How To Identify That A Product Or A Scheme Is Shariah Compliant?
IN MALAYSIA, SHARIAH COMPLIANCE IS A MUCH SOUGHT STATUS BY COMPANIES WHETHER THEY ARE INVOLVED IN FINANCIAL INDUSTRY, FOOD AND BEVERAGE, CLOTHING OR OTHER INDUSTRIES. THIS IS DUE TO DEMAND FROM CONSUMERS, ESPECIALLY MUSLIM CONSUMERS WHO ARE VERY PARTICULA
According to Investopedia, profit is a financial benefit that is realised when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity.
For consumers, the halal status of food and beverages can be easily identified by the logo provided by JAKIM. However, for non-food and beverage items, one need to have knowledge on the matters in order to truly understand whether a product or a scheme is shariah compliant as there is no one body that provides “shariah compliance” logo for consumers to confirm and be assured of its status. Hence, it is not surprising that in order to lure consumers into buying their products or participating in their schemes, many salesman or companies will proclaim that their products or schemes are shariah compliant. Being humans who are generally attracted to making money and wealth, one would generally tend to listen and be receptive to commit and purchase such products or be involved in such schemes, without realising the true facts from Islamic point of view. For example, here are some of the statements made by promoters to potential buyers for some get-richquick schemes:“You only need RM30 to start and your 1st monthly income will be rm11k++.” “Yes, we are shariah compliant, this product is certified by ustaz and many people buy this product!” “You don’t have to meet people or give presentations or drive here and there, work hard and yet complain not enough money…here’s the scheme for you…”
and it ended with: “You will be guaranteed commission every month for the next 50 months eventhough you are not active. Just register and wait for the money to roll in!” Now, it sounded too good to be true but statistics have shown that a lot of people have believed and fallen for such schemes. I do not wish to comment whether the scheme really works or really exists or whether they are legal. What I wish to share is for you to think for yourself whether these types of businesses and the profit generating out of them are really acceptable or shariah compliant or halal as claimed by the promoters of such schemes. Let us look at the definition of profit in general. What is profit? According to Investopedia, profit is a financial benefit that is realised when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity. In layman’s terms, profit is the extra amount that we may get out of a certain investment that we put into a business. So, somebody who participates in the abovementioned propagated schemes may make profit based on the general definition. Now, from Islamic perspective, the above definition still holds true but in addition, profit is considered as God’s bounty and moderation is sought in the drive for profit. It may not be the maximum but so long as they are acquired legitimately as well as its dealings are transparent and just, they are accepted to be shariah compliant. Islam emphasises on cooperation, mutual benefit, and fair play and not to expose oneself unnecessary. Ideally, the Islamic definition of economic justice is the achieving of a situation wherein what each factor one ultimately gets is what one contributes. This is as per verse in the Quran which states that “God created the heaven and the earth for just ends, and in order that each soul may find the recompense of what it has earned.”