Posts Tagged ‘bribery’

Al-Tabari as a teacher for a wazir’s son

August 11, 2017 Leave a comment


A friend of his knew that the wazir was looking for a tutor for his son, and the friend asked Tabari whether he was willing to accept the position if it was offered to him. Tabari agreed, no doubt eagerly. The friend was able to arrange matters. After first providing him with the proper clothes, he introduced him to the wazir. Ibn Khaaqan gained a good impression of him. He offered him the position and agreed to pay ten dinars per month.


In addition, he had a contract drawn up specifying the time Tabari was allowed to devote to study, prayer, eating, and resting, and even gave him upon his request a one-month advance. A well-equipped classroom (hujrat al-ta’dib) for the boy was assigned to Tabari. He instructed him in writing, and his pupil appears to have quickly learned how to write. The writing tablet that demonstrated the boy’s newly acquired skill was taken by servants to his mother and the other slave girls who had borne children to their master (ummahat al-walad) as proof of the good news.


The overjoyed ladies filled a tray with dirhams and dinars and sent it with the servants back to Tabari. He, however, refused to accept the money. He had, he said, a contract with the wazir to be paid a certain sum and was not entitled to any further compensation. The matter was submitted to the wazir who summoned him and told him that he was wrong to reject the well-meant gift of the women and had offended them by not accepting it. Tabari argued that the women were slaves and legally owned no property of their own. He obviously implied that it was really the wazir who was the source of the money and who therefore was paying more than had been agreed upon in the contract.

Tabari learned a lesson from this occurrence. Later on, when friends would bring him a gift of food, it was his established custom (sunnah) to accept it as being, in contrast to money, merely a token gift; but, prompted by his socially proper attitude (muruwwah), he would make an appropriate return gift. This taught his friends that it would be inadvisable to press gifts on him.


[Ibn ‘Asakir, LXXV; adh-Dhahabi, Nubala XIV, 271]


Advice and warning for the government functionaries and others

March 19, 2013 Leave a comment


Abu Humaid bin Sa`d As-Sa`idi (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) employed aman from the tribe of Al-Azd named Ibn Lutbiyyah as collector of Zakat. When the employee returned (with the collections) he said:

“(O Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam)!) This is for you and this is mine because it was presented to me as gift.” 


Messenger of Allah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) rose to the pulpit and praised Allah and extolled Him. Then he said,

“I employ a man to do a job and he comes and says: `This is for you and this has been presented to me as gift’?


Why did he not remain in the house of his father or the house of his mother and see whether gifts will be given to him or not?


By Allah in Whose Hand is the life of Muhammad, if any one of you took anything wrongfully, he will bring it on the Day of  Resurrection, carrying it on (his back), I will not recognize anyone of you, on the Day of Resurrection with a grunting camel, or a bellowing cow, or a bleating ewe.” Then he raised his hands till we could see the whiteness of his armpits.

Then he said thrice, “O Allah ! have I conveyed (Your Commandments)”.

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].


There is a stern warning in this Hadith for the government functionaries. Nowadays official positions are very much misused and people have developed the habit of giving presents and gifts to them. According to this Hadith, all such presents and gifts which are given to the government employees due to their official position are unlawful and constitute bribery. The taking and accepting of bribery are both unlawful.


Ibn al-Qayyim states;

“…governors, judges, and ombudsmen are forbidden to receive gifts [from those whom they serve in these capacities]. This is the root of corruption, a vesting of authority in those who are not worthy thereof. The reason for this is simply that the acceptance of gifts from someone with whom it is not one’s custom to exchange gifts may lead the recipient to meet the [gift giver’s] need [for the wrong reason]. Your love for something can render you blind and deaf; and such love for things may generate a desire to fulfill the request of the person who gave the gift as a way of rewarding him…”

(A’lam al-Muwaqq’in, vol.3, p.142)





`Adi bin `Umairah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“Whosoever among you is appointed by us to a position and he conceals from us even a needle or less, it will amount to misappropriation and he will be called upon to restore it on the Day of Resurrection”.


(`Adi bin `Umairah added:) A black man from the Ansar stood up – I can see him still – and said:

“O Messenger of Allah, take back from me your assignment.”


He (the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said, “What has happened to you?” The man replied: “I have heard you saying such and such.” He (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said,

I say that even now: Whosoever from you is appointed by us to a position, he should render an account of everything, big or small, and whatever he is given therefrom, he should take and he should desist from taking what is unlawful”.



Here again functionaries of government are warned to perform their duties with co-operation and integrity. If they neglect their duties or take undue advantage of their official position, they will be held guilty by Allah for dereliction of their duties and misuse of power, as has been stated in a Hadith quoted before.


It also tells us that it is the duty of the superior officers to keep a strict watch on their subordinates and not to let them indulge in bribery and abuse; otherwise, their negligence or slackness or overlooking or shirking from their duty in this behalf will also be treated as crime. It is not difficult to imagine the fate of such officers who conspire in the loot and plunder as is the case in our society today.


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