Friday, January 08, 2010

Panel discussion on Al-Jazeera TV

I participated in this panel discussion on Al-Jazeera TV on Tuesday. I found what the other panelists said to be outrageous: Islamic bankers do not seek profit? We have a lot to teach the West? Conspiracy theories?... how could they say this stuff with a straight face? I guess they were pandering to a particular Arabic-speaking audience rather than trying to state the truth as they see it. If that is the case, then it is a tragedy. If they truly believed what they said, then that is an even greater tragedy:
إن كنت تدري، فتلك مصيبة ... و إن كنت لا تدري، فالمصيبة أعظم


Blogger nhusain said...

Unfortunately all the people he mentioned as alternatives are not much different then who he is criticizing, just a matter of degree. Anyhow each side in a negotiation can choose whoever they trust to represent them. Looks like this guy is trying to earn some brownie points from someone.

8:08 PM  
Blogger nhusain said...

You clearly declare unequivacally here that the current practices of the Islamic banks are ribawi. This is interesting. Do you know of any scholar who endorses this opinion?

8:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Heraish,

I have only read some of the discussion so far but from Dr. Gamal's initial comments he is simply restating what he has been arguing all along, the substance over form approach of current islamic banking practices. Anyone with a basic understanding of Finance can read Dr Gamal's book and unequivocally conclude that some of these financial instruments are just window dressed versions of standard interest based products. If your risk exposure is exactly the same as a standard loan, then you dont need a sheikh to tell you that its ok to fool yourself. If it looks like a duck....

However, here is a respected Sheikh who has worked in the industry and has made a similarly strong statement as Dr Gamal:

Sheikh Dr. Ali Saloos, who along with Sheikh Qaradawi has some experience in the islamic finance industry in Qatar many years ago and decided to leave.

الشريعة والحياة - الرقابة الشرعية على البنوك الإسلامية

8:08 AM  
Blogger Parvez said...

Heraish: and this is from Tareq El-Diwany

Q. Can you name some of the scholars that share your views?
A. Shortly before he died, Sheikh Ibn Uthaymeen in Saudi Arabia called Islamic banking "the usury of deception". For this reason he regarded it as worse than interest-based banking. At least the latter
doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. Even Mufti Taqi Usmani, a father of the modern
Islamic banking movement, is reported to have said that what the industry is doing now is not so
much the jurisprudence of Islamic transactions as the "jurisprudence of Islamic legal tricks". Here in
London, Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad has argued consistently that most of the current range of retail
Islamic banking products contains riba. And traditional scholars such as ibn Taymiyyah were arguing
against tawarruq centuries before Islamic banks adopted it as the basis of their loan facilities.

You can read the entire interview here:

8:33 AM  
Blogger Muhammad Saeed Babar said...

The very first order by Allah (SWT) in Quran is in Aya 21 of Sura Baqara, which says "O ye people! adore your Guardian-Lord who created you and those who came before you that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness."

The very first guidance from Allah (SWT) for the mankind is to learn "Taqwa" because without having it one can't come to possess the understanding of His message, the way He wants to be understood.

So in matters of Allah (SWT), there is no other way except to have "Taqwa".

Following are some of the interpretations of the term "Taqwa", which shall make it clear what is required while interpreting the literal meaning and terms of Quran.

Tafseer ibn Kathir mentions that Atiyah As-Sa’di said the Propeht (pbuh) said, “The servant will not acquire the status of those with taqwa until he abandons what is harmless out of fear of falling into that which is harmful.” [Ibn Majah, Tirmidhi]

Sayyiduna Ali (R.A) defined Taqwa as being the ‘fear of Jaleel (Allah), acting upon the tanzeel (Quran), being content with qaleel (little), and preparing for the day of raheel (journeying from this world).

Hazrat Umar ibn Khattab (R.A) once asked Hazrat Ibn Ka’ab (R.A) the definition of taqwa. In reply Hazrat Ibn Ka’ab asked, “Have you ever had to traverse a thorny path?” Hazrat Umar replied in the affirmative and Hazrat Ka’ab continued, “How do you do so?” Hazrat Umar (R.A) said that he would carefully walk through after first having collected all loose and flowing clothing in his hands so nothing gets caught in the thorns hence injuring him. Hazrat Ka’ab said, “This is the definition of taqwa, to protect oneself from sin through life’s dangerous journey so that one can successfully complete the journey unscathed by sin.”

10:55 PM  
Blogger nhusain said...

This equity sharing arrangement is expected to be functional this quarter.

5:05 PM  
Blogger nhusain said...

Nicholas Taleb talks about the ancient middle eastern methods of risk management. This is a person who Bill Gates listens to.

6:15 PM  

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