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A Small Step for a Struggling Nation;
A Giant Step for Mankind
The Supreme court of Pakistan in 1999 gave a verdict
that all usurious transactions (interest based transactions) are against
the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government
was ordered to abolish these practices summarily.
This judgment declaring the norm of interest as repugnant to the
Qur'ânic percepts will have far reaching implications for the
socioeconomic and political system of Pakistan and perhaps of other Muslim
and non-Muslim entities. It will change the way “haves” have treated
the “have-nots” since this nefarious usury system became the norm of
commerce. A renewed interest in Islamic banking, its theoretical
foundations as well as its practical implication is a natural consequence
of the Supreme Court judgment.
Under tremendous and courageous pressure from certain Islamic
groups in Pakistan the present regime seems to have taken the initial step
to implement the decision of the Supreme court. The Pakistani minister of
Religious affairs while announcing the government’s intent to abolish
the usurious banking system by July 1, 2001, said that more than 200
international institutions are already operating on usury free system.
Sudan and Malaysia have already implement totally or partially interest
free monetary systems. So this action is quite overdue for Pakistan.
Implementation of this decision will not be as easy as the
announcement. The operational difficulties would be the least of the
problems. Those within and outside Pakistan, who have no faith in Divine
existence will call such action out right stupid, and do every thing in
their might to derail it. Many others who will perceive monetary loss, no
matter how short lived that loss is, will oppose it vehemently. Foreign
investment in Pakistani economy will become hard to attract. International
institutions like IMF and World Bank will have a tongue in cheek response.
Openly they will not oppose or excessively criticize this action, because
after all they should not interfere in the internal matters of a sovereign
nation even if it is under tremendous debt. But Pakistan will become
discredited. Other nation under the influence of these organizations will
be discouraged to do business with Pakistan. There may be unspoken
“sanctions” against Pakistan.
The anti-Islamic media is already in full gear to discourage the
Pakistani rulers. The Voice of Germany, for example, called this action
totally against the advice of national and international experts who are
working hard to alleviate the “financial problem” of Pakistan at this
very critical time.
If the Pakistani
rulers don’t retract their actions, denouncements would follow. There
may even be renewed calls to declare Pakistan a “Terrorist Nation”.
The people of Pakistan should know, that the establishment of
interest “free banking” is not the total answer to the myriad of
difficulties facing their nation. The answer is in fulfilling the covenant
that was made with Allah at the time partition of India was demanded on
the basis of two nation, one Muslim and one secular. All aspects of life
have to be governed according to the Sharî'ah and this submission has to be a willing submission. May Allah give you the
strength and stamina to fulfill your destined role in the affairs of
Muslim all over the world.
For those of us who claim a role in establishing the word of Allah
as the supreme and uppermost, and especially those who claim their decent
from the subcontinent the test is near. If Pakistan stands firm on its
course to become a solidly and totally Islamic state and it needs our help
and we withhold it, then we would have done a great disservice to our own
cause to spread and establish Islam in this land that we have chosen to be
our abode. In fact let no one misunderstand that when Muslims in the
affluent West help any struggling Muslim population anywhere to establish
itself as a Muslim entity, we help no one else but ourselves. May Allah
give us the taufeeq to discharge
our obligations when the need arises. Ameen.
If, and it is a big if, the
Pakistani rulers and the people can withstand the hardship, internal and
external pressure and coercion that will follow the establishment of a
truly interest free economic system, they will have succeeded in reversing
a decaying process in the Muslim ummah
that began with the colonial domination of Islamic lands several hundred
And what an honor for a people whose forefathers fifty years ago
struggled and secured a country that claims its very existence on the
basis of its identity as a group of “Indians” determined to establish
the law of Allah in the territory under their control.
We print elsewhere an article
on this topic that shows how over due such an action is for the Muslims to
save not only themselves but all people of faith from the cruelty and
injustice of the pound for pound flesh demanding system of economics that
has become the “norm”.
Those who, if We give
them power in the land, establish worship and pay the poor due and enjoin
kindness and forbid iniquity. And Allah's is the sequel of events. [Qur'ân
Published: January 2001