Money Politics: The Candidate Spend, Success Team Facilitate, Voter Enjoy, Curses Awaits
All praise be to Allaah, Lord of The Universe, peace and prayer of Allaah be upon Muhammad, His messenger, his companions, and his followers.
Before long, we’ll welcome the general election period. Ahead of the election of district heads, city mayors, governors, president, and other governmental positions, people who run for it (candidates) usually will attempt to win the election by using money as their main weapon. They have many kinds of strategy, such as:
- Procurement of facilities in mosques (carpet, sound system, etc). After they’ve procured it, they ask the mosque administrator to announce that the amenities are from their kindness.
- Campaigning in women’s lectures, giving out ‘aid’ in the form of uniform and tambourines for the lectures’ attendees.
- Visiting the heads of RT and promising them to help cementing the local alleys and posyandu (centralized service post, the smallest unit of health service in Indonesia)
There are some cheaper and arguably more cost-effective strategies, such as:
- Distributing T-shirts printed with their own faces, or distributing the nine basic commodities and detergents with their stickers stamped on it to the middle to low economic class society.
- Distributing envelopes of their own stickers and some money in the dawn of the election day, at people’s courtyards (commonly known as ‘serangan fajar’ or attack of the dawn).
As for the distribution technicality, they usually form a success team for candidate that will help with it, using the influence of local figure, or even distributing it directly to their targeted society.
But those candidates will not ‘give’ anything for free. Their aim is simple: to be elected. They hope that by those strategies, they will be able to gain wider support thus their possibility to be chosen will increase. In political terms, the so-called strategy is known as money politics. What is the ruling in Islam?
Money politic (bribing) is unlawful, and committing it is a sin.
Among the reason of prohibiting it are:
- In Indonesia, it is prohibited to run money politics. For example, it is mentioned in Act no. 3, year 1999, article 73, clause no. 3, “Whoever during the general election according to this act with any gift or promise of bribing anyone …(..) will be punished with prison punishment for three years for the longest period. Such punishment also attributed to the voter who receive the bribe (…)” . Hence, practicing money politics to help certain candidate to win the election is illegal and is punishable crime. The perpetrator who is proven to commit it will be punished.
Because there is a penalty, generally, the perpetrator is in the following conditions:
- They are in doubt and worry before committing it.
- They do the deed in fear of being exposed (surreptitiously)
- They feel restless and anxious after committing it
The perpetrator will attempt to erase the trace of their crime, for example by giving it without legal stamp or document. Sometimes, they use special code in order to fool people, for example by ennaming the kinds of the bribe with fruit names.
From this point, we can say that money politics is illegal and whoever does it, sins. It is because the Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- said,
وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِى صَدْرِكَ وَكَرِهْتَ أَنْ يَطَّلِعَ عَلَيْهِ النَّاسُ
“Sin is what causes restlessness in your heart, and you dislike it if others know that you did it.” (Narrated by Muslim no. 2553, At-Tirmidhi no. 2565, Ibn Hibban no. 397, Al-Hakim no. 2132 from Nawwas bin Sam’an Al-Anshariy – may Allaah be pleased with him-)
In another redaction it is said,
وَالإِثْمُ مَا حَاكَ فِى النَّفْسِ وَتَرَدَّدَ فِى الصَّدْرِ
“Sin is what causes restlessness/anxiety in your soul, and creates doubt in your heart.” (Narrated by Ad-Darimy no. 2588, Ahmad no. 18386 from Wabishah bin Ma’bad -may Allaah be pleased with him-)
- Money politics is included in gifts that come with hope or interest towards a position. It is clearly one form of risywah (bribing) that is prohibited in Islam. There is a hadith from the Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- regarding bribing:
لَعَنَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الرَّاشِىَ وَالْمُرْتَشِىَ.
“The Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- curses the briber and the receiver/one who asks for it (bribed one).” (Narrated by Abu Daud no. 3582, At-Tirmidhi no. 1386, Ahmad no. 6689 from Abdullah bin ‘Amr -may Allaah be pleased with them both-. At-Tirmidhi classified it as hadith hasan shahih).
In another redaction, it is said,
لَعْنَةُ اللَّهِ عَلَى الرَّاشِى وَالْمُرْتَشِى
“Allaah curses the briber and the receiver/one who asks for it (bribed one).” (Narrated by Ibn Majah no. 2401 from Abdullah bin ‘Amr -may Allaah be pleased with them both-)
The scholars, among them are those who are the members of Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah li Al-Buhuts Al-‘Ilmiyyah wa Al-Ifta’ (Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Fatwa), Saudi Arabia Kingdom, have issued a fatwa regarding the illegality of a candidate giving something to voters so that he will elect him in general election (money politics). The fatwa is included in the book Fatawa Al-Lajnah Ad-Daimah li Al-Buhuts Al-‘Ilmiyyah wa Al-Ifta’ volume 23 (Chapter Al-Aiman, Al-Nudzur, Al-Imamah) page. 541, fatwa no. 7245, with the following text:
ما حكم الإسلام إذا قام المرشح في الانتخابات النيابية بإعطاء الناخب مالاً مقابل أن يدلي له بصوته في الانتخابات، وما عقوبة هذا؟ أفيدونا جزاكم الله خيرًا وجعلكم ذخرًا للإسلام؟
What is the ruling in Islam for a candidate in general election for people representative, who gives an amount of money to the voters with the goal of them giving him their vote in that general election? What is the penalty for such an act? Please give us an answer. May Allaah reward you all with goodness, and make you all valuable persons in Islam.
إعطاء الناخب مالاً من المرشح من أجل أن يصوت باسمه نوع من الرشوة، وهي محرمة. وأما النظر في العقوبة فمرجعه المحاكم الشرعية. وبالله التوفيق، وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه وسلم.
The giving of money/wealth to the voters by candidate in general election, in the hope that they will vote for that candidate is bribing (risywah). It is illegal. As for the penalty of it, it should be decided by the sharia court. Guidance belongs to Allaah. May Allaah bestow prayer and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and his companions.
This fatwa is undersigned by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdillah bin Baaz (chairman), Sheikh Abdurrazzaq Afifi (vice-chairman), Sheikh Abdullah Ibn Ghudayyan (member) and Sheikh Abdullah Ibn Qu’ud (member)).
The aforementioned fatwa is valid for legislative election (to elect parliament members), executive election (for regent, mayor, governor, president, and other positions), as well as the chairman election in private organizations or companies.
The Curse in Money Politic is for the candidate, the success tema, and voter who ask for/receive it
In the previous hadith, it is mentioned that since the curses of Allaah and His messenger are directed towards :
- Ar-Raasyi or the briber
- Al-Murtasyi or the receiver/that ask for briber (the bribed one)
Then what about the success team that plays the role of facilitator that connect the briber and the bribed one?
There is a hadith from the Messenger of Allaah -peace and prayer of Allaah be upon him- which states:
لَعَنَ اللهُ الرَّاشِي وَ الْمُرْتَشِي وَ الرَّائِشَ الَّذِيْ يَمْشِيْ بَيْنَهُمَا
“Allaah curses the briber, the bribed one, and the facilitator that connects them.”(Narrated by Ahmad 2/279, Al-Hakim no. 7068, Al-Bazzar no. 1353, Ath-Thabraniy in Al-Kabir no. 1415 from Tsauban -may Allaah be pleased with him-. Al-Haitsamiy said in Al-Majma’ (4/198) that in this redaction, there is Abu Al-Khaththab and he is not known. The narrational chain of this hadith is classified as hasan by Al-Munawiy in At-Taisir bi Syarh Ash-Shaghir (2/292) and Al-‘Ajluniy in Kasyf Al-Khafa’ 2/186 (2048))
In this hadith, Allaah also curses facilitator of bribing. Even though the status of this hadith is disagreed upon by some scholars, it is still valid to support the notion that any success team who facilitate bribing will acquire sin and curses from Allaah.
It is also supported by other arguments, such as:
- Aiding the process of bribing is a form of helping one another is unlawful deed. Allaah the Glorified and Exalted decreed,
وَلاَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى اْلإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللهَ إِنَّ اللهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ
“ and do not help one another in sin and transgression. Fear Allah: Surely Allah is severe in retribution.” (Chapter Al-Maida/The Table Spread:2)
- The success team that aids bribing, essentially is the representative of the briber candidate. There is a principle of fiqh that said,
يَقُوْمُ الْبَدَلُ مَقَامَ الْمُبْدَلِ
“A replacement occupies the position of the replaced one.”
Such success team is also becoming a tool for bribing to happen, whereas the ruling for the means is similar with the ruling for the end goal. There is a principle in fiqh that states:
الْوَسَائِلُ لَهَا أَحْكَامُ الْمَقَاصِدِ
“The ruling for a means is similar with the ruling for its end/goal.”
Therefore, if a briber candidate gets sin and curse, the success team that takes place as a replacement for that candidate and means in bribing also deserve similar sin and curse.
- Many of the candidates in general election attempt to win it by using money politics.
- Money politic is prohibited in Indonesia’s Acts. Thus, money politics is illegal and included in crime whose perpetrator will receive penalty if proven to commit it.
- In Islam, money politic is illegal, a sin, and its perpetrator is threatened with curses from Allaah and His messenger, because it is included in bribing to seize a governmental position.
- The curses from Allaah and His messenger in money politic are intended for the briber candidate, the success team that facilitate it, and the voter who asks for/receive the bribe.
- Becoming a success them that facilitate money politic is a form of helping one another in unlawful deed.
May Allaah bestow His mercy upon this nation, by making them realize the danger of bribing in general election, and grant them a decent leader in the future.
Author: ustadz Muflih Safitra, MSi. | Balikpapan