Monday, 28 May 2012

The Secret to Understanding The Qur’an

"The Qur’an is unlike any other book. Its arrangement and style are very different. People should keep this in mind when studying the Qur’an. Many people do not know this so they are confused about the Qur’an" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

The Qur’an is the most read book in the world but perhaps the least understood. Although the Qur’an is in this world it does not belong to this world. It is the eternal word of Allah, The Most High. It is unlike any other book - its style and arrangement are unique and so is its method of teaching. It is ironic that many people do not realise this. They approach the Qur’an as they would approach any other book and this often leads to confusion and disappointment. The forthcoming groundbreaking seminar deals with this problem and provides the necessary framework for understanding, reflecting and benefiting from the Qur’an in a way that has not been done in the English language before, by one of the foremost scholars of the western world. Places are limited please register online today.

The Secrets to Understanding The Qur’an

How to Approach, Reflect & Benefit from It

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi

When: Saturday 16th June 2012     Time: 10AM - 6PM

Venue: Cambridge University

Register: http://courses.meoc.org.uk 


"Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a great asset to the Muslims in the UK and his 57 volume work on al-Muhaddithaat (The Women Scholars of Islam) is no doubt going to be a lasting legacy of this great man. I had the blessed opportunity of spending a day with him recently; he is one of those few individuals who in a short period of time can change your entire thinking. May Allah bless the brothers and sisters in Cambridge and those in Oxford who organise and help the Shaykh in his works." - Nasar Ishfaq, Manchester

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

"Halal Mortgage" - Shariah-Compliant or Islam-Compliant or Neither?

"Shariah has no meaning whatsoever without Deen - Islam. Islam is the most important thing and not Shariah. But people are more concerned about Shariah and not Islam" - Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi

Generally, many of us assume that anything which complies with the Shariah also complies with Islam. But this is not necessarily the case. There is a huge difference between the Shariah (law, rules and regulations) and Islam (submission to Allah). Someone may follow the rules of the Shariah to the letter but not actually be fulfilling the requirements of Islam. This is borne out in the story of the Children of Israel who used the rules of their Shariah inappropriately and transgressed the limits set by Allah. What they did amounted to playing tricks with their religion and this caused them to be the object of Allah's wrath and anger (refer Qur'an 7:163-166).

"Lo! Religion (Deen) with Allah is Islam - the Surrender (to His Will and Guidance)" [Qur'an 3:19]


Today there are so many "Shariah-compliant" products and services particularly in the banking and finance industry. It is sometimes so confusing even to determine whether they are really Shariah-compliant, let alone whether they are "Islam-compliant". One such example is the "halal-mortgage" offered by both "Islamic banks" and multinational and global financial institutions. There are many variations of these "halal mortgages". The big questions for us are whether they are Shariah-compliant and also whether they are truly in keeping with Islamic ethics and principles or they are merely tricks played in the name of Shariah.

The forthcoming seminar, Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?, takes a radical look at this whole industry in a way that has not been done before in the English language. Most Islamic banking and finance seminars (often organised by the industry itself) take the assumptions for granted and discuss matters based on these assumptions. This seminar will address the very assumptions and the core principles of modern Islamic banking and finance and not take anything for granted. This a seminar for finance professionals as well as for ordinary people who are just concerned about the "Islamic compliance" of those products and services. Only two days to go, book your place now.

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi and Tarek El-Diwany

When: Saturday 19th May 2012     Time: 10AM - 7PM

Venue: Cambridge University

REDUCED PRICE CONCESSIONARY TICKETS AVAILABLE

STUDENT, GROUP AND DIFFICULTY DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE

Register: http://courses.meoc.org.uk 

"I thought the course was really excellent, with a speaker in command of such vast knowledge of the topic.  The organisation was also very good in every way." - Helen Gramy, London

"Shaykh Mohammad Akram Nadwi is a great asset to the Muslims in the UK and his 57 volume work on al-Muhaddithaat (The Women Scholars of Islam) is no doubt going to be a lasting legacy of this great man. I had the blessed opportunity of spending a day with him recently; he is one of those few individuals who in a short period of time can change your entire thinking. May Allah bless the brothers and sisters in Cambridge and those in Oxford who organise and help the Shaykh in his works." - Nasar Ishfaq, Manchester

"JazakAllah for arranging such a wonderful and eye-opening seminar. Very well organized, very profound indeed. And I liked the interactive method of instruction" - Hassan Goreja, PhD Student, Cambridge University

"May Allah (SWT) reward the brothers and sisters involved in this effort and to Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi, in particular, for sacrificing their time and utilizing their efforts to deliver this much-needed knowledge to the public. The seminars thus far, have been very beneficial in increasing my personal knowledge, confidence in how Islam can address modern day issues, developing my appreciation of the immense effort and vast contribution of our pious predecessors and taking a more open-minded perspective and flexible approach to fiqh-related issues. May Allah (SWT) continue to bless the brothers and sisters involved and take this effort from strength to strength!" - Mohammed Naeem Bashir, Luton

More Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html



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Previous Posts

Is Muhammad (PBUH) The Greatest Economist?
Money, Trade, Insurance & Finance in Islam - You Must Know!
Islamic Principles on Business, Banking & Finance

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Is Muhammad (PBUH) The Greatest Economist?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was no economist great or otherwise. He is the Prophet and Messenger of Allah (SWT). He came to teach people the Deen Islam - submission and servitude to Allah, to give glad tidings about Jannah (Paradise) and to warn people about Jahannam (Hellfire). This is the mission of all the Prophets and Messengers. However he also brought some guidelines to protect this mission and to protect the individuals and the communities of people who are governed by that mission. One such example is his strong condemnation of greed for wealth and status.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: "Two hungry wolves let loose among sheep are not more harmful than a person’s craving after wealth and status to his Deen" [Tirmidhi]

Today the whole economy is geared towards the fulfilment of such greed. This is reflected in every aspect of the economy from micro levels (individuals, families, businesses) to macro levels (national, international, global). The Islamic banking and finance industry was born in this economic philosophy. The difference with Islamic banking and finance was that it espoused the use of shariah based rules to structure its products and services instead of the conventional interest based rules. It proposed to offer an alternative to the interest based banking and finance. Intriguingly some of the multinational banks and financial institutions, the core players of the modern economy, have also embraced it.

There is praise and criticism for Islamic banking and finance. But the real questions for anyone concerned are:
  • whether it is really an alternative or just the same but with different terminology?
  • if it is a real alternative does it fit within the philosophy and ethics of Islam? i.e. is it helping people turn away from greed or is it simply helping them fulfil their greed in an alternative way?
  • if the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were to be here today, would he have encouraged it or discouraged it?
  • if he discouraged it, then what would he have proposed?
These are questions that should trouble every Muslim, whether they are Islamic finance professionals or ordinary people, as they affect all of us.

The forthcoming seminar on trade, banking and finance by Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi and Tarek El-Diwany is an essential step towards finding answers. You will also learn in this seminar why it might be an insult to call the Prophet an economist! Only 5 days to go, book your places now.

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi and Tarek El-Diwany

When: Saturday 19th May 2012     Time: 10AM - 7PM

Venue: Cambridge University

REDUCED PRICE CONCESSIONARY TICKETS AVAILABLE

STUDENT, GROUP AND DIFFICULTY DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE

Register: http://courses.meoc.org.uk 

"Jazak'Allah khair for a fabulous seminar. I truly enjoyed it and it was very much worth the trek from London to Cambridge" - Antti Kangaslahti, London

"This was an excellent course. The course progressed at a good pace and the amount of time allowed for questions was appropriate. In addition to the content, much of the benefit of these courses is from the aproach, experience and perspective of the shaykh. He is humble, approachable and good-humoured. He is clearly steeped in knowledge but his courses are never purely about information - he emphasises the fact that our purpose is to live for the afterlife. Jazakumullahu khayran for your efforts." - Naveed Khan, Cambridge

"MashaAllah the course was excellent so JazakAllah khair for arranging it. Shaykh was brilliant as expected" - Hammad Hanif, Bristol University

"Of all the scholars I have had the opportunity to study with, I have found Shaikh Akram Nadwi to be the closest, in knowledge, manners and teaching, to how I would imagine some of the great Hadith scholars of the past would have been. He has a vast knowledge of Qur'an, Hadith and Fiqh, a down-to-earth, humble, approachable style, and great teaching ability. His classes are not just beneficial from a learning perspective, but also to marvel at the awe-inspiring wealth of knowledge of our scholars masha Allah. His 40 volume work going through the biographies of some 8,000 women scholars of Hadith is a monumental endeavour. The mere fact of its existence can be a major talking point in discussion with Muslims and non-Muslims, and is almost a stand-alone proof of Islam's unparalleled wealth of female scholarship." - Dr Omar Mahroo, Cambridge/London

More Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html



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Previous Posts
Money, Trade, Insurance & Finance in Islam - You Must Know!
Islamic Principles on Business, Banking & Finance

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Money, Trade, Insurance & Finance in Islam - You Must Know!

"Allah is Pure and He only accepts that which is pure" - Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

There is a fundamental principle in Islam which states: "It is compulsory to learn the fiqh (etiquettes and rulings) of a thing if one is engaged or planning to engage in that thing".  Therefore if someone has to perform hajj, they need to learn the fiqh of hajj and if someone is getting married they need to learn the fiqh of marriage and family life, and so on and so forth.

We are all engaged in money matters on a daily basis, whether it is banking, trade, insurance or finance. Why is it that we take these practices for granted and we do not give them due consideration and learn the fiqh related to them? For instance, almost every adult Muslim in this country has a bank account but how many know the fiqh of banking? Muslims participate in different types of home-financing schemes from shared-ownership to conventional mortgage or its Islamicised version. Or some, including students, take loans and others invest in pension plans. But do we know the fiqh of finance? Similarly, Muslims run businesses or we are employed in businesses or we deal in Ebay auctions and other online business but do we know the fiqh of trade and business? Often, too, we may be taking action simply following advertising campaigns for home-insurance, car-insurance, boiler-cover or breakdown-cover. But have we looked into the fiqh of insurance?

Muslims living in this day and age are constantly faced with decisions regarding matters of money, banking, trade, insurance and finance. For us, knowing the fiqh related to these matters is not just 'a good thing to know' but it is essential and a must as it is linked to our worship and our servitude to Allah (SWT). The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said "Allah is Pure and He only accepts that which is pure". If our lifestyle, sustenance, clothing or shelter were to be tainted with the impurities of money and finances, then we are putting our very worship and servitude to Allah at risk and we would suffer the effects of this in every aspect of our life (refer #10 of 40 Hadith). If you are concerned, then the forthcoming seminar on finance and trade by Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi and Tarek El-Diwany is essential for you.

What is stopping you from attending this once-in-a-lifetime seminar that would help bring barakah (blessings) in your finances and contentment in your life?

Money, Trade, Insurance & Finance in Islam - You Must Know!

Islamic Finance & Banking - A Myth or A Reality?

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi
and Tarek El-Diwany

When: Saturday 19th May 2012     Time: 10AM - 7PM

Venue: Cambridge University

LIMITED BONUS OFFER: BRING A GUEST ALONG FREE OF CHARGE

EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: SAVE £40 BY REGISTERING NOW

http://courses.meoc.org.uk
 

"I want to thank your organisation for arranging these series of lectures by Dr Nadwi. I have attended two of these lectures and have found them immensely enlightening. Dr Nadwi is a rare scholar of our times and although he is knowledgeable enough to talk at length on issues of philosophy, literacy or poetry, he is always keen to emphasise the practical implications of his teachings - that Islam in essence is a religion to be practiced with real actions and not confined to theory written in textbooks. MEOC has done an excellent job in the way they have taken care of all the details required of organising such events. I pray that Allah rewards all those involved in all aspects of these courses." - Dr Atiqul Baree, Portsmouth

"I have been to two of the CISS courses and can say with certainty that they have been inspiring to the highest degree. Shaikh Akram's style of teaching ensures that you are connected from the start, not only in terms of the relevance of the knowledge he is sharing, but also through the openness of the sessions. He not only shares the important knowledge on the topic but also encourages the questioning of all that knowledge in order to make it relevant for us in today's world. These courses have helped me to reinvigorate and renew my passion for my faith and have encouraged me to continuously seek and apply the vast knowledge there is in Islam." - Rimla Akhtar, Chairperson, Muslim Women's Sport Foundation, London  
 

More Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

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Previous Posts

Islamic Principles on Business, Banking & Finance

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

Monday, 7 May 2012

Islamic Principles on Business, Banking & Finance

Islamic principles on business, banking and finance constitute one of the most confused branches of shariah knowledge in the modern world. This is aggravated by the fact that many who write and speak on this subject are doing so from a perspective other than Islam. For instance, many of the proponents of Islamic banking and finance are actually non-Muslims. These include top finance professionals as well as researchers in prestigious universities like Cambridge (see article).

Regardless of what others say about Islamic finance and what their motives may be, we as Muslims must be clear about what the Islamic principles are on business, banking and finance. Moreover, this should not be limited to knowing the shariah rulings but also how these rulings fit within the wider ethics, objectives and principles of Islam. The forthcoming seminar, "Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?" takes a fresh look at this branch of shariah knowledge, including the fundamentals - its foundations, principles and applications in everyday life, and also a comparative look in light of this at prevalent banking and finance practices, both Islamic and conventional. This is a seminar which is relevant and essential not only for scholars, students, finance professionals and businesspeople but for any one of us who is involved in even everyday matters of finance

This is the first seminar of its kind by one of the leading western Islamic scholars and researchers - Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi of The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University and Tarek El Diwany, author of The Problem With Interest and contributing editor of Islamic Banking and Finance: What It Is and What It Could Be.

Islamic Finance & Banking - A Myth or A Reality?

By Shaykh Dr Mohammed Akram Nadwi
and Tarek El-Diwany

When: Saturday 19th May 2012     Time: 10AM - 7PM

Venue: Cambridge University

LIMITED BONUS OFFER: BRING A GUEST ALONG FREE OF CHARGE
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: SAVE £40 BY REGISTERING NOW

http://courses.meoc.org.uk

"Jazakumullah khair for the efforts of the MEOC for arranging these blessed gatherings of knowledge. The seminars I've attended so far have several elements that make them very special, starting from the choice of topics themselves which cater to the more profound needs of the people rather than addressing some superficial issues that seem to be more fashionable today. Even the content of the seminars and the manner of teaching by Shaikh Akram Nadwi are directly focussed towards developing a deeper understanding of these issues. In these seminars, one gets a glimpse of the years of learning that have gone into the brilliant scholarship of Shaikh Nadwi. Furthermore his knowledge seems to be blessed by an acute understanding of the needs of the Ummah. The seminar on the 'Legacy of Ibrahim (a.s.)' was exceptionally beautiful, wherein, the Shaikh in his own words confessed that he was attempting to transmit, not knowledge, but the state of his heart, to the others present. While the knowledge and the insight that one gains into the Qur'an, the Sunnah and the history of Muslims through these seminars is invaluable, I personally feel that these sessions are more than just one-day courses. I am inclined to call them gatherings of Remembrance of Allah, and we all know the blessings of such gatherings!" - Mohini Verma, PhD Student, Cambridge University

More Testimonials: http://courses.meoc.org.uk/p/testimonials.html

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Previous Posts

Islamic Banking & Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Islamic Finance - A Myth or A Reality?

Islamic banking and finance is a trillion dollar industry and its players include major global banks and financial institutions as well as regional banks in Muslim countries. It has come a long way, from its beginnings in the ‘60s to where it is now, even being proposed as an alternative to conventional finance. Notwithstanding its growth and popularity, Islamic finance is not without controversy. There are fundamental issues that still need addressing. This seminar "Islamic Banking & Finance - a Myth or a Reality?" will take a critical look at the approach, foundations and development as well as the application of modern Islamic finance from more than a purely 'shariah-compliant' or juristic perspective to explore whether it is in keeping with the spirit and the objectives of Islam in addition to the shariah principles.

This is a first-of-its-kind essential seminar for finance professionals, scholars, students, businesspeople and Islamic-finance-consumers in particular as well as for anyone who has some interest in this field. No prior knowledge is required to attend.

Shaykh Dr Mohammad Akram Nadwi is from the Indian city of Lucknow and a graduate of the world renowned Nadwatul Ulama where he studied and taught Shariah. He has Ijaza (licenses) from many of the most renowned scholars of our time including Shaykh Abul Hasan Ali Al-Nadwi, Shaykh Abdul-Fattah Abu Ghuddah and Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. He has authored and translated over 25 titles on Language, Jurisprudence, Qur'an and Hadith, including a monumental 57-volume work on the lives of female scholars in the Islamic History. He is currently a Research Fellow at the Centre for Islamic Studies, Oxford University and is widely recognised as one of Western Europe’s leading Islamic scholars.

Tarek El Diwany graduated in Accounting and Finance from Lancaster University in 1985. Tarek has worked as an interest rate derivatives dealer in the government bond market, and as head of Islamic finance for a major financial institution based in London. In 1997, he completed the first edition of The Problem With Interest, and in the same year launched www.islamic-finance.com, where he is now the Editor. He is a frequent speaker on Islamic finance at conferences throughout the world.