11 February 2014
When I entered Islam in the early sixties of last century the Azhari ‘ulama informed me that Zakat was a voluntary charity comprising 2½ percent of my income which was to be given to worthy causes. Of course, income is not even taxable in Shari’at.
The issue of Zakat was never clear to me until Mawlana Wazzani, Allah’s blessings on him, in reply to my question: “Is it anywhere declared in the Qur’an that Zakat is not a gift but a collected and taken Sadaqa?” – rose to his feet and called out that Allah had declared in one word of command (Surat At-Tawba, 9:103):
From that moment the journey back to Islamic Law began. After two hundred years of western (American and European) teaching, Arab intellectuals had simply assumed that we too, the Muslims, had a political doctrine like the modern west and thus the Shi’a born (Afghani) and Muslim adopted political Islam was started (‘Abduh and Rashid Reda). From them came the logical conclusion, a political party Islam. The Muslim Brotherhood. By its intention it was separatist and excluding. If you were not one – you were not one! Modern Islam had begun. To achieve political, and, inevitably, terrorist Islam, certain principles had to be established.
One: the Madh-habs were abolished – since they in fact outlined what Law was.
Indian ‘ulama, outraged, forced them at least to acknowledge one School. The wahhabis chose Ibn Hanbal – because in the view of Qadi ‘Iyad: Ibn Hanbal did not know the Fiqh but only knew the hadith. That suited them. Law became abolished.
Two: Hadith became the outer foundation.
Modernism split. The wahhabis, now rich with dollar wealth, softened the dual basis to ‘Qur’an and Sunna’ – that is to say a personal religion. The Ikhwan abandoned all pretence to intellectual application and took on Western political dialectics as the way to establishing a new ideal (simply imagined!) Islam.
When these splitting modernist strands – each more and more like the anti-Islam of the Shi’a – were finished, they left the Muslim ‘Umma, our masses, quite unaware of what the Deen of Islam was.
For historically, from its creation – the Deen had no political categorical imperatives.
Islam is contracts. Primary contract is with Allah – Shahada, Salat, Zakat, Sawm, Hajj.
Secondary contract is between men – trade permitted, usury forbidden.
The Fiqh of the Madh-habs defined in detail the modalities and limits in the exchange between men of goods and wealth.
Imam Malik’s Muwatta is divided in two – the first half has the rules of ‘Ibada and the second half, the rules of transactions and exchange. So too the Mudawwana, the book of Islamic practice in Madinah at the time of Imam Malik’s judgments.
This Madinan way led us to a swift reckoning of how modern kufr was based not in its culture but on a primal reconfiguring of nature – the introduction (contra naturam) of increase in the exchange. As a mathematical principle it was called usury. As a political system it was – or avoided being – called capitalism.
Paper money evolved in my lifetime from a promissory note – a five pound note was set out like a promise-to-pay contract which assured it could transfer into Sterling – into a credit card and later debit card. The card transmuted into an electronic information transfer system. The computerisation of transfer in turn reduced the monetary unit into a logarithmic impulse passing between two computer entities. Now money could literally vanish – or be lost – or be wiped out in an instant.
Man in the modern world could scarcely save the vanishing species, halt globally fateful warming, rescue victims of genocide – for prior to these effects of capitalism lay its cause.
That cause was a shared endemic condition – the psychosis of believing and obeying the impulses of market – that is logarithmic impulse info – forces on a world scale.
So it was – to open a post-psychosis phase – that we as Sufis introduced the Islamic gold dinar and silver dirham.
This heroic and patient work over several decades was headed by Shaykh ‘Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, author of the threshold text, ‘The Esoteric Deviation in Islam’. After a tremendous battle he convinced the state government of Kelantan in Malaysia to produce these coins as legal currency. This was taken up from Jakarta to Europe. Yet its meaning lay in its application as an instrument of a Taken Zakat. A Taken Zakat is based on necessary primary givens.
1) An appointed Amir.
2) That Amir’s appointment of Zakat Collectors.
3) This resulting in a collected and assessed amount of Zakat.
4) The gathering of the Zakat in a Bayt al-Maal.
5) The immediate distribution of the Zakat to the legally worthy recipients.
This has not happened.
Thus a newer and wider method must be adopted on a global scale PRIOR to the return of a local Halal functioning community which restores Islam by the door of Zakat.
Men must begin to trade and exchange, hand to hand, and transfer across distance without recourse to the financial instruments and institutions of capitalism.
Therefore, to that constructive future activity I call Muslims to begin a post-usury culture.
So, I now dis-associate myself from all activity involving the Islamic gold dinar and silver dirham.
I call on an end to its new institutions and productivity. The defence mechanisms of today’s late capitalism and its crisis management surrounding the buying, moving and minting of gold have surrounded it with prohibitive pricing and taxation.
It is time to move beyond it. This is capitalism’s pyrrhic victory. Ahead lies vast expansion for the post-terrorist and post-political stage of Muslim growth.
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