By Syed Zahid Ahmad
Though every fourth human being may be a Muslim today on the planet, but Muslims have hardly any say in deciding specific policies and plans for human rights and security. They are not free even to resolve best for their own states. Sometimes they face impositions of economic restrictions or threatened of dire consequences. No Muslim state is daring to take any action against oppression upon Muslims in Burma, Syria or Philistine etc. Today most of Muslim countries are silently approving India’s brutal action on Kashmir. They don’t dare to oppose India’s oppressive policies in Kashmir. Only Pakistan and Turkey is raising their voices over the way India is dealing with Kashmiris. Considering the conditions of Muslims around the world the sayings of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Hadith) comes in our mind wherein it was predicted that Muslims will be collectively oppressed by other communities.1
The practicing Muslim by way of reciting Tashahud during their every Namaz (physical prayer called Salah) states that all three basic kinds of prayers; namely Tahiyyat (verbal prayers), Salawat (physical prayers) and Tayyebat (materialistic prayers) 2 are only for Allah (SWT). But have we ever considered whether we genuinely offer Tayyebat to Allah (SWT) or in real sense opposing it? Hardly a few Muslims review their Tayyebat. Notably Tayyebat is to guide the humanity restrain from Al-Munkar (all that is forbidden); allow them for Tayyebat (all good and lawful) and prohibit Al-Khabaith (all evil and unlawful as regards deeds, beliefs, foods, etc.). There are severe admonitions in holy Quran who deviate from way of Tayyebat and keep hoarding wealth instead of helping the needy and poor people.3
Tayyebat is the only means that can protect the Muslims from weakness like Wahn. Perhaps angels are performing other two prayers (Tahiyyat and Salawat) better than any human being because they don’t have tensions like we have in our minds. Considerably no angel can perform Tayyebat because they don’t really own worldly materials. So Tayyebat is the unique way for human that allows them seeks bounties of Almighty Allah and raise their status. Today many religious organizations are working to promote Tahiyyat and Salawat, but we lack organizational efforts to spread the spirit of Tayyebat. As a result by and large the Muslim community is really not very cautious about their Tayyebat as specific prayer allowing them raise their status in this life and life hereafter.
Tayyebat as prayer not only guides the humanity to refrain from unlawful deeds but it also set boundaries for Islamic jurisprudence. Islamic laws regarding prohibitions (of certain food, livelihood and income etc.) law of inheritance (for distribution of wealth), Paying Zakat (Saving tax), Sadqa (Alms), Awqaf (Assets for public welfare), Fitra (Festive Aid), Adahi (Sacrificial) and reserving Fai (fixed percentage allocation) all are part of Tayyebat.
With higher level of believe in life hereafter, the Prophet Muhammadﷺ and his companions were used to spend their maximum savings over Charity and endowments. Second Caliph of Islam Hazrat Umar bin Khattan (R.A.) established a waqf by donating a piece of land in Khaybar, which meant that particular land could not be sold or given as a gift. The fruits from the farm were then distributed to the poor in the community. Later her daughter Hazrat Hafsha (RA) also donated jewels worth 20,000 dirham and set an example of endowing moveable assets and wealth for cause of human welfare.
Historically Muslims status kept growing till they were punctually doing Tayyebat, protecting themselves from unlawful means and adopting just lawful means and materials. Muslims were not required to borrow money on interest because they had waqf fund to provide financial help to the needy fellows. Through Tayyebat Muslims around the world with blessing of Almighty Allah kept spreading their ruling in major part of the world. Muslims ruled this world till they were leading in endowments (Waqf). But after division in Jurist’s opinions about return over cash waqf during Ottoman period created controversies, and Muslims started restraining from cash waqf. This pushed the Muslims financially on back seat allowing the Jews and Christians to lead the interest based banking and finance business.
According to Dr. A. A. Islahi “Cash waqf could have proved a sound foundation for interest-free banking at the time when Europe was establishing banking system based on interest during the sixteenth century. But we were lost in controversy. Muslim mind had to wait still four centuries to make such experiment through equity or waqf funds.” Mahadi Ahmad of International Islamic University, Malaysia says that “The success story of the Ottoman cash waqf supports this claim that the institution is vibrant alternative financing for the grass-roots. And so, the Muslims should be bold enough to popularize this institution that is strong enough to alleviate the poverty at the grass-root level.”
Today countries like Indonesia and Malaysia are using cash Waqf as one of the significant product under Islamic banking operations. But India inhibiting almost 11% global Muslim population has yet to launch any cash waqf fund. Here in India also, the Muslims community positioned better till they use to waqf properties; and when they started to misuse waqf properties, Muslims lost their position and now became an ineffective minority in India.
During second half of twentieth century, Muslims in Arab countries articulated the banking system to get rid of interest. But the model of Islamic banking is no way encouraging Tayyebat but provides alternative mode of accumulating wealth. So it is no way improving Muslims condition around the world. Rather in country like India many Muslim investors lost their money on the name of Islamic investment because they devour Tayyebat and prefer seeking profiteering by investing their all savings instead of spending part of it for the welfare of needful in their surroundings.
Today lack of Tayyebat is allowing the devils to deviate the Muslim Ummah from Sirat al Mustaqeem (right path); and as a result the focus of Muslim community is observed deviated from seeking falah to aim conquering this materialistic world. As a result the community has not only neglected the system of Baitulmaal; but adopted the model of Islamic banking wherein the savings of rich are not being utilized for helping the needy but channelized in a manner to provide them permissible mode of higher returns to their investments. This greed to seek best possible returns by investing their surplus of income over expenditure into Shariah Complaint businesses is creating disorders in Muslim’s economic world. The difference in standard of living for rich and poor Muslims is increasing day by day; and the so called Islamic finance is not in a position to tackle this issue.
To reduce economic disparities among people and to alleviate global poverty, Muslims need to promote Tayyebat so as to inculcate required spirit and guidance in process of socio-economic developments. According to Islamic belief whatever excess we get is due to invocation and blessings of poor among us.4 The holy Quran clearly guides that capital should not (merely) make a circuit among the richer but be allowed to flow towards the poorer5 so as to enable them improve their livelihood. But we see that not even one percent assets of Islamic banks around the globe are allocated for micro finance to poor people.
If Muslims would not do the righteousness in accordance to Islamic teaching; and not arrange resources for poor enabling them get rid from sin like interest and unlawful earning, they may get punishment like the earlier communities (Jews) got.6 If we consider Muslims in India are facing similar conditions today. For them the halal beef is legally banned because they started considering interest based loans and bribery as legal (halal) means to get resources. Since the law of Almighty Allah is equal for all humans, Muslims in India have also been punished by Almighty Allah like earlier the Jews were punished for unlawful acts. So, if Muslims in India wants to improve their conditions, they have to start restraining from Khabait and Munkar and adopt performing just and fair Tayyebat. They financially better off among Muslims (with spirit of Tayyebat) should consider forming waqf fund for community welfare by donating certain percentage of their excess of income over expenditure. This Cash Waqf Funds would work as financial resource to alleviate poverty by way of improving livelihood of poor through means of participatory finance.
Muslims should develop leaders like Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) who sacrificed his trade business and devoted for development of the community through welfare Governance7. If we wish to see better representation of Islam around the world, we have to learn sacrificing our wealth and comforts with spirit of Tayyebat. Muslims have to start reviving waqf funds instead of Islamic investment funds for welfare of the community because waqf fund is sought to seek Bounties of Almight Allah whereas investment funds are meant to pacify the need of investors in the world only. If Muslims want to revert back their socio- economic and political condition, they should considering re-establish waqf funds with spirit of Tayyebat.
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The people will soon summon one another to attack you as people when eating invite others to share their dish. Someone asked: Will that be because of our small numbers at that time? He replied: No, you will be numerous at that time: but you will be scum and rubbish like that carried down by a torrent, and Allah will take fear of you from the breasts of your enemy and last enervation into your hearts. Someone asked: What is wahn (enervation). Messenger of Allah (ﷺ): He replied: Love of the world and dislike of death.
Grade : Sahih (Al-Albani)
Reference : Sunan Abi Dawud 4297
In-book reference : Book 39, Hadith 7
English translation : Book 38, Hadith 4284
- Narrated by `Abdullah bin Mas`ud: We used to say the greeting, name and greet each other in the prayer. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) heard it and said:-“Say, ‘at-tahiyyatu lil-lahi was-salawatu wat-Tayyebatu. Assalamu ‘Alaika aiyuha-n-Nabiyu warahmatu- l-lahi wa-barakatuhu. Assalamu alaina wa-‘ala ‘ibadi-l-lahi as-salihin. Ashhadu anla ilaha illa-l-lah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan `Abdu hu wa Rasuluh. (All the compliments are for Allah and all the prayers and all the good things (are for Allah). Peace be on you, O Prophet, and Allah’s mercy and blessings (are on you). And peace be on us and on the good (pious) worshipers of Allah. I testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Apostle.) So, when you have said this, then you have surely sent the greetings to every good (pious) worshipper of Allah, whether he be in the Heaven or on the Earth.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 1202
In-book referenc : Book 21, Hadith 6
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 2, Book 22, Hadith 294
3-“You who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allah. And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment. The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, [it will be said], “This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard.” (Al Quran 9:34-35)
- Narrated Mus`ab bin Sa`d: “Once Sa`d (bin Abi Waqqas) thought that he was superior to those who were below him in rank. On that the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You gain no victory or livelihood except through (the blessings and invocations of) the poor amongst you.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 2896
In-book reference : Book 56, Hadith 110
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 145
5- “And what Allah restored to His Messenger from the people of the towns – it is for Allah and for the Messenger and for [his] near relatives and orphans and the [stranded] traveller – so that it will not be a perpetual distribution among the rich from among you. And whatever the Messenger has given you – take; and what he has forbidden you – refrain from. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al Quran 59:7)
- “For the wrongdoing of the Jews, We made unlawful to them certain good foods which has been lawful to them, and for their hindering many from Allahs Way; And their taking of Riba (usury) though they were forbidden from taking it and their devouring of men’s substance wrongfully. And We have prepared for the disbelievers among them a painful torment.” (Al Quran 4:160-161)
- Narrated `Aisha: “When Abu Bakr As-Siddiq was chosen Caliph, he said, “My people know that my profession was not incapable of providing substance to my family. And as now I will be busy serving the Muslim nation, Children of Abu Bakr will eat from the National Treasury of Muslims, and Abu Bakr will professionally manage it for the Muslims.”
Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 2070
In-book reference : Book 34, Hadith 23
USC-MSA web (English) reference : Vol. 3, Book 34, Hadith 284