Austerity in Administration and Governance

The question of how to manage state's administrative expenses with a lean tax system (In an earlier discussion about tax,zakath and jizya ) remained unanswered, so here we go.

Administration is run by people who have personal as well as administrative needs, desires and obligations. Lets look at real life samples of real life administrators.

Prophet peace be upon him was administrator of the state of Medina, his house was such that if he stood up his head would touch the ceiling, it had only place for four people the fifth person would have to stand outside. Months would pass and the only food he would have had was dates and water. (the list is endless, you can find more info from right sources)

The first Khaleefa Abubakar Allah be pleased with him, set out to sell cloths for his living on the first day he assumed duty as the administrator and decided not to depend on the states fund for his expenses.

Second Khalifa Umar, Third Khalifa Usman and Fourth Khalifa Ali Allah be pleased with them ran either business or farms for expenses.

Their governors also followed the same way, Salman may allah be pleased with him, used to sell baskets for a living while he was governor. He would earn 3 dirhams a day from which 1 dirham he spent on charity, 1 dirham for his expenses and the remaining 1 he used to put back into his business.

The funds that were available were used in public welfare, to build roads, musafir khana, irrigation, old age and widow funds, postal services etc. In short administrative expenses for welfare of the people. Each citizen was a soldier for the state who met his own expenses, state was not burdened with military expenses.

They chose welfare and well being of humanity in this world, privacy and personal gratification in the hereafter.

But nowadays public funds have become less accountable, expenses of administrator runs into crores of rupees, misuse of power and public's money to put people to trouble, torture and some times to kill etc.

When something is misused then something useful/needful/critical is sacrificed.

There was an Indian king who used to sell caps to earn livelihood imprisoned his father for misusing public funds to build costly monuments, an extreme step though.

Today we live in Ramlan, it may not be possible for every one to experience how life would be for those who are deprived of food, and how life would be those who are deprived of water. In Ramlaan while fasting we experience the pangs of the drought hit people, where water is scarce and food is limited. We realize and relate to our extended family of humanity from individuals to the administrative systems towards the purpose of establishing welfare and well being.

Austerity is a herald of ease.

Any country specially ours could be a colorful synergy of different cultural, social, economic and technological streams if we could take the positives acknowledging the values of their existence and implement them by a consensus based due process.


  1. Even the story of prophet Dawood (alayhi salam)reflects this idea of not using public money for a kings own use. He used to make metal bowls to sell and the money earned was used 1/3rd for charity, 1/3rd for his livelihood and 1/3rd for buying the raw materials for bowl.It was not his compulsion but an example set for the mankind.


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