Of late there has been a lot of media coverage devoted to the introduction or adaption of Conventional Banking system in Somaliland versus the Islamic Banking system which prohibit interest or Riba.

However, Islamic principles encompass wider area which can have a tremendous impact on business, social justice, honesty, protection of the weak, and helping the needy. Also, Islam approves only wholesome products that have been raised, prepared, and delivered for consumption without contamination or adulteration.

With the above points in mind, no one can definitively say or confirm all the consumer products coming to Somaliland from far and wide are truly HALAL. It seems we are simply focusing on alcohol and pork as the most notable items. We must endeavor to source our consumer products from Shariah compliant Moslem countries. Also, we must have quality control system to ensure these consumables are safe for our citizenry

In addition, how can we verify that the few banks operating in Somaliland under the banner of Islamic Banks are truly Islamic? It is not enough for them to simply say that we are moslems and our banks are Shariah compliant or we charge service fees instead of interest(Riba). It is the responsibility of the government to vet these banks to ensure that they operate strictly under the principles of Islamic banking. For example, do they have Shariah Board or Audit Board that can monitor and confirm compliance?

Somaliland is a Moslem country and since we chose to adapt Islamic way of life, we must wholly adhere to the principles of Islam beyond simply crying for Riba free banking. From an Islamic perspective, the product that a company sells or the service an Islamic bank offers must be entirely halal.


Ali Rashid Isse

Toronto, Canada.