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Subject : Ruling on Favoritism

Fatwa Number : 3322

Date : 25-09-2017

Classified : Call to Islam & Sincerity in Advice

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the Islamic ruling on favoritism?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, Lord of all Creations, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Master Mohammad and all his folks and companions.

The Noble Quran refers to "Favoritism" as "Intercession", and differentiates between two types: good and evil. Almighty Allah said {what means}: " Whoever intercedes with a good intercession shall receive a share of it; and whoever intercedes with an evil intercession, shall receive the like from it. God conserves all things. " {An`Nisa`/85}. Accordingly, every intercession that causes harm to others is evil because it involves transgression and injustice.

"Mujahid, Al-Hasan, Ibn Zaeid and other scholars said: "It refers to people`s intercessions among themselves to fulfill certain needs, so whoever intercedes with a good intercession shall receive a share of it; and whoever intercedes with an evil intercession, shall receive the like from it."

As for good intercession, it aims to remove injustice, deliver rights to whom they belong and relieve people in distress. For more details on the difference between good and evil intercession, kindly refer to Fatwa No.(830).

Favoritism by which others` rights are usurped and the principle of justice and equality is undermined, is a form of corruption and social injustice that Almighty Allah forbids. In this regard, Abu Dharr (RAA) quoted the Prophet (PBUH) saying among what he narrated from Allah, the Most High that He has said: “O My slaves, I have made oppression unlawful for myself and I have made it unlawful among you, so do not oppress one another.” {Related by Muslim}. Oppression and corruption are clearly manifested in usurping rights and giving jobs to the unqualified.

As getting a job is a priority to all people, it shouldn`t be transgressed against through favoritism and close connections because that leads to wasting others` right to making a living since Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "Do you know who is the bankrupt?" They said: "The bankrupt among us is one who has neither money with him nor any property". He said: "The real bankrupt of my Ummah would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with Salat, Saum and Sadaqah (charity), (but he will find himself bankrupt on that day as he will have exhausted the good deeds) because he reviled others, brought calumny against others, unlawfully devoured the wealth of others, shed the blood of others and beat others; so his good deeds would be credited to the account of those (who suffered at his hand). If his good deeds fall short to clear the account, their sins would be entered in account and he would be thrown in the (Hell) Fire." [Muslim].

Getting a job should be governed by clear standards to ensure integrity and transparency, and these should rest on competence and the ability to achieve, paying attention to the special requirements of each job. This is because favoritism and connections have a huge-negative impact on society, as they lead to corruption and administrative flabbiness where a sense of injustice prevails leading to a decrease in productivity, loss of efficiency, spread of hypocrisy and lying. Not only that, but it could also lead to unacceptable acts and practices, such as theft, looting, bribery and usurping public as well as private funds.

In conclusion, people in authority should shoulder the responsibility of standing up to such corruption and making sure that it never happens. They can achieve this through giving rights to whom they belong, not favoring a person over others, fearing Allah, being truthful and enforcing the rules and regulations in question. In fact, every person will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection since the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "All of you are guardians and are responsible for your subjects" {Related by Bukhari}. And Allah knows best.



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