Do the Ulama of
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
We respect Hadhrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb madda zillohu and appreciate his great contribution to Islamic Finance as well. We also understand the difficulties faced in implementing Islam in Finance within a conventionally driven economic system.
It is within these constraints that such mechanisms are engineered which may not be the ideal for Islamic Finance, but an alternative to Islamic Finance and a path to achieving the ideal.
We have been studying most of the works of Mufti Taqi Saheb on Islamic Finance and observed that he has pointed some shortfalls of Islamic Banking. It is unfortunate that the managements of Islamic Banks regard the alternatives as the ideal and absolute. Efforts are not being made to achieve the ideal. We have experiences of discussing with numerous non muslim business houses and present them with the ideal and they are eager to come up with the ideal Islamic system. We have studied the AAOIFI Standards of which the Chairman is Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb maddazillohu. While we do appreciate such a tedious effort in setting up Shariah Standards for Islamic Finance, we have observed some inconsistencies in the Standards and in Hazrat Mufti Saheb’s various other writings. It is possible that the inconsistencies are due to the ambiguity in the standards or due to it being a collective effort by its others members and decisions are based on the working principles of the board. We hope Hazrat Mufti Saheb will point out separately those areas on the AAOIFI Standards that he disagrees with. The issue of talfeeq (ruling on different mazhab in one issue) in the AAOIFI standards is of great concern to us. We have also seen some Finance Journals that takes issues with Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb’s retracting views on the issue of Sukuks.
In brief, we have the greatest respect for Hazrat Mufti Taqi Saheb and do not appreciate any defamatory statements against him. Difference of opinions on an academic level is also encouraged by Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Sahib.
Statements like opposing a great Aalim etc are at most expressions of emotions and not worthy of any academic response. We have come across numerous articles of Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb in which he differed with senior Ulama, for example, his refutation of Sheikhul Islam Hazrat Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madni Rahimuhullah practice of Nafl Salah with Jamaat. At that time Hazrat Hussain Ahmed Madni was a Sheikhul Islam and Mufti Taqi Usmani Saheb was still formally studying. No body regards that as disrespectful as it was pure academics. Allah preserves his deen in various ways. Any differences of opinion by other senior Ulama of Pakistan and elsewhere with Hazrat Mufti Saheb on Islamic Finance should be seen in the light of the above discussion.
It should also be noted that the open discrepancies by some Islamic Finance houses should not be simply reduced to academic differences. Some Finance houses take shelter of Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb’s name and mislead the public with his support and the AAOIFI Standards. Such transactions are clearly Haraam and the proceeds from that are also Haraam.
We hope and make dua that Allah Ta’ala guide Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani Saheb to think of a way to curb this fitna that involves millions of dollars of haram in the name of Islamic Finance.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In’aamiyyah