Islamic Scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi Challenges Traditional Beliefs at New York Conference

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New York, USA – In a captivating display of intellectual prowess and critical inquiry, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi, a distinguished Islamic scholar and Quranic authority, recently took centre stage at a conference held in New York City. The event, which unfolded as part of Ghamidi’s US tour in September 2017, provided a platform for attendees to engage in a stimulating Questions & Answers session and discussion with Ulemas and Muslim scholars including Dr. Ammaar Saeed, delving into pressing issues facing the Muslim community and the broader world.

From the outset, one of the central themes that emerged was the intersection between religion and modernity. Ghamidi eloquently articulated the compatibility of Islamic principles with contemporary values, advocating for a balanced approach that harmonizes religious tradition with the evolving realities of the modern era.

Among the topics addressed with keen insight were Riba (interest/usury) and mortgage. Throughout the conference, attendees seized the opportunity to pose probing questions to Ghamidi on a diverse array of topics, spanning Islamic jurisprudence, usury (Riba), saving Accounts, mortgage practices, music in Islam, ethical considerations, and spiritual dimensions.

Ghamidi’s stance on mortgage (home loan) and the issue of riba (interest) riba is clear: he asserts that “The Quran unequivocally prohibits the practice of riba, which extends to any form of interest charged on loans. It is essential to adhere to this prohibition and seek alternative financial arrangements that align with Islamic principles. The conventional practices of mortgage and interest conflict with the ethical framework of Islam and require reconsideration in light of Quranic teachings.”_ (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)

Additionally, he shares a critical perspective on Riba (interest/usury). He emphasizes the prohibition of Riba as outlined in the Qur’an and Hadith, echoing the stance of many traditional scholars. Ghamidi argues that Riba is inherently exploitative and unjust, contravening the principles of fairness and social equity emphasized in Islam.

 “Riba is fundamentally unjust and exploitative, contravening the principles of fairness and equity in Islam. Muslims must adhere to the prohibition of Riba as outlined in the Qur’an and Hadith, ensuring that their financial transactions are conducted in a manner that upholds ethical values and social justice.” _ (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)


In addressing the practical aspect of utilizing bank saving accounts and earning interest, Ghamidi raises ethical and religious considerations. He questions the permissibility of earning interest from banks, particularly when it is not intended for charitable purposes. Emphasizing the need for deeper understanding, Ghamidi asks, “Is taking this kind of interest from the bank permissible? Especially when it’s known that it’s not for charity.” (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi)

Moreover, Javed Ahmed Ghamidi challenged conventional interpretations regarding the permissibility of music in Islam, asserting that there is no evidence in the Quran declaring it haram or prohibited. In his nuanced understanding of halal and haram, Ghamidi emphasized the need for evidence from religious sources to deem something forbidden. He remarked, “Every provision is from Allah, unilateral. Whatever Allah has created to eat, has anyone’s voice. And who has made it haram? If Allah has not made it haram, then it is not haram.” (Javed Ahmed Ghamidi). Additionally, Ghamidi referenced the interpretations of Abdullah bin Masood and Abdullah bin Abbaas, prominent figures in Islamic commentary, who considered certain verses on the permissibility of music within Islam, emphasizing that going against them contradicts the injunctions of the Quran and Sunnah.

Traditionalist scholars of Deoband, India, advocate for adherence to established religious doctrines and reject reinterpretation beyond the boundaries set by their respective traditions. They assert that any examination of religious sources, such as the Quran and Sunnah, must remain firmly rooted in tradition, often leading to the dismissal of Western educational methods and modern socio-political philosophies. Islamic scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi has sparked debate by challenging traditional beliefs surrounding the obligation of keeping a beard. Ghamidi contends that “it is not obligatory to keep a beard,” diverging from the traditional understanding upheld by scholars like Allaamah ibnul Humaam, who emphasized the prohibition of trimming the beard to a length less than a fist. Similarly, scholars from the Shaafi’ee Madhab, such as Allaamah Nawawi and Allaamah al-Iraaqi, assert the desirability of leaving the beard untrimmed, considering any form of cutting as Makrooh (disliked).

Dr. Ammaar Saeed opposed the opinions of Javed Ahmed Ghamidi on mortgage based on conventional banking system involves Riba. On the bases of the traditions of the Prophet PBUH, it is prohibited to take and give Riba. The Riba can be either in cash or some different of interest involved it is prohibited in Islam.

“Riba in any form is prohibited in Islam based on traditions of the Prophet PBUH, we do not require further logical arguments.” (Dr. Ammaar Saeed)

Furthermore, Dr. Ammaar Saeed as well as other traditional Muslim scholars are in the same opinions of prohibitions of listening to Music. As there is are clear evidences from the traditions of the Prophet PBUH and consider as Haram to listen of instrumentals creating sound to mind and soul but allowed only nature sounds and Duff sound.

“The use instrumentals for creating music is a soothing recitation of devil for mind and nafs but not soul, the music of soul is Quran.” (Dr. Ammaar Saeed)

In a departure from traditional beliefs, Islamic scholar Javed Ahmed Ghamidi has refrained from endorsing the commonly held views on the advent of Mahdi and Jesus (peace be upon him). Ghamidi argues that many of the hadiths concerning the advent of Mahdi do not meet the standards of hadith criticism established by scholars, with some being classified as weak or fabricated.  In his statement, Ghamidi argues that evidence from Quranic exegesis (tafsir) and authenticated ahadith does not support the belief in Isa’s (peace be upon him) ongoing life. He contends that while some narratives describe Isa’s (peace be upon him) return, these accounts lack sufficient authenticity and are open to interpretation. Ghamidi’s perspective diverges from the mainstream understanding of Isa’s (peace be upon him) status, which holds that he was raised to the heavens and will return before the Day of Judgment as affirmed by prominent scholars such as Ibn Kathir, Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, and Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah.

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