DIMINISHING MUSHAARAKAH?

FROM THE LATEST MAJLIS VOLUME 25 NUMBER 12

Q. Is the diminishing mushaarakah concept valid?
Banks are selling this product as ‘shariah compliant’.
A. Diminishing Mushaarakah is a haraam stupidity. We have written detailed articles on its prohibition. There is no such concept as diminishing mushaarakah in the Shariah. It is a trick by Mufti Taqi Uthmani to render something haraam into halaal.

THE BELOW ARTICLE WAS TAKEN FROM ‘AWAKE’ 2013

DIMINISHING MUSHAARAKAH?
Q. Please comment on the Diminishing Mushaarakah concept. By this agreement a person simultaneously leases and buys the same property from the financier (the bank). The bank purchases the property and leases and sells it to the client. From the monthly rental a sum is deducted as a payment on the property. So each month the client’s ownership increases a percentage while the ownership of the bank decreases by that percentage. At the end of the contract term, the client becomes the sole owner of the property. Is this deal permissible? According to Mufti Taqi Usmaani this deal is permissible.
A. There is no ‘diminishing mushaarah’ concept in the Shariah. Shorn of technicalities and legal terminology, the transaction is simply as follows:
(1) Zaid approaches the bank to purchase a house for him.
(2) The bank agrees to buy the house for him on the basis of the following conditions:
(a) That Zaid gives a written undertaking that he will buy the house from the bank.
(b) That Zaid undertakes to lease the house from the bank, and simultaneously purchase it. Thus this is a double deal in a single contract regardless of the different documents drawn up. It is a deal consisting of a lease and a purchase at the same time.
(c) Zaid will make monthly payments. Part of his payment will be rental and part will be deducted as payment on the purchase price of the house. This is what the fabricators of this contract call diminishing mushaarakah, but in the Shariah there is no such transaction which is a combination of two transactions in a single deal.
(d) with each monthly payment Zaid makes, his ownership increases proportionately, until at the end of the period he becomes the owner of the house. In essence – in reality, Zaid enters into 60 new sale transactions if the repayment period is 60 months. Each month he ‘buys’ a percentage of the house in lieu of the amount deducted from his monthly payment. Thus, in this deal, there is not only two transactions. There are 62 transactions. The first two are the initial purchase and lease agreement, and the 60 are the subsequent monthly acts of purchase.
Contrary to the claim that the promise is not enforceable, it is indeed legally enforceable in terms of kuffaar law. The very purpose of the written undertaking is to oblige Zaid in the event he reneges from the promise.
(3) Since the very initial contract is baatil it is superfluous to delve into the other issues. The bottom line is that the property is ‘sold’ and ‘leased’ to Zaid in a single deal His ownership is incremental over the 60 months. Every month he ‘purchases’ a small percentage of the property, and all of this is incumbent in terms of the initial agreement.
(4) We observe that whenever the bankers are bereft of Shar’i argument, they resort to the taqleed of Mufti Taqi Usmani. Please be informed that we do not follow the venerable Mufti. We are in conflict with him on a range of issues.
(5) The contract may be made to conform to the Shariah by means of a simple agreement of sale. If the bank purchases the property for $50,000, for example, and if it wants to make a profit of $30,000 for example over a period of 5 years, the simple and straightforward way is to sell the property to Zaid for $80,000 payable over 60 months or whatever period is mutually agreed on. What is the need for the rigmarole and the laboriously worded contract which the banks usually fabricate, and which contains a number of Islamically corrupt conditions?
We fail to understand why the Muslim banks are so intransigent in their insistence to follow the capitalist system. With a simple contract, as outlined above, the banks can make the same profit which they expect to make with the corrupt ‘diminishing mushaarakah’ contract. What then is the need to simultaneously enter into a sale-cum-lease agreement? Brothers, please give this issue further reflection to bring your dealings within the confines of the Shariah.

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani on Cryptocurrency

Question from Mufti Muhammad Wasie, student of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

“Today I visited the august office of my beloved teacher his Excellency Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani and raised a question about the Shariah permissibility of cryptocurrency trading since currently its use is trending for business purposes. So much so that it is becoming the basis for the creation of various financial institutions, and many countries are in the process of regulating it on a state level. So in the current scenario how should the Shariah scholars guide people who are continuously enquiring about its Shariah status?” (May 10, 2021)

Answered by Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani:

“For now we are not satisfied with it. It is mostly being used for speculative purposes. Personally, I won’t recommend it; rather it seems to be impermissible in principle. However, it could happen that in future its use may expand for real trade and we might have to revisit the current decision.

There’s no doubt that this currency is speculative in nature. Even its mass use is not likable either from a Shariah perspective…Initially, paper currency was enforced and now the world is being pushed towards digital currency, which isn’t backed by an asset. The near future plan is maybe to make the economies dependent on these, and subsequently these money masters will financial enslave the weaker economies. Therefore, we cannot encourage it and, as per fiqh, there’s no sound ground devised till yet to grant its permissibility.”

Note from Mufti Muhammad Wasie: “I showed this transcript to his Excellency Mufti Sahab and he endorsed it for general dissemination.”

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani is a leading scholar of hadith, jurisprudence, economics and finance, and spirituality, and is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on Islamic finance. He currently serves as the Chairman of the International Shariah Council for the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) and as a permanent member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy. Previously he was a Justice of the Shariah Appelate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. He has authored over 60 books in Arabic, English, and Urdu on a range of topics.

TIMESHARE SALES

Q. I was always under the impression that timeshare sales are impermissible until I stumbled across the fatwa of Mufti Ebrahim Desai who claims that it is permissible. Please clarify if timeshare sales are permissible.

A. These sales are not permissible.

Firstly, it should be understood that an issue may not be dealt with in isolation of Islamic morality and spirituality. Our life on earth is a transitory affair. We have been dispatched to earth with an evil nafs to purify ourselves for the Meeting with Allah Ta’ala and for our everlasting salvation and happiness in Jannat.

Therefore, any activity, practice or institution which is inimical and detractory of these lofty goals, will be haraam regardless of the legal (Fiqhi) validity which the practice may be having.

Taking up residence for even a day at an immoral resort inTunisia or elsewhere is haraam, hence buying a timeshare unit in a property at a holiday resort where vice and immorality predominate is haraam even if it be assumed that the contract is technically valid. This suffices for a Mu’min. He need go to further than this ruling.

The halaalizing of this type of timeshare unit is in flagrant violation of the Qur’aanic command: “Do not approach near to zina.” The analogy for the zigzag mufti’s licensing the haraam timeshare unit is like hiring a maid. Everyone knows that it is permissible to employ a maid. It is an Ijaarah contract. But if the mufti is fully aware or there is ghaalib zann that the objective is to fornicate with the maid, then by what stretch of Imaani logic and Ilmi logic will he issue a fatwa of jawaaz (permissibility) despite the Fiqhi veracity of the contract?

The moron-maajin mufti may argue until doomsday and present pages of texts from Fiqhi kutub to bolster his evil zigzag fatwa of permissibility, but he cannot fool Allah Ta’ala with his corrupt fatwa which in reality is a licence for fornication. If the mufti has a valid conception of Khauf-e-Ilaahi (Fear for Allah), he will most assuredly advise the person of the impermissibility of hiring a maid without proferring pages of Fiqhi texts consisting of legal technicalities to bamboozle and to flaunt academic expertise when in reality he simply portrays his own academic jahaalat, moral deficiency and spiritual bankruptcy.

The Reality

In transactions of trade and commerce, the determinant is the reality of the concept, not the deceptive terminology. The principle as stated by the Fuqaha is “Al-ibratu fil uqood al-ma’naa las soerah”.

Stupidly playing with words mentioned in the contract to deceive himself and others, the mufti maajin seeks to convey the idea of the timeshare concept being a sale transaction (aqd-e-bay’). But this is furthest from the reality of the concept of timesharing which every moron can understand is a plain aqd-e-ijaarah (leasing contract).

The wording in the contract such as deeded ownership and real property does not alter the nature of the deal neither in terms of the Shariah nor in terms of the kuffaar law. The application of real estate laws in terms of kufr law does not transform the leasing contractinto aqd-e-bay’ according to the Shariah.

The liability of tax payment, far from transforming the lease contract into a sale transaction, only emphasises the invalidity of the whole contract by virtue of it being an egregiously faasid (corrupt) condition. Also, the addition of fees apart from the rental is another faasidcondition.

In a sale transaction, the buyer becomes the sole owner of a tangible asset (mabee’). Once ownership passes to the buyer, it will remain his property as long as he does not alienate his ownership by means of selling it or making a gift of it or by his death when his heirs become the owners.

But this extremely deceptive leasing contract is falsely portrayed as a ‘sale’ transaction. The condition: “the owner may do whatever is desired: use the week, rent

it, give it away, or sell the week to another prospective buyer.”, states with clarity that the item of sale is the week’s residence.There is no tangible asset which passes into the perpetual ownership of the imaginary ‘buyer’. A temporary right is sold. The imaginary ‘buyer’ is the tenant.

Furthermore, what kind of sale is it which requires the return of the ‘asset’ after a week without the ‘owner’ receiving payment for an asset which the morons seek to present as the property of the lessee? And, what type of Shar’i sale is this stupidity which stipulates in the contract that the item is ‘sold’ for only a week, and after the expiry of the week it must be returned free to the ‘seller’?

This absolutely corrupt and stupid fatwa is stupendously more stupid and bereft of Shar’i basis than this mufti’s fatwa of permissibility of rum, whisky and vodka. The couple of Fiqhi terms incongruously employed by the mufti only serves to highlight his jahaalat and his endeavour to deceive and mislead the ignorant who have no way of understanding the bunkum disgorged by the maajin mufti.

If a mufti lacks the ability and the baseerat to comprehend the practical consequences of his fatwa, then he is termed mufti maajin – mufti moron –mufti jaahil who is unable to distinguish between right and left. This is the haalat of all zigzag muftis of our era.

Thus, timeshare hiring and time share sales in the haunts of zina, fisq and fujoor as are all the Hollywood, Bollywood and Devilhood centres of immorality, are Haraam. The Fiqhi texts should be left in the Kutub.

Assuming that the timeshare unit is not at a resort, and it is in a normal building in a normal residential area, then too, it is not permissible with the conditions stipulated in the contract with Interval International.

A timeshare deal is an Ijaarah (Leasing) contract. It is not permissible for a tenant to make a profit from the rented property. While he may let it out, it must be at the very same rental which he pays or paid the landlord.

The gold card membership and the concomitant perks are not permissible. The stipulation of benefits for the lessee in the Ijaarahcontract is faasid which invalidates the contract.

The condition of allowing the tenant to make a profit by leasing the property to a third party is faasid and not permissible.

The condition of allowing the tenant ‘12 additional weeks which can be utilized at any time of the year……..” is invalid and faasid. Such a benefit may not be stipulated for the lessee in the contract. The leasing out of the 12 weeks by the member thereby making a profit is invalid and not permissible.

The non-refundable payment is haraam. Furthermore there is no valid sale in terms of the Shariah. There is no asset which is for sale. The hallucinated ‘buyer’ (the tenant) does not become the owner of any asset which is purported as the item of sale. The further stipulation of a time, e.g. one week, two weeks, etc., is a glaring refutation of the claim that this system is a sale contract. It is afaasid/baatil ijaarah contract.

The further condition of the return of the unit (the so-called asset sold) after expiry of the leased period is an emphatic negation of the claim that the contract is a sale agreement. Everything from A to Z in the timeshare system is haraam. The whole contract is corrupt and not permissible in terms of the Shariah.

As for the permissibility fatwa issued by mufti Ebrahim Desai of ‘Ask Imam’, be informed that this person has strayed from Siraatul Mustaqeem. He peddles along the path of liberalism. He is adept in the art of zigzagery, hence he issues zigzag fatwas of deception. He is astray and he misleads the informant and the unwary.

THE DECEPTION OF MUHAYA-AAT

The attempt to pass off the timeshare contract as a Muhaya’ah deal is utterly ludicrous. Either the mufti has miserably failed to understand what exactly Muhaya’ah is or he has perpetrated compound deception to mislead and deceive in his endeavour to promote the timeshare leasing product. However, in view of the timeshare lease being corrupt and impermissible, he seeks to present it as a Muhaya’ah deal. But this notion is palpably baatil.

Muhaya’ah is the division of benefits of a property jointly owned by the partners in this contract. The benefits are divided in terms of either time or place (i.e. fixed place in the jointly owned property). The division is among the owners of the property. This division has no relationship to leasing any section of the property to an outsider, i.e. one who does not own a share. Several heirs have inherited a property. In such a jointly owned property the Muhaya’ah contract is arranged.

This type of contract is not an Ijaarah (Leasing) agreement between the owner and a non-owner.

On the contrary, a timeshare is a simple Ijaarah contract which is rendered haraam because of several faasid (corrupt) conditions. These have already been explained earlier in this article. There is absolutely no relationship between Muhaya’ah and Ijaarah. The maajinmufti has committed chicanery in his attempt to deceptively pass off timeshare as Muhaya’ah.

The claim of “complete possession” in timeshare is a stupid canard fabricated to deceive and mislead. In timeshare one NEVER becomes the owner of the property or of section of the property. When the term expires, the occupier has to vacate and hand back the premises. According to the Shariah ownership is not curtailed by time or a specific period or number of weeks, months or years. Ownership is total and perpetual. There is no such ownership of a timeshare unit.

The terminology which creates the hallucination of the timeshare unit being ‘real’ property is stupid deception. In terms of the Shariah the occupied section of the property by a non-owner remains the property of the owner.

Ownership does not pass to the tenant/occupier. It is a blatant lie to claim that a real valid sale in terms of the Shariah is effected in any type of timeshare deal.

Whether the contract is a so-called ‘sale deal’ or a leasing deal, possession in both cases is complete. The claim that in one case the possession is ‘incomplete’ is false. In both cases the period of occupation is specified. According to the Shariah the so-called “complete possession” contract is not a sale deal. It remains an Ijaarah contract.

While the timeshare (Ijaarah) contract is between the owner of the property and an outsider, Muhaya’ah is a contract between joint owners of the property. No one’s ownership is cancelled in the jointly-owned property on expiry of the Muhaya’ah agreement. There are many masaa-il related to Muhaya-aat, which are not applicable to Ijaarah and vice versa.

Timeshare is a corrupt haraam Ijaarah contract. It is nothing else. No amount of zigzagery by the zigzag moron muftis can alter this Shar’i reality.

11 Shawwaal 1442 – 24 May 2021

Conventional Insurance, Medical Aid, Hospital Plan and Takaaful

muftionline.co.za

Q:

  1. I purchased a business and wish to insure it. What is the Shar‘ee ruling regarding insuring one’s business? Similarly, explain the law of insuring one’s vehicle.
  2. Could you also explain to me what is the Shar’ee ruling regarding medical aid and hospital plan?
  3. Is Takaaful insurance permissible? I was informed that this is an Islamic insurance and is therefore permissible.

A:

  1. Insurance is haraam in Islam due to the elements of interest and gambling being found in it. One is uncertain as to whether one will be hijacked or meet in an accident, or whether one’s house or business will be burgled in the future or not. Hence, one does not know when he will receive the pay-out.

Any transaction wherein one pays for something which is suspended upon an uncertain event is in actual fact gambling. This is the definition of gambling according to all the Ulama. In the case of gambling, one spends a certain amount of money in the hope of gaining something which is uncertain. At times, one loses all his money and receives nothing, while at other times, he may receive more than the amount he had spent or less than the amount he had spent. Hence, it is clear that the element of gambling is found in an insurance policy.

Further, if one receives the insurance pay-out and one is paid more than the amount that one had paid to the insurance company in premiums, then in this case, the extra amount which one has received is riba (interest). Hence, taking out an insurance policy is impermissible in Shari’ah.

  1. There is no difference between the workings of a medical aid scheme, hospital plan and an insurance policy. The common factor in all three companies is that they do not provide any service to the client, but rather they settle the bills of the client when he is faced with a problem. In the event of an accident, the insurance company will settle the bills which may either be more than the invested amount or less. Similar is the case with regard to the medical aid schemes and hospital plans. When the patient falls ill, they settle the bills with the doctor or hospital. Hence, since the elements of qimaar (gambling) and interest are found in all (medical aid scheme, hospital plan, and the insurance policy), it is impermissible for one to involve himself in them.
  2. After studying Takaaful carefully, we have not found any difference between Takaaful and the conventional insurance systems that are in vogue.

We have prepared a detailed fatwa on Takaaful. You may refer to it http://muftionline.co.za/node/25528

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُوا إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللَّـهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا فَمَن جَاءَهُ مَوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ فَانتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمْرُهُ إِلَى اللَّـهِ وَمَنْ عَادَ فَأُولَـٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ ﴿البقرة: ٢٧٥﴾

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْخَمْرُ وَالْمَيْسِرُ وَالْأَنصَابُ وَالْأَزْلَامُ رِجْسٌ مِّنْ عَمَلِ الشَّيْطَانِ فَاجْتَنِبُوهُ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿المائدة: ٩٠﴾

عن جابر رضي الله عنه قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم آكل الربا وموكله وكاتبه وشاهديه وقال هم سواء رواه مسلم ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص244)

عن أبي هريرة عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال ليأتين على الناس زمان لا يبقى أحد إلا أكل الربا فإن لم يأكله أصابه من بخاره ويروى من غباره رواه أحمد وأبو داود والنسائي وابن ماجه ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص245)

وعن عبد الله بن حنظلة غسيل الملائكة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم درهم ربا يأكله الرجل وهو يعلم أشد من ستة وثلاثين زنية رواه أحمد والدراقطني وروى البيهقي في شعب الإيمان عن ابن عباس وزاد وقال من نبت لحمه من السحت فالنار أولى به ( مشكوٰة المصابيح ص245)

( إن شرط لمال ) في المسابقة ( من جانب واحد وحرم لو شرط ) فيها ( من الجانبين ) لأنه يصير قمارا

قال الشامي : قوله ( ومفاده لزومه بالعقد ) انظر ما صورته وقد يقال معنى قوله لعدم العقد أي لعدم إمكانه على أن جواز الجعل فيما ذكر استحسان قال الزيلعي والقياس أن لا يجوز لما فيه من تعليق التمليك على الخطر ولهذا لا يجوز فيما عدا الأربعة كالبغل وإن كان الجعل مشروطا من أحد الجانبين اه فتأمل وبالجملة فيحتاج في المسألة إلى نقل صريح لأن ما ذكره محتمل ورأيت في المجتبى ما نصه وفي بعض النسخ فإن سبقه حل المال وإن أبى يجبر عليه اه أقول لكن هذا مخالف لما في المشاهير كالزيلعي و الذخيرة و الخلاصة و التاترخانية وغيرها من أنه لا يصير مستحقا كما مر فتدبر قوله ( من الجانبين ) بأن يقول إن سبق فرسك فلك علي كذل وإن سبق فرسي فلي عليك كذا زيلعي وكذا إن قال إن سبق إبلك أو سهمك إلخ تاترخانية قوله ( لأنه يصير قمارا ) لأن القمار من القمر الذي يزداد تارة وينقص أخرى وسمي القمار قمارا لأن كل واحد من المقامرين ممن يجوز أن يذهب ماله إلى صاحبه ويجوز أن يستفيد مال صاحبه وهو حرام بالنص ولا كذلك إذا شرط من جانب واحد لأن الزيادة والنقصان لا تمكن فيهما بل في أحدهما تمكن الزيادة وفي الآخر الانتقاص فقط فلا تكون مقامرة لأنها مفاعلة منه (رد المحتار 6/ 402)

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

THE HARAAM SHENANIGANS OF THE SCHOLARS FOR DOLLARS

How Sharia-compliant is Islamic banking?
BBC News
By John Foster Former editor, Islamic Business & Finance magazine

The Islamic finance industry has often battled with the question: How Islamic is Islamic banking?
The question’s pertinence was raised in March last year, when Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI), a Bahrain-based regulatory institution that sets standards for the global industry, said that 85% of Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, were un-Islamic. Usmani is the granddaddy of modern-day Islamic finance, so having him make this statement is synonymous with Adam Smith saying that free-markets are inefficient. Because Sukuk underpin the modern-day Islamic financial system, one of its pre-eminent proponents arguing that the epicentre of the system was flawed sent shockwaves through the industry. It also gave ammunition to the many critics who see Islamic finance as an industry more driven by cultural identity than practical problem solving: as a hodgepodge of incoherent, incomplete, impractical and irrelevant ideas.
Recognisable products
The products that modern-day Islamic bankers have created are very similar to conventional products. So similar, in fact, that to an outside observer they could be considered the same. Islamic banks now offer Islamic mortgages, Islamic car loans, Islamic credit cards, Islamic time deposit and guaranteed return accounts, Islamic insurance and some even offer Islamic managed and hedge funds. This point is conceded by Samir Alamad, Sharia, or Islamic law, compliance and product development manager of the Islamic Bank of Britain.
“The industry does not want to alienate its products,” he says. “They have to be recognisable, produce the same outcome as conventional products, but remain within the guidelines of Sharia.”
No interest
The core of Islamic economics is a prohibition on interest. This immediately creates a problem for Islamic banks, as conventional banks charge borrowers an interest rate through which they can reward their depositors and make some profit for being the broker. With interest ruled out it is harder to make money. The modern Islamic banker has found a way around this prohibition, however. As in many Islamic products, the bank enters a partnership with its depositors and invests his money in a Sharia compliant business. The profit from this investment is then shared between the depositor and the bank after a set time.
In many cases this “profit rate” is competitive with the conventional banking system’s interest rate for savers….To the casual observer, a spade is a spade.
Whether the product is dressed up in Arabic terminology, such as Mudarabah, or Ijarah, if it looks and feels like a mortgage, it is a mortgage and to say anything else is semantics. However, this new generation of Islamic bankers had cut their teeth in the City and Wall Street, and were used to creating sophisticated financial products. They often bumped heads with the Sharia scholars who authorised their products as Sharia compliant. However, these bankers had a way of dealing with this, as one investment banker based in Dubai, working for a major Western financial organisation explains: “We create the same type of products that we do for the conventional markets. We then phone up a Sharia scholar for a Fatwa [seal of approval, confirming the product is Shari’ah compliant]. “If he doesn’t give it to us, we phone up another scholar, offer him a sum of money for his services and ask him for a Fatwa. We do this until we get Sharia compliance. Then we are free to distribute the product as Islamic.”
No consensus Fatwa Shopping
This “Fatwa shopping”, which was carried out by some institutions, brings us back to the Sharia scholars. Even these scholars do not agree all the time, which means that in some cases a product is deemed Sharia compliant in one market and not in another. This is especially the case with Malaysian products, which are often deemed not Sharia complaint in the more austere Gulf. “Often no rulings exist for modern day problems, such as use of narcotics,” Alamad explains. “In Islam intoxication by wine is forbidden, but at the time of the Prophet Mohammed there was no crack cocaine.” Modern scholars had to interpret the rules on intoxication, and the consensus was that crack should also be forbidden to Muslims, as it is a dangerous intoxicant. “This is how we make rulings, whether in finance or societal,” Alamad says. “The consensus rules, which usually will become mandatory for all Muslims to follow, but there are some opinions and sometimes scholars are not in the consensus.” Banking is banking This makes it more important to be in the consensus, and so getting a favourable ruling from a leading Sharia scholar is important for a product manager. That is why the top scholars can earn so much money – often six-figure sums for each ruling. The most creative scholars are the ones in the most demand, says Tarek El Diwany, analyst at London-based Islamic financial consultancy Zest Advisory.
“To date, most Islamic financiers have been looking at examples of financing in Islamic history and figuring out how to apply them to today’s financial products.” But banking is banking. It is the taking of a deposit and then using it to finance a purchase or business. The lender pays the depositor compensation for the opportunity cost of his money, and the person borrowing the money “rents” it off the bank. The same symbiotic relationship occurs whether it is conventional banking, ethical banking, Islamic banking or Presbyterian banking.