Islamic societies are characterized by high and rising levels of poverty and financial exclusion. Financial exclusion is aggravated by failure on the part of conventional microfinance programs in giving due importance to the religious sensitivities of Muslims. For poverty alleviation efforts to succeed in these societies, there is need for an appropriate model that is rooted in Islam and conforms to beliefs, cultures of the Muslim clients.
This course aims to provide the participants with a comprehensive understanding of the building blocks of a microfinance program targeted at Islamic societies. It asserts that there are no fundamental contradictions in the objectives of global microfinance programs and of the glorious Islamic Shariah, though the methodology of latter may have certain distinct characteristics. The course seeks to present the Islamic approach as a composite and compassionate one that is rooted in charity, but permits wealth creation and for-profit enterprise. Spanning over five units, it focuses on the mechanisms, models, tools and instruments of the Islamic approach as prescribed by the glorious Shariah.
The course covers the following major areas in five modules:
- Microfinance and Objectives (Maqasid) of Shariah: This module provides an introductory overview on the role of microfinance in comprehensive human development in the framework of the objectives (Maqasid) of Shariah. It seeks to explain the definition of poverty in Islamic economics and the Islamic approach to poverty alleviation. It also examines possible shortcomings of conventional microfinance in addressing the challenge of poverty
- Conventional Models of Microfinance: This module undertakes a comprehensive review of available models of microfinance, which includes the well-known models in the formal sector – credit-only models, finance-plus models, self-help-group models, community-driven-development models, mutuality-based models and what-have-you – as well as in the informal sectors, e.g. ROSCAs and its many variants. It seeks to provide a brief snapshot of their strengths and major shortcomings in addressing the poverty challenge.
- Islamic Models of Microfinance:: This module undertakes a comprehensive review of models of Islamic microfinance, which use altruism-based modes (based on zakah, sadaqa and waqf); not-for-profit modes (qard al-hasan, kafala); as well as for-profit modes (Islamic debt, lease and equity). The coverage includes models that use conventional methodology with Islamic products as well as the ones that are purely indigenous, e.g. the Iranian qard funds and the Indonesian baitul-mal-wat-tamweels.
- Regulations, Policies and Standards for Islamic Microfinance Institutions: This module provides a comparative analysis of laws, regulations, policies and standards relating to management of Islamic microfinance projects and institutions. It highlights some basic principles for sound Islamic microfinance based on good practices (e.g. risk management, governance, monitoring and evaluation).
- Case Studies in Islamic microfinance: This module comprises several case studies that highlight some good practices in Islamic microfinance at the micro, meso and macro levels. The case studies highlight a wide range of Islamic microfinance possibilities in multiple regions, sectors as well as legal and regulatory environments.
INSTRUCTION METHOD: Online/ Blended
Date of Commencement: TBA