ISRA Consulting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



He is currently the Executive Director of International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA). Prior to joining ISRA he was an Assistant Professor at the Kulliyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University, Malaysia (IIUM). In the period 2002-2004, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Sharjah, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. At present, he is Member of the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia, Member of the Shariah Advisory Committee of Employees Provident Fund (EPF), Member of Yassar Limited (Dubai) Shari’ah Advisory Board, Member of EAB (London) Shari’ah Advisory Board, Chairman of Islamic Advisory Board of HSBC Insurance Singapore. Dr. Akram is also Shari’ah Advisor to ZI Shariah Advisory Malaysia, Member of Shari’ah Board of International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM) Bahrain, Shari’ah Advisor to Dar al-Takaful Dubai, Committee member of AAOIFI Shari’ah Standards, Bahrain and other Boards locally and internationally. He is also Member of the Board of Studies of the Institute of Islamic Banking and Finance, International Islamic University Malaysia.

Dr. Akram holds a B.A. Honors degree in Islamic Jurisprudence and Legislation from the University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan and a PhD in Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom. He has presented many papers related to Islamic Banking and Finance and other Fiqh topics at the national and International level and has conducted many training sessions particularly on Islamic Banking and Finance for different sectors since 1999.

Prof. Dr. Ashraf Md Hashim

He is the Chief Executive Officer of ISRA Consulting. He is also a Senior Researcher at International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and a Professor at International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). Dr. Ashraf currently sits on the Shariah Advisory Council of Bank Negara Malaysia (SAC BNM) as Deputy Chairman and the Shariah Advisory Council of Securities Commission Malaysia (SAC SC). He is also a member of Shari’ah Committee for International Islamic Liquidity Management Cooperation (IILM) and the Chairman of the Shariah Committee of Bursa Malaysia (Malaysia Exchange House). He also serves as member of National Fatwa Council of Malaysia. Dr. Ashraf is a registered Shari’ah adviser with Securities Commission Malaysia and advises REIT companies, particularly in Singapore. He is also a member of Shari’ah Committee for Tabung Haji (Pilgrims Fund Board) and Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia (AIBIM). He is actively involved in many consultations related to Islamic finance in Malaysia and abroad, among others the Islamic Bank of Australia (Project) and Noor Takaful Nigeria (Chairman of Advisory Council of Experts). He was recently appointed as Chairman for Panel of Experts in Muamalat Matters under the Department of Islamic Development, Prime Minister’s Department Malaysia.

Dr. Ashraf obtained his PhD (Islamic Law) from University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. His Masters in Fiqh and Usul Fiqh from University of Jordan and his BA in Shari’ah from Islamic University in Medina, Saudi Arabia. He is also a holder of Postgraduate Diploma in Shari’ah Law and Practice (DSLP) from International Islamic University Malaysia.

Prof. Dr. Zulkarnain Muhamad Sori
Accounting Lecturer (INCEIF)

Dr. Zulkarnain Muhamad Sori is a Certified Training Professional (CTP) of the Finance Accreditation Agency, a Certified Professional Trainer (CPT) of the Malaysian Institute of Management, an Apple Foundation Trainer of Apple Inc. and a Certified Trainer of the PSMB/HRDF. He also served on various working committees of Malaysian regulatory and professional bodies. He is now a member of Board of Advisors of Venture EDGE Asia that performs an advisory role in the coaching of a portfolio of SMEs, and a Panel of Assessors of International Medical University for their MQA Accreditation exercise. He was the advisor for Bachelor of Accounting and Diploma in Accounting programs at UNISEL for two terms.


Before joining the academia, Dr. Zulkarnain served for almost five years in several private companies involved in trading, services, telecommunication, and construction as Administration and Finance Manager. He keeps himself abreast with recent developments in accounting standards through his active involvement in various consultancy and training services offered by ISRA Consulting and INCEIF. Recently, he led a team of Shari’ah auditors/experts in auditing a large financial institution and was also involved in the reviewing of proposals of international Sukuk offerings.


Dr. Zulkarnain is an accountant with consulting, research and teaching experience in financial accounting, corporate governance, Shari’ah governance, accounting for Islamic financial transactions, auditing, and entrepreneurship. He received his Bachelor of Accounting and MSc. from University Putra Malaysia (formerly known as University Pertanian Malaysia), and PhD in Audit & Corporate Governance from Cardiff University, United Kingdom. He is now a Professor at the School of Professional Studies and the Deputy Director, BNP Paribas-INCEIF Centre of Islamic Asset and Wealth Management, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), Malaysia. Prior to joining INCEIF, he was a Professor, Senate Member and the Deputy Dean of the Malaysian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and Business, University Malaysia Kelantan (UMK), and the Head of the Department of Accounting and Finance, College Principal and Senior Officer of University Putra Malaysia. He was the Internal Auditor of Koperasi UPM Berhad.

Sharifah Sarah Syed Mohamed Tahir
Head Strategy & Corporate Development Director, Human Capital (Maybank)

She is currently the person responsible for delivering profit and revenue growth strategies for Maybank Group’s Global Banking business; driving business development and expansion plans in key markets as well as c h a m p i o n i n g transformation and productivity initiatives for the business. Sarah is also responsible to continually build good rapport amongst clients and regulators through external engagements and functions in Malaysia and countries Maybank Group is present in. As the Director of Human Capital, she is responsible for all aspects of Group Global Banking’s Human Capital management and strategies. Her experience in corporate strategy, finance and risk enables her to effectively lead the human capital function and ensure that it creates value for the business.


Sarah joined Maybank in 2011 to head the International Business Strategy division in Maybank Islamic. She then took on the role as Head, Strategy and Finance of Maybank Group Islamic Banking. In 2015, she was appointed as Maybank Islamic’s Chief Risk Officer overseeing the risk, strategy and finance functions for the Group’s Islamic banking business. Whilst at Maybank Islamic, Sarah was involved in the rapid expansion of the Islamic banking business in Malaysia and globally. She also played a key role in the development of Maybank Islamic’s Mudarabah Investment Account (“IA”) products which saw the bank leading the industry with its largest market share position since its introduction in 2015.


Equipped with over ten years’ experience in banking and consulting, Sarah is able to provide insights into the opportunities and challenges arising from the globalization of business today. Before joining Maybank, Sarah served at CIMB Islamic, KPMG Business Advisory and Ernst & Young. She graduated from Multimedia University, Malaysia with Bachelor of Accounting in 2003. She then continued her education at Durham University, United Kingdom with Master of Science in Finance (Finance and Investment) in 2005.

Arsalaan Ahmed (Oz)
CEO (HSBC Amanah Malaysia)

Oz is a career Islamic finance professional with extensive experience in wholesale and retail banking. He has worked across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In his early career he distinguished himself in innovating Islamic finance solutions across various jurisdictions and has advised governments on Islamic finance regulation. He is credited with material contributions to the development of the Global Sukuk market, particularly on structuring and considered a subject matter expert. Amongst his many achievements, Oz has originated and executed multiple first to market Sukuk transactions across the Middle East and Asia including of note the first public Sukuk related to Makkah development, the first non-OIC sovereign Sukuk and the first vaccine Sukuk. In 2018 he oversaw the issuance of the World’s First UN SDG Sukuk issuance for HSBC Amanah Malaysia, and represented a Malaysian mission to the UNGA to discuss Islamic finance and its role in achieving the UN SDGs. In recent years Oz has distinguished himself as a thought leader in Islamic finance for social impact and values-based intermediation in banking. In 2018 he was awarded Islamic Banker of the year by The Asset.

Oz started his career as a Strategy Analyst, Financial Services with Accenture London. Thereafter, he joined HSBC Group in 2005 leaving for Barwa Bank of Qatar in 2013 to rejoin in 2016 as CEO of HSBC Amanah Malaysia, HSBC Group’s global centre of excellence in Islamic finance.

He holds an MBA with distinction from London Business School’s executive program and has a Bachelor’s degree from University College London and a Master’s degree from The University of Bristol. He is a Chartered Professional in Islamic Finance with the Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals and a Chartered Banker with the Asian Institute of Chartered Bankers. He is currently an EXCO and Council member of AIBIM, Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia. Oz is the first foreigner to hold a position at the AIBIM EXCO.

Daud Vicary Abdullah
Managing Director (DVA Consulting)

Daud Vicary Abdullah is currently the Managing Director of DVA Consulting an Islamic Finance Advisory and a Partner at Gateway LLP – A Sharia’a compliant Professional Services Firm. He is the former President and CEO of INCEIF-The Global University of Islamic Finance. Former Global Leader for Islamic Finance at Deloitte. Former CEO of two startup Islamic Banks in Malaysia (Hong Leong and AFB). In retirement he focuses on using his experience to support SRI and SDG initiatives and young entrepreneurs. He is currently Advising the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent on Islamic Finance and chairs the Advisory Boards at the AIFC (Kazakhstan) and He is a founding member of the Board of Trustees at RFI-Foundation and he is a recipient of the LARIBA Award for contributions to Riba Free Finance. He graduated from Bristol University with BSc (Econ) in Economic and Social History, Is a CPIF (Chartered Professional in Islamic Finance) and a Fellow of CPA Australia.