December 05, 2021 | RabiÊ» II 29, 1443
Al Hijr (The Rocky Tract) - Chapter 15: Verse 99
The correct concept of worship or Ibadah is very comprehensive. Ibadah is, as ibn Taimiyyah stated, "a noun comprising every word or deed, internal or manifest, that Allah loves and approves. This includes prayer, zakat, fasting, pilgrimage, speaking the truth, fulfilling trusts, doing good to parents and relatives, keeping promises, enjoining good, forbidding evil, jihad, good behaviour towards neighbours, orphans, the poor, travelers, animals, remembering God and reading the Quran and so on." Al-yaqeen or "the certain thing" in this verse is a reference to death.
It is not uncommon to find people engaged in what they call "purification of the soul," while they do not pray the five daily prayers, fast the month of Ramadan and so forth.
One argument that is heard to justify the above way of living is that the ritual acts of worship, such as prayers, fasting and so forth, are only meant to help in purifying one's soul. Once one has actually purified one's soul, he is no longer in need of performing those types of acts. In other words, those acts are simply for some type of common folk who have not reached the enlightened and purified stage of those who do not pray or fast.
This is a fallacious argument for many reasons. First, those ritual acts of worship are not simply means to achieve a better end but they are also goals in and of themselves. In other words, in themselves they are acts of worship and good deeds that every human must perform. Second, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was the most noble of all humans and he never stopped performing those ritual acts nor did he ever hint that he or anyone else would ever be excused from performing them. In fact, in this verse Allah reminds him that worship continues till death.
Third, the soul passes through different stages and is always volatile. A person's faith is susceptible to increasing or decreasing. There is no evidence that there is a certain plateau that one may reach that ensures that he will never go back again to a lower level. There is also no evidence that there is a certain plateau beyond which one cannot improve himself further. Hence, the soul is always and forever in need of the acts of worship and other facets that keep it purified and along the Straight Path or that move it closer to Allah and His pleasure.
"Purification of the Soul: Concept, Process and Means" - Jamaal al-Din M. Zarabozo, pp. 120-124
From Issue: 663 [Read original issue]
Some people presume that they must be punished for their sins and reason that the punishment of this world is lighter than the punishment of the Hereafter. Therefore, they pray to Allah to expedite whatever punishment that is in store for them in the Hereafter to this world. The danger of such a line of reasoning is that the person ignores the great Mercy of Allah, and forgets to ask forgiveness for his sins. Instead of asking that which is encouraged and better, he asks instead for something that he cannot bear.
Anas ibn Malik narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once visited a (sick) person who had become so thin that he was almost like a new-born chick. The Prophet asked him: "Did you make any dua or ask (Allah) for anything?" He said: "Yes, I used to say: 'Whatever punishment are in store for me in the Hereafter, give it to me in this world!'" The Prophet responded: "Subhan Allah! You will never be able to bear it! Why did you not say: 'O Allah! Give us the good of this world, and the good in the Hereafter, and save us from the Hellfire!'" Anas added: "So the Prophet prayed for him, and he was cured."
"Dua: The Weapon of the Believer"- Yasir Qadhi, pp. 110, 111
From Issue: 820 [Read original issue]
'Musharakah' is a word of Arabic origin which literally means sharing. In the context of business and trade it means a joint enterprise in which all the partners share the profit or loss of the joint venture. It is an ideal alternative for the interest-based financing with far reaching effects on both production and distribution.
'Interest' predetermines a fixed rate of return on a loan advanced by the financier irrespective of the profit earned or loss suffered by the debtor, while Musharakah does not envisage a fixed rate of return. Rather, the return in Musharakah is based on the actual profit earned by the joint venture. The financier in an interest-bearing loan cannot suffer loss while the financier in Musharakah can suffer loss, if the joint venture fails to produce fruits. Islam has termed interest as an unjust instrument of financing because it results in injustice either to the creditor or to the debtor. If the debtor suffers a loss, it is unjust on the part of the creditor to claim a fixed rate of return; and if the debtor earns a very high rate of profit, it is injustice to the creditor to give him only a small proportion of the profit leaving the rest for the debtor.
In the modern economic system, it is the banks, which advance depositors' money as loans to industrialists and traders. If industrialists having only ten million of their own, acquire 90 million from the banks and embark on a huge profitable project, it means that 90% of the project has been created by the money of the depositors while only 10% has been created by their own capital. If this huge project brings enormous profits, only a small proportion i.e. 14 or 15% will go to the depositors through the bank, while the industrialists whose real contribution to the project is not more than 10% will gain all the rest. The industrialists take even this small proportion of 14 or 15% back, because they include this proportion in the cost of their production. The net result is that all the profit of the enterprise is earned by the persons whose own capital does not exceed 10% of the total investment, while the people owning 90% of the investment get no more than the fixed rate of interest which is often repaid by them through the increased prices of the products. On the contrary, if in an extreme situation, the industrialists go insolvent, their own loss is no more than 10%, while the rest of 90% is totally borne by the bank, and in some cases, by the depositors. In this way, the rate of interest is the main cause for imbalances in the system of distribution, which has a constant tendency in favour of the rich and against the interests of the poor.
Conversely, Islam has a clear-cut principle for the financier. According to Islamic principles, a financier must determine whether he is advancing a loan to assist the debtor on humanitarian grounds or he desires to share his profits. If he wants to assist the debtor, he should resist from claiming any excess on the principal of his loan, because his aim is to assist him. However, if he wants to have a share in the profits of his debtor, it is necessary that he should also share him in his losses. Thus the returns of the financier in Musharakah have been tied up with the actual profits accrued through the enterprise. The greater the profit achieved by the enterprise, the higher the rate of return to the financier. If the enterprise earns enormous profits, all of it cannot be secured by the industrialist exclusively, but they will be shared by the common people as depositors in the bank. In this way, Musharakah has a tendency to favour the common people rather than the rich only.
“Musharakah & Mudarabah” - Taqi Usmani
From Issue: 475 [Read original issue]