FINANCIAL PROHIBITIONS IN ISLAM - PART 3 OF 5
Allah SWT says in the Qur'an:
"Intoxicants and gambling, sacrificing to stones, and divination by arrows, are an abomination, of Satan's handiwork, so avoid such abomination, in order that you may be successful." (Surah 5: Ayat 90)
Before the advent of Islam, the most practiced type of gambling was to have ten men participate in buying a camel then they would cast lots and accordingly seven of them would win disproportionate shares of the camel and three would have no share at all.
Nowadays gambling has many aspects, some of which include:
1. The lottery which itself is of different types, the most known is to buy numbers, and different prizes are given to the winning numbers. This type is unlawful even if some say it is for charitable causes.
2. Another type of gambling is to buy merchandise which has an unknown prize inside it, or which has a number that is drawn to find out the prize winner.
3. Insurance is another aspect of gambling. This includes, life insurance, insurance on merchandise, vehicle, insurance against fire, flood, and numerous other types of insurance, there are even singers who buy insurance on their voices!
Any type of gambling game is included in this category. Nowadays there exist clubs for gambling, where 'green tables' are reserved for this abominable sin. There is also betting for football games, and other sports games, these are also included in unlawful gambling. There are certain games in game rooms or entertainment centers, that are based on gambling such as the pinball.
Allah says in the Qur'an:
"Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is Al-Powerful, All-Wise." (Surah 5: Ayat 38)
Among the biggest crimes of stealing is stealing from the persons who come to the House of Allah for Hajj or Umrah. These types of thieves do not give any weight to Allah's Punishment, while they are in the most sacred place on earth, around His House.
The Prophet SAW said:
"Hell Fire was brought, and it was when you saw me being late (for solat), for I feared I would be scorched by it, and I even saw in it the owner of the crook (a crooked stick the thief uses for stealing) dragging his entrails in the Fire. He used to steal the pilgrim with his crook. If he was found out, he would say, 'It was just stuck to my crook,' and if nobody took notice, he would take what he stole." (Muslim)
And among the biggest crimes of stealing is to steal from the funds of the Muslim community. Some people who do it say, "We do what many other people are doing." They do not realise that they are stealing from all the Muslims, because the public funds are the property of all the Muslims, and the fact that other people do it is not an excuse to imitate them.
Some people steal from the kuffar, arguing that they are disbeleivers. This is not permissible because the only kuffar whom one is allowed to dispossess from their properties are the ones who are at war against the Muslims, and in general the companies of the disbelievers and the disbelievers themselves are not included in this category.
Another type of stealing is to steal from other people's pockets. Some people steal from their hosts' houses, others steal from their guests' purses, others shoplift, and there are even women who conceal the stolen goods under their garments.
Some people think it is permissible to steal things of small or insignificant value, but the Prophet SAW said:
"Allah cursed the thief, he steals the egg and then his hand is cut off, and he steals the rope and then his hand is cut off." (Bukhari)
Any person who steals a thing should return it to its owner and repent to Allah, whether he returns it openly or in secret, by himself or through an intermediary. If he is unable to return the property to its owner or to his inheritors after him, then he should give it to charity and intend the reward for its owner.
Accepting and Giving Bribes
Giving a bribe to a judge or a ruler in order to incur injustice is a crime because it leads to unfairness in ruling by taking away people's rights, and it leads to the spread of corruption.
"And eat up not one another's property unjustly, nor give bribery to the rulers that you may knowingly eat up a part of the property of others sinfully." (Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayat 18)
Abu Hurairah RA narrates that the Prophet SAW said:
"Allah curses the bribe giver and the bribe taker in ruling cases." (Ahmad)
However, bribes given by a person to take back what rightfully belongs to him, or to ward off an injustice, and which could not be accomplished otherwise, are not included in this type of cursed bribes.
The bribe epidemic is so rampant nowadays that it has become a more profitable source of income than some employees' salaries, and it has become a clause in many companies' budgets under different cover names. Many transactions do not start and are not concluded unless a bribe is included, and this has greatly hurt the poor among the people. It has also corrupted many employees at the expense of their employers, so that the good service (or merchandise) is presented only to the one who gives bribe. As for the others, they are neglected or their service is postponed, while others who came after them were being served first because they gave bribes. Because of bribe, properties that belong to the employer end up in the pockets of the sales and purchases representatives.
For this and other reasons it is no wonder that the Prophet Muhammad SAW, has cursed those who participate in this crime, saying:
"Allah's curse be upon the bribe giver and the bribe taker." (Ibn Majah)