By OUR REPORTER
“Any idea has to be first presented theoretically and once it is proved that the idea has merit and it addresses all related issues effectively it can be presented for mass acceptance. Here lies the importance of research. The new periodical “Sahulat – A Journal of Interest Free Microfinance” will serve this purpose of addressing all issues relating to Interest free microfinance.” These were the words of Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Omari, Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, while releasing the first issue of the Journal at the headquarters of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind on July 29.
The Jamaat chief further added that Islam provides a broad framework for interest-free economy, and a whole system of alternative economics should be developed by experts. He expressed the hope that the quality of expertise available to this new journal, as is obvious from the contents of this first issue, kindles the hope that it is in the right hands and the needed research in the field will be done properly.
The programme commenced with recitation of verses from the Holy Qur’ān related to Riba (interest) by Sadiq Sabibi of Sahulat. Then, the Chief Editor of Sahulat Journal Dr. Ausaf Ahmad presented a brief introduction of the journal.
After the formal inauguration ceremony there was an open session in which the intellectuals presented their views and gave suggestions for the journal. Dr. Javed Khan Associate Professor, Centre For West Asian Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, said that Sahulat Journal is the only journal of its genre which is published in India. This journal is enriched with the articles of very eminent scholars and experts of Islamic finance. This journal is very worthy for those who are interested in research. He expressed the importance of research based on empirical data and behavioural study.
Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, Chief Editor, Milli Gazette extended his words of praise for the whole team of journal, especially to Dr. Ausaf Ahmad, the chief editor of the journal for such a noble job. He emphasised the requirement for popular literature along with the research format of Sahulat Journal for the understanding of the subject matter for the large segment of masses.
Dr. Waquar Anwar, member of international board of advisory of the journal, expressed the need of research in different aspects of Islamic economics because it has got confused with the Islamic banking whereas real economics and finance do not end with banking. There are other worthy issues for research including microfinance.
Mr. Arshad Ajmal, Vice President & CEO, Sahulat Microfinance Society, said that interest free finance is based on the model of equity based finance and a necessary mechanism for handling and distribution of fund is to be developed for this model where risk mitigation is an important factor while dealing with the model. He informed briefly about a research study on an assessment of occupational pattern among the Muslim community of Katihar District that shall be published by Sahulat Microfinance Society soon. Similar research in other areas is in the planning stage. He said that Sahulat is in for serious concerns for poverty alleviation. He also indicated how Sahulat Business Cooperation Group research project undertaken by Sahulat Microfinance Society presently would be beneficial to test participatory interest free microfinance at group level. Sahulat journal may be a medium for sharing all these researches and findings.
The programme was concluded with the thanksgiving to all guests by Usama Khan of Sahulat Microfinance Society, followed by iftar and dinner served to the participants.