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Paying a bribe for education and subsequent income

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Fatwa.ca


If I paid money to some university officers so that I can pay school fees late, will that make my income haraam.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ʿalaykum wa raḥmatullāhi wa barakātuh.

The question is regarding two aspects.

1. The first is the aspect of paying money to obtain a right one would not have otherwise been entitled to, i.e., a bribe.
2. The second is the aspect of the permissibility of one’s income when having achieved education by an unlawful means.

As for the first, a bribe (al-rishwah) is either giving something to take away a right or to obtain one unlawfully.[1] Alternatively, it is something of value given to a person of authority to act in one’s favor or according to one’s wishes.[2]

Sayyiduna ʿAbdullah ibn ʿAmr radi Allahu ʿanhu said, “Allah’s Messenger cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes it.”[3]

If one is forced to pay a bribe to remove an oppression or to obtain a legitimate right, the payer may give it hoping for Allah’s forgiveness.[4] However, the ability to pay school fees late is not a legitimate right and paying off an officer to be able to do so is bribery and sinful. One should sincerely seek Allah’s forgiveness for having committed the sin and make a firm intention to never repeat it.

As for the second, the permissibility of the income is separate from the bribery and education. An unlawful education or aspects of one will decrease the barakah in the subsequent income but will not make it impermissible. If one is qualified and capable to perform the work, the income will be permissible (ḥalāl). If one is unqualified or incapable, it will be impermissible (ḥarām).[5]

And Allah Taʿālā knows best

Maulana Mateen Khan

Checked and approved by:
Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi

[1] كتاب التعريفات للجرجاني، دار الكتب العلمية بيروت (الشاملة)، ص 111
 الرشوة: ما يعطى؛ لإبطال حق، أو لإحقاق باطل.

[2] رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر (الشاملة)، 5: 362
ما يعطيه الشخص الحاكم وغيره ليحكم له أو يحمله على ما يريد

[3] سنن ابي داوود، كتاب الأقضية، باب فِي كَرَاهِيَةِ الرِّشْوَةِ، ح# 3580
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، قَالَ لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الرَّاشِيَ وَالْمُرْتَشِيَ ‏.‏

[4] البحر الرائق شرح كنز الدقائق، بابن نجيم المصري، دار الكتاب الإسلامي (الشاملة)، 6: 285
ومنها إذا دفع الرشوة خوفا على نفسه أو ماله فهو حرام على الآخذ غير حرام على الدافع

رد المحتار على الدر المختار، ابن عابدين، دار الفكر (الشاملة)، 5: 362
الثالث: أخذ المال ليسوي أمره عند السلطان دفعا للضرر أو جلبا للنفع وهو حرام على الآخذ فقط

[5] آپ کے مسائل اور ان کا حل، مكتبه لدهيانوي (2011)، 7:212

جامع الفتاوی، ادارہ تالیفات اشرفیہ,  6:245

This answer was collected from Fatwa.ca, which is a fatwa portal operated by Mufti Faisal al Mahmudi from Canada. 

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