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Bashiruddin Babukhan’s wake-up call to AIMPLB

Bashiruddin Babukhan’s letter addressed to AIMPLB wherein he has given some suggestions on vital issues being presently faced by Muslims living in the Darul Harb like India (MG-16-31, July 2002) needs an urgent attention. I hope AIMPLB would consider them and accordingly take decisions. 

Interest (Riba) was not declared prohibited (haram) in Islam until an Islamic state (Darul Islam) was duly established in Medina by the Prophet (PBUH). Prior to his hijrat (migration) from Makkah to Medina, no prohibition was imposed on the transaction of interest though it was considered a loathsome activity. Upon his return to Makkah after it was brought under Islamic rule, he banned the transaction of interest forever in Arabia. On the issue of interest, the Holy Qur’an tells: "O ye who believe! Give up what remains of your demand for usury.” (2:278) Hence, it is clear that the transaction of interest in social life (not individual life) will not be prohibited for those Muslims living in the Darul Harb like India where they are a part of beneficiary scheme as floated by the government time to time.

Besides, the system of interest in India is not speculative in nature. In India, the business firms are not engaged in the business on Islamic principle. They are also involved in the system of interest. What can be said about the dividend declared by these firms on the capital invested by Muslim investors? In the case of interest of bank, if the dividend declared by the firms is assumed prohibited, no Muslim in India would be able to engage in business with the big business houses like joint stock companies, corporations, public enterprises etc.

If Indian Muslims do not assume flexible attitude towards some public schemes like banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, business units etc, they would lag far behind insofar as their socio-economic development in comparison to other communities in India is concerned. But at the same time, we must constantly strive to find out ways and means to conduct our economic affairs based on the Islamic principles whenever any scope for the same arises.

The Holy Qur’an states: “Allah does not change the lot of nation unless they have (tried) to change it themselves” (13:11).

As regard to the recitation of the Holy Qur’an I would like to say that the earliest Holy Books revealed prior to the Holy Qur’an were changed and distorted (Qur’an 2:79, 3:78, 5:66) because of the lack of practice of those Holy Books in their original languages. Now, these Holy Books are not extant in their original languages.

Arabic is both the Qur’anic language as well as the language of Ibadah (prayer) in Islam. We cannot perform Ibadah and recite Dua-Darood in any language other than Arabic. Hence, the recitation and memorisation of the Holy Qur’an is essentially required in Arabic alone so as to preserve the Holy Qur’an in its original language (Arabic) and to establish Ibadah in Arabic. In doing so, one must not forget to understand the meaning and spirit of the Holy Qur’an in any language, otherwise it would fail to serve the very purpose of the Holy Qur’an itself.

I am in total agreement with Mr. Bashiruddin Babukhan regarding the change and modification of the present course/syllabus of Madrasah education so that it can keep pace with the present situation. Introduction of modern education along with Islamic education in madrasahs will make its students independent enabling them to guide the community in true Islamic perspective.

Islam does not deny the worldly life. No one can live in the world rejecting it. The worldly life and the religious life are always considered two sides of a coin in Islam. The worldly life, if managed in accordance with shariah, turns in Ibadah. In Islam, education means the acquisition of knowledge (Ilm) concerned with the welfare of both worlds (falah). As such, we pray to Allah "Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter. (Qur'an 2:201).

Lastly, I would like to draw the attention of AIMPLB towards another two problems as mentioned below:
Firstly, the charity in Islam is considered one of the means of social security in society. The charity meant for the poor and needy consists of (1) Zakah (II) Sadaqah and (III) Fitrah. The first one is obligatory (Farz) for rich and solvent Muslims while other two are voluntary for all. The basic objective of Islamic system of charity is to get the poor and needy economically established and thereby bringing about a change of socio-economic condition of society. Unfortunately, it fails to attain its objective in India because it is not properly procured and distributed as the Prophet and his companions did it through a Trust known as "Baitul Mal".
Therefore, I request that AIMPLB should immediately take steps to constitute the "Baitul Mal" Trust in every state in India consisting of some honest and dedicated Muslims who would procure the charity and distribute it to the poor and needy with a view of getting them economically established.

Secondly, it is seen that sometimes divorce takes place in our society for no valid reason. Consequently, it gives rise to some socio-economic and legal problems in society. Divorce devoid of valid reason is an injustice to the weaker sex (female). Every injustice is punishable under Islamic law. If a divorce is proved illegal or invalid in the court, the husband should be awarded punishment such as imprisonment, fine, retrenchment from service etc as the case may be, under Islamic law.

¯ Mohammad Abdus Samad
Lecturer P.B. College (Assam) 

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