Saturday, April 16, 2011


Assalamualaikum kepada semua muslim di Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapura, Thailand dan Filipina. Kami ingin menyampaikan sebuah tulisan dari saudara muslim kami di papua yang  memberikan tanggapan terhadap pernyataan vadilo mengenai PERTANYAAN TERHADAP DINAR 24K yang perlu diluruskan.
Alhamdulillah, kami hadirkan tulisan ini yang tentunya dengan berbagai pertimbangan, kesadaran dan semangat untuk mencari kebenaran dan beramal dalam apa apa yang kita mampu, tentunya tulisan ini  bukan untuk berdebat tapi untuk memperjelas atas apa yang telah ditulis oleh Mr. Vadillo yang secara tidak langsung melakukan penghakiman dan fitnah terhadap seseorang, tanpa melakukan verifikasi langsung.  semoga ini bermanfaat  dan membuka mata kita semua.
Ada baiknya sesudah membaca tulisan dibawah ini, silahkan baca juga tulisan terkait langsung mengenai  Standarisasi Ukuran Dinar Dirham Islam Dalam Sejarah dan Perspektif Fikih dan Fatwa On Weight And Purity Of Dinar Dirham Islam
Tulisan yang menggunakan BOLD dan warna biru adalah jawaban dari saudara muslim kami di papua untuk pernyataan paragraf tulisan vadillo di atasnya, bismillah.
There is now 19 years since we started to mint the first Dinars in Granada (Al-Andalus). I have looked at this matter of the purity many times during these 19 years. I have personally consulted scholars and metallurgists and made several tries with 24k coins and tested them. My research was every time equally conclusive: ‘we cannot use 24k coins’.
>>I have to say, learning from Imam Shafi’i statement of Qaul Qadim and Qaul Jadid, your statement could be a temporary statement.
Let me take you through the argument. There are two matters to be considered: one is the ‘amal and another is the practicality (durability) of the coins. In the ‘amal we are in search of what was the original way of making the coins. The issue of durability is not obvious at first only when you use the coins it becomes of critical importance. Here is the issue: 22k coins have a average life span of 15 years, but 24k coins have a durability of just 3. This means that every 3 years we have to recall these coins. This is not only costly and impractical, but renders the whole idea of making coins nearly useless. 1. ‘AMAL 24k technology did not exist on the early days of Islam. The modern 999.9 was not discovered until the 1874 by Emil Wohlwill, the Wohlwill process. So, when we speak about pure gold as we understand it today, we have to realize that is something new and different to what was called pure gold in the early days. The most common metallurgic process at Roman Times to purify noble metals consisted on treating the ore at high temperatures under a carefully controlled operation in order to separate gold and silver from base metals that might be present in the ore. The noble metals do not easily oxidize while the base metals do. The problem was to separate gold from silver. They used techniques such as ‘salt cementation’ to further separate gold from silver with different degrees of success depending on the mint. Therefore the quality of the coin depended on two major factors: the quality of the original ore and their own technical capabilities. The original Dinars that have been found through archaeological work are between 20k to 23k. This is most likely to be the processes that were used at the time of the first Dinars and Dirhams minted by the Khalif Abdalmalik and throughout the entire Umayyad Period. There is no doubt that their INTENTION was to create a ‘pure gold’ coin but they COULD NOT as we understand it today. Ironically their unintentional impurities gave the coins durability. This leads to our second issue.
>> According an article mentioned in, it is said that the Byzantine coin is 24K. Then according to a research that “There is records of Fatimid dinar purity that can achieve more than 95%, usually reaching 97-98%”. Further, I take the word that “there is an obvious intentional effort to achieve a pure gold” as a truly a good niyah. Then what we can learn from this ‘amal is simply… let’s do it the purest we can.
2. DURABILITY 24k is so soft that you can bend a dinar into a fusilli (pasta) with the pressure of your hands. If it falls to a solid floor it will dent badly. If you keep it in your pocket with other (harder) coins for a period of time it will erase the features, markings, edges, etc. All these will happen with a consequent loss of weight. What is the amount of weight loss a coin can bear before is no longer a dinar (weight)? WIM says 1%, that is, when the weight of a dinar falls below 4.20gr is no longer a dinar. At that point, according to WIM, that coin must be recalled and re-minted. This is the responsible thing to do. A bit of metallurgic knowledge. When you add 10% silver to a 24k gold coin you double its strength. When you add 10% copper you increase its strength 20 times. A mixture of 50/50 of silver and copper in a 917 coin gives the coin more than 5 times its original strength.
>> Basically agree. Durability is technical issue regarding gold coin as a currency and money circulated in the market. But then it is a tricky technical engineering, why 91.7 not 95.x or 98.x which make them purer and yet strong enough. Or why not 90.x or 85.x that make them much more stronger and endure enough over time. Let’s comeback to the good niyah as common basis. We want to make the purest as we can but durable enough as coin circulated during muamalah. So it is encourage us to a new research and refinement of the dinar through time. Please bear in mind that 24K is from 95-99 so.. when we can get 95 there will be no question regarding durability, then why it is not the choice in the beginning? My statement is clear (1) let’s make as purest as possible with possible durability and take this as a risk.. (note: we understood that there are risks in differ, between having 90% or 99%) (2) let’s do some ongoing research for refinement, being openminded for the sake better future of ummah.
MY JUDGMENT 24k coins did not exist in Madina. 24k coins are good to be placed in a vault or a safe deposit box, but not for circulation. A responsible mint is not only responsible for selling coins and ‘that’s it’, but it MUST TAKE responsibility over the life span of the coin. 24k is easier to mint than 22k, so it is normal than some irresponsible people will take advantage of this and do marketing of their 24K coins pretending they have a “better” coin.
>> Everyone in the world knows that 24K gold is much better than 22K gold, no doubt, no one need to be pretended for this. Better coin? again it is a technical minting issue related the use of the coin in muamalah. However the word “better” you use is questioned… in what sense better is? — I have some assumptions, but I have my understanding of “better” is: purest gold, comply sharia and proper fiqh, overcome technical obstacles, good niyah. By this we understand that 24K is better!
24k coins are not better coins, ACTUALLY they are worse coins. In the fiqh of Imam Malik we hear about ‘unpopular coins’ (makruha). Makruha means ‘that people did not want’. This is not a statement on purity, but a statement on acceptance by the people. People choose according to what they find more reliable. “Malik said that it was not good when counterpoising to give good old coins and put along with them unminted gold in exchange for worn Kuffic gold*, which were unpopular (‘makruha’ which people do not like), and to then treat the exchange as like for like.” *The kufias (gold of Kufa) were broken or worn coins with less weight than what they supposed to be and they were unpopular. What is important about this is that Imam Malik in accepting that there cannot be ‘like for like’ considers that non popular coins are no longer ‘standard’ dinar. This is critical to understand our argument.
>> You admit yourself that it is not a proper qiyas (I underlined your statement). There are two learnings we can get from Imam Malik: (1) It is the authority duty to replace old coin with the new one. We already considered this. In my calculation (but this is only technical you might considered), the waqf cost for recycle old coin is cheaper than adding silver/copper to the coin. (2) The word ‘standard’ dinar is based on the authority and shari’a (a proper fiqh deliberation and judgement), not the mass/people (since we are not using ‘democracy’). We cannot agree because you, and your mass companion, said that this is standard, the other is not… Refer to Imam Shafi’i; dinar is pure gold, for gold coin which is not pure it called as nuqd, it makes the other non pure gold coin is not a dinar, full stop. And from my understanding, this is what Imam Malik meant as you quoted.
Some people think the answer to this problem of durability and acceptance is to make a coin with adequate gold weight (4.25 gr or mithqal) and then add some strengthening material, therefore the coin will weigh 4.5 or something similar. This is not possible. A Dinar is a measure of weight equal to 1 mithqal. You cannot increase the weight of the dinar to keep the 4.25gr of 24k gold. This will be wrong. The weight cannot be altered. There is no opinion until here.
>> Of course there is no option regarding weight. Through time and history we only found 4.25gr in Abdul Malik period and it was corrected by Umar ibn Abdul Aziz based on Khalifah Umar ibn Khattab that mitsqal is much higher than 4.25gr and the result in gram is about 4.4 – 4.6 gr. As shown throughout the history (in museums and books), the dinar circulated is 4.4 – 4.6 gr. We cannot deny the fact. If we have pure and sincere heart to accept Islam kaffah (total), we will confirm it. Regarding the weight we have long research on this particular say these:
(1) Weighing by ourselves the grains (habbah sya’irah) as stated by Khalifah Umar ibn Khattab
(2) Calculating the grains (habbah sya’irah) based on International Standard of Unit (as referred to Muqaddima, Fiqh muqarran, etc)
(3) Calculating the qirat based on International Standard of Unit (as referred to Al Maqrizi, Al-Baladzuri, and other relevant kutub)
(4) Studying physical old coin (numismatics) from various sources (Rusia, East Europe, Persia, etc)
(5) Studying books and from museums
(6) Studying fiqh books (from the very original languange) with mashayikh who really understand the language and the fiqh as well as it’s usul, with proper isnads and ijazahs. And getting good sharh from those mashayikh. My invitation to WIM is… let’s do the research, that’s the hikmah of ummat Muhammad SAW
Now, my personal ijtihad and therefore MY OPINION on this matter is: ‘to make the Dinar of gold material as pure as possible while it can guarantee its function as a medium of exchange. And Allah knows best. ‘
>> Totally agree!
MY OPINION is that we should have one single standard with the highest degree of security that we can afford bearing in mind the danger of MODERN COUNTERFEITING. Counterfeiting is a big problem for a coin: reduces the value of real coins; increases prices artificially (inflation) due to more money getting circulated in the economy – an unauthorized artificial increase in the money supply; and decreases the acceptability (satisfactoriness) of money amongst the people. In order to improve the acceptance of a coin anti-counterfeiting measures have to be taken involving increasing the fine detail in the minting (increasing the quality of the coin) and milled or reeded (marked with parallel grooves) edges are used to show that none of the valuable metal has been scraped off. This detects the shaving or clipping (paring off) of the rim of the coin. However, it does not detect sweating, or shaking coins in a bag and collecting the resulting dust. To prevent sweating the coins only increasing their strength can help.
>> About counterfeiting, I agree… but this is a fishy opinion. If we know that we have good niyah, why make a suuzhan among us. We try our best not to have suuzhan upon you and your group (we have some information that related with ignominy but we will keep our adab as muslim, something that you and your companion cannot, in some circumstances, hold on). However, I can stand upright that we keep the pure heart of niyah and we against counterfeiting, Allah is our witness.
There are other problems. Counterfeiting coins is now a sophisticated art. Counterfeiters have at their disposal alloys than can pass density test undetected. The only way to prevent them is to increase your anti-counterfeiting measures. And needless to say, these measures have to be taken at the beginning of the minting and not later when the fake coins go undetected in circulation. A mint that does not take this into account is irresponsible. There are many modern anti-counterfeiting measures that can help to give people reliance on their coins. To put it shortly they are divided in two types: visible and non-visible. Visible anti-counterfeiting measures are then ones that matter to us because the non-visible require equipment to be detected and that will not be available for most users. We have studied the best of them. WIM is implementing them as we speak. Introducing security features in the coins changes the way in which we mint. First, it requires a singular standard. It is not logical to ask the traders and consumers to become aware of 20 different kind of dinars. Since the solutions may differ we need a single authority that serves most of the mints. Some people, for example, may argue that the best coin would be an even harder coin made of copper and gold (without silver) and with a 20k purity. Others will say: 21k, 22k, 23k, etc. Only a single standard will allow us to achieve maximum and global functionality of the coin and will help us to prevent modern forgeries. That is why we have WIM.
>> We are aware of this issue, and we have coping strategy to overcome. I will not share this now, but I will. And truly speaking, that’s why we want 24K… not to bother with copper and silver anymore. However, WIM is doing well as far as I know. But I view WIM is an organisation and not an authority. And we are equal for this position. One thing to be added, to fight counterfeiting, this is also the important role of muhtasib in muamalat.
WIM chose 22k. It should be noticed that 99% of the coins ever minted in the world TO BE USED AS MONEY were 22k, even when the technology was available to make 24k (which is cheaper to manufacture). The reason? 24k coins do not last and 22k offers a good balance between purity and strength with a relative low-tech solution.
>> We will ready for a low-tech, but efficient cost and advanced technology, Allah will lead us!
Nevertheless, it is my opinion that no one is wrong in minting a 24k coin (or 23k for that matter) IF they understand what they are doing. But if they do not, they are irresponsible. IN FACT, I will argue that the ideal solution would be to get a 24k coin with the strength of a 22k. If this is ever technically available at a reasonable cost I would think this is the ideal coin. WIM is looking into this. In the meanwhile with our limited knowledge we have resorted to a 917 gold coin with a mix of silver and copper in order to make the coin strong enough to function as money. And Allah knows best.
>> Then we have mutual understanding and a common basis. We will welcome you to join us, I might accept your bay’ah.
As for the people who have written the fatwa in Indonesia we know who they are. They are led by a man whom we knew very well, Mr Firman from Jakarta, and he is utterly lost. Of their fatwa I only know their conclusions in terms of weight (4.5) and purity (24k) and a little bit of their methodology that has transpired by talking to them.
>> First, you can’t judge the methodology by talking in distance. You have to learn in a deep understanding. Second, the fatwa was made by a faqih, his name is Al-Shaikh Al-Hajj Al-Habib Al-Sayyid Sahib Al-Faraj Azmatkhan Al-Ba’alawi Al-Husaini and other faqihs who are sincerely help him. Third, regarding Mr. Firman, he was chosen by several companion as their Amir. There are fitnah among him and I can say that it is not true, I stand upright that the whole fitnah is not true. And it is merely a “political conflict” between him and your companion. My suggestion is: let all the parties sit down (majlas) and make shura… discuss, deliberate and judge together. I feel sorry for your unfaithful companion and for your miss-judgement. (I will not mentioned the issue you have with other ex-Murabitun, which is similar at some points).
I disagree with regard to “their” weight since we have the uncontroversial fact of authentic well preserved original Umayyad Dinars which clearly establish the commonly accepted 4.25gr. Apparently, now they argue that they ‘cannot accept the standard coins of the Umayyads’ but I find no justification for that. I also disagree with them in respect to their “purity” since it does not solve the critical question of the durability. They also argued that ‘durability is not a matter concerning Islamic Law and therefore taking that into consideration is a “secular” concern’. They are wrong again because public interest (masalah al-mursalah) is a fundamental pillar of our fiqh. Masalah al-mursalah determines that when you have a choice on those matters that because they are new they have not been upheld or nullified by the Shariah, you should choose the one which is better for the people. In answer to them, I would argue that 24k technology is something new and that not taking into consideration the practical issues of 24k coins in circulation (and thus the public interest) is not part of Islamic Law.
This is truly a fitnah. We are not saying ‘I cannot accept the standard coins of the Umayyads’… but we said that during the Umayyad period, there is Abdul Malik ibn Marwan who made 4.25 and it was corrected by other Umayyad, Umar ibn Abdul Aziz. This is the fact!
Regarding maslahah mursalah (as you mentioned wrongly, masalah mursalah)… I only suggest you to relearning this in usul fiqh. Because that is not the proper maslahah mursalah to be implemented. Let’s come up with proper usul fiqh for istinbat (judgement). Let’s bring our faqih of us and yours for discussion (bahthul masail). This is the right and proper fiqh deliberation.
For all those reasons, in my view, that Fatwa of Firman and friends is wrong. But if they insist they should carry on minting their own coins while we remind the people of Indonesia of the issues at hand. That will be enough.
>> As far as I understand, but I might wrong, you are not a faqih and doesnt have a good capacity in fiqh. Then, I must say that your statement cannot be accepted and will be not considered. If you can show us the faqih capacity, your statement will be overlooked. Allah is the best judge.
Allah guides whom He wishes. He demands taqwa from us and we should have it at all times present. Fearing Him is our part of the deal which shall prevent us from being blind by confusing pride. In search of Guidance we must get closer to Him until there is nothing left of us. Surrendering our will to Him is the way to see. This is the path of success. We care of Him, He will care of us, …and our coins. We ask Allah to be included amongst those people of taqwa. Amin. Umar Vadillo
>> Amiin ya Robbal ‘Alamiin

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