In this Lecture Sheikh Salim Morgan talks about the Laws and Boundaries of Allah. It emphasises the importance of everyone being equal before the law and not only in theory but in practice as well.
It is not lawful to accept any payment or property from a convicted adulterer, thief, public drunk, highway robber (gangster), and the like in order to defeat the prescribed punishment of the Boundary. [This is the case] whether the money is payed to the treasury or to any other recipient. Any such property received in order to defeat the application of any of the Boundaries is graft and is foul. If the ruler does that, he has combined two grievous acts of corruption: 1) failing to apply the law, and 2) consuming something foul (suht), i.e., bribery. So, he failed to fulfill the obligatory and he committed the unlawful…
The hukm (judging or ruling) between people is in matters of the Boundaries (divinely prescribed punishments) and rights and they are of two types. First, Boundaries and rights which are not for specific individuals but rather their benefits are for the Muslims at large, or a sector of them and all are in need of them. These are called the Boundaries of Allah such as that of highway robbers and gangsters, thieves, adulterers and the like. Similar are judgments relating to the public properties, trusts and grants which are not to specific individuals. These are among the most important functions of governance. This is why Ali ibn Abi Talib said:..
People fall into three divisions in this regard:
1.On group is dominated by their desire for power in the land and corruption. They do not look at the long-term or the place of return. They believe that political power is not established except with giving (generosity). Furthermore, the amount needed may not be attainable without taking that which is not lawful. So they become robbers and givers and they say: It is not possible for anyone to rule the people except one who consumes himself and feeds others. If power is obtained by one of limited appetite who neither consumes himself nor feeds others, the powers that be (leaders, chiefs, etc.) will despise him and remove him from power – if in fact they don’t harm him physically and economically. These (those who “eat and feed”) looked only at the short-term of this life and neglected the long-term vision of both this world and the next. Their fate is dismal in both this life and the hereafter – if they don’t manage to rectify their affairs with repentance and the like.
2.Another group possesses fear of Allah most high and their faith prevents them anything they believe to be despicable and oppressive of the creation and from forbidden acts generally. This is something good and in fact obligatory. However, they may believe at the same time that politics cannot be successful except by committing some of the forbidden acts that those others commit, so they abstain from it (i.e., politics) altogether. Perhaps the reality with them is actually cowardice or miserliness or a weakness of character which is combined with the degree of understanding of Islam which they possess..
As for expenditures, what is obligatory is to give priority in allocation of resources to that which is most important and then next most important to the general welfare of the Muslims such as giving to one who thereby brings about a general benefit to the Muslims Among these are the military, the people of defense and jihad. They are the most deserving of the fei, since it only comes about by their sacrifices. In fact the scholars differed about the fei: is it for the military exclusively or shared between all aspects of the public good? In general, all of the public wealth is for all avenues of beneficial expenditures by agreement [of the scholars], except that which has been specifically restricted such as the zakat and [four fifths of] the ghaneema (spoils of war).
And among those deserving from the treasury are those responsible over the peoples’ affairs such as rulers, judges, scholars and treasury workers whether collectors, managers or those who disburse and the like. This also includes even the imams of the prayer and the callers of the adhan and the like.