Transcript of Mufti Ebrahim Desai's speech

Subject: Al-Mabroor Investment Scheme

Venue: North Beach Jamaat khana

Date: Friday 9th September 2011

 

In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful.

 

We praise Almighty Allah, we express the majesty of Almighty Allah, peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the final messenger of Allah Ta’ala.

 

Dear friends and honourable guests,

 

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

It is a great pleasure and honour to address you today, on this very auspicious, memorable and momentous occasion; the occasion of the launch of the al-Mabroor property investment scheme and al-Mabroor buffalo investment scheme.

 

From the very deep recess of my heart I would like to express my deepest gratitude and gratefulness to each and every one of you attending this launch.

 

Respected friends, the prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “To earn a halaal income is an obligation after other obligations.”

 

Just as we are sensitive to offering salaah, discharging Zakaat and performing Hajj, so too should we be sensitive to earning a halaal income.  If performing our five daily prayers is compulsory, to earn a halaal income is equally compulsory.

 

Not everyone is well equipped on Shari’ah laws on business and commerce and neither does everybody have the necessary skills to engineer a mechanism of Shari’ah compliancy on investment schemes.  The Darul Iftaa has been inundated with calls from the public to engineer a 100%, I reiterate a 100% Shari’ah compliant investment scheme.  Many companies have also contacted us to review their investment products.  People want a Shari’ah compliant investment scheme and we are sensitive to that.  At the same time we are more sensitive to Shari’ah compliancy.  As much as we are sympathetic to fulfilling the demand of the public, at the same time we do not want to compromise on Shari’ah compliancy to merely fulfil a demand.

 

Respected elders and friends, the background of this particular product is that early this year, we received a request from Bazley Hardware in Port Shepstone to review an investment scheme by the name of Stonevest investments.  We went through the document and scrutinised it thoroughly.  We concluded that the scheme was not Shari’ah compliant.  Many other companies approached us but we rejected their investment schemes.

 

The person behind the Stonevest investment scheme is Wiaan Smith of Insight Capital.  He contacted the Darul Iftaa and asked, “What do we need to do to make the scheme Shari’ah compliant?”  We had a meeting with him and explained to him all the clauses that nullify the Shari’ah compliancy of the products.  He offered the Darul Iftaa to design a Shari’ah compliant scheme which he will manage.

 

Generally, companies design their own investment schemes, rules and regulations, and then they want us to approve it. In such a situation we work within a narrow and confined space. However, with al-Mabroor investments, we designed the product.  Obviously there were certain challenges.  We explained to Wiaan Smith the Shari’ah mechanism, but we needed to couch it from the legal perspective.  For that, I sought the help and assistance of my learned colleague, Advocate Mufti Imran Vawda sahib.  The advantage is, he is an expert in Shari’ah and at the same time has a legal background.  Mufti Sahib has been in consultation with Wiaan Smith prepared the legal documents.  The Darul Iftaa is fully responsible for designing the product and preparing the legal documents.  Therefore we have no doubt in the 100% Shari’ah compliancy of this product.  The details of the product will be presented by Advocate Mufti Vawda Sahib and Wiaan Smith.

 

On behalf of the Darul Iftaa, I want to make a few important announcements:

Firstly, the role of the Darul Iftaa in this particular product is to merely create a Shari’ah compliant investment mechanism to help and assist the public.  There is a huge demand for a 100% shariah compliant investment scheme.  We felt we cannot shy away from the demand of the public.  Not everybody knows how to create a Shari’ah compliant investment scheme.  So we decided to take a step forward and create the mechanism, merely to help and assist the Muslim public.  If anybody earns a halaal income, it is to the general advantage of the Muslim community.  If there isn’t any halaal income and there isn’t any Shari’ah compliancy, it will be to the detriment of the entire Muslim community.  Therefore we were morally obligated to come up with this mechanism.  If we would have shied away, we feel everybody would suffer the consequences directly or indirectly.

 

Let me give you an example: there was an old man and old lady living in a farm.  There was a rat troubling the old lady.  So the old lady told the old man, “The rat is troubling me, I need to get rid of the rat.”  The old man bought a rat trap.  The old lady was very happy upon seeing the rat trap.  The rat heard that the old lady was behind it.  So the rat went to the chickens and told the chickens that the old lady was behind its life and that it wanted their assistance.  The chickens said,

 

“What can we do? We sympathise with you but sorry we cannot help.”  The rat went to the goat, sheep and cow seeking help from them.  These animals responded in the same manner as the other animals.

 

In the night as the old lady prepared to sleep she heard a click.  She was very happy thinking the rat has been trapped.  She went to remove the rat from the rat trap but to her surprise it was a snake.  She fell ill.  Visitors started coming to the house.  The old man had to entertain visitors.  The old man went to the farm, caught some chickens and slaughtered them.  As time went, more and more people came.  The old man then slaughtered a sheep.  When the old lady died, many people came to her funeral.  Now the old man had to slaughter a cow.  The problem of the cat became the problem of the chickens, goats, sheep and cow.

 

Likewise, in a community, we are inter related.  We have to help and assist one another or else we all suffer the consequences.

 

The second point is that the Darul Iftaa has no financial gain whatsoever.  The Darul Iftaa had innumerable meetings with the company, yet we never sent a single invoice to the company.  We are working solely for the happiness and pleasure of Almighty Allah Ta’ala (at this point Mufti Ebrahim Desai Sahib asked Wiaan in the presence of the audience if any invoice was sent.  Wiaan Smith categorically professed in front of the gathering that the Darul Iftaa had not sent any bill or invoice).  Also, we wish to maintain our independency.  The moment the Darul Iftaa takes remuneration, we immediately compromise on the Shari’ah compliancy of the product.  This does not mean for one moment that the Darul Iftaa has a big bank balance.

 

The third point I want to mention is that anybody who invests in these schemes, will do so on his own individual capacity.  We created the Shari’ah compliant product, but the Darul Iftaa does not take any part in the marketing of the product apart from this launch.  Any individual who wishes to invest will do so on his own individual capacity.  Make your own investigation and come up with your own decision on the matter.  The Darul Iftaa takes no benefit or bears any responsibility of any profit or loss.

 

The fourth point is that the Darul Iftaa isn’t contracted to al-Mabroor investment scheme.  We designed the scheme for them but we are working for the Muslim community.  Tomorrow if somebody else comes to us and asks us to design a scheme for them, we will readily do so.  We wish to create a competition and see the best available product for the Muslim community.

 

Lastly, the name al-Mabroor has been decided by the Darul Iftaa.  The basis of the name is a hadith narrated by Rafi’ ibn Khadeej (radiallahu anhu).  He reports that the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) was once asked, “Which earning is most pure? Which earning is most wholesome?” The prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) mentioned two things: when a person earns his income with his own hands.  Secondly, every transaction which is mabroor.”  It is hajj season, anybody going for hajj, we wish them hajj mabroor.  Many people don’t know that just as there is hajj mabroor, there are transactions which are also mabroor.

 

What is hajj mabroor? You do everything according to the Shari’ah.  Likewise a transaction, it will be mabroor when you do everything according to Shari’ah.

 

Dear friends and guests, the Darul Iftaa’s vision isn’t confined to creating a Shari’ah compliant investment scheme.  Our vision is beyond the horizon.  It is to see Shari’ah compliancy in every aspect of business.  In your own business, you come to us or we come to you, we are ready to help you to make your business Shari’ah compliant.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  When the sensitivity to Shari’ah compliancy is there, it is that which invokes the mercy and blessings of Allah in the field of business and economics.

 

Therefore, if anybody wants any help and assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.  We will help you purely for the pleasure of Allah ta’ala.

 

The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) is reported to have said, “On the day of judgement, no person will move away from the court of Allah ta’ala until he is asked a few questions.  Two questions primarily asked will be:

1) Where did you earn your income from?

2) Where did you spend it?

 

‘Where’ means whether it is Shari’ah compliant or not.  We need to be conscious of that.  As Muslims, we are always sensitive and conscious to life after death and accountability in the court of Allah.  Whilst we are in the field of business and economics, we are always concerned regarding what answer we will give to Allah Ta’ala.

 

Many of us complain regarding a lack or barakah.  Barakah only comes when we do everything according to Shari’ah.

 

May Allah ta’ala give us the ability to practice.

Aameen.

 


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