Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani is a leading scholar of Islamic jurisprudence. He is considered to be the intellectual leader of the Deobandi movement. He specialises in Islamic jurisprudence and financial matters and presented a paper in January 2010’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, entitled, “Post-Crisis Reforms: Some Points to Ponder”.
Leading Islamic Finance Scholar
Usmani’s chief influence comes from his position as a global authority on the issue of Islamic finance. He has served on the boards, and as chairman, of over a dozen Islamic banks and financial institutions, and currently leads the International Shari‘ah Council for the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) in Bahrain. He is also a permanent member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, one of the highest legal bodies in the Muslim world.
Usmani is very important as a figurehead in the Deobandi movement—one of the most successful of the Islamic revivalist initiatives of the past century. Usmani was born in Deoband, India, to Mufti Muhammad Shafi (the former Grand Mufti of Pakistan) who founded the Darul ‘Uloom, Karachi, a leading centre of Islamic education in Pakistan.
As one of the head Deoband scholars, his influence continues to grow as the Deoband school expands globally. His influence has increased over the last few years, particularly due to his central role in the booming Islamic finance field which is expected to continue to expand rapidly in the upcoming years. He also has significant influence over the equally booming global Halal industry serving as as a primary reference for complex issues with his book on Islamic slaughter of animals for food used as a primary reference.
“Since wealth is the property of God, humanity does not have autonomy in this ownership but through the specific path He has instituted in the Islamic Shari ‘ah.”