Dealing in Bribery
Fatwa No: 83777


In my country, which is a Muslim country there is a corruption problem. I made my own business but I have to give money if I want to get my right. What Islam say about this practice?


All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

No doubt that dealing with bribery is among the major sins in the Sharee’ah.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribe. [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]

Imam at-Tirmithi narrated the same narration with the addition of the word, “who takes bribes to influence a judgement.” [He (i.e. at-Tirmithi) graded it as Hassan Saheeh]. It is also narrated that the same ruling applies to the one who acts as intermediary between them.

Allah Says (what means): {[They are] avid listeners to falsehood, devourers of [what is] unlawful.} [Quran 5:42]

Imam al-Hassan and Sa'eed ibn Jubair said about the interpretation of the above verse: “{devourers of [what is] unlawful.}, refers to bribery.

Allah also 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]

So, both acts, taking and giving bribery, are forbidden in Islam, and being a mediator between such two parties is also forbidden.

Know that the above ruling applies to the one who deals with bribery to gain something, which is not his right. But if one is compelled to deal with it only to receive his legal right, or to avoid injustice, or any harm, then one may deal with it, according to the view of the majority of the Muslim scholars. In this case, only the receiver of the bribery bears the whole sin, not the one who gives it.

Imam Ibn al-Atheer said: “One who gives bribery to receive his right or to avoid injustice is not among those who are cursed by the tongue of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

It is also reported from Ibn Mas’ood that he was captured in Abyssinia for something and he freed himself by paying two Dinars.

It is also reported from many Tabi’een (every Muslim who met any companion of the Prophet) that it is permitted for one to give something when he fears injustice.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 293908, 121051, and 85946.

Allah knows best.

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