Saturday, 24 October 2009

Let's learn Muamalah

I am indebted to my former lecturer, Dr. Abdi Omar Shuriye, who struggled to teach us the non-syariah students the subject of Muamalah. This was back in my second year as an undergrad. At the time I wondered why the U wanted us to learn this, especially when the subject involves a lot discussions and difference of opinions between the mahzabs. I thought it was a rather complex subject. But then again I was probably scared because the subject had no particular textbook. I wondered how on earth am I going to pass.

Dr. Abdi's solution was a mass oral exam instead of the normal paper exam. I remember that I couldn't answer properly and I was surprised he gave me a passing grade. We were the last batch of student required to take the subject. It was replaced by Islamic World View or Akhlaq and Adab or something like that. No more syariah subject as requirement.

I never gave the subject much attention until a few years later, when a friend from Al-Azhar asked me to help translate a paper he wrote on the Islamic Banking system. It was a very informative paper and I could understand it because I had seen it before in Muamalah class. I realised how fortunate I was to had been 'forced' by the U to learn Muamalah.

Now as a working person, these things have become very important. They help me to think about what is halal and what is haram. Things are not as simple as we believe. For example, what does the syariah say about multi-level marketing?

Does it matter if we whether we've learned it before or not? Not really. The important thing is to continue to learn more if we have. If we haven't, why not start now? This is more than a matter of life and death. This is a matter of life and afterlife, which is a very, very, very long life.


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