea, finally got registered at DIFC and we obtained the innovation license.

Excited, is an understatement for the feelings I have for Taqwa Invest and starting to see it come live soon InshaaAllah! I pray that I, along with my dedicated team see Taqwa growing and reaching the heights we have hoped for it InshaaAllah!”



Farah Hashim is our highly qualified CSO, a doctorate in General Management. She aims to give her input in developing strategies for Taqwa Invest.


Message from Our CSO:  

“Where everybody is looking for a better financial future, we found that unethical finances are more luring and ostensibly rewarding. It was then that we realised the dire need of Islamic Investment platforms particularly in geographical expansions with lower Muslim population.

Taqwa is born out of an idea that is to create a better understanding of Islamic Ethical investment and making it easily available for people around the globe.

I firmly believe that our dedicated team and with experts of Islamic Finance on-board we will be able to make essential contributions to a better state of Islamic finance and investments with responsible and sustainable services.”


Mohammad Saeed Khan is the CTO of Taqwa Invest, he has vast experience in the technological sector as well as the business sector. He aims to make Taqwa Invest as a one stop Islamic Trading Platform.


Mohammad Wasim is our Strategy Advisor, he has over 16 years’ experience as a Managing Consultant and in Transformational Advisory, working both privately and for some of the largest firms in the world. Specialising in technology consulting to deliver complex strategy, process improvement and digital/business transformational programs.


Dr. Mohammad Abdullah is a reputed Shariah Scholar and an established Researcher. He enjoys a blend of Academic and Professional Experience in Islamic Finance, Shariah Advisory, Shariah Training and Islamic Social Finance. He is an Expert in Waqf Studies. Abdullah is a Certified Shariah Advisor and Auditor (CSAA) from AAOIFI. 


Mufti Yousuf Sultan is a Certified Shariah Advisor and Auditor (CSAA) from Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), Bahrain and an AAOIFI Master Trainer. He holds an MSc degree in Islamic Finance from INCEIF, Malaysia. Earlier, he graduated as a Mufti in Shari’ah and Islamic Jurisprudence from Jamia Shariyyah Malibag, Dhaka. He has long professional experience with teaching, training and advisory on Shariah and Islamic Finance, with specific exposure to Islamic Fintech. 


Message from Our CEO:

“Interning in a startup is a great opportunity, you get to learn from different departments, you to do multiple tasks which will not only help you create an attractive resume but also a good career.”


Manal Khan is our Digital Marketing Intern, who is responsible for implementing online marketing strategies through social media accounts in an effort to increase brand awareness. Additionally, she has used various visual design research strategies in order to develop a creative design principle that reflects Taqwa Invest’s values through the social media accounts.


Sarah Umer Khan is the Legal Intern, she reviews internal publication and legal documents under the guidance of the managing team. She is also responsible for the extensive blog articles posted on the Taqwa Invest website.


Mustafa Khan is our Technological Intern, who works under the supervision of our CTO. He is responsible for the development of our website and also advises our team on the development of the Taqwa Invest’s Application.



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