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Beautiful Conduct, Honesty and Justice Enjoined by Islam

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Yasin, abu mohammed, ibn Ismail, Arslan., Taalibah, samah
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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 23rd February 2015 13:23

Sublime Conduct with Neighbours

Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi) had a Christian neighbour who had a toilet on top of his house. Urine used to seep through from the toilet into the house of Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi), who ordered that a container be placed beneath that area so that the drops would fall therein. At night, he would dispose of the contents. One day, he was ill and his Christian neighbour came to visit him. When he noticed what was going on, he asked,

“How long have you been patiently bearing my filth?”

Hasan al-Basri (rahmatullahi alayhi) replied, “Twenty years.”

On hearing this, he decided to accept Islam.

[Taken from "Pearls of the Path" by Maulana Afzal Ismail]

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 24th February 2015 09:57
50
THE HONESTY AND SCRUPULOUSNESS OF THE EARLY MUSLIMS


Numerous Hadiths state that the rulers with which an Islamic nation is imposed with is a reflection of the state of the people. Allah Ta'ala is the King of all kings, the Ruler of all rulers. He holds the hearts of the rulers in His hands. Thus the Taqwa, piety, generosity, etc. displayed by Islamic rulers are, in general, a reflection of the state of the Muslim population.

The standard of piety set by the early Muslim rulers was indeed lofty and rare, and provides a glimpse into the state of the Muslim populace who had won over the hearts and minds of people all over the world, purely on the basis of the beautiful character, honesty, and justice they displayed in all their interactions and dealings.

Due to the fear of Allah (Glory be He, Most High) and accountability in the divine court, the pious Muslim rulers displayed extreme caution. Public property was regarded as a trust in their hands and they took care of it prudently.

Once, some musk (perfume) came to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (radiallahu anhu) from Bahrain. He asked for someone who would weigh it carefully, so that it may be equally distributed among the Muslims. His wife, Atikah, volunteered, but ‘Umar (radiallahu anhu) refused to give it to her. When she inquired why, he replied,

“I fear that, while weighing it, some of it may rub-off onto your hand and body. This will give me an unfair advantage over the other Muslims.”

A similar incident is related about ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz (rahmatullahi alayhi). While he was Khalifah, Musk belonging to the Bait-ul-Mal (Public treasury) was brought to him. He closed his nostrils, saying,

“The benefit derived from musk is its fragrance.”

He would only light the state lamp when he dealt with the affairs of the Muslims. When he had seen to their needs and had some private matters to attend to, he would light his own lamp.

[Anecdotes taken from "Pearls of the Path" by Maulana Afzal Ismail]
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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2015 10:38

 

AVOIDING INCONVENIENCING OTHERS

Hadhrat Moulana Maseehullah Khan Sahib (Rahmatullahi Alaih) mentions:

“During Hadhrat Moulana Thanwi’s (Rahmatullahi Alaih) final illness, he suffered from severe bouts of diarrhoea and extreme weakness and thus had to remain in bed. Once, at night Hadhrat had the urge to relieve himself whilst the rest of the household was asleep. Hadhrat could not tolerate affecting the comfort of others, though they would have never minded being disturbed out of their great love and affection for Hadhrat, especially during his sickness. However, Hadhrat exercised great caution so as not to disturb any person. Hence with great difficulty and hardship he proceeded to the toilet by himself. When returning from the toilet, the weakness he was experiencing increased. Hadhrat barely took a few steps and fell in the courtyard of the house due to dizziness. After regaining consciousness he walked back to his bed and lay down. By now, Hadhrat was feeling extremely weak. He then suddenly realised that when he fell, the toilet jug had fallen in the courtyard and was still lying there. If anyone else needed to visit the toilet later during the night they will not find the jug in its normal place, thus inconveniencing them. This thought left him restless forcing him out of his bed. Notwithstanding his illness and weakness he went back to the courtyard, found the jug in the darkness, and returned it to its place.” (Fadhl-ul-Baari, p. 97)

 

Request to admins/moderators (also please check your private message inbox):

After this brief note and request, I will simply ignore any further off-topic posts that are designed to provoke me - so rest assured there is no need for any sudden, belated intervention on the part of the admins/moderators.

I will thoroughly address the complainants’ repetitive lamentations later, only if I am given guarantee that he will promise to not request the admins to censor my posts (and blog post), as he did previously time and again, and if I deem it worth wasting any more time over - after the blog post having already served the purpose adequately of exposing clearly (for the sincere reader) just a small sample of his lies that represented only the tip of the iceberg.

My only request now is that this post remains undeleted and unedited here, in the same manner his numerous provocative and insulting (justified or unjustified) posts attacking me in a number of threads can remain where they are.

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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 25th February 2015 16:57
Yasin wrote:
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I heard that calling someone a donkey is punishable by 10 lashes, Allahu alum. Could be from a different school. I remember this because someone joked to a scholar (part of a lecture by Shaykh Riyadhul Haq) and asked what the punishment would be for calling someone a horse and the scholar replied back to him saying that you, the questioner should be lashed.
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 28th February 2015 08:17
 
ADOPTING PATIENCE IN THE FACE OF PERSONAL ABUSE


A person once started verbally abusing Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) while Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was also sitting there. Because Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) gave no reply Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was impressed and kept smiling. However, when the person’s abuse became too much, Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) replied to some of what he was saying. This angered Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he left. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) then met Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked, “O Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam)! You were sitting there while he was swearing at me but when I replied to some of his abuse, you became angry and left?” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied, “There was an angel with you who was responding on your behalf. However, when you started replying to some of his abuse, Shaytaan arrived and I could not sit with Shaytaan.” Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) then added, “O Abu Bakr! Three things are absolute facts. Whenever a person overlooks any injustice done to him, Allah lends him tremendous strength. Whenever a person opens the door of gifts with the intention of joining ties, Allah increases for him in abundance. Whenever a person opens the door of begging with the intention of amassing wealth, Allah speeds up the reduction of his wealth.” (Musnad of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal)

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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 1st March 2015 10:13

 

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) - The Peak of Adab

[Taken from Uswa-e-Rasool-e-Akram by Dr Abdul Hai Arifi]

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was the most patient and forbearing when subjected to persecution. He would pardon anyone who had done him wrong and would treat kindly anybody who had maltreated him. To anyone who had refused to give to him, he would give generously. In short he always repaid evil with good. 

If he had two alternatives before him, he would adopt the convenient one, provided it was not a sin. (By his example he has permitted facility and convenience to his followers. It is also common experience that those who are inclined to ease and convenience by nature, prescribe the same to others.) The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) never took revenge from anyone for his own person. Apart from Jihad he never struck any man or animal a blow. (Shama’il-e-Tirmizi)

Sayyidina Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) has related:

“The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) never struck anybody with his own hand – neither a slave nor a woman - except in Jihad. I have never seen him take revenge for any offence done to him. But if a Command of Allah Ta'ala was disregarded, his anger would know no bounds.” (Shama’il-e-Tirmizi)

Once a bedouin came to the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and, seizing hold of his wrap tugged at it so hard that his neck was bruised, ordered, “Have corn loaded on these camels of mine, if you do this, you will not be parting with your own riches or those of your father’s (meaning that every thing available in the Baitul Mal belongs to the public and not to you).”

The Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied: “I will give you nothing unless you compensate me for tugging at my wrap.” The man retorted that he would give no compensation. But the Holy Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) smiled and ordered corn to be loaded on the bedouin’s camels.

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#7 [Permalink] Posted on 1st March 2015 15:44
(bism1)
From the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):
(a) It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do not hate one another, do not envy one another, do not turn away from one another. Be, O slaves of Allaah, brothers. It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days.”
(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6065; Muslim, 2559.

(b) It was narrated that Abu Ayyoob al-Ansaari (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not permissible for a Muslim to forsake his brother for more than three days, each of them turning away when they meet. The better of them is the one who gives the greeting of salaam first.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2757; Muslim, 2560.

(c) It was narrated that Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The gates of Paradise are opened on Monday and Thursday, and everyone who does not associate anything with Allaah is forgiven, except a man who has had an argument with his brother. It is said: ‘Wait for these two until they reconcile, wait for these two until they reconcile, wait for these two until they reconcile.” Narrated by Muslim, 2565.

Al-Nawawi said: “Wait for these two” means wait until they have reconciled and love has been restored between them.

(d) It was narrated from Abu Kharaash al-Sulami that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “Whoever forsakes his brother for a year, it is as if he has shed his blood.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 4915

These texts indicate that it is forbidden for a Muslim to forsake his brother by not greeting him with salaam and by turning away from him for more than three days, so long as that forsaking is not for a shar’i reason and is not being done in order to achieve some purpose, in which case it is permissible to forsake him for more than three days.
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#8 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd March 2015 12:06
 
Waiting in a Place for Three Days to Keep One's Word


Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abul Hamsa' (radhiyallahu anhu) narrated:

I bought something from the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) before he received his Prophetic commission, and as there was something still due to him I promised him that I would bring it to him at his place, but I forgot. When I remembered three days later, I went to that place and found him there. He (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: "You have inconvenienced me, young man. I have been here for three days waiting for you." (Sunan Abu Dawud)

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#9 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd March 2015 12:25
I am stopping myself from seeing who is disliking so many posts that are simply Ahadeeth. Please leave that for the debates section as it looks terrible below the post with such beautiful Ahadeeth and events to see dislikes below it. The rating is for the contents, not the member.
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#10 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd March 2015 12:33

Yasin wrote:
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Respected Maulana,

You have a policy of dealing with disrespect and insults. Here is someone who has a track record of being abusive, slanderous and insuling and importantly is disobeying the Fatwa of a Mujtahid and has just waltz in to create Fitnah without any remorse and explaination.

Instead of taking action (while you are fully aware of the background and the damage caused by this individual on various forums) you have decided to take away the rights of others who are warning against this Fitnah.

As an Ameer it is your duty to ensure that Fitnah is curbed and nipped in the bud not turn on others who are warning against the matter in a highly impeeded situation which you have created. You have left no other option and no other avenue for discourse or discussion.

You are requested to start a thread and Moderate it (if you like), ready for discussions anywhere as long no insults are thrown.

You know that this person can do nothing but throw insults because you moved threads, censored etc and now you are allowing for the same issue to continue.

If a Kaafir, Qadiyani, heretic, Rafidhi was to come to your forum you will allow for them to post as long as they are posting Ar-Raqaiq? I thought your policy is not to allow insults of others (Ulama included).

So all a person has to do is insult people, incite Fitnah and then come back and start posting Ar-Raqaiq to melt your heart and your reaction will be to turn on others?

P.S: This irrelevant post is a response. Please feel free to add an option as "Fitnah-Monger Poster" and people will be glad to click that.  If we discuss track record of this person you will say "Don't talk about Sunniforum or other forums" so truly a lose-lose situation because you are deciding not to deal with the matter when you know the past and the track record.

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#11 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd March 2015 12:37
Muadh_Khan wrote:
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My message was only for the dislikes on these contents. Public section, Ahadeeth. Please consider this. The other matters are for other sections (debates section). That's all I am saying. Please do not look beyond this point for this only. جزاك الله خيرا
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#12 [Permalink] Posted on 2nd March 2015 12:39

Yasin wrote:
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Give people an option to click "Fitnah-Monger Fasad Spreading Poster" and that will be clicked until that is done what other option are you giving people while fully aware of the past and the background of this poster.

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#13 [Permalink] Posted on 4th March 2015 10:13

Using Someone's Property without Permission - A sin cried over for 40 years

Ibn Al Hasan (RA) once remarked: “I am grieving for forty years over a sin committed by me.” Someone enquired, “What sin is that which has caused great concern and grief in you?”

He replied, “Once I was visited by a friend and in order to entertain him, I bought fish which we subsequently ate. After the meal, I scraped some sand from my neighbour’s wall without his permission, to wash my hands. I am still crying over that sin.”

The questioner expressed surprise over the fact that such a small fault has created so much of anguish and concern. So Ibn Al Hasana explained that according to the Prophet (peace and blessing upon him) the biggest sin before Allah is that little slip or error which man regards as trifle and unimportant and therefore thinks it unnecessary to seek forgiveness.

On the other hand, if he acknoweldges his wrongs considering them to be quite serious, he would certainly feel guilty and ashamed of his actions and this would induce him to repent, seek Allah’s forgiveness through which he receives pardon and in this way obliterates all trace of the sin.

[Taken from haqislam]

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#14 [Permalink] Posted on 6th March 2015 10:55

 

The Most Powerful Man in the World and Conqueror of Superpowers
Summoned to Court and Ordered to Fix a Gutter

The concept of the independence of the judiciary is as old as Islam. Many, many centuries before the west began to theorize this concept, the courts of Islam acted independently of the executive. This concept is grounded in the Qur’aanic command of justice. The Qur’aan Majeed commands:

‘O People of Imaan! Become the establishers of justice, witnesses for Allah even though it be against yourselves or your parents or your relatives. If he be a wealthy or a poor person, then (know that) Allah is closer to both of them. Therefore, do not follow (your) desire in (the matter of) enforcement of justice.’ (Surah Nisaa, Aayat 135)

The Rulers of Islam (the Khulafa and the Sultans) had practically demonstrated the independence of Islam’s judicial system. Besides the Khulafa-e-Raashideen, even worldly kings and Sultans upheld the principle of justice. Mighty rulers of Islam would immediately submit to the summons of the Qaadhi (Judge) and unhesitatingly stand trial in exactly the same way as an ordinary citizen would. The following episode illustrates the Islamic system of justice and the independence which the judiciary enjoyed from the very inception of Islam.

Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) is no stranger to even non-Muslims. The two superpowers of the age — the Roman and Persian empires — were defeated and brought to their knees by Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu). His very name would send shivers down the spines of emperors and kings.

The home of Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu), the paternal uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was adjacent to Musjid-e-Nabawi. Water from the gutter would splash into the Musjid causing distress to the musallis. During his Khilaafat, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) ordered the removal of the gutter. The gutter was removed during the absence of Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu).

On his return to Madinah, when he saw what had happened, Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) was furious. He hastened to the court of the Qaadhi and complained about the action of Ameerul Mu’mineen, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).

Hadhrat Ubay Bin Ka’b (radhiyallahu anhu) was the Chief Qaadhi. He immediately summoned Hadhrat Umar to court to answer the charge. On the appointed day, Hadhrat Umar, the Ruler of the Islamic Empire, attended the Qaadhi’s court with profound humility and simplicity. On his arrival at the court, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) had to wait outside for quite some time due to the Qaadhi’s other engagements. Finally Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was called inside. Hadhrat Umar on entering attempted to say something. But the Qaadhi silenced him.

Qaadhi: ‘It is the right of the plaintiff to speak and present his case. Be silent.’

Hadhrat Abbaas: ‘My home from the very beginning was adjacent to Musjid Nabawi during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) as well as during the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu). But now Ameerul Mu’mineen has demolished the gutter and threw it away. I am considerably distressed by this action. I want justice.’

Qaadhi: ‘Ameerul Mu’mineen! What have you to say?’

Hadhrat Umar: ‘Undoubtedly, I had it removed. I am responsible for it.’

Qaadhi: ‘You were supposed to refrain from such unjust interference in the home of another person without his consent. Why did you do it?’

Hadhrat Umar: ‘Your honour, Sometimes water from the gutter would splash in the Musjid causing distress and inconvenience to the musallis. I therefore ordered its removal. I am of the opinion that I had acted correctly. I did not commit any crime.’

Qaadhi: (Addressing Hadhrat Abbaas): ‘What do you say in response?’

Hadhrat Abbaas: ‘Your honour, Rasulullah (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) had himself, marked out the foundations of my home with his knife. After the house was built, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) ordered that the gutter be fixed in the very place where it was. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) instructed me to mount on his blessed shoulders and attach the gutter. Inspite of my refusal out of respect, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) vehemently insisted. In compliance I stood on the blessed shoulders of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and did as he had commanded. I attached the gutter on the position from where Ameerul Mu’mineen had ordered its removal.’

Qaadhi: ‘Do you have any eye witnesses?’

Hadhrat Abbaas: ‘Not only one or two, but many.’

Qaadhi: ‘Present them now so that this matter could be resolved.’

Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) went outside and after sometime returned with several witnesses from among the Ansaar. They all testified that they were eye witnesses to the episode. Meanwhile the greatest Ruler on earth, Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) stood humbly staring at the ground. Then he spoke.

Hadhrat Umar: ‘O Abul Fadhl (Hadhrat Abbaas)! For Allah’s sake forgive me. I was totally unaware that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself had ordered the construction of the gutter in its position. If I had been aware, I would not have ordered the removal of the gutter even by error. What right do I have to remove the gutter which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself had ordered?’

(Consider the destruction of the homes and relics of Rasulullah-sallallahu alayhi wasallam — and the Sahaabah sacrilegiously perpetrated by the Saudi regime which trample on the rights of people by usurping their lands and paying them a pittance, then selling the usurped land for exorbitant prices to the wealthy members of the family)

Hadhrat Umar: ‘Amends could be made by you mounting onto my shoulders and replacing the gutter on its original position.’

Qaadhi: ‘Yes, O Ameerul Mu’mineen! This is the demand of justice. You have to do this.’

Soon the people saw the powerful Khalifah who had defeated Qaisar and Kisra (the Roman and Persian emperors), standing by the wall with Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) mounted on his shoulders fixing the gutter to its position.

After completing the work of the gutter, Hadhrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu anhu) alighted and pleaded: ‘O Ameerul Mu’mineen! What has transpired was to reclaim my right. Now that I have acquired by right as a result of your love for justice, I seek forgiveness from you for this disrespect. I wholeheartedly give as Waqf my house in the Path of Allah Ta’ala. You have the right to demolish it and include it in the Musjid. May Allah Ta’ala accept my contribution.’

Independence of the judiciary from the executive is largely an empty slogan of the votaries of western democracy. In the annals of history there is no example to compare with the episode which appears on this page.

Islam has practically demonstrated the meaning of equality in front of the law. No monarch, governor, ruler, president, prime minister, cabinet minister, etc. could be ushered to court to stand as an ordinary citizen in front of the judge in the manner in which the Rulers of the Islamic Empire had demonstrated.

Hadhrat Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) was not an isolated case. Islamic history bears ample testimony to the fact that even not so pious Muslim monarchs answered the summons of the Qaadhi without hesitation and stood on the same level as the plaintiff.

Those who pipe the tune of western democracy in which the independence of the judiciary is supposed to be a fundamental principle cannever hope to present the glittering examples of justice by an independent judiciary flaunted by Islamic autocracy known as Khilaafat.

Despite the slogan, it is a momentous struggle for an ordinary citizen to succeed in hauling a high government official of the democratic system to court. Public outcries and media pressure may succeed in activating the principle of the independence of the judiciary and that all men are equal in front of the law. But in a democracy, this is not normal nor in any other system of government.

It is only Islamic Autocracy which can be proud of the distinction of the true independence of the judiciary — a system in which true justice and fair play reign. The Islamic autocratic system is divine. In a true Islamic system of government, fear for Allah Ta’ala permeates the administration. The Ruler is not the maker of laws. He merely dispenses the divine laws of Allah Ta’ala. He is not an unjust despot like the presidents of democracies.

Although it is claimed that the president is ‘democratically’ elected, he is far from being a ‘democrat’. A glance at the presidents of the ‘democratic’ countries will convince the keen observer that all presidents of republics and democracies are cruel, unjust despots who are at the helm for personal glory and monetary gain.

Notwithstanding the flowery language which adorns constitutions and preambles, the irrefutable fact is that while the law will prosecute an ordinary citizen for a crime, cast him into a squalid cell, and haul him to court, similar treatment cannot be meted out to Mr. President of a ‘democratic republic’ irrespective of the notoriety of the crime which the despot may commit.

The hollowness of the slogans of democracy is manifest in practical every day life. The high sounding phrases of human rights, equality, justice and the like are designed for public consumption at forums of hypocritical display.

[Mujlisul Ulama]

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#15 [Permalink] Posted on 7th March 2015 19:21

A Full Refund on Jizya (Tax on non-Muslims)
An Example Displaying the Noble Spirit of the Salaf

The following excerpt from a non-Muslim historian contains an eye-opening account of the Sahabah (radhiyallahu anhum) refunding the Jizya tax to many cities due to sudden circumstances rendering them unable to fulfil the responsibilities they had originally undertaken to provide adequate protection and refuge to the non-Muslims. In fact such behaviour was typical of the honesty, integrity, and nobility displayed by the early Muslims, which is in stark contrast to the often dishonest and treacherous behaviour exhibited by Muslims in general today.

“It is true that adherence to their ancient faith rendered them obnoxious to the payment of Jizyah – a word which originally denoted tribute of any kind paid by the non-Muslim subjects of the Arab empire, but came later on to be used for the capitation-tax as the fiscal system of the new rulers became fixed; but this Jizyah was too moderate to constitute a burden, seeing that it released them from the compulsory military service that was incumbent on their Muslim fellow-subjects…the following facts taken from the Kitab al-Kharaj, drawn up by Abu Yusuf at the request of Harun al-Rashid (A.D. 786-809) may be taken as generally representative of Muhammadan procedure under the Abbasid Caliphate. The rich were to pay forty-eight dirhams (footnote: A dirham is about fivepence) a year, the middle classes twenty-four, while from the poor, i.e. the field-labourers and artisans, only twelve dirhams were taken.

This tax could be paid in kind if desired; cattle, merchandise, household effects, even needles were to be accepted in lieu of specie, but not pigs, wine, or dead animals. The tax was to be levied only on able-bodied males, and not on women or children. The poor who were dependent for their livelihood on alms [distributed by the state] and the aged poor who were incapable of work were also specially excepted as also the blind, the lame, the incurables and the insane, unless they happened to be men of wealth; this same condition applied to priests and monks, who were exempt if dependent on the alms of the rich, but had to pay if they were well-to-do and lived in comfort. The collectors of the Jizyah were particularly instructed to show leniency, and refrain from all harsh treatment or the infliction of corporal punishment, in case of non-payment [footnote: Abu Yusuf, pp. 69-71].

This was not imposed on the Christians, as some would have us think, as a penalty for their refusal to accept the Muslim faith, but was paid by them in common with the other dhimmis or non-Muslim subjects of the state who religion precluded them from serving in the army, in return for the protection secured for them by the arms of the Musalmans [muslims].

When the people of Hirah contributed the sum agreed upon, they expressly mentioned that they paid this Jizyah on condition that “the Muslims and their leader protect us from those who would oppress us, whether they be Muslims or others.” [footnote: Tabari] Again, in the treaty made by Khalid with some towns in the neighbourhood of Hirah, he writes: “If we protect you, then Jizyah is due to us; but if we do not, then it is not due.”

How clearly this condition was recognised by the Muhammadans may be judged from the following incident in the reign of the Caliph Umar. The Emperor Heraclius had raised an enormous army with which to drive back invading forces of the Muslims, who had in consequence to concentrate all their energies on the impending encounter. The Arab general, Abu Ubaydah, accordingly wrote to the governors of the conquered cities of Syria, order them to pay back all the Jizyah that had been collected from the cities, and wrote to the people, saying:

“We give you back the money that we took from you, as we have received news that a strong force is advancing against us. The agreement between us was that we should protect you, and as this is not now in our power, we return you all that we took. But if we are victorious we shall consider ourselves bound to you by the old terms of our agreement.”

In accordance with this order, enormous sums were paid back out of the state treasury, and the Christians called down blessings on the heads of the Muslims, saying, “May God give you rule over us again and make you victorious over the Romans; had it been they, they would not have given us back anything, but would have taken all that remained with us.” [footnote: Abu Yusuf]

As stated above, the Jizyah was levied on the able-bodied males, in lieu of the military service they would have been called upon to perform had they been Musalmans; and it is very noticeable that when any Christian people served in the Muslim army, they were exempted from the payment of this tax. Such was the case with the tribe of al-Jurajimah, a Christian tribe in the neighbourhood of Antioch, who made peace with the Muslims, promising to be their allies and fight on their side in battle, on condition that they should not be called upon to pay Jizyah and should receive their proper share of the booty [footnote: Baladhuri, p.159]…

Living under this security of life and property and such toleration of religious thought, the Christian community – especially in the towns – enjoyed a flourishing prosperity in the early days of the Caliphate…In trade and commerce, the Christians also attained considerable affluence; indeed it was frequently their wealth that excited against them the jealous cupidity of the mob – a feeling that fanatics took advantage of, to persecute and oppress them.

Further, the non-Muslim communities enjoyed an almost complete autonomy, for the government placed in their hands the independent management of their internal affairs, and their religious leaders exercised judicial functions in cases that concerned their co-religionists only [footnote: Von Kremer]. Their churches and monasteries were, for the most part, not interfered with, except in the large cities, where some of them were turned into mosques – a measure that could hardly be objected to in view of the enormous increase in the Muslim and corresponding decrease in the Christian population…

Of forced conversion or anything like persecution in the early days of the Arab conquest, we hear nothing. Indeed, it was probably in a great measure their tolerant attitude towards the Christian religion that facilitated their rapid acquisition of the country.”

[Thomas Arnold, The Spread of Islam in the World]

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