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Honesty in Public Funds

1) Hasan reported: ‘Ubaidullah b. Ziyad paid a visit to Ma‘qil b. Yasar Muzani in his illness of which he (later on) died. (At this juncture) Ma‘qil said: “I am going to narrate to you a hadith which I have heard from the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) and which I would not have transmitted if I knew that I would survive. Verily, I have heard the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) as saying: There is none amongst the bondsmen who was entrusted with the affairs of his subjects and he dies in such a state that he was dishonest in his dealings with those over whom he ruled, but Allah has forbidden Paradise for him.”

2) It has been reported on the authority of ‘Adi b. ‘Amira al-Kindi who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) say: ‘Whoever of you is appointed by us to a position of authority and he conceals from us a needle or something smaller than that, it would be misappropriation (of public funds) and will (have to) produce it on the Day of Judgement.’ The narrator says: A dark-complexioned man from the Ansar stood up – I can visualise him still – and said: ‘Mes­senger of Allah, take back from me your assignment.’ He said: ‘What has happened to you?’ The man said: ‘I have heard you say so and so.’ He (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) said: ‘I say that (even) now: whoever of you is appointed by us to a position of authority, he should bring everything, big or small, and whatever he is given therefrom he should take, and he should restrain himself from taking that which is forbidden’.”


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3) Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported: “The Holy Prophet (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) stood among us and mentioned dishonesty regarding spoils of war treating it and everything connected with as a serious matter. He said: ‘let me not find any one of you (coming) on the Day of Resurrection with a sheep bleating on his neck and with a horse neighing on his neck.’ He would say: ‘Apostle of Allah, rescue me; but, I shall say: I can do nothing for you as I had delivered (the Divine Message) to you. And let me not find anyone of you with a camel growing on his neck and asking me; Apostle of Allah, rescue me for I shall say: I can do nothing for you as I had delivered to you (the Divine message); or with a mute beast on his neck and he would ask me: Apostle of Allah, rescue me, whereupon I shall say: I can do nothing for you as I had given you full instructions’.”

‘Abdullah b. ‘Umar reported: “There was a man who was in the charge of the household of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam). He was called Kirkira. He died and Allah’s Messenger (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) observed: ‘He is in the Hell-Fire.’ They (the companions) went off looking (something belonging) to him and found a stripped woolen garment which he had dishonestly appropriated from the spoils.’”

4) Abu Huraira reported: “We came out (to fight) alongwith the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) on the day of Khaiber. We did not get any gold or silver as ghanimah (booty) except animals, garments and equipments. A person from Banu Dubaib, namely Rifa‘a b. Zaid presented a slave, called Mid‘am, to the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam). Then the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) set forth to Wadi-ul-Qura’ until he reached there and while Mid’am was unsaddling a camel of the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) he was struck by an arrow which killed him. The people said: ‘he would go to Paradise.’ On this the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam) said: ‘Not at all. By Allah in whose hand is my life, the cloak which he took from the spoils of Khaiber, which was not among the shares divided, will blaze fire on him.’ When people heard this, a person brought a sandal strap or two sandal straps to the Prophet (Sall Allah-o-alaihe wa sallam). He said: ‘A sandal strap fire or two sandal straps of fire.’

 

Source: Economic Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): A Select Anthology of Hadith Literature on Economics, Muhammad Akram Khan. Republished with permission.