Ijarah – Islamic Leasing

Vol 2 Issue2 IjaraahWhat is Ijarah?

Ijarah means: ‘to transfer the usage of a non-consumable asset by the owner (the lessor) to another person (the lessee) for an agreed period, at an agreed price (rent).’

Basic Rules of Ijarah

  • Transferring the usufruct, not the ownership, for an agreed period, at an agreed price.
  • The non-consumable asset should have identifiable value and quantity.
  • The lessor bears all liabilities of ownership, while the lessee is responsible for those of the use of property. (Example: The property tax should be paid by the lessor, while the water and electricity bills referable to the use of the house should be borne by the lessee.)
  • Throughout the leasing period, the lessee bears the risk of ownership, i.e., the reduction in the value of the real estate or any harm caused by the factors beyond the control of the lessee. However, the lessee is liable to compensate the lessor for any loss due to his/her negligence. After the lease period completes, the remaining asset should be given back to the owner (the lessor).

Additional Rules

  • The asset can be insured, preferably through a Takaful (Islamic insurance) company, at the expense of the lessor, not the lessee.
  • Ideally, the rent charged for the leased asset and its periodical increase should be benchmarked to the current prevailing market rates of the pool of similar assets classes. However, in practice, banks usually use interest rates as benchmarks. Although not preferable, these bank benchmarks can be used, until a suitable Islamic based benchmark becomes available.

Differences between Ijarah and Conventional Leasing

Leasing such as, Murabaha, is not originally an Islamic mode of financing. However, Islamic financial institutions adopted it by making some relevant modifications in the structure of the leasing contract (i.e., its terms and conditions), in order to conform it to the rules of Islamic Shariah.

In conventional leasing, instead of offering an interest-bearing loan, banks and leasing companies provide to the lessee an asset along with the risk of ownership. Many basic features of the conventional lease are Islamic, except these two:

1. In Ijarah, the lessee’s liability for the rent starts, when the lessee takes delivery of the asset and not from the day the price has been paid, either directly or through the lessee.

2. In Ijarah, there is no hire purchase arrangement at the start of the leasing contract. After the leasing period has ended, the lessor can, under a separate contract, sell the previously leased asset to the lessee or any other person. Unlike conventional leasing agreements, the Ijarah contract itself should not contain the ‘express clause,’ a pre-condition of gift or sale at the end of the lease period.

How Ijarah is practiced

An asset, usually a car, machine, equipment or household durables, is leased to the lessee on an agreed fixed rental payments for a maximum of 5 years. After the end of the leasing period, through another contract the asset is usually sold to the lessee at the book value of the asset.

In Pakistan, Ijarah form of financing is provided by Islamic Banks, Islamic windows of Commercial Banks and Modarabas. The Ijarah structuring is the most common method used for Islamic Sukuks (bonds).

Note: The prevalent system of Islamic banking the world over is least permissible and truly not the ultimate and ideal solution. It is only a step towards creating an interest free environment to provide Muslims with an option. Much needs to be achieved keeping in view the injunctions of Quran.

Physically Fit Kids

Vol 2-Issue2 Physically fit kidsFundamental movement skills are the basis for the skills your child will use later in life to pursue recreational and competitive sport activities. They include locomotive movements (walking, running, jumping, skipping, balancing, climbing, hanging, swinging, pushing, and pulling) and motor skills (throwing, catching, and kicking).

Acquiring competence and confidence in movement will enhance your child’s overall co-ordination and nurture his self-esteem. Your child will build up his fitness to develop good aerobic capacity, strength, flexibility, speed, alertness, and reaction.

From an early age, your child has to acquire good spatial awareness (both in personal and general space), develop body awareness, as well as learn to move with effort and in relationship with others. Children need to learn to move, but at the same time, they need to move to learn.

A child, who is physically active from an early age and receives positive, enjoyable, and successful movement experiences, will continue to pursue activity on a regular basis throughout his lifetime. The benefits in terms of general well-being are physiological, psychological (emotional stability), and academic.

Make fitness fun

Children attain fitness by doing activities they enjoy. When parents impose exercise on them, they are creating an uphill battle of resistance. Usually, the interest of young children is short and changes quickly. Their attention span is inconsistent, and they tire easily. Be reasonable about the degree of physical exertion you require from them.


Through playing, your child explores, expresses, and discovers many aspects of life. Play can also help your child to realize the real value of fitness and to learn the ‘social graces.’

Understand the ‘want-fear’ premise

Adults work on fitness out of such fears as heart attack or weight-gain. Children are too detached from this ‘fear’ factor; therefore, from an early age, we need to develop in our children the ‘want to’ attitude. This can be achieved by always making activities enjoyable.

Teach body management

Children need to be able to manage their bodies and feel comfortable with moving. A child, who does not like to be active because movement is difficult for him, will have coordination problems and develop a tendency to become over- weight and lethargic. An over-weight child and a child who lacks coordination and flexibility will look for excuses to be inactive. This will, in turn, affect his growth, general fitness, and social development. Therefore, we must engage children in enjoyable coordination activities.

Be aware of child’s growth and development

Your child’s bones have not yet fully developed. Movement will ensure the growth of strong bones and muscles; therefore, it is important that your child engages in appropriate movement for his age group activities.

Be a positive role model

Children learn by watching their elders. Be a positive role model by showing enthusiasm. Provide a constructive feedback to your child – encourage and praise him.

See FITNESS as a ‘big’ picture

It is important to emphasize that the physical fitness is only one part of general well-being, which also includes: nutrition, play, mental health, quality sleep, and emotional health. For a child to be functioning at his optimal pace, there must be a balance of all these components. They all are the ‘life keys’ to the ‘big’ picture.

Be aware of exercise ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’

First, always warm up your child with low to moderate activities. Movements should be gentle and rhythmical, then gradually increased in intensity. Try to use all the major muscle groups in the warm up activity. Cold muscles should never be stretched. Avoid ballistic movements when stretching. Avoid exercises that hyper extend any joint areas. Do not use massive weight bearing exercises. Children should use their own body weight to develop strength.

Develop a knowing attitude and an exercise habit

Develop a knowing attitude, not just a fitness attitude. Get your child used to being active and doing exercise. Your child should know why exercise is good for him.

General guidelines to follow

  1. Make activity a family affair.
  2. Set an example – be a good role model.
  3. Turn the television off to encourage your child to go out and play.
  4. Develop regularity and habit in doing activity. Produce a timetable but make it flexible and adjustable.
  5. Be aware of your child’s physical capabilities.
  6. Develop, check, and reinforce good posture.
  7. Foster good sleeping and eating habits.
  8. Encourage drinking water every day.
  9. Develop spatial awareness – general and personal.
  10. Develop a good sense of balance.
  11. Develop upper body strength, reaction, and alertness.
  12. Do relaxation activities.
  13. Develop flexibility – upper and lower body.
  14. Develop agility – quickness.
  15. Develop eye-hand coordination, foot-eye coordination.

Strategies for encouraging a reluctant child

  1. Observe why your child is reluctant. Insecurity, over-weight, poor coordination, low self-esteem, fear of failure, and feeling of being unsafe may be among the causes.
  2. Create a safe, fun, and positive environment. Ensure that there is no physical threat, ridicule, bullying, or put-downs. No ‘emotional hurts.’
  3. Provide immediate feedback. Give praise and encouragement.
  4. Try to experience success within a short period of time.
  5. From time to time, offer incentive or reward. Instant rewards are praise and encouragement. A reward could follow a goal – “after cycling, we will go to have an ice cream.”
  6. Keep within the limits of your child’s abilities. Do not force them or be constantly after them.
  7. Do not be over protective.
  8. Do not confuse the child’s needs with his wants. A young child does not have the experience to know, what is good for him. A child will express his want to watch television, for example, rather than his need for exercise. In this situation, we have to impose on the child our knowledge about the importance of exercise and encourage him to play outside regularly.
  9. Establish firmness and consistency. Insist on doing some activity together and stick to it.
  10. Vary activities to sustain your child’s interest.

Keeping in mind the above mentioned tips, parents should select fitness activities that would be suitable for their children. There are many good books available on the subject, which incorporate a variety of fun, fitness based activities.

Engaging yourself and your child in enjoyable fitness activities is one of the best ways to spend ‘quality time’ together. Get down to it and good luck!

When the Better Half Returns Home (Part 2)

better halfOur last issue offered tips to the lady of the house in working smarter and resolving domestic conflicts. This time, we will take a paradigm shift and throw light on how the men of the house can contribute to strengthening marital relationships and avoid trivial conflicts by demonstrating more of generosity and loving kindness towards their better halves.

Tips for Man of the House

  1. On returning from work, before you step into your home turf, take a deep breath and relax your body. Thank Allah (swt) for another incredibly exhausting but successful day to get over. Count the many blessings sitting on your platter, such as your health, home, family, job, and life itself that we generally take for granted.
  2. Switch off your working man mode. Never let office troubles to tag along home, because they will neither let your mind relax nor enable you to enjoy your family life. Initially the task may seem insurmountable, however, with practice and effort you will learn to control your thoughts. Most certainly you would never want your wife to keep calling you at work for leaking taps and blocked drains, since that is not the place or time to discuss it. Similarly, it is unfair to steal family’s quality time for work worries.
  3. Greet your wife and family with a genuine smile. You do not have to drag your feet and carry a frowning face or a gruff gesture to validate, how you had to rough it up at work. As someone wisely said that the most beautiful attire you can wear is a smile, and it is not even expensive!
  4. Sit down, take a glass of cool water and remove your shoes. If you have kids, ask them to get your slippers or put away your shoes or briefcase for you.
  5. Take a minute to look at each and every family member to notice some positive difference either in their appearance or mannerisms. It may give you an opportunity to make their day by uttering a compliment. Bovee states – the small courtesies sweeten life, the greater ennoble it. At times a good sense of humour also unwinds stress and lifts low moods.
  6. If you have old parents living with you, give exclusive fifteen minutes to half an hour to them, depending upon your arrival time. You may request for a snack or tea with them, while they chat with you or even share their concerns. They will love the priority and significance you give them and shower their blessings on you.
  7. Spend quality time with your kids to enhance bonding. You may offer Isha prayers together. If time permits, play a game, listen to their stories at school or simply ask them questions about their day. If they are ready to hit the bed, help them change or brush their teeth. You may read a book to them or simply share an interesting incident with them. This is also a suitable time to narrate a Prophet’s story, revise Duas and Surahs or simply teach your kids to thank Allah (swt) for His blessings He bestowed upon the family during the day.
  8. You may take some time to relax yourself by simply doing what you like. Take a shower, change clothes, take dinner, watch television, read the newspaper, chat on the phone or simply lie down peacefully.
  9. But wait! Before you go out like a light, make time for a heart to heart with your sweetheart! Who? Your wife, of course! Ask her, how her day was, and what stormy seas she had to sail through to keep the peace and quiet of your life intact. A man once shared with Richard Carlson (Psychologist) that for every 5% he improved his listening skills, his marriage improved by a whopping 50%.
  10. Motivation and acknowledgment are the key words for the crossword puzzle of most marriages. While you may have attended workshops and seminars teaching you to reward and recognize your team and peers on the job, make no mistake that everybody operates on the same pattern. It is sad that we are quick to recognize and compliment complete strangers, but unconsciously and at times deliberately choose to ignore our loved ones, who deserve our appreciation the most. Dishing out genuine praise is one of the intangibles of life. There is no way to quantify exactly how much good it does. But it can improve any relationship enormously.

The fact is that you live only once. Is it really worth making yourself miserable all your life? Never! Don’t let miseries get in your way of living to the fullest, because it won’t happen again. You will live only once! So be wise and embrace life with gratitude. All the best and happy living!