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Giving a gift to a government official for a tender

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I work in a government organization as an officer. We deal with a lot of tenders. Everyday lots of contractors visit us regarding projects. These days we are working on a new tender and a contractor (let’s call him X), who frequently visits us, informed me that his company’s country head is in town and wants to meet us. I asked him to come to our office and meet our team.

X came along with the country head and we discussed technical matters. At the end of our meeting, the country head gave us a gift bag and told us that this is a souvenir from his side for us. We were 3 team members but he brought souvenirs for only the two of the team members. He didn’t give anything to the third person.

Was this ‘souvenir’ a bribe to us? Because the meeting was regarding a tender, but we are not giving them any favours. We are going through the whole tender process as transparently as possible. I am worried whether this souvenir is a bribe or not, because I realised it later on, after he left, that it might be a bribe. We still won’t be giving them any favours on the tender project. If it is termed as a bribe, what should I do now because I have already accepted the gift.

Note: The country head gave us the products that his own company makes, hence called it a souvenir. 


A: Precaution requires that you either return the souvenir, or gift it in charity if it is not possible to return it.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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