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Dr. Main Al-Qudah, a specialist in Islamic economics and finance, spoke in Maryland and Virginia the weekend of November 23, 2013, offering daylong Islamic Finance workshops for area Muslims.
Around 25 families gathered at Dar-us-Salam in College Park, MD to learn about applying Islamic principles to their financial lives.
Specializing in economics and finance, Dr. Al-Qudah is an Asst. Professor at Shariah Academy and a founding member of Al Huda University. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2004 in the science and technology of Economics in Islam from the American Open University. His received his masters in Islamic Studies in 1996 from Al-Yarmook University, Jordan and his Bachelor of Arts in Economics, 1991 from Al-Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt.
Currently he is an assistant professor of Islamic studies in the American Open University. He was the acting academic dean and Assistant professor at Islamic American University.
He also serves as a scholar on AMJA (American Muslim Jurist Association). AMJA conducts research, gives Islamic decrees and “also caters to the needs of Imams by dedicating an annual Imams Conference that allows them access to one-on-one interaction with scholars, network with other Imams throughout the US and Canada, and be exposed to novel and new research about contemporary fiqhi issues.”
Haroon Baqai, the principal of Al Huda School, welcomed the families gathered and stated that Dar-us-Salaam benefited from Dr. Al-Qudah’s extensive research in Islamic Finance in making decisions for the non-profit.
“We known that riba is haram in Islam, make no mistake about that, but we often don’t realize the actual interest bearing transaction that are to be avoided,” Dr. Al-Qudah started the lecture on the premise of materializing the broad categories of riba into concrete examples from daily life.
Al-Qudah delved n the ramifications of partaking in riba on our souls. “If you are not willing to quit than you are waging a war against Allah.” The severity of sin is so enormous that “Allah curses those who devours riba.”
“Some people think that this curse is only for financial abuser but even the one who writes down the transactions or witness them are included in the curse,” said Dr. Al-Qudah.
He discussed various scenarios such as student loans, late fee charges on credit card bills and mortgages. From leasing a car to 401K Islamic fiancé is a deep, layered field and learning about the impacts of our financial decisions was the major goal of his workshop.
“It is a capitalistic system and it is hard to live [riba-free] but this is one of way to keep our Muslim identity – we cannot justify riba,” said the professor. He explained that sometimes certain charges are called interest on our bills, but from a fiqh perspective it is not interest- whereas some penalties are riba.
The most important takeaway from the event was that a Muslim must make sure to pay his or her bills on time to avoid getting involved in the interest bearing transaction. If you have the money to pay your bills and you intentionally delay the payment that is a sin. Dr. Al-Qudah offers his workshops around the country.