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Ithmaar adviser urges responsible spending

Manama, September 22, 2010

People to take a more responsible view of spending and resist the growing culture of consumerism, said a senior Bahraini Sharia scholar and an Islamic banker.

Dr Adel Marzooqie, the Ithmaar Bank Sharia adviser, said there appears to be a growing obsession over materialistic possessions with people in Bahrain and the rest of the region saving very little, if anything at all, of their monthly income.

Dr Al Marzooqie, who said this seems to be part of a pronounced global trend, urged the Bahraini public – both citizens and residents – to adopt a more responsible approach in managing their finances. This, he said, is an important tenet of Islam.

“Islam’s position on savings is very clear,” said Dr Al Marzooqie. “According to the teaching of Islam, it is our duty to spend responsibly, to save and to invest in our children’s future.”

“There are many examples in the Holy Quran and the Sharia that stress the importance of spending in moderation and of saving for the future. There are, for example, several Ayas, or verses, that call for a moderate, responsible approach to personal finance and offer us very clear instructions on how we should manage our income,” he added.

“Recent studies however indicate that people in Bahrain and the rest of the GCC region seem to have disregarded these teachings and are, instead, spending irresponsibly and saving very little or nothing  at all,” Dr Al Marzooqie continued.

“One study, for example, shows that 16 per cent of people in Bahrain save less than five per cent of their income and that a shocking 30 per cent save nothing at all. Perhaps even more disturbing is the fact that the majority of people in Bahrain (64 percentage) save less than 10 per cent,” he said.

According to the Bayt Salary Survey, which was published in March, the percentage of people in Bahrain who save nothing at all is significantly higher than in Qatar (21 per cent), Oman (22 per cent) and the United Arab Emirates (29 per cent) – but less than the worse case examples of people in Morocco (51 per cent), Syria (50 per cent), Jordan (54 per cent) and both Saudi Arabia and Lebanon (40 per cent).

Dr Al Marzooqie’s comments follow Ithmaar’s transformation in April this year into an Islamic retail bank after completing a comprehensive reorganisation with its then wholly-owned subsidiary, Shamil Bank, a statement said.

Following the transformation, Ithmaar had said it would work on developing its retail operations by expanding its products and services range as well as its delivery channels.

As part of its new strategic plan, the bank also said it will work on expanding its geographical reach across the GCC region by offering a wide range of corporate banking services. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Spending | Ithmaar | Saving | Sharia | adviser |

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