A Short Introduction to Usury: How to Make the Rich Richer, the Poor Poorer and Destroy the Middle Class

Download links: PDFePubMobi (Kindle)

In this short ebook I discuss the history of usury, how it works, its effects on society and how the system can be reformed. An important part of the discussion is how today automation leads to wealth inequality and wage slavery, and how through using a usury-free system and a wealth and speculation tax automation can turned into an investment that all of society benefits from.

I discuss how through avoiding usury and following a wealth tax inspired by Islam’s zakat basic income system communities can bypass the banks and corporations and revitalize their local economies. This is something that can be done by anyone right now, without any reference to the government.

The 1599 Geneva Bible Notes or Study Bible (Downloadable eBook Versions)

Page from a Geneva Bible dated 1599, but apparently (re?)printed a few decades later

Download links: PDF – Word – ePub – Mobi (kindle)

The text was sourced from Sacred Texts. It uses modern spelling and the quoted verses are apparently from the KJV (only the notes come from a Geneva commentary).

Michael Hoffman, in his Usury in Christendom: A Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Notmade a reference to the 1599 Geneva Bible Notes as a bible commentary that forbad usury. As someone who has been studying the problem of usury on and off for years, I was interested to find and download this bible commentary for my own reading. But I soon found out that the matter is not so simple and I was led on a wild goose chase to find the version Hoffman was referring to among the dozens of versions available online. The result of my research is in the introduction of the files.

Get it on Amazon.com

At any rate, as I mention in the introduction, it seems reasonably certain that notes are really by John Calvin and/or some of his followers. Whether the edition is more rightly to be called The 1599 Geneva Bible Notes, The 1599 Geneva Bible Translation Notes, or The 1599 Geneva Study Bible I am not sure, but I discuss them at length in the introduction. However, whether the anti-usury note on Luke 19:23 is really by the early Puritans or was added later I cannot say. The note says:

To the bankers and money changers. Usury or loaning money at interest is strictly forbidden by the Bible, (Exo_22:25-27; Deu_23:19-20). Even a rate as low as one per cent interest was disallowed, (Neh_5:11). This servant had already told two lies. First he said the master was an austere or harsh man. This is a lie for the Lord is merciful and gracious. Next he called his master a thief because he reaped where he did not sow. Finally the master said to him that why did you not add insult to injury and loan the money out at interest so you could call your master a «usurer» too! If the servant had done this, his master would have been responsible for his servant's actions and guilty of usury. (Ed.)

I cannot find any information on who this “Ed.”/editor is. A website that presents the 1587 Geneva Bible also has this note on Luke 19:23, complete with “Ed.” This might refer to the editors who came after John Calvin and updated his 1560 translation with their own improvements. It could also refer to a much later editor, but the presence of this note both in a purported 1587 edition and a 1599 edition supports the hypothesis that this note was added in the late 16th century and not later.

Hoffman’s citation actually goes to a secondary source, a book called The Eighth Commandment: Thou shalt not steal by Ted Weiland (available for free online here). It appears that Weiland may have simply copied the note on Luke 19:23 from one of the many Christian websites that present it, rather than from a manuscript or print edition.

Why did Imam Malik forbid living in non-Muslim countries?

Question in response to The Problem with the IslamQA.info Website:

I'm wondering why did Imam Malik Say we can't live in non Muslim country? SubbhanAllah I thought that imam Malik had balanced views. isn't it the fact that westerns are converting due to the fact that we Muslims live in the West and that there are masajids etc in the west. If they are isolated from us how can they get the message? (I follow Maliki madhab)

At the time of Imam Malik the Islamic world used to be viewed as one country. A Muslim could travel from Spain to Afghanistan without needing a passport because, just by being Muslim, he was considered a citizen of the whole of the Islamic lands. Due to the fact that at the time there were no lasting international treaties or constitutions in the non-Islamic lands, living in them was often very dangerous for Muslims. Even if the present ruler of a non-Islamic country like Byzantium had a friendly attitude toward Muslims, protected them and allowed them to practice their religion, the next ruler could choose to forbid the practice of Islam, in this way forcing the Muslims to either abandon Islam or lose everything they had by making them leave the country.

Another issue was that due to the lack of a stable international order, the borders of the Islamic lands were the scenes of constant battles. A Muslim who left the land of Islam to live somewhere else could have been forced by the non-Islamic country to wage war against the Islamic lands.

It is possible those circumstances made Imam Malik prefer a certain interpretation of the Quran and Sunnah (such as verses 4:97-99) that considers it a duty to migrate to the Land of Islam (Dār al-Islām, literally “Abode of Islam”). There is, however, no conclusive evidence in favor of that view. There is nothing in the Quran or the Sunnah that forces us to adopt it. There is an authentic narration in the collection of Ibn Ḥibbān in which a recent convert to Islam comes to the Prophet saying that some people are telling him he is doomed if he does not migrate to the land of Islam, while the land he currently lives in is populated by non-Muslims who promise him that he will be safe and free to practice Islam. The Prophet tells him to stay with his people, advising him to pray and to avoid evil deeds, and to live among his own people wherever he likes.1

Today, when it comes to this issue, those who have a tribalist way of thinking continue to take the Abode of Islam vs. Abode of Unbelief idea seriously, while the majority have moved on to recognizing that that concept is outdated and that it was a human invention to begin with (neither the Quran nor authentic narrations teach us to think in such black and white terms). The sensible position, which is the position of most scholars, is that if a country guarantees a Muslim’s right to freedom of religion and certain other human rights that most countries guarantee, then a Muslim can live there without issue. Some scholars have the opinion that every Muslim should ideally do their best to move to an “Islamic” country. This is a highly debatable issue; it is not at all obvious that it is morally and spiritually superior for an Irish convert to Islam to abandon their land and culture to live in a Muslim country where they have half the human rights, safety and economic security they would have back home. It also shows a distinct lack of respect for a person’s family, culture and heritage to think that a person should just throw all that away and have no sense of duty toward them to want to sustain and reform them with their newfound spirituality. But as I explained about Wahhabis in my essay, it is a distinct feature of their type of thinking that they have no respect for human relationships and cultures, in their view it is their ideology that is supposed to replace human nature and culture (hence their famous destruction of so much of Arabia’s architectural heritage in the name of Islam).

The Problem with the IslamQA.info Website

I'm going to study in university abroad and found on islamQA that we muslims are not allowed to live in non muslim countries. Please let me know, as I've applied already but I still haven't left.

The Internet is overwhelmed with Saudi-funded websites and activists that promote the Wahhabi worldview. It is easy for uneducated people to mistakenly conclude that this fringe ideology is representative of Islam since it comes out of Saudi Arabia. They do not know that the scholars of Mecca and Medina rejected this ideology until it was forced on them by sword and gun in 1925 by the Saudis. Winston Churchill described their leader Ibn Saud and his followers as follows: “they hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahhabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette.” (Churchill was also responsible for paying Ibn Saud a stipend of £100,000 a year from the British government, or six million US dollars in today’s money).

The IslamQA.info website follows the Wahhabi ideology of the Saudi government. It might be the wealthiest Islamic website on the Internet thanks to Saudi funding, and because of their wealth they have been able to dominate both the Arabic-speaking and English-speaking Internet when it comes to questions about Islam.

The problem with Wahhabism is that it is merely a rebranding of the Bedouin tribalist mindset that Islam came to abolish. In the Bedouin creed, only tribe members are considered true humans. A Bedouin who meets someone in the desert who does not belong to the tribe can kill them without giving it a second thought because anyone who is not in the tribe is automatically a non-human; they can spare the person’s life if they think they will make money out of them, or if there is some alliance that prevents them from killing them, but outside of these material concerns, they do not recognize in any way the intrinsic worth of human life. In a tribal society it is blood dies that determine who belongs to the tribe and who does not. Wahhabism takes all of these concepts and creates a new tribe, the Wahhabi tribe, that is not defined by blood ties but by submitting to the Wahhabi creed. Everyone who follows Wahhabism is a human, everyone who does not is subhuman and can be killed at will unless there is a material reason to preserve their lives.

Wahhabis believe that out of 1.8 billion Muslims only they and no one else really and truly believes in God, that somehow, miraculously, only they and no other group of Muslim possesses the real truth, and that by the virtue of being the only possessors of the truth, they have the right wipe out all other versions of Islam and to become the unchallenged and unquestioned rulers of the Islamic world, telling everyone else what to think.

In the early Islamic period, as is described in Sheikh Umar F. Abd-Allah’s Mālik and Medina: Islamic Legal Reasoning in the Formative Period, it was quite normal for Muslims to disagree with one another on most things and continue to live peacefully together and respect one another. Each scholar had the right of independent reasoning and the right of challenging the opinions of others. Wahhabis pretend that, thanks to possessing the real truth, they have the right to abolish all free thought among Muslims so that they do the thinking for everyone else. Since they define the Wahhabi tribe in terms of agreeing with Wahhabism, anyone who disagrees with it is outside the tribe, which means they are not really humans, which means their opinions do not count. In this way they ignore the opinions of almost every major scholar of Islamic history. They also attack and demonize with the most vicious hatred every respected living scholar of today who does not submit to their tribalist version of Islam.

IslamQA.info is a Wahhabi mouthpiece. When it comes to matters of jurisprudence (things like performing ablution), they often give sensible and balanced answers based on the opinions of the Ḥanbalī school. Scholars like Ibn Bāz, al-Albānī and Ibn ʿUthaymīn who are revered and often quoted by the Wahhabis are also highly respected by other Muslims. So on these issues they can sound quite normal, since they largely follow traditional Islam when it comes to the parts of Islam that have to do with day to day life among Muslims. But when it comes to issues having to do with interactions between Wahhabis and non-Wahhabis, that is where their creepy tribalism comes out. Since to them non-Wahhabis are not humans but something more like demons or animals, Wahhabis are not allowed to befriend them, treat them like humans, have sympathy for them, live alongside them, or follow any of the Quran’s ethics in relation to them. In their highly twisted interpretation of Islam, everything the Quran says about being kind, forgiving and just toward others only applies to tribe members, i.e. fellow Wahhabis. When it comes to outsiders, they are treated not according to the Islamic creed, but according to the Bedouin creed. Since the Bedouin creed requires that all humans outside the tribe should be treated as non-humans and should be enslaved or killed unless there is something to be gained by not doing these things to them, that is exactly how they think the normal Muslim relationship to those around them should be. Here I am speaking of the thinking of Saudi-taught Wahhabi ideologues, not necessarily the scholars they claim to respect and quote.

In Wahhabism, the Bedouin creed is above the Quran and the Prophet’s teachings and determines the framework within which they follow Islam. For more on Wahhabism see my essay: The Difference Between “Salafism” and “Wahhabism” and Why I Belong to Neither Group. On mainstream Islam’s views and how extremely different they are from Wahhabism and other authoritarian versions of Islam see my essay Consensual Communities and the Sanctity of Human Life.

As for your question regarding living in a non-Muslim country, you can get sensible answers from almost any mainstream scholar coming from any of the schools of Islamic thought outside the Wahhabi tribalist insanity. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the world’s most renowned mainstream scholars, says Muslims may live in non-Muslim lands if they are allowed to practice Islam there within reasonable criteria. Wahbah al-Zuhayli (d. 2015), a Syrian scholar and professor, has the same opinion.1 This is also the opinion of Dr. Shawki Allam, Egypt’s Grand Mufti.2

According to the Mauritanian Mālikī scholar Abdallah Bin Bayyah (professor of Islamic studies at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah), the Shāfiʿī, Ḥanbalī and Ḥanafī all permit residing in non-Muslim countries (with some internal disagreement among their scholars). Imam Mālik (founder of the Mālikī school which professor Bin Bayyah follows) was of the opinion that Muslims are not permitted to live in non-Muslim countries. But Abdallah Bin Bayyah, himself a Mālikī, has a softer Mālikī position and says that if a Muslim suffers injustice in the Muslim lands then he/she has the right of living in non-Muslim lands provided that they can practice Islam freely and bring up their children according to Islamic principles.3

The sensible answer is that there is no issue with living in a non-Muslim-majority country. Regardless of where we live, the country will be involved with certain unethical things. There is no such thing as a perfectly or even entirely Islamic government or legal system, and there is no conclusive evidence that we cannot live in a country that guarantees our rights and religious freedoms in return for obeying its constitution. I would much rather live in a Western country whose constitution guarantees my life and freedom rather than a “Muslim” country ruled by tyrants, war criminals and princes who think they have the right to imprison and kill anyone who gets in their way. A Western country that respects human rights and religious freedom can be argued to be far more Islamic in spirit than a “Muslim” country that has no respect for the lives and freedoms of its citizens.

How will God punish the person who wronged me?

I recently have been greatly wronged, mistreated and oppressed by someone very close to me, and i was just wondering..how will allah punish them?

That depends on whether you will eventually forgive them or not, and whether they will seek forgiveness or not, and whether God has a certain plan for making something good come out of the wrong they have done you. We can never predict what God is going to do next, since we do not know His wisdom and His plans. Something bad that happens now may have the greatest benefit for us ten years down the road, and a person who wrongs us now may do us a great favor in the future out of their feeling of guilt. And if they never repent and you patiently wait for God’s judgment without doing any evil toward them in return, then God can give you a great reward in this life and the next for your patience.

I recommend that you read the Quran, it has many verses that clarify these matters.

Muslim woman going to a mixed university

I'm starting uni this year Inshallah and I it will be mixed. I've haven't interacted with guys much unless it is necessary bec I was mostly at an all girls schools. How should I deal with guys knowing that I don't like it when they approach me and they mostly do it to befriend and not for necessary stuff?

That depends on your personality and culture, some women are self-confident and can easily end unwanted interactions. In general just being professional and polite is going to be good enough for most situations. If you wear the hijab, then that in itself is a big signal that you do not want to be approached the way other women are. Something that could help prevent unwanted interactions outside the classroom is to wear sunglasses. People will be a lot more hesitant to approach you if they cannot see your eyes. Another thing would be to wear headphones.

If you get persistently approached or harassed, performing a regular spiritual practice such as tahajjud is going to help greatly in remaining calm and undisturbed in difficult situations.

Giving up an addiction to “sexting” apps

I've been addicted to apps like kik and snapchat for sexting . Even when I delete them I install it back and find girls calling me .how do i quit this crap ? May Allah help me.

The solution I believe is the same as that for avoiding pornography, which is to have a regular, daily spiritual practice that turns you into the kind of person who can naturally avoid sinful things without even trying. The practice I recommend for Muslims is tahajjud, please see this new essay for more about it: Mysticism without Sufism: A Guide to Tahajjud, Islam’s Meditation Practice

Beauty as Pointer: An Islamic Aesthetic Theory

Why is this beautiful?

There is something special about beauty, as has been recognized by philosophers in the recent centuries. If someone says the above piece of architecture is ugly, I would judge them either liars or somehow morally corrupt.

When we appreciate beauty, we feel morally uplifted. This is very strange. Why should appreciating some design have any relationship with how I feel about myself?

This makes me feel like a better person.

This moral sense of beauty is wonderfully expressed by Roger Scruton in the following passage:

Our need for beauty is not something that we could lack and still be fulfilled as people. It is a need arising from our metaphysical condition, as free individuals, seeking our place in a shared and public world. We can wander through this  world, alienated, resentful, full of suspicion and distrust. Or we can find our home here, coming to rest in harmony with others and with ourselves. The experience of beauty guides us along this second path: it tells us that we are at home in the world, that the world is already ordered in our perceptions as a place fit for the lives of beings like us. But—and this is again one of the messages of the early modernists—beings like us become at home in the world only by acknowledging our ‘fallen’ condition, as Eliot acknowledged it in The Waste Land. Hence the experience of beauty also points us beyond this world, to a ‘kingdom of ends’ in which our immortal longings and our desire for perfection are finally answered. As Plato and Kant both saw, therefore, the feeling for beauty is proximate to the religious frame of mind, arising from a humble sense of living with imperfections, while aspiring towards the highest unity with the transcendental.1

My point in this post is to take those thoughts slightly further using my Islamic education, especially al-Ghazali’s simulation theory.

A beautiful Gothic cathedral is a “glitch in the matrix” that creates a state of awe in your mind best expressed in the Quranic verse:

Our Lord, You did not create this in vain, glory to You!2

The state of mind tells us that while from inside the universe things may appear meaningless and random, if we could only look beyond, we would see that they have an architecture and a meaning; history has a director; God exists and watches on.

Appreciating beauty leads to a certain state of the mind. The way that taking a drug creates a certain mental state, appreciating beauty too does something to the mind, creating a special mental state. This state of mind produced feels meaningful because it points beyond the here and now, beyond the confines of space and time, beyond the individual human, in short, beyond the universe itself.

In Islam, we use the word ayah (“a sign that points toward something”) to refer to anything and everything that points to God. It might be possible to explain all beauty using the ayah concept alone (although I am not perfectly sure):

A beautiful thing is anything that points the human mind to the transcendent, i.e. to God.

The similarity between mystical experience and the experience of beauty is well-established. That, according to my theory, is because they are the same thing. The state of awe that beauty forces upon us makes us feel infinitely small, makes us feel connected to something larger than ourselves and larger than the universe, and most importantly, makes us feel judged by an all-seeing subject, an eye that knows us better than anyone else and is ready to forgive us.

That is where the morally uplifting nature of beauty comes from. When faced with beauty, just as we are casually judging it, we suddenly become aware of an eye that looks back and judges us in return. Something suddenly goes click inside our psyche, we are transported beyond our circumstances, and we are offered a chance to become better than we are. We are on the edge of a great revelation but we do not know what is being offered or who is offering it.

For me appreciating the Quran creates the same psychological experience as appreciating beauty, natural or man-made.

This Quran, in pointing to God, is a universe that speaks. And this universe, in pointing to God, is a silent Quran.3

Many Western hippies have visited Fez, Morocco in their seeking of meaning in life. While Morocco has much beauty to offer, meaning that it helps travelers come face-to-face with the all-seeing subject that looks back at us, judges us and offers us forgiveness as we try to judge beauty, the same experience can be had for much cheaper at home by looking at the architecture of most churches and their surrounding scenery.

Moroccan pottery.

Beautiful art, whether Islamic or Christian, points to God. The experience of beauty, whether in Fez or in the English countryside, is one and the same. Both point to God and make moral demands on us, promising us salvation in return for piety.

The problem with Fez and Turkey’s many tourist attractions is that beauty is devoid of moral teaching, therefore while a lover of beauty is elevated by it and motivated to seek God, if they do not go through with this seeking (through religion or at least through the effort of direct communion with God without religion), they end up as moral failures who never reach what they seek. They admire God through beauty but are too cowardly to talk to Him face-to-face.

I have met some of these unfortunate seekers who never become finders. The fact that you can experience the moral uplift of beauty means that you are capable of contemplating God’s face and communicating with Him. But there is a next step you have to take, which is to seek moral guidance. You can experience God, but Your God can speak, so why don’t you listen to what He has to say?

Most mysticism ends in narcissism. Rumi’s poetry, Morocco’s beauty and Gothic architecture all lift us up into the stratosphere like a thousand tons of rocket fuel, but if we are content with this experience, if we seek the experience itself without bothering to listen to God, then our mysticism and spirituality becomes self-worship. We appreciate art or chant the name of God and enjoy the uplift that comes with it, but the moment God starts speaking to us we shun Him and run away, as if saying O God, give us the good feeling of being close to You, but do not make demands. You are lovely, beautiful, amazing, but stay where I put you.

The narcissistic mystic does not chase God, he chases the feeling of what it is like to be close to God. The one who chases God is eager to listen to Him, while the narcissistic mystic feels inconvenienced by His voice.

Ugliness

If beauty is that which points to God, ugliness is that which points away from Him. Beautiful architecture “traces the contours of God’s face” so to speak, helping us know what it feels like to be near Him even though we cannot see Him. Ugly architecture, on the other hand, often present us with faceless edifices that point to nothing beyond themselves, almost claiming that God does not exist and they are all that there is:

Ugliness personified: Zaha Hadid’s gigantic faceless worms (Galaxy SOHO in Beijing, China)

There is nothing to relate to as a human in the above building. It is an alien, impenetrable thing that might be an alien organism capable of wiping humanity out for all that we know. Beautiful things help us come face-to-face with God and offer us salvation. Ugly things offer us nothing and tell us we are not needed. Ugly architecture offers us cruel and vacant faces, telling us life is meaningless and that there is nothing beyond. Like those dismal Soviet apartment blocks, they remind us of the hopelessness and meaninglessness of existence without God. They can be interesting to look at as technological marvels, as the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles below, but they are as morally uplifting as a washing machine.

The cruel, blank, inhuman faces of modern architecture.

And as a cure for the horror of experiencing looking at the above building, here is something beautiful and humane, a building that seems to whisper to us about God, almost as if it is an angel who points to God and offer us everything we could desire if we choose to be morally upright:

Religious propaganda

An important clarification has to be made here. By saying that beauty is all that points to God and that all that points to God is beautiful, I am not referring to religious propaganda, which is often ugly.

A Muslim-made billboard that quotes a verse of the Quran and talks to Christians about how Islam is better for them is not going to create any mystical experience in the hearts of the Christians who view it, because they know there is a human will behind the billboard that cannot be automatically trusted. The billboard might use a beautiful verse and a beautiful design, but the attitude behind the object makes it fall flat. Propaganda-makers pretend to possess the whole truth and refuse to acknowledge their doubts and their human weaknesses. Propaganda tries to change the course of history, it is an expression of the desire for a group of humans to make another group of humans do their bidding (I am not saying this is always bad, it can be done with good intentions, but the point is that it is not beautiful; it is not morally uplifting).

Unlike propaganda, beauty has no human will behind it and does not claim to be perfect. It does not matter who funded the above building and for what purpose. It stands on its own and humbly points to God, without pompously thinking that it knows what your beliefs should be, what you should do with your life or how history should go. It merely helps you have an experience of God while leaving it up to you to discover the truth on your own.

There is a certain class of religious art that does make truth-claims but that is not propaganda because it is aimed at members of the religious community itself; it does not seek to change them but only to reaffirm their faith and worldview. Such art is experienced by us as beautiful provided that we are members of that community because the attitude behind it no longer matters since we share the same attitude as its creators. It does not pompously claim to know the truth or try to change your way of life. It uses beautiful imagery to re-create mystical experiences you have already had in the past. The unsavory ingredient of attitude and politics is not present, so the artwork can be appreciated for itself.

Above, what might be experienced as a threatening cultural incursion by a Christian if they were to see it hung as a poster on some wall in their city is experienced by a Muslim as an apolitical reminder of many beautiful-mystical things: Ramadan, the peacefulness of small Middle Eastern towns in the desert, the Prophet’s migration to Medina . For a Muslim it points to God in numerous ways. For a Christian, if they were to see it hung in the wrong place (on a church’s wall!) it would be a direct, political attack on their way of life and independence of conscience. A beautiful thing in the wrong context can send all the wrong messages; instead of causing mystical experience it can cause discomfort and dread.

Porn is destroying my life, I’m not able to control the urges

Porn is destroying my life, I'm not able to control the urges. It has lead me to do things that I can't even say. My life is being destroyed and I'm just not able to control myself in those moments. Slowly I feel like I'm falling into an abyss of depression likes the one I've never felt. I've don't know what to do anymore. I know Allah SWT is with me and he'll forgive me if I sincerely repent and stop doing this but that's the problem and I just can't control myself when the urges hit me.

The best way to avoid sin is to develop a close relationship with God. The closer you are to God, the easier it is to stay away from sinful things. Start praying tahajjud for an hour every night before bed. This is not difficult if you are eager to improve yourself. For more on tahajjud please see the section on the avoidance of sin in my new article: Mysticism without Sufism: A Guide to Tahajjud, Islam’s Meditation Practice

If you are young, then as you get older avoiding pornography will become easier for you. The brain does not fully mature until the age of 25, it is only at this age that we get good control over our impulses. And from this age onwards sexual desire slowly subsides (if you are male), so that the attraction of pornography becomes weaker.

You may also benefit from the discussion of pornography in this article: Is reading erotica permitted in Islam?

Parents will not let him marry his chosen

Please can you advice me. There is a guy who wants to wants to marry me and my parents are OK with it but his parents are forcing him to marry his cousin instead. He already tried to talk to his parents many times, to convince to at least meet my family (his parents don’t know me), but they won’t listen to him. We both don’t know what to do, we don’t want to marry without his parents blessing.

The best thing to do might be to just wait patiently. Eventually his parents might become convinced that he is not going to marry the cousin, and may make it more likely for them to consider the possibility of his marrying you. In the meantime the cousin could get other suitors and may get engaged to one of them. It could take the parents many months or a year or more to come around, and I know it is difficult to wait when you are eager to marry, but sometimes there is no way to speed things along.

In the mean time, the best thing you can do is to do extra worship. By seeking to be close to God, God will make things easier for us and guide us to what is best for us. Please check out this new essay on the type of worship I recommend: Mysticism without Sufism: A Guide to Tahajjud, Islam’s Meditation Practice

Best wishes.

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