The Month Of Rajab

by Mufti Muhammad Taqi al-Uthmani (Principal Of Darul ‘Uloom Karachi)
Rajab is the seventh month in the Islamic lunar calendar. This month was regarded as one of the sacred months (Al-Ash-hur-al-hurum) in which battles were prohibited in the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). It is also a prelude to the month of Ramadan, because Ramadan follows it after the intervening month of Sha’ban. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) sighted the moon of Rajab, he used to pray to Allah in the following words:

“O Allah, make the months of Rajab and Sha’ban blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadan (i.e. prolong our life up to Ramadan, so that we may benefit from its merits and blessings).”

No specific way of worship has been prescribed by the Shari’ah in this month. However, some people have invented some special rituals or practices in this month, which are not supported by reliable resources of the Shari’ah or are based on some unauthentic traditions. We would like to explain their correct position and status in Islam hereunder:

1. Celebration of Lailatul Mi’raj

It is generally believed that the great event of Mi’raj (ascension of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) to the heavens) took place in the night of 27th of Rajab. Therefore, some people celebrate the night as “Lailatul- Mi’raj” (the night of ascension to heavens).

Indeed, the event of mi’raj was one of the most remarkable episodes in the life of our beloved Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). He was called by Almighty Allah. He traveled from Makkah to Baitul-Maqdis and from there he ascended the heavens through the miraculous power of Allah.
He was honored with a direct contact with his Creator at a place where even the angels had no access. This was the unique honor conferred by Allah to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) alone. It was the climax of the spiritual progress which is not attained by anybody except him. No doubt the night in which he was blessed with this unparalleled honor was one of the greatest nights in the history of this world.

But, Islam has its own principles with regard to the historic and religious events. Its approach about observing festivals and celebrating days and nights is totally different from the approach of other religions. The Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) did not prescribe any festival or any celebration to commemorate an event from the past, however remarkable it might have been. Instead, Islam has prescribed two annual celebrations only. One is Eid-ul-Fitr and the other is Eid ul-Adha. Both of these festivals have been fixed at a date on which the Muslims accomplish a great ‘ibadah (worship) every year. Eid-ul-Fitr has been prescribed after the fasts of Ramadan, while Eid-ul-Adha has been fixed when the Muslims perform the Hajj annually. None of these two eids is designed to commemorate a particular event of the past which has happened in these dates. This approach is indicative of the fact that the real occasion for a happy celebration is the day in which the celebrators themselves have accomplished remarkable work through their own active effort. As for the accomplishments of our ancestors, their commemoration should not be restricted to a particular day or night. Instead, their accomplishments must be remembered every day in the practical life by observing their teachings and following the great examples they have set for us.

Keeping this principle in view, the following points should be remembered with regard to the “Lailatul-mi’raj”:

1) We cannot say with absolute certainty on which night the great event of mi’raj took place. Although some traditions relate this event to 27th night of the month of Rajab, yet there are other traditions that suggest other dates. Al-Zurqani (Rahimahullah), the famous biographer of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has referred to five different views in this respect: Rabi-ul-Awwal, Rabi-u-Thani, Rajab, Ramadan and Shawwal. Later, while discussing different traditions, he has added a sixth opinion, that the mi’raj took place in the month of Zulhijjah.

Allamah Abdul-haq Muhaddith Dehlawi (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Indian subcontinent, has written a detailed book on the merits of Islamic months. While discussing the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ has mentioned that most of the scholars are of the view that the event of mi’raj took place in the month of Ramadan or in Rabi-ul-awwal.

2) It is also not known in which year the event of Mi’raj took place. The books of history suggest a wide range between the fifth-year and the twelfth year after the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) was entrusted with prophethood.

Now, if it is assumed that the event of Mi’raj took place in the fifth year of his prophethood, it will mean that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) remained in this world for eighteen years after this event. Even if it is presumed that the mi’raj took place in the twelfth year of his prophethood, his remaining life-time after this event would be eleven years. Throughout this long period, which may range between eleven years and eighteen years, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never celebrated the event of mi’raj, nor did he give any instruction about it. No one can prove that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) ever performed some specific modes of worship in a night calling it the ‘Lailatul-mi’raj’ or advised his followers to commemorate the event in a particular manner.

3) After the demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) also, no one of his companions is reported to celebrate this night as a night of special acts of worship. They were the true devotees of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and had devoted their lives to preserve every minute detail of the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and other Islamic teachings. Still, they did not celebrate the event of mi’raj in a particular night in a particular way.

All these points go a long way to prove that the celebration of the 27th night of Rajab, being the lailatul-mi’raj has no basis in the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or in the practice of his noble companions. Had it been a commendable practice to celebrate this night, the exact date of this event would have been preserved accurately by the Ummah and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) and his blessed companions would have given specific directions for it.

Therefore, it is not a Sunnah to celebrate the Lailatul-mi’raj’. We cannot declare any practice as a sunnah unless it is established through authentic sources that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) or is noble Companions have recognized it as such, otherwise it may become a bid’ah about which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has observed in the following words: “Whoever invents something in our religion which is not a part of it, it is to be rejected.”

Being mindful of this serious warning, we should understand that the 27th night of the month of Rajab is not like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ for which special merits have been mentioned expressly by, either the Holy Qur’an or by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam).

However, all the recognized modes of ‘ibadah (worship) like Salat, recitation of the Holy Qur’an, dhikr, etc. are commendable any time, especially in the late hours of night, and obviously the 27th night of Rajab is not an exception. Therefore, if someone performs any recognized ‘ibadah in this night from this point of view nothing can stop him from doing so, and he will be entitled to the thawab (reward allocated for that recognized ‘ibadah insha-Allah.) But it is not permissible to believe that performing ‘ibadah in this night is more meritorious or carries more thawab like ‘Lailatul-qadr’ or ‘Lailatul-bara’ah’ because this belief is not based on any authentic verse or on a sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam). Similarly, it is not a correct practice to celebrate this night collectively and to invite people to special ritual congregations.

4) Some people suggest some special modes of worship to be performed in this night. Since no special mode of worship is prescribed by the Shari’ah in this night, these suggestions are devoid of any authority and should not be acted upon.

It is believed by some that the Muslims should fast on the 27th of Rajab. Although there are some traditions attributing special merits to the fast of this day yet the scholars of hadith have held these traditions as very weak and unauthentic reports which cannot be sufficient to establish a rule of Shari’ah. On the contrary, there is an authentic report that Sayyiduna ‘Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu used to forbid people from fasting on this day, rather, he used to compel them to eat if they had started fasting.

It should be borne in mind here that a “nafl” fast can be observed any day (except the six prohibited days of the year); therefore, fasting on 27th of Rajab is not prohibited in itself. What is prohibited is the belief that fasting on this day is more meritorious than fasting in other normal days. One should not fast on this day with this belief. But if someone fasts therein, believing it to be a normal nafl fast, there is no bar against it.

Sacrifice (qurbani) in the month of Rajab

In the days of ignorance (jahiliyyah) the Arabs used to offer the sacrifice of a goat in the month of Rajab. This sacrifice used to be called ‘Ateerah or Rajabiyyah. This sacrifice was offered in the name of different so-called gods and their icons. In the beginning of Islam, this custom was retained, but the Muslims modified it by offering the sacrifice of ‘Ateerah in the name of Allah instead of the false gods. But finally, this custom was abandoned and the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) prohibited the offering of ‘Ateerah. In a tradition of Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, reported by both al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) has said: “Far’ is nothing and ‘Ateerah is nothing.”

Abu Hurairah, Radi-Allahu anhu, has explained in the same tradition that Far’ was the first child of a she-camel. Whenever a she-camel delivered its first child, the Arabs used to sacrifice it in the name of their so-called gods, while the ‘Ateerah was a goat used to be sacrificed in the month of Rajab. Since the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) stopped both these customs, ‘Ateerah is no longer a recognized practice.

‘Umrah in the month of Rajab

Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah), the well-known scholar of the Islamic jurisprudence, has mentioned that the people of Makkah (in his days) used to perform ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. Perhaps they believed that performing ‘umrah in this month is more meritorious than in other months. Then Ibn Abidin himself has rejected the authenticity of this practice, because no tradition of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) is found to this effect. Conversely Sayyidah ‘Aishah, Radi-Allahu anha, has expressly negated the presumption by saying that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) never performed an ‘umrah in the month of Rajab. (Sahih Muslim 1:409)

However, Ibn ‘Abidin (Rahimahullah) has quoted a narration that ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, completed the renovation of Ka’bah shortly before 27th of Rajab, and as a sign of gratefulness he performed ‘umrah and slaughtered some animals. But this report cannot form the basis of a recognized annual practice, firstly because the report is not very authentic, and secondly because it does not mention that Abdullah ibn Zubair, Radi-Allahu anhu, had adopted it as a continuing practice. At the most, he performed ‘umrah once as a sign of gratefulness on the completion of Ka’bah. It does not mean that he performed it as a characteristic of the month of Rajab. Therefore, performing ‘Umrah in this month is like performing it in any other month and no special merit can be attached to it merely because it has been performed in the month of Rajab.

The Salat of “Ragha’ib”

Another special mode of worship attributed by some people to this month is the Salat of Raghai’b. According to the custom of such people, this Salat is performed in the night of first Friday of the month of Eajab. The Salat of Raghaib is said to consist of twelve rak’ats to be performed in pairs with six salams, and in each rak’at the surah al-qadr is recited three times followed by the Surah-al-ikhlas. This type of Salat is also not based on any sound source of Shari’ah. Therefore, almost all the jurists and scholars of Shari’ah have held that the Salat of Raghaib is a baseless practice and it is not permissible to treat it as a recognized practice of this month. It is true that there is a tradition, narrated by Razin (Rahimahullah), the author of a book of hadith, which attributes the origin of this practice to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) but almost all the scholars of the science of hadith have held it to be absolutely unauthentic. Therefore, no importance can be attached to it.

Distribution of Breads:

Another baseless practice in the month of Rajab is that the people bake special types of breads and, after reciting some verses and prayers on them, distribute them among their friends and neighbors. This custom has two different shapes.

1) In some communities, this custom is celebrated on 17th of Rajab on the assumption that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab and the 17th of Rajab is the day on which his ‘Aqiqa (Shaving of his head) was performed. In order to celebrate this happy event, the breads of some special type are prepared and after reciting Surah Al-Mulk on them, they are distributed among the relatives and friends. These breads are generally called “breads of Tabarak” because Surah Al-Mulk is usually recited on them.

This practice is baseless because it is never proved that Sayyiduna Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, was born on 11th of Rajab or that his Aqiqa was performed on 17th of this month and, as explained earlier, even if these events are proved to have happened in those days, their commemoration through these specific rituals is not warranted by the Shari’ah.

2) A more common practice of this type is observed on 22nd of Rajab whereby some breads and meals of a special type are prepared and distributed among the people. Since these special meals are usually placed in some bowls made of clay, the custom is usually known as “Koonda”, an Urdu equivalent of such bowls. It is usually believed that the custom is designed to make ‘isal-al-thawab to the soul of Sayyiduna Jafar Al-Sadiq who himself has directed his followers to observe this custom and has promised them that whoever observes it, his desires will be fulfilled.

All these assumptions also have no basis at all, neither historically, nor according to the principles of Shari’ah. In fact, the date of 22nd of Rajab has no concern whatsoever with Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq, Rahimahullah. According to the historians, he was born on 8th of Ramadan 80 A.H. and died in Shawwal 148 A.H. No specific event of the life of Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq is proved to have happened on this date. The people believing in the custom refer to a coined story mentioned in an unauthentic book named “Dastaan-e-Ajeeb”.

Briefly stated, the gist of the story is that a poor woodcutter lived in Madinah in the days of Jafar Al-Sadiq. He went abroad to earn his livelihood. His wife was employed in the house of the Prime Minister. Once she was cleaning the courtyard of the Prime Minister when Sayyiduna Jafar al-Sadiq passed by her. It was 22nd of Rajab. He advised her to bake some breads of a special type and make ‘isal-al-sawab to him. According to this story, he promised her that if her desire is not fulfilled after this practice, she can catch hold of him at the doom’s day. On hearing this, the woman made a vow that if her husband will come back with a considerable amount of wealth, she will observe the custom of “Koonda”. On the same day her husband, who was in another country, found a valuable treasure in the earth and came back with it to Madinah where he established himself as a rich man and started living in a magnificent castle. When his wife told the story to the wife of the Prime Minister, she disbelieved her and because of this disbelief, she and her husband, the Prime Minister, were punished by Allah. He was removed by the king from the prime minister-ship and was imprisoned in a jail and was ordered to be hanged. While being in the prison, the wife of the Prime Minister remembered that she had disbelieved the story of Jafar al-Sadiq told to her by her maidservant and their misery might be the punishment of their disbelief. On this point, she and her husband repented before Allah and made a vow to observe the custom of “Koonda”, if they are released from the jail. After they made such a vow, the whole scenario of the events changed suddenly. The king released the Prime Minister from the jail and reinstated him on his former position.

As can be seen by any reasonable person, this story is totally forged on the face of it. The person who has coined this story did not even know that Madinah had never a king nor a Prime Minister. All the Muslim rulers were named as caliphs and had no Prime Minister at all. In the days of Umayyads, their capital was Damascus and in the days of Abbasids, their permanent seat was in Baghdad.

It is ironic that the story of such a woodcutter is not even known to anybody in Madinah, nor in any city of the Arab countries. No Arabic book has ever referred to it. It has no mention except in an Urdu book ‘Dastaan-e-Ajeeb’, the author of which is unknown. One can easily see that a custom based on such a fallacious and mythical story can never be an Islamic custom. Islam has always been far away from such superstitions.

Therefore, this baseless custom should completely be avoided by true Muslims. Some historians have opined that in fact, this custom has been coined by some Shi’ites because the date of 22nd of Rajab is the date of the demise of Sayyidna Mu’awiyah whom they take as their biggest enemy. They took that date as a happy occasion and made the Sunni Muslims also to celebrate it on the pretext of the above-mentioned story.

Be that as it may, it is evident that such customs have crept into the Muslim society by their long association with Hindus who commemorate different historical events of their religion in the like manner. The Muslims must be careful about these customs because they are not only an invention of ignorance but also the imitation of non-Muslims in their religious rituals. No doubt the “‘isal-al-thawab’ to the soul of a deceased Muslim, and particularly to a pious person is not only permissible but also a commendable practice but the Shari’ah has not prescribed a particular date, nor a particular mode to do so. If someone wants to make “‘isal-al-thawab” to Sayyiduna ‘Ali, Radi-Allahu anhu, or to Ja’far al-Sadiq, he can do it any day and by performing any act of worship, like Salat, fast, Sadaqah, dhikr etc. There is no reason why it should be restricted to a special type of meal or bread distributed on a particular date. What makes this practice worse is the fact that the people accustomed to this practice deem it as necessary as a fard (obligation); rather they treat it as more necessary than fard because they do not care to perform the obligatory Salat or to fulfill the rights of men obligated on them, but they are very strict and punctual to perform these activities. Moreover, if a person does not observe this practice, they reproach him and call him with bad names. Such behavior makes this custom a bid’ah which is condemned by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘Alayhi Wa Sallam) as a misguidance. Therefore, Muslims must abandon all such practices and should not cling to it only because it has been the practice of their society for many years. A Muslim is supposed to follow the dictates of Shari’ah and not the practice of the society, especially if it violates any of its principles.

Conclusion

The upshot of the above discussion is that the Shari’ah has not prescribed any specific way to observe the month of Rajab or to perform a specific mode of worship or a ritual in any one of its dates. However, being a prologue to the month of Ramadan, it should be availed of for preparing oneself for Ramadan and one should pray Allah to make him reach the blessed month and to benefit from its unique merits.

https://pearlsoftaqwa.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/the-month-of-rajab/#more-3330

Mufti Taqi Usmani tops Muslim500 list of 2020

The Muslim500 published its revered list of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims. Pakistan’s Mufti Taqi Usmani topped the list, having previously been placed 6th on the 2019 list. [1]

The annual publication, first released in 2009, is compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan, commemorating influential Muslims from all around the world.

The publication’s definition of “influential” refers to “any person who has the power (be it cultural, ideological, financial, political, or otherwise) to make a change that will have a significant impact on the Muslim World.” [2]

Given the title of ‘Mufti Justice Imam Sheikh-ul-Islam’ by his teacher, Mawlana Sahban Mahmood, Mufti Taqi Usmani is a well-respected Sunni Hanafi scholar from Pakistan. He served as a judge on the Federal Shariah Court of Pakistan from 1981 to 1982 and the Shariah Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court of Pakistan between 1982 and 2002. [3]

Having turned 76-years-old yesterday, he remains a leading intellectual scholar for the Deobandis, particularly in Islamic finance. According to Muslim500, he has taught over ten thousand students at the Darul ‘Uloom in Karachi.

Alongside Pakistani counterpart and Prime Minister Imran Khan, who also featured on the list in addition to being named the publication’s ‘man of the year’, Mufti Taqi has been involved for many years in ensuring the Islamic character in Pakistan laws, and continues to justify many of Islam’s forgotten practices today.

With the ongoing crisis in Kashmir, he did not remain silent, voicing his concern towards the UAE who granted President Modi their highest award, saying:

“Woe to the biggest killer of thousands of Muslims, the person who has occupied the lands of thousands of Muslims, who made Kashmir a prison for Ahl-Kashmir (people of Kashmir), due to which the largest massacre of Muslims is going on in Kashmir. Such a man was awarded the award by a Muslim Arab country. Oh this remorse! Oh this shame!”

Other prominent Muslim figures featured on the list were Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan (#6) and imprisoned Saudi Scholar, Sheikh Salman Al-Ouda (#10) – may Allah grant him ease.

Source: http://www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] https://www.themuslim500.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/TheMuslim500-2020-low.pdf

[2] https://nation.com.pk/15-Sep-2019/674636

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Taqi_Usmani

THE HARAAM SHENANIGANS OF THE SCHOLARS FOR DOLLARS

How Sharia-compliant is Islamic banking?
BBC News
By John Foster Former editor, Islamic Business & Finance magazine

The Islamic finance industry has often battled with the question: How Islamic is Islamic banking?
The question’s pertinence was raised in March last year, when Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Finance Institutions (AAOIFI), a Bahrain-based regulatory institution that sets standards for the global industry, said that 85% of Sukuk, or Islamic bonds, were un-Islamic. Usmani is the granddaddy of modern-day Islamic finance, so having him make this statement is synonymous with Adam Smith saying that free-markets are inefficient. Because Sukuk underpin the modern-day Islamic financial system, one of its pre-eminent proponents arguing that the epicentre of the system was flawed sent shockwaves through the industry. It also gave ammunition to the many critics who see Islamic finance as an industry more driven by cultural identity than practical problem solving: as a hodgepodge of incoherent, incomplete, impractical and irrelevant ideas.
Recognisable products
The products that modern-day Islamic bankers have created are very similar to conventional products. So similar, in fact, that to an outside observer they could be considered the same. Islamic banks now offer Islamic mortgages, Islamic car loans, Islamic credit cards, Islamic time deposit and guaranteed return accounts, Islamic insurance and some even offer Islamic managed and hedge funds. This point is conceded by Samir Alamad, Sharia, or Islamic law, compliance and product development manager of the Islamic Bank of Britain.
“The industry does not want to alienate its products,” he says. “They have to be recognisable, produce the same outcome as conventional products, but remain within the guidelines of Sharia.”
No interest
The core of Islamic economics is a prohibition on interest. This immediately creates a problem for Islamic banks, as conventional banks charge borrowers an interest rate through which they can reward their depositors and make some profit for being the broker. With interest ruled out it is harder to make money. The modern Islamic banker has found a way around this prohibition, however. As in many Islamic products, the bank enters a partnership with its depositors and invests his money in a Sharia compliant business. The profit from this investment is then shared between the depositor and the bank after a set time.
In many cases this “profit rate” is competitive with the conventional banking system’s interest rate for savers….To the casual observer, a spade is a spade.
Whether the product is dressed up in Arabic terminology, such as Mudarabah, or Ijarah, if it looks and feels like a mortgage, it is a mortgage and to say anything else is semantics. However, this new generation of Islamic bankers had cut their teeth in the City and Wall Street, and were used to creating sophisticated financial products. They often bumped heads with the Sharia scholars who authorised their products as Sharia compliant. However, these bankers had a way of dealing with this, as one investment banker based in Dubai, working for a major Western financial organisation explains: “We create the same type of products that we do for the conventional markets. We then phone up a Sharia scholar for a Fatwa [seal of approval, confirming the product is Shari’ah compliant]. “If he doesn’t give it to us, we phone up another scholar, offer him a sum of money for his services and ask him for a Fatwa. We do this until we get Sharia compliance. Then we are free to distribute the product as Islamic.”
No consensus Fatwa Shopping
This “Fatwa shopping”, which was carried out by some institutions, brings us back to the Sharia scholars. Even these scholars do not agree all the time, which means that in some cases a product is deemed Sharia compliant in one market and not in another. This is especially the case with Malaysian products, which are often deemed not Sharia complaint in the more austere Gulf. “Often no rulings exist for modern day problems, such as use of narcotics,” Alamad explains. “In Islam intoxication by wine is forbidden, but at the time of the Prophet Mohammed there was no crack cocaine.” Modern scholars had to interpret the rules on intoxication, and the consensus was that crack should also be forbidden to Muslims, as it is a dangerous intoxicant. “This is how we make rulings, whether in finance or societal,” Alamad says. “The consensus rules, which usually will become mandatory for all Muslims to follow, but there are some opinions and sometimes scholars are not in the consensus.” Banking is banking This makes it more important to be in the consensus, and so getting a favourable ruling from a leading Sharia scholar is important for a product manager. That is why the top scholars can earn so much money – often six-figure sums for each ruling. The most creative scholars are the ones in the most demand, says Tarek El Diwany, analyst at London-based Islamic financial consultancy Zest Advisory.
“To date, most Islamic financiers have been looking at examples of financing in Islamic history and figuring out how to apply them to today’s financial products.” But banking is banking. It is the taking of a deposit and then using it to finance a purchase or business. The lender pays the depositor compensation for the opportunity cost of his money, and the person borrowing the money “rents” it off the bank. The same symbiotic relationship occurs whether it is conventional banking, ethical banking, Islamic banking or Presbyterian banking.