Essay No. 225:
Piety At Public Expense: Piety means the quality of being pious or devoutness. It also denotes dutiful conduct. Politicians / rulers in Pakistan show the sense of their devoutness for Islam by performing Umra, Haj at the expense of public exchequer. The expenses of their travel, board and lodging are met out of public treasury.
Politicians going on Haj / Umra at public expense feel elated over earning the pleasure of God by performing the religious rituals. Let it be known that Allah neither needs our prayers nor our act of performing the pilgrimage. He goes by human intention (motive) to confer His blessings on Muslim believers.
It is a sheer act of self-deception that Allah would get pleased if we perform Haj, no matter at the expense of the public expense. It is a wrong way of thinking. If one wishes to perform Umra or Haj, one should finance the project out of ones genuinely saved money. There is no fun in spending the national resources on one’s own welfare. It is a mockery of the concept of Haj or Umra.
Some influential people give money out of national exchequer as alms, which act they believe would endear them to Allah. This is self-delusion. If it is intended to help the poor, one should part with one’s genuinely-earned wealth. Allah loves those who take care of His poor, handicapped creatures. The message of Islam is clear and that is, the deformed humans must be reformed through a number of ways.
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The needy, the resource less need to be rehabilitated in life through one’s genuinely-earned money. Islam is a practical way of life. It brings home to believers that they should be guided by a good motive in life. It can be clarified by way of an example. A person near an inn, drives a big iron nail in the earth to facilitate travelers to tie their horses.
The iron nail may cause a hindrance to the weak, the feeble in their walk. Many may fail on the ground and rebuke the person installing the iron nail. On the other hand, a person fixes the iron nail in the earth with a view to making people hurt and fall. Both the persons have different motives. One has a good motive the other has an ugly one.
Both would be evaluated in the eyes of God with reference to their motive or intention. So our intentions must be good for promoting the good or people at large. Hence politicians, rulers who go to Saudia to perform Umra or Haj at the public expense to earn the blessings of Allah in fact invite the fury of God. It is a sacred trust to spend national money on the welfare of the people.
Hence piety should not be shown at the public expense. One should refrain from spending national resources on promoting one’s own well being. They need to be spent on promoting the well being of all and sundry. One should thus not adopt an escapist attitude in life. One should perform Haj or Umra out of one’s own hand-earned income.