Saturday, September 12, 2009


Brief Life History
Ibn Taimiyyah's full name is Taqi aI-Din Ahmad bin 'Abd al-Halim. He was born in Harran on 22 January, 1263 AD (10 Rabi' al-Amwal, 661 AH). His family had long been renowned for its learning. His father' Abd al-Halim, uncle Fakhr aI-Din and grandfather Majd aI-Din were great scholars of Hanbalite jurisprudence and the authors of many books. Endowed with a penetrating intellect and a wonderful memory, Ibn Taimiyyah studied at an early stage all the disciplines of jurisprudences, traditions of the Prophet, and commentaries of the Qur'an, mathematics and philosophy and in each he was far ahead of his contemporaries. Among his teachers was Shams aI-Din al-Maqdisi, first Hanbali Chief Justice of Syria following the reform of the judiciary by Baibars.

Just Price, Market Mechanism and Regulation
Just Price
The Qur'an lays great emphasis on justice. It was quite natural to apply the idea to market relations, especially to prices. Thus the Prophet, peace be upon him, characterized riba as overcharging a trusting customer.
A just or fair price is mentioned in some traditions from the Prophet in the context of compensation due to an owner, for example, in the case of a master who frees part of a slave. The slave becomes a free man and the master is compensated for the remaining part at a fair price (qumah al-'adl). The same term occurs in a report about the second Caliph 'Umar bin Khattab, fixing a new value for blood money (diyah) after the purchasing power of the dirham fell due to a rise in prices. The notion of a just or fair price is also found in one of the state letters of the fourth Caliph, 'Ali bin Abi Talib.
Jurists who codified Islamic rules about business transactions, applied to concept in case a defective object is sold, in case of usurpation, forcing a hoarder to sell his goods, overcharging, disposal of the property of a trust, etcetera. Generally, they thought that the just price of something is that price which is paid for similar objects in a given time and place. Therefore} they preferred to call it the price of the equivalent (thaman al-mithl).
Though the notion of a just or fair price was present in Islamic jurisprudence since the earliest times, Ibn Taimiyyah seems to be the first Islamic scholar to have paid .it special attention.

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