Tag Archives: personal finance

12 Financial Stories for Muslim Kids

It was then my daughter’s first summer vacation after graduation in elementary. Over lunch I was mentioning to her the articles I was planning to post at one of my blogs – www.MuslimandMoney.com – and also the book – ‘Muslim Couple and Money’ – I was currently writing then.

Curious enough, she asked, “Papa, do you have also plan to write ‘Muslim Kid and Money’ for us youngsters?”

Almost spontaneously, I replied, “Yes, I also want to… Can you help me in this project?” 

Debt Management and Supplication

presentation-title-limba-mansoor-2

A modified transcript of 20-minute presentation of the paper “Debt Management in Behavioral Economics and Personal Finance as Reflected in Sahifah al-Sajjadiyyah” at the 3rd International Conference on Thoughts on Human Sciences in Islam, Jakarta, Indonesia, November 16, 2016.)

Respected elders, distinguished scholars, and brothers and sisters in Islam as well as in humanity! Let me greet you all with the greetings of peace: Salamun ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

(I’m making this presentation while assuming that all these many seats are filled with both the jinn and human beings – both the sleeping and the awake. In this unholy hour when everybody wants to sleep, I am uniquely fortunate enough to be surrounded by two esteemed Mesbahs (alluding to Dr. Ali Mesbah and Dr. Mohammad Mesbahi as fellow presenters in the same plenary session). As we all know, mesbah in Arabic, Persian and other languages means ‘lamp’. Since I believe I’m illuminated enough by two lamps, I’m optimistic that you will not mistakenly see me as a pillow or blanket.)

At the outset, let me take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the conference organizers, particularly the Director of the Sadra International Institute, and generally to all the members of the steering committee down to the drivers and guides. This is my first to come to Indonesia, although I may look like an Indonesian or even more ‘Indonesian’ compared to some Indonesians. I come from Mindanao, the land of promise and the bastion of centuries-old struggle for self-determination in this part of the world.

Before laying down my paper’s Statement of the Problem, let me first make some introductory remarks about behavioral economics and personal finance as well as about homo economicus vis-à-vis homo islamicus. I shall also clarify the kind of ‘debt’ which is the concern of this paper. After giving you the Statement of the Problem, I shall address the four secondary questions one by one and finally make a conclusion. 

“Muslim Couple and Money” Published Today!

MuslimCouple&MoneyCover3

PUBLISHED TODAY!

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!

Muslim Couple and Money

Muslim Couple and Money: 8 Practical Financial Tips for Newlywed Muslim Couple

FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION

Mansoor Limba, MUSLIM COUPLE AND MONEY: 8 PRACTICAL FINANCIAL TIPS FOR NEWLYWED MUSLIM COUPLE (MuslimandMoney.com, 2016).

The book will be published next month (September 2016), insha’ Allah, through both Amazon.com and Smashwords.com platforms.

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.”

 

 

Ramadan and Personal Finance

Ramadan&PersonalFinance

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.

On the Banking System and Financial Literacy in Mindanao

mindanaobanking

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.

Financial Story #3: A Companion of Hajj Pilgrimage

hajjcompanion

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)

 

Newlywed Couple and Personal Finance

Muslim Couple

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.

Formula

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.”

Income

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’.

Savings

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.

Expenses

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!

(Source: http://www.mindanews.com/mindaviews/2016/03/13/marginalia-newlywed-couple-and-personal-finance)

Short Supplication – Ya ‘Aziz

M&Minfographics06-duayaaziz

Short Supplication – Azīz

Al-Azīz

The Mighty and Unconquerable

Azīz

He who repeats this Name 40 times after fajr (morning) prayers for 40 days will be independent of need from others.

Qur’anic Paradigm of Personal Finance

Qur'anic Paradigm of Personal Finance

“By the means of what Allah has given you, seek the abode of the Hereafter, while not forgetting your share of this world. Be good [to others] just as Allah has been good to you, and do not try to cause corruption in the land. Indeed Allah does not like the agents of corruption.” (Qur’an 28:77)

Elements of the Qur’anic Paradigm of Personal Finance:

1. Seeking the abode of the Hereafter as the primary goal in life;

2. Utilizing all the means provided by God for the pursuit of that goal while not forgetting one’s share of this world;

3. Rendering service to fellow creatures;

4. Avoiding the transgression of bounds or “causing corruption in the land.”