By Hasan Kamoonpuri -
MUSCAT — Shaikh Saleh Kamil (pictured), Head of the United Chambers of Commerce, Gulf Region, delivered a speech at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) yesterday on Islamic Economy and its significance in the present crises-ridden world.
The audience appreciated his thought-provoking comments on the various aspects of Islamic economy that prevent many ills that plague many economies today.
On the issue of Zakat he says it is one of “my concerns for many years. Zakat can be the key tool for the economic and social growth. But alas! The Islamic nation (ie 57 Muslims nations) is yet to do a lot to realise the potential role of the developmental Zakat. Allah the Exalted says in his Holy Book “Success is really attained by the believers who are performers of Zakah, Shaikh Kamil reminded.
He added that Zakat has been made obligatory on Muslims for an honourable wisdom, since if the individual saves money, he will pay 2.5 per cent as Zakat. But if he invests it in business he will pay less, and if he invests it in agricultural project, he will pay less, and if he invests it in industrial project he will pay less and less. The more people benefit from your business, the less Zakat you pay and the more reward you gain, since it will lead to opening the doors of livelihood for a lot and moving the wheel of the production of the Islamic economy. This is the true meaning of (performers of Zakah).
Zakah is just one aspect of Islamic economy that helps prevent poverty, and takes care of widows, orphans and other needy people by way of training and employment. He also stressed the importance of a permanent co-ordination between the chambers of commerce among 57 Islamic states especially in light of the global financial crisis.
Shaikh Kamel was born in Taif, Saudi Arabia in 1941. He grew up in the Holy City of Mecca where he had his elementary education. After graduation from the Faculty of Commerce, Riyadh University, he worked at the Saudi Ministry of Finance and later established his own business “Dallah Establishment” in the early sixties, and by early eighties he established the huge conglomerate company “Al Baraka Investment & Development” a holding company for many Islamic Banks and financial institutions operating according to Islamic teachings in various diversified business activities all over the world.
Shaikh Kamel is well recognised as one of the pioneer personalities in the field of Islamic Banking and Finance, while his companies are known as pioneers in many business adventures throughout the region.