Paying a bribe to release one’s goods
Fatwa No: 12346


I deal in imported ready-made clothes, but without a commercial register (i.e., on the black market). When passing through customs, the agent asks for a bribe to release me without confiscating the goods. What should I do?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.


If the commodity is permissible to sell and you fear that it might be taken from you, then you can pay to release it. This is not a bribe given by you, because a bribe is money paid to take the rights of others or to escape the fulfillment of a due right. For the one who takes it, however, it is a forbidden bribe because it is a form of consuming the property of others for no due reason.


Finally, please note that if the government of that country has organized the methods of importing goods in a way that serves the benefit of Muslims, then you must obey the rules.

Allaah Knows best.

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