SHAFAQNA | by Mohammad Saeid Taheri Moosavi*: In Islam, the ownership of individuals is respected within a certain framework. The word “Amwalekom” meaning “your properties” has been mentioned many times in the Holy Quran, and based on this, the Quran has recognized the ownership of individuals over their properties, which is private ownership.
From the heart of Islamic teachings, the principle or rule of “Taslit” (تسلیط) has been extracted, which means the ownership and mastery of people over their properties, which is based on a hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) who said:
“People have domination over their properties.”
Also, according to the hadith,
“A Muslim’s property is respected just like his blood”,
which has been narrated from the Holy Prophet (PBUH), we can refer to the principle of “sanctity of people’s properties” meaning the need for others to respect the personal property of individuals and the sanctity of encroachment, both of which affirm the principle of private ownership of individuals in Islam. In the Holy Quran, in verse 32 of Surah An-Nisa (The Women), it is stated in the affirmation of private ownership:
“Unto men a fortune from that which they have earned, and unto women a fortune from that which they have earned.”
In verse 29 of Surah An-Nisa (The Women), in addition to confirming Private Ownership, the observance of the condition of consent in commercial affairs has been also considered:
“O ye who believe! Squander not your wealth among yourselves in vanity, except it be a trade by mutual consent, and kill not one another.”
Or about the prohibition of usury in verse 279 of Surah Al-Baqarah (The Cow), stated:
“But if you repent, you may have your principal – [thus] you do no wrong, nor are you wronged.”
However, as in most legal systems, private ownership may be subject to domestic law and restrictions. In Islam Private Ownership has legal restrictions, too. By establishing the Islamic taxes such as Khums and Zakat, Islam has made a part of people’s incomes subject to public ownership and certain sections of the society. According to the rule of Khums, one-fifth of the income or property of individuals is given to groups of the society, and according to the rule of Zakat, in proportion to wealth and product, another part is allocated to groups of society.
We will examine the above rules independently, noting here that Islam has imposed Islamic taxes to regulate and stabilize the economy and observe social justice so that the government can better implement social justice with the help of these taxes and by emphasizing the principle of benevolence and social solidarity. In verses 41 of Surah Al-Anfal (The Spoils of War) and 60 of Surah At-Tawbah (The Repentance), the Holy Quran emphasizes the principle of Khums and Zakat, respectively. In addition, in verse 19 of Surah Adh-Dhariyat (The Winnowing Winds), it is stated:
“And from their properties was [given] the right of the [needy] petitioner and the deprived.”
Therefore, people give a part of the properties they acquire based on religious obligation and a part based on moral and human obligation in the form of benevolence to others in order to ensure social justice along with the development of human morality. The role of the people in this justice-oriented order is very important, because the payment of these religious taxes in any Islamic legal system is not legally binding and lacks of performance bond and is paid only voluntarily by individuals. Public ownership in Islam also includes all properties that have no private ownership and are interpreted as Anfal in the Quran.
*Dr. Mohammad Saeid Taheri Moosavi is a specialist in Public Law and Political Sciences. This article is written for Shafaqna French and translated by Fatemeh Aghaei for Shafaqna English.