Saturday 23 July 2022

Do not accept the Bribes in the matter of wicked system of life

Bribe, as described in dictionaries, is to dishonestly persuade (someone) to act in one's favour by a gift of money or other inducement. Since bribe is something to gain personal favours, it is thus a criminal and corrupt practice where an entity offers something of value to a corporate or public official in exchange for their cooperation in influencing a decision-making process, committing or allowing fraud against the official's organization, or otherwise violating their official duties.  

Islam does not allow obtaining personal favours facilitated by bribery and strictly cautions believers to stay away from it. The earliest commandment to this effect is found at the times of Prophet Suleiman (Solomon, peace be upon him) as mentioned in the 36th verse of Surah 27. An Naml (The ants). The background of this verse is when the revered prophet refused gratification from Queen of Saba. In fact the Queen has sent an envoy with the proposal of offering gifts so as to save her kingdom as she contended that "When the kings enter a country, they cause corruption in it and abase those of its people who are held in honour. This is what they want to do." (27:34). This was also to test the honesty of Prophet Suleiman. But the prophet plainly refused the offer as described in the 37th verse quoted below:
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ سُلَيۡمٰنَ قَالَ اَتُمِدُّوۡنَنِ بِمَالٍ فَمَاۤ اٰتٰٮنِۦَ اللّٰهُ خَيۡرٌ مِّمَّاۤ اٰتٰٮكُمۡ​ۚ بَلۡ اَنۡـتُمۡ بِهَدِيَّتِكُمۡ تَفۡرَحُوۡنَ‏  
(27:36) Now, when (the envoy of the Queen) came to Solomon, he said: "Do you want to aid me with wealth? Whatever Allah has granted me is much more than what He has given you. (Keep for yourselves) your gift in which you are exulting.
This sentence is not meant to express pride and vanity. What it means to say is this: "I have no desire for your wealth; I only desire that you should believe, or at least submit to a righteous system. if you agree to neither of these alternatives, it is not possible for me to accept the bribes of wealth and leave you tree in the, matter of a polytheistic and wicked system of life. What my Lord has given me is enough for me to cherish any desire for your wealth. 

Tafsir Ibn-Kathir
More than one of the scholars of Tafsir among the Salaf and others stated that she sent him a huge gift of gold, jewels, pearls and other things. It is apparent that Sulayman, peace be upon him, did not even look at what they brought at all and did not pay any attention to it, but he turned away and said, rebuking them:

("Will you help me in wealth'') meaning, `are you trying to flatter me with wealth so that I will leave you alone with your Shirk and your kingdom'

(What Allah has given me is better than what He has given you!) means, `what Allah has given to me of power, wealth and troops, is better than that which you have.'

(Nay, you rejoice in your gift!) means, `you are the ones who are influenced by gifts and presents; we will accept nothing from you except Islam or the sword.'

Muhammad Asad Explanation:
( Now when [the Queen's messenger] came unto Solomon, he said: "Do you people mean to add to my wealth? But that which God has given me) I.e., not only worldly wealth but also faith, wisdom and an insight into realities normally hidden from other men.

(  is [so much] better than all that He has given you! Nay, it is [only such as] you that would rejoice in this gift of yours!)  I.e., people who prize only material things and have no inkling of spiritual values.

Yusuf Ali  Explanation
Poor Bilqis! She thought she had arranged with womanly tact to conciliate Solomon, and at the same time pacify her warlike subjects! But the effect of the embassy with presents was the very opposite. Solomon took it as an insult that she should send her presents instead of her submission to the true Religion! He flung back the presents at her, as much as to say, "Let these baubles delight your own hearts! Allah has blessed me with plenty of worldly goods, and something infinitely better, viz.; His Light and Guidance! Why do you say nothing about that?"

Explanation Qur'an Wiki:
We see the queen’s emissaries delivering her gift to Solomon who takes them to task for thinking that they could buy his peace with money, seeking to divert him from calling on them to believe in God. He announced his final ultimatum, in clear and powerful terms. His answer derides money, scorning its use in a situation that involves advocacy of the faith, where it can be of no use. He has given me things that are far superior to wealth; namely, knowledge, prophethood and the service of the jinn and birds. No material thing, rich as it may be, holds any attraction for me: “Yet you rejoice with your own gift.” (Verse 36) Such worldly luxuries may please the likes of you who have no bond with God and who do not receive His gifts.
What we learn from this verse is that the glitter of gifts (behind which ulterior motive of bribery are hidden) should never be a choice for a true believer to accept. For if it is done, there are many chances that one would fall into a trap of illegally gratifying the one offering the gifts and turning things into his favour. This may have very serious consequences specially when it comes to the rulers of a country dealing with other countries. Weaker states my succumb to luring gifts and thus being trapped and sacrificing their own interest and serving the bigger nations for whom a few billions are good enough bait for the dishonest rulers. 
Likewise, the dishonest rulers would buy the people to support their unjust rule. Unfortunately we see these happening to many a Islamic countries today which are on one hand falling into the debt trap and at the same time lowering their guards to allow the materialization of interests of their masters.
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the  Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 |

An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition, references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

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