Islamic finance awards 2013: Outstanding contribution to Islamic finance
Mohamed Ali Elgari is one of the select handful of Shariah scholars without whom the Islamic finance industry could not exist. Shariah panels stamp products as being compliant with Islamic law; they carry the trust of Muslims that they are investing in a way consistent with their faith. Such is the diversity of their required skills – encyclopaedic knowledge of Islamic law, deep understanding of international business, fluency in English and Arabic at the very least – that there are few such scholars trusted by the world’s main Islamic institutions to serve on their Shariah boards. Ten years ago, there were only about five of them in the world; the picture has improved since, but not that much. Elgari is very much among that elite.
And he’s in considerable demand. The Jeddah-based Saudi scholar, born in Mecca in 1949 and holding a PhD from the University of California, fills a wide range of roles. Before one even gets to the advisory work, he serves as an expert at the Islamic Jurisprudence Academies of the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) and of the Islamic World League.