Zakat: Returning to the Bimetallic Standard

A large amount of Western currency flows into the Muslim Middle East. Not just petrodollars and remittances from those on hijrah overseas, but also in the form of zakat, the mandatory percentage of “alms” that is levied on halal products and shariah-compliant financial transactions.

In a shrewd move — given the imminent inflation of at least three of the world’s major currencies, including the dollar — an Indonesian sultan has decided to mint Islamic gold and silver coins to be used in the payment of zakat. Not only does his initiative fulfill the requirements of Islamic law, but it will also sidestep the collapse of the world’s reserve currency.

In addition, he’s anticipating the re-emergence of the Caliphate: “The return to the collection of zakat in gold and silver is an essential part of the re-establishment of Islam.”

Our Spanish correspondent Hermes has translated the following post from WebIslam:

The Sultan of Ternate re-establishes the Mu ’Amalat.

The Sultan of Ternate in the Moluccas, Indonesia, will start to coin through the World Islamic Mint the sultanate’s golden dinar and silver dirham, to be used in the payment of zakat and circulated as a alternative currency to the Indonesian Rupee.

Zakat: dinar #1

His Highness Syah Mudaffar II, the Sultan of Ternate, one of the oldest sultanates of Indonesia, signed an agreement on 19 April with the World Islamic Mint in order to launch the introduction and distribution of the golden Dinar and silver Dirham in the Sultanate. Amidst local festivities and surrounded by his council, local authorities, representatives of state and delegations from countries such as Italy, Ecuador, Spain and Malaysia, Sultan Mudaffar II announced his intention to restore the payment of zakat, a compulsory tax on non-circulating wealth and one of the five pillars of Islam, in the sultanate’s own gold dinars and silver dirham rather than rupees or any other currency. He said that these coins represent the first step against riba (usury) and are traditional currencies of the Ummah which follow the rules of Islamic law regarding their purity, equivalences and uses.

This is a non-speculative currency with a real, inflation-free and universal value which breaks with the imposition of an international financial system based on transactions in order to prevent real freedom of trade and choosing of currency.

Zakat: dinar #2
Zakat: dinar #3

The statement was received with surprise, interest and skepticism by those present, some of whom stressed in their speeches the need to “study the matter carefully, as the rupee is the official currency of the Indonesian state.”

A wider movement

The Sultan enjoys enormous popularity due to the tradition, religion and the special connection that exist between the institution and the people. The Sultan is the first defender of his people and acts as its protector against the institutions of the state. No wonder that the Sultan of Ternate’s wife is the senator of the Democratic Party of Indonesia.

But the Sultan of Ternate is not alone in his endeavor. In Indonesia at least two other sultans want to follow him: The Sultan of Kasepuhan Cirebon and the Sultan of Katai. Also in Malaysia, Kelantan government is minting its own coins already, and the Sultan of Sulu in the Philippines will soon.

In the midst of an unprecedented global financial crisis, the currency based on gold and silver is seen again as a viable and necessary alternative to the devalued paper currency that has lost the confidence of the people. Politicians are unable to give answer with their monetarist and credit maneuvers. Meanwhile, the economies of Western countries will collapse and drag emerging countries with them. Financial speculation has been the engine behind the collapse of the global economic system. Knowing this, many countries in Africa, Asia and even America are considering the introduction of alternative currencies, from the return to plain gold to the introduction of traditional precious metal coinages. The movement for the Dinar and Dirham has therefore arrived in the economic playground in a good time for acceptance and rapid expansion.

6 thoughts on “Zakat: Returning to the Bimetallic Standard

  1. “Study the matter carefully”?
    Soon the islamic dollar will be the official currency, and nobody will want anything to do with the rupee anymore!
    The sultan is very shrewd and very wise, because he´ll be the one representing the auhority protecting the people from inflation and the machinations of big state-supported gamblers who are robbing the people blind!
    This will bypass state authority and make an islamic state from Indonesia!

  2. whirlwinder says:
    Paarde. . . . . In case you have not noticed, Indonesia is 95% Muslim. If that does not qualify for an islamic state, I do not know what does.

  3. Technically the Indonesian currency is the rupiah, not the rupee (Indian). As far as not using the rupiah…I remember when it was less than 2000 to the dollar….Don’t recall having seen it less than 8000 to the dollar since they kicked Soeharto out in 1998 (or for nearly that long)…it’s gone as high as 10000 to the dollar, but a little lower at the moment.

    Kinda surprised that we haven’t seen as much movement worldwide to shift away from some currencies. Recently was in Panama where the official currency is the Balboa, but for all official purposes (and all paper currency) the US dollar is used on a 1 to 1 basis. They have some unique coinage but the exchange rate is pegged.

    What’s more surprising has been to see countries like Ecuador – currently run by a decidedly anti-US administration…that has maintained US currency as the official currency since 2000 when their own collapsed.

  4. “Bring me a denarius and let me look at it.” And they brought one. And he said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” (ESV)

  5. Paper currency is not evil, and the economies of paper-based Europe and U.S. are stronger than that of Indonesia.

    This says more about the Muslim paranoia and the growth of sharia finance than it says about Indonesian economic saviness.

  6. There is something pivotal to take note of. That is people around the world do not want money changers in charge of their livelihood and future. Central banks the world over are all controlled by a select few private individuals that lead the biggest banks in the world. These bankers want nothing other than to be able to manipulate the quantity of money.

    They use depressions and recessions as a tool to garner more support for their deceptive policies. They not knowing how close to the proverbial cliff world finance and banking has come in recent years are extremely scared as to losing all power just as a Maserati taken to the edge of its performance while cornering on a high mountain road without guard rails.

    Take note my friends. A bimetallic currency can be our friends as long as fractional reserve banking and the private cartels are exposed and expunged from the creation of debt-based money and the boom and bust business cycle.

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