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Paying bribe to avoid injustice

Published: 24/08/2011 11:06:00 AM GMT
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In the university that I attend, there are a few teachers who fail students who do not give them “gifts” and who give grades according to the value of the “gifts” that they receive. I am faced with this situation now. I do not want to pay this bribe, but if I don’t, I will be unjustly failed in the course and may be forced to repeat the year. What should I do?

Answered by

Sheikh Sâmî al-Mâjid

If the situation is really as you describe it, then it is hoped that there is no sin in your giving this “gift”. This is because you are being coerced into doing so in order to secure what is rightfully yours and avoid suffering from injustice and oppression.

There is nothing of bribery on your part, since you are not offering the “gift” to get something that is not rightfully yours.

It is related from Ibn Mas`ûd that, while he was in Abyssinia, he was unjustly apprehended and forced to give over two gold coins to secure his release.

It is related from some of the jurists among the Successors that “there is no sin in paying a bribe to protect oneself from the other person’s injustice and oppression.” [Tuhfah al-Ahwadhî (4/471)]

At the same time, you as students need to find a way of reporting these teachers to the administration. This comes under the Islamic duty of forbidding wrongdoing. When all the students conspire to remain silent, they are in fact obstructing justice and allowing these criminal teachers to persist in their wrongful conduct.

Source: Islam Today

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