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Kindly inform me if the Futuregrowth Albaraka Pure Equity Fund is Shariah Compliant over a longer than 10 year period due to their having a Shariah Certificate only this year.

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I realised that Futuregrowth only received their Certificate from a Shariah Board this year, so how can they attest to near Shariah status if they can not prove it? Additionally how can we trust that a non-muslim fund manager will have the correct imanat and know what is or isnt Shariah compliant? I would appreicate a reply as i have not received an adequate reply from Futuregrowth Albaraka Pure Equity Fund.I cannot afford to ask any of their advisors as their fees are too high. Jazakallah.

Answer

We have referred your query to Mufti Abdul-Qaadir Hoosen Saheb and hereunder is his response.

and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
FATWA DEPT.

1. The fund which was previously known as Futuregrowth Pure Equity Fund was marketed as an ethical fund and complying to the qualtitative filters in terms of sectors and companies which abide by shariah. The fund did not comply with the quantitiative filters and hence was never sold as a shariah compliant fund.

2. Upon the joining of the four partners late last year, CII, Fraters, Albaraka and FutureGrowth a shariah board was constituted which set guidelines and filters for the fund manager to follow. This together with the qualitative filters lead to a fund complying with the requirements of shariah in terms of the creation of an equity fund.

The Shariah Supervisory Board of the fund is chaired by Justice (Retd) Mufti Muhammed Taqi Usmani who together with his son Dr Imran has ensured the compliance of the fund including the stocks and the agreements which govern the fund. The fund also works with an external shariah auditor in this case, Mr Shoaib Omar from Durban. I also serve as a member of the shariah board.

3. The fund currently is a shariah compliant fund. The fund manager by law has to work within a set mandate which is created by the shariah board and enforced in all agreements which identify the fund mandate. If you review the conditions of the shariah certificate any changes made to the portfolio are made together with the Shariah Supervisory Board and the guidelines are set by them. There is no prohibition in the shariah to use a non-muslims expertise in business.

4. Please clearly state who you contacted and whose reply are you referring to, which was not adequate. Also kindly elaborate when you mention the fees are too high as no fees are charged for queries by either FutureGrowth Albaraka Equity Fund or any of its shariah members.

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This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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