Providing Sharia-compliant pension options for Muslim employees is a must
Muslims make up 6.3% of the UK’s population, but most companies in the UK don’t even think to offer pensions that comply with these Brits’ religious beliefs. Here’s the run-down on why it’s important and how to implement it.
The word ‘Sharia’ has most certainly been overblown, misunderstood and maligned in previous years. In simple terms, it is a set of beliefs and practices that accompany an individual’s religious faith and practice.
As the Council for Foreign Relations puts it, “Sharia isn’t the same as Islamic law. Muslims believe sharia refers to the perfect, immutable values understood only by God, while Islamic laws are those based on human interpretations of sharia.”
So, much like the 10 commandments, the Golden Rule, the belief in ‘instant karma’, etc, it’s general guidance for how to live one’s life. As part of that, there are rules around how Muslims deal with money when trying to live a moral life.
In a nutshell, those rules revolve around social responsibility and include:
1) No collecting interest – the principle here is that by ‘earning’ interest, says ethical investment broker Qardus, that interest accrual “distorts wealth as the money lender is able to exploit others and increase their wealth without any substantial contribution to society.” Some Muslims will collect interest, then take that money and give it to charity or directly use it to benefit the poor.
2) No ‘speculation’, high risk or uncertainty – this includes gambling, prediction of future outcomes, short-selling and more.
3) No investing in ‘haram’ (prohibited) activities – investments or mutual funds that include profits from alcohol, sexual activity, gambling and more are included in this.
there needs to be greater progress and emphasis on ensuring there are pension and investment options suited to all
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