Should fundamentalists use cooking oil?

There’s a question I’d like to ask Tableeghis and other fundamentalists who think bank interest is forbidden (“haram”). The cooking oil which we use is made from imported palm oil, for which we pay in dollars. And it’s the World Bank and IMF who provide us with the dollars we need to import palm oil. And of course we have to pay interest on the loans we take from the World Bank and the IMF.

Since we are paying interest (even though it’s at a low rate) to buy the palm oil needed to make cooking oil, shouldn’t our tableeghis and people like them stop buying the cooking oil? Why shouldn’t they cook their food in water? How can they continue supporting something which is “haram”? Any answers?


18 thoughts on “Should fundamentalists use cooking oil?”

  1. – I do want to add just another facette to this ongoing talk about Ribba´/interest.

    I have read in the Old Testament that it is forbidden for one believer (at that time we see them as jews, but at the same tim the believing jews at that time were muslims to, but thats another discussion) to take interest from another ( I can try to locate it if someone appreciate it),
    -and according to my talks with jews they say that a jew can take interest from non-jews .

    According to my talks with christians , (believing christians) , they say the case is almost the same amongst them for such as the Old Testament is included in The Bible, and Jesus said :
    ” I have come to follow the Religion dot by dot” ( the context written by me, I can find and relocte the exact sentence and place it is located in The Bible).
    -regards Salam from a humble adam

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  2. @SL: This is simply playing with words.

    Originally both have come from the same root word of Usura (Latin) for ‘use’. What the banks do-using your money and the rental charge for keeping your money safe.

    Interest was what we saw in The Merchant of Venice.

    Nowadays too much of interest charge is called usury. Basically it is saying that evil is ok as long as it is not in excess.

    Scholars agree upon the Islamic banking system (I am not sure if all scholars are agreed upon it or not). Nothing else. If you directly show me a fatwa that clearly says Interest (and specifically its kind) is allowed, I will appreciate it (so that I can study the matter).

    All Islamic Scholars are unanimously agreed that Usury/Interest is Haraam and one of the Major Sins. It has been clearly said that those who deal in it should prepare themselves to fight with the Almighty.

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  3. @ James: a high rate of interest is one of the factors responsible for rampant inflation. In the U.S. and Japan, bank interest rates are very low, while in Pakistan banks borrow from the general public @ 6-7% and lend at 13% to 17%. Though there is no clear definition of “riba”, I believe this kind of interest and profit-making by the banks should be declared “haram”.

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  4. @ Momina: you apparently don’t know the difference between “interest” and “riba” (usury). Many Islamic scholars have opined that bank interest is allowed. One such scholar was the famous lawyer Khalid Ishaque, another was a Maulana (Shafi, I think) Usmani. But the highest authority on Sunni Islam (Al-Azhar University) has also given a fatwa that bank interest is not “riba” and therefore not “haram”. Some years back in “UBL vs the Federation Of Pakistan”, these points were elaborated and upheld by the Supreme Court. I think I have saved the trial proceedings somewhere in one of my computers. If I find it, I’ll write a post on the subject.

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  5. @JKS: The characteristics of usury that you have pointed out are some of the main reasons why Islam has declared it haraam. But greed makes people overlook all these characteristics and more.

    People trust the banks so much. They have put all their money in it. Doesn’t anyone comprehend the most complicated web that is woven around us? But, of course, greed makes us blind and stupid!

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  6. The Islamic objections to interest and usury are one of its apparently unique and most admirable features to me. This is an area that the west needs a lot of help with, because interest payments and credit card excesses are rampant in western society, and amount to systemic enslavement and ruination of the unwary by the sharp. Darwinian selection at its worst.

    Usury is the most odious method by which ownership slowly and insidiously increases its power over productivity, producing a class of rich, lazy idlers who ride on the backs of their fellows to the point that eventually the downtrodden will be forced to upset the entire applecart just to survive.

    The US has recently undergone a “housing bubble” catastrophe that I fully believe was engineered by upper management, with great, secretive care and planning over a long period of time, offering mortgages to people who were not qualified nor able to repay the loans, then foreclosing when the dumb/trusting/illiterate/wishful-thinking/unrealistic buyers were hit with the deadly realities hidden in miles of fine print that can only be read with a magnifying glass and only understood by a Ph.D. in Olde-Englishe/Pseudo-Latin legalese.

    Who ends up holding the foreclosed properties? The banks. What a land-grab. Shame, shame, shame. We detect the invisible spider by the number of dead carcasses in its web. The result of this gigantic money-changer manipulation has been not to kill our economy, but to slow it to a crawl–the parasites knew exactly how much to bleed off without killing the host completely.

    These high-level money-changing thieves need to be hunted down, thoroughly, one by one, to the last man or woman, and slowly, ver-ry slowly, strangled with their own $200 neckties. A few red-herring sacrificial goats such as Ken Lay are not enough. Who do they think they’re fooling? The whole web needs to be dismantled.

    Sorry, sometimes my patriotism and common sense get me very indignant. We’re supposed to be better than this.

    Neither borrower nor lender be, and TANSTAAFL (Robt. Heinlein)=”There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” I believe y’all Muslims need to think real carefully about this stuff.

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  7. Obviously interest in any form is haram, but the intereset which is in your hand whether to take it or leave it, is a sin. And when you cant do any thing and you have to pay interest in order to survive, Allah forgive us about this.

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  8. @Shakir
    Dear brother why are you so much worried about Tabligee or so called fundamentalist muslims?If you are satisfied with the bank interest, go ahead and reap the benefits from it, and if they (tabligee / fundamentalist) are not,please don’t force them to toe your line.
    There is a saying of Holy Prophet(peace be upon him)
    Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:
    The Prophet said “Both legal and illegal things are obvious, and in between them are (suspicious) doubtful matters. So who-ever forsakes those doubtful things lest he may commit a sin, will definitely avoid what is clearly illegal; and who-ever indulges in these (suspicious) doubtful things bravely, is likely to commit what is clearly illegal. Sins are Allah’s Hima (i.e. private pasture) and whoever pastures (his sheep) near it, is likely to get in it at any moment.”
    May Allah Almighty guide us on the right path,Ameen

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  9. Another point, no Muslim (you may call Muslim a fundamentalist as he/she follows the fundamentals of Islam) ‘thinks’ interest in haraam. It IS haraam, without a doubt.

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  10. @SL: Your query is very similar to this query asked by a Muslim brother. You will, insha’Allah, find an answer to your query and this will also clear the confusion of others.

    Is the following transaction permissible?
    One of the ministries in our country is going to give me a loan for a small project and repayment will be on easy terms for me. But the problem is that the loan will be done through a bank. For me payment will be without interest, but the bank will take interest from the Department in question, which suggested that to me and is sponsoring this project. Is this regarded as coming under the heading of interest-based loans? Is it permissible for me to take this loan or not?.

    Praise be to Allaah.

    If the matter is as you describe, there is nothing wrong with you taking this loan, because it is a goodly loan without interest. The fact that the one who is lending it to you — which is the department in question — has borrowed this money with interest, does not affect you, because you are not dealing with interest and because the one who takes a loan with interest takes possession of the money that he borrows, according to the more correct scholarly view, and it is permissible for him to dispose of it by giving it or lending it or otherwise, even though he is committing sin by dealing with riba.

    See: al-Manfa’ah fi’l-Qard, by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Muhammad al-‘Imraani, p. 245-254

    Sheikh Saalih Al Munajjid

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