- Halal Research Council
- By Zubair Mughal
A two day International summit on Islamic Microfinance has started in Istanbul. The basic purpose behind this summit is to promote Islamic Microfinance and to elucidate the strategy to remove obstacles from its way to progress. Microfinance experts from different continents like Africa, Asia, Europe and America etc. are participating in this Int’l summit.
While speaking to the opening session of the Summit, Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics said that Pakistan has been acknowledged as a leader of Islamic Microfinance Industry and right now in Pakistan; more than 20 institutions are providing microfinance services. While highlighting the importance of Islamic microfinance, he said that around the world, conventional Microfinance has badly failed and its examples can be clearly seen in India and Latin America. He further added that due to the failure of conventional financial system, many countries in the world are adapting Islamic microfinance system for poverty alleviation through which not only poverty will be eradicated but also a sustained economy shall come into being in these countries.
While addressing to the International Summit, he further added that one reason behind expansion of Poverty is interest base mechanism in Muslim countries, People do not use Financial and Banking system due to interest as it is strictly prohibited in Islam hence forced to live in poverty whereas through Islamic Microfinance by using the financial products based on Shari’ah principles, we can get the people out from poverty. He further highlighted the need assessment of Islamic microfinance in Muslim Countries by saying that 44% of conventional Microfinance clients live in Muslim Countries and United Nations has added half of the countries of Islamic Development Bank in the list of least developed countries which shows that Islamic Microfinance can be used to eradicate poverty from Muslim-Majority Counties. While identifying the Muslim population and poverty in different regions of the world, he said that 85.5% in East Asia, 34% in South Asia, 58% in West Africa, 58% in Caucasus and 97.3% in MENA are Muslims and collectively, in 2.4 Billion population of these regions, Muslims are of 48.3% which clearly shows the need of Islamic Microfinance for poverty alleviation in these countries. He further added that not only Muslims but Non-Muslims can also get benefits from Islamic Microfinance because Islamic Microfinance is not a religion but a system which is equally useful for Muslims and Non Muslims as well and the clear example of this fact is that Non-Muslims consider it very attractive.
He said that Islamic Microfinance is essential to achieve Millennium Development Goals( MDGs), proposed by United Nations for alleviating poverty and social uplifting. He further added that if development of Islamic Microfinance starts right from today, these goals can easily be achieved till 2015. He said that Islamic Microfinance sector is facing difficulties due to apathy of Donors and to fulfill this deficiency, Sukuk (Islamic Bonds) can be issued. He further said that more financial products can be introduced by enhancing research in the field of Islamic microfinance and there are many opportunities for development in this field. AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics has established a specific Microfinance help desk so that trainings, research and technical consultation could be provided to Microfinance Institutions worldwide.
In this Summit, the role of Pakistan in the development of Islamic Microfinance has very much appreciated and Pakistan is considered to be as global leader of Islamic Microfinance Industry. This conference will continue for 2 days in Istanbul.