Bribery and the Need for Reform

Corruption has spread throughout the land, and evil has settled amongst the people. Bribery has become a norm to serve the interests of those in authority, and suppress the weak, even amongst muslims. People live off bribes, and others are deprived their rights due to it. The need for reform is more now than ever.

How many a leader has been sworn in, only to pledge to make the necessary changes, but he himself is pulled by the tide; sucked into the deepening waves of corruption? Few are those who outlive the darkness, and fewer are those who make changes.

How many times have you, yourself been in a situation, where to get by, you forked out a few quid? Or to save your skin, you offered payment? Or even, just to get better service, you gladly passed some cash under the table?

Those who take bribes, and give bribes had better beware, for Allah says, the translation of which is,

“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].” (Al-Baqarah 2:188)

Bribery is explicitly forbidden, as well as other forms of corruption; eating up people’s wealth and taking their rights.

The Prophet peace and blessings be upon him said, “The curse of Allah be upon the one who gives a bribe and the one who accepts it.” (Ibn Majah)

However, excluded from this ruling is those who pay out in order to reach the truth, with no other motive. Or those who are forced, and have no other alternative.

It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allah has forgiven my nation for mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do.” (Ibn Majah, Sahih by Darussalam)

Nonetheless, in these trying times, there will always be those who call for change, who wish for justice for all. Indeed, the prophet said “There will always be a group among my Ummah who will fight for the truth.” (An-Nisa’i, Sahih by Darussalam) My brother and sisters, let us try to be among those who always stand for what is right, who follow the sunnah without bending the rules.

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