By Pervez Bari
Bhopal: In order to provide interest-free loans a new branch of Sahulat Credit Cooperative Society was inaugurated here in Bhopal by Shahar Qazi Maulana Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadwi the other day at local Nawab Hamidullah Community Hall.
Sahulat Credit cooperative society is a venture of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, (JIH). It is a National NGO to facilitate Interest-free Microfinance Institutions. It is a voluntary, non-political, non-profit making social service organization established to provide Interest-free microfinance options to the small traders and to small businesses for removing socio-economic disparity and to achieve justice and equity for educationally and financially backward sections of the public at large. People can also open their accounts and avail the facility of daily deposit schemes, he informed.
Speaking on the occasion Shahar Qazi expressed his happiness over the move to strengthen people’s economic condition without indulging into the scourge of interest phenomena. He emphasised that interest (Sood) is forbidden (Haraam) in Islam. He lamented that the bane of interest on which the world economy today revolves around leads to make rich people richer while poor is pushed into the quagmire of poverty and illiteracy.
Shahar Qazi Mushtaq said Islam has complete economic system based on Shari’ah. Islam accepts markets as the basic coordinating mechanism of the economic system. Islamic teaching holds that the market, given perfect competition, allows consumers to obtain desired goods and producers to sell their goods at a mutually acceptable price, he added.
Khadim-ul-Masajid Mufti Rahimullah Khan Qasmi and other clerics also spoke on the occasion expressing their views.
Meanwhile, from JIH Headquarters New Delhi Usama Khan, Deputy CEO at Sahulat Microfinance Society was especially present in the inaugural ceremony. He spoke at length throwing light on the mission and vision of Sahulat Credit Cooperative Society.
A ‘third way’
Addressing the assemblage, Usama Khan said that Sahulat Credit Cooperative Society is a National NGO to facilitate Interest-free Microfinance Institutions. It is a voluntary, non-political, non-profit making social service organization established to provide Interest-free microfinance options. Explaining he said, advocates of Islamic economics generally describe it as neither socialist nor capitalist, but as a “third way”, an ideal mean with none of the drawbacks of the other two systems. In Islamic economic system the gap between the rich and the poor will be reduced and prosperity enhanced by such means as the discouraging of the hoarding of wealth, axing wealth (through Zakat) but not trade, exposing lenders to risk through Profit sharing and venture capital, discouraging of hoarding of food for speculation and other activities that Islam regards as sinful such as unlawful confiscation of land.
Usama, who also leads operation, research, finance and administration related areas, said the mission of Sahulat Microfinance Society (Regd. under the Societies Registration Act, 1860) is facilitating the establishment of interest-free microfinance cooperative branches all over the country to uplift the poor families.
He said Sahulat aims at: (i) Facilitating, promoting and developing interest-free micro-finance institutions (IFMFI); (ii) Undertaking and promoting need based research and developing different products and financial instruments for IFMFI; (iii) Establishing training institutes and data banks for IFMFI and evolving internal check system and audit facilities and coordination with affiliated institutions and (iv) Advocating with policy makers for a justifiable national policy on interest-free micro-finance in India.
The Sahulat’s definition of interest free Microfinance through cooperative is: “A Cooperative Credit Society formed by its members for pooling their funds and creating loan-able funds there from for addressing their loan demands from time to time, mutually sharing the operational cost and owning the benefit and risk of operations”.
It may be mentioned here that Sahulat Microfinance Society was established in 2010. It is a voluntary non-political, non-profit making social service organization. It aims to provide interest free micro finance options for reducing socio-economic disparities and to achieve justice and equity for educationally and financially backward sections of the public at large. Its main function is to facilitating, organizing and developing institutions, more particularly in co-operative sector.
Interest-Free Microfinance is an effective tool to fight against poverty. However, convergence of other activities in the field of education, health and self-employment is needed to raise the living condition of poor people. In India Interest-free microfinance institutions can be run as legal entities under various state cooperative acts or multi-state act. At present 26 such legal entities are working with 63 branches in 12 different states of India.
Meanwhile, JIH, Bhopal also launched “Lashkar Namkeen” with a view to create job opportunities to the people who might have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
At the outset, Amir-e-Halqa, JIH Madhya Pradesh Dr. Hamid Baig, delivered welcome address. Maulana Naimatullah Nadwi conducted the proceedings of the function.
The program was attended amongst others by, Maulana Shamsuddin, members of JIH Mohammad Shakeel Ismail and Dr. Syed Shahid Ali, Nastaran Bano Masjid Committee president Mohammad Laeeq.