A Message Clarifying The Meaning of Taaghout

by Muhammad bin 'Abdil Wahhaab

Know – may Allah have mercy upon you – that the first duty Allah has obliged upon the son of Aadam is al-kufr bit-taaghout and belief in Allah. And the evidence [for this] is the saying of the Exalted: And verily, We have sent among every ummah a Messenger [proclaiming]: 'Worship Allah [Alone] and keep away from taaghout.' [EMQ an-Nahl, 16:36]

As for the explanation of al-kufr bit-taaghout, it is to believe that anything [or anyone] that is worshipped instead of Allah is falsehood, and [one must] desert it and detest it, and make tafkeer to its people [those who worship it, i.e. the disbelievers] and to take them as enemies.

As for the meaning of al-Eemaanu Billaah, it is to believe that Allah is the Worshipped Lord – exclusively besides anything else – and to be sincere in all types of 'ibaadah (worship) to Allah, and to nullify it [one's worship] to any other ma’bood (false god), and to love the people of ikhlaas [i.e. the Muslims] and to have alliance with them. And [al-Eemaanu Billaah entails] hating the people of shirk and taking them as enemies.

And this is the Millah (religion) of Ibraaheem, which only the fool renegades against, and it is [also] the uswah (best example) which Allah has informed us about through His saying: Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibraaheem and those with him, when they said to their people: 'Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah, we have rejected you, and there has started between us and you, animosity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah Alone.' [EMQ al-Mumtahanah, 60:4]


Abu Khalid said...

The greatest Taghut today are the disbelieving governments and the man made laws which they legislate and implement and the believer must have baraa (emnity and disavowel) towards them and whoever follows them willingly has surely taken them as a god beside Allah.

"They took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah"
Surah At Tawba 31

aharen said...

Given that hadith and quran doesnt give detail of everything, is it not upto us humans to intepret and apply logic and analogy to come up with new rulings. Does this not make jurisprudence in islamic shariah a man made thing? (but different from western laws, since they are based in principle from divine law).

One example that comes to my mind is, I have met some very obedient muslims. They don't take photos (conventional or digital), but they are completely ok with taking video. I have seen the fatwa (which is man made, and intepretation of some scholar), which justifies video. But to me that is not very convincing. What are your thoughts on this?

Abu Khalid said...

Of couse we apply logic but this has to be based on the Sharia and should be done by those qualified to do so such as the Ulaama. Man made laws is refering to those which contradict the Sharia such as if a ruler makes alcohol halal or he decides to imprision the thief rather than cut his hand or if he allows riba. If on the other hand the ruler rules by Sharia but introduces laws such as a speed limit for cars and cycles (which doesnt contradict the Quran) then there is no problem with this, in fact it is necessary and I dont think any rational person could oppose this.

As for the photos then yes this is an issue on which there is a difference of opinion but you will notice that any fatwa given, while being from the mind of a human is based on the revelation. Those who say film is allowed say that the Arabic word for images used in the ahadith on the issue only can refer to something which exists and can be held ( I forget the word for it).

aharen said...

So which one is the correct one regarding the use of video? Surely it is either permissible or not permissible. It cannot be either way depending on which mazhab or school one follows. can it?

Regarding riba,
Is riba = interest or riba = usury?
What about the adjusting for time value of money?

Abu Khalid said...

Riba is both. As for videos I believe they are permissable. There is a difference of opinion amongst the ulaama on the issue as I pointed out and so it is on us to follow the opinion we believe strongest and yes, only one of them can be correct.

aharen said...

What about time value of money?

For example, I borrow 1000 rufiyaa from someone to buy say a 50kg rice. I promised to pay him that after say 5 years. We all know that after 5 years, the real value/worth of 1000 rufiyaa will be much less than its value now (ie, you cannot buy the 50kg rice for 1000 rufiyaa 5 years later, it will cost more, maybe 2000). So when I pay it back, if should I give him 1000 rufiyaa? or the then current price of 50kg rice which maybe 2000?
Hence I am borrowing 1000mrf, but paying back 2000mrf. Will that be riba?

Abu Khalid said...

Riba is completely haram and what is obligatory upon us is to follow the revelation as it is:

Taking interest to make up for loss of money’s real value

Money looses its buying power as much as life becomes more expensive. For example, if life becomes 2% more expensive, the buying power of a 100 dinar today will be 102 in a year’s time. What is the ruling if I deal with a bank just to keep my money’s buying power, i.e. receive interest that just makes up the loss of my money’s purchasing value?.

Praise be to Allaah.


Undoubtedly the ever-rising cost of living means that keeping money will cause it to lose some of its buying power. Hence you should look for Islamically acceptable ways of investing it.

Based on the risks involved in investment and the loss of trust in investment companies among many people, some of them have resorted to putting their money in riba-based banks and taking interest. This stems either from ignorance of the fact that this is haraam, or from preferring this world over the Hereafter. Putting money in riba-based banks is gravely haraam, because it is riba, for which the one who consumes it, the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it are all cursed. It is the riba for which Allaah has issued a declaration of war and divine wrath for the one who does it.

Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“O you who believe! Fear Allaah and give up what remains (due to you) from Ribaa (from now onward) if you are (really) believers.

279. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger but if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums), and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than your capital sums)”

[al-Baqarah 2:278-279]

Muslim (1598) narrated that Jaabir (may Allaah be pleased with him)said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed the one who consumes riba and the one who pays it, the one who writes it down and the two who witness it, and he said: they are all the same.

And he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “A dirham of riba that a man consumes knowingly is worse before Allaah than committing zina thirty-six times.” Narrated by Ahmad and al-Tabaraani; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’ no. 3375.

In fact depositing one’s money in these banks is a loan with interest. The lender is the customer and the borrower is the bank, because a loan means giving the money then taking something else in return. Calling that a deposit (wadee’ah) is an obvious misnomer, because the wadee’ah is kept as is and is not disposed of, such as putting money in a safety vault box for example, where the money itself remains and does not change. But the bank disposes of the money as one who owns it, with the commitment to back a similar amount, and this is a loan. If it comes with a commitment to pay interest, then it is a riba-based loan on which there is scholarly consensus that it is haraam.

Imam Ibn Qudaamah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “Every loan in which it is stipulated that something extra must be paid back is haraam, with no difference of scholarly opinion. Ibn al-Mundhir said: [the scholars] are unanimously agreed that if the lender stipulates that the borrower must pay extra or give him a gift, and he lends him money on that basis, then accepting the extra payment is riba. It was narrated from Ubayy ibn Ka’b, Ibn ‘Abbaas and Ibn Mas’ood that they forbade every loan that brings benefits. End quote from al-Mughni (6/436).

Abu Khalid said...

Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said: Every additional amount given in return for a loan or favour that benefits the lender is riba, even if it is just a handful of animal feed. That is haraam if it is stipulated. End quote. End quote from al-Kaafi (2/359).

A loss in the buying power of money does not make it permissible to stipulate interest which is the essence of riba. Rather the loan should be repaid as is even if its value has decreased.

It says in Mawsoo’ah Fataawa al-Azhar, in a fatwa of Shaykh Jaad al-Haqq, the former Shaykh of al-Azhar (may Allaah have mercy on him) concerning the issue under discussion, which we will quote for the benefit of readers:

Question: The questioner was given some investment certificates of group (b) by his father as a marriage gift, and they are still in his possession.

He is entitled to cash them in now and they have profits from the time he kept them.

His question is: Are they halaal with their profits?

Please note that the cash value now with the profits is less than their value at the time when they were bought and given.

He replied: The fuqaha’ of sharee’ah defined riba as being anything that is added to wealth without anything in return.

Allaah has forbidden riba in many verses of the Holy Qur’aan, the last of which to be revealed, according to a saheeh report narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), is the passage in which Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Those who consume Riba will not stand (on the Day of Resurrection) except like the standing of a person beaten by Shaytaan (Satan) leading him to insanity. That is because they say: ‘Trading is only like Riba,’ whereas Allaah has permitted trading and forbidden Riba. So whosoever receives an admonition from his Lord and stops consuming Riba, shall not be punished for the past; his case is for Allaah (to judge); but whoever returns (to Riba), such are the dwellers of the Fire — they will abide therein.

276. Allaah will destroy Riba and will give increase for Sadaqaat (deeds of charity, alms). And Allaah likes not the disbelievers, sinners.”

[al-Baqarah 2:275-276]

It is also forbidden in the hadeeth which was narrated by al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others from Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Gold for gold, silver for silver, wheat for wheat, barley for barley, dates for dates, salt for salt, like for like, hand to hand, and whoever gives more or asks for more has engaged in riba; the taker and the giver are both the same.”

Abu Khalid said...

Because these texts imply that riba includes all additions to the money borrowed or deposited on the basis of a precondition for nothing in return, the Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is haraam, following the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah.

Because the investment certificates of group (b) bring a specified amount of interest, that is stipulated in advance in terms of time and amount, they come under the heading of riba that is forbidden in sharee’ah on the basis of these texts, as it is a loan with interest that is stipulated in advance in terms of time and amount.

As for what is mentioned in the question about these purchase certificates and their profits being less than their value at the time when they were given to the questioner or at the time when they were bought, this is not a valid justification for regarding this interest as permissible. Imam al-Isbejaabi narrated in Sharh al-Tahhaawi that the fuqaha’ were unanimously agreed that if money is not taken out of circulation, but its value increases and decreases, the borrower must give what he took in terms of amount so long as the type of money is specified (Risaalat Tanbeeh al-Ruqood ‘ala Masaa’il al-Muqood min Rakhs wa Ghala’ wa Kasaad wa Inqitaa’ by al-‘Allaamah Ibn ‘Aabideen (vol. 2, Majmoo’ al-Rasaa’il p. 58-67).

As this is the case, the nominal value of these certificates is permissible, as it originally most likely came as a gift from halaal earnings, as we assume that the believers are of good character and conduct.

As for the interest that was earned in accordance with the system, it is riba which is haraam because it was specified, and it is not permissible for the Muslim to benefit from this interest because it is haraam earnings. He may take it and dispose of it in any charitable way such as building mosques or hospitals or giving it to a poor or needy person in the ways indicated by the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) with regard to disposal of haraam earnings, so as to free the Muslim of any responsibility before Allaah.

It is narrated in a hadeeth that Abu Barzah al-Aslami (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The feet of the slave will not move on the Day of Resurrection until he is asked about his life and how he spent it, his knowledge and what he did with it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he spent it, and his body and what he did with it.” And Allaah, may He be glorified, knows best. End quote.

Hence we say to our brother: You should either look for Islamically-acceptable ways of investing the money, even if that is buying goods which usually keep their value, such as land and gold and the like, or by being patient and seeking reward, and putting up with the loss in value that results from keeping money.


It is not permissible to put money in a riba-based bank except for the purpose of protecting it if there is the fear that it may be stolen. In that case it should be put in a current account, not in a savings account, so as to do the lesser of two evils. If interest is paid on it, then you must get rid of it by giving it to the poor and needy or spending it in the public interest, and it is not permissible for the owner of the money to benefit from any of it.

We ask Allaah to help and guide us and you.

And Allaah knows best.
Islam Q&A

aharen said...

Buying power of currency changes mainly due to two things:
1. Inflation (loss in the value of the currency).
2. Higher costs of goods & services due to high demand/reduced supply.

Time value of money i referred to was 1, not 2. Anything could rise in price due to high demand, while the currency or other goods remain exactly same.
But in case of 1, there will be a general rise of prices across the board, almost everything. This is not due to supply/demand. This is due to reduced value of currency.

In the example I gave, 50kg rice or 1000/- now, but for 2000/- in 5 years. But this same 50kg rice will still be available for same price in say dollars/euro or some other currency now and five years later. In such circumstances, the value of currency has declined, not the actual value of the good.
History shows that some countries have had 1000%, 2000% even 20,000% (yes, thats twenty thousand percent) inflation rate (see bolivia, hitler's germany, more recently zimbabwe). This means, the currency loses value at a rate of 2000% per year, which is reflected as higher prices of goods by 2000% in *that* currency. Not relative to other currencies. Without getting into the details of *why* inflation occurs, can a lender of 1000 units of currency, adjust for inflation when he receives the loan back? Which in practical terms means he gives 1000rufiyaa and receives 2000rufiyaa or similar amount in 5 years (depending on the actual inflation rate). Will that be riba?

Conversely, if I borrow 50kg rice in kind, I still have to return 50kg whether initialy 50kg could be bought for 1000mrf, and later for 2000mrf. I know this is exchanging like for like, but a paper currency is just a medium of exchange. It has no intrinsic use. Wouldnt this amount to riba?

By defining riba as an addition above what was lent, that begs these questions.

Abu Khalid said...

I think this is a question you need to ask a scholar. Why not email IslamQA as I am sure they will reply with the detail you are looking for.

But I think the first fatwa I posted was clear in that an equal amount has to be paid back - inflation does not come into the issue.

Abu Khalid said...

IslamQA already has seemed to deal with this issue. Refer to these two links:



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