To leaders of a new era: Kindly read these texts

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WHEN Al-Muizz Li-Din-Allah entered Egypt as one of the Caliphs of the Fatimid Dynasty, the elders gathered in the palace to find out about this new leader who came to rule them.

One of them said to him, “We haven’t heard about you before. What is your stature and lineage?”.

Silence then prevailed in the hall.

The Caliph brandished his sword and said, “This is my stature”. He scattered gold coins on the ground and said, “This is my lineage”.

This was a sign of how he managed the dynasty, which lasted about 200 years. During his time, Cairo and the Al-Azhar Mosque were built. At that time, he used them for political and sectarian objectives.

The Arabian Peninsula was torn apart by wars, skirmishes between tribes, and invasions, and by the lack of security that made it unsafe for people to travel to perform pilgrimage (Hajj). When King Abdulaziz bin Saud saw this, he realized that the region will never attain stability and security if the situation continues in that state.

Therefore, he began reform by restoring the possessions of his fathers and grandfathers, and then unifying this large region with an area of more than two million and one hundred thousand square kilometers.

He also governed the territory as per the popular proverb “Rule is sword and justice”, which speared the motto of the new state. This meant the balanced use of force and generosity in managing the country, which restored stability to the sprawling kingdom.

At that stage, there were many debtors who were at the mercy of usurers and greedy merchants. The king worked to combat injustice of the oppressed by ensuring the zakat (alms) paid by the able went to the debtors. He worked with the famous jurisprudential rule “The creditor is over-reliance, not the debtor”, and thus was able to combat all types of corruption.

Singapore was a poor island with no natural resources, and was pervaded by corruption, until the time of a wise leader, Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who worked on its renaissance, guided by his famous saying “Cleaning corruption is like cleaning a staircase… It starts from the top”.

His Highness the Amir, His Highness the Crown Prince, and His Highness the Prime Minister, the leaders of the new Kuwaiti era, there is no doubt that the past years have revealed great corruption in various state institutions. This, among other things, has caused a rise in the number of debtors with limited incomes.

The courts and police stations, and even state institutions, have turned into something like debt collection centers for companies.

There are more than 180,000 citizens who are banned from traveling as a result of arrest warrants imposed on them. More than 125,000 vehicles have been impounded.

In addition to that, there are thousands of women who fell victim to loan sharks when they succumbed to social pressure, and signed cheques without balance, or trust sukuk certificates. When any of them fails to repay, she is sent to prison. Some of them have spent more than 20 years in prison.

The usurers and greedy merchants are working to make the debtor sign each installment with a single cheque, meaning that if he is late in paying one installment, he will be imprisoned.

In all countries of the world, there are commercial debts or blank cheques that warrant travel ban or arrest if the debtor fails to pay. However, Kuwait still operates according to the mentality of the deep state whose pillars seek to capitalize its income by stifling the citizens, and forcing them to pay or else they will be imprisoned.

On the other hand, there are more than 135 charity or rather philanthropic organizations operating in the country, and receiving zakat and donations annually amounting to tens or even hundreds of millions of dinars.

However, those who know say that half of these funds go into the pockets of those in charge of them, and the other half is transferred abroad either to buy suspicious sectarian loyalties or are misused and even fall into the hands of terrorists.

Kuwait has suffered, and still suffers, from this issue at the global level as a result of the allegations against it of “supporting terrorism” and “money laundering”. On the other hand, there are tens of thousands of debtors, thousands of needy families, and the poor who need help, but these organizations do not provide them with any support.

Also, as the donated money continues to flow abroad, the number of debtors and defaulters continues to increase. These debtors suffer not only in their transactions, but also in their lives because of their constant fear of arrest as a result of a debt that sometimes does not exceed KD 100.

What is ironic is that a citizen was issued with a travel ban notice because he owes KD 10 to one of the institutions.

There are many citizens who issued cheques and failed to pay them. Out of fear of imprisonment, they are currently residing abroad. Their interests in the country have been disrupted, and their money and assets have started to drain.

In the legal principles, over-reliance on the creditor carries a fine for his negligence. This is because he lends his money to those who do not have financial solvency or assets that can be used as collateral. 

Also, the creditor used the debtor’s need for usury or high interest until the value of the latter became more than that of the debt. That is why most countries, including some Gulf countries, amended their own laws with regard to issuing cheques and trusts (sukuks) in a manner that do not restrict the freedom of an individual.

Leaders of the new era, it has become very necessary to open the file of charitable and philosophic organizations to direct all their funds to helping the debtors, prisoners and the poor in Kuwait.

There is a saying – “Charity begins at home” because we are facing a new era that seeks reform, according to all indications. Because “religion is advice” and we are among the advisors, perhaps this issue should be your first priority so that you can lift the injustices of tens of thousands of people.

This will also emancipate the hands of the Kuwaitis from usurers and greedy merchants who abuse the interpretation of “restoring rights” by being corrupt, which carries many interpretations with false and misleading intentions.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times

This news has been read 28296 times!

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