Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
First of all, we'd like to shed light on the origin of this festival, known as "Valentine Day" or "Festival of Love":
The Festival of Love was one of the festivals of the pagan Romans, when paganism was the prevalent religion of the Romans more than seventeen centuries ago. In the pagan Roman concept, it was an expression of "spiritual love".
There were myths associated with this pagan festival of the Romans, which persisted with their Christian heirs. Among the most famous of these myths was the Roman belief that Romulus, the founder of Rome, was suckled one day by a she-wolf, which gave him strength and wisdom.
The Romans used to celebrate this event in mid-February each year with a big festival.
One of the rituals of this festival was the sacrifice of a dog and a goat. Two strong and muscular youths would daub the blood of the dog and goat onto their bodies, then they would wash the blood away with milk. After that there would be a great parade, with these two youths at its head, which would go about the streets. The two youths would have pieces of leather with which they would hit everyone who crossed their path. The Roman women would welcome these blows, because they believed that they could prevent or cure infertility.
The connection between Saint Valentine and this festival:
Saint Valentine is a name which is given to two of the ancient "martyrs" of the Christian Church. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius, c. 296 CE. In 350 CE, a church was built in Rome on the site of the place where he died, to perpetuate his memory.
When the Romans embraced Christianity, they continued to celebrate the Feast of Love mentioned above, but they changed it from the pagan concept of "spiritual love" to another concept known as the "martyrs of love", represented by Saint Valentine who had advocated love and peace, for which cause he was martyred, according to their claims. It was also called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.
One of their false beliefs connected with this festival was that the names of girls who had reached marriageable age would be written on small rolls of paper and placed in a dish on a table. Then the young men who wanted to get married would be called, and each of them would pick a piece of paper. He would put himself at the service of the girl whose name he had drawn for one year, so that they could find out about one another. Then they would get married, or they would repeat the same process again on the day of the festival in the following year.
The Christian clergy reacted against this tradition, which they considered to have a corrupting influence on the morals of young men and women. It was abolished in Italy, where it had been well-known, then it was revived in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when in some western countries there appeared shops which sold small books called "Valentine's books", which contained love poems, from which the one who wanted to send a greeting to his sweetheart could choose. They also contained suggestions for writing love letters.
The above quotation is excerpted, with slight modifications, from www.Islam-qa.com
As regards the Islamic stance on this festival, Dr. Su`ad Ibrahim Salih, professor of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) at Al-Azhar University, states the following:
Indeed, Islam is the religion of altruism, true love, and cooperation on that which is good and righteous. We implore Allah Almighty to gather us together under the umbrella of His All-encompassing Mercy, and to unite us together as one man. Allah Almighty says: (The believers are naught else than brothers. Therefore make peace between your brethren and observe your duty to Allah that haply ye may obtain mercy.) (Al-Hujurat 49: 10)
Focusing more on the question in point, I can say that there are forms of expressing love that are religiously acceptable, while there are others that are not religiously acceptable. Among the forms of love that are religiously acceptable are those that include the love for Prophets and Messengers. It stands to reason that the love for Allah, and His Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) should have the top priority over all other forms of love.
Islam does recognize happy occasions that bring people closer to one another, and add spice to their lives. However, Islam goes against blindly imitating the West regarding a special occasion such as Valentine's Day. Hence, commemorating that special day known as the Valentine's Day is an innovation or bid`ah that has no religious backing. Every innovation of that kind is rejected, as far as Islam is concerned. Islam requires all Muslims to love one another all over the whole year, and reducing the whole year to a single day is totally rejected.
Hence, we Muslims ought not to follow in the footsteps of such innovations and superstitions that are common in what is known as the Valentine's Day. No doubt that there are many irreligious practices that occur on that day, and those practices are capable of dissuading people from the true meanings of love and altruism to the extent that the celebration is reduced to a moral decline.
Source : Islam Online
Before a Muslim woman seeks employment, she must carefully weigh all of her options and prepare herself for inevitable challenges.
Every day, many Muslim women cope with the challenge of working in a non-Muslim environment: a male employee offers his hand during introductions, other employees begin to discuss private aspects of their lives at lunch, an invitation is sent to all employees for a get-together at the local bar; someone makes a joke about Hijaab or Salaah. These are just a few of the many possible situations that a woman may face as she struggles to maintain not only her job, but, more importantly, her Muslim identity.
All women who have been exposed to the workplace at some point in their lives can fully grasp the myriad of reasons why working outside the home is an enormous problem, in particular for Muslim women. There are countless contrasts in the workplace to our Islamic value system.
There are valid reasons why laws were enacted for sexual harassment in the workplace in the United States, and that is because it happens, and often. Moreover, women should be aware that the laws can only do very little to discourage it, after that you are on your own.
What is the Islamic perspective in women and work? What guidelines should be followed if a woman works? What are some strategies that may be effective in helping her to maintain Islamic values and behavior?
The most important role for a woman is motherhood. This special role that Allaah, Almighty, has created for her, affords her honor and respect in Islam. Where does she fulfill this role? Naturally, in her home. Allaah, Almighty, Says (what means): "And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance..." [Quran 33: 33]
This does not mean that a woman is a prisoner in her home, but only that she should have a valid reason (meeting her basic needs) to go out, to avoid any tribulation, trial, or temptation that may result from mixing between men and women.
A woman should not work in a non-Muslim environment unless there is an extremelly compelling reason for her to do so. Allaah, Almighty, has not prohibited women from working, but He has provided numerous protections for women, that are primarily concerned with where, how, and with whom she associates. She should seriously consider the costs and benefits for herself, and the impact on her ability to fulfill her primary responsibilities, before taking on a job. There are many situations that may make it necessary for a woman to work, such as to meet the financial needs of the family or to fulfill the needs of the society (doctors, midwives, teachers).
There are several obvious guidelines that should be followed if a woman must work:
First, she must obtain consent from her guardian or husband (if married), who may offer a broader perspective on how her work may influence the family and its functioning.
Secondly, a woman must ensure that her home and children are properly cared for. Her husband may be of assistance in this area, or outside help may be employed.
Thirdly, care must be taken to choose employment that is appropriate and fits with her skills. Obviously, any work that deals with forbidden activities, services, or products would not be allowed but there is a world of possibilities available.
Forthly, any job that prevents her from fulfilling any of her Islamic obligations, like Hijaab or Prayer for example, is not an option to be considered.
Fifthly, while at the job, a woman must maintain her inwardly and outwardly modesty and chastity.
There is an immense and growing need for Muslim women in various medical fields, in education, in helping professions such as social work, counseling, psychology, psychiatry, and childcare. With the growth of technology and communications capabilities, there are unlimited opportunities for women to do some type of work or business from home (such as secretarial and typing; writing, editing, publishing; computer work, etc.). This would be an ideal situation that would eliminate many of the concerns that may arise for working women.
Maintaining an Islamic foundation:
This common concern for women who work outside the home must be taken very seriously. Women need to be careful that the job they choose does not lead them to transgress the limits of Islam.
Fedwa is a successful computer programmer at a major University who understands the risks of working in a non-Muslim environment. She knows that if she is not cautious, others may begin to negatively influence her. When she first began working, she would attend luncheons with other employees, but soon discovered that much of the time was spent on idle talk and conversation about forbidden activities (e.g. boyfriends, drinking). She decided that the best precaution for her would be to avoid these luncheons completely, so that a bond would not be established between herself and her co-workers. This type of influence could be so subtle, that a sister may not even be aware that she has fallen into the trap. Listening to inappropriate conversations on a regular basis may lead a sister to become desensitized and thereby forgetful about appropriate etiquette.
Another sister, Layla, echoed the same concerns. Layla is a Dental Claims Clerk at a major HMO who also decided to stop sitting with her co-workers during lunch. She and three other Muslim sisters at the same company have devised a creative way to preserve their identity while socializing at the same time. Each Friday, the sisters pray Thuhr (noon prayer) together in a conference room, followed by lunch. During lunchtime, they study about Islam in a private halaqah (Islamic study circle).
Layla also discussed her struggle with wearing Hijaab. When she first became Muslim, she considered not wearing Hijaab to job interviews for fear that potential employers would react negatively, preventing her from being considered. This rationale carries a strong message. After more consideration, she realized that Allaah would be the only One Who could assist her in finding a job, and if she did not wear it, she would not receive Allaah's help. She wore the Hijaab and found a job. She felt that the Hijaab was a barrier in only one of her interviews. Since that time, Allaah, Almighty, has strengthened her faith. Her advice to other Muslim sisters is to be open and honest about religious beliefs and practices, and to incorporate this into conversations.
Sources: Al-Jumuah magazine
"The birth of the Islamic banking industry in the late 1960s was preceded by numerous literatures in Islamic economics that discussed an economic system complete with social justice. Islamic banking was only a minute discussion in these literatures. Regardless of the initial initiatives by the economist, the Islamic banking industry was actually instigated by the business community because they sensed that it will be too long to wait for the complete Islamic economic system to emerge. These efforts gave birth to the first Islamic commercial bank - the Dubai Islamic Bank in 1975. Since then, Islamic banking has gained acceptability and success." This comment came from Sheikh Nizam Yaquby during the 15th Islamic Banking Discussion Series at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM).
He also added that despite the acceptability and success of the industry, the economist always criticizes Islamic banks and makes them responsible for the problems of the Muslim community, including the inequality of wealth among the people. This, however, serves as an important reminder: one has to be fair to the Islamic banks in their criticism. "We have to remember that an Islamic bank was initially set up because traders wanted to conduct business without contravening the Shariah. To claim that Islamic banks have deviated from the path (i.e. Musharakah) and to make them responsible for all the economic problems of the Ummah, would be an over-reaction by the economists I say." Sheikh Nizam concluded his brief prologue with these words before providing an opportunity for the attendees to pose various questions. This article summarizes some of the questions and answers put to Sheikh Nizam at the discussion series.
Shouldn't Islamic banks play a role in the development of the Muslim society?
Yes, Islamic banks do play a role, however they are not the only institution responsible for the development of the Ummah. They play a developmental role by employing people, providing finance for trade and granting scholarships for students. However, to say that Islamic banks are responsible to eradicate the poverty of the Ummah is just too much. We need collective efforts from the state government, the banks and the Awqaf institution to effectively eradicate poverty, not the banks alone.
Which one should prevail in accounting for Islamic banking products; the substance of a transaction or the legal form of it? We cannot apply a general rule for substance over form. We have to examine each situation on a case-by-case basis. Ideally, we would like to recognize both substance and form. However, in certain situations the substance would be more important while in other situations the form would need to prevail. For example, when the prophet prohibited the companions from exchanging a portion of good quality dates with two portions of bad quality dates and suggested them to first sell the good dates and use the money from that transaction to buy the lower quality dates, it shows that form is important. However, this does not mean that substance should be ignored. What is more important, I think, is to analyze the impact of any policy that we choose.
In an Ijarah Muntahiyah Bi Tamlik transaction, for example, rather than arguing about substance over form, the final decision that is much more vital is to settle is who should carry the asset in their book - the lessor or the lessee? Focus on this and leave out the substance over form argument. Islamic funds are eventually placed with conventional banks via commodity Murabahah. What is your comment?
As long as there is no full Islamic economic market, the Islamic funds will always flee to the conventional market. The solution is therefore to find a commodity market that trades within the Muslim countries as an alternative to the London Metal Exchange (LME), for example. It is amazing to note that no single oil producing country has an oil exchange. Muslim countries are the major oil producers, however none of these countries have an oil exchange. We need to change this. We need to establish exchanges for oil, rubber and palm oil, for example. This will give the bankers alternative investment avenues. Currently, Sukuk is not providing that much of an alternative because there are not many issuances, and within this limited issuance, investors usually will hold Sukuk until maturity due to the good yield and the double collateralization it carries.
Can Islamic banks provide Hajj financing?
Capability (financial and physical) is always made a prerequisite for performing hajj. The aim of hajj financing is to provide the financial capability to individuals who may not have the financial capability immediately, however who have good salaries which provide steady cash inflow (i.e. future financial capability). During the pre-industrial era, people were farmers and entrepreneurs. They did not enjoy a fixed income every month. However, with the advancement of the industrial revolution, most people are salary-based and financing has become a modern aspect in life. It is not haram to seek debt if you are able to fulfill obligations. Therefore it is permissible to seek finance to perform hajj. Nonetheless, it should be made clear that hajj financing is meant for those who have the capability to repay the financing, not for the poor. As for the poor, it is better to go for saving schemes like the one provided by Tabung Haji here in Malaysia.
What is your opinion regarding the time value of money?
All eight schools of thought agree that the time value of money is accepted in exchange contracts. If we analyze verse 2:275 in al-Quran, it says: "They say: Trading is only like riba, but Allah has permitted trading and forbidden riba." What trade is this verse referring to? It is certainly not cash sales. It is actually referring to a credit sale where the price is higher than the cash price. Then only would it be comparable to riba.
Time value in sales is recognized, while time value in loans is haram. This is unanimously agreed by the scholars.
What are the challenges that the industry faces in the next 10 years?
There are three major challenges. First, we need a real genuine solution to solve the liquidity problem of Islamic banks today. Secondly, we need to establish a mega Islamic institution with at least US$50 billion capital. We may even establish four to five of these mega institutions for each continent - the Middle East, Asia, Europe, the US and Africa. This institution will be able to solve a lot of problems that the industry faces, including the liquidity problem. Finally, we need to seriously look into human resource development and R&D. The salaries of the CEOs of Islamic banks today are unbelievably high due to a shortage of experienced and qualified Islamic bankers. Concentrated efforts should be focused on education and training of human resources. The industry also needs to allocate funds for R&D purposes to come up with innovative and competitive products
Monday, April 07, 2008
Zaman ni zaman susah. Harga minyak naik terus, akibatnya terjadi pemberhentian di berbagai syarikat. Salah satunya yg terkena pemberhentian ialah Suparjo dari Semarang, Indonesia. Bulan ni dia tak dapat kirim wang untuk isterinya di kampung halaman. Hanya dapat kirim surat yang isinya demikian:
Maafkan kanda sayang, bulan ni kanda tak dapat kirim wang utk keperluan keluarga di rumah. Kanda hanya dapat mengirimkan buatmu 1000 ciuman.
Kanda Suparjo Yii
Seminggu kemudian Suparjo mendapat surat balasan dari isteri tercintanya:
Kanda Suparjo tersayang,
Terima kasih atas kiriman 1000 ciumanmu. Utk bulan ini Dinda akan menyampaikan laporan perbelanjaan keluarga:
Tukang minyak bersedia menerima 2 ciuman setiap kali membeli 5 liter minyak tanah.
Tukang letrik mahu dibayar dengan 4 ciuman setiap 10hb setiap bulan.
Tuan rumah mahu sewanya dibayar ansuran 3 kali ciuman setiap hari.
Tokeh kedai runcit tak mahu dibayar pakai ciuman. Dia mintak yg lain jadi Dinda terpaksa berikan saja.
Hal yg sama juga kepada Guru Besar dan guru kelas sekolah di Nanang yg dah 3 bulan tertunggak.
Besok Dinda nak ke pajak gadai utk tukar 200 ciuman dgn wang tunai sebab Tokeh pajak gadai dah sedia tukarkan 200 ciuman dan gadaian yg lain dgn wang Rp650 ribu. Lumayan buat belanja sebulan.
Keperluan peribadi Dinda bulan ni mencapai 50 ciuman. Kanda tersayang.. bulan ni Dinda merasa menjadi org paling kaya di kampung kita kerana Dinda berikan hutang ciuman kepada ramai pemuda di kampung dan siap ditukar dengan apa pun keperluan Dinda.
Yang dari kanda masih berbaki 125 ciuman, kanda ada fikiran bagaimana mahu dihabiskan? Atau Dinda simpan dululah dalam tabung yer??
Dinda Suti Nirwingsih
....gedebuk. .. Suparjo pengsan!!!!
MORAL: Semoga keperitan hidup tidak menyebabkan kita hingga menggadaikan kehormatan diri sendiri. Begitu juga kesenangan hidup sepatutnya tidak menyebabkan kita jadi sombong dan lupa diri.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
- a) Tabarru' dan Mudarabah
- b) Wakalah dan Tabarru
|Kontrak Mu'awadah (Pertukaran Jual Beli) antara penanggung insurans dengan pohak yang diinsurankan||Kontrak Tabbaru' ( Derma & sumbangan ) yang disertakan dengan pelaburan.|
|Pemegang polisi membayar premium kepada penanggung insuran||Peserta membuat caruman ke dalam skim. Peserta saling menjamin sesama sendiri di bawah skim.|
|Penanggung insuran bertanggung jawab membayar manfaat insuran seperti dijanjikan daripada asetnya (kumpulan wang insuran dan kumpulan wang pemegang saham)||* Pengendali Takaful bertindak sebagai pentadbir skim dan membayar Takaful daripada kumpulan wang takaful.|
|* Sekiranya berlaku kekurangan dalam kumpulan wang takaful, pengendali Takaful akan menyediakan (Qardhul Hasan) pinjaman tanpa faedah untuk menampung kekurangan berkenaan.|
|Pelaburan kumpulan wang bebas tanpa sebarang kekangan Shariah||Aset kumpulan wang Takaful HANYA boleh dilaburkan dalam instrumen yang selari dengan Shariah.|
|Wang pelanggan dianggap wang syarikat insuran dan dimilki olehnya sejurus dibayar oleh pelanggan.||Wang pencarum tidak di kira sebagai wang syarikat malah ia diasingkan dan tidak dimiliki oleh pengendali|
|Keuntungan yang dihasilkan dari kumpulan wang pencarum adalah dimiliki sepenuhnya oleh syarikat. Ia juga adalah objektif utama syarikat insuran.||Keuntungan hasil pelaburan dari kumpulan wang pencarum tidak dimiliki oleh syarikat kecuali nisbah yang disumbang dari wang syarikat sendiri. Baki keuntunaghn adalah milik tabung kumpulan wang pencarum.|
|Pencarum tidak berhak untuk mendapat sebarang bahagian dari 'surplus'||Lebihan, untung atau pulangan dipegang oleh tabung untuk dibahagikan semula kepada pencarum.|
Senarai Takaful Operator (up to 2008) :
1) Prudential BSN Takaful Berhad
2) CIMB Aviva Takaful Berhad
3) Etiqa Takaful Sdn Bhd
4) Hong Leong Tokio Marine Takaful Berhad
5) HSBC Amanah Takaful (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
6) MAA Takaful Berhad
7) Takaful Ikhlas Sdn Bhd
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
A jobless man applied for the position of Office Boy� at Microsoft.
The HR manager interviewed him then watched him cleaning the floor as a Test. “You are employed”,� he said.
“Give me your e-mail address and I will send you the application to fill in, as well as the date when you may start.”
The man replied, “But I don’t have a computer, nor an email.”�
“I’m sorry”�, said the HR manager, “If you don’t have an email, that means you do not exist. And who doesn’t exist, cannot have the job.”
The man left with no hope at all. He didn’t know what to do, with only $10 in his pocket. He then decided to go to the supermarket and buy 10Kg tomato crate. He then sold the tomatoes in a door-to-door round.
In less than two hours, he succeeded to double his capital. He repeated the operation three times, and returned home with $60. The man realized that he can survive by this way, and started to go everyday earlier, and return late. Thus, his money doubled or tripled everyday.
Shortly, he bought a cart, then a truck, and then he had his own fleet of delivery vehicles. 5 years later, the man is one of the biggest food retailers in the US . He started to plan his family’s future, and decided to have a life insurance. He called an insurance broker, and chose a protection plan. When the conversation was concluded, the broker asked him his email.
The man replied, “I don’t have an email.”
The broker answered curiously, You don’t have an email, and yet have succeeded to build an empire. Can you imagine what you could have been if you had an email?!!”�
The man thought for a while and replied, “Yes, I’d be an office boy at Microsoft!”
Moral of the story:
1. Internet/email is not the only solution to your life.
2. If you don’t have internet/email but are willing to work hard, you can be a millionaire.
3. If you received this message by email, you are probably already an office boy/girl, and not any close to being a millionaire