In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Islam is a practical way of life for all people and at all times with its own educational, social, economic and political systems. Muslims perceive Islam as a comprehensive way of life and consciously and continuously try to live an Islamic way of life individually and collectively. In Muslim-majority countries, they endeavor to organize society on the basis of Islam; and as minorities in non-Muslim countries, they endeavor as best as possible to live in accordance with the Shari’a.
Muslims in Mauritius are no different. Mauritius is a multi-religious country with a population of 1.3 million and Muslims representing about 17.3% of the population. They also want to live in an Islamic way in all fields of life. In the economic field, they are well aware of the re-emergence of the Islamic financial system that is taking place throughout the world and they want to be an integral part of this global phenomenon.
HISTORY OF AL BARAKAH MCSL
AL BARAKAH Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited (ABMCSL), a community-based institution, was formed in 1998 by some members of the Muslim Community who are ever conscious of the system of interest which is not according to their faith. The idea, which came from Mr. Mamode Raffick Nabee Mohomed was to provide an alternative to those who wanted to avoid the existing interest-based financial institutions and provide Shari’a-compliant investment opportunities as well as contribute in a halal way to the overall development of the Mauritian economy.
After studying the legal framework of the financial institutions and forms of business organizations in Mauritius, it was found that it was possible to set up a Credit Union under the Co-operative Societies Act which could at the same time, be Shari’a-compliant. It was found to be a feasible project. Thus we saw the emergence of AL BARAKAH MCSL, which was registered on the 10th June 1998 under the Co-operative Societies Act 1976/Co-operatives Act 2005.
AL BARAKAH MCSL operates under the Co-operatives Act 2005 (Amended 2006), within the framework of its rules and regulations and in compliance with Islamic financial laws. AL BARAKAH MCSL has been pioneering the concept of Islamic finance through the Cooperative sector since seventeen years now and providing Islamic financial services to the Ummah in Mauritius.
AL BARAKAH MCSL has membership all over the island. At present, it has 2000+ members/shareholders and 9 Regional Offices over the island to serve them.
We have been creating awareness about Islamic finance through our Cooperative and educating the population at large by organizing lectures, talks, seminars, workshops and public conferences. We organized the First National Seminar on Islamic Finance on 9th December 2004 at the National Institute of Cooperative Entrepreneurship (NICE) – formerly known as the National Co-operative Training Center. Our first Conference on Islamic Finance took place on 30 & 31 August 2007. In addition, as strategic partner with AL HUDA CIBE (www.alhudacibe.com) of Pakistan, ABMCSL organised an International Conference on Islamic Banking & Finance on 05 & 06 April 2011.
ABMCSL has also been projected as a model of an Islamic Financial Cooperative at International level at various conferences and seminars in Trinidad & Tobago, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Africa, Dubai, Kazakhstan and Russia. Following our experiences and progress and growth, we wish to bring AL BARAKAH to new heights, create awareness about Islamic finance concepts and how it can be implemented through Cooperatives at national and global level. Financial institutions in South Africa and Pakistan have shown interest in implementing this model of Islamic finance. AL BARAKAH is working for the establishment of Islamic finance through Cooperatives which can contribute to the overall economic development of the economy and the welfare of the nation.
At ABMCSL, Islamic financing techniques are used to cater for the financial needs of our members and we provide the following tailor-made schemes: Household General Financing, Computer Financing, Home Financing, Traders Financing, Motor Vehicle Financing, Motor Cycle Financing, Air Ticket Financing and Real Estate Financing (Land & Buildings) under Murabahah and Istisna. We have also Interest-free loan (Qard-ul-Hasanah) where we allocate 5% of the share capital for medical and educational purposes only. Among our innovative products is the Hajj Savings Account to enable prospective Hajjis (pilgrims) to save regularly to perform Hajj and simultaneously participate in Shari’a-compliant business activities and earn Halal returns. This product is open to shareholders of AL BARAKAH as well as Muslims at large. We also engage in Mudarabah and Musharakah contracts (partnership) with our members our latest innovation has been the launch of an internal Social Takaful Fund for the debt coverage of debtors of ABMCSL.