As international society is entering a new era and modern technology plays an important role in this transition, the hot topics in almost all scientific disciplines are big data, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Advances in these areas will determine the key aspects of future economic policies and business strategies.
Another important characteristic of modern societies is the recognition that the element of risk is involved in almost all economic and social activities. The measurement of risk, therefore, is the primary focus of scientific research in economics. Most top international Business Schools offer specific courses on risk measurement and management. Concepts such as diversification and hedging are commonplace practices in the international economic arena.
The combination of technology and risk management gave rise to complex mathematical models to manage and minimize risks involved in everyday business and social life. As a result, risk management became a complicated task requiring collaboration of several scientific areas including philosophy, sociology, biology, economics, statistical analysis and mathematics as well as information sciences.
Despite the complexity of risk management, its central concept is quite simple and does not necessitate mathematics and difficult models to make it operational: namely the cooperation in the spirit of brotherhood, from which all involved parties benefit.
Cooperation, the cornerstone of human societies, is also a fundamental belief in Islamic teachings and the central pillar of the Takaful industry. Nowadays, Muslims are in a position to manage everyday risk, as there is a wide array of Takaful products, which are in accordance with Islamic Law.
On this basis, this is an insightful book as it provides an in-depth analysis of Takaful policies and sets out the reasons for their adoption in Islamic societies. The term Takaful, as the authors point out, comes from the word Kafala, which means guarantee or responsibility, and Takaful denotes a mutual guarantee or assurance. In this respect, Takaful is a cooperative insurance with mutual agreement, and Takaful products and services simplify everyday life and business.
I strongly believe that there are substantial benefits from turning to Islamic tradition and teachings, especially in a rapidly changing world where modern information technology and complicated mathematical models are the main tools for the description of human interactions. The Holy Teachings provide treasures of wisdom spanning the ages as they directly relate to the human soul. Takaful services in the Islamic world point to this timeless direction. Thus, I am confident that this book, The Encyclopedia of Islamic Insurance, Takaful and Retakaful, is timely in meeting the global socio-economic expectations particularly in the field of Islamic finance, insurance and risk management.
AbdulRahman M. AlSobhi
Chairman of the Board
Thawan Ltd Co.
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia