28 Rulings Are Based Upon Perception

28 Rulings Are Based Upon Perception

Al Hukm far’un an tasawwurihi
I wanted to address this issue here before delving deep into the case and reason why I believe Bitcoin is Halal. In later blogs we will deal with every single objection made against Bitcoin being halal, individually, but looking at this from a wholistic approach, one will see a consistent theme. And that is that most objections are made based upon an incorrect understanding of:
  1. What Bitcoin is and the mechanism behind its technology
  2. And a misunderstanding of how money, and or economy works and functions
This does not take away from the knowledge of the scholars involved in casting doubt against bitcoin, but we feel, and know (as you will see clearly in future blogs), that if the scholars understood bitcoin properly, they would change their position, as we are already seeing taking place as more time passes and the topic is better understood by the general masses. But here we want to highlight some examples of the past of why scholars may make mistakes in their judgement that does not take anything away from them being scholars. In the 1960’s, when the Americans claimed to have sent a man to the moon, there were a group of scholars who said they were lying. The basis of this came from the events of the Israa and Mi’raaj, which loosely translate to when the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was taken from Makkah to Palestine during the night (the night journey, Israa) and was then taken up to the heavens (the Mi’raaj). At every heaven, the Angel Jibraeel was stopped and asked who he was with. Because nobody traverses each of the heavens without permission. So as logic would dictate, if the Prophet Muhammad was stopped and had to seek permission, what about those who just got into a metal vessel and went there without seeking permission? Therefore, anyone who claims to have reached the heavens without getting permission from Allaah is lying. That was the basis for that. Their evidence being: يَا مَعْشَرَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنسِ إِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَن تَنفُذُوا مِنْ أَقْطَارِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ فَانفُذُوا ۚ لَا تَنفُذُونَ إِلَّا بِسُلْطَانٍ

O company of jinn and mankind, if you are able to pass beyond the regions of the heavens and the earth, then pass. You will not pass except by authority [from Allah].

There were another group who said they did enter the heavens, and that the ‘sultaan’ mentioned int he above Aayah refers to ‘knowledge’ and not literals permission from Allaah. Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaimeen said that the issue that made this situation complicated was the not the Aayah, or their understanding of the inability of people to enter the heavens without permission. He said it was their perception of what the word ‘Heavens’ meant. They were thinking of the ‘heavens’ as being space. So if I said ‘I went to space’, to them that was equal to saying ‘I went into the first heaven’. Due to that incorrect perception, it led them both into a discussion that was both erroneous and out of place. This ‘erroneous’ understanding of the world around us can lead to mistakes and faulty opinions. Mistaken, not because they used the Quraan or Sunnah incorrectly. On the contrary, they used it well and in its place, but they mis-understood the world around them and therefore got the wrong data output. The same occurs with computers and is known in computer science that if the data input into a system is wrong, the answer will always be wrong. So Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaimeen said that space does not equal ‘samaa’ or the ‘heavens’, and there is no evidence to suggest that they are one and the same. What is more likely to be the truth is that space, including the stars, are ‘below’ the first heaven. And he gave an example of the Aayah:

وَلَقَدْ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَجَعَلْنَاهَا رُجُومًا لِّلشَّيَاطِينِ ۖ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهُمْ عَذَابَ السَّعِيرِ

“And We have certainly beautified the nearest heaven with stars and have made [from] them what is thrown at the devils and have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.”

So the ‘Samaa’/‘Heavens’ was beautified with stars, but just like any ceiling that is beautified with light lanterns, those lanterns are not IN the ceiling, but below it. Just like if a person was beautified with clothing, this beautification is not in your body, or in your skin, but its outside of it. So if the stars are in space, that means that space as we know it is more likely to be below the first heavens, and therefore you don’t need permission to go to space. We also have the expression in Arabic that if something is ‘in the heavens’ ie ‘Fee Samaa’, that is just means ‘above’ and not literally in the ‘samaah’. An example of that is in the following Aayah:

اللَّهُ الَّذِي يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ فَتُثِيرُ سَحَابًا فَيَبْسُطُهُ فِي السَّمَاءِ كَيْفَ يَشَاءُ

“ It is Allah who sends the winds, and they stir the clouds and spread them in the sky however He wills,” It is described here that clouds are in the ‘Samaa’/‘heavens’, but it is not space nor is it believed by any human alive that mankind can’t go as high as the clouds without seeking permission. So the belief that mankind cannot go to space because they have not got permission from Allaah would be ‘true' if their perception of reality were true. If space was actually the first or one of the many ‘heavens’ that the Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه و سلم had to seek permission before entering. But the reality is that is not the case. And this highlights that the scholars who said this were both ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ at the same time. They were ‘right’ in answering the question they thought they were being asked, but they were wrong because the basis of the question was wrong or mis-interpreted. What you will see in future posts is that the perception of what money is and what Bitcoin is, generally is incorrect, and if the scholars perception was corrected, then they would no doubt change their opinion.  

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