Theory vs Tangible Reality
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This is a compilation of a series of WhatsApp messages from Shaykh Abu Ubaid’s personal broadcast.
PART 1: INTRODUCTION
After the revealed 'way of living' was established as institutions during the life of our beloved leader Muhammad salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, the overall advancement of those institutions continued throughout our Ummah's history.
The great scholars of the Ummah continued playing a vital part in that advancement by way of being leaders, advisors, judges, teachers... within those established institutions.
The structural knowledge of the revelation was always practical and tangible; it was always to do with 'aml (inner & outer action) and producing that structure of the wahye at a physical, collective level so that all can witness it.
Sadly, nowadays this 'knowledge' of the wahye has become theoretical and at worst it has been taken within the realm of impossibility!
In order for us to come out from this vicious cycle of theoretical knowledge, I personally believe 5 subjects should be taught regularly in stages, comprehensively with workshops, when studying a typical fiqh book, in order to move from theory to a physical reality:
'Uqud (contracts & transactions)
Qadha (judicial judgements)
PART 2: ZAKAT & MARRIAGE
As mentioned in part one, 5 subjects need to be studied in a comprehensive, practical manner in order for us to make the revealed structural knowledge into a physical reality.
Let's look at each of these subjects with a little more detail:
When I say study the subject of Zakat comprehensively and practically, I don't merely mean sitting in a classroom and studying the Zakat of money and practising calculations on paper.
I also mean studying the Zakat of livestock and staple food physically in-person.
This means going out and actualising these rulings by calculating the livestock and measuring the Zakat of staple food.
How many of us, students of knowledge, can say for example that I actually measured the rice or wheat for Zakat??
If there are no Muslims in our land who are liable to Zakat of livestock and staple food then we ought to travel to the lands where Muslims are liable. At least then the knowledge practically is preserved and passed on!
Most importantly, we ought to learn and study how Zakat is related to the fundamental yearly stability of the overall economy, and how it is related to the minimum financial MUSLIM/HUMAN RIGHT.
A lot of us do not even go through a typical book on marriage. Those who do, it's often about do's and don'ts, or we read it to know a list of MY rights.
Once we are married, it's a complete shock to the system!
Yes, go through books. But also go to courses where they teach you life before marriage, life AFTER marriage, and how sometimes it's literally about SURVIVAL therein!
Take anger management courses. Take courses which teach you how to have bags of patience and how to sacrifice. Take courses which teach you how to say sorry FIRST & forgive FIRST... & so forth.
In other words, prepare by proactively taking practical courses to be the best person you can be BEFORE marriage—because marriage will either bring out more greatness from within you or it will break you and bring out your worst!
PART 3: INHERITANCE
Inheritance is the most tangible subject out of the five. Sadly, though, it's the least grasped and also the least implemented.
Those who do grasp it, rarely do anything about implementing it amongst their families and relatives—due to the respective culture in distribution.
It is no wonder then why we have so much disunity and in-fighting within our families; obviously this leads to envy, greed and then break up of the whole family.
It's about time that we all take some responsibility over this disunity and actually do something about it!
We all must take the following practical steps to make this knowledge tangible again within our community:
We need to study this subject regularly until the general fundamental rulings of it becomes common knowledge, even amongst the masses.
The leaders of the households need to show the way by implementing it amongst their families and relatives—otherwise it will be a mountainous struggle.
If there are established institutions/courts implementing the Muslim inheritance, then we must give them that authority to divide our inheritance—when either we're not aware of the rulings or when there are disagreements.
If there are no institutions/courts in a particular land then we must establish them for our Muslim community.
Three points everyone needs to know regarding Muslim inheritance:
Know, there are misconceptions and there are notions which are not true like that of women—they always receive a lesser portion to the man. That is obviously NOT TRUE!
Women can get MORE than men and also equal to men.
For example, when a woman dies and she leaves behind a husband and a daughter—here the daughter gets more than her OWN father!
Know, inheritance is divided according to biological closeness, responsibility of expenditure and guardianship.
Know, inheritance subtly makes known the biological hierarchy and guardianship, which leads to keeping the hierarchical chain of the community short, and thereby the Ummah at large efficiently united!
PART 4: ‘UQUD (CONTRACTS & TRANSACTIONS)
The survival of us as social beings is dependent upon amanah (trusts) and 'adalah (justice). It's also dependent on the exchange of skills & commodities for money; an item which has an intrinsic value by which one can buy any skill, any commodity, in any generation. Typically, agreed as to be gold & silver.
Generally, in basic exchanges between people, feelings of satisfaction and/or gestures of agreement suffice, without the need of utterance or witnesses.
However, in major matters of exchange utterance (or written representation) is needed. In some life changing matters witnesses are needed like marriage.
This whole process is termed as 'aqd (contract).
Generally, a contract is needed in the following matters:
Business with partner(s)
Lending money or anything significant/precious
There is a misconception and a notion out there amongst the masses that everything in a business contract is allowed, as long as it's NOT interest based.
That is obviously NOT correct at all!
There's also a prevalent loose application—amongst some graduates & students of knowledge—of the principle: anything in transactions (معاملات), the original ruling is that it's allowed. They simply apply that principle in every transaction that is new or they're unsure of, or they're unable to grasp. However, this very principle is utilised after applying all explicit principles of contracts & transactions by an expert on the subject, and only when they have a doubt on the particular transaction can they utilise this principle as a last resort/fatwa.
It's vital to know that there are more rulings—other than interest—which can make a contract haram and invalid and thereby NOT binding!
Also, it's crucial that when we are studying this subject in a typical fiqh book, we also learn & practice how to write these contracts based on the current business ventures of that particular land.
Two vital matters to consider in any general contract:
The contract cannot go against any explicit ruling of the wahye (revelation).
There can be no oppression against any fundamental and/or obligatory right of the individual(s) bound by the contract.
Important matters to consider in a business contract:
There can be no interest based contracts.
Currency with another currency is exchanged promptly.
There can be no major ambiguities of the item/commodity.
The price, or the capital and/or the profits need to be fixed & agreed by the respective individuals.
There cannot be TWO different contracts in ONE contract.
One cannot sell what they do NOT possess or are NOT liable of.
Generally, one can return the commodity if there is a major fault. One can also agree a return date period more than 3 days.
The more regularly we Muslims study this subject & practice writing up the current business contracts with the principles of the wahye, the more tangible we will make our daily living of Al-Islam.
Finally, if there are already Muslim institutions/courts which solve business contract disputes, then we must refer the matter to them.
If, however, there are NO Muslim institutions/court in a particular land, then it's incumbent upon the Muslims of that land to establish institutions/courts to solve their disputes of all contracts, especially business contracts.
PART 5: QADHA (JUDICIAL JUDGEMENTS)
Differing perspectives and disputes are part of this intermediary life. And in many cases, taking advantage of the weak and oppressing them becomes common within societies.
Thereby, no society can survive, let alone function, without there being a place of authority to resolve disputes between people with some sort of justice, if not full justice.
The people who become experts in the sacred knowledge of the wahye (revelation) merely aren't there to recite/read the wahye, listen to it, memorise it, write it down, convey it, authenticate it—be it words or meaning—explain it, teach it, and so on.
Whilst some from the above can be carried out by the mass at their particular levels, the experts of the sacred knowledge are needed to preserve it & pass it to the next generation, at least at the authentic theoretical level.
However, the experts due to their extra expertise of the sacred knowledge primarily have societal posts, positions and professions according to their natural talents & abilities, so that the sacred knowledge establishes itself and becomes a tangible reality for everyday life for people to witness and live by.
The major societal posts & positions for the experts of the sacred knowledge—when they have the natural & the trained competence—are as follows:
Highest authority of a nation. Typically known today as President, Prime Minister or Khalif/Ameer.
Advisors to the highest authority of a nation. Typically known today as the Cabinet or Advisors.
Highest authority of the Army. Typically known today as General.
Governors or MP's.
The position of a judicial judge has the authority & power to settle the disputes between people.
These disputes fundamentally include 2 matters:
All family matters and disputes therein.
Contracts and transaction disputes.
The judicial judge even has the authority to take the head of the nation into account, if the dispute against him is at the personal level regarding the above two matters.
There are NO disputes between people except the wahye can resolve it by the following ways & methods:
Speaking the truth and acknowledgments by the person or party that they themselves are on the wrong against the other person/party(s). This not necessarily has to be done by making an oath with the name of Allah i.e. Yamin/Qasam.
The one who is claiming against the other brings the evidence. In other words, everything is based upon the original default reality/position. Like parents for example, are just generally with their children, so if a child is claiming otherwise, he needs to provide the relevant evidence.
Other related tangible facts & evidences.
Making an oath with the name of Allah (Yamin/Qasam) and saying that one is speaking the truth.
Fahm: A deep level of sharp deducting ability possessed by the judicial judge himself, by which he can produce & show the evidence, when both parties do not know or unable to point out/produce the evidences.
The great & noble virtue of this tangible position was made clear by the Sahabi 'Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud radiyallahu ‘anhu when he said, "I prefer to be a judicial judge for one day than be in constant worship for seventy years!"
If there are already Wahye-Law judicial institutions/courts then it's a must for the Muslims to refer to them.
If there are NO Wahye-Law judicial institutions/courts in a particular land, then it is incumbent upon the Muslims there to establish them.
May Allah—'azza wa jalla—grant us the ability to make the utmost productive way of living tangible again. Allahumma Amin!!