Bribery destroys Iman (faith) of a muslim

Anti bribery and corruption concept, Business man refusing bribe. © Ngampol Thongsai | Dreamstime.com

Islam has placed great emphasis on how we should interact with our colleagues at work. Setting aside a static point of view, Islam teaches us a dynamic perspective of how we Muslims should participate in our working environment.

As stated by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), “The truthful and honest merchant is associated with the Prophets, the decent, and the martyrs.”(At-Tirmidhi)

Bribery is common practice in our workplaces. From new start-ups to well-established industries, Muslims face an Iman (faith)-threatening dilemma that needs to be tackled seriously.

In Islam, we Muslims are warned time and again to never encroach on the rights of anyone, irrespective of their religion, and Allah (SWT) has explicitly stated that we should uphold justice among each other. Yet some people climb the corporate ladder much faster at others’ expense due to false practices.

Allah (SWT) in the Holy Quran says, “O you who believe, be maintainers of justice, witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or (your) parents or (your) near relatives, whether (the case be of) a rich or a poor, for Allah is nearer unto both (than you are). Therefore, do not follow (your) low desires, lest you deviate, and if you swerve or turn aside, then surely Allah is Ever-Aware of what you do.” (An-Nisaa’4:135)

We Muslims should abstain from such worldly desires because this life is only a test we must pass in order to enjoy the fruit of the hereafter.

We must remind ourselves that every act must be done according to the path of the Holy Prophet (SAW). Using bribery to invalidate others’ rights will grant you temporary pleasure while carrying severe consequences later on.

Every organisation reaches the top only when its employees are ranked based on merit. Bribery voids this system and allows people to bypass others’ merits to get to the top.

As Muslims, we must avoid any business transaction that involves bribery because it corrupts our faith and attitude towards Halal earning.

There are multiple ways to abstain from bribery. We must encourage an eager-to-learn positive working attitude that reflects devotion towards our job. This conduct will help us enhance our performance and help us achieve higher merit in the organisation.

Bribery is a shortcut with grave consequences, yet with an optimistic approach, we can easily avoid these false activities.

But what should we do if we are offered a bribe?

Although we know bribery is forbidden in Islam, at times we are unable to resist such opportunities and, without due consideration, accept the offer. Moreover, declining such an offer may lead to hostility thus leaving us in a tough position.

Understanding the situation is vital when you accept or decline. Think of the consequences your decision would have for others and most importantly, remember that Allah (SWT) sees everything and doesn’t forget.

The Holy Prophet (SAW) says, “Allah’s curse is on the one who offers the bribe and, on the judge, who accepts it” (At-Tirmidhi)

We should never forget that our relationship with Allah (SWT) is the most significant and only Allah (SWT) can lead us to success in this life.