In addition to the international recognition of his academic publications, which are mainly in top ranking international journals, in the field of Islamic finance, Professor Datuk Rifaat also earned international respect for the two standard setting organisations he has played an instrumental role in creating and served as (their inaugural) Secretary General – the Accounting & Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB).He also spearheaded the establishment, in October 2010, of the International Islamic Liquidity Corporation (IILM), of which he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in October 2012.
Professor Datuk Rifaat was a member of the following international bodies: Standards Advisory Council of the International Accounting Standards Board, for two consecutive three-year terms (2001 – 2008), Consultative Advisory Group of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, for two consecutive three-year terms (2004 – 2011), and International Liaison Group, Basel Committee for Banking Supervision (2007-2008).
Professor Datuk Rifaat’s contribution to the IFSI has been recognized by the many prestigious international awards that have been bestowed upon him. These include the Royal Malaysian Honorary Award (P.J.N.) that carries the title ‘Datuk’, which was awarded to him by the King of Malaysia in June 2010, the Euromoney 2004 Outstanding Contribution in the Development of Islamic Finance (Inaugural Recipient), and Islamic Development Bank Award for Islamic Banking and Finance in June 2010. Professor Datuk Rifaat is also the winner of the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2011, Outstanding Academic Paper Award Winner: Supervisory, Regulatory and Capital Adequacy Implications of Profit Sharing Investment Accounts in Islamic Finance, Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, UK.
Professor Datuk Rifaat is co-editor (and chapter author) of: Islamic Finance: Innovation and Growth, published by Euromoney Books, Islamic Finance: the Regulatory Challenge published by John Wiley, and Takaful (Islamic Insurance): Concepts and Regulatory Issues published by John Wiley. He is the author of a considerable number of academic and professional papers on accounting, finance, governance and regulation issues in Islamic financial services. His main research interests and supervision of postgraduate students are also in these areas. He has been an invited speaker at numerous conferences and seminars.
Professor Datuk Rifaat is an Adjunct Research Professor at the International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF), the Global University of Islamic Finance, Malaysia in which he was also a member of its Governing Council. He was a Visiting Professor at the University of Surrey (1996 – 2007) and an Honorary Professor at the Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University, Australia, (2005 – 2007).