Bribery | Islamic Laws by The Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei
Q1235. The customers of a bank tip the employees of the bank in order to step up the pace of their work and give them preferential services. What is the view on receiving such money knowing that if the employee did not do anything for them, they will not give him any money?
A: It is not permissible for the employees to get such money for the job they have been hired to do and for which they receive a salary. Nor is it permissible for the customers to entice the employees by tipping them to finish their business because this practice is bound to spread corruption.
Q1236. Some bank customers, due to certain current customs give the bank employees festive presents and think otherwise the employees would not perform their works in a proper way. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: Should giving away such presents result in preferential treatment that would inevitably lead to corruption or impinging on the rights of the other customers, the customers are not allowed to do so, nor are the employees allowed to receive such presents.
Q1237. What is the view regarding the present given out of thank and gratitude by somebody to an employee, knowing that this employee performed his job without any expectation?
A: In work environment giving gifts by people is one of the most dangerous acts and the more you avoid it, the more benefit you achieve in this world and the hereafter. Only in one case, is it permissible to receive the gift and that is when the giver insists on giving the present and the employee rejects it but eventually it is given in one way or another provided that it is done after the performance of the work without any previous discussion or expectation.
Q1238. What is the ruling in the matter of presents, whether in the form of money, food, or the like, given away willingly by people to government employees? And what is the view on money given to them by way of bribery whether in expectation for a favor or without it? Should the employee contravene the law in order to get a bribe, what would be the ruling?
A: The employees are not allowed to receive any presents under any guise because this is bound to reflect adversely on their character, lead to corruption, and entice some greedy individuals to disregard the laws and to impinge upon the rights of others. It goes without saying that bribery is Haram for both the payer and the recipient. If any money has been received by way of bribery, it should be returned to the payer and the recipient has no right to use it.
Q1239. It has been noticed that some individuals ask the public for bribes in return for facilitating their business. Is it justified to pay such money to them?
A: The cliental of any official department are not allowed to give the employees of the department, who have the duty to serve the people, any money or service that is not sanctioned by law. By the same token, the employees themselves who are obliged to facilitate peoples business according to law must not ask for, or take, any unlawful payment for the work they do. In case they have received such money, they should return it to the payer, as they have no right to use it.
Q1240. What is the ruling in the matter of resorting to bribery in order to restore ones right, as it sometimes brings difficulties to others like preferring him to them?
A: Paying and taking bribes is impermissible even though it does not make any trouble to other people, let alone doing so while it make troubles for others without having any right in this regard.
Q1241. One may find it necessary, in order to get ones legitimate business finished easily, to pay money to the official concerned in a particular department. The person is fully aware that if they did not pay this money they would not get the business done. Does this amount to bribery and is it Haram? Or should the necessity which pushed him to pay the money prevent it from falling in the category of bribery and from being considered Haram?
A: Giving any money or the like to the employees of any department — who are responsible for performing peoples works — in return for a favor in facilitating ones business, which inevitably leads to spreading corruption in such departments, is Haram as per Islamic law. The illusion of “necessity” does not justify this practice.
Q1242. Smugglers offer government officials bribes for turning a blind eye to their unlawful practices. If the officials refuse, they face threats of death. What should such officials do?
A: It is not permissible to receive any money for turning a blind eye to the unlawful practices of the smugglers.