Muslims Trading with Other Countries?

Question:
My question is regarding trade. As far as I know, in Islam it is allowed to do trade with Christians, Jews (Book Holders) Today most of the Muslim countries do their businesses with Japan, Korea and those countries which are neither Jewish or Christian. Is this right? Secondly, the goods that Muslim country buy from these countries is sold in local markets. Are Muslim masses allowed to buy these goods?

Answer:
All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam (may Allaah exalt his mention) is His slave and Messenger.

In principle, it is permissible for a Muslim to buy from Jews, Christians, polytheists, and all other non-Muslims or to sell them goods within the limits of the Shari’ah.

However, any involvement in Riba (interest and/or usury), selling pork and the like are forbidden. Therefore, there is no harm to purchase their food, drinks, garments, means of transport, etc. as long as they do not contain any prohibition of the Islamic Shari’ah.

Allaah Knows best.


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Is it Permissible to Transfer Zakat from One Country to Another?

The basic principle with regard to zakat is that it should be given to the poor in the land where the wealth is, because of….

It says in Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 10/9:

Zakat should be given to those whom Allah has said it is for, as He says (meaning):

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah . And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Al-Quran, Surah al-Tawbah, verse 60]

It should only be given to those who are obviously Muslims, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to Mu’adh ibn Jabal when he sent him to Yemen:

“Tell them that Allah has enjoined upon them charity [i.e. zakat], to be taken from their rich and given to their poor.” The more pious and righteous the poor and needy to whom it is given are, the more deserving they are than others.

The basic principle with regard to zakat is that it should be given to the poor in the land where the wealth is, because of the hadith mentioned above. But if there is a need to transfer it elsewhere, such as the poor in the land to which it is transferred is in greater need, or because the giver has relatives who are poor, etc, then it is permissible to transfer it.

And Allah knows best.

Short Writing about Harmonious Country

It is the dream of everyone to live in a harmonious country regardless of religion. Muslims must have noble values and live in mutual respect; assisting and cooperating with each other, not cruelly oppressing and violating the rights of others, not being jealous and inviting hostility and arguments among themselves and with others of different race and religion. This is depicted of Muslims who should be an example for non-Muslims in the country….

It is the dream of everyone to live in a harmonious country regardless of religion. Muslims must have noble values and live in mutual respect; assisting and cooperating with each other, not cruelly oppressing and violating the rights of others, not being jealous and inviting hostility and arguments among themselves and with others of different race and religion. This is depicted of Muslims who should be an example for non-Muslims in the country.

The outcome of these noble values will be understanding and solidarity among the communities that will create a more peaceful environment. It is of the utmost importance that Muslims possess and exhibit good morals. How do we build an exemplary society? There is no other way than what Prophet Muhammad founded which is by establishing a society of faith and righteousness in order to form a righteous community by emphasizing on congregational prayers at the mosque.

One such example is the formerly secular state of Turkey which has now turned into a developed and respected nation because most of its leaders and people are beginning to focus on congregational prayers at the mosque. When a society loves the mosque, it is then easy to obey the commands of Allah and abandon what is forbidden and form good morals. This was narrated in a hadith by Abu Hurairah;

Which means: “I have only been sent to perfect good moral character.”

In addition, Muslims must obey the laws that exist in our countries such as laws of the road, health and the environment. It all serves to guarantee the rights and security of a person to live in a comfortable, safe and harmonious atmosphere.

roadIt is saddening to observe the reality of the lives of people, especially in Malaysia. We are still living in fear and worry, for example when traffic laws are not adhered to, causing us to feel unsafe when we are on the road. We worry when our housing area is infected by dengue epidemic due to our unhealthy lifestyle. We also worry about the safety of the belongings in our homes due to thefts. Thus, it is our duty to be a righteous ummah with excellent morals so that our lives will be peaceful and blessed. Allah the Almighty says in chapter 7 (surah al-A’raf) verse 96: 

Which means: “And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.” [Al-Quran, Surah al-A’raf, verse 96].

The greatness and glory of the Kingdom of Saba’ which is narrated in the Quran as a sovereign state known as “Baldatun Tayyibatun Wa Rabbun Ghafur” which is your land is a good land (peace and blessing), and your Lord is the Forgiver!

This verse describes the community at that time; a community of believers and devoted to Allah the Almighty as the basis of priorities in the aspect of social and economic development based on knowledge, loyalty to the government and a government that prioritizes the welfare of its people so that everyone can benefit the development, progress and enjoy the results of their efforts. Let us ponder on what Allah the Almighty says in chapter 3 (Surah Saba’) verse 15:

Which means: “There was for [the tribe of] Saba’ in their dwelling place a sign: two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], “Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord.” [Al-Quran, Surah Saba’, verse 15].

Transfering Zakat to another Place?

The basic rule is that zakat collected in a region should be distributed among the needy of the same region. Ibn Abbas (one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ)) narrated: The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” [Refer Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith no. 1395]

The basic rule is that zakat collected in a region should be distributed among the needy of the same region. Ibn Abbas (one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad(ﷺ)) narrated:

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) sent Mu’adh to Yemen and said, “Invite the people to testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and I am Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has enjoined on them five prayers in every day and night (in twenty-four hours), and if they obey you to do so, then teach them that Allah has made it obligatory for them to pay the zakat from their property and it is to be taken from the wealthy among them and given to the poor.” [Refer Sahih al-Bukhari, hadith no. 1395]

Ibrahim ibn Ata, the client of Imran ibn Husayn, reported on the authority of his father:

Ziyad, or some other governor, sent Imran ibn Husayn to collect sadaqah (i.e. zakat). When he returned, he asked Imran: ‘Where is the property?’ He replied: ‘Did you send me to bring the property? We collected it from where we used to collect in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), and we distributed it where we used to distribute during the time of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ).’ [Sahih Al-Albani, Refer Sunan Abi Dawud, hadith no. 1625]

According to Shaikh Mohammad bin Salih Al-‘Uthaimeen in Fatawa Arkanul Islam; it is permissible for a person to transfer his zakat from his country to another country if it is needed more in that country. If a person has relatives who have the right to receive zakat but live in another country, and he sends it to them, there is no objection to do so. Similarly, if the standard of living in the country is high and a person sends it to the country of his family which is poorer, there is no objection to that either.

But, if there is no benefit in transferring his zakat from one country to another, then it should not be transferred.

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) appointed Mu’adh to a position in Janad, where he remained until the death of the Prophet (ﷺ). When this occurred, he came to Khalifah Umar who reappointed him. He sent Umar one-third of the zakat collected from the local people, but Umar refused it and said:

I did not appoint you to go there as a tax collector or as attribute (jizyah) collector. I appointed you to collect zakat from the rich and then give it to their poor.”

Mu’adh replied: “I would not have sent you anything (from the collection) if I had found someone deserving (over here).”

In the second year, he sent him half of the collected zakat, and they ran into the same issue again. In the third year, he sent him all of it, and Umar again argued with him. Mu’adh responded: “I could not find anyone who deserved to receive anything from me.” [Refer Al-Amwal]