The CEO and founder of California-based Lariba, Dr Yahia Abdul-Rahman today shared his experience and vision on Islamic finance in general and the development of the industry in the US with INCEIF students and Faculty members.
Dr Yahia Abdul-Rahman sharing his experience with INCEIF’s students.
About 100 audience packed INCEIF’s Hall to hear Dr Yahia present a review of his latest book “The Art of Islamic Banking and Finance”. The event was organised by Association of Chartered Islamic Finance Professional (ACIFP) as part of its effort to expose INCEIF students to operational knowledge and experience of industry practitioners and experts. The students are also able to network with ACIFP members who comprised of INCEIF graduates and established names in the industry locally and abroad.
Saying that Islamic finance is slowly gaining acceptance in the US, Dr Yahia added that, “We have to adopt a soft approach and developing the market because Islamic finance is a new and foreign concept to most Americans.”
Dr Yahia, who has succeeded in two previous careers as a chemical engineer and financial planner, set up Lariba in 1987 to develop a network of financial institutions in the US and around the world that operates according to Shariah principles, that cares about communities, to serve people of all faiths and to produce competitive returns on invested capital, compared with the conventional banks.
The name of the company consists of two parts: La, which means “No” in Arabic and the second part is Riba which means the conventional banking and finance process of buying money with money and pricing it using interest. Therefore, Lariba means “No Riba”. The word also stands for : LA = Los Angeles, R = Reliable, I = Investment, B = Bankers, and A = Associates.
According to Dr Yahia, Lariba was established to help people in the community invest their savings back in projects of the community. This way the community could create an intermediate prudent and fiduciary entity that evaluates risk of the investor and the quality of the project. As he put it, “We wanted to introduce the community to the real meaning of Islam. It is not only about rituals, it is social responsibility to all-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”