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Islamic microfinance: an ethical alternative to poverty alleviation


  • Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to assess the potential of Islamic financing schemes for microfinancing purposes. Design/methodology/approach - The paper contends that Islamic finance has an important role to contribute for furthering socio-economic development of the poor and small (micro) entrepreneurs without charging interest (read: Findings - Islamic finance offers various ethical schemes and instruments that can be advanced and adapted for the purpose of microfinance. Comparatively, Research limitations/implications - The paper is only conceptual and does not aim to empirically examine the issues or theories. However, the paper will definitely be useful to develop hypotheses for future research, especially in this relatively new area of Islamic microfinance. Practical implications - The Islamic concepts of microfinance will be of interest especially to many microfinance institutions. The paper will also be a good introduction to practitioners in the microfinance sector to understand the relevance and limitations of Islamic financing schemes. Originality/value - Islamic financing schemes are argued as having moral and ethical attributes that can effectively motivate micro-entrepreneurs to thrive. These schemes, however, require specialized skills in managing risks inherent in the structure of the contracts. In theory, different schemes can be used for different purposes depending on the risk profile of the micro-entrepreneurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman, 2010. "Islamic microfinance: an ethical alternative to poverty alleviation," Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 26(4), pages 284-295, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:humpps:v:26:y:2010:i:4:p:284-295

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rodney Wilson, 2007. "Making Development Assistance Sustainable Through Islamic Microfinance," IIUM Journal of Economics and Management, IIUM Journal of Economis and Management, vol. 15(2), pages 177-196, December.
    2. Ahmed, Habib, 2002. "Financing Microenterprises: An Analytical Study Of Islamic Microfinance Institutions," Islamic Economic Studies, The Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), vol. 9, pages 28-64.
    3. Nicoletta Ferro, 2005. "Value Through Diversity: Microfinance and Islamic Finance and Global Banking," Working Papers 2005.87, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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    1. repec:abd:kauiea:v:26:y:2013:i:2:p:151-179 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Umar A. Oseni & M. Kabir Hassan & Dorsaf Matri, 2013. "An Islamic Finance Model for The Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in France نموذج تمويل إسلامي للمؤسسات الصغيرة والمتوسطة في فرنسا," Journal of King Abdulaziz University: Islamic Economics, King Abdulaziz University, Islamic Economics Institute., vol. 26(2), pages 151-179, July.
    3. Hafiz ZahidMahmood & Kausar Abbas & Mehreen Fatima, 2017. "Islamic microfinance and household welfare nexus: empirical investigation from Pakistan," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 7(1), pages 1-15, December.

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    Islam; Finance; Ethics; Poverty;


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