Shariah’s Black Box

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Further, the question hardens into an indictment when juxtaposed against the published legal edicts of the classical and contemporary Shariah authorities. Logically, to suggest that Shariah is opposed to the defense industry is on its face absurd given the history of Shariah-based empires waging war against their enemies. The evidence, however, is more than historical as the contemporary evidence of Shariah-based regimes illustrates. Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and the Taliban-led Afghanistan all have acquired massive weapons arsenals and, at least in the case of Iran, have developed an “Islamic defense industry”.[362] The adoption of such a military posture on the part of these Muslim countries is not simply grounded in a geo-strategic policy. It is also demanded by Shariah, at least according to the leading Shariah authorities of our day. In Usmani’s book, Islam and Modernism, he makes the careful point that Shariah has no objections to science and technology per se. In fact, Shariah requires Muslims to invest in and to utilize all of modern warfare technology for its mandatory Jihad:

The Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Shafi, President, Darul Ulum,Karachi, has written in his treatise “Jihad” as under,

 Indeed, the Patience, the fear of Allah and total belief in and submission to Allah is the real and unconquerable strength of Muslims. Along with it, however, it is also essential that equipment of war and ammunition proper to the time and place should be acquired and stored. The Prophet (SA) always arranged for war exercises, and issued instructions to collect and acquire all those weapons that were in vogue anywhere in those days. . . . [citing the case where two companions of Muhammad were excused from fighting because they were studying how to manufacture modern war weapons].

This incidence also proves that it is obligatory for the Muslims to make their countries self-sufficient in war weapons and technology and should not depend on others. . . . We are bound to think it seriously how much our country is in need of all the equipment and weapons of war used in modern warfare so that we may not be lagging behind. We must put all our energy and resources to fulfill the aim that we become self-sufficient in the nearest possible future.

. . .

And Moulana Zafar Ahmad Usmani, Sheikh-ul-Hadith, Darul-Ulum-al-Islamiya, Tando Allah Yar, writes in one of his recent articles,

War weapons and technology against the enemy should be raised to the extent that the enemy is overawed with them . . . our earlier Caliphs and Sultans religiously followed this rule. . . . The Muslim nations should join together to build up factories for ammunition and other weapons, and a continued process of research and inventions must be carried out. All these efforts are in conformity with Qur’anic injunction (Monthly Al-Balagh, p.44 J.A. 1387 (H).

Moulana Muhammad Yusuf Binouri, Sheikh-ul-Hadith Madrasah Arabiyah, New Town, Karachi, writes:

There is no scarcity in the Islamic world, rather there is an abundance of natural resources, material reserves and wealth, but how great a tragedy it is that a major portion of their wealth is utilized by the enemies through deposits in foreign banks, or spent in extravagance, debauchery, undue luxuries, and immoralities. But defense stability, military training and ordnance factories are practically negligle, while the enemies of Islam are contructing airports, naval fleets, military cantonments and large ordnance factories. . . . (Monthly Baiyyenat, Karachi, R.S. 1387 (H), p.4)[363]

Investors are, of course, entitled to decide whether or not to take a stance against investing in defense industries. Muslim nations are also free to purchase or manufacture armaments. But there is a threshold disclosure issue for a that is promoting SCF, which forbids investment in the defense industry. If that prohibition is due to the fact that Shariah considers Islam at war with the West, the promotion of Shariah and its “opposition” to defense industries is hardly full disclosure. The very fact that Dow Jones hints at this by explaining that there is no consensus that the defense industry is a forbidden industry in and of itself suggests that someone in the inner circle at Dow Jones understands that its Shariah authorities are using SCF to weaken its enemies (i.e., the non-Muslim West) while mandating through their legal rulings (applied selectively) that Shariah-adherent subscribers should embrace the weapons industry in the Muslim world in the service of Jihad. This rather patent implication suggests more than a reckless disregard for the duty to disclose material facts to the investing public.

It is unreasonable to argue that this omission of purpose (i.e., Shariah hegemony) and methodology (i.e., Jihad) in the disclosures and representations by Dow Jones as a U.S. public company is not material to the reasonable U.S. investor. Furthermore, one has to conclude that there has been a wholesale failure to conduct even a minimally acceptable due diligence by legal counsel on this issue. Alternatively, it would seem inescapable that legal counsel knows full well the purposes for such prohibitions and indeed of Shariah and its methodologies and has consciously buried this political-military agenda deep inside the black box.

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