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

Insurance - - CONTENTS - Text Rosli­nah Daud

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.”

(45:22)

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