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Hagia Sophia Mosque–Religious Chauvinism? 

August 8, 2020

 

A symbol of civilizations: Hagia Sophia

Q; – Did the Muslims or did the Christians build the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Turkey? 

The question, asked by S Conceicao, was originally answered by the author (in brief) on November 19, 2017. @ Quora.com. before the conversion. 295 views.

Hagia in Greek (hágios ) means “Holy” and in Christian liturgy something consecrated.

 

Watch my first formal V-Log on the topic and subscribe, please.

https://youtu.be/mpU9z5X4CRo

I would not blink agreeing that the timing of conversion of Hagia Sofia, back to the mosque, by the Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is politically motivated. It is to show Turkeys’ leadership resolve and to boost his popularity, domestically and internationally simultaneously. It was not, however, a religious chauvinism.

Some accounts suggest that the original church Hagia Sophia was ordered to be built, on the foundations of a pagan temple, by Constantine l in 325. Way before the advent of Islam. His son, Constantinus ll, consecrated it in 360. It was damaged in 404 by a fire that erupted during a riot following the second banishment of St. Johan Chrysostom, the patriarch of Constantinople. It was rebuilt and enlarged by the Roman emperor Constans I. Then restored building was rededicated by Theodosius II in 415. The church was burned down again in the Nika insurrection of January 532, which allowed Justinian I to envision a splendid replacement. (532-537) CE

 

Since Eusebius was bishop of Constantinople from 339 to 341, and Constantine died in 337, it seems possible that the first church was erected by the latter. The edifice was built as a traditional Latin colonnaded basilica with galleries and a wooden roof. It was preceded by an atrium. It was claimed to be one of the world’s most outstanding monuments at the time.

Socrates of Constantinople, writing in 440, however, claimed that the church was built by Constantius II, who was working on it in 346. A tradition which is not older than the 7th or 8th century, reports that the edifice was built by Constantine the Great. Zonaras reconciles the two opinions, writing that Constantius ll had repaired the edifice consecrated by Eusebius of   Nicomedia after it had collapsed.

Yet another account suggests that this Cathedral was completed by the Byzantine king, of Eastern Roman EmpireJustinian I in 537 as an epitome of Byzantine architecture.

An account with a different perspective, suggests that this edifice was built as a result of a sectarian split in the Christian ranks into—Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians. The seat of the Roman Catholics was the Vatican whereas Hagia Sofia became the epicenter of the Orthodox Christians.

21 years old king, Fateh Sultan Mohammad II, the conqueror, after the fall of Constantinople in 1451, entered the Byzantine’s prestigious cathedral and, keeping the tradition of “general-amnesty”  by the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) after the conquest of Mecca, pardoned all his adversaries, thereby winning the hearts and minds of the people.  The result was that in a short period a city with 99% Christians was left with only 3% Christians. [mainly Armenian-Christians]. Other accounts, however, differ and suggest that the Christians, Assyrians and Greeks’ cleansing was done through mass killing. I will, therefore, let the history bear the fact out.

When the Christian worshippers were left far and few between, and the edifice was dilapidated, King Sultan Mohammad II, in the year 1453, bought Hagia Sofia with his own money and endowed it to a trust. He, having envisioned the future cost of maintenance, also built a Bazar (market), and a museum adjoining the edifice.

{Note: The status of a “TRUST” cannot be changed/abrogated arbitrarily, even by the original donor, should he change his mind later on}

 

Hagia Sofia, throughout the era of the Ottoman Empire, of about 500 years, until 1935 had been a mosque held in trust.

 

Who was Mustafa Kemal Pasha and why did he convert Hagia Sofia into a Museum?

 

There are several interesting accounts about his background, his rise to the esteemed position of “Father of the Turks” and about his dubious behavior, in a wider context, relating to Islam!

He is a highly revered heroic figure, not only for Turks but also for most of the Muslims. [May not, however, be so for the Arab-Muslims]. When the Grand Vizier, Ahmed Pasha, of the Ottoman Empire planned to ratify the Treaty of Sevres, in 1918, the nationalist Turks headed by Kamal Ataturk defied the king’s will and revolted. Turkish parliament and the people refused to accept the treaty without substantive changes! Although, it was he who signed the treaty of Lausanne in 1923. This established the Republic of Turkey, and Mustafa Kemal became the country’s first president.

Kamal Ataturk in the last 150 years of Muslim history was the first leader; who not only defeated the coalition of the colonial powers; which included Britain, France, Italy, Greece and Bolsheviks supporting Armenians, but also expelled them out of Muslim-Turkey. Interestingly, American president Woodrow Wilson was planning to establish a Christian Armenian independent state out of Turkey but Kamal Ataturk, the hero of the Gallipoli war (1916), trashed his planning by defeating western colonialist forces one by one. Turkish Parliament granted him the title of “Ataturk” Father of the Turks. Parliament also made him field marshal and awarded him a title of “Ghazi” after defeating Greeks in the battle of Sakarya in1921.

 

Mehmed Vahideddin VI, the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire, was forced to abdicate the throne and exiled to Italy in 1922. It prepared the way for declaring Turkey the Secular Republic under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. (in 1923 after signing Lausanne treaty)

 

President Kamal Ataturk, contemplating to keep Turkey out of the well-conceived impending WWII, approached Balkan states and Greece (Greece had been under the Ottoman rule for 500 years), to sign the Balkan-Pact. Greece suggested declaring Hagia Sofia a church, as a goodwill gesture. Kamal Ataturk capitulated, therefore in 1934, abrogated the Hagia Sofia mosque trust and declared it a museum instead. The idea was that the old structure would need a huge sum of money to be restored and maintained, therefore, declaring it a museum would not only generate funds for it but goodwill for (secular) Turkey also. It did happen and UNESCO declared it (in 1985- E. Britannica) a world-heritage-site and has been maintaining the building ever since, for almost 80 years.

Note: there are some suggestions that President “k. Attatuk’s” signature was forged on the conversion decree!

Another account about Kamal Ataturk suggests that he belonged to a Jewish sect, “Dönmeh” or “Crypto-Jews”, created by a Romaniote rabbi from Smyrna named Sabbatian Zevi. Sabbatian Zevi declared himself as the long-awaited Messiah[Exploiting the pronouncement made by Musa bin Maymun (Maimonides) about the coming of the Messiah]

Sabbatian Zevi even at a young age displayed great brilliance and became an accomplished Talmudic and Kabbalistic scholar. Between 1642 and 1648 he lived in semi-seclusion and began to display character traits that psychologists describe as manic-depressive. His following was, nevertheless, spreading far and wide. Turkish Sultan finally arrested him and forced him to renounce the prophethood. Sabbatian Zevi offered to accept Islam and renounced Judaism taking the new name Aziz Mehmed Effendi. This way he ostensibly became a Muslim but clandestinely remained a Jew. [hypocrite]. Kamal Ataturk, according to this account, belonged to this hypocrite-Jewish cult-Dönmeh, hence declared not only Hagia Sofia a Museum but also Turkey a secular Republic.

 

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was a Free-Masonry, initiated into Freemasonry in 1907 in Macedonia Risorta Lodge # 80 under the charter and constitution of the Grand Orient De France. It was likely his involvement at a young age in Freemasonry that inspired his idealistic tendencies in life. He believed that modernization necessarily entailed Westernization, and he established a policy of state secularism, with a constitution that separated the government from religion. Although he believed he was advancing the country, not all of Mustafa Kemal’s reforms were warmly received. His policy of state secularism was particularly controversial, and he was accused of decimating important cultural and religious traditions.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2019/10/21/separation-of-church-and-state-in-christianity-rejection-of-mass-participation-in-election-democracy-nationalism-patriotism-allegiance-in-islam/

Kamal Ataturk. while in a position of strength, accepted/enforced many controversial, anti-Islam measures, which afford credibility to the above assertions. Unless he was naively influenced by the western modernity and secularistic trends of his time; as many western-educated Muslims, with scanty knowledge of Islam, think even nowadays!

 

Anti-Islam changes accepted/enforced. 

He changed the Azan (call for prayers) chanting from Arabic to the Turkish language.

He changed the Turkish language script from Arabic to Roman (Latin) so that people eventually would not be able to read/understand Arabic and Qura’an.

Mosques were locked except for a brief interval of prayers. [preventing any religious education or discourse]

Keeping or carrying the Holy Qura’an was forbidden.

No Hafiz was allowed to be a high-ranking army official.

Changed the name of Islambul city to Istanbul.

The Dardanelles (Bosporus) Straits was made an international waterway with the Ottoman Empire having no control over it. Certain ports near to Constantinople were declared “free zones” as they were deemed to be of international importance. This deprived Turkey of huge amounts of tariff collection.

Accepted the restrictions on the exploration of natural resources, such as oil and gas.

The army was made custodian of the Secular-Turkish-constitution, to perpetuate the secular character of the previously Islamic state.

Economic and political restrictions were also accepted.

The Ottoman Empire had the control of its finances and economy taken away from her and handed over to the Allies

Kamal Ataturk, in the face of Balfour declaration, acted as a vanquished (instead of an ally, Germany), acquiescing to the dictates of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion”.

Although, officially, he was pursuing the “Six-Arrows” policy — republicanism, nationalism, populism, statism, secularism and revolution. 

 

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/break-up-of-ottoman-empire-through-british-conspiracy/

 

Conclusion: Legally or morally only UNESCO has a right to object to the status change of Hagia Sofia, for it has spent huge sums of money on this edifice as a museum.

Although originally it was built as a Church but was sold and bought legally and for consideration and the title held in trust, which cannot be changed/abrogated arbitrarily.

Turkish supreme court on this very ground annulled the decision taken by Kamal Ataturk in 1453 and ordered its restoration to its original status–a place of worship—a mosque.

A site/building declared a national heritage; also gives the owning state the right to its “Adaptive-use”, anyway suitable/beneficial.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has changed a museum not a church into a mosque assigning only a portion of the edifice for Muslim Prayers while the remaining parts will still be open to the general public, as a tourist attraction.

 

These arguments, when considered rationally and logically, would repudiate any objection, especially that of religious chauvinism.

 

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/behemoth-turkey/

 

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Hindu godhead Brahma is supreme force that manifested through the whole universe by the sound ‘AUM’. Muslim God Allah is also a supreme force who created the universe by ordering ‘BE’. And it is. Are, therefore, Brahma and Allah the same?

May 24, 2020
Yaa ALLAH!

Hinduism perceives the whole creation and its cosmic activity as the work of three fundamental forces symbolized by three gods, which constitutes the Hindu Trinity or ‘Trimurti’: Brahma — the creator, Vishnu — the sustainer, and Shiva — the destroyer. According to Vedas Brahma is regarded as a supreme being.

According to the Puranas, Brahma is the son of God, and often referred to as Prajapati. The ​Shatapatha Brahman says that Brahma was born of the Supreme Being Brahman and the female energy known as Maya.

One can clearly see the contradiction in the above assertions.

Brahma can be perceived  a supreme-being  only by characterizing it to be manifested through the entire Universe , because it is a mythical-construct inert of revealing/producing anything. This is pantheism, which Islam does not subscribe to at all.

Allah, in Islam, is the only Supreme being of indivisible Unicity. (Oneness) and  distinct from His creation.

“There is nothing like unto Him, and He is the Hearing, the Seeing” [Q, 42:11]

The point, therefore, is that there is not even a remotest semblance between  the Hindu  godhead Brahma , a mythical-construct,  and the real living God, Allah Ta’ala [Nauzu-Billah].

Moreover, Hinduism, which according to Puranas and Vedas most likely started as a monotheistic religion, has lost its real character reducing to a mythical construct, so its gods and goddesses.are nothing more than a stretch of imagination. Islam, contrary to Hinduism, is a revealed practicable religion revealed by ever-living, hearing, and the only Supreme-being Allah (SWT).

“He begets not, nor is He begotten” [Q, 112:3]

Read: Proof of the Originator/God.

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Corporate Greed Pushing for Vaccine, ignoring already available remedies!

May 9, 2020

Virus COVID-19 has so far caused far fewer infections and deaths than the common flu had in the past years.

 

 

The Vaccination Debacle

A multibillion-dollar vaccine is not necessary. Corporate greed and Control freaks, like Bill and Melinda Gates, are busy with the idea of pushing a vaccine down the throat of the public. Bill and Melinda Gates are accused of doing the same in Africa, Kenya and elsewhere, sterilizing the females and new borne children in pursuit of controlling the population growth.

The NIAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are collaborating with a view to developing a COVID-19 Vaccine. WHO is also hand in glove in this pursuit.

China has proven that COVID-19 could be brought under control at rather low-cost and with strict discipline and conventional medication. The same medicines and measures have been used for centuries to prevent and cure successfully all kinds of viral diseases.

First, a vaccine against COVID-19, or coronaviruses in general, is a flu vaccine. Vaccines don’t heal. In the best case, flu-vaccines may prevent the virus from affecting a patient as hard as it might without a vaccine. The effectiveness of flu vaccines is generally assessed as between 20% and 50%. Vaccines are foremost a huge money-making bonanza for Big Pharma.

Second, here is a myriad of remedies that have proven very successful.

COVID-19: More Hydroxychloroquine Data From France

  • French Professor Didier Raoult, who is one of the world’s top 5 scientists on communicable diseases, suggested the use of hydroxychloroquine (Chloroquine or Plaquenil), a well-known, simple, and inexpensive drug, also used to fight Malaria, and that has shown efficacy with previous coronaviruses such as SARS.  By mid-February 2020, clinical trials at his institute and in China already confirmed that the drug could reduce the viral load and bring spectacular improvement. Chinese scientists published their first trials on more than 100 patients and announced that the Chinese National Health Commission would recommend Chloroquine in their new guidelines to treat Covid-19.
  • China and Cuba are working together with the use of Interferon Alpha 2B, a highly efficient anti-viral drug developed in Cuba some 39 years, but little known to the world because the US imposed an embargo on anything from Cuba. Interferon has also proven to be very effective in fighting COVID-19 and is now produced in a joint-venture in China.
  • There is an old natural Indian / Ayurveda medicine, Curcuminthat comes in capsules as C90. It is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compound that has been successfully used to treat cancer, infectious diseases and coronaviruses.
  • Other simple, but effective remedies include the use of heavy doses of Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin D3, or more generally the use of Micronutrients essential to fight infections, include vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.
  • Recently there has been a spate of new remedies proposed by various individuals and professionals with utmost certainty citing a host of COVID-19 patients having been cured. Like, Sana Makki, Neem-leaves powder and Black seeds (Onion seeds), etc. These are abundantly and inexpensively available in most of Asia.
  • Another remedy that has been used for thousands of years by ancient Chinese, Romans and Egyptiansis Colloidal silver products. They come in forms to be administered as a liquid by mouth, or injected, or applied to the skin. Colloidal silver products are boosting the immune system, fighting bacteria and viruses, and have been used for treating cancer, HIV/AIDS, shingles, herpes, eye ailments, prostatitis – and COVID-19.
  • A simple and inexpensive remedy, to be used in combination with others, is menthol-based “Mentholatum”. It’s used for common flu and cold symptoms. Rubbed on and around the nose, it acts as a disinfectant and prevents germs to enter the respiratory tract, including coronaviruses.

China Is Using Cuba's Interferon Alfa 2B Against Coronavirus ...

  • Northern Italy and New Orleans report that an unusual number of patients had to be hospitalized in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and be put 24×7 on a 90%-strength respirator, with some of the patients remaining unresponsive, going into respiratory failure. The reported death rate is about 40%. The condition is called acute respiratory distress syndrome, ARDS. That means the lungs are filled with fluid. When this description of ARDS episodes applies, Dr. Raoult and other medical colleagues recommend COVID-19 patients to “sleep sitting up” until they are cured. This helps drain the liquid out of the lungs. The method has been known to work successfully since it was first documented during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic.
  • Finally, Chinese researchers in cooperation with Cuban and Russian scientists are also developing a vaccine that may soon be ready for testing. The vaccine would attempt to address not just one strand of coronaviruses, but the basic coronaviral RNA genome (RNA = Ribonucleic Acid), to be applied as prevention of new coronavirus mutations. In contrast to the west, working exclusively on profit-motives, the Chinese-Cuban-Russian vaccine would be made available at low cost to the entire world.

These alternative cures may not be found on Big Pharma controlled internet. Internet references and the trained Doctors, if there are any, may advise against their use. At best, they will tell you that these products or methods have not proven effective or have not been researched thoroughly, and at worst, that they may be harmful. Don’t believe it. Most of these products or methods are not harmful. Remember, some of them have been used as natural remedies for thousands of years. And remember, China has successfully come to grips with COVID-19, using some of these relatively simple and inexpensive medications.

Few doctors are aware of these practical, simple and inexpensive remedies. The media, under pressure from the pharma giants and the compliant government agencies, have been requested to censoring such valuable information. The negligence or failure, to make such easily accessible remedies public knowledge is killing people.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2020/04/10/neo-conic-globalist-capitalism-pushed-humanity-to-the-edge-of-anarchy/

{Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), within the National Institute for Health (NIH)}

Nano-Chipping the Entire human race.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, will drive the mass vaccination effort which is scheduled to be launched in the period after the lockdown.

The vaccination association includes the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a semi-NGO, to which NIH / NIAID outsourced oversight of the vaccination program – supported by Bill Gates; GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization – also a Bill Gates creation, supported by WHO, also amply funded by the Gates Foundation; the World Bank and UNICEF; plus a myriad of pharmaceutical partners.

THE MARK 666 : SCIENTIST CLAIMS HUMAN MICROCHIP IMPLANTS WILL ...

Bill Gates also strongly suggests that travelers must have in their passport a vaccination certificate before embarking on a plane or entering a country.

The program implementation, including a related global electronic identity-program, possibly administered with nano-chips that could be embedded in the vaccine itself, would be overseen by the little-known agency Agenda ID2020 which is also a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2019/01/15/the-population-control-holocaust/

Bill Gates is also known as a strong proponent of drastic and selective population reduction. Knowing what we know, who would trust any vaccine that carries Bill Gate’s signature. Hope that this evil endeavor will not succeed is omnipresent. We must hope to the end, then the end will never come – and gradually Light will drown Darkness.

  Vccine contents penned By Peter Koenig, April 1, 2020.    [added to and Improvised by the Author, Shakir Mumtaz]

 

 

Disavowing or Disowning a Wrong!

May 1, 2020

 

Conceptual And Expressionism Art Examples - Lessons - Tes Teach

In an individual’s life come several occasions where one hears or sees something untrue, repugnant or altogether false. Most often, a person despite cognitive consonance may get perturbed for his inability to correct, address, refute such a situation due to some, religious, social, familial or political correctness constraints. Such a situation was faced by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim A.S) when he saw his father, relatives and people of his tribe worshipping false gods. He, despite having explained to them; that they are worshiping wrong god, did not feel satisfied therefore, vehemently and openly declared in their presence that “I free myself (absolve) from what you are worshipping” (Surah Zukhruf 43 V26).

 

The lesson to be learnt here is; that when someone is living in the company of disbelievers, or those who are habituated of doing wrongful acts, or those who out of sheer ignorance, misconstrue the religious injunctions, or altogether distort to justify their own lapses or that of someone else’s  should not be allowed to get a free-pass. In such a situation any person not raising the voice of concern may inevitably become part of that distortion and resultant sinfulness. In the light of this Qura’anic verse; uttered by Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim A.S) it could be inferred that keeping quiet, ignoring such an injustice/distortion or just being concerned with one’s own good deeds only is not enough.

 

It is not enough, that one should keep his own deeds and faith on the right track but also declare his disapproval, disavowal in suitable yet distinctly categorical terms.

 

This view could be corroborated by the Hadith whereby prophet (pbuh) instructed to “stop the one doing wrong with HANDS, TONGUE or the least, THINK of his act as bad act (this being the weakest degree of faith)”  Disapproval, disavowal of bad deeds categorically (even if verbally) would have twofold effect. 1) He would not become part of the sin simply by association or acquiescence. 2) Wrongdoer might heed and change his way—-which would entail immense blessings. This Qura’anic Ayah also corroborates the contemporary saying—–Be part of the solution and not of the problem”

 

NOTE–(Disapproval, disavowal does not mean, in any form or shape, to resorting to violence or Foisting of one’s opinion on others)

 

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shakir2.wordpress.com

Pakistan Army’s Nightmare. Erdogan-ilk! 

April 26, 2020

 

 

Is Pakistan showing Kashmir as a part of Pakistan in their map as ...

I never had so much clarity, about an overarching role of Pakistan Army, as I do now. I always, in the galore of patriotism, took the Pakistan army as an infallible, pristine and divinely entity; who is there to protect Pakistan and its people from all and any, internal or external, evil. Let me be clear, I am not against the Pakistani army and laud its role as the guarantor of Pakistan’s ideological and physical boundaries, do revere the sacrifices it has offered. I am, however, against the unsavory practices its top brass is employing to further their interests at the cost of the country. 

I always wondered hearing the criticism of the army and the stories of those who dared criticize; always trashed as anti-Pakistan traitors! Hussain Haqqani’s name immediately pops up on memory’s horizon; a journalist, a political activist and an academician. He also served as an ambassador in Sri-Lanka and the USA. The second name which pops up is that of Ayesha Siddiqa, an intellectual, a military scientist, and a director of naval research in Pakistan Navy. Doctorate in war studies from King’s College London. She wrote a book in 2007, Military Inc, exploring Pakistan army’s practices and faced an immediate smear campaign; which she weathered pretty well and still got a fair amount of media coverage within and without Pakistan.

I admit on the outset of having no inside information about the working of the Pakistani army, but as a thinker, political observer and analyst I can see, how things are being managed, maneuvered in Pakistan—by the so-called establishment—-which; in reality, is only the army. 

[Pakistan seems to be a unique case-study; in which so-called establishment—military—the only well-organized, most powerful entity, owns the country as its turf]

It dawned on me when; Nawaz Sharif—a convicted criminal—was met in prison; under the cover of the darkness of the night; by some representative of the establishment, and a deal was struck for his release out to U.K. A drama of his imminent death was staged, for which his medical reports were skillfully fabricated, Judiciary managed and the PM duped.  This whole episode would be an excellent script for a future James Bond movie! Bravo to Pakistani Military. No one else in Pakistan could have done such a fine job! No wonder, even Americans are convinced that the Pakistani (army’s) Intelligence Agency (ISI) is # 1 in the world!

When I shared my concern with a friend of mine, a veteran of Pakistani Capital—he asked me; “are you saying that Pakistan Military is working against Pakistan?” My answer was; “NOPakistani Army is working to hold on to its turf; on which it has been playing its game of king-making for the past 70 some years. It will fight tooth and nail against, it being taken away by an Erdogan-ilk and, being subservient like the Turkish army?”

Now, the obvious question arises, why someone would meet Nawaz Sharif in Prison and offer him a deal? One may recall, sometimes back Nawaz Sharif openly threatened to divulge some secrets if forced. That thereat was not a hollow threat but a potent one and heard by the concerned quarters. The Pakistani military has never been absent from any change; ever took place in Pakistani statecraft, for which its hands ought to be dirty. Nawaz Sharif, being highly vengeful by nature and at the helm of affairs longer than anyone else, must have saved some “unsavory maneuverings” of the military, to be used at the right time, as he did.

This thing is further confirmed by Gen Bajwa’s extension saga. Gen. Bajwa—selling his Bajwa doctrine—sought an extension in his tenure which; unscrupulous P.M Imran Khan and his novice courtiers bungled up and the Judiciary; in pursuance of settling its scores with the PM, created a bottleneck, for which a “Yeh” vote of the national assembly became necessary. This was managed by the Pakistani military; at an immense cost to the Pakistani state, economically, politically, culturally and socially. Most of the arraigned and confirmed robbers of Pakistan were set to be released on bail, and some were even promised a future leadership role in the government. {as has recently been published by a senior Pakistani journalist in Dawn Newspaper, concerning Shahbaz Sharif—who surprisingly dashed back from London hoping for something. Another news of $ 500Mil—a pittance in the face of 36-40Billions robbed— paid by Nawaz Sharif in secret for his release, also confirms the customary shady-dealings of the deep-state} Bajwa’s extension dashed all hopes of ending corruption, injustice and Pakistan’s economic well-being, forever. To understand fully, one may also delve into the obliquities of Gen. Parvez Musharraf, (Saudi King awarded him with 10 Mil $ gratuitous Baksheesh) Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (reportedly, bought an island ) and Gen. Raheel Sharif (awarded with a prized posting in Saudi Arabia, reportedly, for exculpating Maryam Nawaz from infamous “Dawn-Leak”).

 

Pakistan has been, put back on its old trajectory of “All-elite’s-shared-corruption” resulting in misery, poverty and destitution, for this is the only way military can hold-on to and manage its turf. The Military, under any circumstance, cannot and would not even entertain an idea of “Pakistani Erdogan” It looks like doltish PM Imran Khan is oblivious of even any strain of such thinking! He is still busy, praising Gen. Bajwa, beating the drum of accountability while some of them (untouchable) criminals are surrounding him while the others are roaming around freely (indemnified by the establishment) and politicking as usual. Entrenched interests of the Pakistani deep-state have necessitated Pakistan’s economy to be handed over to IMF, which might prove to be a huge set back to the most publicized “CPEC”! Lavish doling out of funds by IMF, World Bank, ADB coupled with plans of billions of dollars of investment by Beduin-Pentagon, despite oil market crash, is a visible enough sign to prove the point!

Any temporary betterment in Pakistani economic scenario would not benefit doltish Imran Khan; for which his inexperience, his indecisiveness and his dependence on the group of (managed/planted) cronies around him, has already predatorily been used to discredit his government. If somehow, it is felt that he may become unmanageable or indispensable [Erdogan-ilk], he would be immediately removed. For now, his stature and celebrity status is being used as a showboat for a softer-civilian image of Pakistan, to win on regional and international diplomatic fronts. He, nevertheless, is under the Damocles’ sword, and can be dispensed with at the spur of the moment!

 

Military in Pakistan is untouchable and poised to remain so for a long time to come, with an undeclared proscription for an Erdogan to ever let borne in Pakistan. 

A miracle, however, will always be the hope for Pakistan and Pakistanis! InshaAllah.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/pakistans-exceptionalism/

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Neo-conic Globalist Capitalism Pushed Humanity to the Edge of Anarchy! 

April 10, 2020

Capitalism Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock"Capitalism"  Source: Der neue Postillon (New Messenger), published in Zurich, Switizerland, 1896. The original included a caption: “The new relationship between workers and business owners.”

There have been several multitudinously harmful developments as a result of the neoliberal thinking; blended later on with neo-conic zealotry for capitalism and globalism; which emerged in the late 1970s, starting from Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan (US president, 1981-1989) and then, British PM, Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990). There has been an explosion of private power, splintering the societies, destabilizing the financial system, attacking people and countries and so on. Neo-conic globalization has also been an important catalyst in political parties shifting further to the right and far-right and succumbing to the power of increasingly dominant multinational corporations. This is glaringly evidenced in America; where the Republican Party has shifted so far off the spectrum that earlier old guard republicans would hardly recognize the republican party of today. Democrats, in reality, are just the other side of the same coin.

 

CAPITALISM.

The rise of capitalism and market economics; especially under neoliberalism, as noted above, shifted most of the western countries and participating societies from static to future orientation; based on the growth of capital and far-right politics. Capitalism seeks to maximize profit by locking down suppliers and/or by monopolizing markets (negative), while neoliberalism moving the right to far-right (transfiguring into neo-con-ism), almost bordering fascism. Therefore, there is a need to control the market and the neoliberal tendencies; so that someone doesn’t monopolize or cartel things by price-fixing and pursuing neo-conic-globalist-capitalist policies castigating a certain segment of the population. [Socialism, by Karl Marx, was introduced to address the structural limitations/defects in capitalism].

The break to capitalism came with Dutch and then British joint-stock companies (the Dutch East India Company and British East India Company) that sold shares in spice expeditions to capitalize them. They distributed the profit based on ownership and retained part of the capital to grow. From this came “market economics” as a component of what we know as capitalism.
Six billionaires own more money than that is owned by 3.8 billion common people!

The grotesque face of capitalism.

Mainstream politicians in the USA have long insisted that Medicare for all, a universal basic income, student debt relief and a slew of other much-needed public programs are off the table because the federal government cannot afford them. But that was before Wall Street and the stock market was driven onto life-support by the Coronavirus. Congress has now suddenly discovered the magic money tree. It took only a few days for Congress to unanimously pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which will be doling out $2.2 trillion in crisis relief, most of it going to Corporate America with few strings attached. Beyond that, the Federal Reserve is making over $4 trillion available to banks, hedge funds and other financial entities of all stripes; it has dropped the fed funds rate (inter-bank-rate) effectively to zero and, it has made $1.5 trillion available to the repo market. [As per Ellen Brown, Global research]

Capitalism, Imperialism and Profit Over People policies have been badly exposed by an invisible curse “COVID-19”. The USA, cheerleader of the Capitalists, whose “Pentagon” spends 2 billion a day, 80 million every hour, arrogantly refused to get help from China and the WHO. Highly developed Imperialist countries such as Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, on the other hand, were also financially overwhelmed and could not help each other. They also were at a loss to offer any help to the rest of the world.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/liberalism-a-precursor-to-atheism/

Most Recently exposed Ugliest face of the Neoconic-Globalist Capitalism!

The American government has a much bigger concern: that if they find a COVID-19 vaccine, China will copy it and distribute it for free.

People will be thinking, why it would be a problem for a manufacturing superpower, home to 1.4 billion people, to inoculate itself and others. But to the White House, this would be “stealing” of a potential American innovation, depriving its Pharmacutical manufacturers of billions of dollars of profit. “Biomedical research has long been a focus of theft, especially by the Chinese government, and vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus are today’s holy grail,” says; John C. Demers, the Assistant Attorney General for National Security, adding that, “Putting aside the commercial value, there would be great geopolitical significance to being the first to develop a treatment or vaccine. We will use all the tools we have to safeguard American research.” The fact that intellectual property and the profits of multinational pharmaceutical corporations are officially being put before saving lives, even during a pandemic threatening the entirety of humanity, was not mentioned by The New York Times, who covered Demers’s remarks.

Dean Baker, Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and Senior Economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research in Washington, D.C., offered an alternative view, claiming that he would be delighted if China “stole” vaccine technology and gave it to billions of people, telling MintPress News that:

The coronavirus pandemic is a clear instance in which the whole world shares a common interest in developing and distributing a vaccine. This should mean that we have open research, where all findings are posted on the web as quickly as possible, so that they can build on them. Once a vaccine is developed we should want it spread throughout the world as quickly as possible at the lowest possible cost. Trump’s concern that China would somehow “steal” a vaccine means that he is more concerned about protecting someone’s profits here, as well as possibly an ego trip (we’re number one) than possibly saving hundreds of thousands of lives.  [ Aaln Macleod, May 4, 2020—MPN]

Cuba, Russia, Turkey and China, came to the world’s rescue. Putin, upon request from the President, Donald Trump, sent a planeload, marked “From Russia With Love”, of medical supplies. American state governors, mayors, and other corporations started dealing directly with the Chinese corporations ignoring the federal government’s intransigence. FEMA finally ordered multiple shipments of medical supplies from China; whose distribution was done through “For-Profit” corporations.

China has sent by air, rail and sea the needed medical equipment to over 89 countries around the world. Supplies include test kits, facemasks, protective kits, goggles, forehead thermometers and ventilators, etc.

Chinese medical workers and supplies have been sent to 28 countries in Asia, 26 in Africa, 16 in Europe, 10 in the South Pacific and nine in the Americas. This assistance is China’s most extensive/wide-ranging humanitarian operation since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. 

Turkey has so far helped 38 countries, out of 69 who requested, with the medical supplies and ranks second after China.

Cuba sends more doctors to developing countries than does the WHO. Cuba has also developed and freely shared with the world a medication that helps to treat those tested COVID-19 positive–Interferon Alfa-2B.

 

Karl Marx’s writing; a 29-year-old philosopher with a taste for epicurean hedonism and Hegelian rationality; even after two centuries, remains one of the most “penetrating” analyses of capitalism that the gap between labor and capital would get worse,”. Marx predicted that capitalism would lead to “poverty amidst plenty”, a scenario that’s depressingly familiar today all over Europe and the USA.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2017/12/24/liberalism-a-precursor-to-atheism/

Karl Marx analyzed capitalism as a social system, rather than a purely economic one. “Humans and human relationships depend on our place within the system of capitalism itself”, If we don’t find a place within the system as individuals and human beings then we live under the exclusion. Capitalism doesn’t just determine our source of income but how we relate to each other, our surroundings, and ourselves. To be rendered superfluous by the system is damning to social wellbeing as well as economic livelihood.

We as human beings, our individuality, is not separate from what and how we, as a species, produce things and interact with nature. The emergence of COVID-19 is said to be, as climate change; a natural outgrowth of the profiteering activities of Anthropocentric Industrial Capitalism (AIC), which is an existential threat to humanity. If we continue to pillage the earth for profits, we will, in part, trespass deeper into the habitats of other species increases the frequency of closer contact with them, creating the possibility for other novel coronaviruses. This should come as no surprise, since in the recent past the earth’s ecosystem has responded to abuse with AIDS, Avian flu, SARS, MERS, and Zika. The militarization of space is another far more dangerous adventure undertaken by neo-conic capitalists and imperialists!

Knowing the fact that the external substantive factors can throw the economy out of the kilter, faulty internal dynamics and logic of capitalism would also inevitably be responsible. Capitalism’s very survival depends on the generation of profits while creating misery, inequality, injustice, unemployment, inflation, alienation, stress, recessions, and systemic crises as inevitable social and economic vectors.

 

Our Destiny for quite sometimes—from Bushes/Cheney duo till now—has been, is in the hands of doltish presidents and neo-conic world domineering veeps. It is time to start asking hard questions like: Is capitalism capable of addressing the problems it produces? How many times should a system that time and again failed to deliver be bailed out? 

 

After Woodrow Wilson and Richard Nixon, it was George H.W. Bush who saddled the Neocon Trojan Horse, while the Americans were in deep slumber, and invaded Iraq. His successors Bill Clinton, G.W. Bush, and Barack Hussain Obama paved a way for the Globetrotting Capitalist neocons to tread on ever-after. The political parties these men represented mean nothing. The real bunch of comrades they represent is the Globalist-Capitalists Neo-cons.

The reason we have been at war ever since; Bush I invaded Kuwait and Bush II invaded Afghanistan, Iraq having nothing to do with those countries, posing any imminent threat to the United States or anything of that kind – is greed, lust for money, power, control and (perceived) security of Israel.

That is how they enriched and empowered themselves, and fulfilled their economic/political/cultural/tribal fancies by controlling the world agendas. This is the same reason the Neocons have created ISIS, Al Nusra, et al. as proxy armies to take the war into any of the so-called “enemy/terrorist exporting countries” and eventually destroy Iran, guaranteeing the expansionist designs of Israel.

We Americans, to be realistic, should remain mindful of the reasons for our pull-back from Syria and Afghanistan.

 

The real battle is between Americanism vs Capitalism. Globalists and Neocons are Global-Capitalist.

 

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Deserted Mecca!

March 23, 2020

Kaaba after

Recently Saudi Government; to stem the spread of the coronavirus, stopped the incessantly ongoing activities, of congregational prayers and circumambulation of mecca. It was an unprecedented decision; tough to be rationalized and accepted by ordinary Muslims. The scenario was a painful thing to endure for the Muslims-across the board. The solace and comfort were sought by watching and circulating a video of pigeons circumambulating the mecca overhead instead of human beings on the ground!

A sighful voice gushed from the inner recesses of my heart; “Allah will punish those who forced this desertion and abandonment of House of Allah! InshaAllah”. 

I do not know, how hard or easy this decision was for the Saudi government but sure seems to have been taken in haste without envisaging the ramifications. The Saudi government, with all the resources available, could have found a way without forcing desertion and abandonment of mecca, as well as causing physical and spiritual pain to millions of Muslims there and billions globally.

 Allaah said:

“whosoever enters it, he attains security”       [Q, 3:97]

“And We made the House for people to return to, and  [a place of] security” [Q, 2: 125]

 

Now, the result is that many countries, following the Saudi suit, are deserting and abandoning their local mosques. The worshippers are left hanging high and dry; especially those, for whom the mosque is the only place of comfort and solace to resort to.

On top of it all, it exposed the secular and casual attitude of; always wearing gallantry and self-praise on their sleeves, Muslims towards their religion. I was aghast to see that the Muslims; who are never tired of boasting to sacrifice their lives for the religion of Allah, simply abandoned His house, for fear of being infected with a virus whereby the death possibility is minimal. 

What happened to Momin’s farsightednesstaqwa and tawakkul?

It is sure an occasion; for those who always wanted to see Muslims defeated in Jihad-e-Asghar, to celebrate; for Muslims succumbed to the fear-mongering and defeated themselves in Jihad-e-Akbar, instead.

So-called religious scholars [who are in reality religious-seculars] are busy on national t.v. channels of various countries distorting different Ahadith to justify the abandonment and desertion of the mosques and congregational prayers.

A famous religious-secular (Dr. Professor) on a Pakistani t.v channel e.g narrated that Prophet (PBUH) once commented on how to use grafting to increase the dates production, which was misunderstood. Prophet thereupon had to clarify and said, ”You are better aware of worldly matters than me, I am here to teach the religious matters only” This hadith was used to justify the abandonment of congregational prayers due to coronavirus. Increased production of dates, in this case, has no religious dimension to it whereas the abandoning of the congregational prayer does. Anyhow the hadith was abused/distorted in the presence of, supposedly an educated/informed, big-wig anchor and two so-called religious scholars.

Another hadith being touted is that Prophet (PBUH) said, “do not come to the mosque in heavy rain”. Historically pertinent circumstances of this hadith are being utterly ignored in the zeal of justifying the point raised. Back then, people would either walk or ride an animal to the mosque. Now, those impediments are not commonplace, hence the application, by far, would change. Unfortunately, this hadith is being importunately quoted to justify the abandonment of mosques and congregational prayers. Alas! May Allah have mercy on Muslims, and enable them to resort to precautions, wisdom, taqwa and twakkul instead of succumbing to fear-mongering. InshaAllah!

By the way, in no way or sense, I am suggesting that the worshippers should let themselves be infected with coronavirus and die maintaining the sanctity of the mosques and prominence of the congregational prayers. Sanity. coupled with precautions, should have prevailed.

 

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Riba (usury), prohibition vs dubious easements! 

March 13, 2020

“Those who devour riba will stand, on judgment day, like those driven to madness by a touch of the evil. That is because they say “trade is just like usury”. But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury. Whosoever, after receiving a warning from their lord, refrains may keep their previous gains, and their case is left to Allah. As for those who persist [in devouring riba], their abode will be hellfire. They will remain there forever. (Q, 2:275)

 

PREFACE.

In my view, in the above verse and other verses on the topic, there is no ambiguity; which may lead one to any confusion, that business transactions within the parameters delineated by the Prophet, are unequivocally permissible (except recent innovative/circumventive dubious transactions). Riba/usury, however, in whatever type or form (discussed in detail in the proceeding paras) is unequivocally forbidden. I strongly disagree with the currently in vogue innovative-easements; justifying the riba/interest drenched transactions, under the guise of “lease-purchase and loaning/financing in the name of murabaha”. 

I also disagree with the blatantly adduced assumption that “taking interest is forbidden but not giving” It contravenes an implied Qura’anic injunction; of not giving an increased amount on loaned money (Q, 30:39). This assumption is not only illogical but also negates the “duality of creation” (rule), affirmed in the Holy Qura’an.

DUALITY OCREATION

[and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[…and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. Q,36:37] 

 

These innovatively crafted-distortions do not fit the doctrine of Maslahah” as well. Terms of the loans under Islamic financing OUGHT TO BE DICTATED by the “creditor”, not the “debtor” [Q, 2:282]

“And of everything We have created pairs: That ye may receive instruction” (Q, 51:49) {Pair may be ln a tangible form, in an intangible or conceptual form; such as—man/woman, day/night, taking/giving or good/bad, etc.}

“He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: no son has He begotten, nor has a partner in His Kingdom. He created everything and ordered them in due proportions” (Q, 25:2)

{Singularity (Monotheism) is exclusively Allah’s attribute; nothing else, could/would exist in singularity} Nauzubillah! 

 

Notes: appearing at the end of certain points, in the proceeding paragraphs, is the point of view of the author.

 

Riba was prohibited gradually in four stages via                                                                Q, 30:39, 4:161, 130:132 & 2:282.

Kinds of riba

Islamic discourse identifies three different types of riba: 1) riba al-Fadl (primarily related to sales transactions), 2) riba al-Nasiya (sales or debt involving deferment) and a variation of the previous two, 3) riba al-Jahliyyah.

Riba Al-Fadl is the excess over and above the loan paid in kind.  It lies in the payment of an addition by the debtor to the creditor in exchange for commodities of the same kind. The Shari’ah wishes to eliminate not merely the exploitation that is intrinsic in the institution of interest, but also that which is inherent in all forms of unjust exchange in business transactions.

Riba Al-Nasi’ah refers to the interest on loans; its prohibition essentially implies that the fixing in advance of a positive return on a loan as a reward for waiting is not permitted in Islam.

Riba Al-Jahiliyyah when a buyer/borrower did not pay his due after the stipulated time, the seller/lender would increase the price, and thus a higher principal amount, sometimes doubled (or more), would be imposed.

According to Ibn Abbas, one of the major companions of the Prophet and earliest of the Islamic jurists, and few other companions (Usama ibn Zayd, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’udUrwa ibn Zubayr, Zayd ibn Arqam) “considered that the only unlawful riba is riba al-jahiliyyah.” (No textual/hadithic authority/basis cited)

 

Muhammad Nezatullah Siddiqi. In his book Riba, Bank Interest, and The Rationale of Its Prohibition [p. 41], offers a thorough work explicating the rationales of the prohibition of bank interests, and lists the following reasons justifying its prohibition: 1. Riba corrupts society. 2. Riba implies the improper appropriation of other people’s property. 3. Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. 4. Riba demeans and diminishes human personality. 5. Riba is unjust.

{These arguments are objectively scrutinized hereunder}.

 1) Riba corrupts society! 

Corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 

Siddiqi’s flawed logic can be identified by simply examining his first point – that riba corrupts society. While riba-based transactions are unjust and thus may have corrupting influence on society, but the corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 But corruption-related studies relating to these countries done by either non-Muslims or Muslims have never identified interest as one such determinant of corruption.

As we will see, Siddiqi’s enumeration is generally not much different from the earlier ones by Abul Ala’ Mawdudi and Dr. Yousuf Ali-Qaradawi (using Al-Razi’s arguments ad verbatim) and is as polemical as well as empirically unsubstantiated and untestable as ever. Only one rationale is identifiable from the Qur’an: exploitation/injustice (zulm): “If you do it not, Take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [la tazlimoona wa la tuzlamoon; [Q, 2:279] Hadith: – (Prophetic narrations) also does not provide in this context any specific rationale other than what is identified in the Qur’an.

Note: – 1) It does not, by any mean, means that CPI index or corruption-related studies absolve “riba” of its implications or represents an Islamic perspective in any contextual sense. Riba simply was not taken into account as a consideration. 

2) Injunctive (hukmi) verses, at times, may not necessitate any explanations, for these are/maybe above and beyond the scope of human reasoning and logic.

 

[In terms of the use of riba, Sudan is the strictest and Malaysia the most liberal state]

 

2) Improper appropriation of other people’s property.

Charging/taking an interest, here, implies appropriating another person’s property without giving him anything in exchange because one who lends one dollar for two dollars gets the extra dollar for nothing. Now, a man’s property is for (the purpose of) fulfilling his needs and it has great sanctity. According to the hadith, ‘A man’s property is as sacred as his blood.’ This means that taking it from him without giving him something in exchange is haram. [p. 265]

One can argue that, in trade, taking something from someone without giving something in exchange is haram (prohibited). However, the argument is misleading and erroneous. When a non-charitable transaction is involved, both the parties know what the lending and borrowing entail. The borrower is borrowing for some commercial or personal benefit and the lender is lending for-profit motive. In such a non-charitable context, the lender is giving up or foregoing the purchasing power for a specific period. In other words, the lender is “renting out” the purchasing power of his/her capital for a specific period at a cost; interest here constitutes “rent” that is paid by the borrower. The lender is getting paid (interest) for foregoing something; it is not something for nothing but quid pro quo!

Note: {Islam, in the first place, does not espouse the concept of non-charitable-loaning but charitable one—Qarzhasanathat may be administered by the state from the “Sadaqat” collected. Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will grant increase, for Sadaqat..}     (Q, 2:276)

 

Time-value of money in Islam!

Islamic economics/finance literature generally denies that Islam recognizes the time value of money. [El-Gamal 2000, quoting Mawdudi and Al-Sadr]. “[I] in Shari’ah, there is no concept of the time value of money.” [Usmani, p. xvi] Some authors think that the time value of money as relating to sales (deferred sales, to be specific) is allowed in Islam, but that it is not the same kind of time value of money as in case of loans. [Saadallah; M. Akram Khan cited in Vogel and Hayes, p. 202] Others even suggest that there should not be any profit-motive on the part of Muslims, seeking service from Islamic Banks. Although, its equivalent is found in Murabaha, cost-plus financing in purchase and resale. It has been conveniently ignored that accepting the time value of money logically leads to the acceptance of interest. [Saeed, p. 95]

Note; 1) -It may be due to the reason that; the time is created and determined (finite); relevant only to the temporal realm, whereas the recompense for use/misuse of money is indeterminable (at, this stage; i.e. temporal level) and relevant to the non-local domain only.  The time-value of money, in the charitable transactions, therefore, would render utterly irrelevant!

2) – The question of the distinction between the nominal-value and the real value of money, due to inflation, has also not been addressed in Islamic economic literature. At present, there is no economy “without-inflation” {Inflation, in my view, is a derivative of the flawed global economic system; whereby mostly the investors and/or the manufacturers benefit; reflected in different countries at different levels, representing overall state of economy} 

 

3 & 4) Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. & Riba demeans human personality.

Supporting arguments.

Dependence on interest prevents people from working to earn money, since the person with dollars can earn extra dollars through interest, either in advance or at a later date, without working for it. The value of work will consequently be reduced in his estimation, and he will not bother to take the trouble of running a business or risking his money in trade or industry. This will lead to depriving people of benefits, and the business of the world cannot go on without industries, trade and commerce, building and construction, all of which need capital at risk. (This, from an economic point of view, is unquestionably a weighty argument.) [p. 265]

Counter arguments.

In modern times, commercial lending and borrowing usually do not take place involving an individual lender at a personal level. Rather, there are lending institutions that mobilize savings from individual and institutional savers/depositors and channel such savings to the borrowers. The lending institutions have to work hard to solicit and pool the savings. They also employ people for the purpose.

The primary source of banks’ lending is savings and demand deposits of the depositors. Demand deposits come from people of all sorts, irrespective of their financial status. A good part of the savers; who use a bank as a source of quick and safe-return instead of risky and arduous stocks and bonds markets are usually risk-averse, older and/or retired people. They want quick access to their savings with a guaranteed return on it. This class of savers consists of people of all ages and financial backgrounds – wealthy and not-so-wealthy, young and older/retired. Indeed, these people can’t be expected/forced to engage in risky investments or laborious-works to seek “earned” income!

 

5) Riba is Unjust.

Supporting Arguments: –

Permitting the taking of interest discourages people from doing good to one another, as is required by Islam. If interest is prohibited in a society, people will lend to each other with goodwill, expecting back no more than what they have loaned, while if interest is made permissible the needy person will be required to pay back more on loans (than he has borrowed), weakening his feelings of goodwill and friendliness toward the lender. (This is the moral aspect of the prohibition of interest.). [p. 266] 

Counter-arguments: –

This whole argument is contrary to the profit-motive, recognized in Islam. Unless we are talking about charities, these arguments would be misplaced and erroneous. This would also imply that people in interest-based societies have lesser goodwill toward others and may not be engaged in enough charitable acts. Is there any empirical corroboration behind such comparative observation?

Note; – [ In my view both, the pro and against, arguments are flimsy at the best. Profit motive sanctioned in Islam is through business dealings not through money-lending for a pre-determined period and profit. Islam, as mentioned earlier, does not espouse non-charitable lending]

 

Some [al-maslaha-al-mursala based] opinions/fatawa; issued by earlier religious figures are being vehemently propagated by some present religious figures with unabashed assertiveness. 

 

The point, a bone of contention; that has divided Muslim scholars is, whether riba (usury) and bank interest are to be considered the same/equivalent or distinct?

 

Equivalence Proponents.

One body of scholarly opinion defines riba to include not only interest but also transactions involving speculation, capital gains, monopoly, hoarding, and absentee rents, in other words, any appropriation of value for which an acceptable counter value is not forthcoming. The reader can easily read through and conceptualize the implications of using more and more restrictive definitions, in the limit (to borrow a mathematic term) equating riba simply with interest.

 

“All the schools of thoughts of Muslim jurisprudence hold the unanimous view that riba, usury and interest are strictly prohibited.” [Siddiqui, p. 15] Also see, Mabid Ali Al-Jarhi and Munawar Iqbal. “Islamic Banking: Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions,” Islamic Development Bank, Occasional Paper No. 4, 2001. http://irtipms.iskandertech.com/OpenSave.asp?pub=92.pdf; Tariq Talib al-Anjari. “Islamic Economics and Banking,” http://islamic-world.net/economics/economic_banking_01.htm;

“The renowned Islamic scholar Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi holds that the question of prohibition of interest is a settled issue and that ‘there is no provision left in it for any reformist to re-interpret and provide an excuse for stating anything otherwise’. He states that it is ‘an issue which has withstood the test of consensus (Ijmah) of ummah of the present day as well as of the past’.” [ Syed Thanvir Ahmed. “Attempt to Justify Interest an Exercise in futility,” http://www.islamicvoice.com/april.99/economy.htm.]

Abul Ala’ Mauwdudi defines riba as the amount that a lender receives from the borrower at a fixed rate of interest. {for a fixed time and transaction contingent on the excess on the principal}. The transaction would be usurious whether it is for productive-investment or private needs.[Mawdudi, 1997;164] The most explicit report of the Council of Islamic ideology (CII) says: “There is complete unanimity in all schools of thoughts in Islam that the term “riba” stands for interest in all its types and forms”

 

Non-Equivalence Proponents

Those who have argued against this equation, the Non-Equivalence School [Ahmed, p. 28], have not made their arguments in clear and convincing terms so that the common Muslims can decide for themselves. Thus, this discourse needs to continue more vigorously and engagingly.

Note: In my view, as also enunciated in the preface, verse 30:39 categorically settles the issue of non-equivalence of usury, riba or interest by stating “whatever you give in addition to loan amount”, is riba. Supported by a hadith narrated by Jabir, mentioned in Muslim and Tirmazi“Prophet cursed the receiver and payer of the riba, recorder and witnesses to the transaction. And said they are all alike” (in sinfulness)

 

Interest-free economies

Since there has not been any true interest-free, modern Islamic economy and a few places where it is being attempted, the Islamic financial institutions (IFI hereafter), are moving rather closer to the conventional banking practices.

Note: – Use of Interest regime (to control the demand and supply of the funds/liquidity levels; which in turn determines the cost of borrowing; seldom yields the desired results, due to several other factors at play) is the chief catalyst in the volatility of the world’s, almost all, interest-based economies! [Although the man-made  economic management system has gained a high level of sophistication, yet lacks the precision]

 

The primary source of an Islamic Economic system is the Holy Qura’an and Sunnah. Secondary sources include the followings: –

Ijtihad: – True Ijtihad is both the source and the legal instrument that allows a dynamism to be set in motion at the heart of Islamic law and jurisprudence—closely linked with Qura’an and Sunnah.

Ijmaa (Consensus): In its technical dimension, Ijmaa means the agreement of all competent jurists in any particular generation, acting as representatives of the community on a point of law. In practice, the Ijmaa acts as proof if there is no element of the Qur’an or the Sunna that makes it possible to decide on a case, and could in principle elevate a ruling based on probable evidence to absolute certainty.

Qiyas (Analogical reasoning): this technique consists of assigning, based on a common underlying characteristic, the legal ruling of an existing case found in the texts of the Qur’an, Sunnah and/or Ijmaa, to a new case whose legal ruling could not be deduced directly from the scripture and/or Sunnah. This ruling nevertheless ought to remain within the confines and spirit of the primary sources of Islamic law.

 

Misuse of the concept “IJMA’A”

It has been a common practice among Muslim scholars and jurisprudents to claim consensus (ijma) about almost anything they have given their juristic opinion on. The very use of the word ijma inspires awe among faithful Muslims. However, the existence of multiple schools of jurisprudence (fiqh) is not evidence of consensus, but the lack of it.

The reality is that there is not even a consensus on the definition of ijma.  Indeed, it is reported that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, founder of one of the four orthodox schools (madhab) made a general assertion: “Whoever claims consensus is a liar.

Note; – The concepts, of hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, seem to fall in the same category; for there are many scholars and Islamic Financial institutions, voicing against these financing modes.

 

Foundational work; a springboard for the current deviant practices, under the guise of Islamic Financing!

 

In the 1930s, Syrian scholar Marouf al-Daoualibi suggested that the Qur’an bans interest only on consumption loans, not investment loans, and in the 1940s Egyptian jurist, Al-Sanhuri argued that the Qur’an sought chiefly to ban interest on interest. A more extreme and recent example is the opinion of the mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who in 1989 declared that interest on certain interest-based government investments was not forbidden riba (because the gain is little different from the sharing of the government’s profits from use of the funds or because the bank deposit contract is novel), thus joining the thin ranks of prominent religious figures who have issued fatawa declaring clear interest practices permissible. This fatwa aroused a storm of controversy, with opposition from nearly all traditional religious scholars and warm praise from secular modernizers. Later he went even further, saying that interest-bearing bank deposits are perfectly Islamic, and more so than ‘Islamic’ accounts that impose disadvantageous terms on the customer. Laws should change the legal terminology used for bank interest and bank accounts to clarify their freedom from the stigma of riba. [Vogel and Hayes, p. 46]

 

Fatwa for sale

Owen Matthews, “How the West Came to Run Islamic Banks”, Newsweek [October 31, 2005] While the evolved orthodox position about riba was not necessarily tainted by worldly considerations, the contemporary IBF discourse does note “the debate on ‘fatwas for sale” … fatwa wars”, etc. [Warde, p. 227] It is important to note that the classical orthodox position revolved around riba and the modern, contemporary discourse revolves around not merely riba, but a riba-interest equation. The contemporary Shari’ah experts serving the IBF industry hardly have anything to say about the political tyranny, or concentration of wealth, involving the patrons of the IBF movement. [IBF—Islamic Banking and Finance].

 

Islamic Financial Instruments include: MusharkahMudarabahMurabahaMusawamah, Salam,Istisna’aTawarruqIjarah and Qard Hasana.    [Only the relevant financial instruments are discussed in detail]

 

Arguments against lease-purchase/lending.

According to Yousef, “the predominance of the murabaha represents a challenge to the very notion that Islamic finance would provide an alternative to interest-based conventional financial systems.” [p. 64] Siddiqi went much further to warn the Islamic finance industry: … we cannot claim, for an interest-free alternative not based on sharing, the superiority which could be claimed based on profit-sharing. What is worse, if the alternative in practice is built around predetermined rates of return to investible funds, it would be exposed to the same criticism which was directed at interest as a fixed charge on capital. 

 

It so happens that the returns on finance provided in the modes of finance based on murabaha, bay’ salamleasing and lending with a service charge, are all predetermined as in the case of interest. Some of these modes of finance are said to contain some elements of risk, but all these risks are insurable and are insured against. The uncertainty or risk to which the business being so financed is exposed is fully passed over to the other party. A financial system built solely around these modes of financing can hardly claim superiority over an interest-based system on grounds of equity, efficiency, stability and growth. [Siddiqi, 1983, p. 52]

 

It is noteworthy that, contrary to the popular perception of the believing Muslims, Murabaha, (leasing and lending), may not be, as generally claimed, quite Shari’ah-compliant. It is heavily criticized or repudiated by many Islamic scholars and by some Islamic financial institutions.

 

Why Western Institutions are swarming Islamic Banking?

Western interest in “interest-free” banking, is not because the West is convinced about the claimed superiority of Islamic finance/banking in general, and Islamic financial products in particular; but because they don’t find any substantive difference between conventional banking and the current practices of Islamic banking, which have shifted away from profit-loss sharing (PLS)/Risk-sharing-based transactions to Murabaha. It is a vast untapped lucrative market for them, with a clear edge in terms of credibility, experience and capitalization. These banks have found Mudaraba and Musharaka to be inoperable in the modern context. [Saeed, chapter “Murabaha Financing Mechanism,” pp. 76-95; Aggarwal and Yousef, p. 106; Vogel and Hayes, p. 7] Thus, they quietly disengaged themselves from risk-sharing, Musharaka and Mudaraba modes and engaged in Murabaha, instead.

 

Application of the Doctrine of Maslaha.

Maslaha is a very specific concept—in its definition, its levels, its types, and its conditions require that the ulama (religious scholars) constantly refer back to the revealed sources to be able to formulate judgments in conformity with the Qura’an and Sunnah, even when there is no specifically relevant text available. They must try—by carrying out a thorough and detailed study–to provide Muslims with (common good) new banking and financial instruments, guided by Islamic principles and in conformity with Sharia’a.

Presently, this concept is being used and also abused to justify all sorts of new fatawaeven some manifestly in contradiction with obvious proofs from the Qura’an and the Sunna, as in the case of rules concerning interest (riba), inheritance and lending under Murabaha.

Note: [A glaring example of “Tufian” approach, appearing below]

Imam Malik referred to the notion of istislah, which meant “to seek the good.” In his legal research, he, therefore, used the example of the companions—who formulated numerous legal decisions in the light of the common good while respecting the corpus of the sources—to justify the fact that “to seek the good” (istislah) is one of the fundamentals of the Sharia and so is part of it.

It is, however, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali who, with his strict codification, provided the clearest framework for tackling this question from his time to the present. In his Al-mustasfa min ilm al-usul, he states very precisely: “In its essential meaning, al-maslaha is a term which means to seek something beneficial [manfaa] or avoid something harmful [madarra].

What we mean by maslaha is the preservation of the objective [maqasid] of the Law [shar], which consists of five things: the protection of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and property. Whatever ensures the protection of these five principles [usul] is maslahawhatever goes against their protection is mafsada, and to avoid it is maslaha”.

Al-Ghazali, still referring to the broad meaning of maslaha, mentions three different types: al-daruriyyat (the imperative), a category which has to do with the five elements of maqasid al-sharia (here in the sense of the objectives of the Law) listed earlier; al-hajiyyat (the necessary, the complimentary), which has to do with the prevention of anything that could be a source of difficulty in the life of the community, without leading to death or destruction; and finally al-tahsiniyyat and al-kamaliyyat (the enhancing and the perfecting)*1, which concern anything that may bring about an improvement in religious practice. These three levels cover all that can be considered as the masali (common good) of the human being considered as a person and as a worshipper of God, and this categorization was hardly ever questioned in debate and polemic.

*1 {The only point which could be cited, while ignoring all other parameters, vaguely favoring financing under murabaha}

Ulama established a typology based on the degree of proximity of al-maslaha to the sources. If al-maslaha is based on textual evidence (i.e., a quotation from the Qur’an or the Sunna), it is called maslaha mutabara (accredited), and it must necessarily be taken into account. If, on the other hand, the maslaha invoked is contradictory to an undisputed text (nass qati), it is called mulgha (discredited) and cannot be taken into account. The third type occurs when there is no text: the Qura’an and the Sunna do neither confirm nor reject a maslaha that became apparent after the age of Revelation. A maslaha of this type is call mursala (undetermined), for it allows the “Ulama” to use their judgment and personal reasoning to formulate a legal decision in the light of the historical and geographical context; using their best efforts to remain faithful to the commandments and to the “ letter and spirit” of the law.

 

It is this last type that has given rise to much debate and polemic (the analysis is beyond the scope of this study). Suffice it to say here that the main cause of disagreement was the fear, on the part of those opposed to the very concept of al-maslaha al-mursala, that such a notion, with such broad scope, might then allow the ulama to formulate regulations without reference to the Qur’an and the Sunna based on exclusively rational and completely free reasoning, all in the name of a remote hardship or “an anticipated difficulty  Most ZahiriteShafaiite and Malikite ulema did not recognize al-maslaha-al-mursala, for it does not refer back to the sources—as a legal proof; they saw it as a specious (Wahmiyya) proof.

 

This was the very same instinctive fear in an approach that is although purely rational but disconnected with the Law; that pushed Al-Ghazali to restrict work on al-maslaha to the area of the application of qiyas (analogy), which, of its nature, requires a close link with the text for the deduction of the cause (illa) on which analogical reasoning rests.

Note: – Hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, therefore, contravenes the second rule of maslaha as well as the third rule, by not fulfilling the “referring back to the source” requisite. Hence being spurious (whamiyya) in nature, becomes clearly impermissible!

 

Famous fourteenth-century Hanbali jurist–Najm al-Din al-Tufi– ended up giving al-maslaha priority over texts from the Qur’an and the Sunna; which, according to him, should be applied, according to Mahmasani, only–“to the extent that the common good does not require anything else” 

 

Currently, we see very strange “modern Islamic legal decisions” based on “modern maslaha-al-mursala” that are manifestly contradictory to the sources. The misuse of al-maslaha al-mursala thus sometimes seems to justify the strangest behavior, as well as the most obscure commercial dealings, financial commitments, and banking investments, under the pretext that they protect, or could or should protect, “the common good.”

 

Common good 

Famous 14th Century renowned scholar of Grenada, Al-Shitabi, first of the proponents of the doctrine of al-maslaha-al-mursal who stipulated the precise conditions for “common good” –to be considered as a reliable judicial source, restricting its application `preventing ulema from resorting to maslaha without justification. There is a general agreement of the scholars (both, for and against al-maslaha-al-mursala) on the precise definitions stipulated by Al-Shitabi for “common good”

Without going into too much detail, we may summarize the three generally recognized main conditions for situations when it is sure that no text has been enunciated:

  • The analysis and identification must be made with serious attention so that we may be sure that we have before us an authentic (haqiqiyya) and not an apparent or spurious (wahmiyya) The scholar must reach a high degree of certainty that the formulation of an injunction will avoid difficulty and not do the opposite and increase problems in the context of the Islamic legal structure.
  • The maslaha must be general (kulliyya) and be beneficial to the population and society as a whole, and not only to one group or class or individual.
  • The maslaha must not be in contradiction to or conflict with an authentic text from the Qur’an or the Sunna. If it were, it would no longer be a maslaha mursala but would be a maslaha mulgha.

 

What is clear from the above three conditions that it is the supremacy of the Qur’an and the Sunna over all other references and legal instruments. 

 

Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi rightly recalls, taking up the ideas of al-GhazaliIbn al-Qayyim, and al-Shitabi, that everything found in the Qur’an and the Sunna is, in itself, in harmony with “the good of humankind” in general, for the Creator knows and wants what is best for human beings, and He shows them what they must do to achieve it. We find in the Qur’an, referring to the revealed message: “[the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful for them the good things and forbid the bad things of life, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime]”

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus, Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought”. [Q, 2:219]

 

If the conditions stipulated for common good are, manifestly proclaimed (qati al-thubut wa-qati al-dalala) in the Qur’an and/or the Sunna, they must be respected and applied in the light of an understanding of the whole body of the objectives of Islamic teaching, maqasid al-Sharia.

 

“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise”. [Q, 22:52]

 

 

The author earnestly hopes and prays, that this piece will provide clarity to the people, on the issue of “RIBA” {as promised by Allah}, and help them choose the right path. InshaAllah.

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