Q&A (Fatwa)

#1112: The Ruling On The Use Of Cowries As A Medium Of Exchange

Salllam alaikum Ya esteem Shiek,what is the Islamic view on using Cowries and does Cowries as any significant in islamic perspectives


Wa Alaykum Salam Warahmatullah Wabarakaatuh.


Know, may Allah illumine my heart and yours that money, as recognized by the Shar’iah is anything that is regarded as money in the society within which a person lives and which has a value or a perceived value and is treasured for now or future use.

As for the majority, they regard Money as anything that can be preserved for future use whether in its self like gold, silver, farm produce, livestock and others. Or it is something whose value is in other than itself such as a rented home, etc. The majority referred here are the Hanbalis, the Malikis and the Shaafi’is.

As for the Hanafis, they separate between money (wealth) and Possession. They refer as money, everything that is owned and whose value lies in itself and which can be preserved and kept for a future use.

And as Possession, that which is of benefit or right and whose value is not usable to attain other benefits in other than itself such as the rights of guardianship to ab orphan, etc.

Thus the Hanafis do not consider Possession Wealth.

This that we have said has been succinctly captured by Ibn Mandhur in Lisaanu Al-‘Arab and Al-Kisaani in Badaa’i As-Sanaa’i.

The summary of this is that Wealth in the Shariah is wide and accommodates a lot of things. And Money is accepted in the Shariah provided the Community recognizes it as such and it has value in itself or has a perceived value that the society agrees upon.

What we are saying here, and Allah knows best, is that there is nothing wrong in regarding Cowries as money provided the society recognizes it as such

And Allah knows best.

Barakallahu fikum
Jazakumullahu Khayran

Abū Asim

20th Shaaban, 1442 AH.

📚 IslāmNode


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