Declaration of 'Ulama on the Gold Dinar
A Group of 'Ulama at the 4th Muslim Lawyers' Conference
A Gathering of 'Ulama
Discuss the Zakat, the Dinar of Islam, markets and the Awqaf
"There is no disagreement about what you say..."
At the 4th Muslim Lawyers' Conference in Potsdam 29th June - 1st July 2001, a group of 'ulama and imams assembled to discuss the zakat and related matters. The names of those present are appended below the statement issued after the gathering.
To open the meeting, Hajj Asadullah Yate, Imam of the Muslim community of Potsdam, presented an outline of matters of great urgency.
First, he spoke of the disaster inherent in the fact that the Muslims are using paper money for their transactions, since it is:
Second, it is even more distressing that the Muslims pay their zakat in paper money and as a personal charity, when the correct form is that zakat must be collected by zakat collectors appointed by an amir, and that it must be collected in gold and silver.
Third, he drew attention to the obligation upon amirs to establish markets in which no one may reserve a place, but in which anyone who shows up there after the dawn prayer may take any place that is free for the day. No one may charge rent on such a market place nor impose a tax on the trade done there.
Fourth, that we have forgotten the awqaf-endowments of Islam, one of whose essential pre-conditions is that they are properties dedicated to a purpose 'forever'. These endowments were responsible for a great deal of social welfare within the Muslim community.
In response to this, Muhammad 'Amrawi spoke and said that there is no disagreement on these matters at all, and that they are all too well known in the fiqh. However, he added that this was the first time that he or any of the other assembled 'ulama have heard someone saying such things in this time. He added that all that is lacking is a practical way to implement them.
Imam Abu Sayf and Muhammad 'Amrawi both cautioned against putting the Muslims in the difficult position of telling them that the transactions they make using paper money are incorrect or that the mode in which they pay their zakat is incorrect, without first creating ways for them to transact properly, e.g. by bringing about such markets for the Muslims to trade in, and minting dinars and dirhams with which they can pay their zakat.
In terms of practical implementations, Imam Hajj Asadullah mentioned the long history of Murabitun communities minting coins in Germany, South Africa, Spain, England and Scotland. Another participant drew everyone's attention to the recent market in Dubai, which, with the support of the state of Dubai, issued gold dinars that people purchased at the door for use in the market.
Muhammad al-'Amrawi said that the fatwa of Shaykh 'Illish concerning the impermissibility of paying zakat upon or with paper money is well known in this respect. He again cautioned against disheartening the Muslims, and advised that as soon as possible practical steps need to be taken to make gold dinars and silver dirhams available to the Muslims to pay zakat, and concomitantly the need for the creation of Islamic markets, as described above, in which the Muslims may use their dinars and dirhams, since there is little use in giving a poor and needy person a gold coin which he cannot spend. Again he stressed that there is no disagreement on these matters in the fiqh, but that all that is lacking is a practical programme of their implementation.
Given the unanimity of the 'ulama, imams and fuqaha assembled, it was agreed to draw up a statement to this effect, to be signed by everyone present, which would draw the Muslims' attention to the seriousness of the situation pertaining to the ordinary transactions of Islam in the market place, and the dormant pillar of zakat.
Explanation and Clarification by 'Ulama of the European Muslims
Praise belongs to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and blessings and peace be upon our master the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and upon all his family and Companions.
We here assembled in Potsdam on 30/6/2001, after our studying together the following subjects:
And Allah is the One who grants success in doing the right thing and He is the One Who guides on the way.