Miscellaneous Financial and Business Issues

Question:

In Canada, the retailers like theBrick, Leons, Futureshop etc sometimes offer zero percent financing. They charge an admin fees on that. (Offers are like do not pay for 12 months, no interest, Admin: $80) or (24 equal payments, no interest, Admin $100) etc. Is that allowed?

Answer:

If a commodity is sold on credit and the deal stipulates 24 equal payments with no fluctuations in future, and the administration fee is also included in the instalments, then the transaction is permissible. The administration fee in this case will be part of the purchase price.

Question:

Is it haraam to operate a savings account in the bank? (this account doesnt attract interest. and I rather pay for their services rendered to me?

Answer:

It is permissible to open a savings account in a bank for the purpose of the safety of one’s money. As long as the intention is not to gain interest, it will be permissible. Should the bank give interest, then it should be given away to the poor.

Question:

I have my personal savings deposited in the building society. In which way can I utilize the interest thus accrued?

Answer:

The interest obtained thus has to be given to the poor without forming a Niyyat (Intention) of Thawaab. The Shariah rules that all unlawful property in one’s possession must be restored to the rightful owners. In the event that this is not possible (as it is in your case) the property has to be eliminated by giving it to the poor WITHOUT ANY NIYYAT OF THAWAAB.

Question:

I have incurred a debt on which interest is being charged. I have some interest money in my possession, which was obtained from savings. Is it permissible to pay the debt interest with the interest money I have?

Answer:

In the first instance it was not lawful to have incurred a debt bearing interest However, since you are now already involved in this evil, you should make every effort to extricate yourself from it. Under the circumstances you may utilize the interest money you have to offset the interest charged on the debt you incurred. But remember that it is not lawful to save money in the bank with the intention of obtaining interest.

Question:

Can I establish a charity trust account in the bank and use the interest money for non-Muslim charity such as community chest, schools, bursaries, hospitals, clinics, etc., and retain the capital for Muslim charity?

Answer:

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that to give charity from unlawful earnings is like washing clothing with urine, i.e. instead of purifying, urine increases the impurity of the cloth. Interest (which is a form of Riba) is strictly unlawful, hence it is not permissible to invest or save money in any institution with the express intention of realising Riba regardless of the purpose for which such unlawful earnings would be utilized. The establishment of a charity trust as described in the question is the same as investing money in a bottle store or betting or gambling institution with the intention of utilizing all proceeds for charitable purposes. Like such “investment” would be unlawful, “investment” to accrue Riba would also be unlawful. And, in unlawful and Haraam acts the Niyyat or intention is not taken into consideration. Niyyat is only considered in Aamaale Saalehah (good acts). A charity trust account as envisaged is in fact the commission of a double sin, viz., (i) investing money in an unlawful enterprise (i.e. to obtain the Haraam earnings of Riba), and (ii) intending to utilize Haraam wealth in noble and charitable ventures.

Question:

Is it permissible to use interest money to build a toilet for one’s own use? I have received a substantial amount of interest from the bank, therefore I would like to know if I may use this money to build a toilet.

Answer:

It is not permissible to use interest money or any other Haraam money for one’s own requirements. You may therefore not build a toilet with such money. You shall have to give the unlawful money to the poor without making any Niyyat of Thawaab. It is obligatory to eliminate all Haraam wealth in one’s possession.

Question:

Is goodwill Jaiz (permissible) in Islam?

Answer:

“Goodwill” falls under the Islamic definition of Riba and as such it is not lawful in Islam.

Question:

What is the ruling on endowment policies?

Answer:

Endowment policies and all forms of insurance policies are contracts or transactions of Riba which are Haraam. Muslims must, therefore abstain from involvement in such Riba transactions. Allah and His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have declared war on those who indulge in this capital sin of RIBA.

Question:

I stole a box of medicine from my place of employment. My employer did not discover this. However, I now sincerely regret the crime I have committed. I wish to make amends, but am extremely ashamed of confronting my boss. Can I spend the sum of money equivalent to the stolen property in Lillah (for some charitable cause) with the intention of the Thawaab accruing to my employer?

Answer:

If it is just not possible for you to make amends directly with your employer then the only other solution is to arrange for the return of the goods stolen (if you still have these in your possession) to your employer. And, if you have already disposed of the goods then in some way or other arrange for the price of the goods to reach your employer. Endeavour to ascertain the price your employer would have sold the goods and then post the money to him anonymously. If you are unable to ascertain the correct price, send an amount which you honestly believe will be the equivalent of the goods misappropriated. Finally do not forget to make lstighfaar. Repent sincerely, for, in stealing you have committed crimes against Allah as well as your employer. Hence, even after compensating your employer, you have to obtain Allah Ta`ala’s pardon.

Question:

Is it permissible for old Muslims to use the pension money given by the government?

Answer:

It is permissible.

Question:

Is it permissible to sell a Qabrustaan (cemetery) which is Waqf property?

Answer:

A Qabrustaan which has been declared as Waqf is not the property of any person nor of the community. No one has the right to own it or sell it. It is recorded in the Islamic Law Book, Hidaayah:

“When the Waqf has become valid then it is not lawful to sell it nor to make (anyone) its owner.” 

Question:

How is it to obtain a bond to build a house?

Answer:

If the bond is interest-bearing (Riba), then it will not be permissible to do so.

Question:

Is Medical Aid permissible?

Answer:

The Medical Aid scheme in its present form is not permissible. If the scheme is imposed on the worker and deductions from his wages are compulsorily made, there is no agreement or contract between the worker and the scheme. His actual wage will be the net amount he receives after the compulsory deduction is made without his consent. In this case, he can avail himself of the benefits of the scheme since whatever benefit he will receive will be a gift from the fund. If the deductions are the result of a voluntary contract between the worker and the scheme, then the benefit he acquires from the fund will be the product of a haraam contract. Such benefit is impure. The voluntary contract here resembles a Bay’ Faasid (Corrupt Sale). In fact it is a Bay’ Faasid which is in the category of Ribaa. It is not permissible to use the fruits of a Bay’ Faasid. The payment made towards the Medical Aid is not Tabarru’ (charitable gift or a gift of kindness) as some have interpreted. The scope of this column does not permit a detailed exposition of this question.

Question:

In his book, Islamic Finance, Mufi Taqi Usmaani explains that the western concept of a legal entity or juridical person (the company) with its effect of limited liability is permissible in Islam. In terms of this concept the partners in a business are not responsible for all the debts they incur. They are committed for only the initial capital of the company. Their private assets cannot be acquired by the creditors if the company’s assets are insufficient to settle the debts. Please comment.

Answer:

Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Saheb has erred in his opinion on this matter. Islam does not recognize the concept of a fictitious person called ‘juridical person’. Islam also holds the debtors liable for their full debt. They cannot escape their liabilities, responsibilities and obligations under cover of the kuffaar company-concept. The creditors will have the right to demand their Huqooq even in Qiyaamah. We have written a refutation of the view presented by Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Saheb. Anyone interested in the detailed discussion may write to us for a copy. Please send a stamp of R3. People from other countries should not send stamps. Stamps of other countries cannot be used in South Africa.

Question:

A Muslim wishes to purchase a vehicle but does not have the funds for it. Will it be permissible for me to buy the vehicle, add 20% to the purchase price, then sell the vehicle to him on terms. He will pay in monthly instalments for a period of five years.

Answer:

It is permissible. You may arrange a mutual price. The percentage profit is of no consequence. The price should be mutually agreed and fixed. You may sell the vehicle on terms.

Question:

Kuffaar governments confiscate, sell and even destroy the property of people. `Pirate’ goods are confiscated and destroyed. Is it permissible for Muslim governments to do so? If a Muslim government confiscates the property of Muslims and sells it by auction, will it be permissible for Muslims to buy?

Answer:

It is not permissible for a Muslim government to confiscate goods belonging to people. It is not permissible to buy confiscated goods from a Muslim government. However, it is permissible to buy if the government is a non-Muslim one.

Question:

I bought some items from a shop. The cashier mistakenly charged less on one item. According to the Shariah am I bound to inform the cashier of the mistake?

Answer:

Yes, you have to inform the cashier and pay the correct amount.

Question:

Is it permissible to use interest money to pay a Muslim’s debts?

Answer:

If the Muslim qualifies to accept Zakaat, then he may be given the interest to pay his debts. Everyone who has debt is not necessarily permitted to accept Zakaat. His Zakaat assets may still amount to Nisaab or more after deduction of his debts. If so, then he may not be given interest.

Question:

I have purchased a product with interest money. Can I take this product for myself and compensate for it with my halaal money which I shall give to the poor?

Answer:

This is not permissible. You have to give the product to the poor. Once a poor person has taken possession of the product, he becomes its owner. You may then purchase it from him.

Question:

An agreement of sale between two persons for a house has been made. The buyer makes an advance payment of an amount and agrees to pay the balance within three months. Thereafter transfer of the house will be arranged. However, the buyer fails to meet his obligation and the three months have lapsed. The buyer requests that the deposit be returned to him since he is unable to raise the cash to pay the balance of the purchase price. The seller refuses to refund the deposit and insists that the advance payment has been forfeited. What is the Shariah’s ruling? Both seller and buyer are Muslims.

Answer:

According to the Shariah, the deposit has to be compulsorily refunded. The seller has no right to retain the deposit.

Question:

Is it permissible to sell the same type of merchandise to different people at different prices?

Answer:

It is permissible.

Question:

My vehicle was taken without my permission by an acquaintence and used for a couple of days in my absence. I am claiming from him an amount which is equal to the rental which is usually charged for such a vehicle. I have been told that this is not permissible. Am I allowed by the Shariah to claim?

Answer:

The act of taking another’s property without his consent is called Ghasab in the Shariah. Ghasab is a major sin. However, it is not permissible for the owner to claim monetary compensation for the use of the item by the usurper. You are therefore not allowed by the Shariah to claim from the usurper. However, if the vehicle is damaged, then the usurper has to compensate for the damage.

Question:

Is it permissible to take back a gift which one gave to someone?

Answer:

It is not permissible. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that the one who takes back a gift is like a dog which vomits and then licks up its vomit.

Question:

I am presently renting a house. I have installed cupboards in the house. Can I claim the amount I spent from the owner of the property when I vacate the premises?

Answer:

If there was such an agreement with the owner, then o­nly may you claim from him. However, if there is no agreement, and you installed the cupboards of your own free will, then you may not claim from the owner. You can o­nly dismantle the cupboards and remove them from the hired premises. Or you could sell the cupboards to the owner or to anyone else? You may not demand payment from the owner of the property.

Question:

If the purchase price is fixed at the outset of the transaction with the deposit and instalments clearly specified, will the deal be permissible irrespective of whether the seller or an outside finance house adds interest to the principle amount? The purchaser pays a fixed price which is declared at the outset of the transaction, e.g. R6,000 deposit and 60 monthly instalments of R1000. Purchase price is R66,000.

Answer:

If his deal is concluded with the seller who is the owner of the item or with his agent, the deal is permissible regardless of what the cash price (the principle amount) is. Irrespective of how the seller structures his price to reach the final figure of R66,000, the deal is permissible. If the finance house is the seller, the deal is also permissible. The finance house will become the seller only if it purchases the item, e.g. the vehicle from the original dealer. Once the finance house has purchased the vehicle from the dealer, it becomes the owner. Transacting with it will then be permissible. If the finance house is not the owner, but merely advances a loan to the buyer, then the deal will not be permissible. The condition for the permissibility of this transaction is that the finance house/bank must purchase the item from the original owner.

Question:

If the contract stipulates a prime related interest rate in the event of late payment of instalments, does this affect the validity of the transaction?

Answer:

The transaction remains valid, but agreeing to pay interest on late instalments is haraam. If such a contract has been signed, one should ensure that the instalments are paid on due date.

Question:

If the contract demands that the vehicle/property be insured for the term of the contract, will this stipulation affect the transaction?

Answer:

If the contract stipulates insurance, then it will not be permissible to enter into the transaction. To overcome this problem, the non-Muslim seller (bank) should take out insurance and pay for it. The bank may then work this amount into the price which will remain a fixed amount. The deal will then be permissible. But it should be borne in mind that the buyer will not have a Shar’i right to demand any benefit from the bank in case of the vehicle being damaged or stolen. If the bank wishes, it may make good the loss or refuse to pay.

Question:

If I give a cash loan and fix the repayment amount at the outset, will this be permissible? What if I charge only a service fee to administer and process the repayments?

Answer:

A loan given is termed in the Qur’aan, Qardh Hasanah (Beautiful Loan). Such a loan is an act of pure Ihsaan — a favour, a good deed, the reward of which will be awarded by only Allah Ta’ala. Taking any excess over the amount given as a loan, is ribaa in the simplest form. This is the first category of ribaa mentioned and banned in the Qur’aan Shareef. Service fees may not be charged on the loan.

Q. A person bought dollars at R8. Now the price is R7.35 for a dollar. At what price is he allowed to sell his dollars?

A. The parties may mutually fix the price for the dollars. It is not necessary to adopt the current bank rate. Any price could be mutually arranged for the dollars regardless of the price which was paid for the dollars.

Q. Zaid buys and sells cellphones. Bakr offers him a phone for R1,000. Zaid, before buying the phone, offers i t to Amar for R2,000. Amar agrees to buy i t. Zaid then purchases the phone from Bakr, and presents i t to Amar who pays him (Zaid) for the phone. Is this sale permissible?

A. The transaction is permissible. It should be noted that the sale transaction came into being and was effected at the t ime when Zaid handed the phone to Amar and he in turn paid Zaid the R2,000. The sale was not t ransacted at the t ime when Amar had agreed to buy the not-yet acquired phone. Therefore, if Amar refuses to buy the phone when Zaid presents it to him, Zaid will have no case against him. Amar cannot be compelled to buy the phone despite the init ial agreement which was a promise, not a sale t ransact ion. At that juncture, Zaid did not own the phone, hence the quest ion of selling it did not develop. One may sell only items which one owns and which are in one’s possession.

Question:

Muslim organizations who issue halaal certificates demand a royalty payment from the non-Muslim firms who are issued with these certificates. Is this royalty permissible?

Answer:

The royalty which these organizations charge is haraam ribaa.

Question:

Is it permissible for a worker to sell any of his own items in his employer’s shop without the latter’s consent?

Answer:

It is not permissible. The worker is guilty of abusing amaanat in so doing.

Question:

My nabaaligh brother works in my shop. Our father has died. According to the Shariah, this minor is a yateem (orphan). I take him along to shop. He lives with me and I maintain him. Is it permissible for me to let him work without a wage?

Answer:

It is your Waajib duty to maintain him. Since he is a yateem, it is not permissible to extract unpaid service from him. You have to compulsorily pay him a wage for his service.

Question:

Also in his book, Mufti Taqi legalizes interest on late payment of instalments. He calls it a ‘penalty’ payment. But this is interest called by another name. What is the Shariah’s ruling on this question?

Answer:

Interest called by any name remains haraam. The ‘penalty’ mentioned is haraam riba. The arguments which Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Saheb presented in his book are exceedingly weak, in fact spurious. This opinion militates against all the Nusoos (categoric Qur’aanic aayaat and Ahaadith of the Mutawaatir category). There is no scope for this ‘penalty’.

Question:

Some persons have objected to your fatwa on Credit Buying which appeared in The Majlis, Vol.15 No.5. It is said that the method The Majlis has explained does not render the sale and lease lawful in the Shariah. Please comment.

Answer:

The explanation we gave in our article, Credit Buying, is correct. It complies fully with the Shariah. You can be assured of this. If any among the Ulama feel that we have erred, they are welcome to present their arguments for our perusal and benefit. The opinions of those who lack adequate knowledge of the Shariah, cannot be entertained.

Q. A Muslim-owned Cash & Carry dealer advertises weekly in the press: “We will beat any advertised price. We dare you to compare!” However, on a number of occasions, when asked to match, not beat, a competitor’s price he offers a variety of excuses. He fails to beat or match the prices of competitors. Is this false/misleading advertising permissible?

There is no room for such falsehood in Islam. It is haraam to make such false claims. The trader is morally bound to beat, not match, “any advertised price”. If he is unable to beat the prices of others, he should desist from lies and falsehood. His rizq will not increase by resorting to falsehood. On the contrary, the barkat is eliminated.

Q. My sister gave me a box of household goods. When I unpacked the box I discovered some valuable items in the box. When I notified her, she said that I should keep it for her. To whom do these valuable items belong? To her or me?

If she had intentionally put the items in the box and had intended them to be part of the gift for you, then the goods belong to you. However, if she had mistakenly placed the items in the box and she did not intend to give them to you, then she remains the owner. Accept her word. Do not dispute with her on this issue.

Q. Three years ago an insurance payment was received for a dread disease cover. At that stage the money was utilized as part payment on a property which was purchased to provide a monthly income. I have been receiving rental income for the past two years on the property. Is the income halaal?

The excess which you had received from the insurance is haraam riba. Calculate the amount which had been paid to the insurance company. Whatever is in excess of this is riba which has to be given compulsorily to charity, but not to a Musjid. The income you are deriving from the property is halaal, but you have to give the excess amount to the poor.

Q. At the end of the financial year, for example, the total bank charges in my current account are R1000, and the total interest in the same account is R800. Can the credit interest be off-set with the bank charges?

Yes, it is permissible to do so. In this instance it will be said that the total bank charges are R200, not R1000. As long as the interest has not be withdrawn from the bank it will not be regarded as interest in the Shariah. It is a mere entry in the statement. No interest was actually received.
The effective bank charge in the example cited by you is therefore R200.

Q. Some R5 coins are worth more than R5. The coin which was initially minted can today be sold for R50 or more. Is this permissible?

If the coin is sold for notes, the sale is permissible. If it is exchanged with other R5 coins of the same metal, then it will be a haraam riba transaction.

Q. Is it permissible to charge a fee for cashing a post-dated cheque?

The cheque may be cashed without charging a fee. The fee is riba. ‘Cashing’ the cheque is a loan given. A gain on a loan is riba.

Q. Is the consumer credit system permissible?

It is not permissible.

Q. If the total credit interest is R1000 and the bank charge is R800, can the credit interest be off-set with the bank charges and the difference of R200 credit interest taken out?

Yes, this may be done. The R200 interest withdrawn should be given to the poor without a niyyat of thawaab.

Q. A new scheme of selling/leasing residential apartments has been evolved in Saudi Arabia. Foreigners are able to buy/hire apartments in Makkah Muazzamah. The sale/lease of the apartment is for 24 years. The price is approximately a million Saudi riyals. During the course of the 24 years, the buyer may sell the apartment for any sum and make a profit. During the 24 year period it is also possible to change the residential unit for another apartment. The money which one pays procures for one the right to use the apartment for a specified period every year during the 24 year lease period. After 24 years the apartment reverts to the original owner —the one from which it was initially acquired. Is this scheme permissible?

This scheme is not a sale in terms of the Shariah. It is a corrupt leasing agreement which is not permissible. It is not permissible to acquire an apartment in this manner.

Q. We are two partners in a business. At the end of the year I calculated the Zakaat payable on our joint assets. Since my partner was on a journey, I paid his Zakaat on his share of the assets as well. On his return he argued that his Zakaat was not discharged. He claims that I should reimburse him from my own money as he will have to pay his own Zakaat. Is he correct?

Yes, he is correct. You required his permission before paying his Zakaat. He has to incumbently pay his Zakaat. You have to reimburse him. Whatever you had given as ‘Zakaat’ on his behalf will be a Nafl Sadqah for you.

Q. A softdrink manufacturer charges R1.50 deposit on a bottle. This is the refund we get for returning the bottles. Can I pay customers R1 for a bottle and make 50 cents profit when giving the bottle to the company?

The bottle is the property of the company. The company does not sell the bottle. It is not permissible to buy the bottles from people who did not pay the deposit of R1.50. It will be buying stolen property. The people who bring the bottles have either bought them or stolen them. If they have purchased the bottles, proof of some sort is necessary before you give them a refund. If they have no proof of purchase, it means they have stolen the bottles or picked them up. Since the bottles are not their property, they may not sell them.

Q. Is it permissible to purchase a vehicle from a non-Muslim bank if the installments are fixed and the number of installments is known, e.g. 54 monthly payments of R1000. The installments remain fixed. There are no fluctuations and no further charges. All charges have been included into the price. The effective price of the vehicle is R54,000.

If the transaction is exactly as you have portrayed, then it is permissible.

Q. Many Muslim businessmen have female secretaries with whom they liase in privacy. Is this type of privacy for business reasons permissible?

This type of zina liaison is absolutely haraam. There is no scope for permissibility of zina. While haraam food and haraam medicine become permissible in certain circumstances, zina never becomes halaal.

Q. I was involved in an accident with another car. It was my fault. I offered to have the car repaired. One panelbeater quoted R2000 to repair the vehicle while another one quoted R4500. The owner of the car refuses to have the car repaired by any of the two panelbeaters. He demands that I pay him R4500.

Since you are at fault, it is incumbent on you to pay the proper value for the damage you had caused to his vehicle. You are liable to pay the damages. You may not insist on repairing the vehicle if the owner refuses that his vehicle be repaired. On the other hand, the owner cannot utilize the situation to extort money from you. If it is established that R4500 is a fair price to repair the vehicle, then you are obliged to pay him R4500. The quotation you obtained from your panelbeaters appears to be a backyard worker. Generally, such workers cannot restore a damaged vehicle to its original condition. The owner is entitled to insist that the vehicle be repaired by a reputable panelbeater who has all the implements to work with. If at least two such panelbeaters quote the same amount, then you should pay the owner the R4500 he demands.

Q. Is it permissible to invest money to gain interest to pay income tax? Nowadays the tax is exhorbitant.

It is not permissible to make investments to gain interest even if the intention is to pay income tax

Q. I am a representative for a manufacturer. It has become difficult to get orders from wholesalers and big retailers without bribing the company’s buyer who is an employee. If he is not given a bribe, he will not place an order with you. If you go to his boss for an order, he sends you to his buyer. This has become a widespread practice. One Maulana says that when a practice becomes widespread, then according to the Shariah’s principle of ‘urf’, it becomes permissible. Is his fatwa correct?

Bribery is haraam. Paying the bribe to the company’s buyer is haraam. Today, television, pornography, gambling, liquor, interest, nudity, etc. have all become widespread. The Shariah’s principle of Urf does not legalize these evils simply because of widespread prevalence. Urf does not cancel the laws of the Shariah. There prevails widespread abandonment of Salaat and consumption of haraam. These evils do not become permissible in terms of Urf. The Maulana Saheb has erred in his ’fatwa’. There are trials in all spheres of life. This earthly life is a trial. There is a constant conflict between Allah’s commands and the evil dictates of the nafs and shaitaan’s call. The Mu’min is required to emerge successfully from this struggle. He has to make sacrifices. Our rizq is sealed. It will come our way whether the bribe is paid or not.

Q. What is the Shariah’s ruling regarding payment of wages to a partner in a business? The partner who physically manages the business gets a fixed salary in addition to his share of the profit.

Fixed wage he receives is in the category of riba. A partner is allowed only his share of the profit. A partner cannot receive profit as well as wages. A higher percentage profit share can be arranged for the active partner. Whatever money is withdrawn from the business by any partner should be against their respective shares of the profit.

Q. If the sons are working together with their father in a business, are they shareholders in the business if they are doing all the work?

No, they are not shareholders. The business belongs solely to their father. As long as the father does not make them proper shareholders, they will not own any of the assets while their father is alive.

Q. A person borrows money from a bank. Although the bank does not charge interest, the client has to pay an extra amount in advance, i.e. before obtaining the loan. This is a reward for the risk the bank is taking. Is this permissible?

It is haraam. The ‘extra’ he pays is interest whether he pays it before or after the loan. There is no scope for permissibility of this interest stratagem.

Q. Some travel agents entered into a partnership with a Muslim bank to supply Hajj packages. The agents required funding, so they entered into the partnership. Prior to the partnership Mr. Zaid was an agent for the Hajj agents, negotiating charter flights for them. After commencement of the partnership, the bank released a significant amount, being its capital contribution to the partnership, to Mr. Zaid to secure such flights. It is alleged that Mr. Zaid did not fulfil his duties, therefore, the proposed flights were cancelled. The Hajj operators lost a large sum of money. The bank now claims that the loss has to be borne solely by the Hajj operators, and they have to repay the bank its full capital investment, almost R3 million. The bank is basing its case on the view that Mr. Zaid was not acting as its agent. What is the ruling of the Shariah?

The bank’s claim is baseless. Mr. Zaid represented the partnership. The very fact that the bank had released its capital investment to Mr. Zaid belies the claim of the bank. Furthermore, even if the bank was not aware of Mr. Zaid’s involvement (which is not the case), then too its claim is baseless because it (the bank) was the dormant partner. With the full approval of the bank, the Hajj operators became the active partners conducting the day to day affairs of the business. This was with the full agreement of the bank. If Mr. Zaid was negligent in his handling of the affairs of the joint partnership, all the partners suffer. The loss cannot be imposed on only the Hajj operators. The bank has to compulsorily suffer its proportionate loss.

Q. In our business we are daily confronted with female representatives of firms. When they come to take orders, they are generally dressed very provocatively, even in a semi-nude state. It cannot be denied that the men who have to deal with them are most certainly affected in a sexual sense. If we do not deal with these females, our businesses will suffer. In these times and circumstances, does the Shariah allow Muslim males to deal with such women?

Your averment that if you do not deal with these faahishah females your business will suffer, is a mammoth lie which you have gorged out without a thought of the Presence of Allah Ta’ala. Remember and understand well, that it is only Allah Azza Wa Jal Who is our Raaziq. Only He feeds and sustains you, your family and the rest of creation. Also understand well that Rizq is predetermined and sealed. And, further remember, that it is haraam to pursue your rizq in a haraam way. Haraam rizq is not restricted to haraam money or buying stolen property or dealing with interest. It is haraam for you to sit and deal with women who are so immorally clad. How can Allah’s rahmat descend on such businessmen who commit this type of zina and accept it as a lawful activity of the day’s activities?

Zina of the eyes, tongue and heart have become accepted and lawful norms in the Muslim community today. The ghadhab (wrath) of Allah Azza Wa Jal is constantly hovering over this community whose Ulama too have become desensitised, and numb in the brains and the hearts. This evil state of affairs has induced them to abandon Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar. The total lack of fear for Allah Ta’ala has culminated in this sad state of audacious and flagrant transgression. Even immorality and zina have become respectable to those who proclaim to be the Believers in Tauheed. May Allah have mercy on us.

Q. There are three equal partners in a business. The one working partner gets a fixed monthly salary in addition to his percentage profit share. I have heard conflicting rulings regarding the fixed salary a partner draws. What is the correct ruling of the Shariah?

The correct ruling is that the fixed ‘salary’ is haraam riba. A partner is not permitted a salary. He is entitled to only his share of the profit. The stipulation of the fixed salary invalidates the partnership. The working partner should be given a higher percentage of the profit. Whatever monies the partners draw from the partnership business will be against their share of the profit.

Q. What is the Shariah’s view on the tax which the South African Hajj Council levies on everyone going for Hajj?

This tax is a callous haraam charge sucked out of Muslims in a manner termed zulm in the Shariah. It is extortion and highway robbery. They devour the blood and sweat of people which they suck out like leeches from the bodies of the Hujjaaj. These people have neither heart nor conscience. They only devour haraam and take into their bellies the Fire of Jahannum. They sell the Deen for a miserable price. In the name of the ibaadat of Hajj they fleece the servants of Allah Ta’ala. The charge they make is plainly haraam. It is extracted against the will and wishes of every person who undertakes the Hajj journey.

Q. A company has been awarded a contract by the government to make pension, disability grant and child grant payments on behalf of the government. The company has come out with a card system that works off a cell phone network to do the grant payouts. The company has decided to subcontract shop owners to do the payouts on their behalf. The company installs its computerized system in the shop. For this it charges the shop owner a minimum amount of R684 as a rental for its equipment, and a further charge 0f 0.75% of the overall turnover for the month. For example, if the shop pays out a total of R20,000 for the month, R150 has to be paid to the company. Is this system permissible?

The rental for the equipment is permissible. The 0.75% of the turnover is riba, hence haraam. It is, therefore, not permissible to have this machine installed if the riba charge is not waived. Perhaps an arrangement could be made with the company to rather increase the rental so that there will be only one straight payment. On the basis of an estimate of the turnover, a fixed monthly rental can be arranged.

Q. If a customer does not wish to purchase goods from the store, is the shop owner allowed to charge the customer a cash withdrawal fee to cover the expense incurred with the transaction which is being effected?

After all, what expense is really incurred? A Muslim should have a big heart and render such small favour without even thinking of the little fee. It is not permissible to charge the customer a cash withdrawal fee if the customer does not wish to make a purchase. The fee is riba. It is like charging a person a fee for exchanging his cash notes for silver.

Q. For those customers who are purchasing from the store, is it permissible to stipulate a minimum percentage to be spent in the store per withdrawal? For example, the shop asks the customers to spend 20% of the cash withdrawn.

It is not permissible to stipulate a minimum percentage to be spent in the store per withdrawal. Such a stipulation is zulm. It is a callous act of extortion. The Shariah prohibits taking the property of people without their wholehearted approval. The poor, hardpressed workers are compelled to cash their pension/grant cheques at one of these stores having the equipment. The usual practice when even presenting government cheques for cashing is for the shop to stipulate a minimum sum to be spent in the shop. The customer is constrained to buy even if he / she does not require the items, or they are compelled to buy from the store when their heart’s desire is to purchase elsewhere for some reason or the other, or they may need the money for other expenses. Cashing such cheques and assisting with the grant/pension cheques are a small service to Allah’s makhlooq. It does not behove a Muslim to measure everything and every service in monetary terms. A Muslim should totally abstain from these malpractices. The shop owner’s rizq arrives at his door via the agency of the customers. It is necessary to be considerate and magnanimous, although rendering these petty services requires no magnanimity.

Q. I wish to purchase a vehicle through Westbank’s newly launched Islamic Finance division. I would like to ‘insure’ the vehicle through what I have recently heard is called ‘Takafol’. Is Takafol form of insurance compliant with the Shariah?

As far as we are aware, Westbank’s scheme is still in the discussion stage. We have studied it and have found it in order except for some minor issues which we believe are being attended to. For the deal to be permissible in the Shariah, the number and amount of the instalments must be known at the time of the transaction. There should be no fluctuation in the monthly payments, and the buyer should not acquire insurance. In Westbank’s scheme, the bank itself insures the vehicle. The buyer pays a fixed monthly instalment for a specified number of months, e.g. 60 monthly instalments of R1,000. If it is done in this manner, the deal is permissible.

The newly fabricated ‘Takafol’ is plain kuffaar insurance. The only difference is in names. Takafol is conventional insurance. It is old wine in a new bottle. Takafol is haraam.

Q. Medical fees are exorbitant and the costs for major surgery or private hospital treatment is beyond the financial means of most people. The position of state hospitals is deplorable. In these circumstances is it permissible to take out a medical scheme?

All medical schemes in vogue are ribaqimaar contracts, hence not permissible. Furthermore, most medical schemes taken out on a voluntary basis are the preserve of the wealthy. The premium payments are beyond the means of most people. Muslims should not cast their gaze to haraam ways and means. We are supposed to repose our trust on Allah Ta’ala. He suffices for us. When sickness overtakes us, Allah Ta’ala will make some arrangement. The Qur’aan Majeed says: “He who fears Allah (adopts taqwa), He (Allah) opens up an avenue for him, and He feeds him from such a source which he never even imagined of.” — (Qur’aan)

Regarding the compulsory form of medical aid in which employers make deductions from wages without the workers having any option, the benefits of this scheme may be acquired. In a compulsory scheme, there is no valid contract, hence no riba. The worker may, therefore, accept the benefit of the medical aid as a gift. But it is not permissible to enter into these schemes voluntarily.

Q. Some time ago I gave my business to my son to escape the heavy burden of debts. However, I still use funds from the business to finance some of my other projects. I intend to go for Nafl Hajj, but I was advised to rather pay the debts instead of going for Nafl Hajj. I wish to go for Hajj as I feel that I am not responsible for the debts as my son is now the owner of the business. Also, the debts are business debts not personal debts. Please advise.

Personal or business debts are the same. The debts belong to you, not to your son even though he is working and paying. The creditors did not absolve you of the debts. Furthermore, the business still belongs to you. The gift of the shop was not executed correctly. You are still taking money from the shop for your other projects. This indicates that your son is not the true owner. If your son is unable to pay your debts, you remain liable. It is infinitely better to pay the debts. Cancel your plans for Nafl Hajj.

Q. I bought some clothes and received 10% discount. However, I returned the clothes for a refund. There was no defect in the goods. I was given a refund of the actual price. I told them to deduct the 10% which they had given me, but they insisted on giving me the full price. In other words, I made a 10% profit. Is it proper for me to accept and use this money?

After you had paid for the goods, you became the owner. When you returned the clothes which were not defective, you were in actual fact selling your own property. At that juncture you were the seller and the shop accepting the clothes was the buyer. It is permissible to negotiate a new price. The profit of 10% which you made is therefore halaal. However, there remains a lingering doubt. If the shop is a supermarket, hypermarket or a big wholesaler and the refund was made arbitrarily by the cashier, then it is possible that the cashier used his/her discretion to refund to you a sum more than what you had actually paid, and was not acting according to company policy or practice. If this is so, then while the sale is still lawful, it enters into the Mushtbahah (Doubtful) category. It is, therefore, advisable that you give the 10% extra to charity.

Q. Why is it that most Muslim businessmen pay their staff very poorly? They would rather donate large amounts to Tsunami victims, Bangladesh, Palestine, Iraq, Khanqas, etc. But they seem to think that paying their staff properly is not meritorious. Their wives get the best of everything while we cannot afford to buy a good set of clothes for our wives. They go out in jamaat, Hajj and Umrah, and they waste so much money on their children. They buy cars for their children. Please comment on this attitude of the businessmen.

It appears from your complaints, impatience (lack of Sabr), and deficiency in the belief of Allah’s Providence (Razzaaqiyat) that you are more in need of Naseehat than the businessmen who exploit their workers. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed that you should focus on those who have less than you. Then, you will recognize the abundance of bounties Allah Ta’ala has favoured you with. You will then express shukr (gratitude) for the Rizq Allah Ta’ala has decreed for you. If you focus on those who have more than you, hasad (envy) will develop in you.

You will then complain as you are doing now, and be ungrateful for the ni’maat which Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to you. Businessmen and their workers all have their own quota and variety of evils and sins in which they indulge.

If businessmen are exploiting their workers, it is undoubtedly un-Islamic and wrong. But your complaints, your ingratitude to Allah Ta’ala, and your dissatisfaction with your divinely decreed measure of Rizq will not solve the problem of employer-exploitation.

Don’t worry about the wives and children of your employer. Don’t react with hasad (jealousy) when they spend on themselves and make charitable contributions. Far from solving your problems, you only multiply and worsen them. Impatience and jealousy on account of the possessions of others and malice for those who have more than you and who refuse to give to you, whether justly or unjustly, are in fact complaints directed against the apportioning
of Rizq by Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala has created people in different classes—the rich, the poor, the middle class, the suffering and the prosperous.

Leave the wrongdoers and oppressors to Allah Ta’ala while you express your shukr and satisfaction to Him. Make sincere dua for betterment of your lot.

Q. Is it permissible to advertise in Muslim newspapers and magazines which print pictures and criticize the Sunnah practices of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)?

It is a major sin to advertise in such evil and haraam papers. The advertisers are aiding and abetting in the destruction of the Deen by assisting the murtadd publishers of such kufr papers. Those who advertise in such haraam papers are equal in the sin of anti-Islamic propagation.

Q. Is it permissible to avail oneself of the benefits of a medical scheme which is imposed on employees by the company?

If the medical scheme is an imposition and not a voluntary mutual agreement, then it is permissible to benefit from the fund. However, if it is a mutual agreement, it falls in the ribaqimaar category like all insurance, hence haraam.

Question:

In our country, Ghana, there is a soap called “Yellow Key”. The manufacturers sometimes place a token inside one of the bars of soap and say that whoever finds it will get a certain amount of money. If one finds this token, is the money Halaal?

Answer:

Yes this money is Halaal. Since the participant did not pay any money to receive this ‘prize’ it will not be regarded as gambling. This is a gift from the manufacturers of the soap.

Question:

My son won a raffle at school. The entry fee was R2.00 and he won a few things as a prize. Is this permissible?

Answer:

Raffles are acts of gambling hence Haraam.

Question:

The Oasis Crescent Fund is deemed to be a fully Shariah compliant unit trust that has achieved excellent growth by selective investments on the stock exchange. Is it permissible to invest with them?

Answer:

Investment in the stock exchange is not permissible. All talk of ‘unit trusts’ being fully compliant with the Shariah is baseless. It is not permissible to invest in these funds.

Question:

Kindly enlighten me on what our religion says regarding insuring oneself with medical, accident and life assurance cover.

Answer:

All forms of medical and accident schemes are haraam. All these forms of insurance involve riba.

Question:

Some ‘contemporary Shariah experts’ claim that it is permissible to invest on the stock exchange in such shares whose main trading activities are halaal?

Answer:

These contemporary Shariah experts are in error. Investing on the stock exchange is not permissible regardless of “the main trading activities being halaal”. Halaal trading activities are not the only requirement for the permissibility of investment. The actual contract of the investment has to conform with the Shariah. Consider the example of a cloth merchant. He sells nothing but cloth. His trading activity is perfectly halaal. A man invests in his business. The agreement stipulates that every month the trader will give him a share of the profits which will be the equivalent of 10% of his capital investment.

Thus, the investor receives a R1000 a month on his R10,000 investment. The R1000 is paid from halaal profits derived from halaal trading activities. But this does not make the contract halaal. The R1000 he receives monthly is not profit, It is riba — haraam interest. The whole confounded set-up of the stock exchange is structured on riba and faasid (corrupt) dealings, hence such investments are not permissible.

Question:

It has been said that unit trusts are Shariah compliant because they follow in picking stocks within the parameters of the Shariah, hence such investment is lawful. Please comment.

Answer:

The claim is laughable. The one who made this claim does not understand the operation of Shar’i principles. Investment in unit trusts is not permissible. The innovative names such as dividend, unit trust, equity trust, etc. do not change the reality of riba.

Question:

I heard on a Muslim radio someone defining interest as follows: “Definition of interest is that it should not be contractually stipulated and that there must be a risk of loss”. Is this definition correct according to the Shariah?

Answer:

The self-appointed mujtahids are truly amazing in their ignorance. This is a stupid and erroneous definition of riba. What does the man mean by “it should not be contractually stipulated”? Contractual stipulation does not transform a gain into interest. If the contract stipulates that the investor will get 10% of the net profit, such contractual stipulation does not render the profit interest. Contractual stipulation does not feature in the definition of riba. Riba in terms of the Shariah “is an excess which has no material equivalent to offset it.”

The issue of ‘risk of loss’ has no bearing on the definition of interest. There is risk of loss in even an interest deal. A loan given on interest carries with it a risk of loss. Many debtors do not or cannot repay even the capital amount, leave alone the interest. These fellows overstep the parameters of their professions, hence they speak such drivel. If they remain within the confines of their mundane professions, they will not make such fools of themselves.

Question:

I owe my friend some money. When I gave him a gift, he refused to accept it saying that it was not permissible for him in view of the loan which he had given me. Is this correct?

Answer:

If prior to having given you a loan you used to give him gifts, then it is permissible for him to accept. But if prior to the loan you were not in the habit of making gifts to him, then it is not permissible for him to accept.

Question:

I attend auction sales to buy goods to resell for a profit. I acquire a loan from friends and give them a share of the profit. I have been told that the way I am doing it is haraam. Please explain a method whereby my dealings will be in compliance with the Shariah.

Answer:

What you are doing presently is haraam. There are two lawful methods open for you. One way is to enter into a partnership with the investor. Give him a share of the profit. This share has to be pre-arranged and stipulated, e.g. 5%, 10%, 20% or whatever percentage is mutually agreed on. Assuming you are going to buy a parcel of goods for R25,000 and you expect to make R5000 profit.. Your intention is to give the investor R1000. Arrange with him at the time of obtaining the money that you will give him 20% of the profit. After you have sold the parcel, the investor will get 20% whether your make R5000, R10,000 or just R1,000. In all cases you have to give him 20% regardless of howmuch profit you made. And, if there is a loss, then the investor will have to sustain 20% of the loss.

The second method is to buy the parcel for the investor. You will be his agent to purchase. In this method, the investor himself or any other person appointed by him should accompany you to the auction, or he may arrive after you have purchased the parcel. After you have purchased the parcel, say for example, R20,000, you will no longer be the agent of the investor since you have already performed the duty for which you were appointed the agent. The investor’s man will arrive and take possession of the goods. On the instruction of his principal, the investor, he (the agent or the investor himself) sells you the parcel for any mutually agreed price. The investor can add his profit to the purchase price and sell it to you. There is no profitsharing in this method. You only have to pay him the price for which he sold the parcel to you. If the goods are pointed out to the investor or his agent and there is no obstacle to him taking physical possession of the goods, the possession will be valid even if he does not physically uplift the goods. In this method, before the investor or his agent sells the parcel to you, ensure that you have already paid for the goods. The second sale between yourself and the investor will be valid only after the goods have been paid for.

Question:

Abdulllah acquired a loan of R100,000 from Zaid. Zaid advanced the loan on condition that he would collect the monthly rental of R5000 of a property belonging to Abdullah. It was agreed that after Abdullah pays the R100,000, Zaid will no longer collect the rental. Zaid has been collecting the rent for the past two years. What is the Shariah’s ruling regarding this arrangement?

Answer:

The R5000 monthly rental which Zaid was collecting is a payment on the capital loan amount. If Zaid has collected R5000 a month for two years, it means that he has received R120,000. He has to compulsorily refund R20,000 to Abdullah whose debt is paid. Zaid owes Abdullah R20,000. Taking the rent without deducting it from the capital loan amount is haraam and is pure interest (riba).

Q. There are three equal partners in a business. The one working partner gets a fixed monthly salary in addition to his percentage profit share. I have heard conflicting rulings regarding the fixed salary a partner draws. What is the correct ruling of the Shariah?

The correct ruling is that the fixed ‘salary’ is haraam riba. A partner is not permitted a salary. He is entitled to only his share of the profit. The stipulation of the fixed salary invalidates the partnership. The working partner should be given a higher percentage of the profit. Whatever monies the partners draw from the partnership business will be against their share of the profit.

Question:

Do these Islamic banks really provide Halaal services?

Answer:

The designation ‘Islamic’ does not confer an Islamic status to Muslim-owned banks. The utilization of Islamic terminology to describe transactions does not render riba transactions halaal. Since the owners of these banks are basically westernized capitalists, interested in making o­nly money, whether in halaal or haraam ways, they are not at all inclined to effect slight changes to their agreements and to move their feet a little, and to incur a little extra expense to ensure that their dealings are acceptable to the Shariah.

Muslims are dealing in riba with non-Muslim banks o­n a large scale. There is, therefore, a need for proper Islamic banking institutions from which both the capitalist, selfish Muslim bank owners and Muslims who need credit can benefit. Our criticism of the present banking arrangement is not to discourage the operation of Muslim banks. The motive for our criticism is an attempt to make them a bit alert and to make them understand that to earn halaal wealth, they have to depart somewhat from the norms of the non-Muslim riba banks.

They cannot hope to earn halaal money by simply sitting in their offices like the fat western capitalist cats, refusing to send even a man to accompany a client to a supplier to Islamically conclude a proper sale. They cannot hope to earn halaal by refusing to effect some simple changes in the wording of their Agreements. They cannot earn halaal by adopting 100% kuffaar attitudes and insist o­n haraam deals such as insurance and riba o­n late payments.

All valid business deals carry a certain amount of risk. While all efforts should be made to minimize the risk factor, total elimination is not possible. The Muslim capitalists who do not ‘believe’ in Allah’s Razzaaqiyyat, in the Aakhirah, in the predetermination of Rizq — in short in Taqdeer — labour fruitlessly to circumvent the proscriptions of the Shariah by manipulating the Shariah’s own terminology. They endeavour to totally eliminate the risk factor by even brazenly insisting o­n flagrant violations such as insurance and interest o­n payment defaults. In these areas they have even failed to procure Shar’i terminology to act as their subterfuge for their haraam dealings.

They can render their transactions halaal by being a bit more productive and showing more concern for Allah’s Law. If they are sincere in implementing Muraabahah, Shirkat and Ijaarah, then they must necessarily submit to the Shariah and accept these transactions as the Shariah gives them. They should not seek to subvert the Shariah and make it comply with the concepts of the western banks. Such ‘compliance’ is haraam since it is in total conflict with Allah’s Law. There is no bridge for the chasm between Imaan and Kufr.

Question

The Al-Baraka Islamic Bank charges a ’penalty’ on late payment of instalments. Is this not like the interest which non-Muslim banks charge when an instalment is not met on due date? Al-Baraka claims that Mufti Taqi Usmani of Karachi Darul Uloom, Pakistan has given the okay for this ’penalty’. Please comment. 

Answer

The ‘penalty’ which Al-Baraka allegedly charges on overdue instalments is haraam riba. Interest cannot be legalized by changing its name and calling it penalty. Whether interest is described as penalty, profit, dividend, service fee, etc., it remains haraam riba. We do not know what question Al-Baraka has posed to Mufti Taqi Saheb and in which way the question was adorned nor have we seen the Mufti’s fatwa or opinion. But, even if Mufti Taqi Saheb has issued a ‘fatwa’ of permissibility, it is a grievious blunder and not a fatwa of the Shariah. It will be his personal opinion which has no validity in the Shariah.

The modernists who are anti-Taqleed and who have shrugged off the Taqleed of the Math-habs, are quick to hide behind the skirts of liberal-minded scholars like Mufti Taqi Saheb who generally presents his personal opinion on contemporary issues. Mufti Taqi Saheb’s opinions are becoming increasingly contradictory of the Shariah. Hence, we cannot attach much importance to what he says. In view of his liberal attitude and quick presentation of opinion we find modernists like Judge Navsa of the MPL committee and modernists attached to banks and similar institutions looking up to him for such “fatwas” which depart from the Shariah and which are widely divergent from Shar’i views which have been reliably transmitted to us from the Akaabireen. There is no doubt in the prohibition of the interest which Al-Baraka charges and which it tries to conceal under subterfuge of the misnomer, ‘penalty’.

Question:

When buying a vehicle through Al-Baraka Islamic Bank, they insist that we take out insurance. Is this permissible. We have all along understood that insurance is haraam. How can an Islamic bank stipulate that a Muslim client takes out insurance?

Answer:

Al-Baraka and similar other Muslim banks are far from Islamic. They generally operate in the same way as the non-Muslim banks. People are confused and misled with the many Islamic terms they use to describe their transactions and deals. The fact that they deal in interest and impose haraam riba insurance on Muslim clients testify to the hollowness of their claims. Insurance is haraam. It is haraam for a Muslim bank to stipulate insurance.

Q. I am selling a vehicle. The windscreen has an extremely fine crack which is barely visible. I tell the client to examine the car before he buys it. Without a close examination the crack is not visible. Is it permissible to sell the vehicle without informing the buyer of this fine crack crack?

A. It is Waajib (compulsory) to inform the prospective buyer of the small crack in the windscreen. The crack is an a’ib (defect), which must be declared. In this particular case, you have to inform the buyer in view of the fact that even if he examines the vehicle, he will not notice the crack.

Q. In a business deal, R400,000 was paid as ‘Key Money’. The landlord further stipulated that after five years on the basis of the then value of the business goodwill will have to be paid. Are these transactions permissible?

A. The transactions are haraam. ‘Key Money’ is haraam riba. The landlord has to compulsorily refund the R400,000 which was paid to him. The further haraam goodwill to be paid to him after five years is also haraam.

Q. A relative took me as a partner in a business which we jointly started. He invested all the capital. It was agreed to share the profit 80% – 20%. My share is 20%. After a few months, my relative took in another partner, and fixed his share at 50%. When it came to the time to share the profit, my relative says that my share is less than the agreed 20% in view of him having taken into the business the other partner whose share is 50%. What is the Shariah’s Ruling in this matter?

A. The new partner 50%; your relative 30%; your share remains 20%. Your relative is in error for contending that your share is less than 20%. When he took in the new partner, there was no new agreement to realign your share. When he took in the new partner, his (your relative’s) share diminished to 30%. If your relative is not satisfied, then he can cancel the partnership with you. However, until date of cancellation, the original 20% agreement in your favour remains valid and binding.

Q. Does the Shariah fix a profit margin? Is there any criterion for fixing the margin of profit?

A. The Shariah does not fix a limit on profit margin. The criterion is to abstain from exploitation. This is left to the individual’s conscience and discretion. Every person is required to consult his conscience, use his discretion and fix his own profit margin. This issue belongs to the moral code of Islam. Fear for Allah Ta’ala and the accountability in the Aakhirah regulate issues of moral import.

Q. Will it be permissible to stipulate that the expenses in a Mudhaarabah partnership will be borne by the mudhaarib, and the profit will be divided according to agreed percentage shares?

A. A Mudhaarabah will be valid only if the net profit is shared in terms of pre-arranged ratios. It is not permissible to stipulate any of the expenses on any one of the partners. 100% of the trade expenses must be deducted from the gross profits, and the sharing will be in the net profit.

Q. Zaid and Bakr entered into a partnership. Zaid is the investor. Bakr runs the whole operation. He does not invest capital. Bakr draws a monthly salary. A fixed sum is paid monthly to Zaid. Should there be any loss, the partners will bear it in proportion to their profit-sharing ratio which has been fixed at 40% for Zaid and 60% for Bakr. The business has suffered a big loss and a dispute has developed. What is the Shariah’s ruling?

A. The partnership deal described by you is a Mudhaarabah transaction. However, the manner in which this partnership was structured is Faasid. It is corrupt and invalid. Neither partner is entitled to a wage in a partnership nor is it permissible to fix a sum for a partner. The Shariah’s ruling applicable to a Faasid Mudhaarabah is as follows: • The Rabbul Maal, i.e. the investor of the capital (Zaid), is entitled to all the profits. • The Mudhaarib, i.e. the worker/ manager (Bakr) is not entitled to a share of the profit. He is entitled to a fair market-related salary for the services he had rendered. In view of the loss, both parties have to pay back whatever they had withdrawn by way of ‘salary’, ‘fixed sum’, etc. This will be offset against the loss. If this profit is not sufficient to offset the loss, then Zaid (the Investor) alone has to bear the balance of the loss. In a Mudhaarabah partnership, the losses will be proportionately recouped from the profits, not from the capital investment. In the event the losses are more than the profits paid back, then the balance of the losses will be deducted from the capital investment. The worker does not have to share the remaining balance of the losses. The Rabbul Maal (Investor) will be solely liable for the excess losses over and above the profit.

Q. Is it permissible to pay a partner in a Shirkat a wage for his services? A Mufti says that while it was the view all along that it is not permissible to pay a partner a wage, this is now permissible because Mufti Rashid of Pakistan had issued the fatwa of permissibility?

ANSWER The mufti who presented as his ‘daleel’ (proof) the fatwa of Mufti Rashid of Pakistan can’t be a genuine Mufti. He must be one of those tin-topped molvis masquerading as a Mufti. A genuine Mufti basis his rulings on Shar’i dalaail (evidences), not on a view of a contemporary Mufti who is liable to err. Citing the error of a Mufti as a basis for a view is darkness compounded with darkness. Regarding the mas’alah under discussion, the tin-topped mufti has only displayed his ignorance while the venerable Mufti Rashid of Pakistan has erred in his fatwa. Such errors do happen. Great Muftis also err. The error does not detract from his lofty status in the department of Ifta. In a past issue of The Majlis or perhaps in some other article we had dissected Mufti Rashid’s fatwa and pointed out his error. Mufti Rashid (rahmatullah alayh) is not the final word in the Shariah nor was he a Mujtahid. He was a Muqallid Mufti of the Hanafi Math-hab. The fourteen century ruling of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and the Fuqaha, in other words of the Shariah, is that wages for a partner in a Shirkat (Partnership) venture are not permissible. Such wages are in the category of Riba. To seek to overturn this 14 century Ruling of the Fuqaha and to summarily dismiss it without daleel and merely saying that a certain Mufti says that it is permissible, is a lamentable commentary on the knowledge of the tin-topped mufti who had sought to perpetuate the error of Hadhrat Mufti Rashid (rahmatullah alayh). Wages for a partner are haraam.

Q. I was given presents. I have now discovered that the items are stolen property. What must I do? Should I throw them away?

A. If you are aware of the owner of the goods given to you, then it is Waajib to return it to him/her/them. If you are not aware, then ask the one who gave you the items, who the owner is. If this is not possible or if he too does not know or he refuses to provide the information, then it is Waajib to give the items to the poor. It is not permissible to throw them away.

Q. The driver of a vehicle accidentally knocked down a man who died instantly. Fearing arrest , he drove on. Although the accident happened in Pakistan, the law is not the Shariah. The man is extremely remorseful. He wants to pay the ‘blood money’ to the relatives, but he fears that he may be arrested if his identity is known. Will the obligation be discharged if he gives the money to a Madrasah or any other worthy Islamic charitable institution, e.g. an orphanage?

A. He should arrange for the Diyat (Blood Money) to be delivered anonymously to the heirs of the deceased. The obligation will not be discharged if the money is given to a Madrasah. He should try his best to get the money to the heirs without revealing his identity. But he must explain that it is the Diyat for the one whom he had accidentally killed and that the money should be distributed to the heirs. Since the money is the right of the heirs, it may not be given to another institution. Giving the money to charity will be permissible only as a very last resort if there is absolutely no way of him handing the money to the heirs.

Q. I had usurped a large amount of money some years ago and started a business which yielded much profit. What is the Shariah’s ruling regarding the profit?

A. You have to incumbently return the usurped money to its owners. The profit is haraam. It has to be compulsorily given to the poor without niyyat of thawaab. If you wish, you may also give it to the owners of the money which you had usurped and employed to gain the profit. In addition Taubah is Waajib.

Q. The original warranty which came with my new vehicle has expired. Is it permissible to purchase an extended warranty?

A. The extended warranty is not permissible since it is a kind of insurance. All forms of insurance are unlawful in Islam.

Q. Are online auctions permissible?

A. The online auctions are permissible.

Q. Is it permissible to deal in foreign currency according to the spread-betting system?

A. The ‘spread betting’ system of dealing in foreign currency is not permissible. It is a haraam system. It comes within the scope of Riba.

Q. The butchery where I buy my meat and chickens from writes the weight on after having frozen the products. After freezing, the meat weighs a bit more. Is this permissible?

A. It is haraam to weigh the products after having frozen them. The extra weight is the frozen water. It is just like adding a bit of sand to wheat and weighing it. This is indeed a very grave sin. What the butchery is doing is fraud according to the Shariah, and giving under-weight.

Q. Pick ‘n Pay and Clicks have loyalty cards. Everytime you buy a product, you earn points. These points can be converted into cash value and products can be purchased . Is this permissible? Are the products so acquired permissible?

A. It is permissible. The points and the resultant acquisitions are gifts.

Q. Is it permissible to buy a property in which shops have been let for a bank and funeral parlour?

A. The property in which there is an existing funeral parlour and a bank may be purchased. However, the leases should not be renewed.

Q. Are flyers miles permissible? A registration fee has to be paid. It is said that the fee is only for administration costs.

A. ‘Flyer Miles’ are supposed to be ‘gifts’. The registration fee is in fact in lieu of the miles. If it was a pure gift, it would not have carried a fee regardless of what designation is given to the fee. This deal is therefore Hibah bil I’waz which is in the category of a sale (Bay’). The validity of a sale demands that both commodities be known. But in the case of flyer miles, the amount of miles is not known (Majhool) when the fee is paid. Regardless of what the payment made is used for, the fact remains that the one who will be receiving unknown gifts in the future is required to make a payment. Thus there is the element of Qimaar. If Zaid gives Bakr a bag of rice as a gift, but requests R10 which he (Zaid) wants to pay to a worker who had carried the rice to his (Zaid’s) house, then this will be Hibah bil I’waz, whose ahkaam will become applicable. Zaid cannot later make Rujoo’ of the gifted item on the basis of the argument that the R10 was not for him, but was merely to pay his worker (it was like the registration fee), hence according to Zaid it is not Hibah bil I’waz. However, Zaid’s argument is invalid since according to the Shariah, it is Hibah bil I’waz which precludes Rujoo’. Furthermore, in this transaction there is no tangible commodity (maal). The registration fee is a payment in advance for unknown services to be rendered in the future. The flyer miles transaction is not permissible if a fee has to be paid, irrespective of the purpose for which the free is paid.

Medical fees are exorbitant and the costs for major surgery or private hospital treatment is beyond the financial means of most people. The position of state hospitals is deplorable. In these circumstances is it permissible to take out a medical scheme?

All medical schemes in vogue are ribaqimaar contracts, hence not permissible. Furthermore, most medical schemes taken out on a voluntary basis are the preserve of the wealthy. The premium payments are beyond the means of most people. Muslims should not cast their gaze to haraam ways and means. We are supposed to repose our trust on Allah Ta’ala. He suffices for us. When sickness overtakes us, Allah Ta’ala will make some arrangement. The Qur’aan Majeed says: “He who fears Allah (adopts taqwa), He (Allah) opens up an avenue for him, and He feeds him from such a source which he never even imagined of.” — (Qur’aan)

Regarding the compulsory form of medical aid in which employers make deductions from wages without the workers having any option, the benefits of this scheme may be acquired. In a compulsory scheme, there is no valid contract, hence no riba. The worker may, therefore, accept the benefit of the medical aid as a gift. But it is not permissible to enter into these schemes voluntarily.

I have an uncle who works for an insurance company. If he invites us or gives us food as a gift, is it permissible to eat his food and accept his gifts?

Since his earnings are haraam, his gifts and food are likewise haraam. It is neither permissible to accept his gifts nor to consume his food. His invitation should be declined. Explain to him in a humble and nice manner the
reason for declining. In this way you will be doing him a favour.

Q. I am a tenant in a building which is unfit for human habitation according to the health standards here in the U.S.A. The landlord wants to sell the property and has ordered me to get out immediately. Legally there are three options available to me. These are: (1) The law requires that a tenant be given three months notice to vacate. I can delay the eviction order of the landlord for at least a year if I go to court. (2) There is a ‘buy-out’ option. I can ask the landlord to pay me a sum of money for immediate vacation. (3) I can report the state of the building to the health authorities. Is it permissible for me to avail of any of these options?

A. When the owner of a property serves notice, then it becomes obligatory on the tenant in terms of the Shariah to vacate. It is not permissible to resort to delaying tactics or to adopt any measure to prolong one’s stay in the property which the owner wants for himself or to sell or to do whatever he wishes. According to Islam, it is unjust and an act of usurpation to continue occupying the property in conflict of the wishes of the landlord. The ‘Buy-Out’ option is haraam. It is not permissible to ask for money to vacate. Such money is in the haraam Riba category. Calling the building inspectors will not be permissible. It will be an act of spite enacted in retaliation for eviction. The eviction is the right of the landlord. It is haraam to harm a person even if he/she is a corrupt kaafir, who avails himself/herself of his/her right. It is the landlord’s right to reclaim the building for whatever purpose he intends.

Q. Is it permissible for a married woman to operate a business?

A. A woman may with the permission of her husband, operate any lawful business from her home or from a place where there will be no contact with males. She may not open a shop in a public mall for example. Without the consent of her husband she may not operate any business even from the home.

Q. Salem Ministries is a Christian church organization which actively propagates Christianity. Their vehicles are emblazoned with large crosses and religious slogans about Jesus Christ. This organization provides labour. Our company acquires workers from this organization whose rates are cheaper. Is it permissible to deal with them?

A. Salem Ministries is a church organization which preaches and propagates its religion of kufr. The Christian slogans and huge signs of the cross on their vehicles confirm their active propagation of kufr. It is therefore not permissible for Muslims to support or deal with this organization. Even if your company has to pay more for its labour, it should acquire the services of another company. By dealing with this organization, your company is aiding in the propagation of kufr, and this is haraam. It is not permissible to utilize the services of this labour brokerage company.

Q. Can a worker leave his work without serving notice to his employer? Legally the worker has to give two weeks notice. The employer too has to give the worker two weeks notice before dismissing him. But if he does not want the worker to continue in his employ, then legally he has to pay him the wages of two weeks. Is this permissible?

A. It is legally permissible according to the Shariah for a worker to quit his job at any time he wishes. However, morally it is required that he serves notice to the employer to enable him (the employer) to make other arrangements. Nevertheless, it is permissible for the worker to serve notice and leave the same day. According to the Shariah the employer is under no obligation to pay his worker wages for two weeks of notice, if the worker does not work the two weeks. The employer is not obliged to make any monetary settlement with the employee for any days/weeks that he does not work. Thus, if the employer dismisses his worker without giving him two weeks notice, he (the employer) is not obliged to pay the worker two weeks notice pay as is required by the law of the land. In the same way, the employee can leave without serving two weeks notice.

Q. Salary at a company is based on four principals: Basic, Punctuality, Attendance and Performance. The company makes deduction if for example the performance principle is violated. If there is an argument with the employee, a deduction is made although the employee is punctual and does his work to the best of his ability. Is such a deduction permissible?

A. Such ‘Performance’ deductions are haraam. It is not permissible. Any such amounts which have been deducted should be refunded to the employee otherwise he will have a claim against the employer on the Day of Qiyaamah.

Q. What does the Shariah say about deductions for late-coming?

A. The employer may deduct for only the exact time that the employee is late. If he is late 5 minutes, then the employer may deduct for only five minutes, not for an hour. Furthermore, if the employee is not in the habit of coming late, the employer should not act niggardly and make deductions. Only if the employee has become irresponsible and neglectful and has formed a habit of late-coming, should the employee adopt the corrective measure of making deductions.

Q. A worker was hired without fixing his wage. When it was time to pay him, a dispute developed. According to the Shariah how is this dispute to be resolved?

A. It is haraam to hire a person without stipulating his salary. The work contract should be renewed with the salary specified. In this instance the worker has to be paid the marketrelated wage for that kind of work for the period that the salary was left unknown. When the salary has not been fixed, then the market-related wage has to be paid. Also, Taubah should be made for the sin.

Q. Will it be permissible to take out a funeral policy for non-Muslim employees to assist them in their exorbitant funeral expenses?

A. While it is not permissible to take out a funeral policy for non-Muslims, you may give them the cash. They could then use the cash to take out a funeral policy if they wish.

Q. The owner of a car instructed a man to sell his vehicle for a certain sum. The owner would pay the man $500 for his effort. The worker sold the car for $1000 more than the price fixed by the owner. Is he (the worker) allowed to keep the extra $1000 for himself?

A. No, the worker may not keep the extra $1,000. It belongs to the owner of the car. He is entitled to only his $500 which was promised to him. The only way in which he could receive the $1,000 is if the owner gives it to him as a gift of his own free and happy will.

Q. Can I pay my rates and taxes with interest?

A. Rates and taxes may be paid with the haraam interest you receive from the bank.

Q. Can I offset bank service fees with the interest the bank pays on credit balances?

A. As long as you have not withdrawn the interest from the bank, you may offset the bank charges with the interest credited to your account . After withdrawing the interest in the form of cash, it will not be permissible to re-deposit it to offset the service charges. It will then have to be eliminated by giving it to the poor without niyyat of thawaab.

Q. If one has mixed up haraam money with halaal money and has used of it, what should be done? Could the haraam amount be used to pay taxes?

A. It is Waajib to return the haraam money to its owner if this is possible. If not possible, then it is Waajib to give it to charity without a niyyat of thawaab. If the haraam money became admixed with halaal money, then the amount of the haraam must be taken out and disposed of as mentioned above. If the haraam money is bank interest, it may be used for taxes. If it is stolen money, it has to be returned to its owner if this is possible. If the owner or his heirs cannot be traced, the money should be given to charity without niyyat of thawaab. If it is money gained from gambling, it may not be used to pay one’s taxes. It must be given to charity.

Q. Is it permissible to give interest money to destitute non-Muslims?

A. It is permissible to give needy/destitute non-Muslims interest money and even Lillaah money.

Q. Is it permissible to pay transfer fees and rates with interest money. May workers be given their annual bonus with interest?

A. Yes, the haraam interest money may be used to pay the haraam transfer fees and the haraam rates and taxes. It is not permissible to pay bonuses to workers with interest money.

Q. I received a large sum from the tax department. This was a refund on the taxes I paid. Can I use this money for my Hajj journey?

A. Yes, you may use the tax refund for your Hajj journey. Such refund is in actual fact your own money.

Q. When bank interest is given to a poor person, may he/she use the money for any need?

A. The bank interest may be given to a poor Muslim who may use the money for any of his/her needs.

Q. Is it permissible to take out an insurance policy to pay taxes?

A. It is not permissible to indulge in a haraam act to counter another haraam act. Insurance is haraam. It is therefore not permissible to take out an insurance policy to pay tax. However, if you have funds in the bank and receive interest on it, then you may use such interest to pay the haraam/zulm tax.

Q. It has been reported that ABSA has bought out Takafol which is described as an ‘Islamic insurer’. What is Takafol and Islamic insurance? What is the difference between normal insurance and Islamic insurance?

A. ‘Takafol’ is old haraam riba wine in a new bottle (viz. the deceptive, Islamic -sounding name). Takafol is exact ly the same ‘normal’ and conventional haraam insurance. With Islamic sounding nomenclature the Muslim community is duped and tricked into believing that Takafol is an Islamic product when in reality it is a product of Jahannum. It is riba for whose devourers the Qur’aan declares war. ABSA which is owned by Britain’s Barclays Bank, is a pure capitalist institution whose life-blood is riba. While ABSA has employeda mercenary socal led ‘shariah’ board whose function is to churn out fatwas of jawaaz (permissibility rulings) for its haraam riba products, be assured that all the deals marketed as ‘halaal’ are haraam. After all, a non -Muslim capitalist riba bank does not pay molvies and sheikhs fat salaries and perks for the production of fatwas which declare riba products to be impermissible. They pay for the production of ‘halaal’ fatwas. Don’t become entrapped in the riba tentacles of shaitaan.

Q. The warranty in my car has expired. The dealer is offering an extended warranty for R5,500 a year. If anything breaks, they will fix it. Is this permissible?

A. The extended warranty is insurance hence not permissible.

Q. In the U.S.A., insurance on cars is mandatory. Without insurance one may not drive a car. What is the ruling?

A. If a car can not be operated without insurance due to government law, then it will not be sinful to take out insurance.

Q. What is the position of a Muslim who has to pay haraam tax to the government?

A. Paying taxes is haraam. However, one does not commit a sin when paying taxes in view of the compulsion by the government.

Q. In my home I have several cartons of very old records which belonged to my grandparents. The records are in good saleable condition, and are considered collector items. A good sum of money can be obtained for these records. I believe music is haraam. So my questions are: Is it permissible to sell these records to collectors? Would the income be halaal? If the money is not halaal, could it be used to pay riba fees, charges, tax, etc.?

A. It is not permissible to sell the records regardless of them being collector items and regardless of their value. The income derived by selling the haraam records will not be halaal. If you have already sold the records, then the only avenue for using the haraam money is to give it away to the poor. It may not be used in this case to offset riba fees, charges, tax, etc. It is also not permissible to sell the records with even the intention of giving the money to the poor. The records must be destroyed.

Q. I am of African descent. My parents and other family members were in the habit of collecting and playing various African musical instruments. In addition to these, I have several antique television sets and photographs passed down the family. All these items are extremely valuable to the right collectors. I seek your advice as to what to do. Sell the items or simply destroy them?

A. It is incumbent to remove all the musical instruments, photographs, etc. and to destroy them. It is not permissible to sell them. The same applies to the antique television sets. They have to be destroyed. They may not be sold regardless of their monetary value. Imaan is tested with issues of this nature. The value of the instruments has absolutely no relationship with the value of Imaan. To the Muslim, Allah’s Pleasure is of paramount importance.

Question: I accept that the chickens certified by SANHA and MJC, and the debit cards, etc. of Albaraka Bank certified by their Shariah Board are haraam. But what are the alternatives? There are numerous poor Muslims who cannot afford the highpriced chickens sold by small Muslim chicken plants. Companies pay wages and salaries via banks. So what should people do in these circumstances?

ANSWER

Firstly, we are sure that you will agree with us that even if there are no alternatives, it is not permissible for us to maintain silence and conceal facts of Allah’s Deen when we are aware. Even if there are no alternative halaal chickens and no alternative halaal banks, it does not follow that we should not apprize the Muslim community of what is haraam. Haraam food and haraam trade practices and whatever is haraam are fatal spiritual poisons. Poison kills. Physical poison kills the physical body, and spiritual poison kills the Rooh (Soul). If you save a person from consuming physical poison, he/she will be indebted to you life-long. But in this age of overwhelming spiritual and moral corruption, if you just attempt to save someone from spiritual poison, he/she becomes your life-long enemy. If a child is about to eat a sweet laced with poison and we are aware thereof, it will be haraam for us to abstain from grabbing the poisoned sweet from the child. The argument that the sweet should not be taken from the child until such time that an alternative sweet is given to it, is absurd. In fact, if the child ate the sweet and died, then Allah Ta’ala and mankind will hold us responsible for the death of the child. But the same standard is not applied by people to issues of the Deen because the Deen no longer has importance in the hearts of most Muslims. Secondly, we are not saying that banks are not permissible in the Shariah. What we are saying is that the products of these so-called Islamic banks are haraam riba dealings, and the banks are not at all keen to rectify their riba practices because they find it easy and a quick-money making process to operate conventional banks in the style of the kuffaar capitalists. If the banks are sincere and if they wish to obey Allah Ta’ala, then bringing their operations in line with the Shariah is never an insurmountable obstacle. But they simply refuse to submit to the Shariah because they are schooled in the riba culture. The alternative has to be provided by the banks themselves, and this they can do simply by restructuring their riba wares to conform to the Shariah, and also by giving the fake ‘shariah boards’ the boot. Thirdly, when necessity constrains, the Shariah makes concessions. For example, it is almost impossible nowadays to operate businesses without banking facilities. Almost all companies pay the wages of their employees via the banks. In such cases of necessity, the lesser of the two evils should be adopted. As far as the banks are concerned, the lesser of the evils is to operate through a non-Muslim bank. It is not permissible at all to work via a Muslim bank which deals in riba. Fourthly, as far as chickens and meat are concerned, if no halaal meat is available, then there is no lesser of the evils. In view of the availability of numerous kinds of foods, one will just have to abandon eating haraam meat and diseased carrion chickens, and stay without meat until halaal meat is available. The commercial entrepreneurs themselves should provide valid alternatives. It is haraam to conceal the Haqq and to refrain from proclaiming haraam as haraam until the issue of alternatives has been sorted out.

Q. What should these Muslimowned banks do to make their dealings Shariah-compliant?

A. They only have to institute some simple changes. If the Muslim-owned banks discard interest, and if they fumigate their brains to eliminate pegging the Shariah with the capitalist system thereby making Islam subservient to the kufr riba system of the capitalist world, their system will become automatically Shariahcompliant. The Islamic system is simply not to charge interest. They should discard also their deception of promoting their business dealings as muraabahah, mudhaarabah, mushaarak, etc.

Q. I was told that once a boy becomes mukallaf, his father can demand rent from him for staying in the house. What if the boy is not earning?

A. The father may not demand rent from even his Mukallaf child if he (the child) is not earning. If the child is wealthy, the father may ask rent. But as long as the child is unable to earn, it remains the father’s duty to support him.

Q. A tenant spent a large sum of money renovating the house which he had leased from the owner. According to him he had some sort of agreement with the landlord to buy the property. However, the owner put up the property for sale. Another Muslim bought the property. Now the tenant is furious. The new owner wants the tenant to vacate as he needs the house, but the tenant refuses to leave. He contends that the new owner had no right to buy the property because he wanted to buy it. He also says that he has a valid lease. What is the Shariah’s ruling?

A. The tenant is in grievous error. He is guilty of usurpation. Regardless of what he had spent on renovations and irrespective of what agreement he had with the owner, the house has been sold by the owner and there is now a new owner. Even if the tenant has a lease, it lapses with change of ownership. If he has any claim, he should pursue the previous owner. It is the right of the new owner to take immediate possession of his property. The tenant is guilty of suppressing the right of the new owner. The punishment in Qiyaamah for such usurpation is that the usurped property right down into the very last depth of the earth’s bowels will be made into a weight and strung around the neck of the usurper.

Q. I am renting a house from a person who is not paying the bank. The bank has threatened to sell the property. Is it Islamically proper for me to withhold paying rent to the owner and pay it directly to the bank?

A. You have to pay rent to the owner of the house regardless of his arrangement with the bank and regardless of the owner not paying the bank. As far as you are concerned, you are living in the house and have to pay rent for your occupation. In the end, you will only be asked to leave the house should the bank repossess it. You will not be losing any money which you have paid. You are paying on a monthly basis for your stay in the house. You may therefore not withhold the rent from the owner. The problem between the owner and the bank is not your concern.

Q. A landlord arranges with his tenant: ‘If you pay on 1st of every month, I shall give you a discount of R100.” The rental is fixed at R1500. Is this transaction permissible?

A. The R100 ‘discount’ is not valid. It is not permissible to arrange the deal in this manner. In effect Zaid arranges with his tenant to pay him R100 interest for making earlier payment. It is not permissible.

Q. Is it permissible to have a salon as a tenant?

A. By ‘salon’ we have understood a hairdresser who cuts haraam kuffaar hair styles and even the hair of prostitutes and the like. If our understanding is correct, then it is haraam to hire one’s premises for such a haraam trade. The money earned is haraam.

Q. Earlier, in a letter to me, you said that it is not permissible to let out property to a bank or to a bottle store or to a church. The attached fatwa is in conflict with your fatwa. Please comment.

A. From the attachment you sent, we observe that you had earlier sought a fatwa from another Mufti on the issue of renting out property for haraam purposes, and on 12 May 2011 you had received the response to your query. Now when you had already received a reply for your query from a Mufti on whom you have confidence, then it was improper for you to have referred the same question to us. What was the reason for asking us the same question when you already had received an answer? Furthermore, the answer was more in line with your desires. It was an easy way for you. Our fatwa poses difficulties for you. We fail to see the logic for this attitude which you have adopted. A question pertaining to the Deen should be asked with sincerity and with the intention to practise accordingly. The Deen is not an object with which to trifle. If your motive was to obtain a fatwa for practical purposes, then the Mufti’s fatwa served your purpose and satisfied your whims. He said that it was permissible. What then constrained you to write to us? It is necessary for a layman to refer all his Deeni issues to one Aalim on whom he has confidence. It is not permissible to go on a fishing expedition in search of fatwas, then make a selection from the several responses to suit his whim and fancy. If you have confidence in the integrity and righteousness of the Mufti, then you should adhere to his fatwas, and not write to other Muftis. In so doing you are trifling with the Deen. Our other naseehat which is of great benefit, and which is a Qur’aanic and Sunnah principle which should be adopted is the principle of Ihtiyaat (Caution). If there is a conflict in the fatwas of two Muftis, then act in terms of Ihtiyaat. In other words, opt f or the view in which there is safety and the assurance that you will not be indulging in haraam. Thus, if one Mufti says that an act is permissible and another Mufti says it is haraam, then for practical purposes act according to the Fatwa which says that the act is haraam, even if the Mufti you follow says that it is halaal. Never do the opposite, i.e. if the Mufti you follow says that the act is haraam, and another Mufti says it is halaal, then never follow the permissibility view of the other Mufti. If you adopt this principle, you will always be on safe ground, and in this manner your Taqwa will increase. We shall not comment on the academic arguments of the Mufti’s fatwa because we are averse to discuss such issues with laymen who lack in the knowledge of higher Deeni Ilm. It will suffice to say that the permissibility fatwa regarding leasing, is seriously flawed, and opens the avenue of haraam for the public. The respected Muf ti Sahib has erred in his lengthy fatwa. He has misconstrued the view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah), and he has given it an erroneous practical application. In brief, his fatwa is in c o r r e c t . It is haraam for a Muslim to let out his property for any haraam activity. The Qur’aan Majeed explicitly prohibits aiding sin and transgression. A property may be hired out to a non -Muslim for a lawfulpurpose, e.g. for residence, for conducting a lawful business. If the non-Muslim puts idols inthe house for his private worship or sells some haraam products in the shop, the owner of the premises is not liable for such sins. The rental he acquires will be halaal. But, if he lets his property to a person who will utilize the premises for only haraam activities, e.g. a church, a winery, selling liquor or for a riba bank, then it will not be permissible to lease out property for this purpose. The view of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) does not abrogate the Qur’aanic aayat which prohibits aiding and abetting sin and transgression. Furthermore, Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) never intended his view to clash with the Qur’aan and Sunnah. His view has a technical application. His view will be utilized only for consequences, not for initial indulgence. We shall not delve into elaboration of this issue. The Fatwa for practical expression is that it is haraam to let out property for haraam purposes. There is complete consensus of all the Fuqaha of all the Mathhabs, including Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh), on this dimension of prohibition. Just reflect on the Taqwa of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh). On an extremely hot day he refused to stand in the shade of a wall which belonged to his debtor because in his view it was akin to riba since it was an act of deriving benefit from a debtor, and this is prohibited in the Hadith. How is it possible for a Faqeeh and an Imaam of the Math-hab whose Taqwa is of such a lofty state to rule that it is permissible to aid in sin and transgression – that it is permissible to hire your premises to Hindus and Christians for the purpose of conducting a church/temple where kufr and shirk will be perpetrated? How is it conceivable that a Faqeeh of Imaam Abu Hanifah’s calibre would ever permit hiring premises for a bottle store, for a riba institution or for operating a brothel? What does your intelligence say in this matter? The respected Mufti Sahib did not apply his mind in the issuance of his fatwa which opens up the avenue for sin and transgression.

Q. Is it permissible to hire a premises for a photographic business, for selling fireworks, a ladies hairdressing saloon, a gambling business?

A. It is not permissible to hire out premises for a photographic business. The same applies to a ladies hairdressing saloon, a liquor shop, a betting shop and a fireworks shop. All these activities are haraam. To hire out premises for operating such haraam businesses is in conflict with the Qur’aanic prohibition of aiding and abetting in sin and transgression.

Q.I have let my flat to a non-Muslim who commits many haraam acts in the house even worshipping idols. Is the rent halaal

A. The rent which the tenant pays you is permissible regardless of what he will be doing in the flat. You hired it for residential purposes, hence the rent is halaal.

Q. Is occupational rent permissible in the Shariah?

A. Occupational rent is haraam. The purchaser of a property is the owner. The seller only has a claim on the amount owed to him. He may not stipulate ‘rent’ until payment of the balance or until date of transfer.

Q. I have traded in a property belonging to family members. There was no rent agreement. My brothers and sisters did not object, and even today have no objection. A learned man says that I should pay rent for the past few years that I had traded in the shop. Am I obliged to pay rent?

A. Since there was no agreement to pay rent, you are not liable for any past rental. Rent is the effect of a valid agreement between the owners of the property and the tenant. But since there existed no such agreement, you are not liable for any past ‘rent’.

Q. What is your view regarding striving in the world t o g a in e xc e l l e nce /perfection? I don’t mean merely earning a living, but instead working hard to be successful so that we can also be an example to the kuffaar in the ways of the dunya too. We can also use our economic leverage to help the Ummah as Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Bin Auf (radhiyallahu anhu) had excelled in matters of wealth. So, if a person can keep his Deen secure and executes all his Fardh, Waajib and Sunnat Muakkadah obligations, then is it encouraged for him to excel in the dunya? Is it better to lead a menial life or so well in the world?

A. A Mu’min who understands the maqsad (objective) of life on earth does not strive and live to prove anything to the kuffaar. He practises the Deen for Allah’s Pleasure, for thawaab in the Aakhirah and f or everlasting Najaat (Salvation). He does not manipulate the Shariah and the Sunnah to be an example for the kuffaar. We all eat food, not to build up our bodies. We eat good and delicious food to satisfy our nafsaani desires. But in this process the food builds up our bodies and sustains our life on earth. But almost every person’s objective for eating food and drinking water is to satisfy hunger, thirst and the nafs. Similarly, while a Mu’min practises according to the Shariah and adopts the Sunnah for the sake of Allah Ta’ala, he unconsciously and without design becomes an example of virtue for non-Muslims. The mundane benefits are by products. Our intention in following the Deen must be absolutely nothing but Allah’s Pleasure. We should not contaminate our niyyat with worldly designs and motives, or any motive which negates Ikhlaas (sincerity). Undoubtedly, we are under Shar’i obligation to utilize our material resources to assist the poor and in other Deeni projects. But this too is only for Allah’s Pleasure, not for any other reason. The Qur’aan Majeed states: “They feed the poor, the orphan and the prisoner for the love of Allaah. Verily, we feed you for the Sake of Allaah. We do not intend (to acquire) from you reward nor thanks.” Far from Islam encouraging the Muslim to excel in the dunya in material spheres of life, the Qur’aan and the Ahaadith advocate renunciation of the dunya in varying degrees depending on the quality of Imaan of individuals. The Qur’aan and Ahaadith condemn the dunya and discourage us from indulgence in worldly pursuits beyond the degree of need. You have mentioned Hadhrat Abdur R a h m a a n B i n A u f (radhiyallahu anhu). Despite his greatness, despite his entire wealth being at the disposal of the Deen and despite him being among the Ten Sahaabah whose Jannat has been assured, he will enter Jannat five centuries after Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) because while the former had excelled in the dunya, she excelled in the Aakhirah, and was totally but voluntarily deprived of the dunya. She led a life of extreme poverty and frugality. The merit for the Mu’min is to excel in the Aakhirah, not in the dunya. But this message is not propagated in general in these days because the Imaan of most Muslims dangles on a thread. It is therefore senseless to emphasize renunciation. Hence, we emphasize acquisition of the dunya within the prescribed bounds of the Shariah. That is the minimum Waajib demand for all Muslims, regardless of how weak their Imaan may be. Undoubtedly, it is infinitely superior to lead a life of a mendicant whose gaze is focused on the Aakhirah even though he lacks in entirety in worldly spheres.

Q. I purchased some vehicles via ABSA Islamic banking. I queried with them the Shar’i validity of me being charged contract fees on the basis that (1) The bank buys a car for R150,000 and sells it to me for R199,000 making a profit of R49,000. (2) All Ulama who are not on the bank’s payroll have said that contract fees are against Shar’i principles. I object as I feel that all these charges under a variety of captions, are related to the same sale transaction wherein the bank makes a good profit. I last bought five cars. Thus they made an additional gain of R7,500 (R1,500 per vehicle). This they did under the banner of Islamic Finance approved by the bank Ulama. They charged R7,500 fees for contracts that were printed on paper and ink worth less than R30. Please comment.

A. “Bank Ulama” are mercenaries.  They are paid lucrative bribes to churn out permissible fatwas for the illegitimate creature they dub ‘islamic finance’. In reality it is Riba Finance’. The so-called ‘Islamic’ banking is a big fraud in terms of the Shariah. These banks are no different from the conventional kuffaar riba banks. As far as the R1,500 charge is concerned, it depends how the deal was structured. If at the time of purchasing the vehicle, the final amount had included the R1500 charge, and you had accepted it, then the actual purchase price is that final amount. It is now improper to object. You should have objected at the time of the transaction. You should have refused the R1500 fee at that time. But since you had accepted the final figure of R151,500 (R150,000 + R1,500), it constitutes the purchase price. But, if the R1,500 was a later accretion which the Bank added, then you must object and refuse to pay it. All charges added after finalization of the price will be haraam riba.

Question: Pharmed Pharmaceuticals is a wholesale medical company owned by Muslims. According to the financial statements, this company deals in interest. Is it permissible to invest in this company ? Will the dividends be halaal?

Answer: Although the company may be owned by Muslims, they are not claiming to be in compliance with the Shariah as the so-called ‘Islamic’ banks contend. Pharmed is quite honest in stating that they do not abide by the Shariah, and that they do deal in haraam interest. In response to our enquiry, Pharmed wrote: “We wish to advise that our company is a public company, registered in South Africa and operates in accordance with the laws of the country. Our shareholders are made up of individuals, trusts and entities represented by persons from various faiths and denominations. The company does not have an identity that is connected to any faith group. The affairs of the company are not necessarily shariah compliant.” This information clarifies the position of Pharmed. They come within the full glare of the Qur’aanic aayat: “O People of Imaan! Fear Allah and shun that which remains of riba if indeed you are Mu’mineen. If you do not desist (from riba), then take notice of war from Allah and His Rasool.” Since the company is at war with Allah and His Rasool, it is haraam to invest with them. The dividends are haraam.

Q. Is it permissible to offset interest with bank service charges?

A. As long as physical possession of the interest in the form of cash has not taken place, it may be offset against service fees, etc. It becomes interest only when the money has been withdrawn with the intention of interest. A paper/book entry is not tangible interest.

Q. Are Muslim banks not allowed to charge service fees?

A. While the banks may charge a reasonable service fee for handling money, the whole banking system is a corrupt riba system. They are allowed by the Shariah to charge service fees only if they keep the deposits of clients in trust in safe-boxes, without ploughing the funds into business ventures. They may then charge fees for the labour involved in safe-keeping the funds. But these riba banks do not observe this rule of the Shariah. The funds are regarded as Qardh (loans given to the bank). The bank invests these funds in business deals to gain profit. It is haraam to charge clients who give the bank Qardh. In reality they should not be charging fees because they make use of the money of account-holders. They invest most of the funds in interest ventures thereby earning millions of rands. Thus the bank’s entire service fee structure is haraam.

Q. Can we avail ourselves of the current range of ‘Islamic banks’ due to the lack of Shariah-compliant alternatives?

A. People always ask for alternatives. If investing in Riba banks is haraam, what is the alternative they retort? Whether there is an alternative or not, is immaterial. Abstention from haraam and from the Wrath of Allah Azza Wa Jal, and from the punishment of Jahannum does not require alternatives. If something is haraam, abstention is Waajib whether there exists an alternative to the haraam or not. The ahkaam (laws –the commands and prohibitions) are not reliant on the existence of alternatives. Thus, if there is no halaal chicken – if there is only SANHA and MJC halaalized carrion chicken – it is gross ignorance and Satanism (shaitaaniyat) to argue that as long as halaal chicken is not available, we shall continue to devour the haraam carrion chicken and carrion meat which are haraam for even dogs. Similarly, it is total obliviousness of the commands of Allah Ta’ala bordering on disbelief to argue that as long as there is no halaal monetary investment, indulgence in Albaraka’s and Oasis’ haraam riba deals should continue. Anyhow, there is a very lucrative monetary investment, and that is gold coins. In 2001 the price of a one ounce krugerrand was R1,725. In 2007 it was R4550. Today it is in excess of R10,000. Those who had acquired these gold coins in 2001 have made a profit of approximately 600%. Those who have bought in 2007 have profited about 120%. No riba bank can ever hope to pay such dividends. People should withdraw their savings from the riba banks and invest in gold coins. If there are safety concerns in keeping the gold treasure at home, it could be saved in boxes held in the vaults of banks. In this case the lesser of the evils will be to hire lockers in non-Muslim banks. It is not permissible to deal with Muslim-owned banks who deal in riba and disguise their haraam products with Shar’i terminology. The price of gold has continuously risen. Gold and silver are the only original currencies recognized by Islam.

Q. I have a Hajj savings account at Al Baraka Bank. Is this account halaal? A copy of the Banks Terms & Conditions for this investment account is furnished. Please check these conditions and advise me.

ANSWER

According to the ‘Terms & Conditions of The Al Baraka Investment Account’, the ‘Haj Account’ is supposed to be a Mudhaarabah investment. While this is the claim made by the Bank, in reality it is an ordinary savings account on which interest is paid. A Mudhaarabah deal in terms of the Shariah is not fettered and encumbered with the many terms and conditions stated in the contract of Al Baraka Bank. Furthermore, the Bank claims to be the ‘mudharib’ (the labourer/manager) to whom the capital investment is entrusted. The Mudhaarib has no right to levy any kind of fee/charge on the owner of the money (i.e. Rabbul Maal). The so-called Hajj account operates just as any fixed deposit account in any kaafir conventional riba/capitalist bank. Condition No.3 of the Terms speaks of a first deduction from the profit by the Bank. After the first deduction, the remainder of the alleged ‘profit’ will be shared between the Bank and the investor/depositor. The first deduction made by the Bank is Haraam. The Bank is not permitted to deduct any amount from the net profit for itself. The claim that the account is a Mudhaarabah contract is a myth. It is a conventional interestbearing savings account, hence haraam. If you wish, you may forward a copy of our letter to the Bank. If the Bank claims that our summing up of its ‘Hajj/Mudhaarah Account is incorrect, they should explain in detail just where we have erred. They should explain in simple layman’s terms, without the jargon of the riba capitalists, how we have erred in our conclusion. For example, they should not pull a smokescreen over the eyes of depositors with the drivel of a ‘points system’. A Mudhaarabah is an unambiguous Shar’i system in which the profit-sharing ration is pre-arranged. In the case of the Bank’s ‘investment account’, it is 40% for the Bank and 60% for the investor. For validity of the Mudhaarabah contract, it is vital that the Bank honestly shares real profit, not interest camouflaged as ‘profit’, in accordance with the agreed percentage sharing (40-60). The ordinary investors don’t understand head or tail of the capitalist nonsensical ‘technical’ terms with which depositors are bamboozled. They simply accept that whatever gain they obtain from the bank is ‘profit’. Beyond this vagueness, they know absolutely nil. The Bank which claims to be an Islamic Bank, is under Shar’i incumbency to present to each investor/depositor a simple one-page annual or periodic account detailing in simple terms, and shorn of capitalist drivel, the following aspects: Gross Profit, Trade expenses and Net Profit. If the net profit is R100, the Bank’s share will be R40, not a cent more. The deductable trade expenses may NOT include any administration fees or any kind of charges whatsoever for itself for handling and investing the funds. The Bank’s reward for being the ‘mudhaarib’ is 40% of the net profits, hence it is haraam for it to levy charges and fees. If the funds are invested in a business, i.e. in another company, the whole of the profit which the Bank acquires from that company will be the subject for the pro rata sharing between the Bank and the investors/ depositors. The Bank may not enter into a separate deal with the company in which it invests the funds of the depositors to earn firstly a separate profit share for itself. For example, the Bank utilizing the funds of the depositors invests in Company XYZ. All the profit acquired from XYZ belongs to the Mudhaarabah Partnership. No percentage of the profit may be deducted by the Bank for itself. The capitalist jargon with which the contract is painted provides a screen to conceal the true state of the Bank’s dealings from its investors. The ordinary and average person understands sweet nothing of the manner of the operation of the account. The terms and conditions in the contract are in fact hieroglyphics to investors. As long as there is no clarity and transparency on the precise terms and nature of the contract, it will not be a valid Mudhaarabah deal in the Shariah. Our advice is that you close your Haj Account, and invest in gold coins. People who had bought krugerrands two years ago, have made almost 80% profit due to the rise in the price of the coins. Krugerrands can also be readily sold, and converted into cash. In fact, gold coins are better than cash.

Q. I am an accountant and took up employment at FNB commercial property division as a management accountant. With reference to my job, please advise the Shariah/Islamic legality of the position. I have been employed for about a year. If the position is not suitable, do I save up and dispose of the income earned during my employment at the bank? Should I ask for a possible transfer to Islamic banking?

A. Allah Ta’ala states in the Qur’aan Majeed: “Do not aid one another in sin and transgression.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that all those involved in riba (interest) transactions in whatever capacity, be they witnesses to the deal, are equal in sin. The Qur’aan Majeed further issues an ultimatum of war for those who indulge in riba, and brands them as mad people driven to insanity by the “touch of shaitaan”. All commercial banks, including the so-called Islamic banks, are capitalist institutions of riba. Riba is the very life-blood and breathing of the capitalist banks. As such it is not permissible to work in a bank even in a so-called ‘Islamic’ bank. Working in a bank is to aid and abet in sin and transgression. Therefore, your job at the bank is not permissible. While it is not permissible to work at the bank, there is no incumbent need for you to save up and dispose of what you have already earned at the bank. This ruling is governed by certain principles of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence). Nevertheless, you should be on the lookout for other work

Q. I opened a non-interest cheque account with a bank here in the States. They offered $100 promotion for signing up for a new account. Now almost a year later they send me a statement stating that the $100 was an interest income. Is it permissible for me to keep the money which I had received from them a year ago?

A. The initial $100 the bank gave you was a gift/promotion offer. However, if the $100 were given after you had deposited some money, then it is riba (interest) regardless of the description or whatever name is given to it. If the $100 were given before you had deposited money, then it will be a gift. If it was given after you had deposited money, then it is not permissible for you to use it for yourself. Give it to some poor Muslim or pay any government account, e.g. tax, with it.

Q. Are the benefits of e-bucks permissible ? I bank with FNB. E-bucks is a rewards programme where every time I deposit, make a withdrawal and effect payments, I earn points on my debit card. With these points I get discounts on various products ranging from airline tickets to books. Sometimes I can get products free depending on the number of points accumulated. I recently linked my credit card to this programme and I was subsequently charged R175. I was unaware that it comes with a charge. Please comment on whether these points are permissible.

A. The e-bucks scheme is haraam on the basis of two factors of prohibition: 1) It is maisar (the Islamic concept of gambling). A fee of R175 is paid for future uncertain benefits. The R175 is not in lieu of a specified benefit/ s. 2) It is riba since the benefits are in consideration of the monies banked. In terms of the Shariah, the money deposited in a banking account falls in the category of a loan to the bank. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Every gain which comes in the wake of a loan is riba.” You may recoup your R175 by taking benefits for this value. Cancel the scheme. While the scheme is operating, if you receive free gifts, give them to the poor without niyyat of thawaab.

Q. If one slips, falls and injures oneself at work, will it be permissible to sue the employer and claim damages?

A. If one slips, falls and injures oneself at work, it is not permissible to sue the employer. The accident was not caused by the employer, hence the Shariah does not permit suing as western law does. However, if the government has a fund from which they pay injured people, then it will be permissible to accept from the government.

Q. The house in which my parents live belongs to my mother. Since they were finding it very difficult to pay the bond, my brother-in -law (sister’s husband), Mr.A, told my mum (Mrs.J) that he will pay the bond for her. The bond at that time was R240,000. He told us that he is able to pay R200,000. We should find the balance, which we did. My parents had to see to the maintenance of the house and pay the rates. Mr.A said that in the event the house is sold he will have to be paid his ‘expenses’. When asked at that time what his expenses are, he replied: “R240,000 including lawyer’s costs.” Although the house belongs to my mother, it is registered on my name. The title deeds of the house were given to Mr.A who pledged it to a bank as security for an overdraft for his business.. I had to travel to Durban to sign the documents. On 27 April 2011, Mr.A mentioned to my mother (Mrs J) that the expenses on the house are now standing at R500,000. On 17 May 2011, Mr.A stated to Mrs J that arrangements should now be made to transfer the house to himself. In the year 2000 when he had made available the money, he did not say that the costs would increase on an annual basis. He now says that we are liable to pay the interest on the overdraft which he had taken. I asked him two questions: 1. When did he stipulate that from R240,000 the amount would escalate to R500,000? R200,000 was cash he had given, and R40,000 was for lawyer’s costs. 2. When did we sell the house to him that a transfer has to take place? My brother-in-law said that I had signed an agreement of sale at his lawyer because he had bought the house. He claims to have made the agreement with my mum. I did sign at the lawyers, but Wallaah! I never saw the need to read the papers since I trusted my sister’s husband. I had understood that he had done a noble need to pay my mum’s bond. I therefore did not question him about the papers they gave me to sign. At a family meeting with him he said that he wanted between R400,000 and R500,000 to settle the matter. My brother reminded him that he had used the title deeds for his business and had made profit over the ten year period. On 9 June 2011 arrangements were made by Mr.A for a discussion with a Mufti. Mr.A said at the meeting that today the house is worth R1,2 million, and that is why we are now asking questions. The Mufti asked us to ‘up’ the offer to settle the matter amicably. Despite us being in financial straits, we were given the choice to pay R400,000 as a ‘Sulah’ (compromise) agreement or go for arbitration with the possibility that ownership of the house could be given to Mr.A. My aged, ailing parents are crying tears of blood. They cannot believe that their eldest son-in-law is doing this to them. In the ten years Mr.A. never told his wife (my sister) or anyone else that he had bought my mum’s house. There is not a single witness to the alleged sale. My mum denies that she had ever sold the house to him. Why would my mum who bought the house in 1988 for R240,000, sell it 12 years later for R200,000? He took advantage of an old woman who is ignorant of business dealings and he twisted his words to make it appear that he was acting out of compassion. He schemed with his lawyer to con me into signing documents which he says is a sale agreement and which I have not seen to this day. I was told at the time that it was a WILL document to protect Mr.A should anything happen to me. What is the position in terms of the Shariah. Since the house belongs to my mum, what is the position if I had unknowingly signed a sale agreement? My mum with the Qur’aan in her hand and saying that Allah is her witness, declared that not once did Mr.A say that he is buying the house for R200,000. She accepts that she owes him R200,000 plus R40,000 which he said was for lawyer’s costs. What is the ruling of the Shariah?

ANSWER:

We have understood from your explanation that the house does not belong to you, but to your mother or to both parents. On the basis of this understanding the ruling of the Shariah is that even if you had signed a sale agreement, it will not be valid. Since you are not the owner, your signing the agreement has no validity, and it has absolutely no effect on the ownership of the house. The house remains the property of your mother/ parents. The act of inducing you to sign a document under false pretences is most despicable. It is haraam in terms of the Shariah, and fraud in terms of the law of the land. If the lawyer had made you sign the document without explaining to you what you were asked to sign, he too is liable for deception and aiding in the commission of fraud. Your brother-in-law had advanced a loan of R200,000. It is haraam for him to increase the sum to R240,000, for that is clear-cut haraam riba (interest). If he had obtained the R200,000 as a loan from a bank, payment of the interest is his problem. If at the time your parents were aware that he was obtaining a bank loan and that the interest would be R40,000, then both he and your parents are guilty of a grievous sin. In that case, he can claim the R40,000. His current claim of R400,000 is a cruel haraam act. It is not a valid ‘sulah’ He has no right to make such a haraam claim. He should not be paid this exorbitant sum of riba. If he had allowed the R200,000 to accumulate so much interest, it is his problem. According to the Shariah he is entitled to only R200,000 because that was the sum he had loaned your mother. According to your letter, it is manifest that there was no sale. It is ludicrous to come ten years after the event and claim that he is the owner of the house. You should refuse to sign. Write a letter to the lawyer and demand to see the document you had signed, and who the witnesses were. Deny that you or your mother had ever entered into a sale agreement with your brotherin- law. After the lawyer provides a copy of the document, if it happens to be an agreement of sale, then write to him that you will take the matter further and inform the Law Society of the fraud that he had perpetrated. You were at the time told that you were signing a Will. It is absolutely ridiculous and haraam for a Mufti to tell you and your mother to pay R400,000 for a loan of R200,000. Your brother-inlaw is motivated by greed which has led to his callous attitude. He should drown himself in shame for his cruelty to his own ‘mother’ and ‘father’. According to the Shariah, parents-in-law are in the class of parents.

Q. Our community in Cape Town functions under an Imaam who is a Hajj operator. He was in debt with a local travel agent. He used the monies which he had collected from prospective Hujjaaj. When the travel agent demanded payment for the tickets, etc., the Imaam colluded with the treasurer of our Musjid and he transferred R50,000 of the Musjid’s funds into the account of the travel agency. This was done without the knowledge of the Musjid’s committee. The Imaam was the Chairman of the committee. When the trustees discovered this dishonesty, they removed him from the chairmanship position. The committee asked him to answer for this misappropriation of the Musjid’s funds. The Imaam then called a community meeting where the majority of his supporters were females who were screamingand fighting in his support. When one of the Ulama asked him to intervene and stop his female supporters from behaving in this evil way, he threatened to evict the Aalim. The MJC was called upon to intervene. The Imaam, however, refused to attend any meetings. After a lengthy process between the MJC and the complainants, the MJC arbitration committee retreated into silence for months. Any attempt to receive progress reports from the MJC proved fruitless. This same Imaam recently took a group of 20 females for Umrah without any Mahaareem. Please issue the Fatwa on this situation.

ANSWER: A Sahaabi asked Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): “When will it be the Hour (of Qiyaamah)?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “When Amaanah is destroyed.” The Sahaabi said: “How will Amaanah be destroyed?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “When affairs (of Amaanah -Trust) are assigned to persons who are unqualified for it, then await the Hour.” In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) discussing the Signs of Qiyaamah said that Trust Funds will be treated as if it were private property. In other words, those who have been placed in charge of the Amaanah will use and misuse the Trust funds for their own personal and selfish ends. Misappropriation of Amaanah funds is among the worst kind of theft. The Imaam whom you have described, who is also a Hajjoperator/agent, comes fully within the scope of these Ahaadith. It is truly lamentable and shocking that he had sunk to this level of gross dishonesty and stole R50,000 of the Musjid’s Waqf funds with the active connivance of the Treasurer. The transfer of the Musjid’s funds into the travel agency’s account to make good the R50,000 which the Imaam had misappropriated by having stolen for his own use the monies which prospective Hujjaaj had paid to him for their Hajj journeys is a conspicuous and a despicable haraam act of audacious and reckless theft. The flagrant impunity with which the Imaam stole the Trust funds clearly indicates that he believes that his haraam actions are devoid of consequences in this world and in the Aakhirah. Regarding the misappropriation and theft committed by the Imaam, there are two separate acts of gross dishonesty and theft: (1) Firstly, the monies which he had collected from the prospective Hujjaaj had to be transferred directly to the travel agency. These funds were Amaanah in his possession. Instead of discharging the rights of the Amaanah, he most despicably stole the money for his personal use. (2) Secondly, when the travel agent demanded the debt owing to him, the Imaam colluded with the Treasurer of the Musjid’s Committee and constrained him to transfer R50,000 from the Musjid’s Waqf funds to the travel agency’s account. The audacity and recklessness with which these crimes were perpetrated beggar shock and imagination. Despite the fact that this haraam transfer and theft were committed by the pair of criminals (the Imaam and the Treasurer) without the permission of the Committee, the latter (i.e. the Committee) is not absolved of responsibility. The Committee is guilty of dereliction of duty and is collectively responsible and liable for the loss of the Musjid’s funds. The Imaam’s stunt of calling the women to save his skin will not benefit him in the least, neither in this dunya nor in the Aakhirah. In the Aakhirah is the roasting in Jahannum. His female cronies will roast together with him in Jahannum. In this world there is disgrace and dismissal for this appallingly dishonest criminal. It is incredible that the Musjid Committee continues to retain his services as the Imaam of the Musjid. The MJC has miserably failed to discharge its duty. Its abstention from instituting action against the Imaam implies condonation of his criminal act of the theft of the Musjid’s money. Nothing better should be expected from Carrion Halaalizers. The act of taking 20 females without any of their mahaarim accompanying them on the Umrah journey is flagrant fisq (immorality). Both the Imaam and the females were constantly travelling under the la’nat (curse) of Allah Ta’ala and His Malaaikah. In view of these extremely grave crimes, dishonesty, fisq and fujoor, it devolves as a compulsory obligation on the Committee of the Musjid to: a. Immediately dismiss the Imaam from the Imaamate position. b. Immediately dismiss the Treasurer who had aided and abetted the Imaam in his crime. c. Institute measures to recoup the Musjid’s funds which the Imaam had stolen. He must be forced to pay back the money. If this fails, the Committee will have to pay. Let no one cruise away with the idea that they will escape the Wrath of Allah Ta’ala and the Humiliation in Qiyaamah for these vile crimes of dishonesty, theft and misappropriation of the Musjid’s Waqf funds. Neither should the Imaam, nor the Treasurer nor the Committee nor the MJC soothe their conscience with the misconception that these criminal misdeeds can be swept under the carpet, concealed and forgotten. Warning them of the digrace and punishment, the Qur’aan Majeed says: “And, whoever misappropriates (Amaanah) shall produce the object which has been misappropriated on the Day of Qiyaamah. Then every person will be adequately compensated (punished) for what he/she had perpetrated (by way of misappropriation of Amaanah).” (Aal-e-Imraan, aayat 161)

Q. An arbitration was agreed to take place on a certain date. Both parties had signed a document declaring that they will submit to the arbitration and the arbitrators were appointed by mutual agreement of the disputants. However, the day when the arbitration had to commence, one party did not turn up. Can the arbitrator issue a decree despite the absence of the one party?

A. The arbitrator can not issue a judgment by default if any party does not attend. Regardless of the party’s initial agreement and signature, his absence will be regarded as withdrawal from the arbitration process. Arbitration, while advisable and encouraged, is not Wajib. According to the Shariah, any of the parties has the right to withdraw from the arbitration at any time prior to the judgement.

Q. What are the virtues of giving Qardh, and how much pressure and what kind of measures can we place on the debtor to repay the loan?

A. “AND GIVE TO ALLAH A BEAUTIFUL LOAN (QARDH HASAN)” – Qur’aan

In several verses, the Qur’aan Majeed extols the virtue of advancing loans to the needy. The Qur’aan Majeed describes loans as Qardh Hasan – Beautiful Loan. It is also very significant that Allah Ta’ala describes the loan as Qardh given to Him Personally. In this transaction Allah Ta’ala as become the ‘Debtor’. The virtues of Qardh Hasan even exceed the virtues and rewards of Sadqah. According to one Hadith giving a loan is 16 times more meritorious than even charity. This virtue is inscribed on one of the portals of Jannat. Another narration mentions 33 times. The creditor should therefore not vitiate and destroy his thawaab (reward in the Hereafter) with harshness, threats and abuse when the debtor is genuinely unable to meet his commitment. The Qur’aan Majeed mentions three stages of Qard Hasan. If the debtor is genuinely unable to pay, and is in difficult financial straits, then the first and best option is to waive the entire debt for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. If the creditor’s financial position does not allow him to waive the whole debt, or he lacks the spiritual stamina for digesting such immense thawaab, then the next and lower option is to waive part of the debt. If the creditor is unable to avail himself of even this second option, then the lowest stage of virtue is to grant the debtor extension of time. There is no fourth stage. While demand for payment and institution of legal action to recover the debt are permissible, these measures are beyond the confines of Islam’s moral code. These measures do not attract thawaab – the profit of the Aakhirah. To gain the virtues of the third option, the necessary condition is toleration. The creditor has to be patient and not pursue the debtor harshly. When he patiently continues with granting extension of time, the reward on a daily basis is like giving Sadqah of the outstanding amount. If a debtor owes you R1000, you will obtain the reward of giving Sadqah in the Path of Allah for this amount every day the debt remains unpaid. The creditor reacting with anger and impatience when his debt is not paid is the normal attitude of almost all people. This attitude should be mellowed and its dictates should be restrained by reflecting on the status of the ‘Debtor’. In terms of the Qur’aanic command, Allah Ta’ala has become the ‘Debtor’. By bearing this fact in mind, the impatience and frustration will be cured.

Q. How much effort are debtors obliged to put in to repay the loan?

RASULULLAH ( sal lal lahu alayhi wasallam) said: “The Shaheed (Martyr) is forgiven all his sins, but debt.” In terms of the Shariah’s legal law, the Qaadhi (the Islamic Court) can imprison a debtor and strip him of all his assets to settle the debt. Debt is one of the worst calamities. There is no absolution from debt in Islam. There is no escape from debt. While the satanic laws of the kuffaar capitalist system, such as the limited liability and the legal donkey (legal entity) concepts absolve debtors, scoundrels, crooks and robbers of their debts, the debtor will have to pay every cent of his debt in Jahannum by roasting in the Fire, if he had wilfully or even carelessly abstained from settling his liabilities here on earth. The virtues of Qard Hasan and the Qur’aan’s emphasis on generosity, kindness and leniency apply to creditors. It is haraam for debtors to misconstrue this concept and interpret it as a licence for dodging and frustrating their creditors by withholding or delaying paym e n t . T h e A t h a a b (punishment) for such dishonesty and injustice is severe. There is absolutely no permission in the Qur’aanic Qardh Hasan concept for debtors to take advantage, and to become lax in their efforts to swiftly settle their debts. Debtors should also remember that it is HARAAM for them to indulge in luxuries while they have even one credi tor demanding payment . When a debtor has not met his commitment on due date, then it is haraam for him to spend money on any luxury and unnecessary commodity. Lack of fear for Allah Ta’ala and totally oblivious of the accountability in the Divine Court, most debtors have money for luxuries and for even Umrah and holiday trips while they are ‘unable’ to pay their debts. This action or inaction relative to paying debts is morally in the same category as theft and usurpation. The latitude of Qard Hasan is strictly confined to creditors.

Q. I loaned a sum of money to a friend. The loan was made by way of a cheque which incurred bank charges. Who should pay the bank charge?

A. A loan given is termed in the Qur’aan Majeed, Qard-e-Hasanah (Beautiful Loan), which the Qur’aan says is a ‘loan given to Allah Ta’ala’. Surely, you would not dream charging Allah Ta’ala a fee. Look at all the millions of bounties (Ni’maat) Allah Ta’ala has bestowed to you. The reward of Qardh-e-Hasanah far exceeds the rewards of Sadqah. You have to pay the bank charge. You will be receiving the reward in the Aakhirah and barkat in your Rizq here on earth for giving the loan.

Q. The day I loaned my friend $100, the value of the dollar was R8. Today the worth is R7. How much should he pay me – R800 or R700?

A. Your friend must repay you 100 dollars, neither R800 nor R700. He must buy dollars and pay you back in dollars.

Q. A property is sold for X amount. 47% of the purchase price is paid. The seller collects the amount and signs the documents. It is clearly mentioned that if anything happens, e.g. death, the deal will stand cancelled and the money should be returned to the buyer’s heirs. Both parties understand this and the money is given on trust. The purchaser demands 47% of the rental income, but the seller refuses. Is the buyer entitled to 47% of the rental? If the transfer is delayed, is the seller entitled to collect the rental? What is the Shariah’s ruling?

A. The purchaser paid 47% of the price, leaving a balance of 53%. While the seller is entitled to retain possession of the property until the full price is paid, he (the seller) may not derive benefit/profit from the property. All benefit acquired by way of rental belongs to the purchaser. However, in this case the sale must be cancelled. Only then will the seller be entitled to the rents. The money paid by the buyer must be refunded in full. The condition that the transaction will stand cancelled if one of the parties dies, is invalid. The condition of part of the rental is for the seller is also invalid. The deal had already been concluded. The condition of the money being in trust is nonsensical. The money given by the purchaser is not Amaanat if the sale was valid. The money is the property of the seller. It is part of the purchase price. The seller is entitled to the balance owed to him, and the purchaser is entitled to all the rent. The seller may deduct the rent he had collected from the amount owing to him. If there is a surplus, it should be given to the purchaser. This will apply if the sale is valid. But this particular deal is faasid (invalid), and should be cancelled. Delay of the transfer has no effect on the ownership of the rental. It belongs to the purchaser in a valid deal.. The mutual agreement has no validity. With the faasid conditions, the bay’ (sale) is undoubtedly faasid. They should cancel the sale, refund the purchaser his money and renegotiate the deal.

Q. Zaid and Imraan were conduction a transaction. Imraan put forward an offer with a certain condition. Zaid said that the condition is not permissible and the mas’alah states so. Imraan said: “I’m not worried about mas’alah masaa-il. If you want to go forward with the deal then this is the way I want it. Take it or leave it.” Zaid was taken aback. Nevertheless, he structured the deal to comply with the Shariah. My question is: What is the consequence of Imraan’s words? Did Zaid act correctly by concluding the deal with Imraan?

A. Imraan’s statement is kufr. His statement in fact is a rejection of the Shariah. He should repent and renew his Imaan and Nikah. Zaid erred by concluding the transaction with Imraan who implied rejection of the Shariah. When Imraan uttered the kufr, he became a murtad. It is not permissible to trade with a murtad.

Q. We are three partners in a supermarket business. We intend dissolving the partnership. What is the Shariah’s procedure for dissolution of a partnership?

A. The Shariah’s procedure, like all its procedures, is quite simple. Declare the partnership dissolved. Take immediate stock to assess the financial status of the business. Then divide the assets in terms of the shareholding of the partners. If each one is a third shareholder, for example, then each one will receive one third of all the assets, i.e. one third of the stock, one third of the equipment, one third of the cash, one third of the outstanding debts, one third of the vehicles, etc. The assets may also be sold and the cash divided.

Q. Is it permissible to trade with an intelligent child who understands how to buy and sell?

A. It is permissible to trade with a discerning minor if his father consents and endorses the transactions.

Q. Is it permissible to charge a higher price when selling goods on laybye?

A. It is permissible. It is essential to state the price with clarity at the time of the sale. You may not add an amount after the sale. Fix the price and leave the customer in no doubt.

Q. Is it permissible to have two different prices for the same goods – a cash price and a credit price?

A. It is permissible to have a different price for credit. However, the condition is to state the price at the time of the sale transaction. At the time of the deal, only one price should be stated. There should be no ambiguity.

Q. Is a written document necessary for the validity of a Waqf property?

A. Waqf becomes valid with a verbal declaration. A written document is not necessary for the validity of Waqf. However, the verbal declaration should preferably be committed to writing to avoid future uncertainty and conflict.

Q. Is it permissible to charge a fee/rental for painting adverts on a wall?

A. According to the Shariah, a wall cannot be hired. It is not permissible to charge for placing an advert on a wall. If there is no rental to be paid, the adverts may be painted on the wall. However, it is permissible to charge for the labour and materials used for painting the advert.

Q. Is it permissible to accept donations from non-Muslims for any Islamic charitable project?

A. It is permissible to accept contributions from even non-Muslims provided that in future Muslims will not be called on to contribute to their religious projects. If there is this fear, then it will not be permissible to accept their donations.

Q. Here in the U.S. many people receive food stamp cards. Often people sell these cards for cash, e.g. a $200 card is sold for $100. Is this permissible?

A. The card is not a tangible commodity (maal) in terms of the Shariah which could be bought or sold. The card merely entitles one to acquire goods. It is haraam to sell the cards. The money acquired from this baatil sale is haraam. The card-holder should first exchange his stamps for goods, then sell the goods.

Q. I have a R5 Mandela coin. Is it permissible to sell this coin for R500?

A. You may sell the R5 coin for any price, but not for coins of the same metal. Sell the coin in exchange for notes of another currency, e.g. dollars, euros, etc.

Q. A man paid for a vehicle, but before taking possession of it, it was stolen. Who has to bear the loss?

A. Since the buyer had not taken possession yet of the vehicle, the seller (the owner) sustains the loss.

Q. I am the sole agent for certain products. Is it permissible to sell the agency?

A. It is not permissible to ‘sell’ or hand over the agency in lieu of payment. The object which is being sold is not material commodity (maal), the deal will therefore not be permissible.

Q. I started a business with only haraam money. What is the Shariah’s ruling regarding the profit generated?

A. The business started with haraam money will be haraam. All the proceeds of this haraam business must be given away to the poor.

Q. I purchased a house with haraam money. What is the Shariah’s ruling?

A. Living in this haraam house is haraam. You have to sell the house and give all the money to the poor and needy without a niyyat of thawaab.

Q. A worker doing some deliveries with a truck for his company knocked down the wall of a customer where he was off-loading. Who is liable for the damages – the driver or his boss?

A. The driver is responsible and liable for the damages, not his employer.

Q. Which Islamic investment products are permissible to invest in?

A. Our advice is that you should refrain from investing in the so-called ‘Islamic’ investment products offered by the Riba banks. Riba is the very life-blood and breathing of all conventional capitalist banks. Even ‘Islamic’ banks such as Albaraka and Oasis are dealing in haraam Riba which they camouflage with Islamic terminology. It is best to invest in gold coins. People who had purchased gold coins just three years ago have made huge profits. The riba banks do not pay profits of such large amounts. The interest they pay, is a lousy percentage.

Q. If a Hajee dies in Makkah without having completed Hajj, is his estate entitled to a refund for the used part of the Hajj package?

A. If a Hajee dies in Makkah without having used all the hotel, transport and other facilities for which he has paid, then the agent should make a prorata refund to his estate.

Q. From whom should the estate of a deceased Haji who died before completing Hajj, claim refund of the used air-ticket? From the agent or the airliner?

A. While it is the obligation of the airline to refund the unused sector of the flight ticket, the estate can claim only from the person/enity who sold the package to the deceased. If the deceased had purchased the ticket directly from the airline, then in this case, the estate can claim directly from airline.

Q. I have a gold coin. Can I make a gift of half of the coin to someone?

A. A gift becomes valid only when possession of the item is given. A gift of a portion of the coin will not be valid because the one to whom the gift is made will have no possession and control over half the coin. The coin will have to be sold. The gift may then be given from the money acquired, or purchase with the money two half coins. Then make a gift of a half coin.

Q. I sell a vehicle on credit for R100,000 to be paid over twelve months. A condition of the sale is that if the buyer settles the debt before twelve months, there will be a discount of R10,000. Is this sale permissible?

A. The condition of the discount is not permissible. The sale becomes faasid (corrupt). If the buyer pays earlier, you may give him a discount at your will, but he will have no right to claim any discount nor may this be stipulated in the transaction.

Q. Please comment if the following answer is correct: “The basic principle is that loans should be in the same currency as they were taken by the borrower, unless the two parties agree at the time of repayment to repay it in a different currency. There is nothing wrong with that, so long as that is done at the rate of exchange on the day of repayment, not the rate of exchange that existed on the day when the loan was given. This applies to every payment; it is permissible for the two parties to agree at the time of repayment that it may be paid in a different currency, at the current rate of exchange.”

A. The view propounded in the loan issue is incorrect. At the time of giving a loan, it may not be stipulated that the loan be repaid with another currency. This amounts to riba. When a currency is exchanged for another currency, it is a sale. Whilst exchanging one currency for another currency is permissible, the deal has to be compulsorily cash. Thus you may exchange any amount of rands for any amount of dollars, etc. But both parties have to hand over their respective amounts in the same session where the transaction is concluded. This deal can not be executed by credit. The rate of exchange has absolutely no bearing on this deal. Irrespective of what the rate of exchange is or may be, the parties in the transaction have the right to fix their own rate. If at the time of repayment, the original currency which was loaned is no longer in existence, then of course, circumstances compel another mutually accepted arrangement for repayment.

Q. I owe someone 10,000 kwacha on 1 May and promised to pay back at the end of the month. At the time of borrowing the cash, one could buy 10 litres of petrol, but with the devaluation, the same 10,000 will not buy 10 litres. My question now is: Will our agreement be affected? Do I need to pay back 12,000 kwachas for example to cover up so that my friend does not lose anything? If I do that, will it be interest?

A. If the government has devalued the currency, then the percentage of devaluation should be added when repayment of the loan is paid. Example, the currency was devalued by 10%. When repaying the 10,000 Kwacha borrowed before devaluation, pay 11,000. However, if the currency is not devalued by the government, but the prices of commodities increased, then the exact amount has to be repaid. Any excess given will be interest. And Allah knows best.

Q. A Muslim electrician fitted fans in a Musjid free of charge. Two electrical items (controllers) which have been removed are now redundant. However, they are of use to the electrician. Is it permissible to give these items to the electrician?

A. If prior to doing the work it had been agreed to give the controllers to the electrician as a wage for fitting the fans, then it would have been permissible. Now that he has done the work without charging for it, his intention being to obtain thawaab, the controllers may not be given to him. Waqf property may not be given as gifts to anyone. However, someone should buy the controllers, then give them to the electrician. The money should then be used for the Musjid. A fair price should be fixed for the controllers,

Q. I owe some people money which I had acquired from them many years ago. I am in prison. The persons too are not traceable. What should I do to absolve me of this obligation?

A. If the person whom you owe the money is untraceable, and you do have funds to pay, then you have to try and trace his relatives and give it to them. If they too are untraceable, then give the money as Sadqah to the poor. If you lack the funds, then make a firm intention that the day you have money, you will pay, and make Taubah. Insha’Allah, you will be forgiven.

Q. We sell motor vehicle parts. When a customer returns an item for a refund, we charge a 20% fee for our handling. Is it permissible to charge such a fee?

A. When a customer returns a product and wants a refund, it is reprehensible for a Muslim to take undue advantage by charging him a fee for the refund. Firstly, if the item is returned without valid reason, then legally (i.e. from the Fiqhi point of view), the seller is not obliged to accept it and make a refund. However, if he does, then Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that Allah Ta’ala will forgive his sins on the Day of Qiyaamah. When this has been promised by Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), then it does not behove any Muslim to levy a fee of 20% or even 1%. The fee is an act of zulm and is not permissible. The customer is compelled to pay it because for whatever reason, he has no need for the product and is in need of the money. Our Imaan does not permit us to resort to such exploitation.

 

Relevant Material

Principles of Business
(Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi)