HomeMajor Sins › Bribery

Chapter 32. Bribery

Allah Most High says,

And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as a bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people's property. (Al-Baqarah: 188)

Muslims are prohibited to bribe a judge or a public officer to unfairly obtain a decision in favor of one's self against a rival or to unlawfully consume the property of others while they are aware of the prohibition of this act.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Allah's curse is on the one who offers the bribe and on the judge who accepts it.” [Tirmidhi]

On the authority of Abdullah Ibn Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) that,

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed the one who offers the bribe and the one who receives it.” [Tirmidhi]

However, the Muslim scholars affirm that bribery is prohibited when it is aimed at consuming other's property or rights unfairly. Thus, if someone finds himself in a situation in which all avenues of redressing a wrong done him, or recovering a right which has been forfeited, are blocked except through the payment of a bribe, the sin of it will not be on him but on the recipient of the bribe.

Another narration of the hadith explains that

"The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) cursed also the one who arranges for the payment of a bribe."

Furthermore, what is mentioned above concerning the ruling of the one who offers a bribe applies to the one who arranges it, i.e., if it is aimed at obtaining fair ends, he would be sinless; and vice versa.

Gifts to officials are a form of bribery. Abu Umamah Al-Bahili (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,

"Whoever intercedes on behalf of his brother and therefore he offers him a gift, it would be nothing other than a grievous usury.” [Abu Dawud]

Ibn Masud (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "To accept a gift from your brother because of fulfilling his need is the precise meaning of consuming the forbidden things."

Once Masruq asked Ibn Zyad to assist him in removing a wrong inflicted upon him. Having assisted him, Masruq offered Ibn Zyad a slave as a gift. Zyad, on his part, rejected the gift saying, "I have heard Ibn Masud say, 'Forbidden is the gift offered because of removing a wrong from a Muslim. "He wondered, "O Abu Abd Al-Rahman! Is not bribery restricted to offering a bribe to judges!" He replied, "This latter is a form of Shirk (association).” [Al-Haithami, Majwa al-Zawaid]

Once, a Christian man came to Imam Abi Amr Al-Awzai (may Allah bestow mercy on him), who was living in Beirut, complaining of the ruler of Balabak and asking him to send to the ruler ordering him to stop from doing wrong to the Christian man. However, the Christian man brought with him a bottle of honey as a gift to Abi Amr. Therefore, Abi Amr commented, "If you wish I would refuse your gift and send to the ruler of Balabak ordering him to stop from oppressing you; and if you wish I would accept your gift. Imam Abi Amr send to the ruler of Balabak to reduce the amount of Kharaj (land-tax) from the Christian. Consequently, the Christian took the letter and his bottle of honey and traveled to the ruler of Balabak. Having read the letter of Abi Amr, the ruler reduced 30 Dirham from Kharaj of the Christian man.

Chapters

Chapter 1

Ascribing Associates To Allah, the Most High (Shirk)

Chapter 2

Killing A Human Being

Chapter 3

Sorcery

Chapter 4

Not Performing The Prayer

Chapter 5

Not Paying Zakat

Chapter 6

Breaking One's Fast During Ramadan Without An Excuse

Chapter 7

Not Performing the Hajj when Able to

Chapter 8

Showing Disrespect to One's Parents

Chapter 9

Severing the Ties of One's Relatives

Chapter 10

Adultery

Chapter 11

Sodomy

Chapter 12

Accepting Usurious Gain

Chapter 13

Wrong Consuming An Orphan's Property

Chapter 14

Lying About The Prophet

Chapter 15

Fleeing From The Battlefield

Chapter 16

The Leader Who Misleads His Followers, The Tyrant And The Oppressor

Chapter 17

Arrogance, Pride, Conceit, Vanity And Haughtiness

Chapter 18

Bearing False Witness

Chapter 19

Drinking Alcohol

Chapter 20

Gambling (qimar)

Chapter 21

Accusing A Woman Of Adultery

Chapter 22

Misappropriating Spoils Of War, Muslim Funds Or Zakat

Chapter 23

Theft

Chapter 24

Highwaymen Who Menace The Road

Chapter 25

The Engulfing Oath

Chapter 26

Taking People's Property Through Falsehood

Chapter 27

Collecting Taxes

Chapter 28

The Consumption of Haram

Chapter 29

Suicide

Chapter 30

Telling Lies

Chapter 31

The Dishonest Judge

Chapter 32

Bribery

Chapter 33

Women Imitating Men And Vice Versa

Chapter 34

The Pimp and the one Who Permits His Wife to Fornicate

Chapter 35

Marrying Solely To Return To The Previous Husband

Chapter 36

Not Freeing Oneself Of All Traces Of Urine

Chapter 37

Showing Off In Good Work

Chapter 38

Learning Sacred Knowledge For The Sake Of This World, Or Concealing It

Chapter 39

Breach of Trust

Chapter 40

Reminding Recipients of Ones Charity To Them

Chapter 41

Disbelieving In Destiny (qadar)

Chapter 42

Listening To People's Private Conversations

Chapter 43

The Talebearer Who Stirs Up Enmity Between People

Chapter 44

Cursing Others

Chapter 45

Breaking Promises or Pledges

Chapter 46

Believing Fortune Tellers And Astrologers

Chapter 47

Wife Rebelling Against Her Husband

Chapter 48

Picture Making