Corruption & Stealing

Oct 26th, 2006, in News, by

The Department of Religion is perhaps the most corrupt government agency, say some, while there is some doubt over the status of corruption as a crime within Islam.

Vice chairman of the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK), Amin Sunaryadi, who is also an MP for South Aceh, says the Department of Religion is one of the most corrupt state bodies in the country:

It is really sad that the Department of Religion is one of the most corrupt organisations in Indonesia, still more so when you consider that the money which is stolen is funds for the carrying out of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
(Sangat disayangkan Departemen Agama merupakan salah satu lembaga terkorup di Indonesia, lebih sial lagi dana yang dikorupsi adalah dana penyelenggaraan ibadah haji.)

Amin hoped that religious teachers, or ulama, could help in combating this corruption, by, for example, bringing up the issue in their Friday sermons.

But, is corruption stealing, according to Islam? According (PDF) to British philosopher Roger Scruton traditional Islamic jurisprudence does not regard it so:

Even in that great period of jurisprudence, however, the shari’a remained defective in the crucial matter of legal personality. As Ruthven has pointed out, there is no provision in Islamic law for the corporation as a legal person, with rights and duties of its own. The city, the committee, the mosque itself, do not occur as independent subjects of the law, and although Muslim countries abound in charitable foundations, the awqaf (singular waqf), they are conceived not as property in the hands of a corporate person, but as property that has been simply “removed” from circulation or which has “ceased” (waqafa). In [Malise] Ruthven’s words [Islam in the World, 1984], there was no “juridical definition of the public sphere” in classical Islamic jurisprudence, a fact which greatly impeded the formation of a genuine political order. Hence “stealing from the public treasury was not held subject to the hadd [i.e., the divinely ordained punishment for theft], because the illegal act was not committed against a juristic agent independent of the thief who was, along with every other Muslim, considered part-owner of the mal Allah, and thus part-owner of what he had stolen“.


17 Comments on “Corruption & Stealing”

  1. Munafikbangetloepade says:

    Ho-hum….

    This should explain the amount of corruption in Indonesia, I guess 😛

    What’s next? Killing an infidel is not a sin because he’s an… well… infidel.

  2. Andrew says:

    Truly ironic.

    A face so thick it’s bullet-proof.

  3. Yuzran says:

    It’s not in the level of religion, it’s on the person awareness.

    Our system is based upon the society development, which is touch the surface level of society only. And as the corruption becomes a culture in the society level, develop the society only, may still encourage the corruption to grow up. Hopefully, Indonesian current government may learns from the failure of “Ekonomi Kerakyatan” in Suharto’s era. Because what they mean with “Rakyat” are their nephew, their nephew’s cousin, their pet and their golf ball.

    Please develop our beloved Indonesia from the source of society, which is the Individual it self… And, individual need are different and vary…
    If you want to be a leader, you should know what your people need better…

  4. Bas says:

    I wonder what % of the zakat money really goes to the pocket of the people who need it. Who check that.. the Department of Religion?

    I have friends who work for Mandiri Bank. They all have to give 2% of their (low) salary for zakat. They all give these 2% with a big smile because if they don’t they know they’ll get red marked and never be promotioned.

    Where goes the money?

    The Department of Religion just should be closed.

  5. Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    Muslim Indonesians are all the most hypocritical in the whole universe forever! Especially the conservative Muslims and the officers of the Department of Religion in Indonesia!

  6. Bradlymail says:

    well……….I don’t be suprised or shocked ! what should I ? Indonesia the most corrupt country in the world. Indonesia deserves with this title !

  7. jack_hartawan says:

    Because after you corrupt in Indonesia, you can easily clean it with PUASA, and they said you born again and steal again (puasa means do not eat and drink from 4 am till 6 pm, 1 full month) do you believe it?

  8. Hassan says:

    Bradlymail: ehhem, Indonesia is not “the most corrupt country in the world”. we are currently the third most corrupt country in the world. way to go, only two spots from the top. those corruptors needed more training to be the world’s number one, i suppose.

    jack_hartawan: and they also said, if you had committed corruption just do the hajj pilgrimage. if your hajj is mabrur, then your sins will be washed away and you will be as clean as a new born baby. I don’t think that using money from corruption to finance your hajj will entitle you to mabrur hajj. wAllahualam.

  9. Munafikbangetloepade says:

    if your hajj is mabrur, then your sins will be washed away and you will be as clean as a new born baby. i don’t think that using money from corruption to finance your hajj will entitle you to mabrur hajj.

    Well, tell that to some corruptors in our country — the Moslem ones — who apparently don’t think that way….

    Anyway, promising that “sins” can be washed away sounds like a scam. Good deeds are good deeds, bad deeds are bad deeds. There’s an action, there’s a reaction. First law of physic. You reap what you sow.

  10. Hassan says:

    yes, i agree. i were infact questioning their rationale of washing sins via hajj pilgrimage using money from corruption. so sad.

  11. 1ndra says:

    Corruption = theft = cut hand, well I think sharia must be applied to them.

  12. Bradlymail says:

    Even the religious officials can do such things! Any ideas to prevent these? Hassan what’s your comments!

  13. Hassan says:

    as indra said, “corruption = theft = cut hand” that will make them think twice in trying to steal again in the future.

  14. David says:

    Indra and Hassan, re-read the original post. Scruton, via Ruthven, via Ibn Khaldun, I think, is suggesting that sharia cannot be applied to corruptors because they are stealing something they already (part) own.

  15. Hassan says:

    that’s just a philosopher’s loophole, not every Muslim scholars thinks like ibn khaldun. corruption is not only and act of stealing, but also an act of treason. corrupters are betraying the trust of the people who believed in them, and committing treason in the sense that their actions had weakened their own country which they were supposed to serve. some scholars advocated the death penalty for corrupters with this in mind.

  16. 1ndra says:

    Stealing their own? Money from people is their own?
    In my view, it’snt.
    Corruption is a contra amanah act. It’s “haram” money.

    Imagine,
    You’re an project manager, you have a task to buy good materials that cost one million rupiah, but you bought less quality for less money (say it 700 thousands rupiah) instead, but you manipulate the bill, so the materials still cost one million rupiah. You take the rest, 300 thousands rupiah.

    Or you have been given task to buy helicopter, you are the only one who know that one helicopter costs 1 million rupiah, but you ask for 1.5 million rupiah each. The rest 500 thousand rupiah, fit your wallet nicely.

    You’re an officer, you walk in to your office where there’s a vault (inside is billion rupiah) and it’s stated that the money inside vault (collected from people) will be used for feeding starving children, scholarship, buying medicine and other social activity, you just open the vault and take away the money.

    Any better title for this corruption activities other than stealing/theft?

  17. Dragonwall says:

    they are stealing something they already (part) own.

    Ah, this law is new to me!
    When stealing is something that does not belong to them so how could they ‘already (part) own’?

    corruption is not only and act of stealing, but also an act of treason. corrupters are betraying the trust of the people who believed in them, and committing treason in the sense that their actions had weakened their own country which they were supposed to serve. some scholars advocated the death penalty for corrupters with this in mind.

    Like what is hapenning now in China!

    Corruption = theft = cut hand, well I think sharia must be applied to them

    And you are pro Sharia now? It should be make applicable by law and not the Sharia. Such suggestion could come in handy to the government and nt allowing those clerics or MP or whoever they are to meddle with the Constitutional Law in Indonesia.

    “stealing from the public treasury was not held subject to the hadd [i.e., the divinely ordained punishment for theft], because the illegal act was not committed against a juristic agent independent of the thief who was, along with every other Muslim, considered part-owner of the mal Allah, and thus part-owner of what he had stolen”.

    A rephrasing is necessary to correct them in modern teaching. To enable these cleric to teach their followers what is right and not what that is wrong are right.

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