Sanusi Lafiagi, a Professor of Islamic Studies at the Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, has said that Sharia states earning Valued Added Tax (VAT) on beer are committing haram (something forbidden).
He said this in an interview with The Punch. Lafiagi said it is wrong for states who practise Sharia to collect proceeds from haram. He explained that the Islamic religion forbids not only the consumption of alcohol, but also proceeds from its sale.
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“It is not right for them to share from the proceeds of haram things. That would amount to double standards. Islam forbids the sale of beer and partaking in the proceeds from such haram product is haram.
“Sharia-compliant states must have nothing to do with the proceeds of alcohol, if they are sincere in their practice of the Sharia. This is the truth.
“Imam Ahmad narrated that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be peace) said: “If Allah prohibits the consumption of a thing, He prohibits its proceeds, too,” he said.
Lafiagi added that it is also wrong for Muslims to sell beer.
“In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allāh says, “Every drink that causes intoxication is prohibited.” In another, he says, “Allah has cursed khamr (wine) and he who drinks it, he who provides it to others and he who buys or sells it, he who squeezes (the grapes) into wine and he who causes others to squeeze grapes (in order to make wine), he who carries it and he to whom it is carried.”
“It is clear from the above injunctions that wine in all its forms, whether for sale or for consumption, is prohibited,” he said.
Lafiagi, speaking on the discovering of purported rehabilitation centres across the country, blamed moral decadence, parental failure and lack of community policing. He said interviews had revealed the victims of torture at the centres are battling one moral deficiency or the other.
“It is clear from the various interviews conducted with the victims by the media, that they (or most of them) have one moral deficiency or the other. Some are drug addicts, some petty thieves and some have suspected mental problems. Thus, the parents felt that placing them under the care of those witchdoctors operating those centres would help to rehabilitate and reintegrate them back into society.
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“Sadly, the results are there for all to see. It should be noted that most of the parents of those victims are peasants and illiterates with no education and access to modern health care facilities. Besides, the prevalent belief among locals is that traditional medicine is more efficient than modern medicine, hence their recourse to those traditional witchdoctors,” he said.
He however lamented the lack of community policing saying is presence could have alerted authorities earlier of such crimes.
He stated that the centres have nothing to do with Islam as none of the victims claimed he was taught the tenets of the religion.
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“What we have seen has nothing to do with Islam. It is pure wickedness and nothing more. None of the victims claimed that he was taught the rudiments and tenets of Islam. In fact, some of them were allegedly sodomised. So attaching such criminal cells to Islam is wrong and insulting to the sensibilities of Muslims. Let us call a spade a spade,” he retorted.
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