State Property | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Q1939. For a year now, I have in my possession some public property. I want to release myself from it. What should I do?
A: Should the public property in your possession belong to a particular government department, you should return it to that department if it is feasible. Alternatively, you should return it to the Treasury.
Q1940. I made personal use of the public assets of Muslims. What should I do to be released? And what is the threshold of the employees personal use of public funds? If it was done with the permission of the officials concerned, how should it be treated?
A: There is no objection to employees making use of public properties during official hours. Yet, it is confined to the extent that it is conventional, necessary, needed and job circumstances indicate that the employees are allowed to use it. The same goes for the permission of the person in a place of legitimate authority. Should the way you have gone about making use of the public property fit any of these two ways, you need not worry. However, should the personal use be outside the remit of what is traditionally acceptable or has been enjoyed without authoritative permission, you have to return the very item to the state coffers if it is available or the value thereof if it is not. You should also pay to the state coffers the normal hiring charge for the item, if applicable.
Q1941. After the medical board examination, the state granted me a disability allowance. I doubt whether or not I am entitled to receive that level of allowance because the decision specifying the degree of my disability might have been affected by the fact that I am familiar with the members of the medical board, in that I might have received special treatment. Taking into consideration that I was injured badly so that I may deserve even more, what should I do?
A: There is no harm in your receiving the level of allowance that is commensurate with your level of disability as has been decided by the examining medical board unless you are sure that you are not eligible to receive the money.
Q1942. I work for a government department. On one occasion, I received, by mistake, three times the salary that is normally due to me. At the time, I informed the accountant of the department. However, I have not returned the extra money I received by mistake, in spite of the fact that four years have already passed since I received the money which was a part of yearly budget. How should I go about returning the money?
A: The accountants mistake cannot be deemed a shari reason to take the extra amount you received without being entitled to it. You are, therefore, required to return the erroneously received money to the department concerned, albeit it belongs to the budget of previous years.
Q1943. According to the regulations in force, members of the holy defense forces who have been maimed in action are given special concessions when borrowing money provided that the level of their disability is 25% or more. Is it permissible for me to make use of this concession, although my disability falls short of that percentage? Assuming that this has actually been the case, is it permissible for me to spend the borrowed money?
A: Whoever is not entitled, according to the laid down conditions and concessions, to borrow from the state coffers, they should have no right to do so. Nor should they have the right to make use of the loan procured in this way.
Q1944. Considering that government spends public budget to buy the items they need, is it permissible for a company, an office, or a factory run on governmental budget to buy raw material and needed goods from another company, office, or factory run also on governmental budget?
A: There is no objection to it provided that the transaction is concluded in accordance with shari rules and legal regulations.
Q1945. In non-Islamic countries, is it obligatory to respect the ownership rights, whether those of the state or individuals? Is it permissible to make use of the facilities available at the learning centers in avenues other than those they are legally provided for?
A: The rules that respect for the property of others is obligatory and that it is Haram to use it unless with the consent of the owner are general. There should be no distinction between public property and personal one. Nor should there be any distinction between Muslim land and non-Muslim land. By the same token, whether the owner is Muslim or non-Muslim is immaterial. Generally speaking, forbidden use of, and involvement in, the property of others amounts to usurpation and commission of a Haram act. The user is liable for payment of compensation.
Q1946. Is it permissible for a university student to use an expired luncheon voucher, and what is the view on the food acquired in this way?
A: It is not permissible to use an invalid luncheon voucher to procure food. The food thus procured amounts to an act of usurpation and is, therefore, Haram. Its cost should be indemnified.