Wealth is the vigour and basis upon which life is maintained. The Islamic Shari’ah aims through it to establish a balanced society, wherein social justice is upheld and one can live an honourable life. Allah (SWT) says:

 Wealth and children are the adornment of the life of this world. [18:46]

Since Islam considers money one of the indispensable necessities without which individual nor society can exist, it has ordained that Zakaah be taken (2.5%) from the capital of the rich, if the necessary amount from which it is taken is in that person’s possession for a full lunar year. This money is to be distributed amongst the poor. It is a due right of the poor, and it is forbidden to withhold it from them.

This does not mean that Islam abolishes individual ownership and private business; rather it sanctions and respects them. There are many explicit texts which prohibit transgression against wealth and property of others. Allah (SWT)says:

And eat up not one another’s property unjustly. [2:188]

 Islam has enacted laws and regulations the implementation of which guarantees the achievement of its goal… to provide an honourable life for each individual in the Islamic society. Some of the regulations are:

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[1] Islam has forbidden interest, for it does not allow people to exploit others and devour their wealth wrongfully. Islam has made wealth and property inviolable. Due to the fact that interest leads people to forsake acts of kindness and leads to the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a few, Allah (SWT) says:

O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and give up what remains (due to you) from usury (from now onward), if you are (really) believers. And if you do not do it, then take a notice of war from Allah and His Messenger. But if you repent, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly (by asking more than your capital sums) and you shall not be dealt with unjustly (by receiving less than Your capital sums). [2:278-9] [2] The Religion of Islam encourages. people to give loans. it also encourages that one extend the period (of repayment) if one is having difficulty repaying a loan. One should not be harsh to that individual if he intends on repaying his debt. As for those who have the means to pay the debt off, but choose not to, a different course of action should be taken. Allah (SWT) says:

And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay.[2:280]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever loans money to a person in difficulty, he will receive the reward of charity for each day he gives them. And whoever extends the time period for the debtor who has difficulty returning a loan will receive the reward of charity for each day he does so.” [Ibn Maajah] [3] Islam encourages that the loan be pardoned altogether if it is difficult for the debtor to repay it. Allah (SWT) says:

And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.[2:280]

 The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever wishes that Allah save him from the difficulties of the Day of Requital let him extend the time period to a debtor or free him of his loan.” [Muslim]

 [4] Hoarding and monopolizing of any type of commodity is forbidden, because the trader takes into his possession products which the people need without selling them until the supply decreases, and then he sells them for whatever price he pleases. This incurs much harm, both to the individual and the society, the rich and the poor. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever hoards [commodities] would sin…” [Muslim]

Abu Yusuf, the student of Imam Abu Haneefah, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“Anything that is hoarded and proves harmful to the public, it is considered of the prohibited type of monopoly, even if (the thing hoarded is) gold or silver. Whoever hoards (something the public is in need of) would have certainly misused what he owns. The reason monopoly is prohibited is to safeguard people from harm, for indeed, people have many different needs, and monopolizing therein would incur hardship upon people.”

A ruler may force one who hoards a commodity to sell it at a reasonable profit which is neither detrimental to the seller or buyer. If the monopolist refuses to sell at that profit, the ruler may take possession of the hoarded commodity and sell it at a reasonable price in order to prevent those who may be thinking of exploiting the people by monopolising goods they are in need of.

[5] It has prohibited taxes that are taken from a trader to allow them to sell their goods or to import them into the country. The Prophet (ﷺ) said:

 “One who collects the tax imposed on traders, will not enter Paradise.” [Ahmad Abu Dawood]

This tax is considered taking money unlawfully and giving it to those who are not entitled to it. All those who contribute to this tax, including tax collectors, clerks, witnesses and receivers come under the Prophet’s saying:

“No flesh that grows from unlawful things shall be admitted into Paradise; Hellfire shall have the best claim to them.” [at-Tirmidhi] [6] Islam has forbidden hoarding wealth, and not expending from it the due right that belongs to Allah; both the individual as well as society would stand to benefit from this. Wealth should be circulated in society to stimulate the economy, and with this all individuals within society would stand to benefit. Allah (SWT) says:

And those who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the Way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment. [9:34]

As Islam respects individual ownership, it imposes rights and duties therein. Among these are obligations which concern and relate to the owner himself, such that he must take care of himself and his dependants; relatives and those who he must upkeep. There are other rights which concern the individuals in society, such that they must pay Zakaah, and give out charity, and help others. Other obligations concern the society at large, such that they must expend to build schools, hospitals, orphanages, mosques, and other facilities which would benefit society. What is sought by this is that resources are not amassed in the hands of a few within society.

          To Be Continued….

1 Comment

  • Bashir Khalozi

    July 26, 2021 - 6:04 am

    Mashallah 💚 Barakaallah.
    I am really inspired, and have no word to explain my thoughts. May Alalh SWT grant all of you health wealth and stability in Deen. ameen summa Ameen.

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