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11 May, 2006

Just a game

As stockmarkets collapse around the Gulf bringing despair, fury and no small amount of schadenfreude, it's heartening to see that they're still trying to encourage the young'uns to take up this halal form of gambling:

AL AIN - Ebtehal Alawthali, a student of the Al Ain Women's College (AAWC), has won the 2006 Online Stock Game Competition at the Dubai Financial Market (DFM).

Students were given a virtual million dirhams to gamble invest with. It probably felt no less real than the hundreds of millions of dirhams taken out in bankloans by so many Gulf nationals to have a flutter with. After all, that wasn't their money either, was it? It cameth from a bank vault and to a bank vault it shall not return, for most of it is gone forever.

Ebtehal added: "I wish real life was a game so I could make Dh18 million in a month."

Don't we all.



Blogger samuraisam said...

pfft. I took 10,000$ on blogshares and turned it into over 80 million $ in the space of two or so months.
I win.

11 May, 2006 17:35  
Blogger omeir khan said...

Secret Diary do you have a thoery as to how playing stocks can be quoted as gambling? If I buy a piece of land and seel it on a profit in three months will that be gambling as well?

11 May, 2006 20:02  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Gambling is playing a game of chance for money. Obviously when buying and sellings stocks is done without the mentality of long-term investments, it certainly becomes a simple game of chance. Will it go up tomorrow, or go down? I'll sell immedliately.. buy sell buy sell.. No one cares to have a healthy and diverse portfolio.

11 May, 2006 20:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD, speaking about "halal" and "haram" is a big issue that I don't think you are fully aware of. I really find it ridiculous when someone wrongly describes what's in my house, and post his / her personal opinion to the others, as a fact...

11 May, 2006 21:07  
Blogger Wobblydangly said...

I know a few Indians and they stink...a lot. Last week, I passed through the Electronics Souk in Bur Dubai and they all have this b.o.

Feels like the whole air is smelling like a guy's armpit. I mean young Indian girls, guys, granny, grandpa, they all have this smell.
I had to hold my breath but try to smile at the same time as I rush out the store, run past groups of Indians on the sidewlk, and into the safety of my car.

Why does this not bother them? Do they know how strong their bodies smell? Is this genetic?
It doesn't smell like curry or spices, but smell like a guy's ARMPIT!

Can any real Indian here tell me why?


11 May, 2006 22:39  
Blogger crazy1 said...

I guess that's because you so used to smelling strong perfume that's worse than b.o.

11 May, 2006 22:48  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Mazar - I'm not quite sure what relevance your observation has to the stockmarkets, but to anwer you anyway: not everyone realises the need for antiperspirant deodorant.

It's quite probable that it's healthier NOT to wear a (pore-blocking) anti perspirant, but the fact of the matter is that only such a deodorant really stops odour in the majority of people. Even those with underactive sweat glands and very little personal smell will end up stinking in the sweaty heat of the souq.

Also: all forms of deodorant wear off in the heat and humidity. They need to be reapplied every few hours to be fully effective.

hmaarouf: I have no idea what's in your house, or even where you live, but I am entitled to my opinion that from everything I have learnt about Islamic finance and shariah compliant investments, taking a short term, speculative, high risk approach to investment is very much NOT in the spirit of halalness. One doesn't have to be a muslim to have an view on this.

11 May, 2006 23:28  
Blogger omeir khan said...

"One doesn't have to be a muslim to have an view on this. "

But one has to have a understanding about Islamic Law.

11 May, 2006 23:39  
Blogger Earthbound Misfit said...


If they weren't paid such shitty salaries (and sometimes not at all) they too would be able to afford that Dhs 20 deodorant like the rest of us...


All we got to do is make sure that they get higher salaries and we could then save our nostrils...

Lets start with that 15% increase Dubai Municipality promised them a year ago....

12 May, 2006 01:02  
Blogger Mohamed Elzubeir said...

Okay, I've had it with the stupidity by those so-called 'Muslims' and expert-wanna-bes.

Listen you dumb asses, any Muslim with half a brain will tell you that this sort of stock investment is not haram.. yes, not halal.. aha, not kosher, fami? comprende? Get the picture? Get over yourself.

And who the hell said that you have to be a mountain climber to have an opinion on whether it is a dangerous sport or not. I mean, really, how stupid are you people?

What I am seeing from those comments here is such a magnificently unbelievable amount of ignorance and utter stupidity that it should be part of Falcon City's wonders of the world.. yeah, stick you all together and call it, "The Highest Level of Stupidity Per Capita in the World".

Get a life. Jeez. Idiots.

12 May, 2006 11:34  
Blogger al-republican said...

Hehehe Mohammad ElZubeir.

I think we Muslims can start from things that are categorically and explicitly mentioned as HARAM/HALAL in the Qur'an. It's sad how lightly we take these words these days.

SD, I can't believe you gave a full explanation on body odor! But, I guess it links with the stock market's trends in a way - they both STINK!

12 May, 2006 11:44  
Blogger Minkey Chief said...

Can any real Indian here tell me why?

I'm a real Indian, but I can't tell you why.

You see, I am blessed in that my BO smells of Jovan Musk. It means I don't have to spend on deos, but also means I'm pretty much stuck with one brand.

If your name didn't tell me you were trolling, Mazar Fakher...

12 May, 2006 12:55  
Blogger omeir khan said...

"Listen you dumb asses, any Muslim with half a brain will tell you that this sort of stock investment is not haram.. yes, not halal.. aha, not kosher, fami? comprende? Get the picture? Get over yourself."

Calm down, take a chill pill and then read the whole thing again.

12 May, 2006 17:09  
Blogger Nuppo said...

Haram or Halal, I can not say. But all I can say that any stock exchange whose main index does over 100% return (DFM in 2005) in one year can be considered as a better casino.

I even tried to remind some of my (not haram) gambling colleagues concepts like price earnings ratio (P/E) and all I would hear is that Dubai is different...

Everybody gets to learn - I did in 2000/2001. Internet stocks anyone ? (Still have some).

12 May, 2006 18:38  
Blogger ahmedkm said...

At last somebody pointed it out. People here just went to the stock market and were gambling and had very little knowledge of the game. Bingo. At last there is somebody pointed this out. Secret Diary. People put all thier or most of their saving the stock market. People come on. This stock market was also way tooo much over exxagerated.

13 May, 2006 00:47  
Blogger Asian Dude said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

13 May, 2006 09:25  
Blogger Asian Dude said...

To inverst or not to invest. Check the Islamic ruling here.

13 May, 2006 09:26  
Blogger Razaldo said...

Any investment in the stock market for a short term has the following charecteristics:

1. You bought it because you thought its price is going to go up in a short time

2. You sell it when you think the price can not go up any further (in turn selling it to a larger fool who thinks it will still go up)

When you buy something from a long term perspective, do you still think the same?

Haram or halal?

13 May, 2006 10:08  
Blogger ahmedkm said...

riddle of the sand...
i am not a "Moftee" but you are correct if people invest in the long term. that i consider halal... but to go and play on short terms come on lets be realistic whats the difference than it be gambling ....

13 May, 2006 20:13  
Blogger Cokey said...

As usual this screwed up, money eating country allows only the 'locals' to buy the IPO. I was really surprised by this! Its totally racist that the IPO's go to these lazy bastards only. Usually these IPO's go to employees of the company or general public but here!! FAGGOTS!

14 May, 2006 02:49  
Blogger al-republican said...

A close friend of mine (in the US) had a similar blog entry related to stocks. It's nothing new that people like to make quick and easy money. Most people who invest in stocks indulging in quick buy-sell routines claim that they are good with their foresight on market movement. However, I feel most people miss a few tricks in their quest for quick profits over short term investments. For example, notice the increasing price of gold. Anyone who had such "foresight" would have rather invested in gold than company shares!

Excuse the expletives in my friend's post, but I think he does allude to a good point of investing in cars rather than stocks:

Man, I fucked up. Back in the day I had a lot of money. A lot of fucking money. I had big mofo dollars. And you know what I did? I fucking invested that shit. Fast forward 5 years. I am down 22,000 dollars. Y'know what my opportunity cost was? A Ferrari. A fucking ferrari.! U know how few ppl. have a fuckin Ferari in college? Very fucking few! Goddamn it! I would have lost aybe only 20% depreciation-wise on a Ferrari what I lost in the stock market. And guess what? You can't drive a fucking stock at 150+ MPH. Great! Now my roommate is fucking his brand spanking new girlfriend of one week right across my room and I have to listen to her scream. Guess what? He bought a great new car. And thats what he gets for it. I could have had 2 dozen of those if I had bought a Ferrair but I didn't. I was mature and sensible. I bought stocks. I can't fuck stocks!

Now I drive a shit car and I'm next to married. I lost 22,000 dollars and today I see one of my stocks in which I put in $5,000 has become worth 5 cents. Woe is me. I should have lived young.

14 May, 2006 09:40  
Blogger Ann said...

SecretDubai, do you have more information about why speculation in the stock market is considered to be gambling?

From what I understand, when you buy shares in a company as an investment, and you essentially become a part owner in the company, intending to hold onto the stock for a while, that's OK.

But someone approached my husband a while ago about currency trading, where you might buy and sell currency several times in a day, and I thought that would be like speculation, which to my understanding is considered gambling and is haram.

Anyway, I've noticed that many ordinary citizens put money in the stock market here, but they don't understand the risks at all. Often they don't know anything about the company, but they know that it rose in value by x percent last year, and so they assume that it will keep doing the same.

In the U.S., you have to get the prospectus and many warnings that past performance is no guarantee of future performance, etc., and even then people lose money and get cheated, etc. But here, they don't even get the warnings.

15 May, 2006 09:17  
Blogger sharewadi said...

Hi SecretDubai,

Good to read your comments. You've picked up something I was concerned with after recently reading comments in the newspaper from the DFM about the game. I've had some involvement with the game myself in the past and whilst I think it's a great idea in principle, the educational value can be limited due to the way it's structured. Primarily because of the time frame but also (AFAIK) it ignores significant costs due to "slippage" and brokerage fees. I said much the same in the DubaiShareTalk forum in more detail here...

Anyway, a more general observation is that long-term, if you buy into the right companies, at a good price, stock investment beats anything else. Long term meaning at least several years. And if you buy into a poor company, then long-term you could see investment value go to zero.

My opinion is there is now good value in SOME shares at DFM and ADSM. But some of the more heavily traded shares still look expensive to me for example I'd rate AMLAK as 5-10 times more expensive than EMAAR. But playing a short term stock game is unlikely to educate participants on how to determine that.

sharewadi (sharewadi dot com)

15 May, 2006 11:36  
Blogger secretdubai said...

SecretDubai, do you have more information about why speculation in the stock market is considered to be gambling?

Ann - officially, it's clearly not, as it's legal here. I am not a financial expert or an Islamic scholar, but through my work I have spoken with a lot of people in Islamic finance.

The impression delivered is that investing in an Islamic way is a longer term process, where the investor takes more responsibility (in a sense) for what he is investing in. One person described it as being "more like venture capital than a straight bank loan".

Regarding trading, this quote from Wikipedia: "The Qur'an prohibits gambling (games of chance involving money). The hadith literature, in addition to prohibiting gambling (games of chance), also prohibits bayu al-gharar (trading in risk, where the Arabic word gharar is taken to mean "risk")."

An important (and useful) aspect of Islam is that having no central authority, one can get different opinions from different scholars. Here's one guy who doesn't approve of options/derivatives:

"The trading of options as in vogue in the stock markets and as explained by you in your questions is not permissible in Shariah. Firstly, because the option is not something tangible which can be bought or sold and secondly, because this transaction has an element of Gharar or Qimar (gambling). Besides, these derivatives have brought negative results on the economy."

Even not being a muslim, I personally have moral qualms over a high-risk activity which a lot of very inexperienced people are allowed to get themselves into debt (bank loans) to participate in.

15 May, 2006 12:32  
Blogger al-republican said...


The "guy" you quoted is no ordinary Joe, but a very learned and respected scholar in the subcontinent - Mufti Taqi Uthmani. You have rightly posted from one of the best authorities in Islamic Economics in our age.

He was previously the head of the Islamic Ideological Council in Pakistan and has done extensive research on Islamic Economics till Mr. Musharraf had some qualms with him banning interest. He was thereafter removed from his post and replaced by someone who conformed to the General's perspective.

You all would be surprized to meet Mr. Taqi Uthmani if you ever did! He is a very respected individual and extremely knowledgeable, but his appearance is so simple that you would probably ignore him for a beggar or an ordinary person.

15 May, 2006 13:58  
Blogger Ann said...

Thanks... well, officially riba is legal too, so the question of legality isn't much help. But it does seem like speculation in the market is simply betting that the price will go up or down.

16 May, 2006 10:52  
Blogger Asian Dude said...

"But it does seem like speculation in the market is simply betting that the price will go up or down".
I do not agree with that. I dont think anyone of you commenting on this blog is a professional investor. I know one and he told me the market is not a guess game. The decisions they make are based on certain principles. The stock market is not everyones game. There are a lot of internal and external factors that affect the value of a stock. The problem is most of the investors are not professionals, or rely on other not so good ones and decide where to put the money. This guy gets decisions correct 70% of the time, and thats not easy. The remaining 30% might be considered a risk. But then, there is risk is involved in every business. People become bankrupt in a fortnight. Then why should the stock market be any different.

17 May, 2006 10:01  
Blogger Ann said...

The question isn't whether or not a person knows enough to make profitable choices. Your friend might be betting based on more information than some other investors have, but it's still betting. Just like if I went to a horse race and bet, but I had a lot of information about the horses and their previous histories, etc.

17 May, 2006 11:01  
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19 May, 2006 02:39  
Blogger Asian Dude said...

Ann by your definition, all sorts of investment would be betting. When you put money in a horse race, do you actually be a part owner of the horse (as in by investment). No, thats not investment, is it?

21 May, 2006 07:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm so whats the deal with currency trading is that haram or different than trading regular stocks? because currency trading probably involves some interest being gained in you account or something like that... ... ...

21 September, 2006 05:35  

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