May 2012

Free offer to explore a new marketing opportunity: complimentary places at Islamic finance seminar and conference


Takaful is a form of insurance which complies with the principles of Islamic finance and is thus permissible for Muslims.  Conventional insurance is not Shari’ah-compliant because Islamic law regards it as speculating in uncertainty, which is akin to gambling, from which Muslims are prohibited.

Takaful has flourished in various countries with majority and minority Muslim populations in recent decades, although it has yet to take off in the UK or in Europe despite a UK Muslim population of 2 million and 30 million in Europe.  This market segment is young, fast growing and increasingly prosperous.  It is therefore likely to be a matter of time before takaful takes off here. 

Mutual insurers and friendly societies in particular are an ideal vehicle through which to sell takaful in the UK and European markets.  This is because of what might be described as a quirk of friendly society law (contained in section 7 of the Friendly Societies Act 1974 and section 5 of the Friendly Societies Act 1992) that requires members’ contributions to a friendly society to be made voluntarily, rather than as enforceable obligations under a contract.  A key feature of Islamic law is that contributions to a takaful fund should also be voluntary: by making a voluntary contribution to a fund which is available to assist people (who can include the contributor himself or herself) in times of adversity, the Muslim avoids the speculative element which would otherwise taint the transaction as un-Islamic.  Other features of friendly societies also replicate principles of Islamic finance, particularly the ability of friendly societies to engage in “social and benevolent” activities which resonate with the strong emphasis in Islam on charitable giving and community development.

A major event for the takaful industry is the International Takaful Summit, which has been held in London annually since 2007.  This year’s Summit takes place on 11 and 12 July at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower Hotel in Knightsbridge and will be preceded by a one-day Masterclass seminar on 10 July at More London Riverside near City Hall.  The subject of this year’s Masterclass will be takaful platforms in the UK and Europe and will include presentations on the target market, on the experience of Islamic finance providers in the UK to date and onsuitable products, which will include a specific analysis of the potential role for friendly societies.  Further details are at

The organisers are particularly keen to open a dialogue with UK friendly societies and are offering two places at the Masterclass free of charge to friendly society representatives together with an unlimited number of free invitations to the Summit itself (the Summit website is at  As well as presentations on takaful, the Masterclass and Summit offer an opportunity for networking with the several hundred takaful professionals who attend or exhibit at the conference.  The organisers are hopeful also of attracting sponsorship of the event from a UK friendly society or mutual insurer.

AFM members who are interested in attending the Summit or the Masterclass, in sponsoring either or in exploring the possibilities for takaful outside the Summit and Masterclassshould contact me at or on 020 7296 2352. 


John Gilbert, Consultant

Hogan Lovells International LLP

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