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In the Name of God بسم الله


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kadhim last won the day on May 3 2022

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    Shia Islam

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  1. Is this directed at anyone in particular? I mean, what do you do? You just regularly turn your conscience off?
  2. So, first of all, the US is obviously not the only country in the world. So even if I just take what you’re saying at face value as a universal and uniform across all 50 states in the US—which I kind of doubt, but whatever—that’s one country, the country with probably the worst consumer protection record in the developed world. No one has provided any authoritative answer to my earlier question if the 90 day clock that is being quoted here starts with the first late payment or rather when the lender formally starts the paperwork to foreclose. I kind of doubt it’s the first, but if someone has an authoritative link I’ll look at it and accept it if that’s demonstrably the case. But even if the process did in fact go from normal payment history to eviction in a span of merely 3 months as a typical scenario in the US, that would simply be how the US has chosen to implement (or rather not implement) consumer protections for mortgage contracts. That’s not some inherent reality to the nature of an interest-based mortgage. You can have interest-based mortgages, AND rules to protect customers and force banks to offer some reasonable flexibility to borrowers to either get back on track or arrange a sale to exit with some dignity. It’s two separate issues that you’re trying to glue together. As for the matter that foreclosure is generally a money losing proposition for a bank, I posted a reference to support the average 50k loss figure. If you want to challenge that, I think you need to post something substantial to support that if you want to challenge it. Re: the Wells-Fargo anecdote, it’s hard to really comment anything in response to a claim without a reference. But the fact that it involved illegal fraud makes it kind of silly as an argument even against the existing rules. To your question though, as to why someone might do fraud even if they are not profiting from it, well, they may have been trying to put their thumb on the scale to minimize their losses.
  3. Books and learning resources and education have an impact on people realizing their capabilities. But there is also an impact even earlier in the first years just from spending the first years in a more informationally complex environment. There is also, prenatally the factor of better maternal nutrition and prenatal care. All of these factors add up to modern people being on the average inherently more intelligent, and also more able to realize the potential of that intelligence. Altogether, this makes the difference between the average modern person and the average premodern/medieval person as something like the difference between that of an adult and a child.
  4. Salams. Sorry to hear you had to go through that. That sounds awful. Yes, I’m sure it depends from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the specifics of the scenario. The figures I quoted there was also based on the clock starting with the first missed payment rather than when the foreclosure/power of sale process was formally started.
  5. Yes. Working on one now. I’m not sure where you got that impression, but that’s not how it works at all. Obviously, as with any loan, the payments at the front end (when the interest acts on a much higher remaining principal) are going to be more interest-heavy than the later ones, when the principal is much smaller. But on any normal loan you’re definitely paying down significant amounts of principal from the start. I’m in my first year right now and actually make a game of watching the principal go down each month. Right now roughly half the monthly payment, maybe a little more, is going to principal. You’re always responsible for whatever is left on the loan. It’s a contract you sign. Of course if you are not able to continue to make payments you are not going to be able to keep the house. The house is the asset that is the collateral of the loan. That is going to be the same any type of loan. The Islamic bank is not just going to let you stay there for free are they? At some point, they, as the majority owners of the property, will evict you. I would imagine they would have to buy you out in proportion to your ownership, and you would walk with that, less any fees that might apply. Much the same in many of the cases with a regular mortgage. The idea that a person necessarily walks away with nothing is the worst case scenario of foreclosure. And no, banks do not generally want to rush into foreclosure without exhausting all the other means available. Delayed payments, stretching out the amortization. And finally encouraging you to voluntarily sell at market if it’s just not working, in which case, you will walk away with your accumulated equity and the loan is wrapped up. But in reality a person is going to have 6 months, even a year to work through it if they cooperate with the bank in finding a solution. Banks do not want to foreclose. They will do a lot to avoid that. Foreclosure is ugly and expensive for the bank with legal fees, procedure, and so on. This link puts average US foreclosure costs for the bank at $50 000. That’s a whole person’s lower-middle sort of income in the US. That’s not chump change. As I pointed out above, foreclosure is a massive cost to the bank, and is a significant risk for them. A bank ends up in the red on a foreclosure. That risk of foreclosure costs is another part of what interest represents, beyond time value of money compensation and costs of managing the loan. It includes an insurance premium on the risk of your default. Meanwhile, in this worst case you walk away. You will not have a house. You will not have money from the exchange in your pocket. You lose everything you paid in over time. But that’s the same as if you had been paying rent all those years. Your credit rating will be toast for the better part of a decade. But they just means your ability to get new credit. You end up more or less neutral. The bank ends up behind by $50k. How is that a greater risk for you? Or you sell it before it gets to foreclosure. You pay off the rest of the loan, the bank is whole, at least on the original principal. They lose out some expected profits from the remaining years though. You meanwhile walk off with at least some of your equity. You end up ahead, and the bank ends up a little behind. Again, how is that a greater risk for you?
  6. Have I got a financial product for you: It’s called a fixed rate mortgage. A bank is going to be a bank, right? That’s going to apply to whatever sort of bank it is. The mathematics of the macroeconomic reality of the moment the mortgage is written and the riskiness of the particular borrower profile given their history, I mean, it’s going to depend on the particular lender’s risk model, but there’s realistically only so far the results can rationally vary. I wouldn’t say it’s collusion so much as just commonly understood principles of financial math.
  7. I didn’t make that claim. I said an average person from today would be above average intelligence in the past. That doesn’t mean they would be a genius beating every genius of the past. It just means the average person of today sent back in time would be considered quite smart.
  8. I read Iqtasaduna years back. I have the same comment for that as I do for what Seestani is doing. It’s exactly the same mortgage, just a different label. Instead of calling the 30k “interest,” we call it “I can’t believe it’s not interest.” But deep down, it still is what it is.
  9. Well … yes and no. Yes and no. Obviously it would be a little presumptuous for us to assume we know everything there is to know about it. This would be erring in the direction of exaggeration with respect to our knowledge. But at the same time it would be absurd to suggest that we can’t attain a pretty damned good and sufficient understanding if we put our minds to it. To deny that is to err the other way and to willingly cover over evident reality. Given the fact that: Over a millennium later, God has chosen not to send the imam to baby spoon the reasons to us Our courageous application of our reason has opened previously unimaginable levels of knowledge and yielded overflowing tangible benefits in every other field of knowledge It seems like a sign (for those who will reflect) that God wants us to and is waiting for us to turn our reason upon this field of knowledge, reverse engineer its sources, and apply what we learn to adjust it appropriately for today. It would be foolishness, and even ungratefulness for the intellectual gifts God has given us as a species to not do so. You want to tell me that our reason can land rovers on Mars, peer billions of years into the past with our telescopes, and build “ears” to hear the ringing of spacetime from ancient black hole mergers, but we can’t figure out things like this? ”And which of the favors of your Lord would you deny?”
  10. I meant that things like mortgages and car loans and even student finance would more or less not happen without interest. Right? You agreed that the only way loans like this would happen would be from an irrational lender or someone lending for charity. The supply of charitable funds would not be nearly close to demand. You’re in the UK, right? So for example, this page - https://www.fca.org.uk/data/mortgage-lending-statistics#:~:text=Latest findings,higher than in 2021 Q3. - says Q3 mortgage advances for 2022 was about £86 billion. So, annualized, about £320 billion. In effect, it wouldn’t happen. I mean, mortgages, maybe you could work out an equity arrangement where the lender retains a percentage of the profit of the house is sold. And student loans maybe the payback could be a share of earnings for a certain number of years after graduation. I don’t see an alternative for car loans that isn’t interest in disguise though. Haji. For real, bruv. Interest is the most straightforward way to put a price on the risk of lending financial capital. It’s a rental price on money in proportion to the risk. In economics, a price on something helps you manage and decide between alternate uses of a thing. The interest rate gives a lender information to consider as to how to allocate that money for lending in an intelligent way. There is no such thing as “risk free returns” in finance. There is always the risk of the borrower defaulting, going bankrupt/insolvent, etc. Always a risk you lose the money you lend. An interest rate proportional to estimated risk of default is simply a mechanism to help you manage that across your portfolio. The interest rate is the financial incentive to undertake more risk. You understand this. I don’t know why you’re pretending not to know this. Without this mechanism to price risk, investors will not take higher risk investments. They stick to safer investments or just sit on their money and overall investments go back to premodern levels and growth of tech and economy goes back to those levels too. It’s not a coincidence that the invention of modern banking was followed on by the joint stock company, the age of exploration, the Industrial Revolution, and so on. It’s interlinked. There’s a lot that can be done with venture capital funds and equity investment alone to help channel surplus money of people to useful investments that can give returns and help build interesting things. But there’s still always going to be a lot of need for straight up lending money at a rate to oil the whole system. Bruv. That’s the digital equivalent of passing a hat around. It’s not the same ballpark. It’s not the same sport. You’re not going to replace the finance industry with this. Be serious. I’m not sure how or why you made the wild leap from the idea of having a mortgage for one’s own home to multi property housing speculation. It’s two quite different things. Buying a house for you and your family doesn’t mean you have to become the Monopoly man. So are you just saying you skipped out on property investment for speculation? Or that you also chose to rent a flat instead of buying a house?
  11. I can definitely say that God imposed less punishment from the perspective of hudud specifically (which is what I actually said), because that’s objectively true. There may well be other cause and effect consequences that result from the action, in addition to the hudud, which I very precisely discussed in exactly the passage you’re quoting here. But objectively, there’s no real argument that on a hudud level specifically bestiality is weighted 1/4 that of pre-marital zina. 25 is one quarter of 100.
  12. The problem with this of course, which you deliberately decline to speak out loud, is that in that case it would, for all intents and purposes, not happen. Not at any appreciable scale. None of this world you’re living in and thriving in would happen without finance. That’s just reality. Not the ability for so many people to buy cars and houses. Not the ability for businesses to grow and change so dynamically, not the ability for technology and innovation to grow so quickly and dynamically. None of that happens without finance. None of that happens without financiers who specialize in that service. And financiers don’t happen without interest as a mechanism to manage financial risk. It just doesn’t happen. There is a reason that the world changes more in a decade than it used to in a millennium. Have you ever checked out Niall Ferguson’s Ascent of Money book/series? It’s inextricably tied into the fabric of creating the world we know. Does finance need to be more carefully regulated to control its darker tendencies? Absolutely. We need to keep it on a leash so it serves us rather than owns us. Just as we do with our own individual passions. But inherently, the finance industry is a tremendously useful infrastructural service to humanity, and that simply won’t happen if they can’t make money in exchange for the useful service they provide. You’re a globetrotting businessman Haji. You know this. I know you know these realities. But you’re conveniently pretending not to get this for the sake of the argument. It’s fundamentally dishonest. Fundamentally, you’re ironically engaging in an un-Islamic mindset here. Islam never sought to restrict itself to some Utopian textbook world that doesn’t exist. It speaks to the grimy reality that does and charts an intellectually honest middle way through whatever context it is in, and that includes macroeconomic realities. It did this with slavery. It’s not pro-slavery, but it came to a world where that was the reality, and it worked around it pragmatically. It didn’t tell people to have some sort of weird cognitive dissonance about it. It didn’t say, “slavery is haram, but you can own slaves as long as you but the person with the intention that they’re not really a slave.” No. It just said. “Hey, so slavery is a macroeconomic reality. It serves a purpose today, there’s a reason for it. It’s not going to change any time soon. Let’s make the best of it and try to round off the edges to make it suck less.” Same basic idea today. Let’s be reasonable and distinguish between modest interest as a reasonable and useful financial service, and more predatory lending, and treat only the latter as riba. Be smart with how we use credit. Try to protect vulnerable people from being abused by lenders. But accept the waters we are swimming in. Possibly in a few decades, with AI, and robotics, and nanotechnology, and the bounty of resources that space business could bring, we will reach a post-scarcity reality where the underlying assumptions of Capitalism and modern finance no longer have much useful relevance, and we will need to rethink it again what Islamic economic morality looks like. But for now I think it’s just basic sense to recognize what century we’re living in and deal with that with the same frank honesty and pragmatism with which Muhammad (saws) and his family (عليه السلام) dealt with slavery and other non-Utopian realities of their day.
  13. Yeah, again, it’s not a valid question, because logically and practically the default is that rules are contextual and continually need to evolve to stay relevant to reality. So the real question is more the inverse of this. How do we identify the few key things that deserve to remain constant? This is where the burden of proof actually lies. You’re misrepresenting the argument there a fair bit actually. The difficulty faced by these people was raised, but largely to motivate the need to take a second look at the situation. The actual argument for an exemption for these people is not based simply on the difficulty, but on the fact that the act in itself is not harmful to anyone, rather the problem is larger social effects if it becomes chosen in too widespread a fashion by people who would otherwise marry as heterosexuals and have families, that purely gay and lesbian people, lacking heterosexual desire, have no connection to those dynamics, they weren’t even known about classically, etc. So the example/analogy is not relevant to the question at hand. And again, your question is not valid. I’m not arguing rules are static until some threshold; I’m saying the default is things change. So I don’t see any reason I would have to define a line in the sand where between before and after. The needs of reality change all the time. Now. There is a certain social stability involved in not changing the rules every other day, so practically, as lawmakers, we need to handle change in steps. Law is a step function discretely approximating a continuous curve rather than a continuous curve. Keep it here for a while, then adjust, keep it there for a while, adjust. There’s a balance between stability and responsiveness that has to be managed. That’s where the actual question is. How long can we reasonably keep a rule static (5 years? 10 years? 20 years? 100 years?) amidst a changing world for these reasons of buffering to legal and social stability concerns? The idea of reform by incremental exemptions is interesting and I think works for some cases but I don’t think it’s a general solution or general approach. The incremental approach works when we have some phenomenon which is for the most part, all things being equal, problematic, in some pretty stable or universal way. But where, as time goes by and our understanding grows, we uncover corner cases where the “general truth” doesn’t apply. Same sex activity is in fact an example I think where it makes sense to handle it like that. There is a pretty good lasting reason to tell most people not to do gay stuff. Population, lineage. That holds up Ok. But time goes by we understand there are smaller groups where the same reasoning doesn’t apply, and you can relax for them alone without upsetting the broader balance. Some cases that works out. I don’t think it’s a general approach though. And the problem with the idea of legislating all the corner cases and exceptions all at once. It becomes unwieldy to present it. And you also have the problem that your audience might not even be at the level yet mentally to conceptualize all the cases. How do you give the case for a group no one even knows exists yet? It’s a challenge for the audience and a challenge for the lawbringer who has to try to explain this to the people. The homosexuality example again. People knew about same sex activity. But they conceptualized it as people can get turned on by both men and women, but people really need to stick to the opposite sex, because that’s how babies are made and the show must go on. The idea that some people were wired to only want to be with the same sex? Incomprehensible to the people of the day. Or slavery. Imagine trying to explain the case or virtue of a world without slavery in 600 CE. It was just everywhere. Or a world without patriarchy in the same time period. Even if it were theoretically possible to give, once and for all, the Napoleonic Codex of Islamic Law like that — which, again, it isn’t — you wouldn’t be able to unpack it in one shot anyway.
  14. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/conservation-of-angular-momentum?amp=1
  15. Alternatively, maybe God decided to take it easy on the bestiality offenders, because, let’s face it, being known in the local community as “Ahmed the goat-lover” after four people catch you in the act is probably not something one lives down any time soon. That’s probably 75 lashes worth of social pain just by itself.
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