On Wednesday, 21/11/2012, the Dinar and Dirham Exchange Booth was opened and within a few days since the launch, three traders agreed to accept payment in Dinar and Dirham. One was White Cat Inc’s neighbor who sells keris (Malay Art Gallery – House of Keris), another a bicycle rental shop (WSS – Outside The Sleepy Kiwi backpackers’ hostel) and the third, a tailor (Rose Dafea). They are all on Bussorah Street.
This is a sign that there is immense barakah in this work through which Allah is uniting the hearts of the Muslim traders in Kampong Glam. Kampong Glam used to be an Islamic area where the royalty and aristocracy used to live and gather. The Istana (palace) was at Kampong Glam and the mosque, shop houses of residence and marketplace were all at Kampong Glam. It was a place which gathered the Muslims.
Now it has become a place of tourist attraction. The market area now rests on Capitalist foundations. There is high rent charged on traders (who are allocated permanent lots to trade) due to landlords who want to earn off the mere ownership of land, which becomes unlawful in Islam when it functions as a market. In the fiqh, a marketplace is supposed to be on waqf property and no rent is charged for traders and anyone is allowed to come into the market and trade as long as there is space. Due to the secular modernist kafir culture, now, the once waqf land of Kampong Glam has been privatised and adding on to, that there is also other haram elements there. For example, firewater is served right in front of the mosque by one despicable Turkish trader. There is firewater served at a number of other restaurants and clubs around Kampong Glam.
However, the most important element of the market is the money. The money that flows in the marketplace is like the blood in the body. Halal and clean money must first be established so that the marketplace founded on sound shari’ah rulings can follow. Then other foundational elements of muamalah can fall in place one by one.
In this respect, first of all, traders in Kampong Glam must accept halal and shari’ah currency. The three traders, within a few days since the launch, having come forward willingly to accept the coins produced by WIM as payment, is a sign from Allah that Kampong Glam is undergoing change to please Allah; that halal money is beginning to flow in the market like clean blood coming into a diseased body to refresh the old blood.
Soon haram elements will insha Allah begin to disappear one by one. Insha Allah all the traders will soon accept Dinar and Dirham as payment. Allah is Al-Lateef and the subtlety of this change and what great changes it will cause or force to follow only time will tell. Because the change is for Allah, the immense barakah and reward in this place will begin to unfold one by one.
Jamal Kazura Aromatics, Bushra Café, Global Ikhwan restaurant, Café Rouge, and a number of other textile and clothing stores were interested to hear about the coins and responded positively when the TTN team went around visiting the shops. They are positive even though they have not yet accepted the coins as payment. That is enough for now. May Allah enlighten their hearts and our hearts and join our hearts in the establishment of His Deen.
MediaCorp personnel who visited Arab Street to interview a particular old trader who sells hats and baskets in one of the streets, stumbled upon us while asking directions and we soon spoke to them about the Dinar and Dirham. They are now interested to make a small video report on this interesting change that is occurring in Kampong Glam.
Three madrasah students came to know about the booth while strolling Bussorah street and bought two coins just to spend them and experience what people think is primitive and not practical. They said it is something which is easy and not as difficult as critics make it seem. Another three ladies came to the booth and bought a number of coins. They were so excited to use the coins that they walked into a shop and enquired whether the coins are accepted as payment there and when they were told no, they decided not to sit there. This was very surprising to me. Their fervour in advancing this cause is far greater than TTN activists, I thought.
“Their fervour in advancing this cause is far greater than TTN activists..”
Another trader came to exchange his coins back to fiat. This privilege is given to traders only, those who accept the coins as payment in their shop. We exchanged his coins without any deduction. Though we offer buy-back services there at the booth to traders, we discourage them from selling the coins back to us because this will stop the circulation of the coins. Money is meant to be circulated. It is meant for payment. However, we offer such a service so that TTN traders will know that TTN is sincere and we do this for Allah.
We call on all our readers to come visit us at Bussorah street during our opening hours and also take active part in visiting the shops to speak about the coins and the booth.