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Justice with candles?

A friend of the Caliph Sayyidina Omar (ra) visited him after the sunset. He was working on administrational papers and government plans. Caliph blew out the candle on the table and lit up another candle before starting the conversation with his visitor. His visitor was surprised at the candle change. He couldn’t help asking:

- O Commander of the faithful! Tell me why you did change the candle.

Caliph Omar (ra) replied:

- The previous candle was of the state and belongs to the bayt al-mal (state treasury). I utilize it during my state related duties. The second one is mine. If somebody comes and visits me, I do not use the candle of the treasury as it is an individual meeting. It is haram to use the property of the state for personal uses. That’s why I lit up the second one.

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