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15 July 2019 CE | 13 Dhul-Qadah 1440 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation

Stolen Wealth on Shoulders

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “I do not want to see any of you coming on the Day of Resurrection with a bellowing camel on his shoulders, saying, ‘O Messenger of Allah, help me,’ and I will say to him, ‘I cannot do anything for you, I conveyed the message to you.’” [Muslim]

Whatever anybody steals, misappropriates, or takes unjustly from another, will be laden onto his shoulders and be hanging around his neck on the Day of Judgement. He will have to carry that burden and everybody will see what he stole. This includes the stealing of rulers, employers, employees, workers and governors from public coffers.

There was once a rich and powerful king called Hakam II who ruled over Spain. One day he was riding around his country when he saw a beautiful piece of land. It belonged to an old widow who refused to sell it. Hakam had her evicted and began construction of a large palace on it. The old lady went to the Qazi (judge) for help. He told her he had an idea but that she would have to wait.

When the palace was complete, Hakam arranged a party in it and invited many people, including the Qazi. They arrived with magnificent presents, but the Qazi arrived on a donkey with two empty sacks and asked Hakam for two favours.

Hakam said he would oblige, so the first request the Qazi made was to be allowed to fill his two sacks with earth from the palace garden. Hakam agreed. Once they were full, the Qazi requested Hakam to load the sacks onto the back of the donkey. The request was strange but Hakam obliged again.

Though he heaved and pulled, Hakam could not lift the heavy sacks. “I’m sorry my friend, but I cannot lift these sacks!” he said. The Qazi replied, “If you cannot lift these two sacks today, how will you carry the weight of this whole garden and palace on the Day of Judgement when Allah asks you why you took it from the widow?”

Hakam realized his mistake, apologized to the widow, and returned her land to her with palace and presents.

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