Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Don't Get Burned - Part 4 of 5


Confiscating Land

When fear from Allah is absent, then power and cunning is used in wrongdoing, such as to lay claim to other people's properties, and to confiscate their land.

The punishment for this deed is severe, for the Prophet SAW has said:

"Whomsoever wrongfully takes away a land, will sink into the seventh earth on the Day of Judgement." (Bukhari)

The Prophet SAW also said:

"Whomsoever wrongfully takes even a span of the hand from a land, Allah will order him to dig it down to the seventh earth, then He will fence it on the Day of Judgement until He judges between people." (Tabarani)

Included in this category is the alteration of the demarcations and boundaries of lands, for the purpose that one enlarges his own land at the expense of his neighbour.

This type is mentioned in the hadith of the Prophet SAW:

"Allah curses whoever changes the landmark of (a piece of) land." (Muslim)

Accepting A Gift For The Purpose Of Intercession

A person's high position and power are blessings Allah has bestowed on him. If he is thankful, he would use this blessing for the benefit of the Muslims.

This is based on what was mentioned by the Prophet SAW:

"Whoever has the capability to help his Muslim brother, let him do it." (Muslim)

A person who uses his high position to help his Muslim brother in warding off an injustice, or to benefit him in any way without committing a sin or transgressing onto other people's rights, will be rewarded by Allah. His intention should be purely intended to please Allah.

The following hadith of the Noble Prophet SAW further supports this:

"Intercede, and you will be rewarded." (Abu Dawud)

However, it is not permitted to take a fee for this intercession or mediation.

The Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Whoever intercedes for a person, and then that person presents him a gift (for his intercession) and he accepts it, has entered one of the widest gates of riba." (Ahmad)

Among the people, there are some that use their high position to intercede in exchange for a fee. They impose for this intercession, to appoint a person in a job, or to transfer an employee from one department to another or to transfer his office from one region to another, or to provide treatment for a sick person, etc. The truth is, Allah's reward on the Day of Judgement should be sufficient for the performer of good deeds.

It should be noted here that there is a difference between hiring a person to perform, follow or supervise a task in exchange of a salary or a fee, which is a lawful thing, and using one's high position and power to intercede for someone in exchange of a fee, which is forbidden.

Refusing Salary to Employees

The Prophet SAW has encouraged people to pay the worker his due as soon as he finishes his task.

The following hadith describes this:

"Give the worker his pay before his sweat dries up." (Ibn Majah)

It is pure tyranny not to pay the workers and the employees. This tyranny takes many aspects:
Denying the employee his entire salary when the employee has no proof of his work. Let us remember that - even if the employee's right is lost in this life, it will not be lost on the Day of Judgement, when the wrong doer will be summoned after having eaten the victim's money. Then the victim will take some of the good deeds of the wrongdoer, and if the wrongdoer has no good deeds left, then he will take from the victim some of his sins, until justice is done; after which the wrongdoer will be cast in the Fire.

Giving the employee only part of his salary, without any justifiable reason is trangression of the Shari'ah.

Allah mentions about this in the Qur'an:

"Woe to Al-Mutaffifeen (those who decrease the rights of others)." (Surah Al-Mutaffifeen: Ayat 1)

An example is what some employers do when they promise employees a certain salary, and then after they settle in the job, the employers writes the contract for a lower salary. The employees may remain on the job unwillingly, but they complain to Allah. Moreover if the wrongful employer is a Muslim, and the employee is a disbeliever, this behaviour may drive him away from Allah's Path, and hence the employer would draw on himself his sin.

Additional Tasks And Overtime Without Compensation

There exists in this world - employers who put off payment of his workers' salaries, until after the workers ask for it many times, or even complain to the authorities. Sometimes, the reason behind this delay may be to make the employee tired and so that he gives up his right, or so that the employer may invest the salary money and gain more benefits. Some even use the money in riba, while the poor employee cannot even provide for his daily bread.

Woe to these wrongdoers from the punishment of a Grievous Day; for Abu Hurairah RA narrated that the Prophet Muhammad SAW said:

"Allah says, 'Three whom I will lie their enemy on the Day of Judgement. A man who gave in My Name and then he betrayed, a man who sold a free man and ate his price, and a man who hired a worker, and used his services, and did not pay him his wage.' " (Bukhari)

Giving Gifts To One's Children In An Unjust Manner

Some people single out some of their children by allotting them gifts and donations, while excluding the others. Doing so is haram when it has no legitimate reason. Legitimate reasons include - if one of the children is in need and the others are not e.g. if he is sick or is in debt, or to reward him for memorising Qur'an, or learning a chapter of knowledge, or if he is unemployed, or has a large family, or has devoted all his time to seeking knowledge etc.

In general it is allowed for the father to provide for his son if the son is unable to provide for himself, and the father is able to provide for him. When the father gives to one of his children for a legitimate reason, he should have the intention that if one of his other children had the same difficulties as the one he gave to, he would help him in the same way as he helped his first child.

The general proof for this is what Allah says, in the Qur'an:

"Be just, that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah." (Surah 5: Ayat 8)

And the specific proof is what is narrated by Nu'man bin Bashir RA whose father brought him to the Prophet SAW and said:

"I offered (to) my son a boy (a servant)."

The Prophet SAW responded:

"Did you offer each of your children a similar boy?"

He said:


Then the Prophet SAW said:

"Then take him back." (Bukhari)

In another narration it is quoted that the Prophet SAW said:

"Fear Allah and be just among your children." (Bukhari)

The man then took back his gift.

In another narration, the Prophet SAW said:

"Do not call me to witness then, for I do not bear witness upon injustice." (Muslim)

One observes in some families, that the fathers who do not fear Allah favour some of their children, and hence cause bitter feelings among them. The father might give one of his sons because he resembles his paternal uncles, and divest another because he resembles his maternal uncles. Or he might give to his children from one of his wives more than he gives to the others, or he might enroll those children into good private schools and not do the same for the others.

This will result in the child deserting his father. A deprived child will not be dutiful to his father.

The Prophet SAW asked the man who favoured between his children in gifts:

"Would you not be pleased that they would be equally dutiful to you?" (Muslim)

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