About us

Poverty alleviation that’s sustainable, just and effective.

Poverty alleviation that’s sustainable, just and effective.

About Us

Akhuwat works to alleviate poverty through interest-free microfinance. We believe that people living in poverty want the chance to uplift themselves. Because no one deserves to be dependent on handouts. And because handouts aren’t sustainable.

At Akhuwat, we’ve set a new precedent among Muslim charities by enabling donors to fund loans, which can be reused upon repayment, over and over again. We’ve also set a precedent in the world of microfinance, because our loans are interest-free, as per the Islamic standard which firmly forbids Riba -usuary.

At Akhuwat, Islamic microfinance is our core programme. But to tackle poverty on all fronts, we also run other development programmes. These include:

  • Education
  • Support for marginalised people -Khwajasira
  • Medical aid
  • Clothes bank
Awards
Vetted Organizatin

About us

Akhuwat works to alleviate poverty through interest-free microfinance. We believe that people living in poverty want the chance to uplift themselves. Because no one deserves to be dependent on handouts. And because handouts aren’t sustainable.

At Akhuwat, we’ve set a new precedent among Muslim charities by enabling donors to fund loans, which can be reused upon repayment, over and over again. We’ve also set a precedent in the world of microfinance, because our loans are interest-free, as per the Islamic standard which firmly forbids Riba -usuary.

At Akhuwat, Islamic microfinance is our core programme. But to tackle poverty on all fronts, we also run other development programmes. These include:

  • Education
  • Support for marginalised people -Khwajasira
  • Medical aid
  • Clothes bank

Our Values

Akhuwat was founded on the principle of Mawakhat -solidarity. In the history of Islam, Mawakhat was first established by the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), who urged the people of Medina to share what they had with the Meccans fleeing persecution. Today, if one affluent family were to embrace a less fortunate one, we could develop a social system based on mutual support, respect and dignity. This is what we believe and strive for. At Akhuwat, we’ve seen in action the power of Qarz-a-Hasan -a beautiful loan, which the Holy Qur’an encourages us to give to Allah (swt). The Sadaqah our donors give, in this effort, transforms lives and uplifts communities. In the form of interest-free Micro-loans, it preserves dignity and its benefits to people are ongoing.
Tackaling poverty

Our Values

Akhuwat was founded on the principle of Mawakhat -solidarity. In the history of Islam, Mawakhat was first established by the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), who urged the people of Medina to share what they had with the Meccans fleeing persecution. Today, if one affluent family were to embrace a less fortunate one, we could develop a social system based on mutual support, respect and dignity. This is what we believe and strive for.

At Akhuwat, we’ve seen in action the power of Qarz-a-Hasan -a beautiful loan, which the Holy Qur’an encourages us to give to Allah (swt). The Sadaqah our donors give, in this effort, transforms lives and uplifts communities. In the form of interest-free Micro-loans, it preserves dignity and its benefits to people are ongoing.

Akhuwat’s Story

Progressing from a historical and philosophical discourse towards a pragmatic model of poverty alleviation, Akhuwat was founded by Dr. Amjad Saqib in 2001. Prior to establishing Akhuwat, he served in the Civil Services of Pakistan in the District Management Group (DMG). While serving as the General Manager of the Punjab Rural Support Program (PRSP) he had witnessed the devastating impact of poverty and was committed to dedicate the rest of his life to alleviate the suffering of the poor. He once took his friends to visited a village, Jia Bagga ,to study the impact of intervention by PRSP. Dr. Kamran Shams and he had a conversation with a local woman, inquiring what has been the impact of the PKR 10,000 loan she took from the PRSP.

She said, “Currently my children only eat once a day, but with the loan, I am able to feed them two meals”.

This answer cemented Dr. Saqib’s and his friend’s long-term desire to create a microfinance institution – one where loans were given without interest. He came to the conclusion that in order to empower the poor, the way to go forward was not to engage with them in a business venture. Rather, what could uplift them was immense support and empathy.

On the request of Dr. Saqib his friends pledged their support. On account of his previous experience in the microfinance industry, Dr. Saqib offered to design, organize and implement the interest-free program. The program, named Akhuwat, would be the first of its kind in the country. This group of philanthropists who were later on joined by other friends became Akhuwat’s first Board of Directors, with Dr. Amjad Saqib serving as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer.

Akhuwat was eventually launched in March 2001. From there on, Akhuwat adopted Qarz-a-Hasan, a term used by the Qur’an that literally translates to “a beautiful loan”, as its core strategy for microfinance. This concept is an attempt to reignite the same pledge of Mawakhat and a bond of solidarity that was created as a result of the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Medina. It is based on the principle that if one has a loaf of bread, half of it rightfully belongs to a person who has none. This philosophy of solidarity is the driving force behind all of Akhuwat’s programs and practices.

Philosophy – Mawakhat

Philosophy – Mawakhat

The concept of Mawakhat predates to 622 CE when Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) urged the residents of Medina (Ansars) to share half of their belongings with the Muhajirs (migrants) who were forced to flee persecution from the Quraish and migrated from Mecca to Medina. Drawing inspiration from the generosity displayed by the Ansars, Akhuwat believes that if the same approach, where one affluent family embraces a less fortunate one is adopted today, inequality will be eradicated from the world.

While inspiration for the philosophy of Akhuwat i.e. Mawakhat comes from a particular faith, we do not exclude people from other faiths. We strongly believe in and practice religious freedom, tolerance, and inclusion and the message of solidarity is for all. All of Akhuwat’s practices which are inspired by this philosophy involve compassion towards others, sharing what you have with those who do not. All is done while ensuring that dignity of beneficiaries is maintained. In all our dealings with them, they are treated as family, with utmost respect and love, like one would give their sibling.

Pillars

Principles

Board Of Directors

Dr. Amjad Saqib

Founder (Chairman Akhuwat UK)

Muhammad Amjad Saqib is a Pakistani social entrepreneur, development practitioner, former civil servant, and author. He is Chairman of Akhuwat, the world’s largest Islamic microfinance organisation providing interest-free loans to the most deserving sectors of society.

Amjad Saqib has been personally recognised and awarded for his work in social mobilisation, poverty alleviation, microfinance, and education management.

In 2021, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award (the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize) for the “first-of-its-kind,” interest- and collateral-free microfinance programme. In 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Schwab Foundation named him Social Entrepreneur of the Year. He was presented with the Commonwealth’s 31st Point of Light Award by Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown Prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and Thomson Reuters presented him with the Islamic Economy Award at the Global Islamic Summit in recognition of Akhuwat’s contribution to Islamic Economics. The President of Pakistan honoured him with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest award for Pakistani citizens, military personnel and foreign nationals.

Arif Anis

President (Akhuwat UK)

Arif Anis is the author of three bestsellers: “I’MPOSSIBLE”, “Made In Crises” and “Follow Your Dreams,”. He is a globally celebrated thought leader in the personal growth and success industry for more than 20 years.

As a consultant, coach and corporate leader, Anis’s clients include top corporate leaders, heads of states, movie stars, senior managers, Fortune500 and FTSE100 company CEOs, as well as governments and multilateral organisations. He was voted Brain of the Year by Tony Buzan’s Brain Trust in November 2020 and was named the Global Man of the Year in 2019 by Global Man Magazine.

In his philanthropic work, Anis supports H.R.H. Prince of Wales’ The British Asian Trust. He founded the One Million Meals campaign in response to the first Corona virus lockdown. Anis’s initiatives have been featured on BBC, ITV, Sky, CNBC, The Telegraph, Yahoo, and many other global platforms.

Dr Afzal Javed

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Dr Afzal Javed is a British-Pakistani Psychiatrist, professor and author. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist and an Honorary Clinical Associate Teacher at Warwick Medical School (University of Warwick, UK). In October 2020, he was named President of the World Psychiatric Association.

Dr Javed is a renowned Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Schizophrenia. During his career, Dr Javed has served on the boards of several world-recognised organisations including the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA).

Omar Chaudhry

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Omar Chaudhry is a Management Consultant, based in Europe, specialising in Private Equity Due Diligences. He was one of the founding trustees of Akhuwat UK when it was launched in 2010. Omar is closely involved in the day-to-day operations of the charity and with The Akhuwat Foundation since its inception in 2001.

Omar completed his early education at the University of Oxford, and later completed an MBA from INSEAD.

Dr. Izhar ul Haq Hashmi

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Dr. Izhar ul Haq Hashmi graduated from King Edward Medical College and went on to do his post-graduate studies in Oncology. He has completed numerous trainings and courses in cancer management and human resources. His career has focused on marketing and sales in the high-tech pharma industry.

Dr. Haq is a founding member of Akhuwat and was appointed as the Project Director of Akhuwat Health Services. He is also Director of Programmes at the Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled.

Dr. Amjad Saqib

Founder (Chairman Akhuwat UK)

Muhammad Amjad Saqib is a Pakistani social entrepreneur, development practitioner, former civil servant, and author. He is Chairman of Akhuwat, the world’s largest Islamic microfinance organisation providing interest-free loans to the most deserving sectors of society.

Amjad Saqib has been personally recognised and awarded for his work in social mobilisation, poverty alleviation, microfinance, and education management.

In 2021, he received the Ramon Magsaysay Award (the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize) for the “first-of-its-kind,” interest- and collateral-free microfinance programme. In 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Schwab Foundation named him Social Entrepreneur of the Year. He was presented with the Commonwealth’s 31st Point of Light Award by Queen Elizabeth II. The Crown Prince of Dubai, Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, and Thomson Reuters presented him with the Islamic Economy Award at the Global Islamic Summit in recognition of Akhuwat’s contribution to Islamic Economics. The President of Pakistan honoured him with the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the third highest award for Pakistani citizens, military personnel and foreign nationals.

Arif Anis

President (Akhuwat UK)

Arif Anis is the author of three bestsellers: “I’MPOSSIBLE”, “Made In Crises” and “Follow Your Dreams,”. He is a globally celebrated thought leader in the personal growth and success industry for more than 20 years.

As a consultant, coach and corporate leader, Anis’s clients include top corporate leaders, heads of states, movie stars, senior managers, Fortune500 and FTSE100 company CEOs, as well as governments and multilateral organisations. He was voted Brain of the Year by Tony Buzan’s Brain Trust in November 2020 and was named the Global Man of the Year in 2019 by Global Man Magazine.

In his philanthropic work, Anis supports H.R.H. Prince of Wales’ The British Asian Trust. He founded the One Million Meals campaign in response to the first Corona virus lockdown. Anis’s initiatives have been featured on BBC, ITV, Sky, CNBC, The Telegraph, Yahoo, and many other global platforms.

Dr Afzal Javed

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Dr Afzal Javed is a British-Pakistani Psychiatrist, professor and author. He is a Consultant Psychiatrist and an Honorary Clinical Associate Teacher at Warwick Medical School (University of Warwick, UK). In October 2020, he was named President of the World Psychiatric Association.

Dr Javed is a renowned Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Social and Transcultural Psychiatry, Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Schizophrenia. During his career, Dr Javed has served on the boards of several world-recognised organisations including the Royal College of Psychiatrists UK, World Association for Psychosocial Rehabilitation (WAPR), and the World Psychiatric Association (WPA).

Omar Chaudhry

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Omar Chaudhry is a Management Consultant, based in Europe, specialising in Private Equity Due Diligences. He was one of the founding trustees of Akhuwat UK when it was launched in 2010. Omar is closely involved in the day-to-day operations of the charity and with The Akhuwat Foundation since its inception in 2001.

Omar completed his early education at the University of Oxford, and later completed an MBA from INSEAD.

Dr. Izhar ul Haq Hashmi

Member Board of Trustees (Akhuwat UK)

Dr. Izhar ul Haq Hashmi graduated from King Edward Medical College and went on to do his post-graduate studies in Oncology. He has completed numerous trainings and courses in cancer management and human resources. His career has focused on marketing and sales in the high-tech pharma industry.

Dr. Haq is a founding member of Akhuwat and was appointed as the Project Director of Akhuwat Health Services. He is also Director of Programmes at the Punjab Welfare Trust for the Disabled.