Resolution presented by Mufti Taqi Usmani

Our Correspondent
Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

KARACHI: Scholars of all schools of thought, as well as representatives of religious organisations and the business community, urged the government to initiate an immediate action to rid the country of interest-based economic system in the wake of Federal Shariat Court’s ruling.

Mufti Taqi Usmani read out a five-point resolution, which was adopted by the participants. Through the resolution, the seminar expressed deep concern over the private banks and financial institutions for not withdrawing their appeals against the Sharia Court’s ruling despite the State Bank and National Bank retracting their pleas.

“In these appeals, they have adopted the position that the interest taken and given in banks and financial institutions does not fall within the definition of riba, whereas this is the very position that the higher courts have refuted based on solid proof,” it said.

“This issue was first raised at the Federal Shariat Court, and in 1991 the FSC directed the government to eradicate interest.” The appeal against this judgment remained pending with the Supreme Court for eight years, which eventually passed the most detailed judgment in its history upholding the Federal Shariat Court’s decision.

A review petition was submitted against this judgment, and the bench was dissolved, making a new one that remanded this decision back to the Federal Shariat Court, where it remained pending for 20 years. Now, in 2022, the FSC, after conducting a detailed hearing, passed the same judgment that the previous higher courts had given. Thus, this is the unanimous judgment of three higher courts, which is in full conformance with the laws of the Quran. The resolution demanded that such private banks and financial institutions withdraw their appeals.

“If they do not, then this gathering of the ulema of all schools of thought is justified in appealing to the public to boycott such banks and financial institutions, which is the least that can be expected in waging war with Allah and His Messenger,” it warned.

It demanded that the finance ministry formulate a dedicated division to establish an interest-free economy, under which a task force with the required powers is formed. This task force should prepare a phase-wise roadmap and have the required authority to eradicate interest.

According to the resolution, the Federal Shariat Court was established under Article 203, and the Shariat Appellate Bench was formed to hear appeals against the Federal Shariat Court’s decisions. “These courts had to be made up of ulema judges.”

It expressed deep concern that these institutions are currently almost inoperative. The Federal Shariat Court currently has only two judges and does not comprise any Aalim; whereas, initially, this court comprised seven judges, of whom three were ulema. Similarly, for a very long time, the Supreme Court’s Shariat Appellate Bench has been almost inoperative.

“Many cases have been pending for years while the bench convenes very rarely.” The resolution demanded that the previous government’s Transgender Act be amended to conform to Shariah principles.

“It is no doubt necessary to protect the rights of those persons who have a resemblance to both men and women and to give them a respected status in the community. However, the determination of their sex is solely a biological issue, which Shariah has left to the principles of medical science. There is no justification whatsoever for declaring a person who is medically a male as female based on his whims, and there is no justification for declaring a person who is medically a female as male based on her whims,” it continued.