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** - Prohibition of Bribery in Qur'an

 


Prohibition of bribery in Islam

 بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ

 Bribery is a major sin in Islam. Allah SWT says:
 وَلا تَأْكُلُوا أَمْوَالَكُمْ بَيْنَكُمْ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتُدْلُوا بِهَا إِلَى الْحُكَّامِ لِتَأْكُلُوا فَرِيقاً مِنْ أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ بِالإِثْمِ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
 1) And consume not each other's property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers that you may knowingly take a part of the property of others sinfully. (2:188)

2) They are avid listeners to falsehood and consumers of what is unlawful. [Quran 5:42]
 سَمَّاعُونَ لِلْكَذِبِ أَكَّالُونَ لِلسُّحْتِ
Those of us living in the West do not get to see much of this problem. But whenever I visit developing countries, especially the subcontinent, I know that they have a significant issue with bribery. Unless they remove this cancer from their societies, this will hamper their growth. But unfortunately, some of us raised in those countries do not even think twice and do not even realize what we are doing when we visit them because it is so ingrained in them.

I will narrate an incident where a person went for Umrah and, seeing a long check-in line on the return flight, paid money to the porter to get ahead. This, after performing an Umrah and 'Eitikaf? I am sure he did not think much of it, but I could not believe my eyes when I saw it.
 
Bribery is rampant in those countries and includes jumping the lines by paying a porter, paying an official to get a job, a loan, housing allotment, business dealings, and elections. Bribery has also found its way into the administration of the Hajj pilgrimage.
 
Now, you may ask who is the bigger sinner. Most people believe taking a bribe is a bigger sin. Still, the one who bribes is equally responsible as the ones involved as mediators. Here are two hadiths in this regard.

1) Abdullah bin Amr (RA) narrated: that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes a bribe. (Hadith No. 1337, Chapters on Judgements, Jami' At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 3).

 2) Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated: that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes a bribe for judgment. (Hadith No. 1336, Chapters on Judgement, Jami' At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 3).

 Some Muslims justify it by saying it is not haram to take bribes from Non-Muslims. Islam does not allow this. Islam does not allow any Muslim to oppress any Non-Muslim. Qur'an says:
 لا يَنْهَاكُمْ اللَّهُ عَنْ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُمْ مِنْ دِيَارِكُمْ أَنْ تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ
 "Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion nor drove you out of your homes. Verily, Allah loves those who deal with equity." (6o:8)
 
 Islam encourages the exchange of gifts among fellow Muslims. Giving and taking of gifts may involve persons placed in influential positions. But if it is to gain favor, it will come in the category of bribe. In some cases, it may even come in the category of Riba if it is to take others' property. The following verse of the Holy Qur'an tells us about it:
 وَمَا آتَيْتُمْ مِنْ رِباً لِيَرْبُوَا فِي أَمْوَالِ النَّاسِ فَلا يَرْبُوا عِنْدَ اللَّهِ
 "And that which you give in Riba' (the gifts), so that it may increase from other people's property, has no increase with Allah." (30:39)

 And Allah knows best.
 
Note: I have taken some of the hadith and Quran references from sources online.

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