Muslim leaders, officials and those close to them must not ask for privileges

SHAFAQNA – Imam Ali (AS) wrote to Malik Ashtar: Avoid asking for privileges and refrain from allocating a thing exclusive to yourself when all the people have the same right as you; and do not be neglectful towards whatever is related to you and is clear to everyone because in any case you are responsible and accountable to people and soon all the curtains will be removed from your deeds and the rights of the oppressed will be claimed from you.

Imam Ali (AS) added: for a governor, there are close friends and family who want to have privileges and ask for exclusive rights and transgress in trade and they are hardly fair. Therefore, cut the roots of their oppression completely by cutting the causes (of the oppression)! And never give land as a gift to those who are close or related to you.

Do not let them use you in order that you conclude a contract on their behalf which causes loss to other people, be it in irrigation or a task which they must carry out with the agreement of other people, in a way that the work and the expenses are imposed on others; in this case the benefits are for them (those who are close or related to you) and the liability and shame are for you in this world and the hereafter [1].

[1] Nahjul Balaghah, Letter 53.

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