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14061: It is not permissible to say that rule belongs to the people or that wealth is the wealth of the people


What is the ruling on saying that rule belongs to the people or that wealth belongs to the people?.

Praise be to Allaah.  

These words are a fabrication and those who fabricated them are liars in their claim. They do not implement that themselves by surrendering their opinion to the opinion of the people, not even in a single case. This is a deceitful slogan aimed at cheating the people who seek relief from one oppressive regime, only to be cheated by a second oppressive regime.  

In fact, people should be protected and respected; they should enjoy justice and sanctity in every sense of the word. They should not be driven like cattle. But it is not permissible to accept these slogans as is. Rule belongs to Allaah and the masses must be directed in the light of His Revelation and ruled according to sharee’ah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Do they then seek the judgement of (the days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgement than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith”

[al-Maa'idah 5:50] 

“The decision [hukm] is only for Allaah”

[al-An’aam 6:57] 

We should not say, “the rule is for the people,” because those who lead the people according to their own whims and desires are those with materialistic ideologies or idolatrous principles that go against what Allaah has revealed, and impose their own authority by force under these devious, fabricated slogans. 

Similarly, the “wealth of Allaah” must be spent on the general interests of the Muslims, to protect the Muslim borders and defend Muslim causes in the east and in the west, above all; to call people to Allaah; to strive to defeat the oppressors and those who transgress against some of the Muslims; and to meet the needs of those who are in need, as mentioned in Soorat al-Hashr where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allaah and to please Him, and helping Allaah (i.e. helping His religion — Islamic Monotheism) and His Messenger (Muhammad). Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say).

9. And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Al‑Madeenah) and had adopted the Faith, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given (from the booty of Banu An‑Nadeer), and give them (emigrants) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.

10. And those who came after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful’”

[al-Hashr 59:8-10] 

Priority must be given to spending it on areas where need is greatest. This is what should be done with the wealth of Allaah. It is not permissible for selfish people to take it for themselves, or to spend it on extravagance and immorality, let alone spending it on corrupt and evil things. 

It is not permissible at all to call it “the wealth of the people” because if we accept this, then they will justify doing that, and they will squander a large part of it on preserving their own hold on power, spying and buying people off. Moreover, people vary in how strong or weak they are, how rich or poor, how ignorant or righteous, how resilient or otherwise. So how can wealth belong to one who has no need of it because he is wealthy, powerful, knowledgeable or skilled, or to one who should be deprived of it because of his corruption and evil?  

Allaah the Almighty spoke the truth when He said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So after the truth, what else can there be, save error?”

[Yoonus 10:32] 

But these liars hope to overthrow rule by sharee’ah. 

See: al-Ajwabah al-Mufeedah li Muhimmaat al-‘Aqeedah, p. 55-56. 

By Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Doosari (may Allaah have mercy on him). 

It is not permissible to say that wealth is the wealth of the people, because that means that the people have the right to dispose of it however they wish. 

But in fact, wealth is the wealth of Allaah, and all people must spend it in the ways enjoined by Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). 

In Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (10/281), Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said, commenting on the hadeeth of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “All of the wealth which is at the disposal of the ruler is the wealth of Allaah and His Messenger, meaning that Allaah commanded His Messenger to spend that wealth in ways of obedience to Him, so it is essential to obey him in distributing this wealth as it is essential to obey him in all that he commands, for whoever obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allaah, and he has conveyed this from Allaah.” 

He said, concerning the wealth which the troops take from the bayt al-maal (treasury) (25/26):

 Moreover, these troops are the troops of Allaah who are fighting for the sake of Allaah, as His slaves. They take these provisions from the bayt al-maal to help them in jihad. What they take is not the property of the ruler, rather it is the property of Allaah which the ruler distributes to those who are entitled to it. 

And he said (28/268): 

The rulers do not have the right to distribute it (the wealth of the bayt al-maal) according to their own whims and desires, as an owner may distribute his own wealth. Rather they are trustees, deputies and agents; they are not owners. As the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By Allaah, I do not give to anyone or withhold from anyone (according to my own personal opinion), rather I am a distributor who allocates things as I am commanded.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari. 

This is the Messenger of the Lord of the Worlds who told us that he did not give or withhold on the basis of his own will and choice, as an owner does who is permitted to dispose of his wealth as he wishes, or as kings do who give to those whom they like and withhold from those whom they do not like. Rather he is a slave of Allaah who distributes wealth as he is commanded by Allaah.

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