BRIBING THE TRAFFIC POLICE WHEN BREAKING TRAFFIC RULES?

Praise be to Allaah.

This is a very common issue in today's times. Most of us get away for breaking the traffic rules by simply bribing the officials.

It is obligatory to follow traffic rules like obeying traffic lights and so on as these are set up in public interest and to control and channel the traffic flow. It is important as it helps in protecting lives and property.

Driving ignorantly can lead to loss of lives and damage to property. Ignoring traffic rules may cause many troubles as is well known.

Disobeying traffic rules and having no regard for them is not permissible as it comes under the heading of obeying the authorities, which is obligatory. Allah says in Glorious Quran:

“O you who believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority”

[al-Nisa’ 4:59].

The one who breaks these rules is made to pay a fine which comes under the heading of financial.disciplinary punishment. Without such punishments no one will care about anything and hence there will be much chaos. And these punishments are permissible according to many scholars as well.

Ibn al-Qayyim said: With regard to ta’zeer (disciplinary punishments) in the form of financial penalties, this is also prescribed in certain cases according to the view of Maalik and Ahmad, and one of the two views of al-Shaafa’i. The Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions also mentions that in some cases, such as when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ordered that the vessels and containers of wine be broken; when he ordered ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar to burn the two garments that were dyed with safflower; and when on the day of Khaybar he ordered that the pots in which the flesh of domesticated donkeys had been cooked be broken, then they asked him for permission to wash them and he gave them permission. This indicates that both things are permissible, because the penalty is not necessarily by breaking. Another example is when he demolished the mosque of the hypocrites; when he burned the belongings of the one who had stolen from the war booty before it had been shared out; when he took half of the wealth of the one who had withheld zakaah, on the orders of Allaah; when he ordered the one who was wearing a ring of gold to throw it away, and he did so, and no one touched it; when he cut down the palm trees of the Jews to annoy them; when ‘Umar and ‘Ali burned down places in which alcohol was sold; when ‘Umar burned the castle of Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqaas when he hid from the people he had been put in charge of.

All these cases are saheeh and also well know and one cannot claim that they are abrogated.

Hence according to this view, it is permissible to pay the fine however bribing the policemen in order to get away with it is not permissible as the money or bribe will be used by the policeman for his personal care and he will not pay it to the authorities as should have been the case. Bribing is haraam and forbidden.

As for the permissible bribe, that is the one that a person is forced to give in order to ward off injustice from himself when he is being wronged, and it can only be given in such cases.

And Allaah knows best.

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