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American University’s Kogod School of Business Leads the Way in Islamic Finance Education

Kogod Continues First Islamic Finance Course in Washington D.C.

By Ericka Floyd

The Kogod School of Business at American University is offering Islamic Finance in the Global Economy for the second year to both graduate and undergraduate students. This course is the first of its kind among D.C. area universities. The course offering allows American University students to foster a unique and competitive set of skills in a highly globalized and growing financial sector. 

"Kogod, the oldest business school in Washington, D.C., is a pioneer in offering the first university level Islamic Finance course in the D.C. region," said Ghiyath Nakshbendi, American University International Business Professor. "Students interested in international business can gain a competitive edge by learning the fundamentals of Islamic Finance in this class."

Islamic finance refers to a financial system that is Sharia-compliant, meaning it promotes socially responsible investment, which excludes industries like gambling, tobacco, and arms. Islamic banking is one of the emerging fields in the global financial market and grows at a very fast pace. The current size of the Islamic Finance market is an estimated range from $1.66 trillion to $2.1 trillion with expectations to grow to $3.4 trillion by end of 2018. Based on $1.66 trillion, Islamic Finance assets represented 1 percent of the global financial market assets. The major capitals of the field, including London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Dubai, UAE, and Manama, Bahrain, are expected to require more than 50,000 professionals world-wide in the coming years. 

Topics ranging from the theory of Islamic finance, practice of Islamic banking and investment, to accounting for Islamic banks, Sukuk Market, and Takaful Market, are covered in Islamic Finance in the Global Economy. The class is not taught through an Islamic studies lens, but through an international business perspective.

The course will provide students with a basic introduction to the principles of Islamic finance with an emphasis on the last four decades of the market's evolution. Issues related to insurance, accounting and auditing, and ethic concepts, as well as the current Islamic capital markets and institutions will also be covered. This course will provide students with the ability to:

  • Define relevant concepts and explain the state of Islamic banking and finance in the global economy.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Sharia and its impact in the commercial sector as well as business transactions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a variety of aspects in Islamic finance including liquidity, risk management, and the structure and function of Islamic business and banking institutions.
  • Develop a business plan in the area of Islamic finance.
  • Introduce such tools into the Western financial sector.

Professor Ghiyath Nakshbendi, a Kogod School of Business Executive-in-Residence, developed and teaches the course. Professor Nakshbendi is a Fulbright Scholar and teaches courses in the Kogod Department of International Business. He currently teaches courses on the global marketplace, microfinance and export and import management, and Islamic finance. After 35 years of working in developmental financing, Sovereign Wealth Funds and commercial real estate around the Middle East, Europe and the United States, he became full time faculty in 2008.

About American University 

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation's capital and around the world.