Consumption of what is unlawful corrupts the heart
Corruption may come in a number of ways. Quite evidently, it comes from allowing oneself to eat food that is not permitted and to drink beverages that are not permitted. When the heart loses moral constraints through the acts of bodily depravity, it becomes depraved, too.
However, depravity may come in a variety of forms and shapes. One of them is the consumption of what is unlawful, in other words, something which requires scheming to achieve the goal, something which cannot be declared openly in front of the people, something which has to be done in stealth. The Holy Quran makes strict provisions to that effect. “And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it in bribery to the rulers in order that they might aid] you to consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know it is unlawful.” (2:188)
The danger of this depravity is that the heart is a fragile object and it may fall prey to the devil too quickly if not preserved by the firmness of the mind. Once it tastes corruption, that devil’s fruit, it may be difficult to stop it. The person in question gives in to evil and revels in it.
This refers to any unlawful practices in business, to taking credit for someone else’s work, to laying claim on someone else’s property, to defrauding someone of his possessions, furthermore, this refers even to passive unlawfulness, that is, to keeping silent when it was required to identify the true owner of any possession, physical or intellectual, to failure to defend someone’s lawful interests when this defence was dependent upon you.
There are two especially serious kinds of unlawful consumption which the Lord forbids in a very arduous way, namely, consuming the orphan’s property and consuming riba (usury). “Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire. And they will be burned in a Blaze.” (4:10) “O you who have believed, fear Allah and give up what remains due to you of interest, if you should be believers. And if you do not, then be informed of a war against you from Allah and His Messenger.” (2:278-279)
This warning is serious enough. It is doubtful anyone will wish for Allah and His Messenger to wage a war against him. Yet this is exactly what will happen. This war may not take the form of open hostilities but it will be effective enough. The Lord will stop listening to your supplications, your prayers shall fall on deaf ears. This is the worst kind of war imaginable, for man depends on praying, man depends on God’s grace, being deprived of it is tantamount to defeat in a war.
It is thus imperative to reign yourself in every time when your mind lends an ear to the devil and schemes to do unlawful things. So far you have a peace treaty with Allah but once you commit unlawfulness, the treaty will be annulled. Verily, no gain is worth it. The only gain to be sought is honest and just life. And that can be achieved by listening to what Allah tells you. “O messengers, eat from the good foods and work righteousness. Indeed, I, of what you do, am Knowing.” (23:51)