Message from Moulana Ahmed Mahomedy
(President- Jamiatul Ulama KZN Durban South Africa)
All praise to Allah Rabul Izzat and Salaat and Salaam on the Imaamul Ambiyaa Sayyidinah Muhammud Sallahu Alayhi Wassalam. It is only through the Fadl and Karam of Allah Taala that Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Sahib Sallamahu Taala has established the Darul Iftaa in Durban South Africa.
Indeed we are very blessed in this country that not only do we have institutions of higher Islamic learning, however we now also have an institution that caters for post graduate and specialist studies in the field of Iftaa. Students from throughout the world are benefiting from this august and honourable institution which started from humble beginnings and is now a fully fledged institution.
May Allah Taala accept this great effort of Deen and take it from strength to strength and may it always remain a part of the landscape of Ilm and Taleem in our country especially in an era of such complexity when guidance is constantly needed in contemporary and specialist issues. May the launch of the new website provide easy access to people across the globe. Allah Taala bless Hazrat Mufti Saab with sihhat and aafiyah, Ameen.
Message from Moulana Ahmed Chohan
(Imam Masjid Saliheen Sherwood, Durban-Principal Islahul Muslimaat)
It has always been the desire of the Ummah of Rasulullah (saw) to be exceptional servants of Allah Ta’ala and ardent followers of Rasulullah (saw). Not only does the general society of the Ummah strive to be good Muslims but businessman and members of our corporate world as well, with this in mind the opening of the Daarul Iftas website is a welcome to all of us. It is a convenient, easily accessible method to communicate with our learned jurists with regards to any issues they encounter.
Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai has not only been answering fatwas but structuring business products which have been an outstanding help to our Muslim world. The Allah conscious Ummah of Rasulullah SAW is indebted to Hazrat Mufti Ebrahim Saheb DB for his dedication and commitment to the Darul Ifta. It has helped strengthen us both spiritually and socially.
Hazrat Mufti sahib(DB) has served the Ummah for almost 24 years in the field of fatawa and continues to do so selflessly. Since Jan 2011, Hazrat Mufti Sahib(DB) opened the Darul Ifta in Sherwood. Students from different parts of the world have been fortunate to have studied under Hazrat Mufti Sahib(DB).
In this period of time I had the opportunity of interacting with most of them. I found them to be exemplary in every aspect of life. I believe that they will be sterling guides and inspiration for their respective communities Insha Allah.
May Allah take Hazrat Mufti Sahib (D B) and the Darul Ifta from strength to strength and reward him abundantly in both worlds. Ameen.
Darul Iftaa Press Release
By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Head, Darul Iftaa
05 July 2012
About ten years ago we were approached by First National Bank to design an asset finance product that would be Shari'ah Compliant. After overcoming numerous challenges, Wesbank Islamic Finance was launched in 2004 with our support and supervision. The success thereof gave rise to an Islamic window within FNB known as FNB Islamic Finance.
The division turned out to be a huge success, and new products were introduced with many more in the pipeline. We always enjoyed the cordial support and commitment of senior executives within the bank. Despite repeated requests, the members of the Shari'ah Board declined from accepting any remuneration for their services as members of the Board. The Bank always appreciated our services despite our more principled and precautionary approach and looked forward to our continued engagement until this last moment.
However, within the recent past, a change of guard within the Bank took place. Under the new non-Muslim senior executives we discerned a change of attitude and lack of drive to be committed to the more conservative approach we adhere to. In order to steer the ship into clearer waters, a meeting was held with the Shari'ah Board, the Bank’s senior executives and prominent businessmen from the Muslim community. Concerns were ironed out and a new pathway chalked out going forward.
It is with utter disappointment that we subsequently learnt that we were clearly lied to by these executives of the bank at that meeting. Our complaint thereafter to more senior executives fell on deaf ears. Independent clients of FNB, who were part of the discussions and correspondences, have expressed their shocking dismay at the Bank’s conduct.
Honesty, integrity and trust are the cornerstones of our involvement. In the light of such untenable breakdown in TRUST, the entire Shari'ah Board has immediately resigned.
This decision is taken after broad consultation with Ulama and Deeni conscious leading and influential businessmen.
Those who wish to deal with FNB Islamic Finance may do so on the clear understanding that we cannot vouch for their products. Those products that we had endorsed will remain valid for as long as there are no changes. However, as we no longer supervise the implementation, we cannot endorse the same.
We take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Ebrahim Patel, who has retired from the position of CEO of Islamic Finance, for his unflinching dedication to the promotion of Islamic Banking, and we wish him well in his new endeavours. He will be remembered as a pioneer in pure and uncompromising based Islamic Banking.
We reiterate our commitment to serving the Muslim community for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, and believe that the concept of Islamic banking has a promising future ahead provided it is accompanied with the commitment to doing things the correct way.