How much money one needs: HC -Abu Muaj and Moinul Alam
Money laundering has become an infamous crime over the last few years in Bangladesh. Few sensational incidents of money swindling and fraud testified for the uprising of the heinous crime that caused many people to lose whatever they had. Now, it is time to ponder how much money does a human being need? Is making money (lawfully or unlawfully) only an addiction or it may also be termed as a mental illness.
If we critically analyze the incidents of fraud and money laundering, we shall observe that those responsible are very much solvent financially and they had enormous wealth before getting involved with the crime. So, question arises why did they committed such crime even after having so much assets and wealth? The court also left a question before our conscience asking “Can we stand in front of the mirror and say whether we truly act according to what we say?” How many cars, buildings, pieces of land, plates of food and how many glasses of drink does a person need?
This particular question was asked by judges of the Appellate Division when they were hearing a proceeding over alleged money laundering by S.Alam group. S.Alam group sought stay on High Court’s order to probe into the allegation of money laundering worth nearly 1 billion dollar! The Appellate Division termed those involved with money laundering having mental illness. The court asked “How much money does a person need to live? Why go after so much money?” The question asked by the court seems to be a billion dollar one as people are desperate to make money sacrificing the values and social norms.
From religious and medical point of view, thirst for amassing wealth may also be considered as a mental illness that may result from a state of mind like depression. We may ask whether seeking mental health contradicts with Islam— the faith of S.Alam. Faith has something to do with a healthy mental health but it may help us to regain the healthy status shortly. Despite being greatly connected to Allah, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had to undergo sorrows and griefs like his dozen other fellows when it came to the question of worldly matters. However, he managed to overcome the negative mental state with strong faith and belief in the almighty.
In every morning, there is a dua or supplication to recite whereby Muslims seek refuge in Allah from worry and grief. Their souls experience one sort of safeguarding from grief as some emotions which Allah created and infused in human psychophysical structure, help the tensed guy to stay cool. As mentioned above, even the long line of prophets, be he Adam, Noah, Josef, Solomon, Moses, Jesus or Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Them), had deep sorrows and sufferings, opportunities and challenges, threats of life and struggle for food and sustenance as well. The Holy Quran assures that Allah has not only caused illness but also created its cure. Therefore, if one feels too much depressed, he should take recourse to Allah for recovery instead of getting involved with crimes like money laundering.
Islam has a rich history of medical treatment. Islamic scholars used to treat illness without discriminating between mental and physical health in line with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Treatment given in those days match with the modern treatments available today for the same disease. For instance, Abu Zaid Al-Balkhi in the early days in his book termed the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as “waswasa”. He prescribed medication, therapy (talk therapy) and reliance on Allah for treating this disorder. Therefore, it is evident that Islam offered modern treatment for mental ailments even in the early days. Hence, in case of any mental disorder there is no harm in taking recourse to the Islamic line of treatment. Islamic scholars suggest Sura Lahab and Sura Takasur may work as anti-dote for the sickish sense of greed for piling up wealth.
Not only had the alleged money laundering by S.Alam group since 2015, billions of dollars been swindled away by way of fraudulent activities. The first incident was the cyber-attack carried on the reserve of Bangladesh Bank also known as Bangladesh Bank cyber heist. Nearly, 202 million dollars were swindled away from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York account belonging to Bangladesh Bank. Such incidents occurred repeatedly due to the supervisory lapses from law enforcing agencies and regulatory bodies concerned. Concerned officials within the regulatory bodies also encouraged culprits to commit fraud. Swindling Sultan like PK Haldar had emerged over the time in consequence. Bangladeshis also witnessed the Hallmark Group scam where top brass from the government were allegedly involved. Even we witnessed the Anti-Corruption Commission summoning high officials of the central bank for their alleged ties with PK Haldar.
Media, which certainly works under constant threat, sometimes exposes the greediness of civil servants, Hallmark group, S.Alam, share market scam of Beximco group. After media exposure, the government’s audit and accounts department, Anti-Corruption Commission, psychologists and religious scholars should work jointly to treat the country’s corrupt cronies, who either amass wealth and launder them abroad.
It may be asked: Can corrupt politicians start moral engineering or be moral warriors? Is it possible for the highly coddled bureaucracy, police and so-called commissions etc, to bring their corrupt politicians or businesspersons to books?
Therefore, it may be concluded that money making can be an addiction. The government, Islamic scholars, and academicians should come forward to have consensus on the amount of money a person needs to lead a peaceful and solvent life in line with the teachings of the prophets throughout human history.
The consensus should conform to the issues like caste, creed, society, necessities which vary person to person, religious teachings that may curb crimes and irregularities from the society. Some slogans should be included in textb
ooks, displayed in public places aggressively like those of political banners, festoons, placards. The textbooks, which are failing to check the grooming of such corrupt people, should also be replaced. Following the success stories in some sectors like religious harmony, education in Bangladesh, policymakers can adopt aggressive measures to create a sense of deep hatred among the students against corruption, fraudulence, money laundering through export-import businesses etc.
Last but not the least, corrupt politicians corrupt everything, educational institutes, commissions, religious establishments, and bureaucracy which administer service through corruption and in absence of democracy the corruption culminates and absolute power corrupts absolutely. An absolutely corrupt country with power-hungry and greedy people in leadership may lose independence anytime in any part of the world. If corrupt politicians, businesspersons, bureaucrats, educationists, religious leaders and even the journalists are mentally ill, they must be taken to rehabilitation centres to consult doctors who at least shouldn’t be corrupt. Because a corrupt psychologist can’t nurse such corrupt people to health.