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The Teachings of Imam Sadiq (A.S.) - Part II

Kinds of People's Livings

'How many kinds of livings that people earn and deal with each other are there? What are the ways of expenses?' a man asked Imam as-Sadiq(A.S.).

The Imam answered: All the livings that people earn and deal with each other are four.

'Are all these legal? Are they all illegal? Or are some legal and some illegal?' asked the man.

The Imam (A.S.) answered: These four kinds may be legal from one side and illegal from another. These kinds are known and familiar. First of all, there is the work in governmental offices. The first of this kind is the jobs of the rulers down to the least job of the individuals. Then comes the trade including all sorts of deals, such as vending and purchase. Then come the industries along with all of their kinds. Then come the contracts of lease. All these kinds are legal from one side and illegal from another. Allah's obligation on the servants is to follow and practice the legal forms of these kinds only and avoid the illegal.


Explanation of Work in Governmental Offices

The work in governmental offices is of two forms. One is the office of the just authorities whom Allah ordered to assign as rulers and ordered people to follow them. Within them are their officials and administrators down to the least official. The other form is the office of the unjust people and their officials down to the least unjust official.

The legality of this kind is the office of the just rulers whom Allah ordered to recognize and elect as leaders, and working in their main and secondary offices by following Allah's instructions to the just rulers without adding, reducing, distorting, or neglecting anything of His revelation. If such just rulers who meet the precious qualities exist, then work in their offices will be legal and it will be completely legal to work, support, and hold them.

In addition, the gain from such jobs will be legal. Working with such rulers and their officials will enliven every rightful and fair matter and kill every wrong, injustice, and corruption. Therefore, to support, help, and work with such rulers is as same as calling to the acts of obedience to Allah and strengthening His religion.

The illegality of the work in governmental offices stands for the leadership of the unjust rulers and their officials beginning with the chief down to the novice. Working with them and gaining earnings from them are prohibited and illegal. The workers and gainers of such earnings will suffer punishment, apart from the amount of the work or the earnings.

Every act that is seen as support for the unjust rulers is a grand sin, because the rule of the unjust rulers kills the right wholly and enlivens the wrong wholly. It also spreads injustice, oppression, and corruption, stays the laws of the Divine Books, kills the prophets and believers, destroys the mosques, and distorts Allah's norms and principles. Accordingly, it is prohibited to work with them, support them, and seek earnings from their leadership saving in cases of necessity that is similar to the necessity of having blood or meat of corpses.


Explanation of the Commerce

Regarding the categories of vendition and the legal and the illegal purchase and vendition, all the laws are arranged for saving the nourishment of the servants (of Allah) and achieving their prosperity concerning their food, drink, dress, marriage, property, and the dependent affairs. It is licit for them to traffic in all the profitable matters that are indispensable for them and achieve their prosperity. Vendition, purchase, possession, exploitation, endowment, and loan of the above-mentioned matters are licit.

The illegality of transaction includes every matter that is prohibited and causes corruption by way of eating, drinking, earning, marrying, possessing, using, endowing, or loaning it or any matter that causes corruption, such as usurious vendition, which causes corruption, and vendition of corpses, blood, pork, meat and skins of beasts including wild animals and birds, wine, or any pork, meat and skins of beasts including wild animals and birds, wine, or any other impure thing. These matters are illicit and prophibited.

Allah has prohibited the eating, drinking, dressing, possessing, using, and disposing of these things because this causes corruption. In other words, any disposition of such things is illegal. In addition, every vendition of illegal amusement is illegal. It is illegal and prohibited to vent, purchase, use, possess, endow, loan, or dispose in any prohibited substance that is used for seeking the favors of other than Allah or supporting atheism and polytheims by all ways of acts of disobedience or any way that supports any path of deviation or wrong or weakens the right, except in cases of necessity.


Explanation of Contracts of Lease

Contracts of lease include working as employee and hiring the property as well as those who are under guardianship, the animal, or the dress in a legal way of lease. It is licit to work as employee or let the house, the land, or one of the properties that is profitable.

As example of this is the porter who carries definite things to definite places; hence, he can port that thing-provided that it is legal-himself or by his servant or animal, or he himself does that act or hire his servant, kinsman, or hireling. These are the forms of contracts of lease. They are legal for all people, whether they were servants, populace, atheists, or believers. The lease and earnings of such ways of lease are legal.

The examples of the illegal contracts of lease are to hire oneself for porting prohibited things, such as prohibited food, drink, and dress, or to manufacture, keep, or use such illegal things, or destroy mosques, or kill illegally, or carry picture, statues, musical instruments, wine, pork, corpses, blood, or any feature of corruption that is prohibited on ways other that lease.

It is illicit to hire oneself for any prohibited matter or any part of it except in cases of legal profits, such as employing for carrying a corpse so as to save oneself or others from its harm or the like profits. The difference between work in governmental offices and contracts of lease is that the previous means to work for the officials of the rulers and their officials as their representative out of their power following what they enjoin and what they forbid. It also stands for supporting and backing the rulers. Hence, the governmental official is the representative of his chief. They are considered as same as their masters who control people by killing and spreading injustice and corruption.

The contracts of lease, on the other hand, stand for, as we have previously explained, hiring from others. Hence, the hirer will not have control over the hireling before he meets the regulations of lease. The contracts of lease are legal as we have previously shown.


Explanation of the Industries

Industries include every profession that the servants (of Allah) learn or teach others, such as writing, mathematics, trade, goldsmithery, saddlery, building, weaving, bleaching, dressmaking, the different sorts of picturing except picturing soulful creatures, and manufacturing the various instruments that people need and benefit.

Doing, teaching, and working in all these varieties of industries are legal even if some instruments are used for corruption, acts of disobedience, and support for the wrong against the right, such as writing which may be used for supporting and backing the unjust rulers. The same thing can be said about knives, swords, and the like tools that are used for both good and evil. Hence, it is not unacceptable to learn, teach, take wages, and work in the good side of such industries. Likewise, it is forbidden to use these industries in evil and harmsul ways. In this case, neither the master nor will the student be considered as sinful for using such industries in evil. The guilty will be those who misuse such industries.

Allah has forbidden only the industries that are wholly illegal and that are harmful, such as the manufacturing of musical instruments, chess, every instrument of illegal amusement, crosses, statues, and the like industries in addition to the industries of forbidden drinks and those that produce illegal things purely without benefiting by any part of them. It is forbidden to teach, learn, work, and take wages for engaging in such industries as well as to manage any part of such industries.


Ways of Expenses

The ways of legal expenses are twenty-four: seven are for personal expenditure, five are socially obligatory, three are religiously obligatory, five are recommendable for building good relations, and four are favorable for amicability.

Regarding the seven ways of the personal expenditure, they are the expenditure for personal food, drink, dress, marriage, services, defraying the wages of the hirelings who keep or carry the personal needs.
Regarding the five ways of the socially obligatory expenditure, they are covering the needs of the sons, the parents, the wife, and the slaves whether in luxury or hardship.

Regarding the three ways of the religiously obligatory expenditure, they are the obligatory zakat that is defrayed annually, the expenditures of the obligatory hajj, and the expenditures of the jihad in its proper time.
Regarding the five ways of expenditure on building good relations, they are the expenditure for regarding the higher rank people, the relatives, and the believers and spending in alms-giving, charity, and manumission.

Regarding the four ways of amicable expenditure, they are settling the debts, loan, borrowing, and hospitality. These four matters are obligatory prophetic traditions.


The Halal Food

It is lawful for man to have three kinds of food that the earth produces.

The first kinds is the seeds. Wheat, barley, rice, and chick-pea as well as the other kinds of sesame and the like -all these are legally eatable as long as they form food for people and strengthen the body. Except in cases of emergency, everything that harms the human body is illegal to have.

The second kind is all the kinds of fruits that form food for human bodies and strengths. All these kinds are legally eatable. The forbidden are only those that form harm.

The third kind is all classes of greens and plants that benefit human beings and form food for them. All these classes are legal to have. The other classes of greens that harm the human body, such as the poisonous legumes and oleander, are illegal to have.

The legally eatable meat is the meat of cows, sheep, camels and the other beasts except those having tusks or claws. Regarding the birds, the meat of very bird that has gizzard is legally eatable. Accordingly, the meat of every bird that does not have gizzard is illegal.

Every egg the edges of which are uneven is legally eatable, while the eggs the edges of which are equal are illegal.

Regarding the fish, it is legal to have the meat of every fish that has shells while it is illegal to have the meat of every fish that does not have shells.


The Halal Drinks

Regarding the drinks, it is legal to drink any beverage provided that the much quantity of which will not preoccupy the mind. Thus, it is illegal to drink little quantity of the beverage the much quantity of which occupies the minds.


The Acceptable Dress

Regarding the dresses, it is acceptable to dress and offer the prayers dressing any cloth that is made of plants. It is also acceptable to dress the clothing that is made of the skin, wool, or hair of the legally slaughterd animals that are legally eatable. It is acceptable to dress and offer the prayers dressing the clothing that is made of the wool, hair, or feather of the legally dead or slaughtered animals. It is illicit to offer the prayers or prostrate oneself (in the ritual prayers) on anything that is considered as food, drink, or dress. it is legal to prostrate oneself (in the ritual prayers) only on the fruitless plants of the earth before being yarns. Except in cases of necessity, it is illegal to prostrate oneself on spun plants.

Reference:Tuhaf al-Uqool

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