Fares Djafri

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Ph.D in Islamic Finance from University of Malaya, Malaysia
Fields/Area of Specialization
Islamic management; Islamic social finance; Takaful; Fintech
Dr Fares Djafri is currently a Research Fellow at ISRA Research Management Centre (RMC), INCEIF University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Prior to joining ISRA, he was the Executive Director of the International Bureau for Consultancy at the Academy of Islamic Studies, University of Malaya. Dr Fares has published many chapters in books and several articles in peer reviewed and high impact journals. He has also presented several papers in local and international conferences.

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Now showing 1 - 11 of 23
  • Publication
    Islamic spirituality, organizational commitment, and organizational citizenship behavior: a proposed conceptual framework
    Kamaruzaman Noordin; Fares Djafri (Medi+World International, 2016)

    Despite the number of studies conducted on the concept of spirituality in the workplace, the benefits of work-place spirituality within organizations and the associated effects to outcome and performance level, there have been very few research attempts focusing on the religious aspects of spirituality. As such, the present study aims to improve employees' performance by introducing the construct of Islamic spirituality in the workplace and explore its contribution to the overall development of modern organizations. This study proposes a theoretical framework of Islamic spirituality within the workplace and looks at the effect of Islamic spirituality to predictive employee behavior, with particular emphasis on organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). This research concludes with a call for researchers to empirically examine the link between Islamic spirituality, organizational commitment, OCB, and job performance. This contribution to the body of existing literature aims to strengthen empirical research on the relationship between these constructs.

  • Publication
    Tawar al-hawkamat wa-itar al 'amal al-qanuni wal muasasatilil waqf bi Maliziya
    Sharifah Zubaidah Syed Abdul Kader; Fares Djafri; Mohamad Akram Laldin (Sultan Qaboos University, 2022)

    Awqaf properties in Malaysia have evolved over the years from being in the nature of consumptive immoveable properties used for religious purposes like madrasahs and mosques into productive and mixed-use type real estate properties like hotels, office buildings and commercial type properties. The regulatory and legal frameworks have played a vital role in the evolution of waqf sector and its management through the State of Islamic Religious Councils (SIRCs), the Department of Waqf and Hajj (JAWHAR) and Yayasan Waqaf Malaysia (YWM). In fact, waqf in Malaysia operates under three separate laws, namely: Islamic Law, Federal Territory Act or State Enactments relating to administration of the Islamic Law, State Waqf Enactments. In addition, the 2007 national fatwa permitting cash waqf in Malaysia brought about diversification of awqaf properties through the introduction of several cash waqf schemes by local banks, federal agencies as well as State Islamic Religious Councils (SIRC). Further developments were seen with the development of the concept of "corporate waqf" and waqf shares as well as innovative awqaf products in the takaful sector and the Islamic capital market. Another significant development occurred in 2015 with the introduction of the Labuan International Waqf Foundation (LIWF) by the Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (LIBFC). Through qualitative research and content analysis, this paper traces these developments in Malaysia through the lenses of governance, reformation and transformation. The research also adopts the analytical method to evaluate the viability of waqf in the Malaysian context. Some of the issues that will be touched on are whether the regulatory framework for waqf in Malaysia has moved in tandem with these developments, innovative use of waqf for financial inclusion, as well as the online platforms to collect waqf funds.

  • Publication
    The impact of workplace spirituality on organizational commitment: a case study of takaful agents in Malaysia
    Kamaruzaman Noordin; Fares Djafri (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2017)

    Despite extensive studies on predictors and antecedents of organizational commitment, empirical research studies on the impact of workplace spirituality on organizational commitment remain scarce. This study aims to examine the impact of the dimensions of workplace spirituality on agents' organizational commitment in Islamic insurance (takaful) industry in Malaysia. This study used a positivist research approach, comprising a quantitative basis of enquiry, and gathered data via survey questionnaires. In total, 600 questionnaires were distributed and finally 395 usable cases were selected for analysis. Pearson's correlation and stepwise multiple regressions analyses were used to analyze the data. The findings indicated that spirituality in the workplace has a positive and significant effect on organizational commitment. The relationship between each and every component of workplace spirituality and organizational commitment was found to be substantial, positive and significant. The study findings will enable Islamic insurance companies to understand the importance of spirituality in the workplace and will further improve their function and performance by way of enhancing employees' spirituality in the workplace. This study suggests developing more spiritual training, workshops, lectures and seminars on spirituality at the workplace which will help employees of takaful operators and agencies cope effectively with life problems, reduce stress, boost loyalty and enhance organizational commitment.

  • Publication
    Cryptos: distiguishing hype and realities in Islamic finance
    Fares Djafri (2022)

    According to the Financial Stability Board's recent study, crypto-asset market capitalisation grew 3.5 times in 2021 to USD2.6 trillion. Still, the market remains a small portion of the overall global financial system, and direct connections between crypto assets and systemically important financial institutions and core financial markets are limited at the present time. The market, according to the European Central Bank, represents less than 1% of the global financial system in terms of size, but it is still similar in size to, for example, the securitised sub-prime mortgage markets that triggered the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. However, most central banks perceive the use of cryptocurrencies for payments to be trivial or limited to niche groups and not widely used in critical financial services (including payments) on which the real economy depends. Besides, the different incidences of price volatility in cryptocurrency markets have, so far, been contained within crypto-asset markets and have not spilled over to other financial markets and infrastructures. This report - which is based on the notes and commentaries shared by the participants of the workshop "Cryptos: Distinguishing Hype and Realities in Islamic Finance", held at SOAS, University of London on 16th June 2022 - discusses the above-mentioned topic in some detail. Although the full commentaries are extremely valuable and beneficial, this 'summary of commentaries' aims to discuss the most crucial concerns regarding cryptos that the world faces today. The report gives some insights regarding the crypto-asset industry and sheds light on some legal and Shari'ah issues that can arise in cryptocurrencies. To serve this purpose, this report is a brief compilation, with selective editing, of the notes and commentaries shared by individuals prior to the workshop. A list of contributors is placed at the end of this report.

  • Publication
    Exploring the intentional behaviour of refugees in participating in micro-enterprise support programmes (MESP): is theory of planned behaviour (TPB) still relevant?
    Omar Kachkar; Fares Djafri (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021)

    This study aims to investigate the relevance of the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) in predicting the intentional behaviour of refugee entrepreneurs. This paper uses key components of the theory on attitude, subjective norms and perceived control to explore the willingness of refugees to participate in microenterprise support programmes (MESP) in refugee camps. This study used a positivist research approach, comprising a quantitative basis of enquiry and gathered data via survey questionnaires. In total, 400 usable questionnaires were completed and used for analysis. This study uses descriptive and inferential analysis with SPSS and confirmatory factor analysis with AMOS to test three key TPB hypotheses. The structured model revealed acceptable high goodness-of-fit indices. Also, the findings indicated that out of three hypotheses, two hypotheses (attitude and perceived control) were substantial, positive and significant. However, the relationship between subjective norms of refugees and their intention to participate in MESP was insignificant. The findings of this study indicate the low-profile refugees give to the views and opinions of the surrounding communities when it comes to determining their intentional behaviour. As such, some poignant implications may relate to microfinance and microcredit programmes targeting refugees. The present study illustrates the interrelationships between the proposed variables. Also, by understanding the relationships between the selected variables, the findings would be useful for the concerned authorities to ameliorate and upgrade the well-being of refugees along with empowering their environment, which would facilitate their engagement in business and entrepreneurship.

  • Publication
    The impact of service quality, student satisfaction, and university reputation on student loyalty: a case study of international students in IIUM, Malaysia
    Meguellati Achour; Omar Kachkar; Fares Djafri (Information Management and Business Review, 2013)

    The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between service quality, student satisfaction, university reputation, and student loyalty in the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). This study aims to improve our understanding of student loyalty and to highlight the effect of student satisfaction, service quality, and brand image in building student loyalty towards IIUM. Data were randomly collected from 160 students studying in IIUM during the 2012/2013 academic session. Data analysis encompasses descriptive analysis, reliability analysis, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), correlation, and regression analysis. The data resulted in acceptably high reliability. The result indicates that all independent variables have significant impact on student loyalty. All three hypotheses were supported. This study is set to assist institutions of higher education to identify improvements in the service delivery process by identifying different aspects of service quality, brand image, and student satisfaction in IIUM.

  • Publication
    Applications of Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation (MDIC) to takaful operators: an analysis from the Shariah advisors' perspective
    Nurdianawati Irwani Abdullah; Fares Djafri (Information Management and Business Review, 2012)

    The global takaful market is estimated by market analysts to reach a premium of U.S. $ 12.5 billion by 2015. Malaysia is considered the second largest takaful in the world with total asset of US$ 3.2 billion. One of the new innovations of takaful and insurance in Malaysia is Perbadanan Insurance Deposit Malaysia (PIDM) which is also known internationally as the Malaysia Deposit Insurance Corporation (MDIC). The role of MDIC is to provide protection to owners of takaful certificate and to ensure the stability and confidence in the market by protecting policy holder (takaful certificate). Therefore, this study investigates the extent to which MDIC is relevant to takaful operators. Personal interviews are carried out with shariah advisers of takaful operators to deduce the actual practice, the ideal role and to gain access to the field of MDIC and its implications in Malaysia. The findings of this research indicate that MDIC is relevant to takaful operators and part of the regulations that should be supported and encouraged. Furthermore, the study also found that Shariah advisers suggest Wakalah bi ajras an alternative of kafalah-bi al-ajrby shifting the scheme to tabarru' model. In addition, the study found that the contribution paid should be charged to the participants' fund; this is because the protection provided by MDIC is for the fund that belongs to the participants and takaful operators deemed to be wakeel (agent) only.

  • Publication
    Islamic spirituality and entrepreneurship: a case study of women entrepreneurs in Malaysia
    Fadila Grine; Meguellati Achour; Fares Djafri (The Journal of Happiness & Well-Being (JHW), 2015)

    This research explores the influence of Islamic spirituality on Muslim women's entrepreneurship in Malaysia, showing the effects of spirituality on their careers, business ventures and general entrepreneurial behavior. An empirical study consisting of open-ended interviews with women entrepreneurs in Malaysia was undertaken to explore the impact of spirituality on shaping their entrepreneurial activities, ethical choices, decision-making, and enhancing work-life satisfaction. The findings of this study highlight the position and key role of spirituality in the success of Muslim female entrepreneurs. This study underscores not only the religious compatibility between work and women success, but also highlights significant prospects for the untapped societal potential of Muslim women, in light of their spiritually-backed competencies, and with respect to harnessing their creative and entrepreneurial talents. This study reinforces the connection with God as a common denominator to the definition of spirituality and further shows that spirituality plays significant role in the prioritizing of the needs of family and life, motivation, social responsibility, and decision-making of Muslim women entrepreneurs in Malaysia.

  • Publication
    Shari'ah framework for pricing family takaful products
    Younes Soualhi; Fares Djafri (IIUM Press, 2021)

    This research investigates the Shari'ah compliance of the pricing elements used in family takaful products. The reviewed literature has revealed a great deal of emphasis on the Shari'ah aspects of the takaful contract, distribution of surplus, models used, incorporating waqf in takaful, and the relationship among the parties. Other research has focused on the operational and technical aspects of takaful such as underwriting, pricing, reserving and risk management. None of these studies has addressed the Shari'ah compliance of the pricing elements of family takaful products. Through qualitative research using open-ended interviews as well as content analysis, this research analyses the conformity of family takaful pricing mechanism with the Shari'ah principles of price-setting (tas'ir). The research findings indicate that the assumptions of mortality and morbidity are Shari'ah compliant based on the principles of ibahah (permissibility), maslahah (public interest), istiqra' (induction) and 'urf (custom). However, the investment returns assumption is not quite fair to the shareholders should there be a loss in the investment. The research also indicates that the concept of time value of money is a Shari'ah compliant element that can be used to price family takaful products. Further, the findings highlight that the pricing elements such as health condition are deemed unfair by some practitioners. Similarly, adding an extra loading to the contribution because of family medical history should not be taken for granted.

  • Publication
    Islamic finance in the digital world: opportunities and challenges
    Fares Djafri; Mohamad Akram Laldin (IIUM, 2019)

    Islamic finance has grown considerably over the last four decades and has a global reach. It is considered one of the fastest-growing segments of the global financial industry. One of the biggest challenges for Islamic finance in the next decade is in financial technology (known as Fintech). In the digital world, traditional financial practice will be left behind. This paper examines the phenomenon of financial innovation and technology in Islamic finance and its Shariah parameters. The research adopts a qualitative approach employing the inductive method to trace primary and secondary data on the topic and the descriptive method to describe the emergence of fintech in the Islamic finance industry. The study found that all financial innovations are generally welcomed and can be considered as benefits (Maslahah) to the customers and to the whole financial industry. Innovations in fintech become impermissible only if there is clear evidence from the Shariah that they are against the basic rules of the Shariah. The study also highlights the relationship between fintech and Shariah compliance and suggested to have a proper Shariah governance framework in order to ensure the operation of fintech is in total compliance with Shariah. Besides that, authorities and regulators are required to develop Shariah standards that would explicitly spell out the requirement of Shariah that are fundamental to fintech operations and practices.

  • Publication
    The global perspective of Islamic finance and the potential for China to tap into the Islamic finance market
    Abdelkader Laallam; Fares Djafri; Mohamad Akram Laldin (Riphah International University, 2021)

    Islamic finance is considered one of the fastest-growing segments of the global financial industry. Over the last four decades, Islamic finance has expanded globally to western and other non-Muslim countries. This paper aims to explore the potential for China to tap into the Islamic finance market and the challenges that may face the implementation of Islamic finance there. This study adopts a qualitative method of inquiry and utilizes the inductive method and content analysis to build comprehensive knowledge that would assist in exploring the significance and potential benefits that China may gain from the adoption of Islamic finance. The study reveals that China has a huge opportunity to capitalize on Islamic finance for economic development, particularly in the implementation of China�s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The paper also highlights the critical success factors for introducing Islamic finance in China, most importantly, political will. Genuine support from the government is needed for the effective introduction of Islamic finance in the country. This support should be subsequently followed by the development of the legal framework, an amendment of the laws, broad publicity to raise public awareness, and effective collaboration with international organizations.