5. Ranks are useful in securing property.



This 35 is as follows: We find that the person of rank who is highly esteemed is in every material aspect more fortunate and wealthier than a person who has no rank. The reason for this is that the person of rank is served by the labor (of others). They try to approach him with their labor, since they want to be close to (him) and are in need of (the pro­tection) his rank affords. People help him with their labor in all his needs, whether these are necessities, conveniences, or luxuries. The value realized from all such labor becomes part of his profit. For tasks that usually require giving some com­pensation (to the persons who perform them), he always employs people without giving anything in return. He realizes a very high value from their labor. It is (the difference) between the value he realizes from the (free) labor (products) and the prices he must pay for things he needs. He thus makes a very great (profit). A person of rank receives much (free) labor which makes him rich in a very short time. With the passing of days, his fortune and wealth increase. It is in this sense that (the possession of) political power (imarah) is one of the ways of making a living, as we have stated before.36

The person who has no rank whatever, even though he may have property, acquires a fortune only in proportion to the property he owns and in accordance with the efforts he himself makes. Most merchants are in this position. Therefore, (merchants) who have a rank are far better off (than other merchants).

Evidence for this is the fact that many jurists and religious scholars and pious persons acquire a good reputation. Then, the great mass believes that when they give them presents, they serve God. People, therefore, are willing to help them in their worldly affairs and to work for their interests. As a result, they quickly become wealthy and turn out to be very well off although they have acquired no property but have only the value realized from the labor with which the people have supported them. We have seen much of this in cities and towns as well as in the desert. People do farm work and business for these men, who sit at home and do not leave their places. But still their property grows and their profits increase. Without effort, they accumulate wealth, to the surprise of those who do not understand what the secret of their affluence is, what the reasons for their wealth and fortune are.

"God gives sustenance to whomever He wishes to give it, without accounting." 37