Explanation of Bulugh Al-Maram:
Hadith on Acquiring Money


Hadith number 1289:

وعن خولة الانصارية رضى الله عنها قالت, قال رسول الله: <<ان رجالا يتخوضون في مال الله بغير حق, فلهم النار يوم القيامة>>

Narrated Khaula Al-Ansariya: Allah's Messenger said: "Some men wrongfully acquire Allah's Property and they will go to Hell-fire on the Day of Resurrection" (Al-Bukhari)

The narrator:

This hadith was narrated by خولة الانصارية (Khaula Al-ansariya), who was the wife of Hamza, the uncle of the Rasul (salallahu 'alayhe wassallam). In some of the worldly matters, the witness of two women is equal to one man. However, in matters of religion (which are more important), it is only needed one woman to narrate a hadith.

Khaula was a heroic woman. She fought along with the Sahaba in many battles. Her brother was apprehended in Persia, so she wore an all-black dress and fought courageously alongside the Sahaba. No one recognized her but since she fought so daringly, Khalid bin Waleed, the general of Muslim army, pressed her to release her identity. In the battle in Syria against the Romans, the Muslim women were detained so she encouraged other women to fight the enemy by using tent poles. Khaula died in 35 A.H.

يتخوضون (ya-ta-khawdoon):
It has 2 meanings:
To misuse money either in a haram or halal way
To disregard the source of one's money.

مال الله في: In the wealth of Allah.

مال الله (Maal-ul-Allah) is divided into two parts:

مال الله

مكتسبة شرعية
General money: Bayt-Al-Maal
(e.g., one works in order to (the Muslim treasury) acquire money)

Both of these two categories are considered مال الله .

The مال الله of شرعية includes Muslim treasury or Reserves of an Islamic State.

The مال الله of مكتسبة is mentioned in:

وَآتُوهُم مِّن مَّالِ اللَّهِ الَّذِي آتَاكُمْ

24:33 Give them something yourselves out of the means which Allah has given to you.

The addition of word Allah (مال الله ) is to add honor to the term. Even the money that we acquire through our hard-work belongs to Allah, so we have to spend it in a way that Allah will be pleased with it.

بغير حق :wrongfully acquire. This was said to add emphasis even though the Prophet already mentioned يتخوضون which has a close meaning to بغير حق.

Lessons from the Hadith:

Is attaining money in the wrong way a major sin?
Yes, because the hadith mentions the punishment. Whenever the punishment is clearly said, then the sin becomes a major one.

This hadith teaches one to watch what he spends, since the money is from Allah, and he will be questioned how he spent it.

Our money belongs to Allah. Therefore one cannot say, "It is my money, it is my business how I want to spend it." This is an erroneous statement. Our money is Allah's business because it is from the bounty of Allah. It belongs to Allah and we can only spend it in ways that Allah has permitted.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) mentions the reason by saying wrongfully acquiring money, بغير حق.

Examples of acquiring money wrongfully:

This may include a leader (or person in authority) who is entrusted with collecting money for building a masjid, or sending money to orphans, and rather, takes this money and spends it on something else.
Cheating fellow Muslims of their money
Liquor stores (since the money from this is haram)
Those who deal with interest (riba')

In another hadith narrated by the same woman, she states the Prophet said whoever obtains money from a haram source will be doomed.

In Sahih Al-Bukhari, it is narrated that once Allah's Apostle said, "You people present your cases to me and some of you may be more eloquent and persuasive in presenting their argument. So, if I give someone's right to another (wrongly) because of the latter's (tricky) presentation of the case, I am really giving him a piece of fire; so he should not take it."

What does one do with money obtained in haram?

If a person has taken money that does not belong to him (stealing, for example), he must return the money back to the person that it belongs to. If that person is no longer living then it should be given to his inheritors. If the person can not return it to the owner (because he doesn't know where he resides, etc), then it must be given in sadaqa (charity).

What if a person has taken money from someone, and he knows when he will return it to him, that person will use the money in haram. Does the money need to be returned?

The answer to this is no, IF the person is 100% sure the person will use that money in haram. Rather, he needs to pay that money to charity.

If a person stole $10,000 and it stayed with him for five years, for example, does he have to pay zakah on that money?

Forbidden money falls into two categories:

اموال الحرام

حرام لغيره حرام لذاته
Haram by extension Haram in itself
(the money is from a haram
source, for example, beer, marijuana, a bar, etc)

حرام لغيره : Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal states the person that falls under this
category does have to pay zakah on the money, whereas, the other three
scholars say the person does not have to pay zakah on the money.

حرام لذاته : Everything that falls under this category is haram, therefore,
there is no zakah due on the money.

Does Hajj count when someone uses money obtained in haram to pay for it?

Imam Hanbal, Malik, and Abu Haneefa all agree that the hajj does not count, based on the hadith:

ان الله طيب و لا يقبل الا طيبا
"Allah is good (pure) and accepts only that which is good (pure)."

Al-Shafaii said the hajj DOES count, since the hajj is a separate transaction than the stolen or haram money. Hajj is not related to the money; therefore, insha'allah the hajj will count.



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