By: Hussam Qutub, Vice President of Communications
The title of a recent blog post that drew over 100 comments on MuslimMatters read “Halal Mortgages: Alleged Misuse of Taqi Usmani’s Fatwa and 3 Important Questions.” What began as perhaps a sincere attempt by the author to alert readers about the abuse of a respected scholar’s fatwa and invite Islamic financial institutions to provide as he put it “a little bit of transparency”, resulted in a heated online debate that achieved very little in terms of “removing doubts” about Islamic home finance companies in the US, as originally intended.
Because Guidance Financial Group and its subsidiary, Guidance Residential were mentioned in both the blog and the comments that followed, we felt that a response was appropriate to counter some of the misinformation that has been spread not only about our company, but also the chairman of our Sharia Supervisory Board and the six fatawa he and the other prominent members of our board issued specifically for our Declining Balance Co-Ownership Program. Guidance has helped thousands of Muslim-American families become homeowners through this authenticated program and since our inception in 2002, we have always believed in the value of transparency having issued a comprehensive WhitePaper that provides insight on our unique and pioneering structure.
It is important to start off by clarifying one major matter that could go unnoticed by the reader. It is that the blog begins by quoting Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani as saying “I have never approved any ijarah contract or scheme for any financial institution in America, Australia or Canada.” We would like to emphasize that this statement is in no way, shape or form directed at Guidance or its Program. It is unfortunate that the author mistakenly refers to the ijarah model as a “co-ownership” while in reality Guidance does NOT and has never used the ijarah (lease) structure or contract. Guidance’s Program is based on a musharakah mutanaqisa (diminishing partnership) structure, which was developed with the help of and finally approved by our Sharia Supervisory Board led by none other than Mufti Taqi Usmani as its Chairman.
The underlying question that needs to be asked is how can Muslims determine if a financial contract or institution is in compliance with Islamic financial transaction principles? For starters, we would need to know who are the scholars behind the product or institution. To develop our Program, we spent millions of dollars in research and development over the course of 3 years and involved 18 different law firms while working with 7 of today’s most authoritative and highly respected scholars in Islamic finance. The scholars are from 6 different nations and are trained in the different schools of thought. Throughout the development process and beyond, these ulema researched and debated all aspects of Guidance’s Program, including the life cycle of the transaction and how it would involve an actual home-buyer. Eventually, ijma (consensus) was achieved among these renowned scholars and a formal certification through the issuance of fatawa was complete.
To further validate our approach and our Program, one can evaluate the scholars themselves to assure that they are qualified in matters relating to Islamic financial transaction principles. In doing so, you will find that a majority of Guidance’s Sharia board members belong to the prominent Sharia board of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI, pronounced “a-yo-fee”), formed in 1990 as an independent, non-profit, international standard-setting body, AAOIFI is the industry standard for Islamic finance practitioners. AAOIFI’s regularly updated texts have become the definitive reference work for those seeking a comprehensive rule book about internationally recognized standards in Islamic finance. Its 85 standards cover everything from accounting and auditing to governance and product-specific Sharia standards. The 20 international scholars who sit on AAOIFI’s Sharia board are distinguished Islamic scholars who are legally qualified to issue a fatwa and adjudicate on matters of Islamic finance. Guidance is privileged to count among the members of our Sharia board a quarter of AAOIFI’s most eminent and authoritative scholars in Islamic finance. In fact, the Chairman of AAOIFI’s Sharia board is none other than Mufti Taqi Usmani.
Guidance and its distinguished Sharia board have been sought after for technical expertise in Islamic finance by international organizations in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia. In 2007, Guidance helped establish what has become today’s leading home finance institution in SaudiArabia – DarAlTamleek. In 2009, Guidance was nominated by the Dubai-based international trade publication Islamic Business and Finance Magazine for the “Best Islamic Home Finance Provider” award. All these efforts did not go unnoticed by the mainstream media and in fact, major outlets like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post and even Al Jazeera to name just a few have all recognized Guidance’s pioneering endeavors. We hope that more Muslim media outlets delve in to this subject in greater detail for the benefit of our community as a whole.
We would like to extend an open invitation to all of the Muslim Matters staff and its bloggers to talk with us directly and even visit with us at our corporate headquarters in Reston, Virginia. Furthermore, please feel free to communicate directly with me, Hussam Qutub, and ask any and all questions by emailing me at email@example.com.
In addition to relaying all of the above, Guidance’s intention in writing this post was also to answer the questions posed by the author of the article. To that end, we have provided our answers below.
MMQ1: How often are updated contracts reviewed and approved by a Shari’ah board (“SSB”), and which scholars have signed off on the actual contract being used by an Islamic finance company?
A1: Our full Sharia board has signed off on our program as you can see from the link above. Our Declining Balance Co-Ownership Program documents have not changed from the time reviewed by the scholars. Subsequent to those fatawa, in 2005 and 2006, two additional fatawa were issued to certify adjustments that needed to be made in order for us to serve Texas Muslims while adhering to their state’s unique challenges and the second to introduce adjustable programs that were in high demand at the time.
While there have been lots of changes in the mortgage business since the credit crisis in terms of licensing and disclosures, these changes have not impacted our contract or the documents reviewed by our Sharia board. As an FYI, our agreement with our investor, Freddie Mac, does not involve a lending and borrowing relationship of any kind. And although they have made significant underwriting and operational changes, their documents also have not changed since we started the Program. Part of the reason our contract has stayed intact is that we have a unique and exclusive contract with Freddie Mac. No banks or financial institution can use our agreement without our permission. Additionally, banks in general cannot use our contract by law because banks cannot co-own, they can only lend.
MMQ2: Are all practices done by the Islamic finance institution during the course of the contract and “declining co-ownership” Shari’ah approved?
A2: Yes and we continue to be compliant in all aspects of our business and we are not aware of any aspect that is not compliant. The entire course of the contract from purchase, transfer and full ownership by client has been studied, observed and deemed compliant with Sharia principles. It is important to note that many disclosures are federally mandated requiring us to use them even though their terminology mischaracterizes the nature of our Program. For this challenge, we have a fatwa on disclosures that can also be found in the link above.
To further address the authors comments for this question:
“The company itself tried to say that they simply transferred the administrative duties of collecting payment. However, the paperwork from the other bank indicated clearly the transferring of the debt (i.e. selling the debt) from the Islamic company to the bank.”
Recently, to enhance our customers’ overall experience we transferred the servicing of our contracts to a new vendor, namely US Bank’s servicing division. To better understand this transfer one would need to understand “servicing” and its place in the mortgage industry. In simple terms, it means collecting and administering monthly payments, mailing monthly statements, fielding questions and handling late payments. For a company of the size of Guidance, this administrative task is usually contracted out to vendors that will then act on behalf of a home financing company and become an extension of their operation. In our situation, although the vendor handles all our correspondence with existing customers, everything is done in our company’s name and all payments made by our customers are made to Guidance.
The process of transferring from one servicer to another is a complicated and often challenging administrative process. There are federally mandated letters that must be sent out to all customers by the old and new servicer on behalf of the home financing company. During our transfer period, some of this mandated correspondence was sent out on our behalf with language that did not properly characterize our Program. Unfortunately, this caused some concern among our customers and we have since worked diligently to address and clarify the situation. At the end, we admit that this could have been handled better but it must be said that this in no way changes the contract or compromises our program. If it is unclear or requires any further clarification, please contact us.
MMQ3: How are inconsistencies between what Mufti Taqi Usmani advocates in his writings and the actual schemes used by these banks to be addressed?
A3: First, we recommend that all Islamic financial institutions establish an independent Sharia board consisting of specialized, distinguished and credible scholars that regulate their specific products and services in the context of laws in the land they wish to operate as Guidance has done. Second, consumers need to do their due diligence in understanding not only who the scholars are but also how the program is designed to work.
If one were to investigate further in Mufti Usmani’s writing and our White Paper, which was approved by our board, Guidance’s Declining Balance Co-ownership Program is designed to create a co-ownership for the purpose of providing the home-buyer with financing to acquire a home. This co-ownership is based on Shirkat ul Milk. It is not designed as a commercial partnership (Shirkat ul Aqd) for the purpose of making profit from trading in real estate. Consequently, the Program is intended for the customer to fully buy out Guidance’s share in the property over time, and not for the two co-owners to sell the property jointly and share the gains.
The White Paper further stipulates that should the home buyer sell earlier than the term agreed upon, the appreciation that the property will have likely earned is theirs to keep since they did all the leg work to identify the community and property. If the property sells for a loss then the shortfall is something they must consider. However, if the property depreciated so much that the shortfall is below what is considered Guidance’s share in the property, Guidance incorporates a unique “non-recourse” clause that protects the seller in this case from owing the full amount to Guidance. We would consider the difference a loss on our books.
Furthermore, if the government were to impose on the co-owners to sell the property in order to make room for a road, a park or another public project the Co-ownership Agreement specifically stipulates that the two co-owners would share the gains or losses from such a forced sale according to their ownership shares. As a result, Guidance may end up with proceeds that fall short of the amount of financing it had provided, in contrast with what would be owed under a conventional mortgage loan.
The principle that the two co-owners should share in the gains and losses of their respective shares in the property applies to situations other than a sale. Consider the example of a property that suffers total destruction and cannot be repaired using available insurance proceeds. In this case again, the Co-ownership Agreement stipulates that the two co-owners would share the insurance proceeds according to their ownership shares, resulting in an outcome quite different from that of a loan.
All of the above items and questions were addressed and documented in the fatawa and white papers that were certified and amended by our board in 2002, 2005 and 2006. We can always try to facilitate a direct discussion for an extensive and more thorough analysis between your staff and our Sharia board. Our only request is for due diligence and open communication.
Highly Educated, Willingly Domesticated
Doctor. Engineer. Certified Nurse-Midwife. Writer and Literary Critic. Lab Technician. Parliamentary Assistant. These highly-trained, respected careers are the culmination of years of intense study, training, and self-discipline. Most people, upon achieving these esteemed positions, would happily dedicate the rest of their working years to putting their knowledge and expertise to use. They would gradually gain more experience, earn greater pay, and amass professional perks. Most likely they would also, over time, assume leadership roles, earn awards, or become sought-after experts in their field.
What kind of person has all this at her fingertips, but decides to give it up? Who would trade in years of grueling study and professional striving for an undervalued position that requires no degree whatsoever What type of professional would be willing to forgo a significant salary to instead work for free, indefinitely, with no chance whatsoever of a paycheck, recognition, benefits, or promotion?
Who else, but a mother?
While certainly not all mothers choose to give up their careers in order to raise their children, there is a subset of women who do. Stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs) may spend the majority of their days performing unglamorous tasks like washing dishes, changing diapers, and reading storybooks to squirming toddlers, but behind the humble job title are dynamic, educated, and capable women. They may currently have a burp cloth in one hand and a sippy cup in the other, but chances are, SAHMs have a mind and capabilities that reach far beyond the apparent scope of their household duties.
What motivates a capable and ambitious woman to give up her career and stay home to raise children? Is she coerced into it, or does she choose it willingly? What is her driving force, if not money, status, or respect? I had many questions for these women -my sisters in Islam and my stay-at-home “colleagues”- and some of their answers surprised me.
For this article I interviewed seven highly-educated Muslim moms who chose to put successful careers on hold, at least temporarily, to raise their children. Between them, they hold PhDs, MDs, and Masters degrees. While the pervasive stereotype about Muslim women is that they are oppressed and backward, these high-achieving females are no anomaly. In fact, according to her article in USA Today, Dalia Mogahed points out that, “Muslim American women are among the most educated faith group in the country and outpace their male counterparts in higher education.” Across the pond, The Guardian reports that “more young Muslim women have been gaining degrees at British universities than Muslim men, even though they have been underrepresented for decades.”
Ambitions and dreams
Every single one of the women I interviewed grew up in a household with parents who highly emphasized their daughters’ education. In fact, all of them were encouraged -either gently or more insistently- to pursue “top” careers in medicine, engineering, or science. Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the women I interviewed were at the head of their classes at university.
In their school years, before marriage, all of the women I spoke with considered their career to be their main priority; motherhood seemed far-off and undefined. “When in uni,” explains Neveen, an endodontist who eventually put her career on hold to be a SAHM and homeschooler, “I never, ever thought I’d homeschool (nor did I believe in it), nor did I ever think I’d be a SAHM. I was very career-oriented. I was top of my class in dental school and in residency.”
“I absolutely thought I would be a career woman,” agrees Nicole, a mom of three in California who holds a Masters degree in Middle East Studies. “I never considered staying at home with the kids, because they were totally out of my mind frame at the time.”
“I expected that after graduation I would follow a research-based career,” adds Layla*, another SAHM in California who holds a PhD in Computer Engineering. “I never thought I’d stay at home because I believed it was fine for kids to be in daycare. I also thought SAHMs were losing their potential and missing out on so much they could otherwise accomplish in their lives.”
As young women, many assumed that if they ever chose to start a family, they would have assistants, nannies, or domestic helpers to lighten their load. Several of them believed they would put their future children, if any, in daycare. However, the reality of motherhood made each of these women change her mind.
“My child was highly attached to me,” explains Sazida, an Assistant to a Member of Parliament in England, “and I could not envision him being looked after by anyone else despite generous offers from relatives.”
“After I had my first child all I wanted to do was be able to care for her myself,” concurs Melissa, a Certified Nurse Midwife from New York.
It turns out that maternal instincts were not the only factor that made women choose to drop out of the workforce. Dedication to Islam played an enormous part in their decision-making.
“After having my first child,” explains Layla, “I decided that he was far more precious than working. He is a gift that Allah gave me to protect and care for.”
“After I became Muslim,” shares Nicole, “My goals changed, and I hoped to marry and have children. I do think it was beneficial for my children to have a parent always there to depend on,” she adds. “I feel like I was the anchor in the family for them, and I hope to continue that role.”
“What’s important to me,” asserts Neveen, “Is to raise my kids as good Muslims who love -and are proud of- their life and deen.”
Another reason many highly educated women choose to stay at home is because they have the opportunity to homeschool some or all of their children. Remarkably, out of the seven women who answered questions for this article, five reported that they chose to homeschool at least one child for a few or more years.
“I really enjoy my homeschooling journey with my kids and I get to know them better, alhamdullilah,” states Layla.
The opportunity to nurture, educate, and raise their children with love and Islamic values is the primary reason why these talented women were willing to put their successful careers on hold. “Hopefully Allah will reward us in Jannah,” muses Layla.
Although none of the women I interviewed regrets her choice to be a SAHM, they all agree that it is a challenging job that is actually harder than their former career.
One obstacle they must overcome is the negative perception others have about successful women who make the choice to put their career on hold. “I soon learnt that casual clothes, a toddler, and a buggy don’t give you the same respect as suits and heels,” says Sazida.
One would expect, given their faith’s emphasis on the dignity of mothers, that Muslim SAHMs would enjoy the support of their family and friends. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
One mom explains, “My in-laws offered to look after my child, and my father-in-law couldn’t understand why I wanted to stay at home when there was perfectly good childcare that they were offering. After two and three years passed, he got more and more disheartened that I was not earning and complained about the lost potential income.”
“My non-Muslim mother told me that I wasting my education,” confides Nicole. “She did not support me staying home, though I think she appreciated that I was there for my children and have a good relationship with them. She was a SAHM as well, so I am not sure where that was coming from, actually.”
Melissa’s mom was similarly skeptical of her daughter’s decision. “My mother didn’t love me being fully dependent on my husband,” she admits.
“I was not at all supported by my family or friends,” laments Radhia, a Lab Technician with a BS in Microbiology with a Chemistry minor.
Other than being doubted and blamed for their choice, there are other challenges that SAHMs face. Accustomed to mental stimulation, exciting challenges, professional accomplishments, and adult interaction, many former career women find staying at home to raise youngsters to be monotonous and lonely. The nannies, assistants, cleaners, and other workers they had envisioned often never materialized, since hiring these helpers was usually too expensive. Husbands who spent the day working as the family’s sole breadwinner, were usually too tired to help with household duties. A few women admitted that they felt guilty asking for help in the home when their husband was already exhausted from work. To exacerbate the problem, most of the women I interviewed lived far from family, so they could not rely on the help one normally gets from parents and siblings. That means the bulk of the childcare and housework fell onto their laps alone.
“The main challenges for me,” states Nicole, “were boredom, and finding good friends to spend time with who had similar interests. I was also very stressed because the raising of the children, the housework, the food, and overall upkeep of our lives were my responsibility, and I found that to be a heavy burden.”
“I think the feelings of vulnerability and insecurity about whether I was a good enough mother and housewife was difficult,” shares Melissa. “All my sense of worth was wrapped up in the kids and home, and if something went wrong I felt like a failure.”
“It was not as easy as I thought it would be,” confesses Radhia. “It was overwhelming at times, and I did miss working. Emotionally and physically, it was very draining.”
“Staying home has been harder than I expected,” adds Summer*, a Writer and Literary Critic from Boston. “I didn’t realize how willful children could be. I thought they’d just do what I said. I’m still trying to get used to the individuality! It’s harder than my job was, only because of the emotional load, and the fact that the effort you put in doesn’t guarantee the results you hope for.”
Giving up their salary also put women in a state of financial dependency, which can be a bitter pill to swallow for women who are used to having their own resources.
“I felt very dependent on my husband, financially,” says Radhia.
“Alhamdulillah, my husband does not refuse if I ask him to buy anything,” explains Layla. “However, I felt like I was losing my power of deciding to buy something for someone else. For example, if I want to buy a gift for my mother or my sister, he never refuses when I ask him, but still I feel internally it is harder for me.”
“Alhamdulillah my husband’s personality is not one that would control my financial decisions/spending,” shares Neveen. “Otherwise I would never have chosen to be a SAHM.”
“Giving up my career limited my power to make financial decisions,” asserts Summer. “I could still spend what I wanted, but I had to ask permission, because my husband knew when ‘we’ were getting paid, and how much. He paid the bills, which I didn’t even look at.”
“Asking permission,” Summer adds, “is very annoying.”
Re-entering the workforce was difficult for some women, while not for others. The total time spent at home generally affected whether women could easily jump back into their profession, or not. Some of the moms felt their skills had not gotten rusty at all during their hiatus at home, while others felt it was nearly impossible to make up, professionally, for missed time.
Words of Wisdom
Although all of the women I interviewed firmly believe that their time at home with their children is well-spent, they do have advice for their sisters who are currently SAHMs, or considering the position.
“If I could go back and speak to myself as a new mum, I would tell myself to chill the heck out and just enjoy being a new mum,” says Sazida.
Melissa offers, “I wish people understood how talented you have to be to run a home successfully. It’s a ton of work and it requires you to be able to do everything from snuggle and nurture, to manage the money, budget, plan precisely, be a good hostess, handle problems around the home, manage time, and meet goals all while trying to look cute.”
“I would always recommend that women have their own bank account and money on the side,” advises Nicole. “You never know when you are going to need it.”
“Once their kids are in school,” adds Radhia, “I would suggest SAHMs start something from home, or take on part time work, or courses, if necessary.”
“For moms choosing to stay at home,” Layla suggests, “I would say try to work part-time if your time permits, and if you have a passion for working. Trust that Allah will protect you, no matter what. Remember, you are investing in your kids, and that is far more important than thinking ‘I need to keep money in my pocket.’”
Support, don’t judge
As a Muslim ummah, our job is to support one another as brothers and sisters. It seems people forget this oftentimes, and erroneously believe that we are entitled to gossip, speculate, and sit in judgement of each other, instead. In our lives we will all undoubtedly encounter women who choose to continue their careers, and those who put them on hold, and those who decide to give them up completely. Before we dare draw conclusions about anyone, we must keep in mind that only Allah knows a person’s entire story, her motivations, and her intentions. Only He is allowed to judge.
We must also remember that some women, for a variety of reasons, do not have the luxury of choosing to stay at home. They must work to the pay the bills. Allah knows their intentions and will reward their sacrifices as well.
It is my hope that this article will not cause more division amongst us, but rather raise awareness of the beautiful sacrifices that many talented and intelligent women willingly make for the sake of their children, and even more so, for the sake of Allah . They are the unsung heroes of our ummah, performing an undervalued job that is actually of utmost importance to the future of the world.
*Name has been changed
For the past decade, writer Laura El Alam has been a regular contributor to SISTERS Magazine, Al Jumuah, and About Islam. Her articles frequently tackle issues like Muslim American identity, women’s rights in Islam, support of converts/reverts, and racism. A graduate of Grinnell College, she currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband and five children. Laura recently started a Facebook page, The Common Sense Convert, to support Muslim women, particularly those who are new to the deen.
OpEd: Breaking Leases Into Pieces
Ali ibn Talib once said, “Know the truth and you’ll know who’s speaking the truth.”
I am based in Canada and was recently having coffee with friends. In the course of the conversation, a friend (who I consider knowledgeable) said that it’s okay to pay interest on a leased car because interest doesn’t apply to lease contracts. This completely caught me off guard, because it made no logical sense that interest would become halal based solely on the nature of the contract.
I asked him how this can be true and his response was that the lease contract is signed with the dealer and the interest transaction is between the dealer and the financing company so it has nothing to do with the buyer. Again, this baffled me because I regularly lease cars and this is an incorrect statement: The lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company who is charging you directly for the interest they pay the car dealership. Therefore, any lease contract that has interest associated with it is haram. This is the same as saying your landlord can charge you interest for his mortgage on a rental contract and this would make it halal. I tried to argue this case and explain to my friend that what he was saying was found on false assumptions and one should seriously look into this matter before treating riba in such a light manner.
Upon going home that night, I pulled out all my lease contracts (negotiated to 0% mind you) and sent them over to my friend. They clearly showed that a bill of sale is signed with the dealer, which is an initial commitment to purchase but the actual lease agreement is signed with a third party financing company which is charging you interest directly. If this interest rate is anything above zero it is haram (anything which is haram in a large quantity is also haram in a small quantity).
To my dismay, instead of acknowledging his mistake, my friend played the “Fatwa Card” and sent me a fatwa from a very large fatwa body in North America, which was also basing their argument on this false assumption. Fortunately for me, my friend pointed out the hotline number and the day and time the mufti who gave the fatwa would be available to answer questions.
I got in touch with the scholar and over a series of text messages proceeded to explain to him that his fatwa was based on a wrong assumption and for this reason people would be misled into leasing cars on interest and signing agreements with financing companies which are haram.
He was nice enough to hear my arguments, but still insisted that “maybe things were different in Canada.” Again this disappointed me because giving fatwa is a big responsibility – by saying “maybe” he was implying that full research has not been done and a blanket fatwa has been given for all of North America.
It also meant that if my point was true (for both Canada and the United States) dozens of Muslims maybe engaging in riba due to this fatwa.
The next week I proceeded to call two large dealerships (Honda and Toyota) in the very city where the Fatwa body is registered in the US and asked them about paperwork related to leasing. They both confirmed that when leasing a new vehicle, the lease contract is signed with a third party financing company which has the lien on the vehicle and the dealer is acting on the financing company’s behalf.
It is only when a vehicle is purchased in cash that a contract is signed with the dealer. This proved my point that both in the US and Canada car lease contracts are signed with the financing company and the interest obligations are directly with the consumer, therefore if the interest rate is anything above 0% it is haram. I sent a final text to the mufti and my friend sharing what I had found and letting him know that it was now between them and Allah.
1. As we will stand in front of Allah alone on Yaum al Qiyamah, in many ways we also stand alone in dunya. You would think that world renowned scholars and an entire institution would be basing their fatwas on fact-checked assumptions but this is not the case. You would also think that friends who you deem knowledgable and you trust would also use logic and critical thinking, but many times judgment is clouded for reasons unbeknownst to us. We must not take things at face value. We must do our research and get to the bottom of the truth. Allah says to stand up for truth and justice even if it be against our ourselves; although it is difficult to do so in front of friends and scholars who you respect, it is the only way.
2. There are too many discussions, debates and arguments that never reach closure or get resolved. It is important to follow up with each other on proofs and facts to bring things to closure, otherwise our deen will slowly be reduced to a swath of grey areas. Alhamdulillah, I now know enough about this subject to provide a 360 degree view and can share this with others. It is critical to bring these discussions to a close whether the result is for you or against you.
3. Many times we have a very pessimistic and half hearted view towards access to information. When I was calling the dealerships from Canada in the US, part of me said: Why would these guys give me the information? But if you say Bismillah and have your intentions in the right place Allah makes the path easy. One of the sales managers said “I can see you’re calling from Toronto, are you sure you have the right place?” I replied, “I need the information and if you can’t give it to me I don’t mind hanging up.” He was nice enough to provide me with the detailed process and paperwork that goes into leasing a car.
Finally, I haven’t mentioned any names in this opinion and I want to make clear that I am not doubting the intentions of those who I spoke to; I still respect and admire them greatly in their other works. We have to be able to separate individual cases and actions from the overall person.
May Allah guide us to the truth and rid of us any weaknesses or arrogance during the process.
Ed’s Note: The writer is not a religious scholar and is offering his opinion based on his research on leasing contracts in North America.
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