Pallapatti: Islamic Fiqh Academy’s 32nd 3-day Fiqhi Seminar concluded on November 20 at “Jamia Al Uswatul Hasana Shariat College” in the Muslim-majority town Pallapatti, Tamil Nadu.
About 300 distinguished Islamic scholars (Ulema) and jurists (muftis) from across the country attended the seminar, which issued Sharia guidelines for Muslims on issues such as imitating identities, symbols, or practices of other religions, ill-gotten wealth, and contemporary investing practices. The annual jurisprudence seminar of the Academy explores solutions to contemporary problems and issues in light of the Quran, Sunnah, qiyas, and ijma.
On the issue of imitation, the seminar defined imitation as the deliberate adoption of distinctive characteristics specific to a particular community or civilization by individuals or groups of Muslims. This definition emphasizes Islamic guidance for Muslims to preserve their religious and cultural identity while avoiding practices from other communities or cultures that may compromise their religious beliefs. The seminar made it clear, though, that customs that are widely accepted and not specifically forbidden in Islam do not belong to the category of imitation, which is forbidden. It is further underlined that imitation is acceptable when it comes to inventions and necessities of daily life.
The seminar urged Muslims not to embrace symbols or customs from other religions, like hanging crosses, donning sacred thread, donning colored marks on the forehead or tilaks, celebrating
Holi, lighting lamps on Diwali, taking part in Christmas celebrations, doing yoga, or performing other customs. Moreover, it was stated that practices such as Saraswati Vandana, Surya Namaskar,
Vande Mataram, reciting idolatrous prayers from the Bible or the Gita, chanting the names of deities, folding hands in front of statues of Jesus Christ, and standing in front of photos of Jesus Christ are all part of other religions’ rituals. Jurists stated that Muslims are not allowed to embrace any such rituals, practices, or symbols that undermine their faith.
On attire, the scholars said it should be according to the principles of modesty, while ties, coats, and pants are also regarded as appropriate clothing because they are no longer solely connected to any one religion.
Regarding income and wealth from illegal sources, the participants categorically stated that any wealth obtained by illegal means such as usury, extortion, bribery, fraud, theft, gaming, or illegal contracts is categorically prohibited.
They suggest that anyone in possession of wealth acquired illegally should give it back to its rightful owner. They emphasize that it is the duty of every Muslim to rid themselves of such immoral wealth and say that if it is not possible for them, they should give it as charity to the underprivileged or needy.
Similarly, it is required of a Muslim to return such wealth to the rightful owner if it is acquired through inheritance and that owner is known. Scholars state that it is imperative to distribute this wealth among the poor if the rightful owner is unknown or, even if known, returning it is not practical. In a different case involving inheritance, academics argue that profits made by an heir using illegally inherited wealth for business ventures will be deemed legal. But he or she must give to charity the same amount of money that was obtained illegally.
According to them, housewives can only use their husbands’ or sons’ earnings in cases of severe financial hardship if the income is illegal.
Concerning investments, the seminar urged Muslims to embrace the Islamic financial system, which is founded on the concepts of profit-and-loss sharing agreements rather than interest. The scholars’ suggestions further declared that it is forbidden to use interest-bearing funds for any kind of personal benefit.
It should be noted that paying or charging interest in any form is strictly prohibited under Islamic law.
Additionally, they declared “estimated reduction,” which is common in non-interest financial institutions and involves estimating the value of a company’s fixed assets and cash assets to determine profit and loss, to be acceptable. Using this approach, an organization’s assets are valued both at the start and the end of the year. To calculate profit or loss, the difference between the two estimates is used.
The jurists also supported the idea of a “legal person,” reaffirming the validity of giving a company the status of a legal person and conducting business with it as a Rabbul Mal (investor) or Mudarib (working partner).
The Fiqhi seminars were exceptionally beneficial in that they offered common Muslims direction on a wide range of modern issues arising from the rapid advancements of the modern world, including but not limited to animal rights, the environment, bonds, currency, bank cards, educational loans, network marketing, e-commerce, organ donation, plastic surgery, women’s employment, sex education, euthanasia, DNA testing, genetic science, ecological conservation, and so forth.
The 32nd seminar, held from November 18 to 20, adopted these recommendations on the three key issues mentioned above after thorough deliberations. It was spread over five sessions.
In his inaugural session address, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, General Secretary of the Fiqh Academy and President of the All India Muslim Personal Labor Board, brought up concerns about deliberate plots to drive Muslims away from their faith and the aggressive efforts of communal forces to absorb Muslims into their ideology. Maulana Rahmani stated that religious institutions and organizations urgently needed to take notice of this impending threat. She presided over the session.
The seminar also pledged support for the oppressed Palestinian people’s efforts to liberate their land and expressed solidarity with them. They denounced Israel’s actions as unjust and barbaric.
Attendees at the seminar included representatives of reputable establishments and groups, including Madrasa Al-Baqiyat-us-Salihat, Vellore, Mazahirul Uloom Saharanpur, Darul Islam Omarabad, Imarat-e-Shariah Bihar, and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.