By Abdul Bari Masoud / UJJAIN (MP)
Do Muslims can avail the benefits of government welfare schemes run on the money of interest (Riba)?; What is the approach of Islam towards environment related issues particularly the menace of plastic litter and air pollution?; Can Islam permit hoarding of precious metal like gold and silver?; and other such complex and relevant questions will come up for examinations in the 26th Fiqhi (Islamic Jurisprudence) Seminar of the Islamic Fiqh Academy India which begin on Saturday in the temple town of Madhya Pradesh Ujjain.
Top Islamic scholars, Ulema and Muftis (jurists) from India and abroad will take part in the deliberations to offer solutions in the light of Qur’an and Sunnah and Sharia.
In today’s world, the problem of the environment is one of the most serious problems that threaten not only us, but the whole world, and future generations and their right to live in a healthy environment. Understanding the seriousness of the problem, Delhi-based Fiqh Academy has chosen environment issues as one of the four topics for this year’s 3-day seminar.
Maulana Amin Usmani, secretary Fiqh Academy, said environment protection is an important aspect of Islam and being stewards of the Earth; it is the responsibility of Muslims to care for the environment in a proactive manner.
The Academy has put many questions regarding plastic and industrial waste, human and animal excreta, smoking, spitting and urinating at public and open places, emission from industry and motor vehicles, forest-cutting and other pollutants to the jurists and Islamic scholars to ponder over and arrive at a solution, he added.
Plastic packaging – plastic bottles and bags being predominant types of plastic packaging- is one of the most common menaces to global pollution. Does it need to be banned? What does Islam say about this non-biodegradable item? This question will be discussed in details during the seminar, Amin Usmani said and adding that environmental awareness and protection of natural resource is an integral part of Islamic beliefs.
As viceroys of Allah on this earth, we have to utilize natural resources in a sustainable manner in order to ensure that Allah’s Bounties to continue, he emphasized.
Another topic is government welfare schemes. The Central and state governments launched a host of schemes for the general public as well as o specific schemes for minorities including Muslims. The most of the schemes for minorities are funded through money accrued bank interest. For example, Maulana Azad Education Foundation gives scholarships by using the money it gets from the interest of its corpus fund. Sharia prohibits riba. Can Muslim students avail this scholarship for pursuing their studies? This question and other related issues will be discussed in the seminar.
Land-dealing-related issues and bullion trade-related issues including hoarding are the other topics of the seminar. It is expected, after due deliberations, the seminar will offer solutions to these questions in accordance with the Sharia.
Since its inception 1989 Delhi-based Fiqh Academy has provided solutions to more than 200 modern issue and problems through its international Fiqhi seminars.
So far it has organized 25 seminars in which issues such as human organ donation, organ transplantation, brain death, social and economic issues arising out of a fast changing world and scientific and technological advancement have been resolved in the light of Quran and Sunnah. Its decisions have got wider acceptability in India as well as in Islamic world.
Fiqh Academy has emerged as a credible institution of Ijtihad (Personal Reasoning) which is the most important source of Islamic law next to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. It has also been coordinating and working with other academic and Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence )institutions of the world.