Ayyuha’l-Walad! Lesson Nine. Here is the Deen
There is war in Libya and in Afghanistan. Muslims there are being daily slaughtered on an authority from the political class, men who wage war by proxy and at a safe distance. Look at the two faces of the Defence Ministers of the U.S. and Britain – look carefully at their mouths. These are cowards, cowards sending the best of their people to die. The first of these wars is to claw back Libyan oil into the U.S. system and the second, already failed, is America’s last Asian territorial gamble.
The uprising, after forty years of submission to dictatorship in the Arab world, is presented as a ‘Revolution’ on world media, but power has not changed hands and wealth has not changed hands. It takes only a degree of calm to recognise that what has been happening in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen is precisely that same uprising of the masses in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Britain. Penniless mobs informed that they are in debt by billions.
No‐one, not one kafir intellectual has grasped that the mechanism of their disaster is not a breakdown of a system, but the logical and mathematically inevitable completion of its programme. It is a process of expropriation, seizing lands, commodities and peoples. The expropriators are an oligarchic class comprising bankers, media and corporation chiefs, its servants are the under‐class of politicians.
What is being played out now, with massive power‐shifts inside the system – emergent power groupings in China, Brazil and India, each with billions of enslaved ‘citizens’ – is not an evolutionary process of growth. It is, rather, a Darwinian descent into barbarism which already indicates the beginning of the end of the species. It is not because of the cruelty of the oligarchic wars, Tacitus found this in the Rome of the Empire. It is because of the breakdown of human relations, of family, of transmission, of evaluation. It is in the reinvention of manhood and womanhood. It is in the smashing of the infantile bonding between mother and child. It is in the indifference to the animal kingdom and any sense of man as its guardian. The Chinese are eating the cats and dogs and imprisoning the great bears to extract their bile. The Congolese are eating the great gorillas, last witnesses to the compassionate bonding between parents and offspring. It is in the Japanese corporation wiping out the blue fin tuna and stocking them in order to corner the market for the elite.
It is an end. It could be the end of the species and it has now been demonstrated that the very earth environment stands in peril.
Heidegger declared that after the debacle of the Twentieth Century the time had come for a new nomos on the earth.
The time for the renewal of the Deen of Islam has come.
Forget the massive ignorance of Islam in media and academia. Forget the brilliant projection of Islam as terrorism, the enemy of mankind.
Forget the model of ‘good Muslims’ – isolated individuals who believe in God and are no bother to anyone – least of all to the financial markets, except to profit on halal food sales.
Any book published after 1945 and the meeting of Roosevelt and Ibn Saud at which the protocol to abolish a collected Zakat and accept payment for oil in dollars was fixed – must be rejected.
It is not just the media and the Western political ministers who do not know what Islam is – it, alas, is the vast majority of our falsely educated ‘ulema, taught where the ‘Amr was kafir.
Finish with the already out‐dated modernists – the fate of the modern – and let us re‐discover the Deen in its glory.
Finish Maududi, finish the Qutbis, finish the Wahhabis and Ikhwanism. Finish with the fantasy that the Shi‘a are an Islamic sect.
The two obstructing doctrines over the last decades have been both extremist.
On the privatised heresy is the Princeton scripted doctrine of anti‐ Khalifal Wahhabism – ‘Kitab wa Sunna’ – that is ‘nice Islam’ founded on submission to capitalist monetarism.
On the political heresy is the dismal child of Egyptian modernism – redefining Islam as a socialist democracy. One fevered Egyptian even wrote a biography of our Prophet, Allah’s blessings and peace on him, subtitling it ‘Statesman and Prophet’! Its slogan was ‘The Shari‘at’ – by that they meant Islam was a doctrine of political governance – the ideal version of the Western model. From them was born the insulting term – Islamist – thus reducing a religion to a politique – communist, capitalist, Islamist.
To begin, therefore, to have Fatihah of knowledge, let us restore what our centuries of great scholars from the Himalayas to the Atlas to the Granada Sierra have always known to be the matter of the Deen. Like our Double Shahadah it has two parts.
Let me precede this unveiling with a direct proof from my own experience.
In the early sixties of the Twentieth Century, following the command of my noble Shaykh, Muhammad ibn al‐Habib, I had the scholars among my Fuqara, the now eminent Shaykh Abdalhaqq Bewley and his wife Hajja Aisha Bewley, translate Imam Malik’s ‘Al‐Muwatta’. Determined that the translation be accepted I asked the Director of the London Islamic Centre, Dr. Badawi, to give us an ‘Ijaza. He assigned the task to two Sudanese ‘ulema as they had both perfect English and Arabic. The ‘Ijaza seemed to be taking ages so I went to see Dr. Badawi and asked him what held us up. He explained that the Sudanese scholars were having difficulty with the terminology of the main text. When I expressed astonishment at this he explained: “You see, the main body of the second part of the text concerns commercial and business transactions and these ordinances have not been used for a hundred years!”
That was the first indication that the Deen itself had been obscured by political malpractice. It explained the dominance of Mustafa Kemal and Ibn Saud, both, who had crossed over to the other side, making the forbidden permitted.
It took me half a century to see it all clearly, so cleverly had we been duped. Still I moved in a world where rich Muslims seemed not to have the slightest qualm about banks, interest, kafir corporate law and worthless tokens of debt‐receipt called currency. The world ‘price’ of gold was translated into numbers on a daily basis by a money‐lender in London.
As the enormity of the crime and greed of the post‐Wahhabi governors of the Muslim world collapsed in its last phase, the Muslim youth, driven to desperation, swung from the one extreme to the other. They called for Shari‘at, and that meant strict puritanical obsession with covering women in black bags and imposing a powerful political leadership. With the dialectic that the Muslims were corrupt, meaning Saudi‐based Americanism, they veered to the Shi‘a anti‐Islamic view that all the ‘Muslim regimes’ were kafir. Soon the Isma‘ili doctrines of suicide revenge became the modern translation of Jihad fisabilillah. From Rabat to Jakarta the cry went up for ‘Shari‘at’. The licensed killing of innocent Muslims living ‘inside’ capitalism was instituted. Ironically, the leader of the rebellion, the old man hiding in the Himalayas, got all his money from his father’s oil‐dollars!
The Deen, as it is declared in a renowned Hadith, is MU‘AMALAT. In other words Islam while making supreme governance Khilafa, as categorically insisted on by Imam al‐Qurtubi, leaves the issue of local governance an open matter. What is non‐negotiable is the Deen itself. And the Deen is Mu‘amalat.
Islam is transactional.
All ‘Ibada, the first half of the Deen, is expressed in fiduciary metaphor, debt, profit, gain, loss – all these indicate the spiritual transaction.
All Fiqh regulates every single fiduciary event as a spiritual metaphor.
It is in its totality a socio‐financial system devoid of usury, abhorring stored wealth, inviting expenditure, and looking on debt as dreadful. He said, Allah bless him and grant him peace: “A debt is the shame of the Deen.”
Someone remarked: “How often you seek refuge from debt.” He said, “When a man is in debt, he will speak and lie, promise and break his promise.”
The present kafir system of banking capitalism has plunged the whole world’s population into debt. As of writing, the only country free of debt today is Libya!
Let me show you what Islam is. Here are the chapter headings from the Mudawwinah al‐Kubra, which is the assembly of laws by the students of Imam Malik, Imam Dar al‐Hijrah.
The first seven chapters are everything to do with ‘Ibada: wudu, salat, fasting and jihad. And all the rest is about fiduciary contracts. Up until the thirtieth chapter it is about personal law and inheritance.
Then let me read to you what is the main content of the Islamic concern:
Chapter 31: Money changing
Chapter 32: Inheritance
Chapter 33: Advanced payment
Chapter 34: Sales with different time periods
Chapter 35: Corrupt sales
Chapter 36: Profit sharing
Chapter 37: Deceptive transactions
Chapter 38: Fruit‐bearing trees assigned by their owner to another person
Chapter 39: Trading in the land of the enemy
Chapter 40: Concealing defects in goods
Chapter 41: Settlement of transactions
Chapter 42: Making manufacturers accountable
Chapter 43: Wages and hire
Chapter 44: Renting riding beasts
Chapter 45: Renting houses and land
Chapter 46: Share‐cropping
Chapter 47: Partnership
Chapter 48: Qirad
Chapter 49: Judgements
Chapter 50: Claims
Chapter 51: The indebted person
Chapter 52: Bankruptcy
Chapter 53: The one authorised to trade
Chapter 54: Standing surety and taking responsibility that another’s obligations will be discharged
Chapter 55: Transfer of debts
Chapter 56: Pawning
Chapter 57: Property taken wrongfully
Chapter 58: Laying claim by rights
Chapter 59: Pre‐emption
Chapter 60: Division of inheritance
Chapter 61: Dedicating a property inalienably as a waqf
Chapter 62: Sadaqah
Chapter 63: Trusts and deposits
Chapter 64: Lending
Chapter 65: Theft
It finishes with those who wage war against Muslims, capital crimes and fines for blood shed. That is the Deen of Islam. Its time has come round again.
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