Violating the Financial Rights of Others

Violating the Financial Rights of Others

By Sayyid Saddam Madani

(Teacher at Jamiat al-Madina Faizan-e-Noor-e-Mustafa, Agra Taj, Karachi)

In today’s world, there's a widespread trend of competing for material success, where excellence is often equated with amassing wealth. This unquenchable thirst for worldly possessions has blurred ethical boundaries for many individuals. Regrettably, personal pursuits have overshadowed consideration for others' financial rights. This is evident in cases where people unjustly seize others’ possessions, deprive siblings of rightful inheritances, break friendships over unpaid debts, or misappropriate the hard-earned income of labourers. The relentless drive for overnight wealth has contributed to a rise in criminal activities, including theft and robbery.

Let us gain an understanding of what things fall in the category of financial rights in order to avoid violating the rights of others and if we are guilty of seizing the financial right of another, we can resolve the matter by repenting instantly.

Theft, robbery, usurpation, preventing rightful heirs from their share of inheritance, land grabbing, refusing to repay debts, betraying trusts, underpaying labourers, keeping the deposit of the customer when he pulls out of a deal, keeping items found on the floor without a reason validated by Islamic law and not returning them to their rightful owners, deducting the entire days wage when the employee comes late, fraudulently weighing and measuring goods, selling adulterated foodstuff, and not paying the dowry etc., are all actions that represent violations of financial rights.

Islam unequivocally prohibits seizing others' financial rights, and there are numerous hadith that explicitly denounce such behaviour. Let us reflect on five sayings of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in this regard:

1.   Denying Someone Their Inheritance

If someone unjustly withholds the rightful inheritance of an inheritor, then Allah will deprive that person from the inheritance of Paradise on the Day of Judgement.[1]

2.   Unlawful Occupation of Land:

Anyone who takes even a handspan of land unjustly will be made to wear a collar of the seven earths on the Day of Judgement.[2]

3.   Purposefully Failing to Repay a Debt

By the One in Whose power is my soul! If someone is martyred in the way of Allah and then revived, and again martyred in the way of Allah and then revived, then again martyred in the way of Allah and revived, yet he has an outstanding debt, he will not enter paradise until the debt is settled.[3]

4.   Impermissibility of Taking Someone's Property Without Consent:

Taking the property of a fellow Muslim without their permission is not permissible, unless they willingly give it.[4]

5.   Divine Curse for Thief

Allah curses the thief who steals ˹something as insignificant as˺ an egg.[5],[6]

These teachings highlight the severity of unlawfully taking the wealth of people. May Allah Almighty save us from the greed of worldly wealth and instead grant us enthusiasm to do good deeds.

Repentance of the one who violated financial rights:

It is important to remember that wrongful acquisition of others' property is a matter of rights of people; thus, it is not forgiven solely through repentance. Rather, returning the wrongfully taken property is also necessary.

The Reviver of Islam, the Imām of Ahl al-Sunnah, Imām Amad Razā Khān رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: “There are two cases of having the rights of people forgiven. 1) Repaying that which can be fulfilled or having it forgiven. 2) the second method is for the person whose rights were infringed to forgive without demanding fulfilment.”[7]

May Allah grant us ability to continue fulfilling the rights of Allah Almighty along with the rights of His slaves.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

[1] Sunan Ibn Mājah: 2703

[2] aī al-Bukhārī: 3198

[3] Musnad Imām Amad: 22493

[4] Sunan al-Kubrā li al-Bayhaqī : 11545

[5] aī al-Bukhārī: 6799

[6] Translator’s note: This is due to the potential of progressing from small and trivial thefts to a habit that eventually leads to stealing valuable items, inviting serious criminal charges and punishment.

[7] Fatāwā al-Razawiyyah, vol.24, pp. 373,374




Security Code