Fatwa n° 111
Category: Fatwas about financial transactions
The ruling concerning paying
bribe when there is a need
A person exchanged his car with another one whose documents were issued in France (French car registration documents), then he wanted to change the vehicle registration certificate in the service designed for this purpose. But that was not possible except after paying a huge amount of money. Taking into account the fact that he can neither return the car to its owner nor can he sell it. So, what is the ruling concerning this transaction? May Allah reward you.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers until the Day of Resurrection:
If the person exchanging his car with another one had a bad intention in a way that he knew that he cannot change the vehicle registration certificate unless by cheating the general order [of the country] and pay a sum of money -as a bribe- to the service issuing the registration certificate; this person is not allowed to do so, forasmuch as he is commanded to obey the rulers (those in authority) in that which is good, and “Dispositions taken by the ruler are contingent on interest”, and obviously cheating this service through the payment of bribe is a transgression and an injustice. Nevertheless, if the buyer had a good intention and did not know such procedures or made use of it instead of others, then he is not sinful.
And in both cases, he can sell it as spare parts to recover his money, and should not pay bribes to those who eat up the wealth of people unjustly, because it is an act of disobedience, and Sharî‘a (Islamic law) threatened to punish its doer.
The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ; and our last prayer is all the praises and thanks are to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and prayers of Allah are to Muhammad and his Family, Companions and Brothers until the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers on: Dhu Al-Qa‘da 18th, 1417 H
Corresponding to March the 25th, 1997 G.