Mawakhat – An Eastern Perspective of The economy of Integral So(u)lidarity
The Soul-idarity paradigm is an attempt to bridge the contrasting divide between the realm of inner knowledge (sacred) and in matters of finance & economics (material), in a post-truth era wherein the paradigmatic emergence of an integral paradigm shift to the way we perceive economics is ever more compelling for our human (collective) ecology.
Realistically, it is not even a matter of finding ‘alternatives’ to our local and global financial woes, rather a matter of reviving the natural flow/system which has been ever-present since time immemorial – for the ‘subsistence’ of the human race is its primary driver – the sublimity of the process of divine providence.
Communal Origination: Mawakhat – Reciprocity/Akhuwat
We start by grounding our Soulidarity impulse in the story of Hijrah, wherefrom the philosophy of Mawakhat (spiritual brotherhood) and Asabiyyah (group solidarity) originates. The incident of Prophetic Hijrah (migration) from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 along with his companions, holds a special significance in Islamic history for multiple reasons. One of which is of initiating the tradition of Mawakhat (solidarity amongst brothers), upon the advice of the Prophet of Islam, the Ansar (helpers) of Medina, adopted one Muhajir (emigrant) from Mecca, as their brother, thereafter, sharing their wealth and property with them. In doing so they set a historic precedent of ‘unity amongst believers, what is also declared as ‘spiritual brotherhood’.
Spiritual Foundation: The Mawakhat / Soulidarity GENE-alogy
By building on the spirit of solidarity/Mawakhat, social justice and communal brotherhood, Akhuwat, from Pakistan, turns a new leaf in the history of Islamic Economics, by presenting a living example of world’s largest Qard-al-Hasan (benevolence loan /interest-free) model which is unique in its approach as per Islamic Finance & Economics; that what we term as an Integral Finance model going beyond the boundaries of the ‘micro-ness’ of what the world knows as Microfinance – a (perceived) remedy for poverty alleviation.
Akhuwat’s 5 I Genealogy
Akhuwat’s 5I genealogy (fourfold + center) is a categorical postulation of Akhuwat’s fourfold principles.
The 5 I’s are Iman (faith), Ikhlas (sincerity), Ihsan(excellence), Ikhuwah(solidarity) and Infaq (spending to please Allah) in the center as the moral economic core (6) as postulated by Lessem and Schieffer in their Integral Economics treatise.
This postulation emanates from an absolute contemplation of three main Islamic principles: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan.
The Four Principle of Akhuwat Paradigm
As such Akhuwat’s 4 principles are:
- Role of Religious Spaces – Iman – Faith; being a higher degree of Islam – Iman covers all faiths on a non-discriminatory basis as per Akhuwat’s policy of non-discrimination to religion, race, class, and gender.
- Interest-Free Loans (Qard-al-Hasan) – Ikhlas – Sincerity; is a derivative of Tawhid (Unity/Oneness of God).
- Transforming Borrowers to Donors– Ihsan – (spreading) Excellence; is the multiplier effect of virtue/Barakah – further forming a Solidarity Bond amongst the community of Akhuwateers.
- Volunteerism – Ikhuwah – Brotherhood; the eventual effect of the Solidarity GENE rhythm – transforming the soul/spirit of Solidarity to Soul-idarity.
Community Activation through the Hikma of Soulidarity
Our Soulidarity postulation, thus, aims to integrate and heal the ‘spirit’ of solidarity by (re)thinking it through the wisdom (Hikma) of the soul; The SOUL of solidarity. Akhuwat’s ‘Mawakhat’ paradigm, coming from an Eastern philosophy – is a primal example of such a discipline based on its fourfold 5I’s (Iman, Infaq, Ikhlas, Ihsan and Ikhuwah) genealogy which has been generating a plausible financial upliftment for their micro-communities.