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ILLEGAL money and people’s rights are opposites. Hypocrisy cannot cover the truth with the husks of rhetorics. Therefore, whoever committed a crime of this kind or had robbed ordinary people either ended up in prison or was afflicted with various diseases or was exiled, facing the repercussions of the sins that are prohibited by all religions, and criminalized by the laws of all countries. Such a person also becomes an outcast in the eyes of the people and lives in misery.
The aforementioned ending is a quick one, whereas a painful ending is for those who are tormented by their sins for a long time. That is why when Almighty Allah forbade committing sins, He put murder and theft first, because they are the two sources of corruption for all people. In this regard, it is possible to look at all the corrupt, irrespective of whether they are in Lebanon where they plundered people’s rights and deposits, but have become exposed today after announcing the criminal audit report, or in Iraq where the gang of leaders looted over USD 200 billion within a period of 20 years but how they are seen today in the eyes of the Iraqis, or in Kuwait and some Gulf countries where some committed the crime of plundering public money but how their end was and where they are today.
In this regard, I read a story in the book “Kalila wa Dimna” in which is a lesson for those who covet the money of others, and the repercussions of such a sin. This story currently applies to many corrupt people who loot public money and are thieves of rights. Once upon a time, a gang of thieves appeared on the roof of a rich and pious man, who is known for his kindness and generosity to people. They were not that stealth in their movement, which awakened the man from his sleep. He immediately alerted his wife about the presence of the thieves.
Thinking about how to handle the situation, the man whispered to his wife to initiate a conversation with him loudly and ask him about how he managed to amass his wealth. He also asked his wife to keep repeating that question even after he forbids her from asking it. The wife went along with what her husband asked her to do, and the two made sure that their conversation was audible to the thieves who were on the roof of the house, and were ready to sneak in and steal. The wife asked him from where he got his wealth but he refused to tell her, but she kept on insisting until the man agreed to divulge his “secret”.
He said to her, “I amassed this wealth through theft.” “How did you manage to do that?” asked the wife. He replied, “I did it using a magical chant. Whenever I used it, all the wealth came to me without any struggle, and without leaving a trace on the scene.” By now the thieves were eager to know the magical chant that would simplify their work and make it safer.
The man continued, “I used to go out at night with my gang, and as soon as we were on top of the house from where we wanted to steal, I as their leader would stand facing the moon, and then I would recite “Shulamy… Shulam” seven times while extending my arms towards the moonlight. After that, I would descend down stealthily, and everything that I want to steal comes to me without anyone feeling my presence.
We would then leave the scene as if we were never there.” The thieves on the roof were elated by the information they had received from the rich man. All that was remaining was to wait for the man and his wife to fall asleep again. Their leader then stood up and faced the moonlight, saying “Shulamy… Shulam,” seven times. When he went down the house, he saw the rich man waiting for him with a club and the latter asked him, “Who are you?” The thief said, “I am the one who has been betrayed easily by his credulity, and is now reaping the fruits of his error.”
It is not smart to loot public money, not even ordinary people’s money. It is also not wise for any official to consider corruption as the easiest way to gain wealth. He must instead render himself accountable to the people, the law and Almighty Allah.
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By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times
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