Tuesday, 18 January 2011 19:57
There is no contention with regard to wealth being essential for the existence of man. Likewise, there is also no difference of opinion that certain methods of acquisition of wealth are advisable whilst others are not. For instance, acquisition of wealth by means of stealing, fraud, cheating, deception, usurpation, etc, is abhorred across the globe.
However, there is no comprehensive code of commerce which can determine with total justice, as to which methods of acquisition are correct and which are not. The code clearly cannot be the law of humans, who are susceptible to greed, bias, etc,. It can only be the law of Allah, The Lord of All the Worlds.
The laws of shariah are Divine. Hence, they are balanced, just, comprehensive, perfect and absolutely flawless just as Allah, the most Wise and Knowledgeable is absolutely perfect and beyond any flaw. Unlike other systems, such as the capitalist, socialist and communist systems, the Islamic code of commerce has maintained complete balance between the needs of people, their property, and extortion and monopolization.
Allah Ta'ala commands in the Holy Qur'an:
“O you who believe! Do not consume your wealth between yourselves unjustly, except that it be (through) trade (which is concluded) with mutual agreement between you”
This verse of the Qur'an has encapsulated all those forms of trade which are impermissible in Islam. It includes stealing, fraud, forcefully expropriating someone’s property, bribery, gambling, lying and deception, and every other impermissible transaction, the details of which have been elucidated in the Ahaadith of Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
The Qur'an Shareef has permitted us to acquire wealth by means of lawful trade (or tijaarah) with mutual agreement. It is imperative at this juncture, to understand the meaning of tijaarah in the terminology of the Holy Qur'an.
Tijaarah is the exchange of wealth (maal) for wealth with mutual agreement. From this definition, the following transactions are understood to be invalid according to the Shariah:
One or both Exchanges are not Wealth or not Classified as Wealth in the Terminology of Shari'ah
In such an instance, the exchange will not be a sale in Shar'iah. Rather, this is a form of deception, where one exchanges his wealth for ‘nothing’. For instance, in an interest transaction, money is NOT charged in lieu of any wealth. Likewise, the sale of those things which are not regarded as wealth in Shariah is also impermissible (like pork etc).
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