Enormities: Taking People’s Property Through Falsehood

This is another article in the chapter Enormities from the classical manual on Sharia called Reliance of the Traveller. The articles are posted one by one in the order they are given in the book.

p20.1 Allah Most High says, “Consume not one another’s property through falsehood, nor proffer it to those who judge [between you] … ” (Koran 2:188).
p20.2 The category of taking other’s property through falsehood includes such people as those who impose non-Islamic taxes (def: p32), the highwayman who blocks the road, the thief, the idlerб the betrayer of a trust, the cheater or adulterator of trade goods, the borrower who denies having borrowed something, the person who stints when weighing or measuring out goods, the person who picks up lost and found property and does not give notice of having found it, the person who sells merchandise with a hidden defect, the gambler, and the merchant who tells the buyer that the merchandise cost more than it did.
p20.3 The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:
(1) “Whoever appropriates a handsbreadth of land through falsehood shall be made to carry it, as thick as seven earths, around his neck on Judgement Day.”
(2) “For someone to put off repayment of a debt when able to pay is an injustice.”
(3) A man said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, will my mistakes be forgiven me if I am killed, in steadfastness and anticipating Allah’s reward, advancing and not retreating?” He replied, “Yes, except for debts,”
(4) “Flesh nurtured on ill-gotten wealth will not enter paradise. The hellfire has a better right to it.”
(5) “There is a record that Allah will not ignore the slightest bit of. It is the oppression of Allah’s servants.”
p20.4 Oppression is of three types. The first is consuming property through falsehood; the second, oppressing Allah’s servants by killing, hitting, breaking bones or causing wounds; and the third, oppressing them through spoken abuse, cursing, reviling, or accusing them of adultery or sodomy without proof. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said in an address to the people at Mina, “Verily, your blood, property, and reputations are as inviolable to one another as the inviolability of this day, this month, and this city of yours.”


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