Fatwa n° 96
Category: Fatwas about financial transactions
Giving a bribe in order to remove the harm of taxes
All praise is due to Allah and prayer and peace be upon his Prophet, his family and his companions. As-Salâm ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatu Allah Wa Barakâtuh.
What is the ruling concerning paying money for a determined person so that this latter withdraws a given document which, if stays in the records or a file of another person, leads to treating him severely through financial penalties and fiscal taxes, knowing that this determined person works in that specified administration itself?
Give us the fatwa concerning this question, may Allah reward you with all the blessings. Please, could the answer be written if possible? Thank 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 someone is restrained from his money –at first- then he pays someone else to seek his rescue, or to take back his right, or to remove oppression from him and he finds no other means except this to reach it, and the one who helps him is an employee in the administration where the injustice happened, [in this case] the receiver only is a sinner whereas the giver is not, as the latter was obliged to reach his right in any way. The proof that he is a sinner is the hadith reported by Abû Dâwûd and Al-Hâkim who judged it authentic from the narration of Burayda on the authority of his father that the Prophet صلّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم said: “He who we recruit and provide him with a sustenance -i.e.: give him a salary- whatever he takes after that is Ghulûl (1) (unlawful)”(2).In the other hand, the evidence that the giver is not committing a sin is the hadith of the insisting people who didn’t deserve the charity but the Prophet صلّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم gave them when they asked him. He said: “One of you comes out with his charity that I gave it to him, taking it under his armpit, but indeed it is for him a fire”. Then, ‘Umar رضي الله عنه inquired: Ô prophet of Allah, how would you give it to him and you knew that it is for him a fire? He صلّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلّمَ answered: “What may I do? They refuse except asking me and Allah rejects for me stinginess” (3). However, the continuation on doing this work is not permissible if he knows that injustice is not removed except with it because of it is a support for the aggression and taking people’s money unlawfully. In addition, the continuation in doing it inherits acceptance of the disobedience, and the wrong turns into the right and the right turns into the wrong that cannot be changed even with the weakest faith. So this means is judged forbidden in order to obstruct the way to the excuse.
This being said and finally, the duty requires helping the oppressed by bringing him out of the oppression and not help him in oppression and aggression that are forbidden according to the verse. It is reported in Sahîh Al-Bukhârî that the Prophet صلّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم said: “Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed”. The companions inquired: Ô messenger of Allah, we help him when he is oppressed, but how can we help him when he is an oppressor? He صلّى اللهُ عليه وآله وسَلَّم said: “You can keep him from committing oppression that will be your help to him” (4).
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: Ramadân 21st, 1417 H
Corresponding to January the 31st, 1997 G.
(1) Ghulûl: is what is taken from the war booty before its distribution. Translator's note.
(2) Reported by Abû Dâwûd, from the hadith of Burayda رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh Al-Jâmi‘ ” (5899) and in “Sahîh At-Targhîb Wat-Tarhîb” (779).
(3) Reported by Ahmad (11296) and by Ibn Hibân (840), from the hadith of Abû Sa‘îd Al-Khudrî رضي الله عنه. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albânî in “Sahîh At-Targhîb Wat-Tarhîb” (1/498) and in “Ghâyat Al-Marâm” page (266) number (463).
(4) Reported by Al-Bukhârî (2443) and (6952) and by At-Tirmidhî (2255) from the hadith of Anas Ibn Mâlik رضي الله عنه. It is also reported by Muslim (6747) from the hadith of Jâbir رضي الله عنه.