La Tahzan Wa La Khauf

Don't Be Sad My Friends

Declaring War on Corruption

Do you know that both the giver and taker of bribes will go to Hell? The Arabian Prophet Muhammad SAW said: "Ar-rashi wal murtashi kilahuma finnar." (Meaning: The giver and taker of bribes are both to go to the fire of hell.)
One can immediately say that is fair punishment considering that it takes two to create corruption, in this case the giving and taking of bribes. In some countries, the culture of corruption extends to every aspect of public life, making it extremely difficult to stay in business without resorting to bribes. It sickens one to see today that the scourge of bribery and corruption has reached unprecedented proportions. These twin evils have become an issue of major political and economic significance in recent years, and the necessity to take measures against them have become evident.
In some communities, this worsening crisis of socio-cultural values is shaking the very foundation of society. Many leaders are suffering from a shaky and dwindling credibility, made worse by carelessness and nepotism in the way they manage national and international affairs. Their massive bank transfers abroad, in many cases an open secret, are not only an insurance policy against adversity, but also an efficient tool to manipulate internal policies from the outside.
It is sad that almost all forms of government are susceptible to political corruption in various forms: patronage, bribery, extortion, influence peddling, fraud, embezzlement, and nepotism. While corruption often facilitates criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and criminal prostitution, it is not restricted to these organized crime activities, and it does not always support or shield other crimes.
Corruption poses a serious development challenge. In the political realm, it undermines democracy and good governance by flouting or even subverting formal processes. Corruption in elections and in legislative bodies reduces accountability and distorts representation in policymaking; corruption in the judiciary compromises the rule of law; and corruption in public administration results in the unfair provision of services. More generally, corruption erodes the institutional capacity of government as procedures are disregarded, resources are siphoned off, and public offices are bought and sold. At the same time, corruption undermines the legitimacy of government and such democratic values as trust and tolerance.
Corruption also undermines economic development by generating considerable distortions and inefficiency. In the private sector, corruption increases the cost of business through the price of illicit payments themselves, the management cost of negotiating with officials, and the risk of breached agreements or detection. Although some claim corruption reduces costs by cutting red tape, the availability of bribes can also induce officials to contrive new rules and delays. Where corruption inflates the cost of business, it also distorts the playing field, shielding firms with connections from competition and thereby sustaining inefficient firms.
Corruption generates economic distortions in the public sector by diverting public investment into capital projects where bribes and kickbacks are more plentiful. Officials may increase the technical complexity of public sector projects to conceal or pave way for such dealings, thus further distorting investment. Corruption also lowers compliance with construction, environmental, or other regulations, reduces the quality of government services and infrastructure, and increases budgetary pressures on government.
All in all, corruption is a detrimental culture in the system of national growth. For the anti-graft campaign to succeed, all parties must take the initiative and incorporate it into their work ethic. Whistleblowers must be given protection under law to enable crucial information and evidence to surface.
A word of advice from third US President Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809): "The time to guard against corruption and tyranny is before they shall have gotten hold of us. It is better to keep the wolf out of the fold than to trust to drawing his teeth and talons after he shall have entered."
It is very disappointing to note that many Muslims are involved in bribery and corruption, especially when temptation becomes too strong to resist. The religion of Islam is totally against corruption, bribery, abuse of authority, the creation of social conflict for personal or group benefit, torture, exploitation and oppression. One of the major purposes of the Islamic system of government is the establishment of justice for all citizens of the state, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.
A situation where there is a weak rule of law can lead to anarchy and tumultous upheavels in the system as recorded in the pages of human history. The symptoms of this danger are the same each time: when there is concentration of power for too long; with any particular group; unequal opportunities and incentives; and lack of good governance, transparency and accountability.

The Qur’an addresses these issues with full wisdom: “And do not eat up your properties among yourselves for vanities, nor use it as bait for the judges with intent that you may eat up wrongfully and knowingly some portion of other people’s property.” [Al-Baqarah: 188]

In another verse, ALLAH SWT warns mankind: “Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of the deeds that the hands of men have earned, that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back from evil.” [Rum: 41]


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"To Sharing Islamic Knowledge With Muslims In The World"