Why does the Hizmet Movement so strongly object corruption and black money?
The pool of black money formed by misappropriating public funds has amounted to an unprecedented level in Turkey now. This pool is maintained mainly by rigging the public bids, irregular/illegal activities, or by using power of the state for money laundering.
Contrary to the legal rulings of some “religious” scholars, the black money of this illegitimate pool can never be used for charitable purposes. It is to be noted first that legitimate ends require legitimate means: One cannot get to the licit through illicit ways. Muslim scholars unanimously agree that bribery and corruption are unlawful. When viewed from this perspective, it becomes clear that it is not possible to do good deeds and works with the dirty money earned from bribery or corruption. One who thinks doing charity this way will only be deceiving himself. For this very reason, the attempt to justify corruption as “He is using the money for charitable purposes” cannot be accepted.
The gravest aspect of the issue is that, by such discourses, one damages the very foundations of his or her religious beliefs. When we start to act in a dishonest manner in our personal life, we unknowingly damage how others think, understand and view religion. These damages gradually corrupt the society’s moral values. They might drift the society to dire steeps of no return.
Another misinterpreted point is the ruling government’s claim that “No extra money is spent from the state treasury, and therefore the state is in no loss.” Considering the issue from this misguided perspective, one may think that there is no cost to the state treasure. However, this is not true. In the final analysis, when a contractor or businessperson has to pay bribes to public officials in order to be awarded a public contract, he or she tries to compensate for their losses through some illegal methods, which ultimately means unrecorded losses for the public treasury. Thus, this causes a vicious circle of corruption. Apparently, people who are attracted to political posts and positions tend to pave the way for such “spoils” and commissions.
Violating the rights of the public means violating the rights of God. Neither Islamic law nor modern legal systems tolerate breaches of these rights. If one embezzles public funds, you cannot justify this by misinterpreting the principles set forth in some codifications of Islamic law or by indulging in sophistry. The corrupt people may set off by giving messages about Islamic principles about honesty and righteousness, but they may find themselves deep down a dark alley.
Finally, it should be known that showing mercy to people is essential in Islam. The Noble Prophet said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.” When they asked as “O Messenger of God! It is all right to help the one oppressed, but what is the meaning of helping the oppressor?” He replied, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” The blessed Prophet advises us to stand against oppression, violation, and murder. By explaining the evil character of these acts, people should be discouraged from committing them. When we opt to do this, it will bring about mutual affection and union, instead of division or conflict. The Hizmet Movement has been trying to fulfil this responsibility by warning those who do wrong.
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