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A gem from Islamic history
Bismillahir Rahmaan Nir Rahim


Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) used to walk in the streets of Madinah at night to see to the needs of his subjects. Once he came accross a woman who was asking her daughter to mix water with milk so that they could increase their profits. The young girl refused saying that the Caliph, Umar, had passed an order forbidding such an immoral act. When the mother replied that the Caliph was not there to see and would not know aboout it, the girl answered that Allah was omnipresent even if the Caliph was not present. Umar (Radhi Allahu Anhu) was so pleased with the reply that he asked his son, Aasim, to marry the girl. Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz who would later become the just ruler of the Muslim empire was born from this union.

Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz brought about a number of financial reforms during his reign as Caliph. From amongst them was the remission of numerous taxes and the correct expenditure of state funds. Once a request was made to him for extra paper for official work. He answered : "Make the point of your pen finer, write closely and concisely as Muslims do not require such detailed reports which are an unnecessary burden upon the state."

The result of all this was that the general masses became so well-off that it became difficult to find beggars who would accept the Zakaah (mandatory charity given to the poor). Yahya Ibn Sa'eed relates that Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz appointed him to collect the Zakaah in Africa. When he had done so he looked around but he could not find a single individual who could accept Zakaah. He had no alternative but to purchase a number of slaves and emancipate them on behalf of the Muslim populace. (Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi, Saviours of Islamic Spirit, Volume 1, p. 18 - 35)

Morals

1. Honesty produces good results in the long run. Dishonesty and lies may bring quick money and results but the end result is always evil.
2. The Islamic financial system if implemented effectively can remove poverty.


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