The Prohibition of Bribery

Taking a bribe is one way of consuming someone else’s wealth wrongfully. A bribe refers to any kind of property which is offered to a judge or public servant in order to obtain a decision in favour of oneself or against a rival, to expedite one’s own affair, or to delay that of one’s competitors, and so on.

Islam has prohibited the Muslims to approach the officials of a government or their subordinates for the purpose of offering them a bribe; it has prohibited the latter to accept it; and it has prohibited that any third person should arrange matters between the givers and the takers of the bribe. Allah Ta’ala says:

           And do not consume your property among yourselves   wrongfully, nor seek access to judges by means of  it in order that you may sinfully consume a portion of people’s wealth, while you know (what you do). (2:188)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

          “Allah’s curse is on the one who offers the bribe and on the judge who accepts it.”

Thawban said,

          The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) cursed the one who offers the bribe, the one who receives it, and the one who arranges it.

If the recipient of the bribe accepts it in order to do justice, his sin is the greater, while if he intended to do justice, it was his simple duty for which no payment was needed.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent ‘Abdullah bin Rawahah to the Jews to estimate what they owed as taxes on their palm trees. The Jews offered him some money as a gift. He told them, “What you have offered as a bribe is haram and we do not accept it.”

It is not surprising that Islam has prohibited bribery and that it is severe against all those who participate in it. The proliferation of bribery in a society leads to corruption and oppression; unjust decisions are made and just ones are blocked, undeserving persons are given chances and deserving ones are passed over, and the spirit of greed permeates the society in place of the spirit of dutifulness.


The Lawful and The Prohibited in Islam (Yusuf al-Qaradawi 1985)



2 Responses to “”

  1. 1 Bala
    August 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    Your father like the late Tan Sri Tan Chee Khoon ( who incidently was also a doctor ) will always be remembered and loved as a rare breed of politicians who were pure in their heart. You should as I am sure you are proud of your father and seeing your writings I am sure he is proud of you.

  2. 2 ninitalk
    August 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Bala! Are you from Seremban?

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