1. DEAR ABE: I have a question about taxation and Islam. I buy and sell cars from home and the government charges taxes (VAT) on each transaction. I am wondering if islamically I have to pay this tax to the government? – PETER, UNITED KINGDOM
DEAR PETER: There is no basis in the Quran for not paying taxes. A value added tax (VAT) or sales tax is paid by a customer when purchasing the item. Thus the seller, ideally, should just pass this part of the transaction on to the government. The Quran forbids usury (excessively high interest) , and mandates that we conduct fair transactions and not cheat a customer . Since the VAT or sales tax is widely known it seems to be a fair and open transaction. There are plenty of criticisms that can be lodged against the way the tax is implemented, but its existence does not seem to violate the Quran.
Relevant Quran Verses:  2:275-278, 3:130, 4:161;  2:282-283, 4:29, 11:84-87, 17:35, 26:181-184 .
2. DEAR ABE: How can a muslim cure jealousy in Islam? – NANDA, SOUTHEAST ASIA
DEAR NANDA: If we are feeling jealousy then that is a sign that we are not fully submitting to God alone. A Muslim that is worshiping God alone and following the commandments in the Quran will not feel jealously. God reminds us in the Quran that all provisions come from him alone . These include food, water, money, children, and even basic happiness. We must trust that God will provide us what we need . If we feel that we are lacking in this life, we must pray to God , and be sure we are observing God’s commandments in the Quran. Being observant will help us to be appreciative, and keep God as the central pillar in our life.
Relevant Quran Verses:  2:22, 3:14, 14:34, 39:17, 50:9, 92:7;  22:58, 29:58-63, 42:36, 51:58;  4:32, 6:41, 11:90 .
3. DEAR ABE: In your view, does the prohibition against believers spying on one
another, in verse 49:12, rule out law enforcement secretly observing people who profess to be believers, but seem to be involved in criminal activity? Let's assume, in this case, that the people in law enforcement are believers. – WALEED, USA
DEAR WALEED: In the scenario you describe, those involved in law enforcement must carry out their duties. There is a difference between trained law enforcement carrying out their duties in due diligence and without discrimination when compared to an individual backbiting or spying on others . Ideally people in law enforcement, like all of us, should act in the most straightforward manner possible . In a believing community, members of law enforcement would likely have written standards to help maintain righteous behavior and govern their actions.
Relevant Quran Verse:  2:182, 7:29, 16:90, 49:9-12, 104:1;  2:189.
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