// For cash-strapped Arabs, little cheer during Eid - (i told u so thread)
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jannah
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« on: Dec 09, 2008 12:20 PM »


I would like everyone who was crowing over the US economic problems this whole last year to read this.

Yeah, not so happy now when I told you it would affect every single Muslim on the planet. Again, let me say that economic systems are all connected. If someone suffers on this planet we all suffer. If you're not going to feel for anyone else, feel for yourself. Go back and read what the Quran says about being khalifah on earth, and go back and read the garbage you posted back then. Thanks. I feel better now that I can say I told u so. Although it's better lemons. --- J.



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For cash-strapped Arabs, little cheer during Eid

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5isN2Netwsk0rT1ebihuz3FnfyVdwD94ULC980


By TAREK EL-TABLAWY – 19 hours ago

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) — The bones would normally have gone to the dogs.

This year, they are a carefully wrapped prize tucked under Zeinab Mansour's arm in an embarrassing reminder of the meat that her family cannot afford much of during this Eid al-Adha, one of Islam's most important holidays.

"One of (the bones) has a few small chunks of meat. It'll be good for soup, and to flavor the fatta," says Mansour, a 32-year-old mother of three, referring to a traditional Eid dish of rice, bread and meat. But the bones, supplemented with a pound of fatty meat she also picked up, are a meager substitute this year.

From Cairo to Baghdad, Muslims are having to pinch pennies as the global financial crisis and high inflation give new meaning to the four-day Festival of Sacrifice, which began Monday, marking the prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son for God.

Families are having to cut back on celebrations, and retailers are feeling the hit during a holiday when Muslims usually enjoy lavish meals of lamb or beef, distribute meat to the poor and splurge on clothes and other gifts from their children, relatives and friends.

In Egypt, meat has surged to about $4 a pound ($8.20 a kilogram), up 30 percent from last year's Eid, a painful squeeze in a country where the World Bank estimates that nearly 20 percent of the 79 million population lives on less than $2 a day.

"What does it say about me, and this country, when I have to ask the butcher to give me bones that he used to throw to the dogs," asked Mansour as she walked down a litter-strewn street in Ain Shams, the teeming lower-income Cairo neighborhood where she, her husband and children live a two-room apartment and survive on around $110 per month.

The Egyptian government has been actively working to mitigate the impact of the global financial downturn. The unstated fear is that lower economic growth, lower tourism and Suez Canal revenues and high inflation could again stoke the kind of protests that erupted earlier this year, when inflation hit highs of about 24 percent.

The government last week unveiled a $1.3 billion stimulus package aimed at supporting investment levels in industry and trade.

Officials have also said they expect inflation, currently 20.9 percent, would drop to the low teens next year as commodity and food prices decline. Economic growth, meanwhile, is expected to slow to 6 percent, about one percentage point lower than a year earlier.

But the figures are largely meaningless to Egyptians and other Arabs, who were already struggling to make ends meet before the global meltdown.

Youssef Mohammed, owner of an Amman, Jordan, clothing store said sales have been slow this year, particularly heading into the usually busy Eid period.

"I don't see many clients in my shop, although my prices are not high," he said.

The declines are mirrored elsewhere in the country, with car dealers in the duty free zone reporting a 50 percent drop in sales this year.

To stimulate the economy and boost liquidity in a country dependent on foreign investments and aid, Jordan's Central Bank has lowered key lending rates and the banks' reserve requirement.

In Syria, where investments have been slower to come and an influx of about 2 million Iraq refugees is straining the government's budget, holidays like these drive home the economic difficulties.

In shopping districts in central Damascus, retailers report a roughly 50 percent decline in sales compared to the period leading up to last year's Eid.

Late last week, at a time when they would usually be bustling with activity, several sweet shops were almost empty. Sheep sellers were also finding little to cheer about.

"If I sell half of them, I'll be very happy," said Adel Jasim, 35 who, as of Friday, had not sold any of the 130 sheep he brought to the city's lower-income Zablatani suburb.

In neighboring Iraq, an almost $100 per barrel slide in global crude prices since July has left the oil-dependent Baghdad government, along with others in the region, worrying about spending cuts.

Salma Mohammed, a 56-year-old housewife, said her husband's once-bustling Baghdad restaurant has been in trouble for the last couple of months. This year, the family of 12 — including grandchildren — is skipping the sheep slaughtering.

"We can't afford it," she said. "We didn't even buy the grandchildren new clothes. We only bought them new shoes."

Even in the Arab Gulf nations — which until months ago were sitting pretty with oil prices at record highs — consumers are fearful.

"With all we read about economic crises, we are worried about the future, we are worried that salaries might be cut," said Sheika al-Shimmiri, a 30-year-old nurse at a state-run hospital in Kuwait.

Kuwait's government provides a plush cradle-to-grave safety net that has buffered the roughly 1 million citizens. But the government is feeling the need to belt-tighten. The finance minister was quoted several days ago in the Al-Rai newspaper that government offices have been asked to cut expenses.

Elsewhere in the Gulf, unusually strong rain showers in the days leading up to the holiday helped keep malls packed in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates sheikdom famous its man-made palm shaped islands and multibillion dollar projects.

Still, the economic mood in the city remains unsettled as layoffs rippled through the city's real estate and banking sectors and property prices start to fall for the first time in years.

Back in Cairo, Mansour's concerns are less focused on the world of macroeconomic indicators than on giving her family a Eid they will remember fondly.

"It's tighter this year," she said. "But God willing, we'll be all right and, at least we'll be able to taste some meat. There are many who won't even get that."

Associated Press writers Shafika Mattar in Amman, Jordan; Diana Elias in Kuwait, Samir Yacoub in Baghdad, Iraq; Bassem Mroue in Beirut, Lebanon; and Adam Schreck in Dubai, UAE, contributed to this report.
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 02, 2009 06:01 AM »

Found this interesting. So now you can see how if the US economy collapses the world will follow.

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« Reply #2 on: Feb 02, 2009 09:45 AM »

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS
LOSING THE WAR AGAINST ALLAH

In a very short period of time, the world trade markets and the “economic boom” took a toll for the worse and plummeted to its all-time low. Those who are unaware of the workings of Western Capitalistic Economy continue to turn a blind eye and regard this crisis as a mere short term recoverable mini recession. At the same time, those who have spent their lives in the field are much more critical. In fact, the Global Crisis is neither a trifling matter restricted to a number of days nor is it recoverable.

For a brief analysis of this crisis, it will suffice to merely highlight its origins. In crude words, this crisis is analogous to a terminally ill patient, that is beginning to show fatal symptoms. More than half a century ago in 1938, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) was formed. This Association lent out loans for the clients looking for home financing. This was the initial infiltration of the reproductive virus, which would one day grow like cancer to bring about the major crisis causing a staggering 2000 point drop in the Market indexes.

The next step was to consolidate the first phase through the formation of The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Company (Freddie Mac) by Richard Nixon in 1970. Freddie Mac began offering a federal guarantee in lieu of the mortgages given by the local lenders. In order for the newly developing market of home mortgages to flourish Freddie Mac laid the foundation of extending financing to those less stable clients who were more likely to default, since the guarantee from the Freddie Mac would secure that risk.

In 1994 Bill Clinton ratified the “Racial Discrimination Treaty” which made low income individuals eligible for taking home loans. Similarly, it encouraged maximizing loans with these financing mortgages to its brink; thus giving a boom to the Home Building and Real Estate sectors, while outwardly providing an equitable housing for all classes.

Simultaneously, while these government interventions gave a boom to respected sectors, they also paved a smooth highway to saturation in the market as well. Once the market saturation was achieved by 2005, the home prices began to drop. Over the last couple of years, this saturation in the home building sector coupled with oscillating interest rates caused many of the clients, who had only received these loans on a Sub-Prime basis, to default on their payments. As the prices started to decline, investors panicked and started pulling their investments out of the market. In some incidents people pulled out as much as £1bn fearing that they will not get to see their savings again. The more money was withdrawn; the worse the market prospect became, motivating even more investors to pull out. Suddenly, we have a whole market being pulled into a whirlpool and taking all the other market sectors along with it.

The hardest blow in such time was to the investment-only banks. The Sub-prime market sells these loans to other banks throughout the globe. The plummeting of the Sub-Prime caused a major ripple on the other banks. The smaller banks became incapable of delivering funds to its investors, throwing them into an abyss of liquidation. In order to recover, these smaller banks looked for help from other banks trying to take loans. However in the midst of “evaporation” of liquidity, banks chose to refrain from inter-bank lending. This is referred to as the “credit-crunch” i.e. when the banks choose not to lend in between themselves to secure their own positions. This caused a recession for those smaller banks, causing some of them to either be nationalized or seek help from governments. At this point, governments decided to intervene once more and inject more money into the system to recover the markets and to assure the people of their savings.

These bail-out plans from the US and UK Governments have so far been unsuccessful in reviving this patient from the clutches and pangs of fatality. And how could they be successful when the gap which they themselves have created over the years between the actual credit and the monetary liquidity is so great that it cannot simply be covered. Moreover, Inflation has increased this gap multifold.

One thing which we understand from the above snippet into the history of the Financial Market is that while we tend to yearn for ownership of any commodity in the world, in the forms of housing, conveyance or earning from securities and futures, we tend to overlook the harms of our greed and the consequences thereof.  The banks kept lending and lending in hope to grow the market clientele while reaping the interest of those loans. However, there was simply no cash to cover for those loans. On the other hand, the banks didn’t have cash to give off to the investors.

A closer look at this fiasco reveals that even this Sub-Prime Market is but one factor that has crippled the US economy. The primary and most damaging factor within these Financial Products in particular and the economy as a whole, is the “Riba-virus” (interest) which floats through the bloodstream of the entire system forming the basis for the whole economy. The mortgages which became a plague for the economy are fueled by this Riba. All the misfortune of our economy is borne from this one factor. The core concept of making money from nothing by merely lending credits which are not yet in the system makes the whole Economy hollow from inside, and when the need is most, there is not enough money to cover these gaps. This is the destructive face of Riba. We ought to have realized this ages ago since Allah Ta’ala instituted prohibition of this Riba to rid us from the harms of it. Allah Ta’ala says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَأْكُلُواْ الرِّبَا أَضْعَافًا مُّضَاعَفَةً وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O ye who believe! Devour not usury, doubling and quadrupling (the sum lent).
Observe your duty to Allah, that ye may be successful. (Qur’an 3:130)

In reaction to the prohibition, people sought to defend their stance by claiming that Riba is nothing but a form of trade, just as Western Capitalism believes. There is hardly any sector that does not deal in interest-based products. Capitalism has even made the learned ones believe that such trade in securities and interest markets is nothing but a means of earning and living. Whereas, Allah Ta’ala declared for us,

الَّذِينَ يَأْكُلُونَ الرِّبَا لاَ يَقُومُونَ إِلاَّ كَمَا يَقُومُ الَّذِي يَتَخَبَّطُهُ الشَّيْطَانُ مِنَ الْمَسِّ ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَالُواْ إِنَّمَا الْبَيْعُ مِثْلُ الرِّبَا وَأَحَلَّ اللّهُ الْبَيْعَ وَحَرَّمَ الرِّبَا…

Those who swallow usury cannot rise up save as he ariseth whom the devil hath prostrated by (his) touch.That is because they say: Trade is just like usury; whereas Allah permitteth trading and forbiddeth usury… (Qur’an 2:275)

Similar severe admonition of Riba is reported from Prophet of Allah salallahu alayhi wasallam.

وعن عبد الله يعني ابن مسعود رضي الله عنه عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال الربا ثلاث وسبعون بابا أيسرها مثل أن ينكح الرجل أمه
رواه الحاكم وقال صحيح على شرط البخاري ومسلم ورواه البيهقي من طريق الحاكم ثم قال هذا إسناد صحيح والمتن
On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood radiyallahu anhu it is reported that the Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam said, “Usury has seventy three categories. The least category of them is like a man marrying his mother.” (Al-Hakim, Bayhaqi)

Imagine the disgust our beloved Rasulullah salallahu alayhi wasallam had for Riba. Similarly more severe words have been used while admonishing this evil.

وعن جابر بن عبد الله رضي الله عنهما قال لعن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم آكل الربا ومؤكله وكاتبه وشاهديه وقال هم سواء (رواه مسلم وغيره)

On the authority of Jabir bin Abdillah radiyallahu anhuma it is reported that he said:  “The Messenger of Allah sallallahu alaihe wasallm cursed the devourer of usury, its giver, its scribe and one who (stands) witness to it”. And he said “they are all same”.(Sahih Muslim)

We do not need more examples to be manifested from side of Allah before we realize that it is only in the obedience of Allah and injunctions of Islam, that we shall enjoy the bliss of a stable and equitable Economy. In defying this commandment of Allah we take up arms to challenge Him. In fact, one who engages in this vile evil has been sought by Allah Himself as an opponent in a War with Him. Allah says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَo 
فَإِن لَّمْ تَفْعَلُواْ فَأْذَنُواْ بِحَرْبٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِن تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُؤُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لاَ تَظْلِمُونَ وَلاَ تُظْلَمُونَ
O ye who believe! Observe your duty to Allah, and give up what remaineth (due to you) from usury, if ye are (in truth) believers. And if ye do not, then be warned of war (against you) from Allah and His messenger. And if ye repent, then ye have your principle (without interest). Wrong not, and ye shall not be wronged.(Qur’an 2:278-9)

We must shed this element of “interest” from all facets of our life and look towards Islamic Principles to combat the current Global Crisis and dawn into an era of a morally sound Economy.

Abuhajira bin Abdul Hamid
4th Year Student at Madrassah In’aamiyyah

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Camperdown

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« Reply #3 on: Feb 02, 2009 08:21 PM »

ws,

There's no doubt this current economic crisis is built on the riba problem, but my point is I think third-world muslims who are cheering about the economic problems need to look in the mirror. Any problem the world is facing they will be facing, and worse. Yes Americans will have to stop buying lattes everyday but Muslims in the third world will starve in economic recession. That is nothing to cheer about. Even if their businesses are completely halal, economic downturn affects everyone. Just look at the oil rich countries, demand has dropped so much I would not be surprised if gas went down to $1/gallon. And with everyone jumping on the alternative fuels bandwagon in a few decades I wonder if there will be any demand left.

Remember the hadith about the world being a boat and that if non-muslims went and made a hole at the bottom it would still sink taking everyone with it including muslims. This is a good illustration of that. This should be a lesson for all Muslims to withdraw from Riba based banking and continue developing Islamic economic systems.
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 03, 2009 06:29 AM »

assalamualaikum

actually, the problem was not that interest rates were too high, the problem was that interest rates were toooo low.

in fact the, real interest rate = interest rate - inflation rate, was in some cases even negative.  hence banks were trying to get rid of their extra money as quickly as possible and thus gave loans to people who couldn't afford them (sub-prime loans). 

in fact this is a generic problem with very low interest rates.  islamic banking is supposed to have zero interest rates, although i am very suspicious about islamic banks because borrowers from islamic banks actually pay more for islamic loans than non-islamic loans.  hence it is not quite clear that islamic banking would have improved the situation...

so, before you blame nonmuslims, the non-islamic banking, etc.,...first understand what the real problem is. islam is a very cool religion and the islamic system is awesome.  it doesn't need naive, simpleminded defenders to defend it.  it can stand up for itself.

sorry about the rant....
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 03, 2009 06:52 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum


Quote
There's no doubt this current economic crisis is built on the riba problem


Indeed, and the term riba covers a lot more than just interest and all of it can be blamed for the crisis.


It was interesting to hear Bill Clinton on Letterman a few weeks back suggesting that the only way out of this mess was to start making things and starting to provide real services (what’s known as the ‘real’ economy) instead of merely “making money from money” (which is not permissible in Islam)

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #6 on: Feb 03, 2009 08:07 AM »

he wasn' talking about making money from money, but making money from new financial contracts....eg...things called financial innovation...like credit default swaps -- i.e. insuring other's people debt for a stream of fixed monthly payments.

at the end of though clinton and letterman don't know what they're talking about....
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 03, 2009 08:20 AM »

Asalaamu Alaikum  bro

Quote
things called financial innovation...like credit default swaps -- i.e. insuring other's people debt for a stream of fixed monthly payments.

Indeed, new financial contracts based on debt.

Money from money without there being anything tangible as its source.


In respect of Clinton, I just thought it was interesting that a non Muslim would come out with a phrase which is actually very Islamic.


Even self proclaimed idiots can sometimes surprise you with what they say. We just have to make sure we're not idiotic enough to blind ourselves unwittingly because we focus solely on the messenger instead of the message.

Say: "O ye my servants who believe! Fear your Lord, good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God's earth! those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!" [39:10]
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 03, 2009 08:28 AM »

Salaams,

We are swaying from the real topic, but as far as I know islamic banking, there are no "money loans" in it. Every transaction must be against some tangible commodity. And yeah, I've always paid a percent or 2 more for islamic car leasing but isn't that totally inline with the whole concept? I mean if riba based banking has gone to the extent of negative interest rates, indeed they are making huge mistakes. Business can be a win win situation, and thats what i've experienced so far with islamic banks here, even if they dont give me loan to buy cows to start a dairy business at our farms.

As for muslims in third world countries cheering for the economic downfall of usa and western countries. Well, as I said earlier, we dont want people there to suffer at the hands of poverty, not to say that situation has gotten that worse yet, the speculations are there though but i hope it doesn't.

The problem is rather complex and i've mixed views about it... take the poppy farmers in Afghanistan as an example, they say that its the bread and butter of their families and kitchen of many families in and outside afganistan runs on the income. Now if someone puts a ban on poppy growth there (like the taliban did while they ruled), it'll result in economic suffering of hundreds of thousands of people, so should the cultivation just go on? Of course not! And obviously we wont be happy about the resulting sufferings of those hundreds of thousands of affected people but we'll be happy that a haraam thing has been dealt with which also was destroying life of its users.

So if the world is loosing the war, in from of Riba, against Allah and His Prophet [s.a.a.w], we dont cheer for the suffering of people. Yet the nature has dealt with the haraam that is Riba, itself ... so what should we feel about that? Riba isn't banned in islam just because its principly wrong, but also because its a system based on cruelty where people unknowing of the long term dangers (as the drug users) engage into such deals that put them under burden of debt for life. So while the bankers and economy boom for few decades (poppy farmers), and many people enjoy the financial freedom (dealers and some drug users), many suffer worse at the hands of it (many drug users plus indirect effectees).

Another factor in this whole situation is the oil and resources war against islam. So if it takes some to suffer to stop usa and its evil allies killing muslims in masses, then ameen to usa facing enough economic crunch that it gets out of our lands to take care of its own public, which could come without massive economic sufferings worldwide. I know that after some more economic crunch and pressure, their people wont let the oppressing goverments continue with their war mongering policies.

So if my best friend in uae is having 50% less business in his transportation services and is still being thankful to Allah for the things he has. Hopefully the worst struck would also be able to manage somehow. We just need to put in our best and honest effort, then its upto Allah to make our share of rizq reach our doors, without having the last drop of which no one can die.

Wasalam

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« Reply #9 on: Mar 13, 2009 02:12 PM »

Salaams,

http://www.atmmarketplace.com/article.php?id=10762&na=1&s=2

"The Asian Development Bank says the global economic crisis has erased $50 trillion in wealth around the world. the current crisis is the most serious the world has seen since the Great Depression. Kuroda said he believes Asia will be among the first regions to emerge from the crisis and will be stronger than before..."

The knight doesn't wait when he's ill or has cancer brother, the knight fights on... He finds a strategy, changes tactics, and hits hard.
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