Lahore - The participants of the fourth Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, concluded in Dubai on Thursday, have called for poverty alleviation through interest-free Islamic Microfinance, gripping the Muslim world mostly.

The forum, jointly arranged by Al Huda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics and Akhuwat, was aimed at promoting, strengthening and uniting all major organizations of Islamic microfinance. The delegates from international organizations related to Microfinance, Islamic microfinance, micro insurance and NGOs participated in the event.

While addressing the forum, Qasar H. Naseem, Head Bank Advisory Services – MENA, International Finance Corporation, said that Islamic microfinance is rapidly promoting in MENA region. Referring to the a recent research study of IFC, he said that in Muslim countries, people prefer the Islamic finance instead of interest-based financing, which particularly can promote small business. In her speech, Dr. Muhammad Azmi Umer, Director General IRTI Islamic Development Bank Group Jeddah, said that Islamic microfinance is the need of the time and this can be used as a weapon for the poverty alleviation. He said that IRTI – Islamic Development Bank is trying to play a vital role in its promotion and development through research and training so that Islamic microfinance could be highlighted as a best mode of financing for poverty alleviation. He appreciated the efforts of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics. Dr Amjad Saqib, Chairman Akhuwat highlighted the ways of poverty alleviation through qard e hasna in Islamic microfinance through which Akhuwat is providing small loans to more than 3 lac people across Pakistan. He further added that poverty is a world phenomenon and mostly growing in the Muslim countries. It is recommended that we chalk an international strategy to alleviate poverty from Muslim world through means which could be near to the Islamic traditions and religious norms and Islamic microfinance is the best solution of that.

Addressing to the audience, the organizer of 4th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum, Mr. Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda CIBE said that there is no religion of poverty but it can be alleviated through methods defined in religion and Islamic microfinance is the best example of this. Muslims and non Muslims can equally take benefit of this micro financing. He added that in Muslim world, poverty is rapidly increasing to its dangerous level. The main reason of this is the non availability of such sources which are near to their religious values. He said that recent researches of World Bank and other international organizations show that there exist chances of poverty in the non Muslim world. If Islamic microfinance is over looked in such a way then there are no chances United Nations Organization meets the Millennium development Goal. He further announced that 5th Global Islamic Microfinance Forum will be organized in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia.

In the forum, delegates from IFC World bank, Silatech, Islamic relief, Muslim Aid, Helping Hand, Nizam Energy, Community Support Concern, Akhuwat, Naymet, Yemen Microfinance Network, Tanzania Microfinance Association, IRTI Islamic Development bank, Azerbaijan Microfinance Association, Association of Tajikistan, Indonesia Microfinance Association, Centre of  Microfinance Nepal, Metropolitan Training Academy Turkey, Awqaf South Africa, KFDWB and many other delegates from 25 countries participated in it. Forum was continued for 4 days in which Shariah Structuring for the development of Islamic microfinance, role of IT, Micro Takaful, Sustainability, crowd Funding and the issues related to zakat and awqaf were discussed in the broader perspective.