“O you who have faith! When you contract a loan for a specified term, ...take as witness two witnesses from your men, and if there are not two men, then a man and two women —from those whom you approve as witnesses— so that if one of the two defaults the other will remind her.\\\\\\\" Qur’an 2:282) More »
It is about planning and action. It is about attitude and management. It is about prayer and productivity. It is about acquiring streams of lawful income. It is about self-esteem and financial freedom. It is about spiritual-physical equilibrium. It is about self-empowerment to empower others. More »
On returning from journey of Hajj “pilgrimage”, a man related his and his Companions’ experience who accompanied him, to Imam Sadiq (‘a). He stirred and admired them, particularly one of his fellow-travelers: “How noble was he. We are proud of accompanying such an honorable man. He was praying continuously. No sooner did we stop at a place immediately than he would part from us, seek a corner, spread his prayer mat, and engage himself in prayer and worship.
The Imam (‘a) asked: “Then, who was looking after his affairs? And who was tending his animal?
He replied: “Of course, we were. We had the honour to be at his service. He had nothing to worry about; he used to engage himself in his holy affairs.”
The Imam (a’) replied: “Therefore all of you were better than him.”
Financial Lesson of the Story:
1. Not to rely on others even for a small thing.
(Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS)
(Photo via wikihow.com)
Mansoor Limba, MUSLIM COUPLE AND MONEY: 8 PRACTICAL FINANCIAL TIPS FOR NEWLYWED MUSLIM COUPLE (MuslimandMoney.com, 2016), $2.99.
Published in both Amazon.com and Smashwords.com platforms, the eBook is a personal finance guide that reveals 8 practical financial tips for newlywed Muslim couples to help them attain financial freedom and happy marriage.
This title is part of the Muslim and Money Book Series. The other titles are “Muslim Kid and Money: 12 Financial Stories for Muslim Children” and “Muslim and Debt: 5 Practical Steps to Freedom from Debt,” which will be published soon, insha’ Allah.
Get your copy now!
Mansoor Limba, MUSLIM COUPLE AND MONEY: 8 PRACTICAL FINANCIAL TIPS FOR NEWLYWED MUSLIM COUPLE (MuslimandMoney.com, 2016).
It is currently available as pre-release and sample pages can be downloaded free at Smashwords.com.
This title is part of the Muslim and Money Book Series. The other titles are “Muslim Kid and Money: 12 Financial Stories for Muslim Children” and “Muslim and Debt: 5 Practical Steps to Freedom from Debt.”
The corpus of hadith has a lot of transmitted supplications recited every after the daily prayers during the month of Ramadan. One of these supplications is a short yet concise one whose English translation is as follows:
In the Name of Allah; the All-beneficent, the All-merciful.
O Allah, gladden the people of the graves,
O Allah, enrich every poor person,
O Allah, satisfy every hungry one,
O Allah, clothe every unclothed one,
O Allah, help every debtor pay his debts,
O Allah, relieve every distressed one,
O Allah, return every traveler (to his home),
O Allah release every prisoner,
O Allah, correct every wrong in the affairs of the Muslims,
O Allah, cure every sick one,
O Allah, ease our poverty by Your wealth,
O Allah, change our evil state to a good one through Your excellent state,
O Allah, relieve us of our debts, and help us against poverty.
Surely You have power over all things.
What draws our attention in this brief supplication is the fact that contrary to the common notion, most of the things asked for have something to do with material or physical welfare. Most interesting to note is the emphasis on the repayment of debt both at the beginning and the end of supplication.
This, once again, shows the multi-dimensional nature of fasting in Ramadan, and among its benefits are the lessons in personal finance that can be derived from it.
MAKATI CITY (8 May) – As a financial literacy advocate and blogger, I was quite privileged to be invited last Friday (May 6) in the first forum on “The Flow of Deposits in the Mindanao Banking System: Exploring Alternatives” hosted by the Joint Ateneo Institute of Mindanao Economics (JAIME) held in Ateneo de Davao University, Davao City.
Covered by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the forum was attended by representatives from the Tokyo University, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – Region 11 Office, Mindanao Development Agency (MinDA), Mindanao Business Council, Landbank of the Philippines, Union Bank, Banco de Oro (BDO), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Philippine National Bank (PNB), MMC, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ateneo de Manila University, Xavier University, various offices of Ateneo de Davao University (Academic Vice President Office, University Research Council, Finance Office, Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia, School of Business and Governance, and the Economics Department), rural banks, and microfinance institutions, among others.
Focused mainly on the constituents of Mindanao’s dualistic banking system, viz. (1) branches of the universal and commercial banks (UCBs) with head offices in the National Capital Region (NCR) and (2) branches and head offices of the locally-oriented thrift banks and rural and cooperative banks (TB-RCBs), the research presentation by JAIME Director, Dr. Germelino M. Bautista, attempted to answer the following questions:
(1) What is the overall performance of the dualistic banking system in Mindanao, and what are its trajectories?
(2) How different are the deposit mobilization capacities and loan provisioning roles of these banks and what do these differences imply for the banking system and economic development of Mindanao?
(3) What options are available to address the limitations in capacities and roles of the UCBs and TB-RCBs?
As Prof. Bautista argued, a vision or alternative future for the TB-RCBs of Mindanao might entail the following conditions:
(3.1) Improve the capacities of existing TB-RCBs, strengthen their local community orientations, and determine what can further promote the growth of rural and cooperative banks;
(3.2) Tap the currently underserved and unbanked population, and further expand the community-based microfinance operations of TB-RCBs to promote the livelihood of the self-employed and small businesses and eventually generate and mobilize savings from new client depositors;
(3.3) Establish more Islamic finance intermediaries and apply shari‘ah financial instruments that aim to generate higher incomes and mobilize savings in poor Muslim communities; and
(3.4) Mobilize deposits from both Muslim and non-Muslim cooperatives for their own rural cooperative and Islamic banks.
In the Q & A session, the following points came to the fore:
* There has been available money for loan in the banks and microfinance institutions, but the usual problem has been the failure of most borrowers to repay their respective loans.
* The local government units (LGUs) could do a lot in improving the flow of deposits in the banking system.
* Any success in encouraging the potential depositors to deposit their money to a commercial bank or a rural bank, as the case may be, is also reflective of our success in encouraging them to develop the habit of saving and later on, investing, as well as to cultivate their entrepreneurial mindset. In other words, financial literacy of the individual – the potential depositor and loan applicant – is a preliminary step in banking.
* There is considerable interest in knowing more about shari‘ah-compliant instruments for generating higher incomes and mobilizing savings.
As such, these points could be viable candidates as the next research agenda of the nascent Joint Ateneo Institute of Mindanao Economics or JAIME.
The caravan being tramped for hours, tiredness overwhelmed the riders and the animals. As soon as they reached an oasis where there was water, they had their camels kneel down. The Holy Prophet (s), accompanying the caravan, made his camel kneel down and dismounted from it. All were rushing to reach the water to prepare for the preliminaries of prayer, dismounting from the camel, the Holy Prophet (s) also made his way towards the water.
After covering a certain distance, without speaking to anyone, he (s) returned back to his camel. To the surprise of his Companions, they thought he (s) was not pleased with this place and will order them to set out?! Lending the ears to him, in full attention, they looked forward to hear his order. The Companions were astonished and amazed when they saw the Holy Prophet (s) reach his camel, pick up tie and bind the knees of it; then he (s) returned back towards his first destination.
The exclamation rose up in between the Companions: “O Messenger of Allah! Why did you not command us to do that, and you bothered yourself while we are all proud of being at your service?”
The Holy Prophet (s) replied: “Do not ever ask for help from others for your own affairs and do not count upon others even if it would be a toothpick.” (Kahl al-Bassar, p. 69)
Source: Murtada Mutahhari, THE NARRATIVES OF THE VERACIOUS, Story 4.
Financial Lessons of the Story:
- Not to rely on others even for a small thing.
MAKATI CITY (MindaNews / 13 March) – (A message delivered at the wedding reception of the writer’s high school batchmates on March 12, 2016.)
The first time I read your wedding announcement on Facebook, this was the first thing that came to my mind: contrary to the clichés that it is an avenue to do the wildest things undone before and having the tendency to disrupt family ties, high school batch reunion is meant to strengthen family ties, foster cooperation among old friends and render services to the community.
Akmad and Albeah, you are a living proof that high school reunion is indeed meant to build families.
Let me take this rare opportunity to share some thoughts on this new stage of your life journey. I shall not touch on the philosophical, religious and legal aspects of marriage as these are expected to have been tackled in the khutbat al-nikah (wedding sermon) and marriage counseling sessions you were supposed to attend.
Instead, let me focus on an aspect which is hardly given attention, yet a daily affair; that is, personal finance or money management.
On a daily basis, we handle money yet we hardly think of the need to manage it. Or, we assume that using it is identical with managing it. Or, to think of managing it is tantamount to becoming materialistic. We always say, “Bahala saging basta loving,” yet many marital conflicts and splits are money-related; either the lack of it or the improper use of it.
Personal finance experts give this formula: Income minus Savings equals Expenses. This means that as soon as we get our income, we immediately allocate a certain amount for savings before spending what we earn for the (other) expenses.
This is the opposite of the formula we usually follow: Income minus Expenses equals Savings. What usually happens is that since the amount of our expenses is equal to, if not more than, that of our income, nothing remains as savings. In fact, we often incur debts because our income is not enough for our expenses.
But by following the experts’ formula, the amount for savings is automatically allocated by considering it to be part of the expenses, nay the most priority. And after allocating the amount for savings, we adjust our expenses (lifestyle) by following the corollary precept of “spending below your means.”
The first element in the above formula is ‘income’. No doubt, multiplying the streams of income is the primary recipe for financial self-sufficiency. The key is just to identify your passions – the things that you enjoy doing – and then look for the ways to monetize them.
Just give real value or love to the product or service you want to offer, and then profit will follow. Simply put, ‘passion’ plus ‘value’ equals ‘profit’.
The second element in our formula is ‘savings’. Saving is to set aside money to be spent later, and we do and must save for many reasons, viz. unforeseen (emergency) and future (retirement) expenses. But letting our money sleep for a while (saving) is not smart enough because of inflation. If the annual inflation rate is 4 percent, it means that the purchasing power of our P100 today is just P96 tomorrow.
So, we need to invest our saved money. Investing is to let our saved money grow and not just sleep. It is to let our money work for us while we are sleeping.
There are many available shari‘ah-compliant investment instruments you can choose: business venture, real estate, mutual fund, stock market, etc. Be that as it may, don’t forget the primary investment: to invest in yourselves; to invest in the enhancement of your knowledge and skills in everything you are passionate of.
The last of the three elements in the formula is ‘expenses’ but it does not mean that it is the least important. In fact, managing it is as important as managing ‘income’ and ‘savings’ to ensure a financially successful marriage life. Multiplying streams of income must always be coupled with keeping one’s lifestyle below the income level.
Among the tips in managing one’s expenses are to distinguish ‘needs’ from ‘wants’ and to give priority to the former in matters of spending, to look for ways to save in spending, to separate ‘shopping day’ from ‘buying day,’ and to list what you must buy before buying, among others.
The details of each of these elements in the formula will be given in the book I’m currently writing – “Muslim Couple and Money: Personal Finance for Newlywed Muslim Couple.”
In closing, we, your batchmates, wish you financial success in the new stage of your life journey!
Short Supplication – Yā ‘Azīz
The Mighty and Unconquerable
He who repeats this Name 40 times after fajr (morning) prayers for 40 days will be independent of need from others.
“He who tolerates the task of earning money for [the comfort of] his wife is like the one who fights in the way of Allah.”
(Man La Yahduruh al-Faqih, vol. 3, p. 168)
It is sometimes said that “business ethics” is an oxymoron. How can one do business and still be an ethical person? Isn’t business all about self-interest, greed and making exuberant profits?
Yes, it is true that the physical, earthly dimension of a human is based on two main characteristics: greed and anger. The former attracts whatever it perceives to be beneficial and the latter repels whatever it perceives to be harmful.
But the spiritual, heavenly dimension consists of mind and conscience which have the potential of controlling the elements of greed and anger. One whose spiritual powers control the physical powers is indeed an ethical person; and one who lives life only by the elements of anger and greed has not actualized the potential of soaring from the worldly level to the heavenly level.
Adding the adjective “Islamic” to “business ethics” might surprise some. But one has to realize that Islam is more than just a religion in the spiritual sense of the word; it is a way of life. Even the secular aspects of life are greatly influenced by spiritual values.
There is no difference between the sphere of worship and the sphere of business; Islamic laws govern the family life of Muslims well as their social conduct.
The foundation of Islamic business ethics depends on delineating the purpose of human life. When Adam and Eve as well as the Satan were sent down to the earth, Almighty God declared:
“All of you get down from the Garden to the earth, some of you being the enemies of the others, and there is on the earth your abode and the necessities of life for a fixed period of time.” (The Qur’an 2:36)
“All of you get down from the Garden. Once you are on the earth, the guidance will certainly come to you from Me, and then whoever follows My guidance there will be no fear for them nor shall they grieve. But those who do not follow My guidance, who disbelieve and reject Our revelation, they are the inmates of the Fire, in it they shall abide”. (2:38-39)
The Qur’an further tells us that this earth and its surrounding atmosphere have the resources for us to sustain our lives on it:
“Allah is He who created the heavens and the earth, and send down the water from the sky with which He brought forth fruits as sustenance for you. He made the ships subservient to you so that they may flow in the sea with His command. He (also) made the rivers subservient to you, and He made the sun and the moon-which are persistent (upon their course) – subservient to you, and He made the night and the day subservient to you. (In short,) He gave you all that you asked Him. If you count Allah’s blessings, (they are so many that) you will never be able to number them – (but still) the human is very unjust (and) very ungrateful!” (14: 32-34)
These verses clearly state the followings:
• This earth is our abode.
• This earth and its surrounding atmosphere have the resources to sustain our lives on it.
• Divine guidance will come to us and we are expected to follow it.
• Satan is our enemy and will try his best to misguide us.
• The life on this earth is for a fixed time only.
• The hereafter is the final destination. Whether the final destination will be blissful or painful depends on whether or not we follow the divine guidance.
So a human being is a creation of God, a citizen of this earth, surviving by wisely using its natural resources alone or with the, cooperation of fellow humans. Human interaction may be pictured as following:
As a creation of God, a human being is expected to obey the Divine commandments in relation to the self, to fellow humans, and also towards the earth. We cannot forget the satanic temptations that overwhelm many people.
This three-way interaction defines the perimeter of Islamic ethics in the business sphere. The guiding principles in these interactions are:
1. Obeying the Divine commandments. (2:38 above)
2. Dealing with others on the basis of justice and fairness. “O you who believe! Be upright for the sake of Allah, in testifying for fairness: and do not let the hatred of a people urge you to be unjust, be just (since) that is closer to piety. Fear (from displeasing) Allah, verily Allah is Aware of what you do.” (5:8)
3. Being moderate in one’s personal life and in the use of natural resources.“O you who believe! Neither forbid the (use of) good (things) that Allah has allowed for you nor exceed the limits because Allah does not love those who exceed the limits.” (5:87)
(Source: Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, ISLAMIC BUSINESS ETHICS (Canada: Al-Ma’arif Books, 2006), pp. 5-8.)