Q: As Muslims, we were glad to see a huge Islamic economic foundation come into existence entitled "Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust". The propaganda which this foundation followed had great effect in attracting numerous religious Muslims who many times had refused to deal with usurious banks. The foundation not only removed a lot of ambiguities through its advertisements and name but also removed all ambiguities when they informed us of a Fatwa issued by your Eminence in this regard in which you support this foundation and urge all Muslims (Part No. 14; Page No. 342) to contribute and invest their money in it. Being a Muslim, after I read the Fatwa issued by your Eminence, my heart felt at rest and I contributed with all the money I had in this foundation and I called other Muslim brothers to do the same. Now, after months and years of the public issue in 1980, doubts have begun to rise when we did not see these agricultural, industrial and commercial projects which we expected the foundation to finance all over the Islamic world in order to enhance the development of the deteriorated economy of many Islamic countries. Years passed and we have not seen anything to disperse any of our fears. Doubts and worries grow due to the following reasons: 1- The foundation deposited millions, which it collected from all over the Islamic world, in European usurious banks to receive high usurious interest as mentioned in the (Al-Majallah) Magazine, issue no. 199, p. 50. This was also expressed by one of the people in charge. 2- Another responsible person questioned why our religion prohibits usurious interest when he said in Al-Bunuk Al-Islamiyyah (The Islamic Banks) Magazine, issue no. 7, p. 47: "Many scholars have discussed the issue of bank interest. Some of them hold the view of its prohibition while others believe that it is not prohibited. Other scholars say they believe that it is prohibited (Part No. 14; Page No. 343) but due to the persisting need, they permitted dealing in interest until the existence of alternative Islamic economic system. 3- Using part of the Muslims' money in dealing in currencies, banknotes and gold. It is worth mentioning that these kinds of dealings do not yield any interest for Muslims and have no effect on the development of their societies. The whole operation is just a financial Mudarabah (speculation) which resembles gambling as a responsible person said: Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami invests its money in the international markets by exchanging currencies where we benefit from the jump of currencies (Al-Majallah Magazine, issue no. 199, p.50.) 4- The chairman of supervisors council announced in an interview with the Al-Sharq Al-Awsat i.e. Middle East Newspaper that 90% of Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami transactions are in conformity with the Islamic Shari`ah. The question now is: What about the other 10% which are not in conformity with Shari`ah?! Is that portion not enough to make the rest of the money unlawful according to the saying of the Messenger:
"Whoever, among you, sees something abominable should rectify it with his hand; and if he has not strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue; and if he has not strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of Faith."
To act upon this Hadith, I sent a letter to Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust because of my fears from the bad consequences and their destructive effects on the notion of Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami and its bad psychological effects (Part No. 14; Page No. 344) on all Muslims who are eager for a clean Islamic hand to save them from the severe ignorance which Islamic societies suffer from. I had sent this letter after I read a long article in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Journal dated 4 March, 1984 p. 14 and 15 where Mr.
Husayn `Aly Rashid,
the writer, mentioned these bad consequences in detail. Then I received a twelve page reply to my letter from the International Union of Islamic Banks entitled: "Furious attack on Islamic Banks" in which Dr.
the Secretary General of the International Union of Islamic Banks defends the foundation and justifies these negatives with theoretical views which are irrelevant to reality. In page 7, 8 and 9 under the title of: "Legal rules for valid dealings in Islamic banks". He states in page 8: "Nowadays, you find that the finance ministers of the Islamic countries who are the highest specialists in the countries are the ones who review and study the system of establishing the Islamic banks. They are the ones who decided to establish the Islamic Development Bank in 1973. They are the ones who signed its agreement in 1974, which derived its provisions from the Islamic Shari`ah. The 42 finance ministers of the Islamic countries are the members of the board of the Islamic Development Bank. Moreover, the Muslim foreign ministers (Part No. 14; Page No. 345) have issued their decisions since the 9th conference in
in 1979 and until the 14th conference in
confirming and repeating the call to the Islamic countries to establish local Islamic banks." So, your Eminence finds that this kind of talk is irrelevant to our issue. When the finance ministers or the foreign ministers became the ones who defend Islam! With full admission that they are masters in their specialties, is this a reasonable ground for them to defend Islam? If this is the case, then the current reality proves otherwise. They are supposed to have the power to make decisions or at least persuade those in authority to make decisions to change the economy of their country which is nominally Islamic from a usurious economy to an Islamic one but has that been done? Allah knows I do not mean to defame or offend anyone but I want to know the truth, seek the lawful means and avoid what is unlawful. My questions to your Eminence now are: 1- Is it lawful or not to deal with Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust, taking into account all these negatives which I have mentioned and perhaps there are more negatives other than what I have mentioned? 2- If dealing with this foundation is prohibited, what is the ruling on our money? (Part No. 14; Page No. 346) Should we take the capital which we deposited three years ago? It is worth mentioning that we did not take any profits since the date of the public issue but the value of a share ascended from 110 Dollars to 138 Dollars in three years. What is the ruling on the difference of both values; should we leave it to the foundation, take it or give it in charity? Could you kindly answer these questions for us to be sure of our situation, or to hasten to correct our situation if it is wrong, as no soul knows what will happen tomorrow?
...and no person knows in what land he will die.
If the reality is as you have mentioned, that
Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust deposited the money of the contributors in usurious banks to receive usurious interest, then buying shares from it is unlawful and it is the duty of those who contributed therein to get rid of it.
Take the capital along with the extra amount added to it but you have to give the extra amount to charity, to the poor and the needy. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.