The coronavirus has rattled supply chain, big business, megacorporations, employees, and the home. Many in the country have been laid off, furloughed, or have had to shut down their business entirely. In a matter of weeks, many peoples’ income has significantly if not completely gone to zilch.
And initially, many small business owners and the self-employed had been excluded by the government’s relief efforts.
Thankfully, the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), financial relief program in light of the coronavirus pandemic, now includes small businesses and the self-employed. These previously excluded groups can receive up to $2,000 per month as compensatory income from March 15th, 2020, to October 3rd, 2020, for financial losses as a result of the pandemic.
These business owners are also getting the benefit of HST/GST relief by being granted a grace period for income taxes that they gathered between March 18th, 2020 and August 31st, 2020. Recently, The Prime Minister has unveiled a new program the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) providing an interest-free loan, via bank or credit union, of up to $40,000.
You can also check out more details re government support by visiting: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
A chance for small business owners to tie their camel
“The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who, one day saw a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it, questioned him as to why he was doing this. The Bedouin replied that he was placing his trust in Allah and had no need to tie the camel. The prophet Mohammed then replied, “Tie your camel and place your trust in Allah.”
The Prophet PBUH did not ask us to nail the camel down to earth, chain it, and then put it in a dungeon, rather, he simply asked us to tie our Camels. In other words, take all means necessary to secure your financial position at this time and prepare for what’s to come in a reasonable fashion, but don’t obsess over it. At the end of the day, Allah has already written this masterpiece called life and He is the Director and everything’s in His hands. We don’t take means because they protect us. In fact, if we take means believing that in these means is our protection and success, we end up falling into subtle shirk as Allah Subhanahu wa ta ‘Alaa is the one who connects the cause to the effect. Things have no independent being. They can’t stand on their own, let alone have the ability to benefit or harm us in any way. We simply take the worldly means because we’ve been commanded to, period. That being said, however, we take worldly means within the boundaries of sharia-law. Look at how the Holy Quran eludes to this when Allah Jalla Jalaluhu says:
وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا وَلَا تُسْرِفُوا ۚ إِنَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُسْرِفِينَ
…Eat and drink and don’t be wasteful. Verily, Allah does not like those who are extravagant – Al-A’raaf 31
We see in the above verse how we are told to take the means of food and drink but to do it in a way that is not extravagant. Avoiding extravagance is the shariah boundary associated with this particular means. Now, what about money and finance? The same rules apply here. You tie your camel by taking financial precautions in these trying times but remain within the boundaries of shariah law.
It’s probably a good idea to mention here that Shariah rulings sometimes change when circumstances change. For example, some scholars have made some of the restrictions around usury in some cases and under certain conditions, a bit more lenient given the global pandemic we’re undergoing today. So it’s important, we stay informed and connect ourselves with reliable, God-fearing scholars, who are not in the business of selling fatwas for their own personal gains, and Alhamdulillah, there are plenty of those. If you seek them sincerely, Allah will show you the way.
To summarize, connect yourself with a God-fearing Scholar, tie your camel by taking all the necessary halal means available to you to protect yourself financially in these times, but remain firm in your belief and connection with Allah, in that He alone is running, controlling, and directing everything you experience or come into contact with in this life. Put your trust in Him alone.
Also, keep in mind that businesses will be looking to strengthen their relationships with their existing customers and employees to get through this crisis. And not only will this be an excellent opportunity to reflect on better business practices, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual compliance of their investments.
Do you want to be paying interest on a mortgage, especially during a financial crisis?
As part of the economic relief plan for the country, the big five Canadian banks are offering reduced interest rates on transactions as well as deferral on mortgage payments for up to six months.
Why not take advantage of this time for reflection, and make your homeownership and long-term investment assets shariah-compliant?
Why not make both your short and long-term investments Sharia-compliant and durable for volatility in the financial market?
Take up the opportunity to invest in banking that actively strives to be shariah-compliant and not via a coincidence of circumstance.
Manzil strategically allocates your money into long-term investments like the Wahed invest Exchange Trade Fund (ETF), taking into account market volatility and investing in predominantly low-risk and stable companies. So while you continue to build and strategize with your small business or self-employed service, why not tie your camel by investing in sharia-compliant, socially responsible, long-term investments?
Walk with Manzil through this opportunity to refine and build resilience in your financial investments with your small business and services.
Let us help you tie your camel and book a meeting with one of our halal financial advisors today.