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ISLAM AND THE WEST - 57

  RIBA  (INTEREST/USURY)   “Those who take riba (usury or interest) will not stand but as stands the one whom the demon has driven crazy by his touch. That is because they have said: ‘Sale is but like riba.’, while Allah has permitted sale, and prohibited riba…” (2:275)   “Allah destroys riba and nourishes charities…” (2:276)   “O’ you who believe, fear Allah and give up what still remains of riba, if you are believers. But if you do not (give it up), then listen to the declaration of war from Allah and His Messenger…” (2:278-279)

THE LAST ADVICES OF THE HOLY PROPHET (peace be upon him): 34 (talk by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani DB)

 CORRECTING HAZRAT ABU ZAR GHAFFARI RAA   Once the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  was going somewhere. On the way, he saw Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) scolding his slave. That slave was  Habshi  (of African origin) so he was saying to him, “O’  Habshi , you are doing this.” When the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  heard these words, he said,    “O’ Abu Zar! It seems like you still have some habits from the days of Jahiliyah (ignorance). That is why you are addressing your slave as O’ Habshi.”   Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari RAA started crying upon hearing these words, and even later he used to remember again and again that the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  had said this about me.

THE LAST ADVICES OF THE HOLY PROPHET (peace be upon him): 33 (talk by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani DB)

 GOOD BEHAVIOUR DOES NOT ENCOURAGE BAD BEHAVIOUR   These days we make up excuses that if I treat my domestic servants and employees well, they will become spoiled and will start misbehaving. But we do not reflect on it that the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  did not give any credence to any such considerations. Because he knew that his treating his servants well encouraged them to do good, as well as stopped them from misbehaviour. And that is why his kind behaviour with Hazrat Anas (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) over a period of ten years did not lead to any misbehaviour. This is the type of good behaviour towards one’s employees and subordinates that the Holy Prophet  ﷺ   himself practiced, as well as taught the Sahaba to practice.

ISLAM AND THE WEST - 56

 The concept behind it is all wealth belongs to Allah Ta’ala and it is He who grants some of it to us. We are allowed to earn it in certain ways, but there are other ways of earning it which have been declared clearly impermissible ( Haraam ). We can use it to bring comfort to ourselves and our loved ones, but we do not have absolute control over it and there are certain heads in which we are not allowed to spend it.  We HAVE to share it with those who are less fortunate than us, some ways of which are obligatory ( Fard ), while others have been declared supererogatory ( Mustahabb ) (they bring great merit when someone does it but are not compulsory). An understanding of this core concept of limitations on how we can earn and spend our wealth is relevant to the discussion which will follow later.

THE LAST ADVICES OF THE HOLY PROPHET (peace be upon him): 32 (talk by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani DB)

  Hazrat Anas (may Allah Ta’ala be pleased with him) himself narrates that once the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  sent him to perform some chore. When he left home he saw some children playing. He also started playing with them and completely forgot the chore for which the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  had sent him. The Holy Prophet  ﷺ  was waiting for him to come back and tell him whether he had completed the chore. When he didn’t return for quite some time, the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  came out and performed that chore himself. When he was returning, Hazrat Anas RAA saw him and suddenly remembered that the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  had told him to perform some chore. He got worried that the Holy Prophet  ﷺ   will get upset. So, he went to him and said, “O’ Prophet of Allah  ﷺ . When I left home I started playing with children and forgot that chore.” The Holy Prophet  ﷺ  replied, “Do not worry. I have done it myself.” Hazrat Anas RAA reports that he neither scolded me, nor told me off, or punished me in any way.

ISLAM AND THE WEST - 55

  In contrast, in Islam, there are clear restrictions on how one can earn one’s income, as well as on how one can spend what one has earned. In fact, there is a Hadith of the Holy Prophet  ﷺ  to the effect that among the questions a person will have to answer on the Day of Qiyamah (Doomsday) before his trial before Allah Ta’ala will be concluded will include, “where did he earn his income from”, and “what did he spend his income on”. 

ISLAM AND THE WEST - 54

  “0 Shuaib (peace be upon him), does your Salah (prayer) command you that we should give up what our fathers used to worship or that we give up doing with our wealth whatever we wish?” (11:87)    This is a question that the people of Hazrat Shuaib (peace be upon him) asked him, as narrated by the Noble Qur’an. Unfortunately, this is one of the questions which are asked by many Muslims even today. Why can’t I earn my money whichever way I want to earn it? Why can’t I spend my money whichever way I want to spend it? This is the way Islamic commerce is different from both Capitalism and Communism. In Communism, the ‘State’ controls everything, including how and how much one earns, and how one can spend one’s income. In Capitalism, there is almost no restriction on how one can earn one’s income, even if it means a few people become billionaires, and millions become destitute. Similarly, there is almost no restriction on how one spends one’s wealth, for example, leaving all of one’s wealth