Constitution of the Caliphate State / Economic System
- Category: Economic System §123-169
Article 150: If the permanent revenues of the Bayt Al-Mal are not sufficient to cover the expenditure of the State, then it is possible to impose taxes upon the Muslims. It becomes obligatory to impose taxes as follows:
- a. To fulfil the obligatory expenses upon the Bayt Al-Mal for the poor, needy, and wayfarers, and to undertake the obligation of Jihad.
- b. To fulfil the obligatory expenses upon the Bayt Al-Mal for remunerations of the civil servants and soldiers, as well as compensation for the rulers.
- c. To fulfil the obligatory expenses upon the Bayt Al-Mal to undertake the services and needs such as establishing roads, extracting water, building mosques, schools and hospitals.
- d. To fulfil the obligatory expenses upon the Bayt Al-Mal which are necessary in case of a disaster which afflicted the subjects such as famine, floods and earthquakes.
The evidence for this is that the Shari’ah prohibited the authority to impose taxes upon the Muslims simply based upon an order emanating from him; the Prophet said:
«لا يَدْخُلُ الْجَنَّةَ صَاحِبُ مَكْسٍ»
“One who wrongfully takes an extra tax (Sahib Maks) will not enter Paradise.” (reported by Ahmad and authenticated by Al-Zayn), and the custom duty is tax which is taken from the tradesmen at the borders of the country. This prohibition encompasses every tax due to the agreed upon narration of the Messenger through Abu Bakra:
«إِنَّ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَأَمْوَالَكُمْ وَأَعْرَاضَكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ حَرَامٌ كَحُرْمَةِ يَوْمِكُمْ هَذَا فِي بَلَدِكُمْ هَذَا فِي شَهْرِكُمْ هَذَا...»
“Verily your blood, your property and your honour are as sacred and inviolable as the sanctity of this day of yours, in this town of yours, and in this month of yours.”,which is general and so encompasses the Khalifah in the same way it encompasses the rest of the people. As long as the Shari’ah prohibited taking taxes, it is not permitted for the Khalifah to impose them upon the people based upon an order he made. However, if the purpose was something that Allah (swt) had made obligatory upon the Muslims, then it is permitted for the Khalifah to impose taxes upon the Muslims and take it from them by force for such purpose.
In this circumstance taking them would not be based upon an order from the authority but rather based upon what Allah (swt) had ordered, and the authority is merely implementing the order that Allah (swt) had made. So the Shari’ah permitted the Khalifah to take taxes if it was ordered by Allah (swt), with the condition that the order to take the taxes is from the Khalifah together with what Allah (swt) ordered the Muslims to fulfil, and not simply an order from the Khalifah alone to impose this tax. Based upon this, what the Shari’ah obligated upon the Muslims and the Bayt Al-Mal is spent upon from the Bayt Al-Mal, and if nothing is found in the Bayt Al-Mal, or if whatever was there had already been spent, or was not sufficient to fulfil the expenditure needs, then the Khalifah may impose taxes upon the Muslims according to the Shari’ah rules which obligated that issue upon the Muslims in the first place. And what were mentioned in the article are details of what Allah (swt) has obligated upon the Muslims.
As for clause: “a”, its evidence is that Allah (swt) obligated the Khalifah to spend upon the poor, needy and wayfarer, and to spend in order to undertake the obligation of Jihad, and this was also made an obligation upon the Muslims; the Prophet said:
«مَا آمَنَ بِي مَنْ بَاتَ شَبْعَانَ وَجَارُهُ جَائِعٌ وَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ»
“One who goes to bed full while he knows that his neighbour is hungry, does not believe in Me” (reported by Al-Bazzar from Anas and Al-Haythami and Al-Mundhiri considered it Hasan). And there are evidences related which mention the poor, needy, wayfarers and beggars and the verse of Zakah. And the evidences of Jihad include His (swt) words:
((وَجَاهِدُوا بِأَمْوَالِكُمْ وَأَنْفُسِكُمْ))
“And strive with your wealth and your lives in the cause of Allah.” (TMQ 9:41).
As for clause: “b”, its evidence is that Allah (swt) obligated the Khalifah to pay for the expenses related to the civil servants, and the salaries for the soldiers according to what was agreed with them, and it is obligatory for the Bayt Al-Mal to recompense the Khalifah and the rest of the rulers, due to the evidence that the companions specified some money for Abu Bakr (ra) from the Bayt Al-Mal in return for him leaving his trade and being completely free to carry the duties of the Khilafah. In the same manner Allah (swt) made education, establishing the courts and Jihad with wealth obligatory upon the Muslims, and obligated them to establish the Khalifah in the same way it is obligatory upon them to establish the leader. As for the provisions for the soldiers, he said in a report from Abu Dawud from Abdullah Bin Umar:
«لِلْغَازِي أَجْرُهُ، وَلِلْجَاعِلِ أَجْرُهُ وَأَجْرُ الْغَازِي»
“The warrior (Ghazi) gets his reward, and the one who equips (Ja’il) him gets his own reward and that of the warrior.” And as for the maintenance of the civil servants, which are the teachers, judges, and those whom Allah (swt) has made it constantly obligatory to ensure they are established, then it is obligatory to pay the wages of those who undertake these issues, from the angle of the indication of necessity, in other words, the obligation to establish a judge necessitates the obligation of paying his wage, and from the angle of: “Whatever is required to complete an obligation is itself an obligation”, since the appointment of teachers and judges cannot be possible without the availability of money to cover their salaries. As for the remaining civil servants, if their work is part of what Allah (swt) obligated upon the Muslims and upon the Bayt Al-Mal such as the Imams of mosques, and the civil servants in the War Department and anything else similar, then taxes are imposed for their sake. With respect to whatever Allah (swt) obligated upon the Bayt Al-Mal alone such as the ones who collect the wealth from the people, then taxes are not imposed for their sake. And as for the recompense for the rulers, Allah (swt) obligated the Muslims to establish the ruler, and so it is obligatory for them to pay what is required to ensure he is free for his duties.
As for clause: “c”, its evidence is that Allah (swt) obligated the Khalifah to undertake the management of the interests of the Muslims by spending upon whatever interest they have and facilitating anything they need. The interest is what the whole Ummah uses, such as extracting the water, education, fixing the roads, and anything similar, and the utility is from the facilitation, which is what people utilise in order to fulfil their interests, such as a place of rest for travellers/passengers, public toilets, hospitals for the treatment of the ill and building mosques for the worshippers. It is said to utilise something is to use it, and so the Muslim utilises the space of the mosque for sitting and its water for ablution. So the Shari’ah obligated the Khalifah with issues such as building roads, extracting water, building schools, mosques and hospitals and anything else similar, since they are part of the management of the affairs, and because the interest is to attain a benefit and protect against a harm, and not making these available leads to harm. And utilisation is whatever the people utilise to fulfil their needs, and its lack of availability would necessarily bring about harm, and removing the harm is an obligation upon the Khalifah and in the same manner is obligatory upon the Muslims; it is reported from Ibn ‘Abbas who said: The Messenger of Allah said:
«لا ضَرَرَ وَلا ضِرَارَ»
“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” (reported by Ahmad from Ibn Abbas and reported and authenticated by Al-Hakim from Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri), and he said:
«مَنْ ضَارَّ أَضَرَّ اللهُ بِهِ، وَمَنْ شَاقَّ شَقَّ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ»
“Whoever harms others, Allah (SWT) will harm him; and whoever causes hardship to other Allah will cause hardship to him.” (reported by Ahmad from Abu Sarmah with a chain that Al-Zayn authenticated, and similarly reported and authenticated by Al-Hakim from abu Sa’id Al-Khudri). Therefore, what would occur from harm upon the Muslims if there was no provision for what the interest and utility necessitated if there was no recompense must be considered, and it would be obligatory upon the Khalifah and the Muslims to ensure it is provided if this provision removed that harm. What made it obligatory upon the Khalifah is clear since it is part of managing the affairs, and what made it obligatory upon the Muslims is the generality of the evidences, since the words:
«لا ضَرَرَ وَلا ضِرَارَ»
“There should be neither harming nor reciprocating harm” are general, and in the same way:
“whoever causes hardship” is general, therefore, encompasses the Khalifah and also encompasses all of the Muslims.
As for clause: “d”, its evidence is the evidence of saving the one who is in trouble, since issues like floods and earthquakes and the like, fall under this issue. As for those who may be starving they fall under the narration:
«مَا آمَنَ بِي مَنْ بَاتَ شَبْعَانَ وَجَارُهُ جَائِعٌ وَهُوَ يَعْلَمُ»
“One who goes to bed full while he knows that his neighbour is hungry, does not believe in Me” (reported by Al-Bazzar from Anas and considered Hasan by Al-Mundhiri), and the narration:
«أَيُّمَا أَهْلُ عَرْصَةٍ»
“Whoever from the people of a neighbohood” (reported by Ahmad from Ibn Umar and authenticated by Ahmad Shakir). Therefore, it is obligatory upon the Bayt Al-Mal and the Muslims due to the generality of the evidences.