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Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Ill-effects if Haram money for Zakat

Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia: Paying tithes (Zakat) from ill-gotten wealth will not cleanse the assets that were bought using graft money, according to a Selangor International Islamic University College lecturer, Ustaz Hj Mohd Farid Ravi Abdullah.
"Some Muslims have the perception that payment of tithes from such possessions obtained via corruption is one way to redeem what they have done.
"But there is no way of cleansing the 'haram' assets as it will remain forbidden in the religion when there are many ways to earn wealth through legitimate or 'halal' way," Farid said in his session 'Bersih Harta, Jiwa Tenang' to over 500 people.
He was among panellists at a forum on Islamic affairs titled "Prevention of Corruption 2007" at Chancellory Hall of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here.
He said property tithes are not imposed on properties purchased through bribery as it is forbidden (haram) in Islam.
Head of State, Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and his consort, Toh Puan Datuk Seri (Panglima) Hjh Dayang Masuyah Awang Japar, also attended the forum organised by the Sabah Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) with cooperation of Malaysia Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Sabah Federal Secretary office and University Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
Among those present were ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said bin Hamdan, State Secretary Datuk Sukarti Wakiman, Federal Secretary Sabah Datuk Ismail Wadin, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister's Department, Datu Nasrun bin Datu Mansur, Sabah Mufti Datuk Hj Ahmad Alawi Hj Adnan, Sabah Customs Director Datuk MD Yusop Mansor, Commander Naval Region II Rear Admiral Dato' Ahmad Kamarulzaman Bin Ahmad Badaruddin, and UMS Vice-Chancellor Prof. Datuk Dr Mohd Noh Dalimin and their wives.
Farid said having such ill-gotten properties may also lead to a non-blessed life and have an effect on family members as well. This may be in the form of low morals among children as some may go against their fathers' wishes and advice and wives disrespectful of husbands.
"There are so many ways to earn 'halal' properties in this world. Although your properties are not much but obtained through legitimate way, you will have a blessed life and feel at ease without having to commit corrupt practices," he said.
Sabah University Institute of Technology Mara (UiTM) lecturer, Ustaz Bongsu Aziz Jaafar, said obtaining wealth through "haram" is forbidden in Islam and should be avoided so as to live a blissful life.
"Raising a family from the money earned from corrupt practices could generate unhealthy human capital and all your good deeds will not be accepted in the eyes of Allah SWT.
"So it is best to earn clean, worthy and 'halal' money and assets so that what we do will be blessed by Allah SWT and the biggest benefit is getting the love of Allah SWT," he said.
Bongsu also stressed that earning wealth moderately is better in order to live peacefully and not easily forget social responsibilities or will not act arrogantly.
Another panel member, Sabah ACA Director Hjh Latifah Md Yatim, said wealth is any property in the form of money, shares, cars, land, and houses, etc, and those earned through graft may face the law.
"Any property or possession suspected procured through corrupt practices will be seized by ACA officers for further investigation. Those found guilty can be jailed between 14 days and 20 years and fined RM10,000 or five times the value of the bribe money.
"Also, the suspect's right to the suspected properties can be relinquished when the assets are proven to be ill-gotten," she said.
Earlier, ACA Director-General Datuk Ahmad Said bin Hamdan said in his welcoming speech that the agency cannot work alone to combat corrupt practices.
He said it is a moral obligation for all quarters to work hand in hand with the agency and complement any efforts aimed at preventing corruption.
"Not even one religion in this world encourages corruption that brings only destruction. Hence, greater awareness and integrated support from the society are much needed to complement ACA efforts to fight graft," he said.
Apart from the forum, Ahmad said the agency also carried out various programmes and activities like seminars, conventions, talks oratory competitions and debates, among others, with one aim to instill hatred in society to stay away from committing corruption and cooperate with ACA to lodge report on the act. - (DE, 7 Nov 07)
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