From the Hands that Receive to the Hands that Give: The Influence of Akhuwat’s Principles
The fundamental principles that underpin Akhuwat’s approach have played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of Islamic microfinance. The remarkable impact of these principles ignites a spirit of altruism and compassion among those who possess the means to uplift those in need. Akhuwat’s mission is to eradicate poverty without breaching the ‘dignity facade’ of the needy.
THEY WISH TO RECEIVE HELP RATHER THAN ALMS
THEY CHOOSE TO EARN WITH DIGNITY
Akhuwat’s Principles: Driven by Mawakhat
This Islamic microfinance organization doesn’t appreciate the principles of conventional business and economy while dealing with loan borrowers. At the core of its mission are its innovative principles, deeply rooted in Islamic ethics. These five postulates serve as the bedrock for its Islamic microfinance approach, with ‘Mawakhat’ (brotherhood) as the driving force.
One of the defining principles that set Akhuwat apart is its commitment to providing interest-free loans. Unlike traditional financial institutions, Akhuwat charges no interest on the loans it extends. This aligns with Islamic finance principles, which prohibit interest-based lending. This commitment to no-interest loans aligns with the broader vision of economic justice. Additionally, these benevolent loans relieve borrowers from the burden of mounting debt. Akhuwat believes that poverty cannot be eradicated by charging interest and doing business with the poor.
Use of Religious Places: Fostering Community Participation
The entire branch network of Akhuwat operates on the methodology of disbursing loans to borrowers at local religious centers such as mosques, churches, and temples. The goal is to promote community participation. This principle is based on the concept of bringing together the rich and the poor. To bind the extremes of a society in a way that the community elements are unified through compassion. These sacred locations ensure transparency, participation, and accountability while minimizing operational costs and generating goodwill amongst communities. These centers are platforms for communal dialogue and serve the broader agenda of imparting Akhuwat’s message of solidarity- mawakhat.
Volunteerism: The Akhuwateer Force
If there is no spirit of volunteerism in acts of service, evils like greed and selfishness can contaminate the spirits of compassion. The true beauty of any society is its volunteers. They rise above their personal desires in order to embrace humanity. Akhuwat’s volunteers call themselves ‘Akhuwateers’. The passion, dedication, and zeal of Akhuwateers, who dedicate their time, talent, and resources to expedite the mission of Akhuwat are worth appreciating. Their voluntary efforts amplify the impact of the organization’s welfare work.
Transforming Borrowers into Donors: The Spirit of Reciprocity
Akhuwat’s vision extends beyond providing loans. The organization strives to empower its borrowers so they are eventually in a position to become donors themselves, contributing to the goal of a poverty-free society. Those who had benefited from Akhuwat’s benevolent loans expressed a sense of gratitude and eagerness to give back, after achieving financial stability. It was a surprising insight for Akhuwat. Since then, this practice has become a part of Akhuwat’s volunteer and employee force to encourage the borrowers to become donors- even if the amount they contribute is as small as one rupee. This vision of a “reciprocity of economy” is a testament to the organization’s commitment to sustainable change. Fostering a culture of empathy and generosity has been a success. The world has witnessed the miracle of beneficiaries turning into benefactors through the platform of Akhuwat.
The fifth principle of Akhuwat is its focus on the diversity of the borrower base. Akhuwat ensures the inclusion of all members of society irrespective of their religion, caste, color, or gender. This commitment to diversity and inclusion creates a more equitable and just society.
Over the tenure of the last twenty years, the world witnessed the success of interest-free lending, with ‘Mawakhat‘ as the driving force. The organization’s commitment to interest-free loans, the utilization of religious places for transparency, the dedication of volunteers, and the vision of transforming borrowers into donors have empowered countless individuals and ignited a profound sense of compassion between the two extremes of society- the haves and have-nots. Akhuwat stands as a shining example of how these principles can bring about positive social change, inspire acts of kindness, and ultimately bridge the divide between the hands that receive and the hands that give.