Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A discussion about choosing a leader or ruler for our Country/nation

Also in the light of this Hadith, I would not go for anyone so adamantly striving for ‘IQTEDAR’ (coming into Power):
Abu Musa narrated that two men from my tribe and I entered upon the Prophet (S.A.W). One of the two men said to the Prophet, "O Allah's Apostle! Appoint me as a governor," and so did the second. The response was, "We do not assign the authority of ruling to those who ask for it, nor to those who are keen to have it." Therefore we shouldn't ask to be a leader over people. After all, just think of the responsibility it entails. Check out Bukhari Vol 9, Book 89 for the full reference

Therefore I rest my case here and say “No, Allah I do not want the ‘lesser evil’ as my Country’s and my Nation’s leader, I do not want any womanizer, any gambler, any man who voluntarily consumes any haram (at any level) to become our ruler. This is me doing a heartfelt taubah, and asking YOU for help Oh Allah; for self correction and also asking You, from Your Immense Mercy, to grant us a True Man (one who is Faithful and Sincere to Allah and His Prophet-SAAW, and obedient to them. One who follows the path of righteousness. Someone who does not seek power or governorship or prime-ministership etc, for he realizes that he shall be held accountable before You for everything. Someone who truly has Taqwa and fears Your disapproval and Wrath. Someone who has the wisdom of Hadhrat Ali-RAU, the justice of Hadhrat Omar-RAU, the loyalty and love towards Allah and His Prophet like Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique-RAU, and who is Ghani and charitable, having a big compassionate heart like Hadhrat Usman-RAU). Someone who implements Islam on himself and finally implements the Islamic system on our country; the Islamic Economic system, Education System, Justice system, Islamic Social system etc. Nothing is impossible for You oh Allah! Please Please Please Allah grant us a leader of Your Choice, from Your Immense Mercy and whom You Truly Love and not one who we actually deserve, for we are ardent sinners who are so far gone that we don’t even know how to repent and correct our ways. Kindly help us Allah, help us by sending us the True Leader of Your Choice. Who can help us by implementing the True Islam on us (one of Love, Mercy and Justice as was taught and implemented by the Prophet-SAAW and the Khulfa-e-Rashideen-RAU) and thereby making it easier for us to follow YOUR Injunctions and the path and ways shown to us by Your Prophet Muhammad-SAAW. Ameen!”

Ps: In a Country with a population of around 200 million, we may not be able to identify this man, but it is certainly in Allah’s knowledge who this man is, and it is not difficult for Allah in the least to bring him forth and install him as our leader. Therefore dua jub mangnee chaheeyay tau Allah se puree tarha Allah ko jaan kar mangnee chaheeyay, we should not ask for the “lesser evil” and that too from our short sighted wisdom, understanding and insufficient knowledge, Allah se kabhee naam le kar banda nahin mangna chaheeyay but instead ‘character traits’ define kar ke Allah se “Sahabah-RAU” ke jaisay caliber ka banda mangna chaheeyay, kyoon keh humaree knowledge aur aqal haqeer hai, but Allah is infinitely Haleem, Wise, and certainly All-Powerful.
Also I believe we all must educate ourselves in the light of Islam and the Quran on the topics bellow to make better choices and dua’s concerning our leaders.
JazakAllah Khair
urdu link = (ruku 2)
نام نہاد مسلمان حکمرانوں کے لئیے لمحہ فکریہ

A Moment of Reflection for the so Called Muslim Rulers
Muslims rulers, who profess virtue, but practically oppose the Islamic System, must beware that they are in fact opposing the Messenger-SAAW of Islam. It is such an outrageous sin that Allah-SWT forbids him to pray for such wrongdoers. May Allah-SWT guide them out of the ordeal!
urdu link = (ruku 2)
عیاش اور بدکار حکمران تباہی کی طرف لے جاتے ہیں

Immoral and Evil Rulers lead to Destruction
When a nation's defiance reaches the limit whereby its destruction is decided, it swells in terms of wealth and the wealthy take to disobeying Allah-SWT's Commands. They have the evidence of Allah-SWT's Greatness before them, conveyed through a Prophet-AS or merely conceived by understanding. Yet the affluent indulge in pleasure seeking, and lead the public on the same path. It is human nature that people tend to follow the elite and ultimately all of them are destroyed. Even after Prophet Nuh-AS, people reflourished and prospered. Many a nation were destroyed, leaving behind lessons for mankind. Allah-SWT is well Aware of the human conduct and is sufficient to oversee the defiance of people. So one reaps whatever one sows.
urdu link = (ruku number 10)
امیر کا فریضہ

Duties of a Muslim Ruler
It is proven here that to make people abide by the laws of Shari'ah is the duty of a Muslim ruler. Similarly, it is enjoined upon a scholar or a saint who is popular enough that people listen to him, to emphasize that Islam must be practised. However, if the non believers and the hypocrites do not mend their ways and die as such, they will certainly be condemned td Hell, a morbid place indeed.
Although the hypocrites swear of their innocence yet they utter words of disbelief. They were in the habit of criticizing the articles of faith and used to find faults in the practices of Islam just as has become a fashion today. But whenever the matter was referred to the Holy Prophet-SAAW or the believers reacted, they simply denied their stance and would swear upon Allah-SWT . So He-SWT declares that these hypocrites are not only liars but have also turned disbelievers because of the words the speak. Though they had formally accepted Islam, yet they were unfortunate enough to revert to disbelief. It proves that a mere declaration of faith has no value until it is endorsed by the heart. Such a person may profess to be a believer before the people but with Allah-SWT he is not. And this uncertainty of the heart is indeed hypocricy, which makes the tongue utter blasphemy. Besides, a hypocrite strives only for worldly gains but ultimately ends up as a loser even in this game.

The Commentators quote many specific incidents with reference to the revelation of these Ayat. However, the orders contained herein are general and for all times to come. Allah-SWT declares that the hypocrites had equally enjoyed all the basic rights with the believers on embracing Islam, which were given to them by Allah-SWT and His-SWT Prophet-SAAW. Is this how they show their gratitude? Instead of being obliged over what they have received, these wicked people resort to thanklessness. However, like all other erring factions the cure for them also lies in repentance. Though their crime is grave, yet if they beg forgiveness it would certainly be good for them, as repentance can absolve a person of all sins. Still if they fail to do so they are destined to doom both here and in the Hereafter. No living soul on this earth shall be able to help them in any way, for when Allah-SWT's Wrath strikes, the condemned is automatically left alone and helpless.

Amongst the hypocrites are some who had promised Allah-SWT and prayed that if He-SWT made them affluent they would show their gratitude by fulfilling their duties towards others and spending for the welfare of His-SWT people. But as soon as they acquired riches they went back on their word, to the extent that instead of giving charity they resorted to niggardliness and even began to usurp the rights of others. Although this refers to a specific event yet the message is general and for everyone. Even today people who are favoured with power and wealth from Allah-SWT not only fail to fulfil their duties towards His-SWT people but also begin to encroach upon their rights.
urdu link = (ruku 13)
صدقات وصول کرنا مسلمان حاکم کی ذمہ داری ہے، تاکہ انھ یں درست مصارف پہ خرچ بھی کر سکے

Collection and Proper Spending of Charity-Duty of a Muslim Ruler
The scholars agree that although the aforesaid Ayah was revealed on a special occasion yet its applicability is general and universal. The door to repentance is open for a Muslim who has gone astray. Rather, this Ayah has provided the erring Muslims the opportunity to bask in Allah-SWT'sforgiveness. Simultaneously, it carries direction for the Muslim rulers to collect Zakat and charity and arrange spending judiciously for the right cause. This is why Jihad was undertaken against those who refused to pay Zakat. These people were of two kinds. Firstly, those who simply refused and turned apostate. Secondly, those who presented a pretext that the order was applicable only to the Holy Prophet-SAAW's era and after him they will not pay Zakat to the Government or to the ruler. Hadhrat Umar-RAU asserted that since the latter group does not deny Zakat but only differs in the explanation of the Ayah, they should not be treated as non believers and apostates. But the Caliph, Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU asserted that one-day people would present the same pretext for Salat as the orders for Salat and Zakat often occur together in the Quran. Therefore, whoever discriminates between the two injunctions shall be subjected to Jihad; This was the second consensus of the Ummah after nomination of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-RAU as Caliph.

It was revealed to the Holy Prophet'-SAAW that his receiving the obligatory as well as the voluntary' charity from the repentants will purify their souls and possessions. In other words, it will remove ill feelings or doubts from their hearts and enlighten them. Moreover, Barakah shall attend their possessions and the Holy Prophet-SAAW must also pray for them.
urdu link = (ruku 8)
مسلمانوں سے اسلام پر عمل کرنا اہلِ اختیار کی ذمّہ داری ہے

Responsibility Of The Rulers
To make a Muslim practise Islam is the responsibility of a ruler, and he should punish the defaulters. If he fails to do so, he will be deemed as an accomplice. This is why during the auspicious era of the Companions-RAU, Caliph 'Umar Faruq-RAU roamed around with a whip in his hand. If only Allah-SWT would grant this sense to the rulers of today!
urdu link = (ruku 4)
اُمراء اور صاحبِ اقتدار لوگ قوم کو کس طرح گمراہ کرتے ہیں

How The Rulers And Elite Misguide The Nation
The commoners shall blame the elite saying that they would have embraced Islam, had the latter not driven them to waywardness. The elite shall, in turn, challenge this statement and assert that they never prevented them from embracing Islam. Nor had they imposed any kind of restrictions on them. So it was all their own doing. The commoners shall insist that the elite being at the helm of national affairs controlled the education, the economy, the legislation as well as the judiciary. Indeed the entire social structure was under their influence and it was they who had put the society on such a track whereby the masses were driven away from faith. Their planning drove them, to infidelity and made them pin hopes on others than Allah-SWT , because of which they drifted farther away from the Truth. However, both shall be feeling guilty within their hearts. The elite shall lament their misconduct while the commoners shall also acknowledge their failure to opt for the Truth, each class concealing their feelings from one another. Such will be their reactions on merely witnessing the doom from a distance. But once they are yoked, enchained and hurled into Hell, they will fully understand the gravity of the situation and take to screaming and yelling. But all shall be in vain as the retribution directly corresponds to the deeds. Their lamenting and pleading shall serve no purpose, nor shall do any good to them.
urdu link = (ruku 9)
پیشوا اور پیروکار کی ذمّہ داری

Responsibility of the Leader and the Follower
It can be clearly understood here that a leader-whether a saint, a scholar, or a ruler-must adhere to the teachings of the Holy Prophet'-SAAW and lead his followers onto the right Path, otherwise he will not only ruin himself but also his followers. Similarly, it is incumbent on the followers to follow their spiritual mentor or the ruler only if his actions are endorsed by Shari'ah, and not to be subdued merely by his personality or personal opinions. If the leader goes astray, he must be rejected, but not the Shari'ah. Otherwise the followers would also be ruined both in this world and in the Akhirah. May Allah-SWT protect us!

These are the accounts of preceding nations, full of admonition. These are the true historical facts about settlements and habitations, of which remnants are still there but without any trace of their dwellers. Such ruins can be seen in Egypt and other places, while some settlements were completely wiped out. This doom was their own choice, for Allah-SWT is far too Gracious to do any injustice to anyone. People wrong their own selves. Allah repeatedly sentHis-SWT Messengers'as to them, inviting them to His-SWT Mercy but they resorted to carving innumerable idols, ranging from trees to stones and from rituals to vain desires. But when the Divine Affliction struck, which was a logical outcome of their conduct, their deities could not rescue them. Rather it was these very idols that caused their destruction.

When the Almighty seizes the oppressors, He-SWT does it with intensity. Their tyranny annoys Allah-SWT and invokes tormenting and painful punishment. All these events of the past are admonitory indeed but only for those who have faith in Allah-SWT and the Akhirah. It is a warning for those who desire to be spared humiliation on the Day when all mankind shall gather before Him-SWT ; the Day of Reckoning for everyone!

If that Day has not come yet it does not mean that it will never materialize.He-SWT has appointed the time for it according to His-SWT Prudence. It will certainly take place when that ominous moment arrives. All those who argue about it shall be petrified and no one shall be permitted to utter a syllable without His-SWT Permission. The believer and the disbeliever, the noble and the evil, all shall assemble on that Day. The infidels will be condemned to Hell wherein they shall suffer forever, wailing and crying. And as long as the earth and the heavens, which means that as long as that Realm exists, they will burn in Hell because of their disbelief. No one can deliver them except Allah-SWT as He-SWT is the Master of His-SWT Will. No one can compel Him-SWT to do anything. If it pleases Him-SWT , He-SWT may redeem them or may even undo the entire set up of Hell itself. Nothing is beyond His-SWT Omnipotence. However, He-SWT has decided not to go against His-SWT Own Decisions. Hence Hell will exist eternally and will continue to echo with the wailing of the infidels. O' Allah-SWT ! Mercifully protect us against such a horrid fate!

And those who believed in and obeyed Allah-SWT shall be admitted into Jannah where they will abide forever by His-SWT Will and Pleasure, and His-SWT Favours know no bounds. When He-SWT plans to let someone rejoice,He-SWT does it in a big way. It is indeed difficult to perceive it through words, for it can only be experienced. Therefore, O' Reader! Do not pay heed to what the infidels say, nor be influenced by their fabrications. Do not harbour the slightest doubt about His-SWT Greatness, for their beliefs are baseless, polytheistic and concocted by their ignorant forefathers. And soon they will have to confront the consequences of their evil conduct with no chance of a compromise.
urdu link = (ruku 9)
قیادت ہی قوم کی تقدیر ہوا کرتی ہے

The Leadership of a Nation is its Destiny
It is also a strange fact that the leadership of a nation is a reflection of its destiny. I was wondering as I stood by the Parliament House in London, how Britain being a small island once ruled the entire world. At that time it was inhabited by few hundred thousand people but it conquered and ruled so many. In this Parliament house was decided the destiny of so many nations. Whereas today they have progressed in terms of technology as well as manpower, the perimeters of their rule have shrunk to this island once again. After all there has to be a reason for this. A friend of mine standing close by said that the people are still the same, the difference is in the leadership. And he was absolutely right. I have never been an admirer of the British leadership because they have always manipulated the facts. Their history is marked with wickedness and treachery but it has to be admitted that they proved their supremacy over the other nations of the world in contrast to the failures of the present leadership, who cannot control the Northern frontier of their own country.

This is also true of the Arab countries. I always felt the anguish for the Arabs who have been so weakened that a few hundred thousand Jews are driving them mad. But the Jihad of Afghanistan recorded such deeds of valour by the Arab warriors, who have revived the heroic memories of the Companions-RAU, proving beyond doubt that it is not the Arabs who have changed, but it is their leadership, which has degenerated. The same conditions prevail in our country where the ineptitude of the leadership becomes apparent by having a close look at the contradictions in the society.

The Holy Prophet-SAAW is being directed to cripple the might of disbelief, and the prisoners who are mischief mongers with no hope of reformation, should be put to the sword. This execution of a few will ensure the safety of thousands, because if they are spared they will certainly be the cause of more battles and mischief. Although human beings are myopic in their approach, the Almighty Allah-SWT decrees what is eternally beneficial for the mankind because He--SWT is the All Knowing, the Prudent.

Since the booty had been permitted to the believers already, the Fidyah received from the captives will also fall in the same category. Had it not been permitted, the believers would have been taken to task for releasing the prisoners in return for Fidyah. Badr was the very first formal battle when the rules of war were revealed for all times to come. When the Holy Prophet-SAAW sought advice of his-SAAW Companions-RAU about the prisoners of war, Hadhrat Umar-RAU and S'ad ibn M’az-RAU suggested that they should be executed by their own relatives amongst the believers.

All the other Companions-RAU suggested that they should be released on payment of Fidyah as it will provide finances to the Muslims, while the possibility of their embracing Islam could not be ruled out. The Holy Prophet-SAAW accepted the latter advice. Those incapable of making the payment were to teach the believers children how to read and write. This decision was followed by a Divine Revelation that it does not befit a Prophet-AS to spare the person who is the root cause of evil and mischief. Rather it is most appropriate to eradicate this evil. But since booty had already been made permissible, and letting the captives go did involve some monetary benefit for the believers, the Companions-RAU who had proposed this were also forgiven. Now what has been acquired may be enjoyed by the believers as booty is permissible as well as pure. And the Muslims must constantly fearAllah-SWT and seek His-SWT Pleasure for He-SWT is the Most Merciful and Forgiving.
urdu link = (ruku 3)
نفاق کی ایک خطرناک صورت آج کے مسلم حکمران جسکے عمومی شکار ہیں

A Dangerous Form of Hypocrisy Grips Muslim Rulers Today
The Holy Prophet-SAAW knows those who befriend nations with whom Allah-SWT is totally annoyed. They are so unfortunate that despite being identified as Muslims they are actually not so as they act against Muslim interests. Ironically the infidels do not own them either, taking them as Muslims. So these hypocrites dangle pathetically in between the two sides. This is a fact they themselves realize but try to befool others through false oaths that whatever they do is in the Muslims interest.
urdu link = (ruku 5)
جب حق کی بات کی جائے، تو اہلِ اقتدار کو ہوسِ اقتدار گھیر لیتی ہے

When Invited To Truth, The Rulers Are Overwhelmed By Power-Hunger
When the Divine Revelations and His-SWT Commands are conveyed to them, the unfortunate lot does not bother to ponder over. Rather the fear of losing their authority overpowers them. If they were to accept the truth it will thwart their status because they practise ungodly rituals on their own accord. So they assert that the Holy Prophet-SAAW aims at diverting them from their ancestral traditions and religion to his-SAAW own, in order to rule over them. They insist that whatever he-SAAW says is void of truth and is concocted by him-SAAW. And when the facts impossible to refute both logically and traditionally, are revealed and the miracles are manifested they simply label them as magic. They fail to realise that never before had anyone been blessed with such a Book and such a Prophet-SAAW. And although the preceding Prophets-AS and Divine Books too were great Divine favours, yet revelation of the Quran and raising of the Holy Prophet-SAAW are indeed the greatest events which they should have duly appreciated. They should have taken pride in serving him-SAAW. Instead, they chose to deny without taking a look at the evil fate met by the preceding nations who had refuted their Prophets-AS. They do not even possess a fraction of power as compared to that enjoyed by those nations. The Holy Prophet-SAAW excels all Prophets-ASraised before, the consequences of his-SAAW denial may well, therefore, be imagined.
urdu link = (ruku 1)
بزرگی و قیادت

Age and Leadership
The ability to lead is not determined by age but by the knowledge blessed byAllah-SWT . And it is by His-SWT Choice as to whom He-SWT selects for Prophethood and Messengership. In the same way Wilayah is not determined by age and it is not essential that only an elderly person can be an accomplished Wali. Rather it is Allah-SWT ’s Light which He-SWT may instill in any bosom He-SWT may please. Whenever Allah-SWT blessed a Prophet-ASwith His-SWT Revelation, the first Message conveyed by him to the people was the Unity of Allah-SWT . The Prophets-AS and Messengers-ASapproximately 124000 in number, were all men of exemplary characters and wisdom raised at different places in various times. Is it not amazing that inspite of the difference in their social and geographical conditions they all emphasised upon and invited towards two concepts. Firstly, the Unity ofAllah-SWT , that He-SWT Alone is worthy of worship. Secondly, abstinence from His-SWT disobedience, fearing His-SWT Reckoning. Is it not logically impossible for so many people to agree on a lie? This consensus itself is a very great evidence on His-SWT Unity. The partners ascribed to Allah-SWT by these infidels are a creation themselves, whereas He-SWT is the Creator of the universe and every thing therein and has imbedded this system with abundant wisdom. How can a creation be partners with the Creator? SoAllah-SWT is pure of all that these infidels fabricate. His-SWT Omnipotence is such that He-SWT has made a drop of foul fluid the seed of mankind. And it is this seed which He-SWT fashions and develops into a masterpiece, that is, a human being. Is it then not strange that this creation dares to argue in His-SWT Being and in His-SWT Attributes? In no way does it befit a human being!

It is He-SWT Who-SWT has created the cattle to serve mankind and they benefit from the furs, hides and even the bones of these animals. Some of these animals are the stock-in-trade for people while others are a source of food. Besides, they are also a source of pride and satisfaction for the owner, when taken out for grazing in the morning and returning home thereafter. Even in the contemporary modern world man is as much dependant on cattle and other natural creations as the Arabs were in those days. Today, farming is as lucrative and honourable a business as it was in primitive times.

Man uses some of these animals to carry his loads from one place to another, particularly in difficult terrain. Indeed your Rabb-SWT is extremely Kind and has created horses, mules and asses for you to ride on and traverse all types of routes. Not only this; but you are also unaware of the means of transportation. He-SWT has planned to create for you in the future. This prophecy of the Quran includes all the inventions made in this field todate and all those yet to come. An invention is nothing but various substances combined through various processes, the knowledge of which is given by the Most Merciful Himself-SWT . And all the reasoning so far given highlights the one and only straight path of Allah-SWT's obedience. Yet people opt for crooked ways rather than His-SWT Path. Had He-SWT willed He-SWT could have forced everyone to follow the right track, but this was against His-SWT Wisdom. After showing the straight path, He-SWT left it to the individual to follow or reject it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A discussion about Riba/Interest in Islam

I decided to share this here so that perhaps more people could benefit from it. A discussion about Riba/Interest was initiated by someone who quite absurdly claimed that interest and Riba were not the same thing and that interest was allowed in Islam. Thereafter with the involvement of few others jumping into the discussion I realized that perhaps more people were under such or similar misconceptions. Therefore I am copy pasting the final concluding discussion here in the hope that if other people hold such idea's they too might receive an amount of clarification...

"You both seem to be well versed with islamic thought... I think interest is not haram in the banking system because it in turn is used in business by the bank whether be it in the form of a loan that is used in some business or directly in the form of asset purchase. The bank makes money on our money and from the spread keeps their profit and gives us our wod be haram say if i give you $100 and ask for $200 back knowing fully well you have no means to invest or increase the money....if ur able to invest it then its my right to charge u for renting my capital..just like rentingy house... Its to stop exploitation of people who ae already disadvantaged.. well thats my opinion.."

I feel compelled to go forth with the instigated discussion solely because I understand and appreciate that the reason behind it is strictly self-correction and a better understanding of deen, inorder to apply it to our lives and correct our previous ways. I would initially like to make a few very pertinent and relevant points clear before getting to the main point of discussion, for it is essential for one to understand these essentials of Islam and Eemaan before delving further into any discussion regarding Islamic Jurisprudence and clearly defined and determined Islamic injunctions and laws. These matters are far too precarious for one to take casually and lightly. Moreover, a nonchalant indulgence in these discussions, merely for the sake of asserting one’s own opinions or other personal ulterior motives can cost one drastically on the Day of Judgment and in the eyes of Allah.

The thing is that there is no room for yours or mine or anyone’s opinion’s as such in Islam. Islam is not an amalgamation of a majority vote or consensus of ‘opinions’, it is infact a code of life sent to us by Allah-SWT and brought to us by the Prophet Muhammad-SAAW. Nothing in Islam is an isolated concept, just like life, everything is intertwined and interrelated. The Prophet-SAAW taught us Islam, with his-SAAW own example. He-SAAW along with his-SAAW Companion’s –RAU lived out Islam to the very detail and left an exemplary example for us to follow. An entire community was established and built around Islam from the very scratch, which progressively grew to be an Empire. There were no flaws in the system, the only reason for the downfall was the corruption in the Eemaan of people and the double standards that were brought forth in time because of it. And since Islam is based on basic justice and equality, there is no room for double standards, the moment double standards penetrate the system, the entire essence of Islam is lost!

Al Quran- 16:116 -
وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَـذَا حَلاَلٌ وَهَـذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ لاَ يُفْلِحُونَ

Wala taqooloo lima tasifu alsinatukumu alkathiba hatha halalun wahatha haramun litaftaroo AAala Allahi alkathiba inna allatheena yaftaroona AAala Allahi alkathiba la yuflihoona

• Hence, do not utter falsehoods by letting your tongues determine [at your own discretion], "This is lawful and that is forbidden", thus attributing your own lying inventions to Allah: for, behold, they who attribute their own lying inventions to Allah will never attain to a happy state!

It is part of our Eemaan to believe in Allah-SWT as the Prophet-SAAW believed. The attributes of Allah-SWT told to us by the Prophet-SAAW are what we know and believe of Allah and we recognize that beyond this we do not have the capacity to understand or comprehend Allah atleast in the dimensions and parameters of this life. Amongst these attributes of Allah-SWT one of the most basic and essential traits that we believe in are that a) Allah is the One and Only, b) the Creator of everything, c) All-Powerful, d) All-Encompassing, e) The Wise, f) The all-Knowing, g) The All-Aware. Now had Allah willed He-SWT could have quite simply sent down the Quran with every individual at birth and every child could have naturally known Arabic. Nothing is impossible for Allah-SWT if Islam were as simple as reading the Quran and applying it based on every individuals understanding of it, well actually, if that were the case, we’d pretty much have what we’re left with today …’chaos in the name of Islam’! This is the result of the infiltration of random opinions and interpretations of Islam disregarding the explanation, interpretation, teachings and understanding given to us by the Holy Prophet-SAAW himself!

Understanding, verifying and deriving the Islamic Jurisprudence and its implementation are not a mere child’s play, therefore we must understand that it is solely our own ignorance and arrogance when we disregard the unanimously agreed upon verdicts and established laws of the Islamic Jurisprudence, on the basis of perhaps a couple of books that we might have read and the logic which appeals to our own personal senses. It’s just like my having studied science till eighth grade and perhaps having read a book or two about nuclear physics, getting up and not only commenting and giving my opinion of some verified established laws, but actually giving a gist of what they should be or what their implementation should entail as per my knowledge and my opinion. If I were to get up and do this, not only would no one take me seriously, but they would laugh at me and label me mad and not pay heed to anything I have to say thereafter. And they would be very right in doing so. And over here we are talking about laws concluded and derived by man not God. Just imagine our insolence and audacity when there are clear cut ayat about a matter and we choose to give our opinion about the matter on the contrary. It is almost like (Allah Taubah) challenging Allah Himself. May Allah keep us safe and protect us from ever consciously or unconsciously indulging in this act.

Although I have already mentioned the relevant Ayat and Hadith and the unanimously agreed upon law of Islamic Jurisprudence regarding Riba/interest. However It seems proper to copy it verbatim here, so that whosoever might be reading this can benefit from this as a whole.
“Those who consume interest cannot stand [on the Day of Resurrection] except as one stands who is being beaten by Satan into insanity. That is because they say, ‘Trade is [just] like interest.’ But God has permitted trade and has forbidden interest. So whoever has received an admonition from his Lord and desists may have what is past, and his affair rests with God. But whoever returns [to dealing in interest or usury]—those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide eternally therein. God destroys interest and gives increase for charities. And God does not like every sinning disbeliever.” (Quran 2:275-276)

“O you who have believed, fear God and give up what remains [due to you] of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war [against you] from God and His Messenger. But if you repent, you may have your principal—[thus] you do no wrong [to others], nor are you wronged.” (Quran 2:278-279)

In the Hadith:
“Avoid the seven destructive sins: associating partners with God, sorcery, killing a soul which God has forbidden– except through due course of the law, devouring interest, devouring the wealth of orphans, fleeing when the armies meet, and slandering chaste, believing, innocent women.” (al-Bukhari and Muslim)

In fact, another statement of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) should be sufficient to keep any God-fearing individual completely away from interest.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:
“One coin of interest that is knowingly consumed by a person is worse in God’s sight than thirty-six acts of illegal sexual intercourse.” (al-Tabarani and al-Hakim)

The Companion Jaabir narrated that the Messenger of God (peace and blessings of God be upon him) cursed the one who takes interest, the one who pays interest, the witnesses to it [that is, the interest contracts] and the recorder of it. Then he said, “They are all the same.” (Muslim)

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) also said,

“If illicit sexual relations and interest openly appear in a town, they have opened themselves to the punishment of God.” (al-Tabarani and al-Hakim)

Riba (Arabic: ربا, [rɪbæː]) means one of the senses of "usury"[citation needed]. Riba is forbidden in Islamic economic jurisprudence fiqh and considered as a major sin. Simply, unjust gains in trade or business, generally through exploitation.
There are two types of riba discussed by Islamic jurists: an increase in capital without any services provided and risk taking, which is prohibited by the Qur'an, and that prohibited in the Sunnah which comprises commodity exchanges in unequal quantities.

Riba is considered amongst the Seven Heinous Sins (Al-Saba al-Mubiqat - السَبعَ الموبِقاتِ), namely: [1]
 Believing in gods other than Allah.
 Magic.
 Murder.
 Riba/usury.
 Unlawfully taking orphans' money.
 Fleeing the battlefield.
 Accusing chaste, pious women.

The Qur'an states:[2]

“ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُّضَاعَفَةً وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ”
3:130 O you who have believed, do not consume usury, doubled and multiplied, but fear Allah that you may be successful.

“ وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا ”
2:275 Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest

Mohammad said in his farewell sermon: "God has forbidden you to take Riba, therefore all riba obligation shall henceforth be waived. Your capital, however, is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer inequity. God has judged that there shall be no riba and that all the riba due to `Abbas ibn `Abd al Muttalib shall henceforth be waived.".[3]

The Qur'an explicitly prohibits Riba, and since the Qur'an is an undisputed source of guidance for Muslims, all Muslim authorities unanimously agree on prohibition of Riba. There is no difference of opinion between any school of thought on the prohibition of Riba in Islamic Shariah.

The Qur'an mentions that the person who deals with Riba (ربا) will stand (on judgement day) as one who is beaten by Satan into insanity.[4] Here Qur'an makes it clear that "trade" and "riba" are not the same, and that God forbade "riba" and allowed "trade".[5] It further states that whoever accepts the guidance of God must immediately stop dealing in Riba, and those who return to Riba after God’s guidance has reached are dwellers in fire, because God destroys "Riba" and he will reward those who give to charity.
Mohammad cursed the one who deals with Riba. From Jabir: Mohammad cursed the receiver and the payer of riba, the one who records it and the two witnesses to the transaction and said: "They are all alike [in guilt]." [Sahih al-Muslim, Sahih Al-Bukhari, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, Bahiqi and Musnad Ahmad]

Islamic Shariah considers Riba as a tool of oppression and a means to unjustly take others' money[6] by exploiting their needs and circumstances. Hence it forbids a Riba based system altogether and promotes Charity as an alternative. Therefore, Mohammad said: "God has judged that there shall be no riba" [Last Sermon]

The crimes of dealing in Riba are so serious that God has declared war against those who deal in Riba.[7] Mohammad has cursed anyone who deals with Riba, the one who takes it, the one who pays it and the one who records it, as their sins are considered equal under the Quran.[8]

Riba is considered to be a greater sin, for Muslims, than that of eating pork or drinking alcohol. Mohammad declared the practice of Riba worse than adultery: worse than "to a man committing adultery with his own mother".[9]

Question Text:
Is there a majority accepted view amongst the jurists that modern day Interest is Riba? Or is this opinion just held by some scholars who happen to be well known? Also, does Riba only apply to what is known as Riba Al-Jahiliyya (pre-Islamic days of ignorance)? If no, on what basis can it be applied to modern day Interest?

This counsel answered by Dr. Monzer Kahf
Answer Text:
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear brother, the answer to your first question is YES, THERE IS ALMOST UNANIMOUS AGREEMENT AMONG SHARI`AH SCHOLARS THAT WHAT IS INTEREST IN BAKS AND THE LIKE TODAY IS RIBA. There is also a resolution to this effect by the OIC (Islamic Fiqh Academy). This is not a minority's opinion.

Your second question on Riba Al-Jahiliyyah is confused. Riba Al-Jahiliyyah is increment in debt and this is the financial Riba. You add to it Riba Al-Fadl that happens in certain exchange contracts, that is Riba that is prohibited in Hadith. Both carry unanimous agreement on their prohibition among contemporary Shari'ah scholars.
Your third question becomes answered already as Riba Al-Jahiliyyah is the same interest; there is not a single bit of difference!


Q: Respectable Mufti Saheb: Kindly forgive me for intruding on your precious time and specially during the Holy Month of Ramadan when you will be too busy. Also please forgive me in addressing this letter in English as perhaps I may not be able to express myself more clearly in Urdu.

You have been making research on various Islamic laws and principles which remain not clear in minds of people like me who have no knowledge or study of matters. As a learned Scholar and having vast experience and knowledge of both Islamic Laws and practices of modern period, I hope to get a reply of my query from you. Matter is the same old one - What is the position of Bank interest or profit - by whatever name it is called according to Shariah. To express whatever I understand I give below my feelings:-

1. Authentic definition of 'Riba' which has been declared by Allah and Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in Qur'an as "Haram "?
2. As far as I can see the charges of profit or interest one expects to get in return of his providing money to a needy person to fulfill his requirement of daily needs in the absence of any source to fulfill these is 'Riba' but any such return on money used for business, to earn more money, should not come under the definition of 'Riba '.
3. Generally it is said that if rate of profit is fixed it comes under definition of 'Riba' and becomes 'Haram' but if it linked with profit earned, it is not 'Riba'. In my humble opinion this position is different. For example 'A' has got Rs. 100,000/= and he constructs a shop and gives it on fixed monthly rental for business. Or if he gives Rs. 100,000/= in cash for another business. What is the difference as far as 'A' is concerned. He is parting with his money, in one case he is giving it in kind and in another case in cash. Why return in both the cases be distinguished? Shop's rent is not dependent on profit or loss to the Shopkeeper. If rent paid for shop is 'rental for shop why fixed return on cash is not 'rental of money'?
This letter is just to clarify the position and correct my thinking and in no way to convert Haram into Halal. After all after 15 Centuries, our concept should be clear at least on basic principles of our faith and we should not find excuses for justification of our (mis) deeds.
I shall be grateful to have your considered opinion for my guidance at your earliest convenience.
(M.A. Siddiqui, Operations Director, Matiari Sugar Mills Limited)

A: I received your letter dated 27th January 1997 and apologize for the delay in replying it. It was due to my overwhelming involvements both here and abroad. I hope you will forgive me for this delay. The questions you have posed have been discussed thoroughly in a number of books written on the subject both in Urdu and English. If you wish to benefit from Urdu writings I would advise you to read the following books:
"The Questions of Interest: Mufti Shafei (R.A.)"
"Islam & Modern Business: Mufti Taqi Usmani”
You may also benefit from the book of Dr. Anwar Iqbal Qureshi, titled" Islam and the Theory of Interest ".

I think if you want to be very clear on this point you should at least study these books. However, I am giving here very brief answers to your questions:
1) The legal definition of any prohibited act is seldom given in the Holy Qur'an itself. For example, wine has been prohibited but no definition of wine has been given. Similarly, adultery, telling lies, back-biting and bribery have been prohibited by the Holy Qur'an but the definitions of these acts have not been provided. Reason for it is that all these concepts were too clear in the minds of the addressees to need any such definition. The same is the case of Riba. The concept of Riba was widely recognized among the addressees of the Holy Qur'an and it is that concept which is reflected in the legal definition provided for Riba either in the Hadith or in the later literature of Islamic jurisprudence. According to this definition any transaction of loan where the payment of an additional amount on the principal is made conditional to the advance of such loan is called Riba.
2) There is no distinction in Shariah between advancing a loan to a needy person or advancing it to a business concern. The principle is that the person who advances money to another person should clearly decide whether he wishes to assist him or he wants to share in his profits. In the former case, he should withdraw from any claim of additional amount (in the form of interest) while in the latter case he should share his loss also. It is not permitted by Shariah that he claims profit but does not agree to share his loss.
Another point which needs attention here is that the distinction between a needy and a rich person in commercial matters is totally irrelevant. If a Shopkeeper sells a commodity to a poor person with a margin of profit which is not excessive nobody can say that this transaction is Haram because of the poverty of the purchaser. One can say that it would be more advisable for the Shop Keeper to give him the commodity either as a charity or at cost without charging a profit but it cannot be said that the marginal profit charged here is not Halal. If charging an additional amount on a loan is not in itself Haram then the same analogy should have been applied here meaning thereby that if a creditor charges a marginal interest on the loan he has advanced to a poor person it should not be condemned or declared as Haram, but even the modernists who hold the commercial interest as Halal admit that this kind of transaction is Riba and prohibited by the Holy Our'an. It proves that the basis of the prohibition is not linked to the poverty of the debtor. Had it been so, charging profit from a poor person would also have been declared as Haram. Therefore, the only basis for distinction between a sale and a transaction of Riba is that the former relates to commodity while the latter relates to money.

3) There are several differences between interest and rent. The basic principle of Shariah is that profit is justified where a person has undertaken the risk of the thing given to another person. In a transaction of loan, after advancing money, the creditor does not take any risk of the money because if the money is lost in the hands of the debtor after he has taken delivery thereof the debtor is bound to repay the loan. As the creditor did not take any risk of it, therefore he cannot charge additional profit thereon. While, in the case of a property leased out to the Lessee, the Lessor has taken the risk of the property, If the property is destroyed, he will bear the loss, therefore, it is justified for him to-charge rent from the Lessee. Another difference is that the property is always subject to depreciation while money does not depreciate. Therefore, charging of rent in the first case is justifiable while it is not so in the later case.
I hope that these brief answers will at least explain the basic concepts. However, for greater details you should study the books I have referred to above.

Now coming back to your opinion and understanding of the matter, you stated: ... I think interest is not haram in the banking system because it in turn is used in business by the bank whether be it in the form of a loan that is used in some business or directly in the form of asset purchase. The bank makes money on our money and from the spread keeps their profit and gives us our wod be haram say if i give you $100 and ask for $200 back knowing fully well you have no means to invest or increase the money....if ur able to invest it then its my right to charge u for renting my capital..just like rentingy house... Its to stop exploitation of people who ae already disadvantaged..

I completely understand your logic and partially you are correct and you have almost summed up Islam, rather accurately, in your last statement though it requires a little amending if you would so allow me. The correct statement would be:
“Islam stops the exploitation of people!” – nothing more nothing less. It is not just for the disadvantaged or poor, it looks out for everyone and the best of their interests. The logic you applied would have been correct, had it not been for the other law of Islam, which clearly states “it is forbidden to oppress or be oppressed!” In this case the bank would be the oppressor and you would be the oppressed.

Islam allows profit, it only bans interest. According to the Islamic banking system, you give your money to the bank and it takes the accumulated wealth of people and invests it. Thereafter taking a basic amount for its running expenses and maintenance and an amount as its pay or share for having invested your money etc (just like hiring a firm to invest your money for you) it is to give the rest of the profit back to all its clients equally dividing the share depending on their respective amount of investment/money. In the case that somehow the bank incurs some massive losses then too the loss would be divided equally amongst the investors/clients. Albeit it would rarely be the case, unless (Allah-Forbid) some calamity were to occur. Nonetheless, otherwise the profit rates would vary every month and would generally be far more than what the banks usually give. Fixed interest or a fixed percentage of interest or fixed mark up, is not allowed in Islam, because no one is allowed to oppress or exploit anyone, be it an individual or an institution.

Al-Quran (2:278-279)
O ye who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if ye are indeed believers. If ye do it not, Take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: But if ye turn back, ye shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and ye shall not be dealt with unjustly.

May Allah give us the taufiq to correct ourselves in the light of Islam and rid ourselves of usury and May we hitherto, for the sake of Allah and abiding by His Command, make an earnest effort to stop dealing in interest at any level. And May we place our money in the Islamic banking system (which is not 100% accurate as yet, but nonetheless they are making a sincere effort) in order to encourage and support it. Ameen
I feel it is imperative that I mention here the following ayat, it’s translation and explanation, as a warning and a point to ponder about ourselves that may we never behave like these nations that preceded us, who transgressed and earned the wrath of Allah. May we never twist the Commands and Injunctions of Allah to suit our own vested interests, and the logic that merely appeals to our whims and fancies. And May we never be amongst those who fool none other but themselves by faking their eemaan and justifying the sins they indulge in or justifying the distorted interpretations of Allah’s Laws. Ameen!

Kindly go over the following – reading the translation and the tafseer, May Allah give us clarity. Ameen!

وَلَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمُ الَّذِينَ اعْتَدَواْ مِنكُمْ فِي السَّبْتِ فَقُلْنَا لَهُمْ كُونُواْ قِرَدَةً خَاسِئِينَ
Walaqad AAalimtumu allatheena iAAtadaw minkum fee a(l)ssabti faqulna lahum koonoo qiradatan khasieen(a)
And you very well knew those of you, who transgressed in respect of Sabbath. So We-SWT said to them, “Be you apes, despised and rejected.”
And those people who transgressed on Saturdays were also from amongst them. This incident took place during the period of Prophet Dawud-AS They lived along the coastline and fishing was their means of earning a livelihood.Allah-SWT had ordered them to abstain from fishing on Saturdays, as this day was sacred for them, and was dedicated for worship. Plenty of fish, more than usual, would muster up the shore on Saturdays and they could not resist the temptation to catch it. They invented an excuse for violating the ban. They dug out several ditches along the shore and connected them to the sea with ducts. When the ditches would fill up with fish, they would seal off the ducts, and would not lake any fish on that day. The next day they would catch the trapped fish. Some would lower a fishing rod in the water and the fish so hooked would be taken out the following day. Some of them who obeyedAllah-SWT strongly opposed this crime and tried their best to stop the violators. The dispute became so grave that the wrongdoers drove the noble men out of their settlement, and constructed a wall in between to keep them confined to their homes, out of sight.

One morning, the expelled heard no human voice from the evildoer’s settlement. All that could be heard was the cries of apes and the shrieks of pigs. When they checked it out they saw that all had transformed into apes and pigs. The young ones were turned into apes and the old ones changed into pigs. They recognised their relatives, and would toss around restlessly at their feet, but nothing could be done for them. After a few days all of them died. Accord¬ing to the ‘Hadith’ the nations subjected to such punishment had left no pedigree behind. The monkeys we see today are a separate species, which existed even before this incident, and have nothing to do with these condemned folk.

The Forms of Justification
It has been clearly indicated that any justification, which negates or violates a law of Shari'ah, is not only wrong, but also a serious crime. However, the justifications of Islamic jurists, which aim at obeying the Shari'ah and not negat¬ing it do not fall in this category. Secondly, living with pious people is also a source of protection against a general Divine punishment. As long as the two Sabbath groups lived together, they were safe, but when the fundamentalists were separated, the so-called civilized were seized by Divine punishment. May Allah-SWT bless us with the company of nobles!

And We-SWT made this on example for their ... and a lesson for the Muttaqin.
The Bani Israil caught the fish but, for this Allah-SWT turned them into apes and pigs, a sorry sight, a lesson and a source of repentance for their contemporaries and those to follow in time, whereas, for the pious it is a source of greater guidance. The Punishment of distortion was generally discontinued with the advent of the Holy Prophet-SAAW. It is one of his-SAAWBarakah. But it is not surprising to see individual cases of distortion. In our village, a woman habitually used abusive language, especially against Hadhrat Abu Bakr Siddique-RAU, and generally for the Holy Prophet's-SAAWwives and other Companions-RAU. Before she died, her face got terribly disfigured and her tongue hung out four inches just like a dog’s, which simply would not retract. She could neither keep quiet, nor articulate any words and her voice resembled a dog's grumble. She was taken to Lahore for medical aid, but nothing seemed to help and after four months of torture she died. There are many such incidents, to list them all would be impossible here, but such exceptional cases of physical distortion do take place

State of Spiritual Distortion
In case of the Spirit, it cannot retain its human appearance without Islamic faith and practice. It would resemble the beast or animal whose traits are pre¬dominant in a person. The Spirits of only those Muslims who have enlightened hearts retain their human appearance. Even the Spirits of the practising Muslims take the appearance of permissible animals, whereas those of the non-believers and the wrongdoers take the shape of beasts. They live cloaked in human form, but it would not last forever. If Allah-SWTbestows the power of spiritual observation, it can be seen that towns and cities are infested with beasts. This is the reason why people look human but behave worse than beasts. May Allah-SWT forgive us!