27) Collecting Taxes

Beliefs & Practices, Major Sins / Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

(The collector is the one who collects the taxes from sellers in the market in pre-Islamic times.)

Allah says,

{The blame is only against those who oppress men with wrongdoing and insolently transgress beyond bounds through the land, defying right and justice: for such there will be a chastisement grievous.} (Ash-Shura: 42)

The tax collector is one of the closest supporters of the oppressors. Rather he may be of the oppressors.

He takes what is not lawful to him and gives it to those who do not deserve it. Hence, the Prophet declared,

“The tax collector will not tread Paradise.” (Abu Dawud)

Concerning the woman who has turned to Allah in repentance, as she had committed adultery, the Prophet said,

“She has turned to Allah in repentance in such a manner that if observed by an unjust tax collector he would be forgiven or it would be accepted.” (Muslim)

The unlawful tribute collector is compared to the high way robber. Moreover, the one who collects the tax, the one who serves as a witness to it, and the one who usurps it are all alike in being partners in this wrongdoing.

He also said,

“No flesh fed by ill-gained property will be admitted to Paradise. But rather, it would be flying in Hell.” (Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

The ill-gotten property is the detestable wealth which puts its owner to shame, and is mentioned by Imam Al-Wahidi in his exegesis of Allah’s saying,

{Say! Never are the good and the bad alike.} (Al-Ma’idah: 100)

Jabir related,

“A man came to the Prophet and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Wine was my trade business that fetched me much money. So, would that money benefit me if I employed it in Allah’s cause?” The Prophet replied, “If you were to spend it in performing Pilgrimage, in Allah’s way, or in alms-giving, it would avail you no benefit, for Allah is good and accepts only what is good”. In confirmation to this Allah revealed, {Say! “Not equal are things that are bad and things that are good, even though the abundance of the bad may dazzle you.} (Al-Ma’idah:100)” (Al-Asbahani)

Ata’ and Al-Hasan interpreted this verse as referring to both the lawful and the unlawful things.

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