Beneficial Ownership: To What Extent It Complies with Shari’ah?

  •  Nik Abdul Rahim Nik Abdul Ghani    
  •  Muhammad Yusuf Saleem    
  •  Ahcene Lahsasna    


This paper is a preliminary research on studying the application of beneficial ownership in Islamic financial products. It aims at investigating the meaning of beneficial ownership and its recognition in the Shari’ah perspective. This paper starts with identifying the meaning of milkiyyah (ownership) and its characteristics in the Islamic law and followed by the discussion on beneficial ownership from legal perspective. The study emphasizes on the historical and theoretical aspects of beneficial ownership. It then critically elucidates the meaning of beneficial ownership and its use in commercial transaction as to ascertain whether its use is in compliance with the requirements of ownership in Shari’ah. Analysis is done via the method of takyif fiqhi (fiqh characterisation) on the use of beneficial ownership. Some Shari’ah issues would be examined carefully by comparing the views of classical jurists and then supported by modern jurists. Finally, the study suggests that the beneficial ownership should be considered as real ownership since it is exclusively used in registration and legal documentation because Shari’ah has allowed the transfer of ownership based on a sole basis of contract.

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