Dr. Monzer Kahf: The modern Islamic Economists of the world
In 20th century, some Muslim scholars devoted their lives and attempted to develop the ideas Islamic economics and financial systems. Dr. Monzer Kahf is one of them. He is known as an eminent economist, counselor, lecturer and expert of Islamic Shariah and laws.
He was born on 1940 at Damascus, the capital city of Syria and completed his primary and secondary education from the educational institute of Damascus and took a Bachelor degree (B.A in commerce) from the University of Damascus on June in 1962 .at the same time he was awarded by the president of Syria for his outstanding performance. In 1967, he achieved ‘High Diploma in social and economic planning’ from the United Nations institute of planning, Syria. This scholar attained his Ph.D in Economics (Major currency Development and Economy) on March 1975 from the University of Utah, Salt lake city, Utah. He has also Strong training and knowledge of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and Islamic Studies.
Undoubtedly, it can be mentioned that the performances of Dr.Kahf was satisfactory in different organizations. In his rich working life, he joined at different organizations including university, research institutions, and financial institutions and worked splendidly.
Dr. Monzer was the Instructor of School of Business, University of Damascus, Syria (1962 – 1963) and worked as the Auditor of Government State Audit Office, Syria from 1963 to 1971.
After completion his graduation, he taught economics (1971 – 1975) in university of Utah as a teaching assistant. He worked as the Director of Finance in Islamic Society of North America (1975 – 1981) and the Manager of National Zakah Fund and Islamic Cooperative Fund for Muslims in North America, (1975- 1981).
He was the Research Economist (1985 – 1999), Head of Research Division (1989 – 1991) and the Senior Research Economist (1995 – 1999) of Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and showed his stupendous performance in preparing research plans, evaluating research works, organizing seminars on Islamic economics, banking and finance, writing original research papers , generating ideas for research projects ,coordinating with other departments, and networking with other research organizations .
He joined in the Yarmouk University, Jordan, as the Professor of Islamic Economics and Banking in the graduate program and taught Islamic economics for two years (2004-2005).he is the Certified Public Accountant in Syria since 1968.
Currently, he is working as a Consultant, Trainer and Lecturer of Islamic banking, finance and economics and has Private practice at California in USA, which is started in 1999 by him.
He founded The Indiana state licensed Muslim Students Association’s Credit Union and the Islamic Housing Cooperative of Indiana in 1980.later, these were the model of such cooperatives and credit unions in the USA and Canada. He is also the founding member of ‘International Association of Islamic Economics’ and ‘Association of Muslim Social Scientists of the United States and Canada’. From 1974 to1999, he was the member of ‘American Economic Association’.
Dr. Monzer is a consultant of Islamic Housing Cooperative, Toronto, Canada, and the Islamic Society of North America and mosques in the United States and Canada, on the matters of ‘initial work procedures’ and ‘Islamic law relating to properties at marriage, inheritance, last wills and living trusts respectively. He provided the shariah law for Islamic financial institutions in the USA, Canada, Trinidad, Nigeria and Guyana.
He has developed several copyrighted modules in Islamic Banking and finance such as: “Islamic Sukuk and capital markets, “Shari’ah-based wealth management, “conversion of conventional securities into Islamic securities,” “structuring Islamic financial products,” “Islamic Leasing,” Takaful and Insurance etc.
Dr.kahf visited many countries including USA, Canada, and the countries of the Middle East, Europe, the Caribbean, South East Asia and Africa for the purpose of lecture in seminar, conference and as a consultant for financial institutions and delivered his lectures on Islamic Financial laws and regulations, Islamic economics and banking, Awqaf, Islamic Trusts, Islamic estate planning, charities in the Islamic Religion (Zakah), Friday Sermons in mosques and Islamic centers, etc. He is also the Speaker in two programs of IslamOnline.net: Live Fatwa and Live Dialogue in special sessions on Islamic banking, finance, Zakah and Awqaf.
Dr.Kahf is the author of 28 books and booklets in English and Arabic on Islamic banking and finance, Islamic economics, Zakah, Awqaf. Some of his books are translated to Indonesian, Turkish and Korean languages. some of his familiar books are ‘Instruments of Meeting Budget Deficit in Islamic Economics, The Islamic Economy: Analytical Study of the Functioning of the Islamic Economic System, Economics of Zakah, The Islamic Economy: Analytical Study of the Functioning of the Islamic Economic System, International Economic Relations From Islamic Perspective, The Islamic Economy: Analytical Study of the Functioning of the Islamic Economic System and so more.
He has written more than 100 articles, in English and Arabic, on Islamic economics, Islamic public and private finance, Islamic banking, Zakah, Awqaf, including entries for the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World.
Dr.Kahf was awarded by Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and selected for IDB prize for his brilliant contributions in Islamic Economics, 2001
Dr.monzer kahf is a citizen of USA and currently living at Westminster, California with his wife and children.