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Wednesday 8 Shawwâl 1445 H - April 17, 2024 G

Fatwa n° 311

Category: Fatwas about financial transactions – Donations

The ruling concerning of the workers’ gifts


A man working in an architectural or technical engineering company and deals with building contractors who supervise building projects. He oversees and follows all the steps of the building process. Sometimes they give him sums of money; accordingly, he is asking whether these dealings are included in bribery or not? 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:

It is not permissible to give donation or gift to the workers whatever is its aspect and whatever the reason why it is given, because that is included among devouring the properties of others by false means which is forbidden in Allah’s Book and in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم. Allah تعالى said:   

﴿وَلَا تَأۡكُلُوٓاْ أَمۡوَٰلَكُم بَيۡنَكُم بِٱلۡبَٰطِلِ [البقرة: 188].

The meaning of the verse:

And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, and deceiving) ﴿[Al-Baqara: 188]. He سبحانه وتعالى said also:

﴿لَوۡلَا يَنۡهَىٰهُمُ ٱلرَّبَّٰنِيُّونَ وَٱلۡأَحۡبَارُ عَن قَوۡلِهِمُ ٱلۡإِثۡمَ وَأَكۡلِهِمُ ٱلسُّحۡتَۚ لَبِئۡسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَصۡنَعُونَ ٦٣ [المائدة: 63].

The meaning of the verse:

Why do not the rabbis and the religious learned men forbid them from uttering sinful words and from eating illegal things? Evil indeed is that which they have been performing ﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 63].In the exegesis of the verse in which Allah تعالى says:

﴿ سَمَّٰعُونَ لِلۡكَذِبِ أَكَّٰلُونَ لِلسُّحۡتِۚ [المائدة: 42].

The meaning of the verse:

They are listeners to the lie, devourers of As-Suht ﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 42]. Ibn Kathîr said that listeners to the lie ﴿ means: listeners to the fallacy, and devourers of As-Suht ﴿ means: devourers of the unlawful, which is the bribe, as it was explained by Ibn Mas‘ûd رضي الله عنه and others; i.e., a person with such character, how do Allah سبحانه وتعالى purify his heart and how do He سبحانه وتعالى respond to his invocation?”(1). The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم said in the hadith reported by Abû Humayd As-Sâ‘idî رضي الله عنه: “I appoint a man from amongst you to work in what Allah has entrusted me, then he comes and says: this wealth is for you (i.e. for the public treasure) and this is a gift (presented to me)”. Then heصلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم said: “Why should not he remain in the house of his father and his mother until his gift comes to him…” (2). In another hadith, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وآله وسلَّم said: “Whomsoever we hire for a particular job and provide him with sustenance, then all that he takes beyond that is considered Ghulûl (3)(4).

Ash-Shawkânî رحمه اللهsaid: “Obviously, gifts that are given to judges and others are a type of bribe; because if the giver was not used to giving presents before being appointed [as judge], then he (the giver) would not give him presents unless for the purpose of: either being strengthen in his wrongdoing, or reaching his right using those presents, and the two purposes are prohibited.” (5)

At last, what has to be done is to help one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety) which is the basis of the fraternal dealings, and to avoid dealings that are based on sin and transgression, according to the verse in which Allah تعالى said:

﴿وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ [المائدة: 2].

The meaning of the verse:

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression﴿ [Al-Mâ’ida: 2].

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.


(1) See: “Tafsîr Ibn Kathîr” (2/ 60) and see: “Nayl Al-Awtâr” of Ash-Shawkânî (10/ 260).

(2) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (6979) and by Muslim (1832), from the hadith of Abû Humayd As-Sâ‘idî رضي الله عنه.

(3) Ghulûl: is what is taken from the war booty before its distribution. Translator's note.

(4) Reported by Abû Dâwûd (2943), from the hadith of Burayda Ibn Al-Husayb رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Ibn Al-Mulaqqin in “Al-Badr Al-Munîr” (9/ 564) and by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ ” (6023).

(5) See: “Nayl Al-Awtâr” of Ash-Shawkânî (10/ 261).