Winning the Bid by Bribing
Fatwa No: 382243

Question

Salam Aliakum I run a scrap business which means that I buy and sell waste metals from mostly construction factories. I buy the waste of the steel or aluminium that is left after use. So the companies do not give much priority to the scrap as it is considered waste. The money obtained by selling scraps in these companies are used in two ways: 1 It is used by the company for its activites. 2 It is given to the employees as a kind of bonus money. My qn is:1) Most of the people in charge in these companies are expats from India, pakistan , egypt or lebonan(Their sole motive mainly is to make money anyhow and go back to thier homecountry). They ask me for bribe for the scrap i buy from these companies. If I dont give them bribe, they will give it to other suppliers who are willing to give them money. So in an 100 percent must give situation i give them bribe so that i get the deal, if i dont give him money he will see my rate and tell other suppliers to quote more rate than mine. If i give him money , then only i will get that project. Service is of no value for these kind of bribe takers. so i give him money taking into consideration that he will sideline me. Is this deal considered haram ? Am i sinful?2) Most of the scrap dealers are uneducated people, so there are some company managers who tell me to put a particular rate so that I get the deal. They dont ask for any commission as they are top management people. They tell me because of the service I provide for them. A lot of cheating happen in this business like weighing manipulation, stealing etc. Since I dont do all these, the managers want me to get the business so they dont have any head ache. As I said earlier, this is waste for the company and company gives only very less priority for this. So they give me the rate so that I get the business and they can sit at peace that I will do it very well and clear all scrap in a very good manner. Is this deal haram>?Barakallahu feekumMohideen Sha

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Your question included two matters:

The first matter is about paying bribes to the employees who sell these things so that they do not deal with another supplier (i.e., sell the scrap to them) who would be willing to pay them money. The answer is that bribery is forbidden, and what you mentioned does not permit you to do it. You can tell the people in charge in these companies about this matter so that they would solve it and prevent their employees from bribery.

The second matter is regarding those people in charge who tell you about the price you should propose to the company in order to win the bid and buy these items. This is also not permissible even if they do not ask you for a bribe.

If the decision is in their hands, then there is no need for a bid, and if the matter is not up to them, then they have no right to disclose the secret.

It is not permissible for the employee to disclose the secrets of his company in exchange for any money and even without any money in return. This is because disclosing these secrets is a betrayal and breach of the trust that they are entrusted with; Allah Says (what means): {O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].} [Quran 8:27]

You are not permitted to accept this information from them or to conspire with them about that; otherwise you share the sin with them. Indeed, in bidding, the matter should be left to competition without any mediation or bribe.

Allah knows best.

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