Puneet Madaan exposes Usmani protégé

May 7, 2010

Puneet Madaan, a frequent commenter here on Money Jihad and no stranger to our readers, recently sent in a link about IjaraLoans.com, a Michigan-based sharia compliant lender.

After clicking on IjaraLoans.com’s online tool to “Chat With A Scholar”, Puneet noticed the name of their scholar is Sheikh Mohammed-Umer Esmail.  He also found that Sheikh Mohammed-Umer Esmail has led prayers with UT Austin’s Muslim Student Association.  Thank you, Puneet, for notifying us about this.

(It’s also worth noting that the Global MB Daily Report says that Muslim Student Associations have “long been associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood…”  The linkages deal with the origins of Muslim student unions in America and Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s admission that the MSA is a recruitment ground for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.)

But the association between Sheikh Muhammed-Umer Esmail and the champions of global sharia finance is not as attenuated as working for IjaraLoans.com or praying with the MSA.  It turns out that Esmail actually studied Islamic finance under Taqi Usmani (or as Shariah Finance Watch occasionally calls him, “Ugly Usmani”), perhaps the biggest proponent of sharia finance in the world today.  From a cached “SeekersGuidance” profile:

Shaykh Mufti Mohamed-Umer Esmail as our new instructor at SeekersGuidance.  He will begin teaching this Summer with two courses in the sciences of Tafsir and Qira’at.
Shaykh Umer Esmail is a Canadian born, traditionally trained scholar who started his quest to acquire Islamic knowledge at a young age and continued formal studies of the Sciences of Shari`ah in different parts of the world for thirteen years.

He initially studied Urdu and Arabic as well as other traditional Islamic Sciences at the Institute for Islamic Studies in Dewsbury, UK. There he acquired an Ijazah (teaching certification) in Hanafi Fiqh, Hadith, Tafsir, Tajwid and the Ten Qur’anic Qira’at. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan, where he studied under some of the greatest living scholars of our time; including Justice (Rtd) Shaykh al-Islam Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani (may Allah preserve him). There he received an Ijazah in ten major books of Hadith. He also spent two years specializing in the science of Fiqh and Ifta’ (giving legal verdicts) and during this time he published hundreds of Fatawa (legal verdicts). Furthermore, he was blessed with the opportunity to study Islamic Finance under the tutelage of Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani.

It’s not surprising that scholars in America have learned and are implementing Usmani’s teachings in the U.S. (especially considering that Western banks like HSBC were affiliated for years with Usmani).  But there’s something unsettling about having a homegrown Usmani hawking loans in Michigan and influencing students in Texas.


  1. Thanks AD for the great coverage :)

    • Fo’ sure. I got the feeling that we’ll be learning more about Esmail over time.

  2. Great Post. I have found it very useful!. Keep it up. I have paid off
    all my student loans now! Because I’ve found a
    way to make $5000 per month on the internet. :P Feel free to check out my blog on Neobux

  3. absolutely stupid. i was part of MSA at my university and our only intentions were for muslim students to pray together, socialized and promoto student unity. Stop spreading stupid islamophobia!

    • Do you disagree with positions espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood?

      • No but I agree with your Godly positions in the Kama Sutra, puny “Puneet.”

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