Saturday, November 19, 2016

'Riba': Unjust Enrichment is Illegal

“O you who believe! 
Do not consume usury, 
doubled and multiplied, 
but fear Allah 
that you may be successful.” 
 --(Al-Imran, 3: 131).

“Those who consume interest 
cannot stand (on the Day of Resurrection)
except as one stands 
who is being beaten by Satan
into insanity.” 
  --(Al-Baqara 2: 276).

Interest or more precisely, interest rate is defined as the price of money, the price at which money can be borrowed and determined like other prices by the collusion of the forces of supply and demand. Originally usury was any premium we had to pay against the use of currency. Nowadays, usury also means the practice of asking for a very high interest premium through borrowing as well.

The verses which I recited consist of an injunction for mankind – especially Muslims – that represents and severely condemns the practice of usury or interest. Thus any transaction relating to usury (i.e. Riba) is illegal, as well as all transactions acquired by illegal means; Transactions such as: bribes, fraudulent transactions, gambling, bank interest, etc. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

'Never Despair; Face All Situations'

The existence of man is not due to chance. His presence on earth either is not without purpose. His creation is a divine decree for specific purposes. Undoubtedly, and without exaggeration, he is the only creature that Allah the Supreme Creator, has preferred to others. 

Verily, we have honoured the Children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.” (Al-Isra, 17: 71).

His superiority over other creatures is manifested in various ways: Allah granted him free will, and he has a mind that allows him to distinguish good from evil. Moreover he has a soul which Allah has created and which Allah has ordered to the angel to breathe in his body to make it human. Allah has made His own praise in His blessed Book, when He describes the stages of the creation of man: 

“We created man from an extract of clay. 
Then We placed him as a drop of sperm in a secure receptacle. 
Then we made the sperm-drop into a clinging clot; 
and then We made the clinging clot a lump of flesh; 
and We made (from) the lump, bones,
and We covered the bones with flesh;
then We developed him into another creation.
So blessed is Allah, the best of Creators.” 
  ---(Al-Mu’minuun, 23: 13-15).

Therefore, man must recognize his value and supremacy over all other creatures. He is an unparalleled elect (from among all the creations of Allah). His soul, and his body are all a favour from the Great Creator, a wonderful gift. He is responsible to preserve, to protect and refrain from causing them (i.e. his body and soul) any harm. 

But since man ignores all these realities, the existence of man on earth becomes something meaningless to him and does not represent any value in his eyes. He considers himself a creature similar to others, with a beginning and an end. Nothing more. This way of thinking is the main cause of the loss of thousands, if not millions of lives. How many nations were exterminated from the first one to the last for no good (valid) reason?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Why do Muslims offer Prayer?

“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humble in spirit, 
Who know for certain that they shall meet their Lord and that they shall return to Him.” (Al-Baqara, 2: 46-47).

Prayer (Salat) is a spiritual purification through which Muslims are required to undergo five times a day. Prayer is an integral part of Islam and is thus incumbent upon every sincere Muslim believer. Prayer enables Muslims to affirm five times per day the Unity and attributes of Allah, and their belief in Muhammad (pbuh), His Messenger. Prayer is therefore a part of the everyday affairs of the Muslim – he has been commanded by God Almighty to pray in the morning before sunrise, prayer is also ordained for him just after midday, a third in the afternoon, a fourth just after sunset, and a fifth in the evening before going to bed. Prayer is thus the first daily preoccupation of a Muslim and also his last. Prayer enables man, even when at his busiest, to disengage himself from worldly affairs in order to remember his Maker. Whilst Islam emphasises the accountability of each and every individual to Allah, it allows for the weaknesses and imperfection of man.

Although one is supposed to pray five times a day, allowances are made for those whose work schedules are such that they cannot break off at the required times of day. Thus, certain prayers can be combined and said together. Furthermore, if one is ill or on a journey, concessions are made so that the number of prayers are reduced, or in the case of illness, the actual form of prayer may be changed. For example, Instead of standing for prayer, the sick person may sit down to pray and if he is unable to do even that, he can lie down on the bed to pray.