Professor Umar Ibrahim VadilloDr. Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, Pioneer of the Dinar’s reintroduction and director of E-Dinar Ltd, isknown as the designer of these coins. He is also the author of books, written on Islamic finance and Economics.Among his books are "The Fatwa on Paper Money", "The Return of the Gold Dinar" and "The EsotericDeviation in Islam", published by Medinah Press.
1 - The Judgment on Riba - 32 - Paper Money – Legal Judgment - 83 – The Future Of Islam - 104 - Priorities in the Fiqh and the Muamalat - 155 -The Return of the Guilds - 216 - The Fallacy of the ‘Islamic Bank - 28 BiographyUmar Ibrahim Vadillo was born in 1964. After attending the Augustinian College in Navarrehe went to study agronomy at the University of Madrid. While still at university he embracedIslam. There followed a long period of study applying the commercial parameters defined inIslam’s founding legal document Imam Malik’s Al Muwatta, to modern financial practice.This led to his studies on Zakat, which implied the necessary use of the Islamic Gold Dinarand Silver Dirham. He has lectured extensively in various universities, notably in Morocco,Malaysia and Indonesia.His promotion of an Islamic real wealth currency was adopted by Dr. Erbakan, Turkish PrimeMinister until deposed, as well as the late King Hassan II of Morocco who undertook torestore Zakat to its correct legal position, just before his death. Umar Ibrahim Vadillo’s studyof Dinar-based finance was used as a working paper by Dr. Mahathir, the former PrimeMinister of Malaysia. He is currently engaged in promoting the issue in Indonesia . He residesin Cape Town, South Africa.
The Judgment on RibaIntroductionThis paper on Riba is of primordial importance, a necessary step on the path to Islamic recovery in our time. It is byUmar Ibrahim Vadillo whose great near-thousand page study, The Esoteric Deviation in Islam, marks the historicturning-point which takes us beyond the two false and twin positions of terror and tolerance. Umar Pashas book canbe purchased from:Portobello Books328 Portobello RoadLondon W10 5RUTel./Fax: +44 (0)208 964 3166The Judgment on RibaIt is generally assumed that from the point of view of material wealth, things have never been better than today. That,despite just crossing over the most murderous century in human history which saw the first-time use of weapons ofmass destruction on civilian population, the colossal annihilation of the eco-system and fauna, and the largest numbersof starvation victims known in history. All past and present miseries are forgotten before the general assumption that theaverage person today enjoys a standard of living not equalled in any other time. Yet, it has not been the same for allpeople of the world. While a material improvement has been achieved for a relatively small portion of mankind, thebottom half still lives on an income inferior to the poverty line of 2 USD a day, and collectively inferior to the incomeof the 387 largest individual earners. This disequilibrium in wealth goes hand in hand with an equal in political andmilitary imbalance that has turned one nation in particular into the police ruler of the world.During this period of massive shift of wealth to a small corner of the world, Muslims have lost an immense part of theirpast economic and political status. The political unity represented by the Khalifate that granted Muslims a voice inworld affairs was devastated, and instead a trail of tiny nations emerged under the auspices and new legal frame of theUN. Large parts of our population belong to the bottom half of world earners and our combined GDP does not reach1/10 of the US. Politically divided, and losers in the economic sharing, Muslims only face the prospect of beingunderdogs in the present economic system. Under this regime a continuous erosion of our social and cultural life isinevitable which in turn results in the increased anger and frustration of our youth.This present system of economic disequilibrium is self-preserved by diverting attention away from economic mattersinto political matters. The economic system which causes the imbalance is taken for granted and individual politicaltyrants become the focus of political struggle. Under these circumstances the economic system remains unquestionableand therefore its continuation is granted.At its core this system of disequilibrium which we call capitalism is based on usury. Usury is in itself disequilibrium.Mechanised usury through the banking system has turned a criminal contract into a means of economic domination. Foras long as we remain slaves of riba our Muslim nation will remain enslaved.A society which misunderstands the dynamics of the world will find it difficult to focus in establishing its goals. Theseare swept away in the emotion of the moment. And so, acts which are intended ‘to do good’ are lost by the lack ofdirection. In these circumstances, no amount of effort will prove fruitful.Understanding Riba is essential to understanding capitalism. The Islamic understanding of riba opens the path to restoreour own mu’amalat and thus create the tools that can overcome the present system. Riba is not only negative. It opensthe path to the positive construction of the halal. Only when we remain confused between the halal and the haram canour enemies find it easy to destroy our efforts. In this document we intend to cast some light on this matter of Riba.Allah says in the Qur’an:“Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury”Riba represents the opposite of trading, it is the corruption of trading. There cannot be trading with riba, nor riba withtrading. Yet, riba has become the core of today’s face of kufr: capitalism. For this reason, riba is the most importantpolitical issue facing our Muslim nation today. Riba affects every aspect of our life and it is traceable to two maininstitutions: the Bank and the State. Despite its importance this understanding remains superficial for most Muslims.Most people simply think that riba is merely interest. The reality of riba is a much more complex affair. Thismisunderstanding is not just a miscalculation; it is the product of a mis-education and indoctrination which has resultedfrom two phenomena: one, the destruction of the political power of the Khalifate, and two, the process of the so-called
“Islamic reform” which followed. This misunderstanding opened the gates to the islamisation of the most importantinstitution of capitalism: the bank. What the open market-place is to trading, the bank is to riba. A ‘reformed riba’ wouldallow the new promoters of the Islamic bank to justify their actions. It is for this reason essential to return to a correctunderstanding of this key term in the fiqh, that can allow us to discern what is haram and what is halal. This is crucial toovercome capitalism, and its illusion of power.This brief introduction will try to outline as plainly as possible the issue of Riba in Islamic Law, and to undo themisunderstanding created by the ‘reformers’ and modernist scholars.Riba literally means excess in Arabic. Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi, in his “Ahkamul Qur’an” defines it as: any excessbetween the value of the goods given and their countervalue (the value of the goods received). This excess refers to twomatters:1] an extra benefit arising from unjustified increase in the weight or measure, and2] an extra benefit arising from unjustified delay.These two aspects have led our scholars to define two types of riba. Ibn Rushd said:“The jurists unanimously agreed about riba in bay’ (trade) that it is of two kinds: delayed (nasi’ah) and stipulated excess(tafadul).”That is to say, there are two types of riba:1] Riba al-Fadl (excess of surplus)2] Riba al-Nasiah (excess of delay)Riba al-fadl refers to quantities. Riba al-nasiah refers to time delay.Riba al-fadl is very easy to understand. In a loan, riba al-fadl is the interest that is overcharged. But in general itrepresents when one party demands an additional increase to the counter-value. One party gives something worth 100 inexchange for something worth 110. This is also the forbidden case when two sales transactions are linked by a singlecontract (known as ‘two transactions in one’), in which one party is obliged to sell something at one price and to resell itafter a time to the original seller for a decreased value. As a matter of fact, this is only a subterfuge to disguise the loanwith interest under the pretence of a sale. Nobody needs these subterfuges today because you can get the loan directly inthe bank. But the Islamic banks have resorted to this old trick to deceive their customers under the misinterpreted nameof murabaha.Understanding Riba al-nasiah is more subtle. It is an excess in time (a delay) artificially added to the transaction. It is anunjustified delay. This refers to the possession (‘ayn) and its non-possession (dayn) of the medium of payment (gold,silver and food-stuff -which was used as money). ‘Ayn is tangible merchandise, often referred to as cash. Dayn is apromise of payment or a debt or anything whose delivery or payment is delayed. To exchange (safr) dayn for ‘ayn of thesame genus is Riba al-nasiah. To exchange dayn for dayn is also forbidden. In an exchange it is only allowed toexchange ‘ayn for ‘ayn.This is supported by many hadith on the issue. Imam Malik related:Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said, "Umar ibn al-Khattab said, Adinar for a dinar, and a dirham for a dirham, and a sa for a sa. Something to be collected later is not to be sold forsomething at hand."Yahya related to me from Malik that Abuz-Zinad heard Said al Musayyab say "There is usury only in gold or silver orwhat is weighed and measured of what is eaten and drunk."The hanafi scholar Abu Bakr al-Kasani (d. 587H) wrote:“As for riba al-nasa’ it is the difference (excess) between the termination of delay and the period of delay and thedifference (excess) between the possession (‘ayn) and non-possession in things measured and weighed with differentgenera as well as in things measured and weighed with the uniformity of genera. This is according to al-Shafi’i (mayAllah bless him), it is the difference between the termination of the period and the delay in foodstuff and preciousmetals (with currency-value) specifically.”Riba al-nasiah refers particularly to the use of dayn in the exchange (sarf) of the same genera. But the prohibition isextended to sales in general when the dayn representing money overpasses its private nature and replaces the ‘ayn as amedium of payment.
Imam Malik, may Allah be merciful to him, illustrates this point in his Al-Muwatta:Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that receipts (sukukun) were given to people in the time of Marwanibn al-Hakam for the produce of the market of al-Jar. People bought and sold the receipts among themselves before theytook delivery of the goods. Zayd ibn Thabit, one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless himand grant him peace, went to Marwan ibn Hakam and said, “Marwan! Do you make usury halal?” He said, “I seekrefuge with Allah! What is that?” He said, “These receipts which people buy and sell before they take delivery of thegoods.” Marwan therefore sent guards to follow them and take them from peoples hands and return them to theirowners.Zayd ibn Thabit specifically calls riba those receipts (dayn) which people buy and sell before taking delivery of thegoods. It is allowed to use the gold and silver or food to make the payment, but you cannot USE the promise ofpayment. In it there is an excess that is not allowed. If you have dayn, you have to take possession of the ‘ayn itrepresents and then you can transact. You cannot used the dayn as money.In general the rule is that you should not sell something which is there, for something which is not. This practice iscalled Rama’ and it is Riba. Malik continues:Yahya related to me from Malik from ‘Abdullah ibn Dinar from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said:“Do not sell gold for gold except like for like. Do not increase part of it over another part. Do not sell silver for silverexcept for like, and do not increase part of it over another part. Do not sell some of it which is there for some of it whichis not. If someone asks you to wait for payment until he has been to his house, do not leave him. I fear rama’ for you.Rama is usury.”Rama’ is today the common practice in all our markets. Dayn currency (paper money, receipts) has replaced the use of‘ayn currency (Dinar, Dirham). This practice is what Umar ibn al-Khattab meant when he said I fear rama’ for you.Selling with delay is not restricted to metals, it also includes food. Malik said, The Messenger of Allah, may Allah blesshim and grant him peace, forbade selling food before getting delivery of it.Therefore, what is prohibited in Riba al-nasiah, is the addition of an artificial delay that does not belong to the nature ofthe transaction. What does ‘artificial’ and ‘the nature of the transaction’ mean? It means that every transaction has itsown natural conditions of timing and price.A loan involves delay but not quantity excess. One person gives an amount of money, after a period of time (excess) theperson returns the money without increase. The excess in time is justified and is halal, but adding an increase in thequantity to be repaid is unjustified and is haram. This is Riba al-fadl.An exchange involves no delay and no quantity excess. One person gives an amount of money and without delay theequivalent is given. Delays are not justified in an exchange. If you want to delay the payment, you have to make a loan,you cannot obtain a loan disguised as a ‘delay exchange’. Delayed exchange is Riba al-nasiah.A rental involves delay and excess and it is halal. When you rent a house, you take possession of the house for a time(excess) and you return it plus the payment of a rent (excess). These excesses both in time and quantity are justified andthey are halal.But you can only rent merchandise that can be hired. You can hire a car, a house or a horse. But you cannot hire moneyor food stuff (fungible goods). To pretend to hire money is to corrupt the nature of the transaction and it becomes Riba.Thus every transaction has its conditions relating to its nature. You cannot take the conditions of one type of transactionand try to apply them to the other without corrupting the transaction. To add unjustified conditions or excess to atransaction is Riba.Since dayn is in itself a delay, the use of dayn is restricted to private transactions and it is prohibited as a general meansof payment (money). While dayn per se is halal, it is not halal to use is as money. Dayn is a private contract betweentwo individuals and must remain private. The transfer of dayn from one person to another can be done Islamically, butonly by the elimination of the first dayn and the creation of a new one. The dayn cannot circulate independently of whatit represents. The owner must take possession of the goods and liquidate the dayn. Dayn cannot be used in an exchangeand it cannot be used as a means of payment. It is specifically forbidden to use dayn to pay zakat.The misunderstanding of Riba by Islamic reformersIslamic reformers and modernist scholars have made a deliberate effort to equate riba with riba al-fadl and ignore riba
al-nasiah. Saying ‘riba is interest’ is part of this misunderstanding.Their misunderstanding starts with the early reformers, especially Rashid Reda. Rashid Reda presented a newclassification of Riba. Reda made a distinction in the legal treatment of what he called the ‘riba of the Qur’an’ and the‘riba of the Sunnah’. Reda maintained that the primary form of Riba was the one prohibited by the Qur’an, and thisprohibition is to be maintained at all times. On the other hand, the texts of the Sunnah prohibit a lighter or secondarytype of riba - according to him - which is generally prohibited but may be permitted in case of necessity (darurah).He maintained that the riba prohibited in the Qur’an was the riba known as ‘riba al-jahiliyyah’ (when a person did notpay his due after the stipulated time, the seller would increase the price) which he wrongly equated with riba al-nasiah.And he wrongly said that riba al-nasiah (completely misunderstanding its meaning) was only haram when it involvedcompound interest, and therefore single interest was excluded from the prohibition. He therefore concluded that simpleinterest charged or paid by banks was not prohibited by the provisions of the Qur’an at all, nor by the Sunnah.He also maintained that the remaining prohibition from the Sunnah referred to the specific event of the exchange. Thusfor example if two persons were exchanging gold with each other, the amount of gold must be equal in weight on bothsides and the two quantities must change hands on the spot, at once. He argued that unlike the riba al-jahiliyyah, thistype was not known to the Arabs, since it was difficult to conceive of why two persons would exchange equal quantitiesof the same commodity at once. Riba al-fadl was seen as part of the abandoned practice of barter when people wouldexchange gold for gold (and similar), yet it is not practised any more.The famous hadith of ‘hand to hand’ and ‘equal for equal’, referring to riba, has not been understood by the modernistscholars. They could not understand the relevance of the argument and the form in which it is described. Gold for gold,equal for equal and hand to hand, is a description of the balance of the transactions. One aspect refers to the equivalencein the quantities which refers by default to riba al-fadl; the other to the immediateness of the transaction which refers bydefault to riba al-nasiah. It discards the possibility of exchanging ‘gold which is not present’ (dayn) for ‘gold which ispresent’ - ‘ayn. It is very relevant because this is how Muslims got cheated away from their gold, by exchanging it forfalse promises of gold (the original form of paper money). It follows that in order to make paper money halal, themodernist scholars had to ignore the relevance of this hadith and this formulation.The hadith refers in the positive to the specific event of exchange of dinars and dirhams of different denomination; inthe negative to the impossibility to use promises of payment in the exchange. Both cases are relevant and important tous.In conclusion, Reda’s views were that:A] Riba al-nasiah was only riba al-jahiliyya. And only compound interest was forbidden by it.B] Riba al-fadl was relative to the exchange. It was secondary in nature and it could be accepted in case of necessity(darurah).The followers of Reda basically adopted the same classification but differed with him on the issue of the compoundinterest. They agreed that single interest was also haram, but they agreed that darurah can be applied. And they saw ribaal-fadl as being secondary, related to what they saw as barter.The truth is that both riba al-nasiah and riba al-fadl are prohibited by the Qur’an. In fact the Riba of the Qur’an and theriba of the Sunna are exactly the same. The Sunna simply acts as a living commentary of the Qur’an.The riba known as riba al-jahiliyyah contains both riba al-nasiah and riba al-fadl. In this transaction, the payment isdelayed (nasiah) in exchange for an increase (fadl).But riba al-nasiah involves more than just the riba al-jahiliyyah.Implications of the modernist positionBy ignoring the true nature of riba al-nasiah, modernist scholars have avoided confronting the issue of paper money. Letus look at this issue which the modernists have missed. Paper money can be considered as ‘ayn or as dayn.A] If we accept the fact that paper money is dayn, meaning that it is an obligation to pay a certain amount of ‘ayn, thenpaper money cannot be used in exchange and it is forbidden in two practices:1. Dayn cannot be exchange for dayn. Paper money for paper money is a debt for a debt, which is prohibited. Maliksaid: [The disapproved transaction of] delay for delay is to sell a debt against another man for a debt against anotherman.
2. Dayn based on gold and silver cannot be exchange against gold or silver, because that is against the fundamentalcommand: Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi’ from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri that the Messenger of Allah, mayAllah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Do not sell gold for gold except like for like and do not increase one partover another. Do not sell silver for silver, except like for like and do not increase one part over another part. Do not sellsome of it which is not there for some of it which is.B] If we accept that paper money is ‘ayn, then its value is the weight of the paper, not what is written on it. If the valueof the paper is increased by compulsion, the value is corrupted and the transaction is void according to Islamic Law.Paper money is used by the State as an (illegal) tax and it cannot be presented as an Islamic means of payment.Understanding riba al-nasiah is fundamental to being able to understand our position regarding paper money. Thereason why the modernist ulema took their twisted position on riba was clearly to validate the unthinkable: banking.This justification later turned into Islamic banking. The principle of darurah combined with the elimination of riba al-nasiah has allowed them to justify the use of paper money and in turn to justify fractional reserve banking which is thebasis of the modern banking system.A proper understanding of riba al-nasiah reveals paper money to be a form of riba in itself, because it is intended to beused in a way that is not permitted.
Paper Money: A Legal JudgmentThe first aspect of arriving at a judgment is to understand the subject matter, in this case what paper money is. After thatwe can look at the Quran and the fiqh.Paper money has evolved in nature through history. What we know today as paper money is not what it used to be. Thisevolution has passed through basically three stages:1] A promissory note backed by gold or silver.2] A process of unilateral devaluation leading to a complete revocation of the contractual agreement.3] A piece of paper not backed by any specie, whose legal value is determined by the compulsion of the State Law.Let us examine these three stages one by one.1. Firstly, paper money was issued by banks and it represented a certain amount of gold or silver, known as theСspecieТ. Even though it never was 100% backed by the specie, the issuing bank was obliged to pay the amount ondemand. In this sense it represented a kind of debt.When paper money was a debt, was it acceptable? What issues concerning Islamic Law are relevant?At this stage a certain amount of gold was held by typically a banking institution and it issued a paper certificate givingthe owner the right to withdraw the specie on demand. (We will ignore the fact that this was a banking institution and itwould have been dealing with Riba. We will pretend that they did not deal with interest in order to concentrate on theissue of paper money itself.)A) The first issue that arises is the one of amana (trust): Your gold is in trust with a treasurer. What does Islamic Lawhave to say on this issue? Allah taТala says in the Quran in Surat al Imran (3, 74): Among the People of the Book there are some who, if you trust them with a pile of gold, will return it to you. But there are others among them who, if you trust them with a single dinar, will not return it to you, unless you stay standing over them. That is because they say, УWe are under no obligation where the gentiles are concerned.Ф They tell a lie against Allah and they know it.The hukum (legal judgment or command) of this ayat, according to Qadi Abu Bakr ibn al-Arabi in his СAhkamulQuranТ, is as follows: УIt is forbidden for Muslims to have amana with the kuffar outside Dar al-Islam,Фthat is, Уwithout standing over themФ under the power of a Muslim authority. And the explanation for this is found inthe ayat itself: УThat is because they say Сwe are under no obligation,Т that is to say, because they can/will repudiatethe agreement. Since this has been proven to be historically the case, we may conclude that this is of vital importance.What this means is that it is not acceptable for Muslims to have money deposited with kuffar anywhere since we do nothave a Dar al-Islam in which to exercise Сstanding over themТ. A lighter interpretation would suggest that it would beacceptable to have amana with a kafir if the deposits are under the power of a Muslim authority. We accept the latterversion. But what it categorically denies is the possibility of having amana with the kuffar when the wealth is storedunder kafir authority.We can conclude that when paper currenciesЧdollars, pounds, francs, etc.Чwere a debt, because the specie theyrepresented was stored in trust away from our control, they could not be accepted by us, since we would fear that theywould repudiate the agreementЧas in fact later happened.B) Now, assuming that the amana is under a Muslim authority, the second issue that arises is whether the promissorynote can in itself be treated as money. In other words, whether the note can be used as a medium of exchange accordingto Islamic Law.In this case the law of Сtransfer of debtsТ becomes relevant. According to the School of the Amal of Madinah we find
the following judgment and explanation in the Muwatta of Imam Malik:Malik said, УOne should not buy a debt owned by a man whether present or absent, without the confirmation of the onewho owes the debt, nor should one buy a debt owed by a dead person even if one knows what the deceased man hasleft. That is because to buy it is an uncertain transaction and one does not know whether the transaction will becompleted or not.ФHe also said, УThe explanation of what is disapproved of in buying a debt owed by someone absent or dead is that it isnot known which unknown debtors may have claims on the dead person. If the dead person is liable for another debt,the price which the buyer gives on strength of the debt may become worthless.ФMalik said, УThere is another fault in that as well. He is buying something which is not guaranteed for him, and so ifthe deal is not completed, what he has paid becomes worthless. This is an uncertain transaction and it is not good.ФThe general idea is that in order to transfer a debt the original issuer of the debt (the person who has the obligation)must guarantee the value of the debt to the transferee (the person receiving the note). Thus, the first contract isliquidated and a new private contract is created. Debt is always kept as a private contract between the parties. It does notcirculate without the creation of a new private guarantee (a new contract). The reason is that the person who has issuedthe debt may have more obligations than he can fulfil.How would this injunction have applied when paper money was issued by the banks as a debt? Since every bankЧandthis is the whole idea of credit moneyЧissued more obligations than the amount that they held in specie, it would not beacceptable to use any of its notes for trading. The reason is, that the person would be accepting a debt that is notguaranteed for him, especially when it is known that it cannot be guaranteed for him since the issuer (the bank) hasmore obligations than what it can fulfil. If every depositor in the bank were to demand the value of their notes, as is thecase in a Сrun on the bankТ, the bank would be unable to fulfill its obligations.Conclusion. When money was a debt, in Islamic Law you would not have been allowed to use it. You would not beallowed to use a dollar, or a pound, or any note, whether it came from a kafir bank or a Muslim-owned bank, whetherthe specie was stored in a kafir country or in a Muslim country. Banking notes are not permitted to circulate.But if the note is issued not by a bank, but instead by a person, and that person is present and can privately guaranteethe physical possession of the goods, can in this case the note be transferred, sold or circulate in general? What aspectsof the Law are relevant to the analysis of this case?Again we have to go to the transfer of debts. What is relevant here is: what is the specie that is held as guarantee for theobligation? In other words, what is the specie of the note? If the obligation is in gold (money) then another set ofrestrictions come into place. If it is food then, again, another set of restrictions come into place. This is because gold,silver and food have a particular significance to tradingЧthey are commonly used as a medium of exchange. The case isthe following:In the chapter called Money-Changing of the Muwatta of Imam Malik we read:УYahya related to me from Malik from Ibn Shihab from Malik ibn Aws ibn al-Hadathan an-Nasri that he once asked toexchange 100 dinars. He said, СTalha ibn СUbaydullah called me over and we made a mutual agreement that he wouldmake the exchange with me. He took the gold and turned it about in his hand and then said, УI cannot do it until mytreasurer brings the money to me from al-Ghaba.Ф СUmar ibn al-Khattab was listening and СUmar said, УBy Allah!Do not leave him until you have taken it from him!Ф Then he said, УThe Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him andgrant him peace, said, СGold for silver is usury except hand to hand. Wheat for wheat is usury except hand to hand.Dates for dates is usury except hand to hand. Barley for barley is usury except hand to hand.ТФФThe first restriction is that you cannot use the gold or food in an exchange (sarf) unless the specie is physically presentthere. You cannot use the claim of gold or food stored with a treasurer. The items exchanged have to be present.This matter rules out any possibility of using paper notes representing gold or silver to buy physical gold or silver. Inaddition, the exchange of paper notes with other paper notes is prohibited because it is Debt-for-Debt.This prohibition of using promissory notes in an exchange is further reinforced by the following words:Yahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that al-Qasim ibn Muhammad said, УСUmar ibn al-Khattab said, СAdinar for a dinar, and a dirham for a dirham, and a sa for a sa. Something to be collected later is not to be sold forsomething at hand.ТФYahya related to me from Malik that Abuz-Zinad heard Said al Musayyab say, УThere is usury only in gold or silver orwhat is weighed and measured of what is eaten and drunk.ФAll this clearly indicates that not only gold and silver but also any food that could be used as payment is included in theprohibition, that is to say, the prohibition extends to any form of Сcommon moneyТ. Any note that represents any formof Сcommon moneyТ cannot be used in an exchange. With that restriction in mind, it means that a banking note cannotreally be used as money, but only as a private contractЧwhich is the basis of our argument.
But what about a note held by a Muslim treasurer and guaranteed: can it be used in a transaction other than anexchange? Can it be used, for example, to buy other goods in the market?УYahya related to me from Malik that he had heard that receipts (sukukun) were given to people in the time of Marwanibn al-Hakam for the produce of the market of al-Jar. People bought and sold the receipts among themselves before theytook delivery of the goods. Zayd ibn Thabit and one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless himand grant him peace, went to Marwan ibn Hakam and said, УMarwan! Do you make usury halal?Ф He said, УI seekrefuge with Allah! What is that?Ф He said, УThese receipts which people buy and sell before they take delivery of thegoods.Ф Marwan therefore sent guards to follow them and take them from peopleТs hands and return them to theirowners.ФThis means that you cannot use a promissory note and use it for trading as if it were money. The purpose of thepromissory note is not to be money, but to be a private contract that must remain private and not public.So, what is the use of the promissory note? What is the halal usage of it? It is halal to have a contract or a debt, and it isalso halal to transfer that debt, provided that the person who issued it is accessible and can guarantee the payment of thedebt by signing a new contract (promissory note) with the new recipient. If the guarantor is not a Muslim, then inaddition to what we have said, he also has to have his amana within Muslim territory and under the overall supervisionof an enforcing Muslim authority.2. The second stage refers to the process of those years in which paper money was constantly devalued from its initialobligation (they paid less than they had promised), up until the debt was finally completely revoked (they withdrewtheir obligation). This final elimination of the obligation took place with the dollar in 1973, when Nixon unilaterallyrevoked the obligation of paying one ounce of gold for every 35 dollars.What is the Islamic position regarding a promissory note when one of the parties unilaterally revokes its obligation,whether it is complete or partial? That is to say, what is the Islamic ruling when a debt is unilaterally revoked ordevalued?It is not acceptable. It is a violation of the contract. If this is done with premeditation and no responsibility is accepted,it amounts to pure theft. Theft is punishable in Islam.To use the note to transfer it to other people, falls under all the restrictions that we have expressed before, with an addedelement. You are dealing with the promissory note of a known thief who does not admit his guilt or past obligations.3. Finally we arrive at the money which we have today. There is no promise of payment in specie of any kind. It onlyhas a legal value based on the obligation of the citizens of the country to accept the national currency as a means toredeem debts. This is the СLaw of Legal TenderТ. It gives the State the unique ability to confiscate anyoneТs wealthwithin the nation and to pay for it in compensation with its own legal note.Is this an acceptable means of payment in Islam?Imam Malik said money is Уany merchandise commonly accepted as a medium of exchange.Ф This implies two things:A) Money has to be a merchandise. Therefore it could be paper. But paper only for the value of the paper itself, not forwhat is written on it. Money must be something tangible (Сayn). Money cannot be a liability of any kind.B) Money must be commonly accepted. Therefore it cannot be imposed. No-one can say it is obligatory on you. No-onecan even make the Gold Dinar obligatory on the people. The Gold Dinar and the Silver Dirham become a currency outof free choice, not as the result of decree. Paper money is imposed on people. This obligation is not accepted in Islamfor two further reasons:ЧThe fraudulent nature of the offer: they oblige you to accept something above its value (its real value is zero).ЧThe obligation of the offer: you are obliged to accept it whether you like it or not.This unlawful behaviour is further reinforced by the application of State laws that restrict the use of any othermerchandise as a means of payment, thus enforcing the State monopoly on the currency, particularly in regard to goldand silver. Gold and silver are either taxed, or their use is regulated and sometimes disallowed. In some extreme caseswe have seen gold confiscated by law from the private citizens, as has been the case in the USA.Final conclusionPaper money is not valid money in Islamic Law, whether in its present form or in any of the forms in which it hasexisted in the past. The ShariСah money is the Gold Dinar and the Silver Dirham. Any merchandise commonlyaccepted as a medium of exchange is also accepted as a valid money in Islam.Umar Ibrahim Vadillo
The Future of IslamBismillahi rahmani rahimAssalaamu Сalaykum wa rahmutullahShaykh Abdalqadir has asked me to give some words on the topic of the future of Islam. Of course, Islam is eternal, sotherefore Islam is always the same. Islam was established finally at the death of Rasul, sallallahu Сalayhi wa salam, andthe Deen of Islam will be the same up until the end of time.We change. The Muslims change. How we live our Islam and how we interpret our Islam has changed through historyand has made the history of Islam possible. What is important when we look at ourselves and want to project ourselvesinto the future, is first to understand what is at stake when we speak about Islam. What is this extraordinary thing thatwe share, that is eternal, that it was borrowed, that was taken from Rasul, sallallahu Сalayhi wa salam, up until ourdays? The first thing that we have to understand is that Islam is complete. You cannot take a bit of Islam, neither canyou take it from what it was before its completion, nor from one of its sections. Some people you may have heardsaying that we are living in times of difficulty, and therefore we have to go back to the times of Makka. But the time ofMakka is not the full Deen of Islam. The Deen of Islam is Madinah at the end of the time of Rasul, sallallahu Сalayhiwa salam.Islam is therefore complete, it is all there, it is all ready for us to use it. The command of Allah is also eternal and cannotchangeЧexcept by His own Will, naturally. The command given to us, the ShariТat that we have, is forever. Thepromises that Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, has given us through the Deen of Islam are also eternal, and therefore are aspresent today as they were at the time of Rasul, sallallahu Сalayhi wa salam. The Tawhid of Allah, subhanahu wataСala, is eternal, is today as it was, as it will always be.So the important matter is how we place ourselves before this extraordinary message. Islam does not need change, itdoes not need reforms: we need the reforms. During the greater part of the twentieth century, a group of individualsspoke about the necessity to reform Islam, while their own words were the very proof that they were wrong, because itwas not Islam that needed reform, it was our way of life. Our destiny as Muslims does not depend on what the kuffardo. It does not depend on their strength, their mischievous behaviour, how they appear to control media communication,sometimes wanting to tell us what Islam is, their economyЧnone of this matters to the destiny of the Muslims. We donot depend on them. They do depend on us.The key to understanding this destiny is therefore not in interpreting the events as they come around us or in the timethat we are living in, but it is something much more subtle yet much more profound. The key to interpreting everything,ourselves and everything around us, is the relationship with Allah, subhanahu wa taСala. This is the secret, this is thevery matter on the basis of which we will succeed in our task, or we will fail. Our task with Allah, subhanahu wataСala, is very simple yet extraordinarily overwhelming in its outcome. We are here to worship Him. There is no otherpurpose. Our destiny, our life, the entire purpose of life is to obey Him, to submit to Him, to fear Him. And to fear Himis to have taqwa of Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, this is the coding message, it is the very tool to interpret the nature ofthe complexity of the world around us. And therefore it is through this tool, through this basic tool, that we have achance or we do not, to create a satisfying destiny for ourselves.Shaykh Abdalqadir, just before I left on my journey about two months ago, delivered a number of lectures on this verytopic, on the Tawhid in QurТan. One of the matters, one of the key conclusions of his study was that if you want toknow, if you want to understand life, if you want to understand yourself, you need taqwa. The understanding of theworld, what makes the Mumin different to the kafir is Taqwa. Without taqwa you may have the entire knowledge of theDeen, you can memorize the entire Sahih of Bukhari, but that will not make you a Muslim. You will still needsomething much more primal, much more profound, which is taqwa. Fear of Allah, subhanahu wa taСala. Now Fear ofAllah, subhanahu wa taСala, means also that you do not fear anything else. Rumi said, УYou worship what you fear. Sowatch where you place your fears.ФI have just come from Dubai, and there they will tell you Уthe Americans, the Americans, the AmericansФ, and youhave to tell them, УYes! The Americans are amazing but I do not believe in La hawla wa la quwatta illa UnitedStatesЧit is simply not true.Ф It does not matter how wonderful they appear, how great their voice is of lies, they are notthe power, they are not the source of my life.It is only in saying УLa hawla wa la quwatta illa billahФ that you have a chance of creating some clarity in your life. Inyour life as an individual and collectively as Muslims, the only chance is precisely to understand this, to understandtaqwa. And this is the very element on the basis of which we can understand what I was saying before, which is that wedo not depend on the kafir. Neither do we depend on their state of affairs, because none of this matters. This is other-than-Allah. We depend entirely on how much we become His slaves. And becoming His slaves is of the nature of
eliminating your attributes. This is what we are here for, to share this experience, to taste this matter, to go one stepevery time to be able to understand what it is to eliminate the nafs, as an individual and also as a collectivity.The very matter that will create a successful destiny for the Muslims, is to be able to eliminate who we are, to eliminateourselves from the picture in anything other than being slaves of Allah, subhanahu wa taСala. Especially in these times,because almost everything that identifies you as being other than a Muslim is working against you. Starting from thefact that you are South African, or Palestinian. Look at their misery, and there is no outcome to the Palestinian issue aslong as they insist that they are Palestinians first and foremost, and they take onto the whole cultural element that wasalready written years before their time by the Irish and by the struggle of other nationalistic nations. They created thevery concept of a nation and a flag and a national anthem, and what you still see on Arab television, every night, at theend of the whole session of this stuff they produce for you, is that there is this ceremony of standing before this flag,and this national anthem, that you know very well as Shaykh Abdalqadir has many times pointed out to us.There was a time in London that there were people just making money in making flags and national anthems for thesepeople. Now you find them standing up in a kind of ecstasy before this ridiculous nonsense. But this stands againstthem and against all of us individually and collectively.You talk to them and they have a thesis, they have made a whole history, they have mapped out the world in terms ofwhat makes money. But when you look into it, it is all riba, it is all haram, from the beginning to the end. And thosepeople who have attempted to redeem themselves from a life of disaster, what have they done? They have islamisedcapitalism. So today, out of their own experience, with their PhDs from that third-rate university in America where theybecame economists, they come back to their land and they take a little bit of Bukhari here and there, and they startedislamising banks and insurance, and the stock exchange. Now there is even an Islamic Dow Jones, just in case you donot know. So Microsoft has finally been islamised. You can invest in Bill Gates and it is halal (in their dollars naturally),in this gambling machine called the stock exchange. They have islamised credit cardsЧanything you can possibly thinkof has been islamised: constitutions, parliaments, human rights, everything.Their knowledge works against us. Their expertise that makes this viable in this society works against us. The onlything that helps you is your identity as a MuslimЧthe very identity they want to erase from you. Let me tell you that ifyou want to speak about constitutions, the idea of an islamic constitution is as ridiculous as islamic banking, or islamicwhiskey. Every time you speak about constitutions, remember that this is the very tool invented 200 years ago in theFrench Revolution to eliminate religious identity, it is the very essence of anti-religiousness. It is the very essence ofsaying, УNo, no! Your identity is as a tax-payer. What matters is who do you pay the taxes to? And what matters is whatcurrency you use, and in which environment you are going to be taxed.Ф Religion is secondary to that, secondary to theextent that tolerance, for example, the whole fantasy of tolerance, is the very essence of saying Уreligion does not meananything any more.Ф There are Сhindu muslimsТЧthis, that and the other, and the first idiotic sect that you can possiblyimagine coming up with another theory, and all are seen in the same light or weight as you are. It is all the same.Therefore it is nothing. Which means the only religion that exists is capitalism. This is another issue which is veryimportant to understand.So what is left when you abandon these attributes, these false attributes? What is left is the Deen of Islam. This is forvery few, and yet only a handful is necessary to be the leadership. To open the path. To undo what has been done wrongin 300 years. To restore it in our generation. This is possible. The person who does not understand that this is possible,he has already lost the Deen, or lost part of the Deen. Remember what Rumi said: УThe munafiq is the person whosays, СThat which is halal is not possible.ТФ Indeed it is totally impossible in itself, because as Rumi argues, how canit be that Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, has given us the order and not the means? Of course He has given us the means.It is in fact the easiest to do what is halal. His famous recipe was, УIf you do still not understand, hit your head againstthe wall. And if you still do not understand, then hit harder!Ф Because your head does not work.So Islam is possible. All the means that we require, and which you require as an individual, are available to you, arewithin your reach. This may be a hard thing to see, but you have to force yourself to understand that all the means thatyou need to the success in your life and to lead other people to success in Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, are within yourreach. If you do not see, open your eyes. When you wake up every morning you must force yourself to see it, and youare forced to see it even farther, and you move on and you move on.You will know when you are moving on when you can look in retrospect and say, УO my God! This is where I was andthis is where I am now,Ф in the understanding that you can go farther and farther and farther, that the request of meansgoes at the same speed as you eliminate your self. And therefore what are we saying? All the obstacles that you as anindividual and we as a collective will encounter, from here to the success, to the final success, the ultimate success, tothe full establishment of the Deen in our time, all the obstacles that we will encounter are created by ourselves. Thenature of those obstacles is nothing else but our own false fears. What you will be watching every time you encounterthat obstacle is your self, magnified in Сcine-imaxТ! It is completely in front of you. What is hidden comes before you,it manifests, and you become overwhelmed. For the Mumin, instead of getting stopped in that event, he realizes and hemoves on, because he knows what to do with his obstacle, which is to turn to Allah, subhanahu wa taСala. When youturn to Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, that door which was closed becomes twenty doors opened. And then you realizethat УI am moving forward.Ф This is the very tool, the very essence of the matter which is what we celebrate here in
this gatheringЧthe elimination of everything that is ourselves, everything we call ourselves, that false identity made ofhistoricity and culture, and false images, other than being Muslim. The elimination of all that is what will make ussucceed.What do we expect to see every time we go deeper into ourselves, every time that our relationship with Allah,subhanahu wa taСala, is turned one bit farther, every time we come closer to Allah, subhanahu wa taСalaЧwhat do weexpect to see? Clarity. Clarity. Shaykh Darqawi many times in his letters, explains what it is to become close to Allah,subhanahu wa taСala, in abandoning the nafs, in the countless ways in which he analyses this matter, to the extent ofscience. Those who want to go deeper into this matter, go to Shaykh Darqawi. I do not think it could be made moreclear for the people of today. You can see, he goes and says, УStrip it out! Take it out! Go away! Disappear! Do not putyour self before your obligations!Ф in this extraordinary way. But rather eliminate it. And what he says is, УWhat youwill see is certainty. Certainty. Certainty which becomes like light. Certainty in УLa hawla wa la quwatta illa billahФ.That certainty, which is reality itself, is like starting to see the whole world in a completely different way. Everythingthat was before a prison, is turned around. Everything that before became an obstacle, becomes a solution, a door.Because remember, it does not matter how difficult it becomesЧagain we see ourselvesЧwe should realize that the moredifficult the situation is, and I must agree these are extraordinary events in the history of Islam. We never lived withoutKhalifate. The task may sound big, but the Mumin must realize that with this big task comes big means. In other wordsit is for an extraordinary generation that this gift comes that Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, has given us to bring forwardthe Deen in these times. It is for extraordinary people.УInna maa al-СUsri, YusraФ Чwith the difficulty there is the ease. And in this particular difficulty there is easiness to it.There is a path and there is benefit for the people of this time like there has never been. For the people who had it alldone, there has been benefit, naturally. But what is to come are extraordinary matters for extraordinary people. This ishow we need to see these events. Events that will turned with the ease with which we turn a page in a book. Thedifficulty is not going to be in turning the page, it is going to be in ourselves, in turning ourselves and opening ourhearts in order to see that the book is there, and that all we have to do is turn the page. The difficulty is in turningourselves, not in the things before, what the hand will have to do is much, much less than what the heart has to do. Thatis why Shaykh Darqawi in this very matter says, УThe affairs of the heart make the affairs of the limbs irrelevant. Whatyou turn with your heart, whatever you can do with your heart makes whatever you can do with your hands irrelevant.ФSo therefore, do not be of those who see themselves and say, УWhat do I have? What do I know? Who am I?Ф todetermine what you can do. Because let me tell you, you should not waste your time. You can do nothing. Zero. Yourhands will not lead you to anything, anywhere. But you have one tool that can turn everything aroundЧeverything!Things that you could not turn with your hands, even collectively, all of us put together, you can turn with one thing,with this, your heart.Your heart has the extraordinary quality of making something big, huge and enormous into something tiny. Somethingtiny and unimportant, great and big. Something distant, to bring it close to you. Something close to you that isimprisoning, to throw it back, throw it away. You can do that with the heart, you cannot do it with the limbs. This iswhat we have. This is our tool. It is with this that we can move forward. And see clarity, see what to do. The thing willopen before you like the very essence of everyday-ness unfoldsЧlike you breath, then the things will come and they willopen before you in a way in which there is no doubt. You will know exactly where to go. The things will come withclarity.Doubt is the very means of the mess we find ourselves in. Success is in identifying what are the things worth changing,in recognising the problems before us, the very big monsters that we have self-generated, which seem to stop everythingto do with the Deen of IslamЧin understanding that each one of those enemies that we have created, they are the verytools to our success. We must understand that we can turn things that look like a big problem, just like that, into the bigsolution. That we can turn around every bit of our incapacity in our means to move forward.It is not difficult to imagine that part of this struggle of the Muslims in moving forward has got to do with the economicsystem that we are living in. An economic system is nothing. What is an economic system? Riba! Riba. What is Riba?Riba is nothing, but it has become a religion, it has become the way of living of everybody else. What I said about theconstitution is the very essence of this false deen, that enforces everybody to follow it without any tolerance. Becausetolerance is only applicable to all the other religions, not to capitalism. Capitalism can be ruthless, non-negotiable. Youcannot go and say to your bank manager, УYou know something, this month I am not going to pay you the interestbecause I do not believe in it. I am actually agnostic. This interest, you keep it. I am not going to pay anymore.Ф Theywill not look at the matter with a great degree of tolerance. But they will put you in jail. And if you refuse to go to jail,they will kill you. This is the full extent of their deen. Their commitment is total.This method as a whole is capitalism. So it is not strange if we say that a great part of the things to be moved in ourfuture will be how Islam appears to be the end of capitalism, and that we will be fighting capitalism, not christianity.Christianity is finished. There is nothing left. There is a trickle of romance and a little bit of emotion left. They do nothave ShariТat, they do not have anything. All you have to see is one of these programmes of the evangelists, and in fiveminutes you see what the whole thing is about. It has become just emotions. Hands up, and doing this horrible stuff theydo. It is the same for the jews. The great majority, as Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, tells us in the QurТan, are atheists.
And we do not need to speak about the hindus or the buddhists, or whatever this new lot is that appear, because they areabsolutely nothing.We will have to do it. We will have to change. And this will happen, because Allah, subhanahu wa taСala, in QurТanalready speaks about this matter of Riba, with great clarity and with great power. He first of all informs us: УWa ahallallahu-l-bayСa wa harama ribaТФЧ УAllah has permitted trade and forbidden riba.Ф And here he tells us what to do.There is the halal and the haram. Therefore the task of the Muslims is to establish what is halal.He also informs us that Allah and His Messenger have declared war on riba and the people who practice riba, whichmeans that even if we do nothing, still riba will not survive, riba will collapse. This is the very nature of the thing we arefighting. It is a fantasy whose only destiny is to collapse. Therefore, you do not want to build your house on such anillusory fantasy, you want to move out of it. This will be done by those people who capable of leaving this matter forwhat will be the successful affair, and they will the people who will lead the way for others.In the events to come in our lifetime, we will see the most important crisis capitalism has ever had, the biggest one. Itwill make the events of the previous century, in 1929, look like a little hiccup. Those events which brought about a totaltransformation of the world and the political realities of the current world, which brought about fascism and Hitler inGermany, which completely changed the political picture of people, will be repeated again but on a much larger scale.The crisis that will come will be associated with the dollar and the financial systems, the fantasy systems of the UnitedStatesЧironically, according to some, now islamised: the stock exchange and all these fantastic gambling machines. Allthese things will be wiped out. It will be in those events and the years to come that Islam will be the force, but stronger.Because fascism was not an answer to all these disasters, and it was still part of kufr.Islam will be the voice that will come out of this event. And we are the people preparing the path, preparing ourselvesfor these events to come, building the lifeboat that you will desperately need in those events, because all this cosmeticeconomy that we are living in today will be wiped out. The more dependent you are on the technical machine, the moreyou will suffer. So those closer to the centre of gravity in Europe and in America will suffer more than people in, forexample, Albania. It is more probable to say that when this event happens, the people in Tirana will tell you, УA crisisin which stock exchange, did you say? New York?Ф But this will not be an affordable commentary for those peopleliving in London, for instance. Or those who have made their living out of this cosmetic economy. A handful will beprepared. A handful of people will be ahead of their time and they will be building up the tools that will drive usthrough.At that time you will need community. Today it is easy for people to say, УNo, No. I do not need to belong to any sect.Or any group. Because I am just fine on my own.Ф Which is absolute nonsense if you are a Muslim. If you are aMuslim you need an Amir, you need Amr, to belong to a community. There is no personal morality like the christianshave, we have a social reality. As individuals we can do nothing. These events will tear us apart, and throw us left, rightand centre, like everyone else. But as a collectivity, we will be able to answer. To be able to come together will be notjust a matter of choice, it will be a necessity. And I welcome this necessity, because although it is actually as necessarytoday as it will be then, it will force the Muslims to wake upЧsome of those who are just hanging in the periphery,playing the game of УI am a Muslim on my own,Ф and making their own rules of how they determine their owndestinies and that type of personal morality which you find today among people.To have a community will be necessary. Murabitun is one of the few that is looking at this matter, people that arecoming together. One of the few who have forged Amr in this time. We have also forged in this time an understandingof ourselves and our community, and the celebration of this science of tasawwuf, bringing it forward from the past andmaking a path through these dark ages into a new day on which we can celebrate once more the Khalifate, and we cansee again one nationЧnot 27Чwith one flag, and one Shahada. One nation gathered for the sake of Allah, subhanahu wataСala, for the fulfilment of His ShariТat. A nation that will reform the world, because it does not need to reform theShariТat. The ShariТat will be the very tool, the very essence of our existence. And the abandonment of our affairs willhave been fulfilled, in as much as we have eliminated all the traces of this false culture that we carry forward,collectively and as individuals. We will have created the one identity that will make us human beings, which is beingslaves of Allah, to submit to Him, which is to be a Muslim.Assalaamu Сalaykum wa rahmutallah.
Conference Papers - Priorities in the Fiqh and the MuamalatFrom the 8th International Fiqh Conference held in Pretoria,South Africa on the 18-20 October 2003All Praise is due to Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, the Lord of all the worlds, the King of the Dayof Judgment, Who has gathered all knowledge in His Essence and Who is the Creator of all knowledge for eternity. Allpeace and blessings be upon His beloved Prophet, Muhammad, who was not taught by man but by Him. He was the lastand most honoured Prophet, the last in the chain of prophethood that was brought to this world and who has guided usto the right path. May abundant peace and blessings be upon his Family and his Companions, who were chosen amongthe good and benevolent.Allah says in Surat al-Fath: It is He who sent His Messenger with the Guidance and the Deen of Truth to exalt it over every other deen and Allah suffices as a witness. Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are fierce to the kafirun, merciful to one another. (Qur’an, 48: 28-29)Allah has chosen for us Islam as our Deen. Allah has filled this Deen with immense rewards and secrets for theMuslims, while He has cursed the kafirun. The Muslim is the one that submits to Allah, and this includes obeying HisCommands. The kafir has negated submission to Allah, and for that reason lives a life of ignorance. Kufr is a lowerform of existence, and for this reason there is no way in which kufr can stand supreme over Islam: this is animpossibility. On the contrary, Islam in all circumstances reigns above kufr and determines its nature, possibility andexistence.Throughout history the Muslims have enjoyed times of great splendour followed by times of decadence, yet our Deenhas never been compromised, and the promises of Allah have remained intact. Only the Muslims, in their test of life, arethe ones questioned. This is the difference between Uhud and Badr. Our test consists of trusting and obeying Allah andthe result is our failure or success. But Islam always remains above the test. Islam is not in question, we are in question.Our failure as Muslims is not a failure of Islam, but our own failure: we are the source of our own tribulations. For thekafir, on the other hand, success is impossible. It does not matter what the circumstances are. His only chance of beingsuccessful is to enter Islam. Given these premises, the measure of our success is our trusting and obeying Allah,independent of what the kafirun might or might not do. The kafirun, on the other hand, no matter what they do, dependon the behaviour of the Muslims to find their place in the world. Our behaviour as Muslims is not dictated by reactionto the kafirun, but only by our obligations to Allah. We follow and fear Allah, but not the kafirun. The kafirun are thereas a mercy to us, so that we can come nearer to Him. Our task is therefore simple: trust and obey Allah and be mercifulto the muminun. And then the result is inevitable: victory over kufr.Victory as an aimOur Deen is so immense that if you look in it for victory you will find victory. If you look for victory, the Shari‘ah willreveal to you the path to victory. The key issue, therefore, is how we approach the Shari‘ah. The question is on us, onour approach. This means that if we want the full establishment of the Deen of Islam, with the restoration of a Dar al-Islam and the Khalifate, the possibility of success is there before us and attainable, independent of the circumstances.Here Rumi, rahimahullah, spoke with great clarity when he said: “What is halal is possible. The hypocrite is the one thatsays ‘that which is halal is not possible’. But how could it be impossible? Allah has given us an obligation, how couldHe have not given us the means? If you do not understand that ‘what is halal is possible’ then you should hit your headagainst the wall. And if you still do not understand then hit harder.” The hypocrite cannot guide us. Allah says in Suratan-Nisa’: The munafiqun are in the lowest level of the Fire. You will not find any one to help them.
(Qur’an, 4: 144)When we look at the fiqh as the great body of jurisprudence by the greatest jurists of Islam, we may at first beoverwhelmed by the immensity and detail of the affair. Everything is there. Also, the fiqh has remained essentially thesame for hundreds of years, during which great periods have been followed by lower periods. It is how the Muslimshave approached the fiqh that has changed.At the beginning of the last century, during the last days of the Osmanli Khalifate, some reformers from Egypt andSyria started to question the fiqh and consider it to be outdated. They embarked on a programme of reform in order tocreate a new fiqh based on a new pragmatic methodology, using — as the protestants also say — direct access to thesources: the Qur’an and the texts of hadith. But the fiqh was not outdated, they were outdated. These reformers, inquestioning the fiqh, started to change the approach to the fiqh. Instead of victory they were looking for a way toaccommodate the Muslims to the world of the kuffar. In doing so, the reformers became an instrument of the kuffar.These reformers failed to understand the fiqh. They were not looking at the fiqh with the right eyes. Yet we live in aworld still dominated by the work initiated by these reformers. The fiqh, in its vastness, requires a direction, an aim,otherwise the most insignificant point may carry the same weight as the most fundamental and essential issues — oreven more weight. This aim which orientates our approach to the fiqh can only be the present, full establishment of allthe aspects of the Shari‘ah, including those political and economic matters that are now presented as non-religiousmatters. That is in itself our definition of victory. The aim is victory and aim requires leadership.Leadership is not a title, but vision: to be able to see. That is the unique ability for understanding and implementingvictory. If one does not have a road-map to victory one cannot lead; that is why it is impossible to fake leadership. Theleader comes with a visible sign: victory itself. The unification of the Muslims will come from victory, its carrier will beour leader. It is important to know that all the attempts to create leadership among the Muslims during the twentiethcentury have failed since they were founded on a false basic premise: that leadership can be elected or brought out ofconsensus. The idea is that unity will originate from a kind of parliamentarian mechanism where all the ideas arerepresented and a consensus between all the different positions will be commonly reached. But that which is commonamong all the most disparate ideas is by definition baseless and therefore irrelevant. That baseless commonality is thenplaced on top of everybody as a tool of control that paralyses any real initiative. This consensus approach is thereforeessentially anti-leader, lacking the uniqueness and direction that leadership provides. Therefore consensus is the meansof defeat.This parliamentarian philosophy so alien to us has been sold to us under the Arabic name of ‘shura’ and has become thepresent means of interacting among Muslim groups and nations. It has produced organisations such as the Organisationof Islamic Conference and the Islamic Development Bank, which guarantee the preservation of the present status quo.PuritanismAnother aspect of the religious reform is its personal morality: puritanism. This morality places the isolated individualdeprived of leadership at the centre of the decision-making or moral judgement. This way of thinking implies afundamental shift in the approach to the fiqh. When the individual has to decide in isolation, automatically it puts allsocial issues out of reach. For example, the issue of the restoration of the Dinar and the Dirham, seen from theperspective of the individual, is a non-issue since it requires a whole community for it to be applied. Thus personalmorality means that most social issues are abandoned, especially those that carry the highest political or economicweight (equal to their importance). Only the individual belonging to the jama’a can act in these matters and for that,once more the figure of the leader, the Amir becomes necessary. To illustrate this point a bit further I will relate to you arecent case I experienced in South Africa. A well known car dealer approached me with great concern. He had realisedthat the sale of his cars involving finance through the banks was riba’. He was distressed by it and had approached mostof the leading ‘ulema in the country. He had received three answers but none of them could satisfy his concern. Onegroup said: “Everything is alright. This is the way of the country and we cannot change it.” But he thought that thatsolution cannot be right, something must be done. Another group had said: “Abandon your car sales and open a shopwhere you do not have to sell with finance.” Hearing this he thought that the answer could not be to become anotherIndian shopkeeper, many of whom are in any case closing down due to the fierce competition of the big supermarkets.And the third group said: “Refer your clients to an Islamic bank for the finance of the cars, instead of an ordinary bank.”He was not happy with that either because he had already discovered that the interest charged by the Islamic bank is infact similar to or higher than the ordinary banks. So he then asked me, “What is your opinion?” I put it to him simply:“Do you have an Amir? If you do not have an Amir and a community under him, you are not equipped to deal with thismatter. I cannot advise you on your own, but I can advise you with your Amir. And by the way, what you do with yourcar business, which is part of capitalism, is irrelevant to what needs to be done in the restoration of the halal. The firststep will have nothing to do with your garage. The first step will have to be the minting of the Dinar and the Dirham.”I was amazed that none of the other ‘ulema had understood that the question cannot be solved within the boundaries ofpersonal morality, but that the matter which not only affects him but all of us — including all the ‘ulema who answered
the question — needs ‘Amr.When it comes to the use of the fiqh, this alien personal morality imposes a particular view that forces a reducedinterpretation within the parameters of a code of personal practice which implies that key issues are simply not seen.The Dinar and the Dirham, for example, are not seen by them, no matter how many times they appear in the fiqh. Thefiqh must be approached from the frame of the community led by an Amir; only then are all the matters given theunderstanding in which they were formulated in the first place. Without ‘Amr there is no understanding of the fiqh.Puritanism must be rejected. Secondly, the reading of the fiqh must entail a sense of purpose: an aim that only the Amircan provide. In conclusion, Islam requires ‘Amr/leadership, and without it our approach to the fiqh will be necessarilydeficient.The Role of the LeaderFirst, the leader is obligatory. There is no alternative to it. Then the leader must be allowed to lead his community. Theleader may have his own Council but he is not dictated by it. The Amir dictates his Council and everyone else.Ultimately the ummah also needs a leader. That leader cannot be faked with a mere title or a throne, for he will be ableto show his genuineness by a single and irrefutable act: the achievement of victory. This necessary quality cannot behidden. His sign will be clearly manifested. Unity of all the Muslims will necessarily follow. He will be the only path tounity. This outward manifestation of his leadership is the reflection of an inner state that allows him to see what otherscannot. His unique ability will be to make easy what others find difficult and to be able to find the weakness of theenemy when others only see overwhelming strength.Our leader will carry a different mentality to what is common today. He will not be of those who suffer from what theFrench call ressentiment (resentment), those are the people who justify their goodness by the badness of theiroppressors, a mentality that has become an essential part of the iconography of the reformist Islam of the twentiethcentury. Think of all those magazines with pictures of people bleeding, killed or about to be killed, where the Muslimsare always placed in the role of the victim. The leader will be able to bring a new mentality which is not reactionary butself-confident and self-dynamic, best represented by that famous expression of Nietzsche, “the laughing lion”. Theleader does not try to please mankind or the world, but to please Allah, and thus he will not be a populist, but a man ofcontemplation with an ‘ibada pure and complete above the rest. Allah says in Surat al-An’am: If you obeyed most of those on earth, they would misguide you from Allah’s Way. They follow nothing but conjecture. They are only guessing. (Qur’an, 6: 117)Dunya will be at his service, not the other way round. Dunya must serve him because he is not part of it. He will bemore likely seen in the wildness of the hadra in a night of sama’a than in the conference rooms of the OIC, because thedhikr is where he finds the comfort of the abandonment of himself, once more to return more ready to lead the Muslims.The leader will discover the fiqh by his own ability to lead, because he will be able to reveal the missing means thateveryone was looking for. This reading of his will allow us to reveal insights not only about ourselves but also about theenemy in a way that up until now has escaped us. He will show us an easiness that we have not encountered before.That easiness will be the very path that will lead us to victory.Forging the LeaderWe are not waiting on the leader, like we are not waiting on the Mahdi or the Messiah. Our task is to create theenvironment in which this leader will emerge. After all, we have the leader — or the lack of it — that we deserve. Wemust deserve a good leader. We should stop worshipping those political and economic institutions that have made theirway through the reform of the twentieth century. We should abandon the illusion that they will bring unity; they are thevery instruments of failure. We should encourage leadership among ourselves by accepting the authority of those amongus with the ability to rally the community and establish the fard of Islam on the basis of Allah’s command, particularlywhen it relates to the zakat and the salat. The Jumu‘a must be the voice of the leader, not the preaching of morality bynewly created priests. The leader must run the mosque and all mosque committees must be abolished.Then we must go one step further. We must redraw the map of our world. We must force ourselves to see that Allah hasgiven us all the means to succeed. And anyone who does not, must be politely invited to hit their heads against the wall.It is not a rational battle before us, but a more primary battle in which the meanings of every rationale are in question.Pragmatism at hand must be erased as a formula for decision-making, and must be substituted by a higher vision ofstrategy that has an aim that reaches beyond us. In this battle of the meanings the tools of tasawwuf are absolutelynecessary. The elimination of the nafs in the hadra must translate as the elimination of our worldly concerns when weface the world: a worldless world in which the presence of Allah is our guidance. The people with this quality will notfear the world, which does not matter to them, they will fear Allah, and it will be among them that the leader will arise.
They will be the ones who will be able to turn the rules of the game in their favour and recognise what others have beenblind to: that the entire creation, the good and the bad, is in our favour. Yes, the entire world is in our favour. Not onlythe fervent ‘ibada of the Muslims, but also capitalism. Capitalism can be seen as a problem, but for the leader it will beseen as a blessing. How? Because capitalism is false. When you see your opponent playing a bad strategy in chess, youwill not oppose his moves, but rather encourage them. You, on the other hand, will not follow his strategy, but defineyour own. That is why it is as foolish to oppose capitalism as it is to defend it. We must play our own game. When theysay that paper is valuable, and gold is worthless, we should say to them, “Yes. Wonderful, all the paper is for you, butwe, primitive and ancient people, we will keep the gold.” It has never been easier in the history of the Muslims to takethe wealth from the kuffar, because they believe in fantasies. They believe their own lies.Capitalism as an OpportunityIt is fundamental to understand capitalism because it has become the dominant religion in kufr. It does not matter whatreligion you follow, capitalism is the muamalat of all us: the same banking system, the same money system, the samecredit cards, interest, mortgages and protocols. What this means is that what we understand traditionally by religion hasbecome a form of personal choice and morality that has nothing to do with the social and economic process (theseprocesses belong totally to capitalism). Furthermore, the attempt to bring religion into politics or economics is seen as asign of intolerance (tolerance here playing the role of a new capitalist moral.) Thus, you are allowed to question God,but you are not allowed to question VAT, interest or taxation. Imagine the situation: you walk into your bank and whenthe banker asks you for the payment of the interest on your mortgage, you say to him: “I am sorry but I am not going topay you, I have become an agnostic of interest.” No, they do not tolerate your argument, because their system is anorthodoxy and cannot be questioned. Religion, on the other hand, can be questioned because it is a matter of personalchoice according to them. This is when you realise that capitalism has become the muamalat of today; the saying of“Ad-Deen al-muamalat” means that capitalism is the religion of today.The Dollar CrisisAnd yet, capitalism is false. Capitalism is facing what will undoubtedly amount to the biggest crisis in its history. Thiscrisis, already named as ‘the dollar crisis’, will be of critical importance to the reshaping of the world around the plan ofa world state (this plan is already set in place).This crisis will be so important that we are obliged to understand it. The cause will be riba’ itself. Its being haram willmanifest once more in the form of a crisis the nature of which we know from previous cases, except this one will be thebiggest one. Essentially, this crisis is based on the existence of far too many dollars. In derivatives alone (a prolific typeof financial instrument), there is a bubble of 160 trillion US dollars, which represents 40 times more than world trade (4trillion US dollars in value), that is, 40 times more than everything tangible that the people of the world trade with eachother over a year. The problem is that this dollar bubble multiplies by two every two and a half years. So it will continuean unsustainable progression reaching 40, 80, 160 times the volume of world trade, up until naturally, mathematically, itwill have to explode. The second problem is that this bubble cannot be stopped from growing. Therefore the crisis isinevitable. The timing is unknown. We only know that every day that passes will make the crisis worse.What can we do before this important event? The logical conclusion is to take a position before the crisis comes usingthe only asset that withholds its value in crisis: gold. Getting hold of the commodity, that is of the mineral production, atthis stage will give us a tremendous tool in the after-crisis period. This position will involve acquiring gold in exchangefor the present paper money, or even better, exchanging a borrowed dollar for future gold. What is future gold? Goldmines, or buying at the present low prices the future production of the mine for 20 or 25 years. This position will benefitus in two ways at the time of the crisis: one, from the sliding value of the dollar, and two, from the rising price of gold.A strong position in gold mining will not only allow us to survive the crisis, but will give us a solid position to mint thenew gold and silver currency: whatever the price of gold might be, we will have our own supply.The second element in this crisis strategy is obviously ‘to make gold function as money’. This objective entails: first theminting of the currency and the establishment of payment systems based on the metals, such as for example, the presente-dinar payment system; secondly, the setting up of the architecture of a gold economy, which implies what we call the‘infrastructure of Islamic Trading’. The key to this infrastructure is the setting up of a network of Islamic/Open Marketsthat will enable us to create new wealth based on trading. We must remember the hadith of Rasulullah, sallallahu alayhiwa sallam:“Nine-tenths of risq (provision) comes from trading.”We cannot afford to live without trading, as we are today. What the World Trade Organisation calls trading is not tradingbut monopolistic distribution. Trading can only exist with Islamic/Open Markets. This affair has been elaborated indetail, and most of it can be obtained in written form through the Murabitun media. The network of Open Markets will
allow us to recreate caravans, guilds and our halal forms of finance (qirad). The result is the formulation of a realalternative to capitalism, based on the ayat: Allah has permitted trade and He has forbidden usury. (Qur’an, 2: 274)Trading is the alternative to capitalism. The steps to create the trading infrastructure have already started andprogrammes under my directive have been put in place with regard to the currency and the establishment of theinfrastructure. This initiative of ours is the only one I am aware of in which Muslims are planning to deal with the crisis.Our strategy aims at the revival of the muamalat of the Muslims which has been ignored and buried under capitalistpractices for the last 100 years. The restoration of the muamalat of the Muslims will be in itself the opening of newdoors and horizons toward the ultimate aim: the restoration of the Khalifate. This Murabitun initiative represents theend of the reformism of the last one hundred years, and the birth of a new force towards the return of the Islam ofMadinah, based on the Madinan model and the Madinan values. This is what we refer to when we speak about the‘Amal of the Ahl al-Madinah, one of the key elements of the Murabitun agenda.The problem that we face today is not a problem of the fiqh, but a problem of the reformist values that have forced us tocompulsively imitate the kuffar. These reformist values are behind this trend in which, if the kuffar have banks, thesemodernist reformers tell us that the fiqh actually allows Islamic banks; if the kuffar have stock exchanges, thesemisguided reformers busy themselves trying to formulate with their fiqh a new Islamic stock exchange. And the samegoes for Islamic constitutions, Islamic credit cards, Islamic parliaments, Islamic human rights, and so on and so forth.All these people and ideas are part of the past. To those who make the haram halal, we warn them by reminding themwhat Allah says in Surat al-Nahl: Do not say about what your lying tongues describe: ‘This is halal and this is haram,’ inventing lies against Allah. Those who invent lies against Allah are not successful — a brief enjoyment, then they will have a painful punishment. (Qur’an, 16: 116)These people have mislead the Muslims for over a hundred years since Muhammad Abduh. Their time is over. Now isthe time to forge the leader who will read the fiqh with the eyes of victory and who will unveil for us what is clear, yethidden to many: the real Islamic model, not based on a copy of the kuffar but on its own intrinsic order. Dinar, Dirham,Suqs, Caravans, Qirad, Waqf, Guilds, ‘Amr, Khalifate. These are the new/old instruments of conquest with which wewill create the space for the leader to emerge. These are the elements which constitute our muamalat. This spirit ofconstruction and growth based on our muamalat will do away with all the false leaders who have been the curse of thetwentieth century and who still linger on in our present day. These are the false leaders who have been telling us to waitfor the Saviour, the Mahdi or whatever they want to call it. These people have been telling us that the time has not yetcome, that we are not ready, that our Iman is weak, when in fact it was their Iman that was weak. They have forgottenthat Allah says in Surat al-Nisa’: Do not say, ‘You are not a mumin’, to someone who greets you as a Muslim, simply out of desire for the goods of this world. (Qur’an, 4: 93)Our muamalat will also do away with those blind leaders who, because of their incapacity to see victory, have launchedthe Muslims into helpless and irrelevant battles pre-designed to fail. These are the people who from the comfort of theirhome have sent their followers in their thousands to a suicidal death, yet they disguise the failure in their suicidal tacticsas a success of martyrdom, intended to lure the next lot.Another group are those false leaders who are blind and cannot see the victory. They apparently invoke secret powers.These people give to themselves special powers from the Unseen and say: go and fight and the angels will help you, andif you question them about their strategy then they reply, “Do you not believe in angels?” We should say to them, “Ifyou have an army of angels why do you need us? Go and fight your battle yourself.” They should seek wisdom, butinstead they shortcut it by bluffing their trusting followers with false pretences. Allah says in Surat al-An’am: Say: ‘I do not say to you that I possess the treasuries of Allah, nor do I know the Unseen, nor do I say to you that I am an angel. I only follow what has been revealed to me.’ Say: ‘Are the blind the same as those who can see?
So will you not reflect?’ (Qur’an, 6: 51)Finally, a last word. The key to our success will not come from looking at the world. It does not matter what greatenterprise Allah puts before us, our centre must remain in our ‘ibada. Our ‘ibada is our strength and our guidance. Therewe can withdraw endlessly and deeper and deeper for the meanings that we require. Our ‘ibada is essential to us, and itis everything to the leader. Allah says in Surat al-Fath: Truly We have granted you a clear victory, so that Allah may forgive you your earlier errors and any later ones and complete His blessing upon you, and guide you on a Straight Path. and so that Allah may help you with a mighty help. (Qur’an, 48: 1-3)
The Return of the GuildsThe guild is the natural professional organization of free societies. For hundreds of yearscivilized societies organized their trade through guilds. Throughout history the guild systemrepresented the natural impulse of society to govern itself against the cyclical eruptions ofcentral power. However, the guilds themselves suffer from their own illnesses whichcombine to give them an inner dynamic of prosperity and decline. They reached maximumperfection and prosperity in Islamic societies, where they were harmonized and disciplinedby the framework of the shariah. The resolute transformation of central states into banksduring the 18th and 19th centuries gave birth to the modern fiscal state and produced theextraordinary rise of capitalism. They could not allow the existence of the guilds as a force(of the people) competing with their own ambitions for absolute power.Today that idea of the modern state is in deep crisis. Disguised under the hollow term"privatization", the now "old" model of state is being systematically and rapidly dismantled."Everything is for sale" resounds like the long anticipated defeat of this form oforganization. This phenomenon of self-abdication could lead towards a harmonizing ofsociety through the devolution of powers, or else these powers could be reabsorbed by aneven mightier world state. What is very clear is that in this historical threshold the re-establishment of the guilds and their success will play a fundamental role in shaping thenew society. Leading corporations calling for efficiency are rediscovering the superioritywhich autonomous workteams have over employees. Political trends have made newlyfashionable the idea of the "privatization" of welfare responsibilities, and have transferredthem back to society. Intellectuals are now rediscovering the guilds as an alternative to boththe old welfare state and the old corporate structure. However, as in the past, Islam will bethe guilds most powerful supporter.The guilds did not survive the fatal pressure put on them in the 19th century. Their spirit,however, never disappeared completely. The modern university system has its origins in theguilds. The professional colleges are also reminiscent of the guilds. In Germany, the guildsmaintained their predominance and expansion well into the middle of the 19th century. Inthe rest of Europe, however, the evolving centralist state system had already diminishedtheir influence. The death of the guilds in Europe and the Muslim world is oftenmisrepresented as "death by natural causes". A more appropriate analogy would be "deathby assassination". The totalitarian ambitions of statism combined with the capitalist abuseof society through the effects of banking emerged as the natural and most ferocious enemyof the guilds. Their disappearance was the condition sine qua non for the further expansionof the fiscal state and the capitalist system.Another way in which the importance of guilds has reached our time is througharchitecture, of which Brussels is a beautiful example. The importance of the guilds inBelgium is most evident in the Grand Place in Brussels, where the scale of the guild housesbelonging to the boatmen, archers, tallow merchants and hosiery makers leaves little doubtas to their wealth. From the thirteen century onwards the guilds were far more than justorganizations of tradesmen. It is still remembered in Belgium how the guild militias playeda decisive role in the Battle of Golden Supur in 1302. Their guilds also created almshouses
and other charity institutions, created their own courts of justice, levied fines on themembers who breached their statutes, and regulated the quality of products in the marketand conditions of work. Their heritage is fundamental for understanding the development ofindustry in Europe.The importance of the guilds as an instrument of social transformation has been a constantfactor in European political literature right up to the Second World War. The politicalsupporters of the guilds saw the French Revolution as a phenomenon that was designed toact against the guilds. It was seen as the key drive behind their abolition. The results of theFrench Revolution made possible the abolishment of those laws that forbade usury therebyencouraging monopoly; the introduction of a national and artificial inflationary currency;and the systematic expropriation of all guild properties and their welfare institutions. Onthis was based both the model and the method for the emergence of the new capitalist ormodern fiscal state. The Scotsman Thomas Carlyle, the Frenchman J.P. Proudhon and theRussian M. Bakunin are some of the famous political writers who wrote to some extentagainst the concept of the modern state, insisting on "government without state". They sawthat the alternative to central authority was the devolution of sovereignty to the workplace.The Russian Kropotkin made a most profound analysis of the medieval guilds as the idealmodel for a society without a working class. In the beginning of this century, a movementemerged called guild socialism, intellectually inspired by Carlyle, Ruskin and Morris, theaim of which was to transfer the powers of capital and government to self-governingassociations of workers through the tactics of direct actions.The end of this Christian millennium is marked by numerous indications which anticipatethe resurgence of the guilds. The two principal ones are the downfall of the Americancapitalist cycle, and the shrinking budgetary and welfare activity of the state. The fourcapitalist cycles (Genoa, Holland, Great Britain and now the United States) expandedthrough free trade but they ended in the grip of monopoly and were suffocated by usury. InAmerica, as well as in its European satellite, the sign of social and economic decline hasalready manifested itself- "they make more money out of money (usury) than out oflegitimate productive activities". The debtor state on the other hand is crippled by its fiscalresponsibility, alienating the people through heavy taxation and the inability to meet thewelfare needs of its constituency.The end of the American cycle is bringing about a mutation in social values. In thebeginning of this century, to be a salaried worker was considered as "alienation or slavery".Now, chronic unemployment has presented another feature which is that "a person may notbe worth exploiting". Therefore, "to be worth exploiting" is considered a personal triumph,i.e. to be considered a wage-slave is considered a triumph. In this climate of absoluteresignation in the face of rising unemployment, and at a time when entire nations are beingauctioned off to the highest bidder it becomes apparent why the re-emergence of the guildsresonates as a powerful and necessary alternative. This will become possible when, firstly,the worker recognizes that nobody is capable of saving him from his state of servitude otherthan himself (in this respect politicians have lost all competency). Secondly, when he findsno resources available to him other than his own companions or co-workers who are facedwith the same reality. It is under these extreme conditions that the essential character of theguild becomes apparent. The need for co-operation and mutual group-centred reliance in ahostile environment will eventually lead to a strengthening of enterprise and brotherhood.THE GUILDS IN ISLAM