Islamic Microfinance Education – the Critical Need, Opportunity & Way Forward
Muhammad Zubair Mughal – firstname.lastname@example.org
Islamic Microfinance means micro financing through interest free modes to the financially deprived/ poor people to generate economic activities and making them self employed for the ultimate economic prosperity. As per the latest research of Centre of Excellence in Islamic Microfinance of AlHuda CIBE, the global Islamic Microfinance volume has reached at US $ 1 billion with persistent growth and serving about 1.3 million beneficiaries but the share of Islamic Microfinance by less than 1% of overall volume of Islamic Finance (US $ 1.3 trillion), unveils its misfortune. As per the expert view it is stated that the Islamic Microfinance education is the ultimate way to make Islamic Microfinance practicing and let the people aware of the Islamic Microfinance on global canvas for its acceptability. The main hindrance to the Islamic microfinance behind successful execution is instant acceptability caused by lack of awareness. The concept of Islamic microfinance is recently developed dimension for micro financing to operate on Islamic modes and started in early 1960 from Latin America and South East Asia but Bangladesh has significant contribution to originate and approach the concept of Islamic Micro financing. The Islamic micro financing is being done through different models such as: Garmin Model, Credit Union and Self Help Group in particulars but the microfinance sector is looking forward a compatible brain well trained and equipped to practice Islamic Microfinance using these models prudently. It is observed there are no specialized institutions for the education of Islamic Microfinance in particulars.
Absence of specialized education in Islamic Microfinance, particularly, is the crucial fact in Islamic Microfinance Industry, which is one o the hurdle for the promotion of the industry as well. There is an immediate need to initiate the comprehensive degree programs on Islamic Microfinance globally. If we look into the main challenges of Islamic microfinance, the lack of awareness and education fall on the top. Islamic Microfinance Industry is facing lot of criticism in different aspects e.g. acceptability of Islamic Finance because of lack of awareness/ education and religious consciousness are the main challenges to Islamic Microfinance Industry.
The expensive education of Islamic microfinance is also a discouraging factor for the Islamic Microfinance learners which should be subsidized and funded by Donor agencies e.g. IFC, World Bank and IDB etc. The 46% of whole world poverty exists in Muslim World while Muslim population in the world is 26%, so Islamic Microfinance can potentially be used for poverty alleviation by social awareness programs through proper channels and educationists of Islamic Micro Finance realizing its importance and optimal results.
(Muhammad Zubair Mughal as a Chief Executive Officer of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE) has been working consistently for last nine (9) years for poverty alleviation through Islamic Microfinance concept; he can be reached at email@example.com)