Prohibitions in Islam - Page 26

upon him) said: “Allah has cursed those who give and accept bribes with regard to judging.” (Reported by Imam Ahmad, 2/387; see also Sahih Al- Jami’, 5069). However, payments made in order to reach the truth or avert injustice when there is no other way of doing so are not included in this warning.

Bribery is so widespread nowadays that it more of a source of income than the regular salary for some workers. Some companies even include bribes as a factor in their budgets, under a variety of headings, and some dealings cannot begin or end without the payment of a bribe. Much harm is caused to the poor and many safeguards are broken because of bribes. Bribery is a cause of corruption whereby employees act against their employers, and one can only get good service if one pays a bribe -the person who refuses to pay will get shoddy or late service, and people who come after him but are willing to pay will be served before him. Because of bribery, a great deal of money which is due to employers ends up in the pockets of sales representatives and those responsible for making company purchases. It is little wonder, then that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) prayed to Allah to deprive all those involved of His Mercy. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Amr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘The curse of Allah be upon the one who gives a bribe and the one who accepts it.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2313; see also Sahih Al-Jami’, 5114).

Seizing land by force

When there is no fear of Allah, strength and cunning are a disaster because the one who possesses these qualities uses them to oppress others, such as seizing other people’s possessions, including their land. The punishment for this is extremely severe. ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever seizes any piece of land unlawfully, on the Day of Resurrection Allah will make the ground swallow him up to the seventh depth of the earth.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari; see Al-Fath 5/103).

Ya’laa Ibn Murrah (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Any man who seizes a hand span of land, Allah will tell him to dig it (according to Al-Tabarani: to bring it) to the seventh depth of the earth, then it will be placed around his neck on the Day of Resurrection, until Allah has finished judging mankind.” (Reported by Al-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer, 22/270; see also Sahih Al-Jami’, 9/27).

This also includes changing landmarks and boundaries in order to make one’s own land bigger at the expense of a neighbor, as is indicated by the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him): “Allah has cursed the one who changes the boundary-markers of the land.” (Reported by Muslim, with commentary by Al-Nawawi, 13/141).

Accepting a gift in return for interceding

To have a position of high standing among people is one of the blessings of Allah to His slave, if he is grateful. One way in which a person may give thanks for this blessing is by using his position to benefit other Muslims. This is part of the general meaning of the hadith: “Whoever among you is able to benefit his brother,

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