Umer Chapra

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Muhammad Umer Chapra
Born (1933-02-01) 1 February 1933 (age 86)
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
Saudi Arabian[1][2][3]
Economic advisor
Known forWinner of the 1990 King Faisal International Prize[1]
Notable work
Islam and the Economic Challenge, The Future of Economics: An Islamic Perspective
Khairunnisa Jamal Mundia (m. 1962)

Muhammad Umer Chapra (born 1 February 1933) is a Pakistani-Saudi economist.[3] As of November 1999, he serves as Advisor at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Prior to this position, he worked at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), Riyadh, for nearly 35 years, as Economic Advisor and then Senior Economic Advisor.

He has also taught as Assistant and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin (Platteville), the University of Kentucky (Lexington), as Senior Economist and Associate Editor of the Pakistan Development Review at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, and as Reader (Associate Professor) at the Central Institute of Islamic Research (Pakistan).

He has lectured widely at a number of universities and professional institutes in different countries around the world, including the Harvard Law School, Loughborough University, UK, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, the London School of Economics, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, the University of Malaga, Spain, and Kyoto University, Japan. He is on the editorial board of a number of professional journals and has acted as referee for a number of others, including the Economic Journal of the Royal Economic Society, UK, the Journal of Socio-Economics and the Thunderbird International Business Review.

Personal life[edit]

Chapra was born in Bombay, British India on 1 February 1933 to Abdul Karim Chapra, and grew up in Karachi, Pakistan. He completed undergraduate studies from the University of Sindh in 1950, followed by undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in commerce at the University of Karachi in 1954 and 1956 respectively. He then moved to the Unites States, where he pursued a PhD in economics and sociology from the University of Minnesota in 1961, and worked as an academic for six years.[4][5]

In 1965, at a time when there was high demand for skilled Pakistani migrants, he moved to Saudi Arabia after being offered an economic advisory position at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. He worked under Minister for Finance Sheikh Mohammed Abalkhai during the reign of King Faisal, and played an instrumental role in building Saudi Arabia's banking system, as well as formulating the government's economic and monetary policies over the next several decades.[1] In 1990, he was awarded the King Faisal International Prize in the field of Islamic studies and economics. He was also granted Saudi citizenship in recognition of his services to the country.[1][2]

In 1995, he was awarded an Institute of Overseas Pakistanis medal by the President of Pakistan, for his contributions in economics.[4] He is married to Khairunnisa Jamal Mundia and they have four children.[4][5]


Chapra has received a number of awards for his academic contributions, including:

  1. The Islamic Development Bank Award for Islamic Economics (1989).
  2. The prestigious King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies (1989).[3]
  3. The IOP (Institute of Overseas Pakistanis) gold medal by the President of Pakistan for services to Islam and Islamic Economics at the First IOP Convention in Islamabad (1995).
  4. The COMCEC 30th Anniversary Academic Award by the President of Turkey "for his outstanding academic studies in Islamic Economics and Finance" in Istanbul (2014).
  5. Ranked by the ISLAMICA 500 among the Top 50 Global Leaders who make the Islamic Economy in 2015.


Chapra has written extensively on the issues of Islamic economics and finance. In addition to a number of articles published in accredited journals, he has written 11 books, of which the following have been the most notable:

  • Towards a Just Monetary System
  • Islam and the Economic Challenge
  • The Future of Economics: An Islamic Perspective
  • The Islamic Vision of Development in the Light of Maqasid Al-Shari'ah
  • Muslim Civilization: The Causes of Decline and the Need for Reform
  • Morality and Justice in Islamic Economics and Finance


  1. ^ a b c d Al-Khudair, Deema (16 February 2019). "50 years of memories: Pakistani economist who helped build Saudi banking system". Arab News. Retrieved 13 April 2019. Chapra won the King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Studies in 1990. In recognition of his services to the Kingdom, he was granted Saudi citizenship.
  2. ^ a b "Dr. Umar Chapra". Work Database for Islamic Banking and Finance. 2009. Retrieved 13 April 2019. Dr. M. Umer Chapra (born 1933), a Saudi citizen, is currently serving as Research Advisor at the Islamic Research & Training Institute (IRTI) of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
  3. ^ a b c "Dr. Muhammad Umer Chapra". King Faisal International Prize. Retrieved 27 April 2015. He worked at the Institute of Development Economics and the Islamic Research Institute in Pakistan, then as a research assistant at Minnesota, and associate professor of economics at Wisconsin and Kentucky Universities, before becoming Consultant to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Organization for 34 years during which he was granted Saudi citizenship.
  4. ^ a b c d "Dr M Umer Chapra: A Brief Biography" (PDF). Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  5. ^ a b Arikha, Dahlia (17 March 2018). "Monetary policy in perspective of Umer Chapra" (PDF). Munich Personal RePEc Archive. Retrieved 13 April 2019.

External links[edit]