January 7, 2011

I don’t need any “Mufti”. I will interpret my own Islam

Filed under: Non-Political — Rana Fahad @ 3:28 am

Recently, a doctor has wrongly diagnosed the disease with my grandfather and now I challenge the capabilities and knowledge of all the doctors. I don’t trust them and their 7 years of education. I know nothing about medical sciences but no worries; I will research on a disease on my own on internet and in medical books and find a cure for myself. My uncle is misguided by the lawyer and he lost the case. I don’t trust any lawyer now. I know nothing about the Pakistan Penal Code but I will pursue my own case. There are thousands of books written on law and material is available on internet. I will prepare my own case.

You must be thinking that I am not in my senses. If a doctor has misguided me, there are thousands of genius physicians and surgeons who have command on their subject. They have given their lives to research and I am challenging the knowledge of all the doctors. I must be insane. There are thousands of lawyers who are expert in Pakistani law as well as International law and I am challenging their expertise.

I am even more insane than you think.

I don’t know “Imaan-e-Mufasil”, I have never read “Imaan-e- Mujammil”, I don’t remember six “Qalmas”, I have never tried to learn the prayer of “Janaza” and during the “Namaz-e-Janaza” of my beloved ones and I only follow the actions of other people. For last six months I haven’t even offered “Jumma” prayer. I have read “Quran” in my childhood but never tried to read its translation. I only knows those “Hadees” which are forwarded to me through sms and I have no idea what is “Sahe-e-sitta” and how a “Hadees” could be considered as authentic or “Zaeef”.

But even then I will interpret my own Islam because few of the “Muftis” and “Mullahs” has conveyed wrong meaning of Islam. Because of those few ignorant and Munafiqeen I will use Mullah as an abusive word and I will treat every” Mufti” and Islamic scholar equally. I don’t trust any “Mufti” even if he has studied fiqah (principles of jurisprudence), books of “Fatawa” (legal verdicts), understood seven books of “Hadees” and studied Islam for 6-8 years.

November 28, 2010

Are Men and Women Equal in Islam?

Filed under: Non-Political — Rana Fahad @ 7:17 pm

Few days back I was sitting with few of my relatives at a dinner where discussion started on “Equality of Men and Women”. The orthodox men in our society are still in favor that they are made superior than their wives. Still there is a mindset in our society that women are made to serve their husbands and all their decisions are to be made by their husbands. Most frequently quoted verses to support the point is “Men are in charge over women in that Allah has favored the one over the other and that they spend from their wealth.” (4:34)

The above quoted verse does not prove any way that men are superior to women. Yes. Allah has made men, the leader of his house and he is supposed to arrange food, necessities and daily commodities. The physical makeup and the social status of men and women in the arrangement of Islam, as designed by Allah, are very different in many areas. Both are made different with different responsibilities. Males are not like females. It does not mean that one is superior or the other. The very basic rule of comparison is that different units can’t be compared i.e. kilograms can’t be compared with liters as they are different units of measurement.

But for those men who try to drive their so-called divine assistance from Fiqa, must also follow the other Hadiths and Quranic verses where it is said that:

“Women deserve the like of what they are obliged to give, in kindness.” HQ 2:228

“It is not obligatory for the wife to serve her husband (cooking, cleaning, washing, keeping house, etc.): if she does, it is voluntary charity”. (Reliance, m10.12, pg. 541.)

Men, who think themselves superior and women are made to serve, are addressed.

“And for each to give the other what they must (meaning that both spouses are required to, the husband giving her the expenditures he is obliged to and the wife giving herself to him and obeying him concerning his rights therein) without intentional delays or displaying resentment.” (Reliance, m10.1, pg. 538.)

On the other hand women activist who are fighting for equal rights and equal job opportunities have other instructions in Islam. It is clear that Islam has given a due importance to women and they are not made to serve men and to keep their houses but on the other hand they are not allowed to leave their houses for work.

“It is not lawful for a wife to leave the house except by the permission of her husband, though she may do so without permission when there is a pressing necessity. Nor may a wife permit anyone to enter her husband’s home unless he agrees, even their unmarriageable kin. Nor may she be alone with a non-family-member male, under any circumstances.” (Ibid, m10.12 (2), pg. 541.)

Hazrat Aysha (R.A) was the beloved wife of Prophet (PBUH) and narrator of many Hadiths. She was one of the greatest faqihs of Islam. During the . Khalifates of Hazrats Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman, she issued fatwas and all the work was done from her home, but when she stepped out of her house, she became one of the controversial personalities of Islamic history.

After the Battle of the Camel, where thousands of Muslims were killed, Hazrat Ali sent her a letter: “Hereafter: You have stepped out of your house for a service from which you are exempted (which was not your responsibility). You, in your view are desirous of reformation of Ummah. Please explain what connection women have with forming armies. According to your conception, you are demanding the retribution of Usman’s blood, although he belongs to Bani Umayya and you come from Bani Taim ibn-i-Murrah. I venture to say on oath that the person who has persuaded you for this venture and has pulled you out of the house is the biggest sinner. As such Oh Aisha! Fear Allah, go back to your house and stay behind the curtain. Wa sallam.” (Al-Imamat wal-Siyasah, vol. 1, p. 55, reported in, Letters of Hazrat Ali Murtaza, ra, by M. Ayub Khan, p. 26)

Hazrat Khadija was one of the most profitable business women of the time and Prophet (PBUH) was so impressed with her business dealings that he accepted the offer of marriage from her. But after revelation of Prophecy on Prophet (PBUH) she never went out for business despite of great success and experience in her business.

In short, Allah has given a very balanced social system for the human beings and people have disturbed it due to ignorance. Allah has made women like a treasure which can’t be exposed to everyone and Allah has made men responsible to provide them with every item of their need. It is better not to interfere in the laws, Allah has made and accepting the system made by Allah, than trying to devising a new system depending on the human prudence.


October 30, 2010

Mechanism of Islamic Banking

Filed under: Non-Political — Rana Fahad @ 10:07 pm

There is no point of discussing whether Riba (interest) is Halal or Haram according to Islamic teachings. Majority of Islamic Scholars around the world has declared conventional banking against Shariah and there are many Fatwas given by Muftis around the globe. Below are some excerpt taken from couple of articles to explain the mechanism of Islamic Banks and practically how they are operating within the boundaries of Shariah.
The basic principle of Islamic banking is the sharing of profit and loss and the prohibition of riba(usury). Common terms used in Islamic banking include profit sharing (Mudharabah), safekeeping (Wadiah), joint venture (Musharakah), cost plus (Murabahah), and leasing (Ijarah).

In an Islamic mortgage transaction, instead of loaning the buyer money to purchase the item, a bank might buy the item itself from the seller, and re-sell it to the buyer at a profit, while allowing the buyer to pay the bank in installments. However, the bank’s profit cannot be made explicit and therefore there are no additional penalties for late payment. In order to protect itself against default, the bank asks for strict collateral. The goods or land is registered to the name of the buyer from the start of the transaction. This arrangement is called Murabaha. Another approach isEIjara wa EIqtina, which is similar to real estate leasing. Islamic banks handle loans for vehicles in a similar way (selling the vehicle at a higher-than-market price to the debtor and then retaining ownership of the vehicle until the loan is paid).

An innovative approach applied by some banks for home loans, called Musharaka al-Mutanaqisa, allows for a floating rate (interest ratethat changes on a periodic basis) in the form of rental. The bank and borrower form a partnership entity, both providing capital at an agreed percentage to purchase the property. The partnership entity then rents out the property to the borrower and charges rent. The bank and the borrower will then share the proceeds from this rent based on the current equity share of the partnership. At the same time, the borrower in the partnership entity also buys the bank’s share of the property at agreed installments until the full equity is transferred to the borrower and the partnership is ended. If default occurs, both the bank and the borrower receive a proportion of the proceeds from the sale of the property based on each party’s current equity. This method allows for floating rates according to the current market rate such as the BLR (base lending rate), especially in a dual-banking system like in Malaysia.

There are several other approaches used in business transactions. Islamic banks lend their money to companies by issuing floating rate interest loans. The floating rate of interest is pegged to the company’s individual rate of return. Thus the bank’s profit on the loan is equal to a certain percentage of the company’s profits. Once the principal amount of the loan is repaid, the profit-sharing arrangement is concluded. This practice is called Musharaka. Further, Mudaraba is venture capital funding of an entrepreneur who provides labor while financing is provided by the bank so that both profit and risk are shared. Such participatory arrangements between capital and labor reflect the Islamic view that the borrower must not bear all the risk/cost of a failure, resulting in a balanced distribution of income and not allowing lender to monopolize the economy.




October 21, 2010

The Notorious IMF Bailout Plan

Filed under: Non-Political — Rana Fahad @ 12:50 am

Whenever we are criticizing IMF bailout plan, we have never reached to a conclusion that whose incompetency has put us in situations to go for bailout.  When we try to blame any government, dictator or political party, discussion becomes political and ends without any conclusion. We watch such drama everyday on each news channel when every talk show, on any topic, ends without conclusion. Unfortunately, I do not have guts to label any Government “responsible” for today’s situation that is why I am only criticizing IMF bailout plan.

Shifting from “conspiracy mode” to “realistic mode”, IMF has been criticized heavily throughout the world for its policies. It has been observed in the past that IMF has failed in understanding the ground realities of the borrowing country and applying same economic policies. For instance, for some countries, devaluation of exchange rate could help, but it is not necessary that you apply the same formula in every case. In a same way “free market policies” and “privatization” is not beneficial for every situation and you cannot go for privatization in every country. It can lead private monopolies which will exploit customers, in the end. In 1997, during Asian crisis, IMF insisted on deflationary fiscal policy (which means cutting in spending and rise in taxes) and higher interest rates. The policy created minor crisis into an economic recession and unemployment rate shot upwards in Thailand, Indonesia and Malasia. Chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz blamed higher interest rates for Thailand’s recession.

IMF has failed number of times in understanding and learning the economic atmosphere of the borrowing country. In 1990’s, during the intervention in Kenya’s economy, IMF applied its conventional policy and made the Central Bank remove controls over flow of capital. The policy gave an easy passage to corrupt politicians to transfer their illegal money out of the economy.

Jamaica has blamed IMF for taking the ability to decide their national policy. IMF intervenes and dictates the policy and the elected body of the country is forced to follow the ideology and interests of developed countries. The head of the Harvard Institute for International Development, Jeffrey Sachs, said: “In Korea the IMF insisted that all presidential candidates immediately “endorse” an agreement which they had no part in drafting or negotiating, and no time to understand. The situation is out of hand…It defies logic to believe the small group of 1,000 economists on 19th Street in Washington should dictate the economic conditions of life to 75 developing countries with around 1.4 billion people.”

Same is the scenario with Bailout plan of Pakistan. IMF is implementing its conventional strategies or the strategies of its own interest. Like Asian crisis on 1997, interest rates or taxes are high and the whole burden is on general public. Same like Jamaica, we cannot have our own policies with our national interests. Like Kenya, state bank do not have control in flow of capital and what was done in Korea, we, 1.4 billion people are dictated by only 1000 economists.

October 15, 2010

Bureaucrats- the Silent Scavengers

Filed under: Non-Political — Rana Fahad @ 8:14 pm

“Bureaucrats do not change the course of the ship of state. They merely adjust the compass.”

Initially this statement was taken from a site just to update the facebook status but I just realized that statement is tailor made for our Pakistani bureaucratic structure. In this media warfare one thing should be noticed that we have completely forgotten the bureaucracy which is even more responsible than our fraudulent political structure. Our political elite have a reason for their failure, corruption and incompetency that democracy has not got a appropriate time to prosper but do we have any explanation for corruption in bureaucracy? Out of sixty three years, politicians were on the picture for only 16-17 years but bureaucracy has ruled for sixty three years. These bureaucrats are the most competent people, trained after spending millions of tax-payers money but they are also unable to direct the managerial ship in the right direction, despite of equipped with the necessary tools and capacities. The very obvious reason is  lack of commitment, lust of power and increased corruption. The postings and promotions are not made on the competence and past record and there is a heavy shuffle among departmental heads, soon after change in the governing body of the country and desired officers are installed on key positions, depending upon the political needs not where they are fit or required. This is a fact that no “Minister” can make money without the mutual conspiracy with its departmental secretary or the other top guns of the department.

The question is why only ministers are being stripped on the media and in the discussions among the general public. Media and Chief Justice are shouting on NRO and other corruption cases on the politicians but they never made an outcry for any bureaucrat (yes there are some bureaucrats who were convicted in the past and their names are in NRO as well but here I mean the attention given to those are comparatively very less than their crimes and very few cases were brought to the scene).

They were never depicted as the root cause of the corruption and only few of them were convicted on corruption cases because of political motives. They fled away because of their strong lobby and network. But this put a big question mark on un-biasness and freedom of media and judicial system. For last few years nation has been deceived with the slogan of free media and now with the romantic idea of free judicial system. But in reality judiciary is still biased and media is the biggest mafia of this country which has sole objective of making money. Media will always high light only those controversial issues which will help them in making quick money and increasing the viewership than issue in national interest. It has been used by the establishment and it is still being used by the establishment to fulfill their motives and unfortunately the term establishment is still vague. Bureaucracy could be a part of this term “Establishment”.

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