Enormities: Collecting Taxes

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.

p32.0 COLLECTING TAXES
(A: Meaning to take revenues other than those which are countenanced by Sacred Law such as zakat or the non-Muslim poll tax Jizya) (N: . though the state may take taxes to the extent necessary to prevent the general detriment).)
p32.1 Such people are among those meant by the words of Allah Most High, “The dispute is only with those who oppress people, and wrongfully exceed proper bounds in the land: these will have a painful torment” (Koran 42:42).
p32.2 And in the hadith of the adulteress who purified herself by voluntarily being stoned to death, there is the Prophet’s remark (Allah bless him and give him peace), “She has made a repentance so sincere that if even a tax taker repented with the like of it, he would be forgiven.”
p32.3 He who imposes taxes resembles a highwayman, and is worse than a thief. But one who burdens the people, imposing over new levies on them, is more tyrannous and oppressive than someone more equitable therein who treats those under him more kindly. Those who gather taxes, who do the clerical work, or who accept the proceeds, such as a soldier, sheikh, or head of a Sufi center (zawiya)-all bear the sin, and are eating of ill-gotten wealth (dis: w49).

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