Letters to the Editor

Q: I have a question with reference to certain investment mechanisms that are gaining popularity in the name of being Halaal investments. So, a few organizations expect an individual to invest a sum of 50,000/100,000 or multiple of the same and seek monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annual income on a range of percentages (4-6%/5-8%) etc. This is very similar to a floating interest or mutual fund where the income is fairly fixed between a range before investments. Does such investment fall under riba/interest? Should we seek a fatwa from such organizations before to evaluate whether it’s a halaal form of investment? I am attaching an image for reference. Request your support and guidance in understanding this new arena HD of investments.

Mohammed Shadab Faisal,
On Email

YMD

From a religious angle, offering profits on speculation might not be permissible, unless the agreement is that if at the final count (or after one financial year), losses are noted, then the investor will return the profits he received, plus the amount lost, or, equivalent amount is deducted from his/her investment amount.

Most of these investment plans are Ponzi schemes, run in the name of Islam, service to the Ummah, etc. But they are means of robbing people. It starts with promises of returns which smack of interest, and end in collapse.

Yes, fatwa may be sought, but not from those who run the scheme, nor from those scholars who collaboration is announced, but those fatwa-bodies who issue an independent fatwa (such as Madrasas).

Scholars who associate with them are either not qualified, or are part of the Ponzi business, or, not given the correct picture, but only defrauded and made use of.

Regarding the image, sorry, we did not receive it.

To tell you the truth, these schemes are so cleverly drafted and executed, that they cannot be understood, and their true face uncovered, until the collapse. Therefore, we restrain our opinions.

You must understand that dishonesty has massively entered into the Ummah, and so, it is best to avoid any connection with schemes that pour down from all sides.

Q: Why we accept divine principles albeit we have our own concept of individualism?

Mohammad Imran, 
On Email

YMD

Although your sentence construction does not reveal any such quality, but your question is Oxfordian; and perhaps what you mean is that “why, the humans with such brain powers, should be requiring Divine instructions.”

If our understanding and rephrasing is right, then, the answer is so obvious and so often stated, that it needs no re-statement at this juncture.

We would rather point to our editorials of the past few months that cite examples of human stupidity.

And wait… for more and more stupidity to come which challenge their assumption and claims that humans are rational beings.

Q: TabarakAllah! What an awesome magazine!Something we have been searching for, Subhan Allah!
We are a Muslim Home-schooling Co-op in Australia with over 40 home-schooling members. As we adapt our children’s learning experiences at home, we all seek to provide an Islamic enriched program and make Islam our focal point to which everything else stems from. 

So far its work in progress, as finding suitable supplements somewhat difficult at times. But, Alhumdulilah, with our everyday efforts, du’a and intention we are making some progress. We would like to request a discounted subscription to your amazing Young Muslim Digest Magazine. The magazine’s content will help immensely on our home-schooling journey, as finding suitable and beneficial reading material for children, is quite a challenge. We would like to offer our loyal home-schooling members only, a discounted subscription for one year. 

Sister Veronica, 
On Email

YMD

We are both glad and surprised that our magazine should impress you in Australia. In our own evaluation, the magazine has, generally speaking, failed in its objectives. Our objective has been to bring out a magazine, of larger volume, addressing issues of the young, Muslim and non-Muslim, educate them, place them on a firm ground, as well as address issues of common concern and equip them with a criteria which helps them to make right choices.

But it was merely a vision. It was a work demanding contribution from various elements: writers, thinkers, poets, scholars of various disciplines. But, very soon we discovered that the Ummah is bereft of these classes. Its intellectual class has actually disappeared. And, whatever little could be achieved, was made impossible, because the material help too never came.

So, actually we apologize for not being able to achieve our target. We are thankful for your appreciation, but surprised that our product impresses a few.

As for offering you the magazine on discount rates, the problem faced is not the cost of the magazine, which is now peanuts. The problem is the cost of postage.

All we can do, is to appeal to our readers to voluntarily bear the cost of postage not so much as to help us, but to help your home-schooling scheme.

Q: Can you help me with any document or any material on Islamization of Cultures. I am writing my MA thesis on the stated topic (The effect of Islamization on some selected tribes) which has to do with culture.

Ibrahim MainaMa’aji,
On Email

YMD

Sorrowfully, we have nothing to offer you. On the frontier of truth, the concept is new for us. We thought cultures are created by a large group of people, living together within certain geographical boundaries, over a long period of time, running into centuries, and that cultures cannot be Islamized, or Westernized of time, or any such thing happening to it, except by forces external to it.

Q: I had lower back ache and excruciating arthritic pain in my left knee for which I approached a pious person who gave me a ta’veez. After using that on my back my pain was gone. Now I want to ask you whether what I did was right or wrong. I did not take pain killer because I have stomach problem. Also the said person’s Aqaa’idareSahih but what he wrote on ta’veez was not readable.

Rayees Ahmad,
On Email

YMD

When all genuine medication fails, and the ailment is severe, then people have no choice but to try anything non-customary that would relieve them. The Shari`ah, has therefore, sanctioned ways by which cures may be sought. The Prophet (asws) has allowed Ruqyah, adding the condition that no pagan words or scripts be used,(even if results are positive). It is better to be sick in the name of God, than to be cured in the name of a pagan deity.

The correctness of `Aqa’id of the healer is not of great concern, so long as he/she is not a hard-core pagan; just as the religion of an allopathic physician or surgeon is of no concern. They work through physical, material laws, forces and known medicaments.

Now, if the Ta`wiz you refer to, does not contain pagan formulae, but codes that the healer is not ready to reveal, then, his assurance that his particular amulet or Ta`wiz, or other articles do not contain anything pagan, then the healer’s words can be taken on face-value. If he is a liar, then, his lie is on him. Allah will do no harm to the victim of deceit.

Two additional points may be kept in mind. First, physical, mental, or psychological disorders are a part of human life. A believer is tried with them, and if he remains patient, is rewarded for them. For an unbeliever they are a punishment from their Lord. At present, the disorders are on the rise. Causes are in millions and victims (of every religious following) are in millions. Diseases unknown to previous generations are appearing all around. Therefore, to rush to a healer at the slightest of disorder is not a wise idea. One should be patient, and seek relief through charity, joining the kin, and repentance.

Secondly, any relief obtained must be firmly attributed to Allah (swt) and not to the charmer’s charm. There are several reasons: (a) Sometimes it is by co-incidence. That is, it was coming any way but coincided with the charm or Ruqyah, or whatever. (b) The relief occurred as a trial to be seen whether the relief is attributed to Allah (swt) or to the means adopted.

Q: I want to give out my Zakaah. So could you tell me how it is done? I am not in Bangalore currently.

Madhiha, 
On Email

YMD

Either you seek information about those in your area are offering the services of disbursing Zakah and Sadaqat funds, or do it yourself. That is, search out the poor, the homeless, or those not able to get a square meal a day. Just walk into a Muslim slum, observe the inhabitants moving about and then on the pretext of finding the address of an inhabitant, enter into a conversation with any old lady you encounter. You may talk to her in a friendly way, sympathise with her, and then, inquire about others, and whether they are able to manage a meal a day. And then extend the conversation and seek to find out any family, especially a single-parent family, Muslim, which is in straitened condition. (Non-Muslims cannot be given Zakah funds, but may be given from Sadaqah-amounts. Search out such a family and hand over your Zakah to it).

However, it is advisable that you do not make known publicly, until after it has been handed over, that you are in search of someone who could be given Zakah money.

Q: I read the September 2016 issue of your esteemed magazine. In your Q&A section you dealt with the issue of need or otherwise of Khilafah

YMD

Khilafah means: succession; and Khalifah means: successor. Khilafah is a political institution, it is not a religious institution. If it was a religious institution, the Qur’an and Hadith would have expanded upon it offering connected rules.

If it was a religious institution, Imam Hasan would not have been praised by the Prophet for giving it up, which, as predicted, he voluntarily did in favour of Mu`awiyyah, six months after he was given the office by the Companions.

The Ummah has not known Khilafah as specifically a religious office, until certain political-minded people contemporary to us who popularised it as a religious institution. They thought of Khilafah as a panacea for all ills of the Ummah.

You will have to correct the primary perception about it, to understand the issues connected to it.

The duties of Khilafah include upraising of the religion of Islam by the Khalifah, but the office remains a political institution.

Another term has been used: it is Imaamah. This term implies more religious connotation than political. There are other terms in use: Ameer al-Mu’mineen, Sultan, Malik. These terms are synonymous. Here is a surprise for you and many like you: Malik and Khalifah are synonymous. Whatever the titles they choose for themselves, the functions are common – if they care to accept.

The Ummah-scholars have not probably written much on Khilafah, as a religious institution, because of loss of all religious connotations with the passing of time. A recent book (a hundred years ago) is that of Rasheed Rida Masri, dealing with every aspect of it.

The book of general reference by scholars and the educated class is ‘Ahkaam al-Sultaaniyyah’ by Al-Mawardi who died in 450 A.H.

You may, in this connection, revise your ideas in the light of new knowledge, the entire concept, create a new landscape in your mind, and relocate all ideas – or confusion will reign.

Q: Whether it will work or not?

YMD

Whether any political system will work or not will entirely depend upon the population. If they – rulers and the ruled – have different objectives, and the ruled are not ready to be disciplined, then, nothing will work to satisfaction.

Q: Your answer seems to give the message that…

YMD

If you depart from reason and logic, any interpretation is possible.

Q: That any system will work, provided, the people who run are of good quality. 

YMD

True. This is a general rule applicable to all peoples, Muslim, non-Muslim, of all historical times. But an added condition is that the people should also co-operate. For example, Zia failed in his efforts because the bureaucracy, the elitists, and a large number of people were uncooperative, and, in fact, were cutting the effort in their own areas of function.

Q: People deserve the government and the system, they are reeling under…

YMD

It is loosely true. People determine their future. So that, a corrupt people will choose corrupt rulers for themselves. For example: If they believe in free sex, legality of bribes, bank-interest, underhand business dealings, then, they will choose such to rule them who also believe in the permissibility of such corruptions.

As for Khilafah, it would prove as good or as bad as the Ummah happens to be. Placing a lot of hope in it speaks of political imbecility.

Q: Muslims have been told not to seek dominance in this world, but be leaders in piety.

YMD

Very true. Muslim leaders in piety will ultimately dominate in all matters of importance, whether political, economic, social or religious. Allah’s promise is true. He said: “You will remain dominant, if you remain believers.” (3: 139)

Q: Muslims have not been ordered to set up TV centers, open Da’wah centers and print Qur’an!

YMD

True. Muslims have been ordered to live an Islamically ordered life. If they think that they can ignore the teachings of Islam, but rather live out as unbelievers do, and, open TV channels, Da`wahcenters, and distribute free copies of the Qur’an, then, their efforts might not yield the desired results, and questioning in the Hereafter over their own deeds will remain a fearful possibility.

Q: Your answers and your stand is creating more questions than answering any. People of influence, should measure each and every sentence they write and print.

YMD

Our writings could be creating more confusion, because the people are already confused. The concept of Khilafah or Imamah has never been explained correctly to the common people.

Q: It is because of lack of clarity, lack of attention to details, extreme of stands etc. has caused the misinterpretation of many other sensitive terms like e.g., Jihad.

YMD

Jihad is another misunderstood issue. Jihad is to be conducted by the Imam of the Ummah, Khalifah, or others in that position, to raise aloft the flag of Islam and make Allah’s Word enter every home – to be done if necessary, by employing force to remove those elements that block the entry.

Q: I fear the Khilafah terminology having the same fate.

YMD

It has already suffered distortion, and the primary reason is that the political and religious leadership of the Ummah has failed the people. There are other reasons.

Q: Why can’t our scholars clarify the stand, give a pragmatic reply and deal with such issues seriously?

YMD

We cannot answer for them.

Q: The logical new questions which will arise after your response are as follows: If any system is good? Then the question will be, whether interest based economy is also good? Why to condemn the flaws of interest based economy?

YMD

By speaking of the ‘system,’ we were referring to the political system, not economic.

Q: Governance and rule based on racial ideology and outdated biblical interpretation should also be good?

YMD

Are such systems qualified as good?

Q: That means the Jewish occupation of Palestine should not be commented, written and protested about. Your magazine is very much fond of publishing innumerable articles condemning the rule which the ruled upon masses rightly deserve (according to your logic).

Going by the same logic, the rule of Hajjaj bin Yusuf was deserved by our Salaf. It was not good on the part of Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (ra) to struggle against his rule. Similarly Hazrat Hussain bin Ali (ra)’s struggle against Yazid.

Salahuddin Ayyubi’s against crusaders. Ayyubi has wasted his energies in liberating Masjid-e-Aqsa, the occupation of the crusaders was well deserved, according to your logic.

Why Ibn Taymiyah fought against the Mongols? Poor him.

Coming near home. Deobandis of all hues boast of Sayyid Ahmed Shaheed’s struggle against the British and the Sikhs. What was the necessity? And what about the struggle of Shaikh-ul-Hind…?

If Muslims have not been ordered to open Da’wahcenters, TV channels, print Qur’an in millions, my question is, whether Muslims have been ordered to print a magazine like yours and give printed sermons on all and sundry issues?

I suggest you to consult senior Ulama, like those in your advisory board, before giving Fatwas on subtle issues, which may cause confusion, discord, extremism due to misinterpretation, indulging in violence or going into lethargy, paralysis or causing prolonged inertia of the Ummah.

Dr. Farhana Jabeen,
On Email

YMD

Sorry, we fail to find any connection between Khilafah and Hajjaj b. Yusuf, Hussain b. `Ali, Salahuddin Ayyubi, Mongols, Syed Ahmad, Sheikh-ul-Hind, TV Channels … etc.

At this juncture, we recommend that you read Muhammad Asad’s ‘State and Government in Islam,’ which deals with several fundamental issues of governance in Islam. It is a short work that does not shy away from difficult issues but throws light upon solutions.