Date : 07-05-2023

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia on reporting corruption cases citizen witnesses or is subjected to? Moreover, what is the duty of the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission towards citizens reporting such cases?

The Answer :

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

One of the key general objectives of Islamic Law (Maqasid) behind sending Prophets and Messengers (PBUT) is fighting and uprooting corruption as well as protecting country and citizens from the evils of the mischievous individuals. Allah the Almighty says {what means}: "We sent aforetime our apostles with Clear Signs and sent down with them the Book and the Balance (of Right and Wrong), that men may stand forth in justice." {Al-Hadid, 25}. Prophets (PBUH) have advised their people in different forms and made clear to them that lying, cheating, and corruption are forbidden. An example of this is when Prophet Sho`aib addressed his people saying: "And O my people! give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief." {Hud, 85}. He also said to them: " I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from God. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look." {Hud, 88}.

It goes without saying that all forms and aspects of corruption are amongst the greatest taboos and the most heinous evils that Islam forbade and called for uprooting. Not only that, but corruption is also a crime punishable in this world and the next, whether it is financial or administrative, took place in the public or the private sector. The danger and gravity multiplies when corruption takes place in public affairs and funds because the latter is the property of all people. Therefore, Islamic Law commands fighting corruption in all fields and by all means available. In order to achieve this great end, maintain justice and stability, preserve properties, and ensure the continuity of peace and stability, Sharia texts urged people to tell the truth and declare it, even against one`s-self. This is because the truth should be more loved to a person than everything else. Allah the Exalted says {What means}: " O ye who believe! stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well- acquainted with all that ye do." {An-Nisa`, 135}. In addition, it is narrated on the authority of Tamim ad-Dari that the Prophet (PBUH) said: "The Religion is sincerity." We said, "To whom?" He said "To Allah, to His Book, To His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their masses." {Muslim transmitted it}. 

According to Sharia Law, a Muslim is required to report any case of financial or administrative corruption concerning public funds, and this encompasses money, items, lands, machineries, factories and other property of the state treasury. This is driven by the necessity to preserve public funds against the mischievous individuals who tamper with country`s and people`s security. It is also a form of cooperating in righteousness since Almighty Allah says {What means}: " Help ye one another in righteousness and piety, but help ye not one another in sin and rancour: fear Allah. for Allah is strict in punishment." {Al-Ma`ida, 2}. Allah the Exalted has directed Muslims to inform anti-corruption authorities and the Muslim leader about any violations. Allah says {What means}: " When there comes to them some matter touching (Public) safety or fear, they divulge it. If they had only referred it to the Apostle, or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have Tested it from them (direct). Were it not for the Grace and Mercy of God unto you, all but a few of you would have fallen into the clutches of Satan." {An-Nisa`, 83}. Furthermore, Khawlah al-Ansariyah (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Some men acquire Allah’s Property (such as the funds of the Muslim state treasury, Zakah etc.) and they will go to Hell on the Day of Resurrection.” {Related Al-Bukhari}. Also, 'Abdallah b. ‘Amr told that when a man called Karkara who was in charge of the Prophet’s belongings died, God’s Messenger said, “He will go to hell. “The people went off and looked and found a striped woollen garment which he had dishonestly appropriated from the spoil." {Related by Bukhari}.

One form of corruption is nepotism and favoritism through which the rights of others are devoured and constitute an infringement upon the principle of justice and equality amongst the citizens. It is also considered a form of social injustice, which Allah has forbidden. 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}. This corruption is clearly manifested when rights of others are taken, when an unqualified person is given a position that he is unworthy of, and when the rights of others are transgressed. In addition, it is worth pointing that the one who helps such unqualified persons incurs sin. Allah says {what means}: " Whoever recommends and helps a good cause becomes a partner therein: And whoever recommends and helps an evil cause, shares in its burden: And God hath power over all things." {An-Nisa`, 85}.

In conclusion, it is the duty of every Muslim to be honest, sincere, and preserve the state`s properties so as to be cleared from liability, have good provisions, be content, please Allah and be sincere to his country and countrymen. If he/she took anything unlawfully, then he/she should give it back and make sincere repentance. Moreover, one who discover cases involving corruption should stop this evil act by informing the concerned authorities, such as the Integrity and Anti-Corruption Commission so that the latter perform their religious and national duty in this regard. 

As regards the individuals and bodies responsible for fighting corruption, they have to perform their job in the best manner through enforcing the law, in addition to not reveal secret information about corruption cases and protecting people reporting such cases. Narrated `Abdullah: Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said, "Every one of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges. The ruler who has authority over people is a guardian and is responsible for them. A man is a guardian of his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a guardian of her husband's house and children and is responsible for them. A slave is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it; so all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges." {Related by Bukhari}. And Allah the Almighty knows best.