Islamically permissible for state to seize citizens’ possessions - theologian

Columnist and Turkey’s leading theologian on matters of Islamic jurisprudence Hayrettin Karaman on Friday said that there are times when it is Islamically permissible for the state to seize the possessions of its citizens.

In his article in pro-government Yeni Şafak daily, Karaman said ‘’If absolute necessity forces a person to seize the property of another, then it is religiously permissible for one to do so,’’ in an apparent reference to an Islamic ruling on meeting one’s bare necessities. Karaman cited a book written by Shafi - one of the four main Islamic schools of thought - scholar in his article, titled ‘’Al-Qawa’id.’’

‘’If this is the [Islamic] ruling to keep one person alive, would it no be necessary to save thousands of lives?’’ Karaman said, inferring state intervention.

‘’Keeping a society which is likely to contain esteemed servants of Allah alive is more important  and favored than meeting the needs of one person.’’

Karaman’s commentary arrives at a time when the Turkish lira has dropped to a new low against the U.S. dollar, amid growing concern that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is prioritizing economic growth over inflation, leading to an overheating of the economy.