On the Lariba website they claim that the Noble Shaikh Dr. Hussein Hamid Hassan, the President of AMJA, has permitted Lariba’s contract and approved of its practice in the United States.
AMJA’s Secretary had immediately contacted the Shaikh and the Shaikh stated that his discussion with the representative of Raqaba was of a theoretical nature and was not concerning the actual application of a principle by any specific company, neither Lariba nor others. He emphasized that it is not his role to verify the soundness of the application of the principles because he is not familiar with how the finance companies work in the United States. (Verifying the basis in this situation would mean affirming that the contract does in practice live up to the theoretical demands.) He deferred the question to those people of knowledge and experience who are residing in the United States to affirm that the principles are applied properly. He sent a letter to Raqaba Company, stating, “I hope that you will correct what your company has claimed that the President of AMJA has given a fatwaa that their practice, contract, and financing structure are allowed while actually I never looked at any of that.”
With respect to AMJA, we would like to reaffirm that the difference in views between AMJA and Lariba are not simply related to the theoretical claim of Lariba that they sell the buyer the property but not its usufruct. However, the difference is related to the detail of fulfilling the purport of the contract and affirming the ownership and possession of the property before that property is sold by the company to a second party. In addition, the manner it is then implemented contradicts and nullifies the nature of the sale. Thus, the issue is not simply a theoretical fiqhi question but is directly related to the reality of the transaction.
In addition, we would also like to emphasize that AMJA is not on the supervisory board of any home financing company. Thus, AMJA can remain impartial and objective in its dealing with these companies. We at AMJA simply voluntarily offer our services to them without any payment, due to the many questions that the Muslim community has concerning dealing with these companies.
In conclusion we leave you with the response of the Noble Shaikh Dr. Hussein concerning what has been attributed to him concerning Lariba, with our best wishes that Lariba and those in charge of it will quickly move to fulfill the legitimacy of their work, Allah willing.
The Text of the Letter:
As for my opinion concerning the first issue: I am of the opinion that the contract that fulfills its Shareeah essential components and conditions is sound and permissible and will have its full legal effects. But this is not pointing to any particular incident or case or particular company. Instead, the ruling applies to whoever fulfills its conditions.
As for my opinion on the second issue: If the debt is the result of a Shareeah-compliant contract, it is permissible for the creditor to consolidate that debt with a sound collateral agreement that is binding by the local law to guarantee the Shareeah debt, as long as the debtor only has to fulfill the Shareeah-compliant debt and nothing in addition.
From the above it should be clear that I am not pointing to any particular incident, case or specific company. This ruling applies to anyone who fulfills its conditions. Verifying that the bases of the law have been fulfilled is not within my means as I am not familiar with the practices and conventions of the financing companies in the United States. It is upon your shoulders or the likes of Dr. Abdul Bari Mashal to verify the bases and fulfillment of the rulings with respect to each company, case or contract and to correspondingly provide a fatwaa for that contract or project. As you also know, I emphasized at the end of my letter to Dr. Abdul Bari Mashal that this is my own personal opinion that I am offering and it does not represent the view of Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America.
Dr. Hussein Hamid Hassan