OPINION

On taxes, Mukoos and the modern state

Naïve people can sometimes be excused for their ignorance due to their inability to grasp modern innovations. As we say: Man is the enemy of what he is ignorant of. However, I cannot find any justifications for the modern cleric who prohibits taxes which the state takes and compares them to Mukoos which are religiously prohibited.

Those who once prohibited the telegram, for instance, did not have political aims or politicized Islamic affiliations. They simply acted on their knowledge, no more no less.

Islamist parties who prohibited taxes are exploiting halal and haram (the prohibited and the permissible) to serve their sick dream of establishing a Sunni guardian or a jurist state, similar to the Iranian experience. Those who say these parties have given up after the state prohibited Islamist movements, primarily the Muslim Brotherhood, is foolish. These movements are just lying low for the storm to pass and whenever they realize that times have changed, they will resume their activity.

The act of comparing taxes to the prohibited Mukoos by Sururists and some ignorant clerics, which were common during the Jahiliyyah era and which the prophet, peace be upon him, warned of, is improper.  

Taxes reflect cooperation  

Mukoos were collected from travelers by some Arab tribes and bandits while modern taxes, governmental fees on services and custom fees are collected by the central state from individuals and facilities. In exchange, the state provides the latter with services and a stable and comfortable livelihood. If we look at this objectively, taxes reflect cooperation and serve everyone’s interest. They are an extension of the social consent contract between the ruler and the ruled.

Taxes also fund the state’s economy and they are thus a basis of the state in our modern times. It’s impossible for the state to carry out its duties, spend on its employees and provide foreign and domestic security without relying on taxes. Ignorant clerics who oppose taxes might as well show us another way to do so. Zakat, for instance, is not enough for state budgets

Mohammed Al Shaikh



When it comes to Mukoos, there is no consent as this tax is forcibly taken.

Taxes also fund the state’s economy and they are thus a basis of the state in our modern times. It’s impossible for the state to carry out its duties, spend on its employees and provide foreign and domestic security without relying on taxes. Ignorant clerics who oppose taxes might as well show us another way to do so. Zakat, for instance, is not enough for state budgets.

There is a famous quote by religious scholars which stipulates that to judge a certain thing or behavior, it’s a must to imagine it and fully understand it.

Some of these aforementioned clerics, however, especially extremist ones, voice their opinions although they are ignorant about modern economic, political and financial sciences – that is if we are to think well of their intentions. Even worse, they are completely ignorant in terms of how old states are different from modern ones.

I assert to these men that citizens today have easy access to knolwedge and they will, therefore, not be able to deceive them like they’ve done in the past century.

The article is also available in Arabic.

______________________
Mohammed Al Shaikh is a Saudi writer with al-Jazirah newspaper. He tweets @alshaikhmhmd.
 

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Last Update: Saturday, 13 January 2018 KSA 21:35 - GMT 18:35
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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