Friday, December 29, 2017

Q&A: Dealing with Muslim owned Public Limited Companies?

The following are Q&A from the time of Sheikh Abdul Qadeem Zalloom (raheemullah):

Question: Are we allowed do deal with share companies (PLCs) owned by Muslims?

Answer: Having dealings with share companies belonging to Muslims is void (batil) because they cannot be contracted in Islam i.e. they do not exist as a necessary party in the contract of sale and purchase… in order to have offer and acceptance with the other side with whom the deal is made.

Question: As Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is a Muslim owned share company, are we allowed to buy from them and if not why not?

Answer: Share companies (PLCs) are invalid in Islam. This is because they are not contracted and they are not considered to be an existing party in a contract between the Muslims. Therefore, it is not allowed to have dealings, in terms of sale and purchase etc. with share companies whose owners are Muslims, because they have not been contracted between them for they are invalid in Islam. As long as the owners of the Pakistani airlines company are Muslims based on your statement that the Pakistani government has a share of 57% and the company has a share. Then buying tickets from them is not allowed.

Question: You said in a previous Q&A, that buying from Muslim owned shared companies is haram.  Are we allowed to buy from a agent who are from not a share company?  If so are we not allowing the agent who buys tickets from these companies from buying haram?

Answer: Previously we gave you the answer that buying tickets from a Pakistani airline company is haraam as long as it is a share company whose owners are Muslims. And this was because the share company cannot be contracted in Islam and cannot exist as a party in any contract between Muslims. However buying tickets from travel agencies which are not share companies and are owned either by a Muslim or kaafir is allowed if they are not part of the share company and nor an agent or go between for the share company. Rather they work on their own account. So buying from them is allowed according to the rules of buying and selling.

As for the view that this makes the travel agency to commit Haraam because we buy from it and it buys from the share companies and thus commits Haraam. As a consequence the company is sinful and so are we. This statement has no effect on the Sharee’ah rule. As long as we have not assigned the agency to buy tickets from the share company then we are buying from the agency like any other buyer. Our purchase of tickets from the agency in this case is correct and there is no sin on us. We will not fall into sin because its dealings with the share company are separate from us i.e. we did not assign it to do so. So the sin fall upon the agency for dealing with the share company whether we bought tickets from it or not.

The change in the cause of the benefit makes the Sharee’ah rule different. If the share company were to produce sugar then the trader who buys sugar from it will be sinful because the contract of purchase with the share company is invalid (baatil). Thus it is haram to benefit from this sugar which he had purchased in any way whatsoever. However, if this trader were to sell it to someone else, then the contract of that other purchaser is correct. The same goes if he gives it to another person as a gift. This gift is a correct discharging of property. So the second buyer or the one to whom the sugar is given as a gift, it is allowed for him to benefit from it because the cause of the ownership of the sugar has changed and thus it becomes Halaal.

Thus, buying from a share company airline is void (baatil) but buying from the agency which deals with it on its own account is allowed as long as the agency is not part of the company or an agent or go-between etc. This is because the cause of ownership and consequently the cause of benefit have changed.

Question: Is it allowed to deal with shareholding companies which are banks?

Answer: The shareholding (musahima) companies, if owned by Muslims, it would not be (legally) convened. For its contract between Muslims is invalid (batil). This is as if it is not established. Therefore, dealing with it is invalid because it is a side (partner) who does not exist (legally). But shareholding companies owned by kuffar, it is in their view convened, as long as they live outside the Islamic State. Therefore, it is an existing side (partner), and it is allowed to deal with it in matters which are mubah.

Banks, which are shareholding companies, are similar in their hukm to what has been mentioned about the shareholding companies.

If such companies are privately owned (i.e. not Musahima), then it is allowed to deal with them, similarly the banks if they were privately owned. Then dealing with them in other than riba (interest) and its related matters, is mubah and allowed.

For further explanation on the Islamic rules on PLCs and the Stock Market please refer to the booklet: The turbulence of the Stock Markets: Their causes & the Shari’ah rule pertaining to these causes 

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Contentment: The status only perspective can bring

Contentment: The status only perspective can bring

Contentment: The status only perspective can bring

This piece seeks to explore how the human mind works when it comes to the perception of wealth and luxuries.
Many people exert much effort and spend much time dreaming of a bigger house, or a nicer car, or a newer phone, or a faster computer and so on. But the problem is that for the human mind it doesn’t matter what you get, because in the end your brain will grow accustomed to it and it will be as plain in your eyes as any wrinkly old shirt in your closet.
The problem is that everything we have today is actually a step up from something else.
A big house is a step up from a small apartment, and a small apartment is a step up from homelessness. An iPhone 8 is a step up from a old Nokia flip phone, and an old Nokia flip phone is a step up from only having a landline. A new Land Rover is a step up from an old Corolla, and an old Corolla is a step up from having to ride a horse across hundreds of kilometres to get to where you want to go.
To be honest, most “middle class” people in the world today live in greater luxury than most of the greatest kings and emperors in history.
We have nearly every type of food we can imagine available for us within a few minutes, ride in a what would previously be considered a magical metal self-propelled carriage that protects us from hot and cold and rainy weather all year round, while we walk in shoes made of materials that are more comfortable than nearly anything anyone has ever enjoyed in history, and all this while we walk around with a communication and information device that somehow runs on harnessed electrons without any wires and is more powerful than all the computers that sent the first rocket to the moon – combined.
The invention of the phone & car on a mass scale has changed life on an unprecedented scale
The invention of the phone & car on a mass scale has changed life on an unprecedented scale
Any one of the above things taken back 1000 years in time would make us a king on earth compared to everyone else.
But we grow accustomed to these luxuries; that is how Allah (swt) designed our brains to function. And there is a very important lesson to understand here:
It does not matter what you have, because you will grow accustomed to it, and it will become as mundane and normal to you as everything else is to everyone else.
The key is contentment.
If someone who is relatively poor is content, comfortable, and happy with what he has, he is living the same life internally as a millionaire who is content, comfortable, and happy with what he has. And if someone who is relatively poor is always dreaming of more luxuries and is not content or comfortable or happy with what he has, then he will be as discontent, uncomfortable, and unhappy as a millionaire who is always seeking more luxuries.
On the authority of Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه) who said: the Messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:
“Look at those who are beneath you and do not look at those who are above you, for it is more suitable that you should not consider as less the blessing of Allah.”
[Bukharee 6490, abridged & in Muslim (2963) in its completion.]
He (صلى الله عليه و سلم) also said:
“If any of you wakes up safe in his home, healthy in his body, and has his sustenance for his day, it is as if he has gathered the entire world.”
The man who is content with the simple things he has been given by Allah (swt) is equal to the man who owns the whole world, because both of them will grow accustomed to their own wealth and their own standard of living, and it will all look the same in their eyes in the end.
May Allah (swt) grant us the great blessing of contentment in our wealth and our sustenance, and protect us from looking at what others have been given except to make sure that they have enough.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Hadith Classifications

This is an extract from the book Al-Waadih Fee Usool ul-Fiqh by Muhammad Hussein Abdullah available to purchase from Maktaba Islamia.
There are three categories of hadith in respect to their As-Sihhah (soundness) and Ad-Da’f (weakness). These are Saheeh, Hasan and Da’eef.
In respect to the Sanad (chain) there are also three categories. These are Al-Mutawaatir, Al-Mash’hoor and Khabar Al-Aahaad.
  1. Al-Hadeeth As-Saheeh (Sound)

This is the Hadeeth in which its Isnaad (chain) connects the transmission of the ‘Adl Ad-Daabit from the ‘Adl Ad-Daabit until its end and is not Shaadh or Mu’allal.
  1. Al-‘Adl (the just): As-Sudooq At-Taqi (The honest person who fears Allah and obeys Him).
  2. Ad-Daabit (the precise): Known for his astuteness and not being careless or inattentive.
  3. Until its end: The Sanad (chain) connects to the Messenger ﷺ.
  4. Not Shaadh (irregular) or without Shudhoodh (irregularity): That it does not go against the Thiqqah (a trustworthy narrator) stronger than it.
  5. Mu’allal (defective) or without an ‘Illah (defect): That it is free of defects like the interruption of the chain.
The highest level of the Saheeh Hadeeth is that which Al-Bukhaari and Muslim have agreed upon its Sihhah (soundness) and Riwaayah (report). This is what is indicated to by the statement: ‘Saheeh Mutaffaq ‘Alaihi’ (Agreed upon).
The utilisation of the Saheeh Hadeeth as an evidence or proof for the Ahkaam is considered to be from the strongest forms of Ihtijaaj (evidential usage of proof to derive Ahkaam).
  1. Al-Hadeeth Al-Hasan

“It is the Hadeeth whose point of origin is known and its transmitters (Rijaal) have become famous or well known”.
It has been accepted by the majority of the ‘Ulamaa and utilised by the majority of the Fuqahaa. It is the Hadeeth in which none in the Isnaad (chain) has been accused of lying and it is called Hasan due to the Husn Azh-Zhann in respect to its Riwaayah (narration) despite not reaching the level of the transmitters of the Saheeh Hadeeth.
The ‘Ulamaa have provided the following definition for this category of Hadeeth:
The Hasan Hadeeth is that which its Sanad (chain) has connected through the transmission of the ‘Adl, Khafeef Ad-Dabt (lesser precision) until its end without Shudhoodh (irregularity) or ‘Illah (defect).
The difference therefore between the Saheeh Hadeeth and the Hasan Hadeeth is the existence of a lesser or lighter level of precision from the transmitter. Aside from that they resemble each other.
  1. Al-Hadeeth Ad-Da’eef (weak Hadeeth)

The Da’eef (weak) Hadeeth is that in which the attributes of the Saheeh and Hasan are not met or do not come together.
There are three opinions in respect to using it as evidence (Ihtijaaj):
1 – It is not used as evidence at all and this is the opinion of the Kibaar (major) Ulamaa like Al-Bukhaari. It is the most correct of the opinions.
2 – It is used as evidence in respect to the merits of Akhlaaq (morals) and traits (characteristics).
3 – It is used as evidence if the (requirements of the) Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah are not fulfilled or met by the Qur’aan or the (Saheeh) Sunnah.
The last two opinions are both weak because there is no Daleel Shar’iy that supports the adoption of either of them.
The Da’eef Hadeeth is of different types including the Shaadh (irregular or contradictory), the Mu’allal (defective), the Munqati’ (interrupted) and the Mawdoo’ (fabricated) amongst others.
  1. Al-Hadeeth Al-Mursal: ‘Mursal At-Taabi’iy’

This is the Hadeeth that the Taabi’iy (generation after the Sahaabah) raised to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ in regards to a Qawl, Fi’l or Taqreer, whether the Taabi’iy was major or minor (i.e. well known or not as well known). It has been called ‘Mursal At-Taabi’iy’ and it is the Hadeeth in which the Sahaabiy is not mentioned (in the chain).
They (the Ulamaa) have considered it to be from the kinds of Da’eef (weak) Hadeeth.
The Hukm of the Mursal At-Taabi’iy: ‘That which the Sahaabiy was not mentioned in the chain’.
A – It is not allowed to use it as evidence at all.
B – It is permissible to use it as evidence.
C – It is used as evidence with Shuroot (conditions) and that is that it does not contradict or go against a Hadeeth that is Musnad (i.e. complete top to bottom) within its subject area.
The most correct of these opinions is the last one because the absence of the mention of the Sahaabiy from the Sanad (chain) of the Hadeeth does not make it Da’eef and invalid to be used as evidence. That is because the Sahaabah (rah) are not in need of evaluation of their trustworthiness (Ta’deel) as Allah Ta’Aalaa has praised and commended them and the Messenger of Allah ﷺ did likewise.
As such the Mursal At-Taabi’iy is used as evidence as long as it is not contradictory to or in opposition to a Hadeeth that is stronger than it.
The most well-known Mursal Hadeeth include:
– The Mursal of Sa’eed Ibn ul-Musayyib from the people of Al-Madinah.
– The Mursal of ‘Ataa Bin Abi Rabaah from the people of Makkah.
– The Mursal of Al-Hasan Bin Abi l-Hasan Al-Basriy from the people of Basrah.

The Sunnah is divided into three categories in respect to the Sanad (chain): Al-Mutawaatir, Al-Mash’hoor and Khabar Al-Aahaad.
  1. Al-Mutawaatir

Al-Mutawaatir linguistically means: Consecutiveness, one after another with a gap (of time) between.
Al-Mutawaatir in accordance to the Istilaah (terminological definition): That which was related in the three eras (or generations) by a large number making it impossible for them to collude upon a lie.
The three eras (generations) are: The era of the Sahaabah, the era of the Taabi’een and the era of the Taabi’ At-Taabi’een.
The Sunnah Al-Mutawaatirah is Qat’iy Ath-Thuboot (definite in transmission) in respect to it coming from the Nabi ﷺ and therefore it is obligatory to work or act with it in respect to what it came with whether this was Ahkaam or Aqaa’id (beliefs).
An example of the Sunnah Al-Qawliyah Al-Mutawaatirah is his Qawl ﷺ:
“Whoever lies about me intentionally then let him occupy his seat (place) in hellfire.” (Al-Bukhaari and Muslim)
An example of the Sunnah Al-Fi’liyah Al-Mutawaatirah are like those related to the performance of the five prayers.
As for the Tawaatur Al-Ma’nawiy (in meaning) then this is the transmission of the narrators of a single Sunnah with different Alfaazh (wordings) in the case where the narrators of each wording or worded version do not reach the level or point of Tawaatur however the collection or collective of the narrators of those different wordings (Alfaazh) reach the level of Tawaatur. An example of this Sunnah is that the actions in the ‘Ibaadaat (acts of worship) are based or built upon the Niyah (intention). As for the Alfaazh (wordings) that have incorporated and included this meaning then they are like his Qawl ﷺ:
“Verily the actions are only by the intentions” (Al-Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu Daawood, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasaa’iy), his statement ﷺ:
“Whoever fights to make the word of Allah the highest then he is Fee Sabeelillah (in the way of Allah)” (Mutaffaq ‘Alaihi) and:
“There is no Hijrah after Al-Fat’h (conquest) but rather there is Al-Jihaad and the Niyah (intention)” (Agreed upon) and his statement ﷺ:
“The one who does not resolve (i.e. make intention) for the Siyaam (fasting) before Fajr has no fasting for him” (Abu Daawood and At-Tirmidhi).

The Number by which At-Tawaatur is attained

All of the opinions that have specified a specific number for the accomplishment of Tawaatur do not have a basis to support them whether textual or ‘Aqliy (intellectual). That is because the Sunnah Al-Mutawaatirah in which Yaqeen (certainty) is attained, from the angle of Thuboot (transmission), must be narrated by a Jamaa’ah (group) and not by a particular number. The number of this group and the distance of their locations must make it impossible for them to collude or collaborate upon a lie.
As such the Shuroot (conditions) of the Tawaatur are three:
A – A number of narrators that secures and prevents their collusion upon a lie.
B – That the knowledge of the Ruwaat (relaters) is based upon hearing and witnessing and is not based upon deduction or inference.
C – That the Tawaatur occurs in all three eras: The Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and the Taabi’iy At-Taabi’een.
  1. As-Sunnah Al-Mash’hoorah

This is that which has been related from the Sahaabah by a number that does not reach the level of Tawaatur and then reached the level in the era or time of the Taabi’een and the Taabi’iy At-Taabi’een.
This Sunnah establishes Zhann (indefiniteness) and it does not establish Yaqeen (certainty) because it is not Qat’iy Ath-Thuboot from the Nabi ﷺ. It is therefore a Hujjah (evidence and source of proof) in respect to the Ahkaam Ash-Shar’iyah but not a Hujjah for the Aqaa’id.
An example from the Ahaadeeth Al-Mash’hoorah is his Qawl ﷺ: “Verily the actions are only by the intentions” and this is from the Sunnah Al-Mash’hoorah.
  1. Sunnah Al-Aahaad – Khabar Al-Aahaad

This is what has been related by a number that does not reach the level of Tawaatur in the three eras. There is no difference or disagreement amongst the Muslims in respect to the Sunnah Al-Aahaad representing a Hujjah upon the Muslims in respect to the obligation of acting by or working with it and to adhere to its Ahkaam. The proof and evidence (Burhaan) for this is established from a number of angles including:
1 – The Ijmaa’ As-Sahaabah in a number of incidents and occurrences that are too numerous to be counted in regards to the acceptance of the Khabar Al-Waahid and acting by it. An example is when ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab (ra) acted in accordance to the Khabar (report) of ‘Abdur Rahmaan Bin ‘Auf (ra) in respect to the Nabi ﷺ taking the Jizyah from the Majoos. This is when he related from the Messenger of Allah ﷺ that he said: “Apply the same to them as you have applied to the Ahl ul-Kitaab (people of the book)” (Al-Muwatta’).
2 – The Messenger ﷺ found it sufficient to send Aahaad (singles/individuals) from amongst the Sahaabah to the rulers and nations to inform them about Islaam and its Ahkaam like when he sent Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal to Yemen and sent others to the Persians, Romans, Iraq, Ash-Shaam and Egypt.
3 – Allah Ta’Aalaa said:
وَما كانَ المُؤمِنونَ لِيَنفِروا كافَّةً ۚ فَلَولا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرقَةٍ مِنهُم طائِفَةٌ لِيَتَفَقَّهوا فِي الدّينِ وَلِيُنذِروا قَومَهُم إِذا رَجَعوا إِلَيهِم لَعَلَّهُم يَحذَرونَ
“And it is not for the believers to go forth [to battle] all at once. For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the Deen and warn their people when they return to them that they may beware”
(At-Taubah 122)
The word Taa’ifah (in the Aayah) in accordance to the Arabic language is used for the Waahid (one) and more than Waahid (one). Consequently, if the Khabar Al-Waahid was not a Hujjah for actions then the warning of those who had obtained understanding in the Deen would hold no benefit for the people returning from Al-Jihaad.

The Hukm (ruling) of working with each category of the categories of the Sunnah

As was mentioned in the section about the categories of the Sunnah, working with (and acting upon) the Sunnah is Waajib. The following is a summary of what preceded in respect to the Hukm (ruling) of working with each Sunnah:
1 – Al-Mutawaatir: It is obligatory to take the Sunnah Al-Mutawaatirah in respect to the Aqaa’id and the Ahkaam.
2 – Al-Mash’hoor: It is obligatory to take the Mash’hoor in respect to the Ahkaam.
3 – Khabar Al-Aahaad: If it is Saheeh or Hasan, then it is obligatory to be taken to be worked with in respect to the Ahkaam.
4 – As-Sunnah Ad-Da’eefah: It is not used as evidence at all due to its transmission not being verified in respect to it being from the Messenger ﷺ.
5 – Al-Mursal: The Mursal At-Taabi’iy is used as evidence and acted upon or worked with as long as there is nothing stronger opposing it from like the Mash’hoor and Saheeh amongst others… And this also relates to the Ahkaam (and not the Aqeedah).

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Follow-up answers on Bitcoin - Abu Khaled al-Hejazi

Assalamualaikum, Some follow up questions regarding the bitcoin Q&A

My question on majhool is- what do you mean the source of Bitcoins in unknown. Do you mean that the mining is done by unknown entities or that the actual founders of Bitcoin (i.e. Satoshi) was anonymous?


To reiterate what we said in the QnA previously as well, cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin are ‘assets’ issued by an unknown (majhool) source which have no real value and no real backing and Majhool here is related to the subject of the issuing the currency.
The shari view towards the issuance of currency is that It should be issued by a centralized authority which undertakes the responsibility of issuing the currency (dirhams and dinars) i.e it is a known body and not unknown (majhool). This is one of the major problems with cyptocurrencies such as bitcoin. So Majhool is not linked to Satoshi or one particular miner, rather it is linked to the whole mining community which is an unknown entity.

So what about whether bitcoin constitutes a valid asset? You mention in your ijtihad that it is a digital asset. 

It is finite etc. But the questions that come to my mind are:

1) whether or not it has 'commercial value' from a shari perspective
2) is it an asset which can be invested in (conceding that it is not a currency)?


When we say digital asset we don’t necessarily mean it has an intrinsic value. We call it as a digital asset as opposed to a real asset i.e we are calling it a virtual asset. 

For it to have any commercial value it should have an intrinsic value i.e it should be able to provide benefit to the one who holds it. Bitcoin as you know does not fulfill the conditions of what constitutes a currency nor does it provide any benefit to the one who owns it so that it be considered as an asset. There is a very interesting discussion about value of a commodity in the book economic system by Shekh Nabhani. 

So in principle from a shari perspective it doesn’t have a commercial value, this is for the one who argues that the bitcoin is a commodity and not a currency. 

And as you know dealing with any item which doesn’t has any value is considered as gharar, this is what we have discussed in our q&a as well. Let me quote,

Muslim reported in his Saheeh from abu Hurairah who said
أخرج مسلم في صحيحه عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ: «نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ عَنْ بَيْعِ الْحَصَاةِ، وَعَنْ بَيْعِ الْغَرَرِ»
"The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) forbade Gharar transaction sand Hasah transactions "
Tirmidhi also reported a similar hadith from abu Hurairah
وأخرجه كذلك الترمذي عن أبي هريرة..."بيع الحصاة" 
وَمِنْ بُيُوعِ الْغَرَرِ بَيْعُ السَّمَكِ فِي الْمَاءِ وَبَيْعُ الْعَبْدِ الآبِقِ وَبَيْعُ الطَّيْرِ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَنَحْوُ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْبُيُوعِ ‏.‏ وَمَعْنَى بَيْعِ الْحَصَاةِ أَنْ يَقُولَ الْبَائِعُ لِلْمُشْتَرِي إِذَا نَبَذْتُ إِلَيْكَ بِالْحَصَاةِ فَقَدْ وَجَبَ الْبَيْعُ فِيمَا بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ
The prophet prohibited the ‘hasah’ Transactions. The  Hasah sale is when the seller says to the buyer: 'When I toss the pebble at you, then the sale between you and I is final.' "The Gharar sale i.e (the sale of ambgious & unknown (majhool, ghayr maloom)) includes selling fish that are in the wate, selling a slave that has escaped, selling birds that are in the sky, and similar type of sales and all of these are prohibited.

I hope it clarifies

Abu Khaled al-Hejazi

Q&A: The Islamic Ruling on Bitcoin

Question by: SchukranJaan
Bismillah Ar-Rahaman Ar-Rahim,
Dear honourable Sheikh.
We hope this finds you in the best health.
We greet you with the warmest and noblest of all greetings:
Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu.
A brother and I were talking about the Hukm regarding the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple etc.)
We both read the ijtihad by Ustadh Abu Khaled al-Hejazi but we weren’t quite content with what the sheikh had deduced.
We have some problems with how the sheikh analyzed the reality of cryptocurrencies and the comment section under the article too is filled with brothers disagreeing and discussing about how  tahqeeq al-manaat was not completely correct.
We would like to know the Hukm regarding selling and buying of cryptocurrencies.
Could you bring light into this subject, because it still doesn’t seem clear for us.
Wajazaakumullah khairan
May Allah strengthen us all on his path and let us be the reason for the re-establishment of the bearer of light in this world, the khilafah on the method of the Prophethood.
Question byWisam Al-Haninny
Assalaam Alaikum, maybe the question will not be answered, but I do understand the pressures that you are in, may Allah give you support
But I have a pressing question because of what I see spreading between the people especially among the Muslims, notably in the recent months.
The question: The Bitcoin currency originated 8 years ago and now it has spread in an unprecedented way and the value of one currency reached more than 8000 dollars, and through my follow-up to its reality and how it is dealt with, I did not find any difference between it and the dollar, except that the latter is materially tangible? I hope that our Sheikh can draw up the Shariah ruling on several fronts, as follows: 1. Dealing with it, in buying and selling 2. Coining: “establishing new currencies” 3. Ruling of exchange between it and other tangible currencies? If you want, I can provide you with websites and YouTube explaining their reality, but I think they are easy to access, and May Allah bless you.

Wa Alaikum Assalam Wa Rahmatullah Wa Barakatuhu
Regarding both your questions on the Bitcoin, we have previously answered a similar question on 28/4/2017, and here is the text of the answer:
1- Bitcoin is not a currency; it does not fulfill the conditions of a currency because the currency which was accepted and implemented by the Prophet ﷺ was the Gold and silver currency i.e. Dirhams and Dinars. This Islamic currency fulfilled three important conditions.
  • It was a basis to evaluate the goods & services, i.e., it was a measure for prices and wages.
  • It was issued by a central authority which undertook the responsibility of issuing the dirhams and the dinars and it was not an unknown body.
  • It was widespread and easily accessible among the people and it was not exclusive to a group of people only.
Applying the above on the Bitcoin, it is clear that it does not satisfy the three conditions above:
  • It is not a basis to evaluate the goods and services; it is only a tool of exchange of specific goods and services.
  • It is not issued by a known body, but it is unknown.
  • It is not widespread and easily accessible among the people and it is exclusive to those who exchange it and recognize its value, i.e. it is not for all the society.
Therefore, the Bitcoin currency is not considered as a currency in the Islamic Shariah
2- Hence, Bitcoin is no more than a product; however, this product is issued by an unknown source; it has no backing. In addition to this, it is a big domain for fraud, deception, speculation and cheating, and therefore, it is not allowed to trade in it i.e., it is not permitted to buy or sell them. Especially because of its unknown source, this casts doubt that the source is linked to major capitalist countries, especially America, or a gang associated with a major country with malicious purpose, or major international companies for gambling, drug trafficking, money laundering and organized crime management. Why else is the source unknown?
The conclusion is that Bitcoin is only a product issued by an unknown (majhool) source which has no real backing, and therefore, is open to speculation and fraud, and it is an opportunity for the colonialist capitalist countries, especially America, to exploit such things so as to plunder the resources of the people.
This is the reason why it is not allowed to purchase it due to the Shariah evidence that prohibit the sale and purchase of any unknown ‘majhool’ product, and the evidence for this is:
Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih from Abu Huraira that he said: «نَهَى رَسُولُ اللهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَنْ بَيْعِ الْحَصَاةِ، وَعَنْ بَيْعِ الْغَرَرِ» “The Messenger of Allah  forbade Gharar transaction sand Hasah transactions.”
It is also narrated by Tirmidhi from Abu Huraira…
And the meaning of “Hasah sale” is when the seller of clothes says to the buyer: ‘” I will sell you whatever the pebble I toss falls on” or “I will sell you the land that the pebbles I toss fall on”. So, what is being sold is not known, and this is forbidden.
“Transaction of Gharar” which is uncertain; it may happen or not, such as selling fish in the water or milk that is not being milked from the udder, or selling what is carried by a pregnant (animal) and so on; it is forbidden because it is Gharar.
Thus, it is clear that Gharar transaction or the uncertain, which is the reality of Bitcoin, which is a product from an unknown source and is produced by an unofficial body that can guarantee it, it is not permissible to buy or sell it.

Your brother,
Ata Bin Khalil Abu Al-Rashtah
30 Rabi’ Al-Awwal 1439 AH
18/12/2017 CE

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Hanafi Fuqaha on Seeking Assistance of the Disbelievers in War

Imam Muhammad (d. 189), the companion of Abu Hanifa (d. 150) – Allah’s mercy be on them both – the main transmitter of his madhhab and a mujtahid in his own right, said: ولا بأس بأن يستعين المسلمون بأهل الشرك على أهل الشرك إذا كان حكم الإسلام هو الظاهر عليهم. “It is alright for the Muslims to seek the help of polytheists when fighting against (other) polytheists if the rule of Islam is dominant over them.” (al-Siyar al-Kabir السيار الكبير , 4:191, emphasis added)
This is the authoritative statement on the matter in the Hanafi madhhab. Imam Muhammad clarifies the hukm of what is designated in fiqh as the issue of seeking assistance in war from the disbelievers. He notes that assistance can be sought when Islamic rule is dominant. The implication of this condition is operative. That is, when Islamic rule is not dominant, seeking assistance is not allowed. In other words, seeking assistance is strictly conditional. If, and only if, the rule of Islam is dominant, it is allowed for the Muslims to use non-Muslims in war. When Islam is not dominant, that is, when the disbelievers are dominant, it is not allowed.
Two points need to be clarified here. One, the rule of Islam being dominant refers to the existence of Dar al-Islam, which is the abode wherein the rules of Islam (Shari’ah) are applied and the security of the lands is secured by the authority of Islam, that is, by the Muslims. Two, seeking assistance can be of the form where the Muslims ask some non-Muslims – such as the Ahl al-Dhimma (Non Muslim citizens) living in Dar al-Islam – to fight with them or it can be of the form where some non-Muslims request to fight alongside the Muslims. In other words, the request can come from either side. However, in either case, the non-Muslim must fight under the command and leadership of the Muslim army.
Imam Muhammad goes on to respond to a contention made by some that since al-Zubayr (ra), from the Muslims who migrated to Habasha, fought with the Najashi when an enemy of his fought him, it is allowed for Muslims even to fight under the command of a non-Muslim army. Imam Muhammad responds to this by saying that the correct interpretation of these narrations is that either the Najashi was a Muslim as the time or the Muslims had no other choice as indicated by some narrations. He stated,هذا الحديث يستدل من يجوز قتال المسلمين مع المشركين تحت رايتهم، ولكن تأويل هذا من وجهين عندنا: أحدهما: أن النجاشي كان مسلما يومئذ، كما روي، فلهذا استحل الزبير القتال معه. والثاني: أنه لم يكن للمسلمين يومئذ ملجأ غيره  “This hadeeth indicates that it is permissible for Muslims to fight with polytheists under their banner, but this interpretation has two aspects for us: One: that the Negus was a Muslim on that day, as narrated, so Az-Zubayr turned fighting with him. The second: that the Muslims did not have other alternate recourse at that time” Therefore it is an exceptional case which cannot be generalised.
Shams al-A’imma Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Abi Sahl al-Sarakhsi (d. 483), one of the early Hanafi fuqaha, explains the evidence for the above-mentioned Hanafi position in his commentary on al-Siyar al-Kabir. He notes that the Prophet ﷺ sought the assistance of the Jews of Bani Qanuqa’ against Bani Quradha and he allowed some disbelievers to come to battle with the Muslims as in the case of Safwan in Hunain and Ta’if. He explains that this type of action is but an instrumental use of the disbelievers for an end that is to the benefit of the Muslims. At the same time, he adds, that in other cases the Prophet ﷺ refused disbelievers to fight with him, such as in the case of Jewish allies of Abdullah ibn Ubayy who came along to fight in Uhud. The Prophet ﷺ ordered them to return saying, «إنا لا نستعين بمن ليس على ديننا» “We do not seek assistance from disbelievers.” Al-Sarakshi mentions that in such cases those who were refused were a Ahl ul-Man’ah (أهل منعة Considerable Force) in which case it is disliked to allow them, as they could turn against the Muslims if the Muslims suffer a blow and find themselves weak. This is in the case where the disbelievers intend to fight under the banner and command of the Muslims. As for the case where the disbelievers are a considerable force and they intend to fight under their own banner and leadership, this is absolutely prohibited (Sharh al-Siyar al-Kabir شرح السيار الكبير 4:191-3).
Al-Sarakhsi also addressed the issue in his fiqh masterpiece al-Mabsut المبسوط (10: 23-24). Here again, he mentions some cases in which the Prophet ﷺ refused disbelievers from fighting with him and others where he allowed it. He notes that the difference is in the strength of the disbelievers and whether they fight under the Muslims or by themselves. When they fight as individuals who does not comprise a strong force, they can be allowed for in this case, doing so serves our purpose and there is not a threat. But if they want to fight as a separate entity under their own banner, this is not allowed as it entails a potential threat. Al-Sarakhsi cites the hadith in which the Prophet asked the Jewish allies of Abdullah ibn Ubay to return in Uhud, summarising the hukm as follows:تأويله أنهم كانوا متعززين في أنفسهم لا يقاتلون تحت راية المسلمين، وعندنا إنما يستعين بهم إذا كانوا يقاتلون تحت راية المسلمين، فأما إذا انفردوا براية أنفسهم فلا يستعان بهم، وهو تأويل ما روي عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أنه قال: «لا تستضيئوا بنار المشركين»، وقال صلى الله عليه وسلم: «أنا بريء من كل مسلم مع مشرك» يعني: إذا كان المسلم تحت راية المشركين. “The correct interpretation of this hadith is that they were powerful in themselves not fighting under the Muslims’ banner. For us, we only seek assistance from them if they were fighting under the Muslims’ banner. If instead they want to fight under their own banner then we do not seek assistance from them. This is also the correct interpretation of the Prophet’s ﷺ saying,   «لا تستضيئوا بنار المشركين»‘Do not seek light from the fire of the polytheists’ and his ﷺ saying,  «أنا بريء من كل مسلم مع مشرك» ‘I am free from every Muslim who fights together with a polytheist’, meaning if the Muslim is under the polytheists’ banner.”
This is the basic position on this matter according to the Hanafi fuqaha, reiterated by other early and later scholars as the following two citations also show. Abu Bakr al-Jassas, (أبو بكرالجصاص) in his Ahkam al-Qur’an (أحكام القرآن) 2:559 said, وقال أصحابنا: لا بأس بالاستعانة بالمشركين على قتال غيرهم من المشركين إذا كانوا متى ظهروا كان حكم الإسلام هو الظاهر، فأما إذا كانوا لو ظهروا كان حكم الشرك هو الغالب فلا ينبغي للمسلمين أن يقاتلوا معهم. “Our companions (Hanafi fuqaha) said that it is okay to seek assistance from the polytheists when fighting other polytheists when the rule of Islam is dominant. If the rule of shirk is dominant, Muslims should not fight with them.” And Alaa’ al-Din al-Kasani (علاء الدين الكاساني) in his Bada’i al-Sana’i, (بدائع الصنائع) 7: 101 said, ولا ينبغي للمسلمين أن يستعينوا بالكفار على قتال الكفار؛ لأنه لا يؤمن غدرهم، إذ العداوة الدينية تحملهم عليه، إلا إذا اضطروا إليهم “The Muslims should not seek assistance from the disbelievers in fighting other disbelievers – except in the case of dire necessity – because there is no security from their betrayal. Their enmity against Islam pushes them towards such betrayal.”
We may note in the reasoning of the Hanafi fuqaha, based on the evidences, that their concern is with Muslims not falling under the influence of the disbelievers or being utilised for their agenda or for the protection and furtherance of their interests. This is why they stipulate that seeking their assistance or allowing them to fight with us is only allowed when Islam is dominant and they fight under our authority. In such a case, they serve our interests and there is nothing to fear. If this is not the case, however, then we would be serving their interests and the blood of Muslims would be split in the service of the interests and agendas of kufr entities.
This reasoning is also discernible in the related issue of seeking the assistance of disbelievers against Muslim rebels. Ibn ul-Humam (ابن الهمام) mentions in Fath al-Qadir (فتح القدير) (6: 109) that Ahl al-Adl (those who have the legitimate authority in the eyes of Shari’ah) can use the Ahl al-Dhimma in fighting the rebels so long as the fight remains within Dar al-Islam. But if the fight moves to Dar al-Shirk, they cannot use the assistance of any disbelievers.
We may conclude by saying that in this issue there are a number of ahadith in which the Prophet ﷺ explicitly prohibits seeking the assistance of disbelievers in war, such that the hadith extracted by Ahmad and al-Nasa’i in which he ﷺ said, «لاَ تَسْتَضِيئُوا بِنَارِ الْمُشْرِكِينَ» ‘Do not seek light from the fire of the disbelievers.’ [Ahmad] However, in other ahadith he ﷺ did seek the assistance of some disbelievers or allowed them to fight with him. This is because the prohibition is not absolute but conditional and subject to a criterion. For the Hanafi fuqaha, this criteria is the dominance of Islam and that any disbelievers fighting with us fight under our banner and leadership. This will only be the case in the case of individuals or small groups. As for anything that means they fight as separate entities or we fight for their interests, this is not allowed.

Uthman Badr