Saturday, November 16, 2013

Q&A: Devaluation of Banknotes

Question:
Assalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,
My dear brother, May Allah reward you for what you have explained earlier, please allow me, my brother, to ask you these questions:
Imagine yourself a laborer or an employee, and you have been deprived from your wages or from your salary for some passed years, so do you see that it is justice that the judgment for you is that you have the wages you were deprived from with the same amount as was before 10 years for example? So for example, if you I took from you 84 grams of gold, I am supposed to return to you 84 grams of gold even after 10 years, and this is the Legislation of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. Sir, 84 grams of gold = 7230 dinars now, but before 10 years 84 grams of gold = 1200 dinars. If I borrowed from you 1200 dinars and returned it after 10 years 1200 dinars, I would have been returned to you one-sixth of its value, which is 14 grams of gold, and this is an undervalue for your money, which Allah سبحانه وتعالى has forbidden us to do.
He said in His noble Quran:
ولا تبخسوا الناس أشياءهم ولا تعثوا في الأرض مفسدين
"... and do not deprive the people of their due and do not commit abuse on the earth, spreading corruption."
(Hud: 85)
This is according to my understanding to the intention of the prohibition of usury. Don't you see, my brother, that the object should be reverted (the dinar that does not acquire its value from itself, but it is a value agreed on) to its origin (gold)?
From Hafedh Gharsallah

Answer:
Dear brother Hafedh Gharsallah,
Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu.
As to the current banknotes, the cash rulings are applied on them having the "cash" cause (illah) in common, which is using these papers as prices and wages. Everything that is dealt with as prices and wages is considered cash, and the cash rulings are applied to it as long as it is widespread between people and not stagnant, that is canceled by law.
As to the evidence that these papers are considered cash, and cash rulings are applied to it, is the following:
These mandatory papers, it was agreed on making it cash, prices for objects, wages for utilities and services, and gold and silver are bought with it as well as all other offers and properties. The cause of cash has been achieved in it, which is "using it as prices and wages" which are achieved in gold and silver, which are stamped dinars and dirhams. For that, the cash rulings of gold and silver are applied to the mandatory paper cash; zakat is taken for it, and excess and delay usury are prohibited in it. For that, it is forbidden to pay the debt for more than its value; otherwise, it will be delay usury. Moreover, it is forbidden to pay from the same one sort unless it is one for one... According to the legislative rulings related to cash, whether gold or silver.
Depending on that, your debt on others should be returned to you as it is without increase even if the currency has decreased or increased... As long as the currency is valid by law.
I really appreciate what you have mentioned of problems because of the decrease of cash, so as you have mentioned if you owe somebody 1000 dinars, for example, before 10 years and he wants to pay it back to you nowadays, then it is clear how much it is difficult for you because of the decrease of these notes through 10 years. But the truth is what should be followed, and as long as the reality of cash is applied on these notes, its rulings in terms of usury. Consequently, it is not permissible to pay the debt with more than its value, as long as this paper cash is valid for circulation by law.
I ask Allah سبحانه وتعالى that He bless you with your money, your family, and your children.
Your Brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
06th Rajab 1434 AH
16/5/2013 CE
Link to the answer from the Ameer's Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=231883070313111

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