Saturday, May 13, 2017

Bribery

In Islam, bribery represents anything that is offered in order to obtain the invalidation of what is correct or an endorsement of a wrong action. Not only is this unlawful, it is a major grave sin, as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {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].} [Quran 2:188]. Ath-Thahabi, may Allah have mercy upon him, commented that, "or send it [in bribery] to the rulers", means: do not buy them off with this wealth or induce them to confer to you the rights of others, while knowing of its impermissibility.

Those who accept bribes are, undoubtedly, consuming an ill-gotten gain, and are extremely dispraised and defamed by Allah The Almighty, who Says (what means), {And you see many of them hastening into sin and aggression and the devouring of [what is] unlawful. How wretched is what they have been doing.} [Quran 5:62]

Bribery leads to curse

When bribery becomes rampant in societies, it leads to a loss of rights and prevalence of injustice and corruption. That is why, as 'Abdullaah ibn 'Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, narrates, the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, "cursed the one who offers bribes and the one who accepts them." [At-Tirmithi and Abu Dawud, Albani classified at as Sahih]

On another occasion, a person who the Prophet, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, appointed to collect Zakah (obligatory alms tax) came, and said, "This is for you and this was given to me as a present." So, to clarify the punishment of a person who takes bribes, he, sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam, ascended the pulpit and said, "What about a collector whom I give an assignment but [he later] says: 'This is for you and this has been given to me as a gift'? Why did he not remain in the house of his father or mother, and observe whether gifts would have still been presented to him or not? I swear by Him in Whose Hand the life of Muhammad is, any one of you will not take anything from [such kinds of gifts] but will then bring it on the Day of Judgment, carrying on his neck [its like, whether it is] a grunting camel, a mooing camel or a bleating ewe." Therefore, whoever indulges in bribery will bear a great load of sin on his or her neck and will be questioned about it on the Day of Resurrection.

It should be known that the prohibition of receiving bribery is categorical. As for one who offers it, there are some details involved. Obviously, it is unlawful for a person to pay someone off in order to withhold someone's right or wrong him or her. However, if a person is compelled to offer up any incentive as a last resort, in order to obtain a right of his or hers, or to ward off injustice, then that act becomes permitted.

The difference between a bribe and a present

Even if they seem similar, the crucial difference between a bribe and a present, is the intention. Bribery is usually given to block other's rights or to obtain something that a person does not deserve. On the other hand, the intention behind giving a present is to gain affability, acquaintances and benevolence.

The evil consequences of bribery:

Finally, among the main harms and corruptions caused by bribery are the following:

1- It angers Allah The Almighty and subjects those involved to His torment and curse.
2- It corrupts the society, from the top level, all the way down, including the rulers and their subjects.
3- It undermines the rights of the weak and the wronged people.
4- It exposes the one who bribes to punishment on the Day of Judgment, when his or her hands will be tied together and he or she will be thrown into Hell.


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