Islamic Microfinance

Workshop on Islamic microfinance held in Delhi

New Delhi: An international training program and workshop to discuss the nuances of Islamic microfinance was recently held in New Delhi under the aegis of Islamic Business and Finance Network (IBF Net) and its Institute of Microfinance and Development in association with Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Organizers of the programme are of the view that provision of appropriate microfinance products and services to the poor in a sustained manner helps bring down poverty levels. The needs of the poor in Islamic countries are no different from that of the poor in other societies. However, the poor in Muslim societies also demand that the provision of microfinance must not violate their basic beliefs and cultures, they say and this has resulted in the birth of the Islamic or Shariah-compliant microfinance industry.

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IBF Net (www.ibfnet.in) is an India-based global network with over five thousand members from academia and the Islamic financial services industry. It offers professional certification programs in the field of Islamic finance through its online academy, International Institute of Islamic Business and Finance (www.iiibf.org).

The sessions in the workshop covered major norms and models of Islamic microfinance supplemented with practical insights from case studies.

The sessions were conducted by a team of experts under the leadership of Dr Mohammed Obaidullah, Senior Economist at the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Dr Ausaf Ahmad, Former Senior Economist at IDB and President, IBF Net.

Other speakers at the event included Danish Aziz, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Amjad Saleem, Country Director, Muslim Aid Sri Lanka, Mohamed Hannan, Consultant, Muslim Foundation for Cultural and Social Development Sri Lanka, Dr Prabahakar, Founder CEO, Society for Rural Improvement (SRI), Abdur Raquib, Convenor, Islamic Finance Institute of India and KK Ali, CEO, Alternative Credit and Investments Limited (AICL).

The events were attended by over sixty participants from the corporate sector, NGOs and academics from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Other prominent NGOs that participated in the events were Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA), Zakat Foundation of India, Ajmal Foundation, Care India, Wind Trust.

The events were moderated by Najmul Hoda and Shafeeq Rahman, doctoral scholars in the field of Islamic economics and finance at Jamia Hamdard and Jamia Millia respectively.

According to Shafeeq Rahman, Coordinator, IBF Net would be organizing similar events that supplement its online programs in several other cities in near future. He also announced that interested students and researchers in the field may obtain copies of all the presentations via email by writing to info@iiibf.org.

A book “Introduction to Islamic Microfinance” by Dr Mohammed Obaidullah was released on this occasion.

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