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It is Unlawful for an Employee to Accept Suspicious Gifts

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I`m an employee of a Magistrates Court, some people who have cases there give me gifts to facilitate their legal transactions?


Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

It is forbidden for an employee to accept gifts given to him because of the nature of his work and wouldn`t been given to him had he not been in that position. In this regard, Allah the Almighty says: "And do not eat up your property among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges, with intent that ye may eat up wrongfully and knowingly a little of (other) people’s property." {Al-Baqarah, 188}. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says {What means}: "All the gifts given to agents are unlawful" {Related by Imam Ahmad}.

Moreover, Narrated Abu Humaid Al-Sa`idi:

The Prophet (PBUH) appointed a man from the tribe of Al-Azd, called Ibn 'Utbiyya for collecting the Zakat. When he returned he said, "This (i.e. the Zakat) is for you and this has been given to my as a present." The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Why hadn't he stayed in his father's or mother's house to see whether he would be given presents or not? By Him in Whose Hands my life is, whoever takes something from the resources of the Zakat (unlawfully) will be carrying it on his neck on the Day of Resurrection; if it be a camel, it will be grunting; if a cow, it will be mooing; and if a sheep, it will be bleating." The Prophet then raised his hands till we saw the whiteness of his armpits, and he said thrice, "O Allah! Haven't I conveyed Your Message (to them)?" {Realted by Bukhari & Muslim}.

In conclusion, it is unlawful for an employee to take personal gifts, which are intended to facilitate the transaction of the giver since this is one form of bribery and eating up people`s wealth unjustly. Moreover, this act constitutes a betrayal of trust since not all people are given their due rights. It is also an act of injustice and leads to corruption of society. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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