Pearl of Wisdom
'Look at the world through the eyes of those who have renounced it, for verily its inhabitants are quick to depart it and its opulence inflicts distress. So do not allow the abundance of what amazes you therein to deceive you, for it is but a little that you will take with you thereof.'
Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Bihar al-Anwar, v. 78, p. 20, no. 79
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The following are his (a) instructions to Zakat collectors.
Letter 26 The following are his (a) instructions to Zakat collectors.
I order you to fear Allah in all those affairs and on all those occasions where there is none to witness your actions and deeds or to guide your activities. I order you not to pretend fear of Allah and assume false piety and to go against His Orders secretly. One whose deeds coincide with his words and who is as honest in his secret activities as in open deeds, is the person who has faithfully discharged the duty laid down upon him by the Lord, his honesty handed over the things entrusted to him and has sincerely obeyed Allah only to achieve His Favours and Blessings.
I order you not to meet Muslims as a tyrant or an oppressor, not to ill-treat them and not to calumniate them because they are your brothers in religion and they will help you to collect taxes and to find means and ways to help the poor.
Certainly there is a share for you in Zakat but remember that the poor, the destitute and the have-nots also have claim over it.
Verily, I have paid you your share and now you should pay them their shares otherwise there will be many who will complain and protest against you on the Day of Judgement (they will be your enemies on that day). Woe be to the person against whom the poor, the destitute, the beggars and those who have been deprived of their rights of receiving Zakat complain before Allah.
Be it known to you that the person who misappropriates Zakat funds, who will fill his stomach with such amounts, and who harms his religion and injures his conscience with such deeds will be punished and disgraced in this world as well as the next. The worst form of dishonesty is the breach of trust of the public funds (Zakat) and the most despicable example of maladministration is that the Imam should tolerate such forms of dishonesty.