Subject : Ruling when the Staff of Medical Laboratories Benefit from Samples and Accept Gifts
Fatwa Number : 920
Date : 19-08-2010
Classified : Forbidden Money
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia when staff members of medical laboratories benefit from the drug samples that remain after conducting the needed tests? In addition, what is the ruling one their accepting gifts from the sales reps. of drug companies and stores to which the samples belong?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


Samples taken from drug companies and stores for testing and ascertaining that they are safe and fit for human consumption are the property of the owners of these institutions and remain theirs. This is to the exclusion of the samples that are corrupted by testing and analysis, as much as needed, without negligence or misconduct.

Consequently, regardless of the size, quantity, and characteristics of the samples that remain after conducting the needed tests, the laboratory staff members aren`t permitted to benefit from such samples or dispose of them. The evidence on this is that Almighty Allah Says (What means): "And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully." [Al-Baqara/188].

However, in case these samples were voluntarily ceded by their owners, then they become the property of the laboratory itself, not its staff. This is to prevent the latter`s falling into the sin of bribery and to prohibit what may lead to such sin. This is attested to in the following Hadith whereas Abu Hurairah (May Allah Be Pleased with him) narrated: "Allah's Messenger (PBUH) cursed the one who bribes and the one who takes bribes to influence the judgement." [At-Tirmithi].

We (Iftaa` Department) advise the laboratory management to dispense these drug samples to whomever they see eligible.

As for the gifts given by the reps. of drug stores and companies to the laboratory`s management or staff members, it isn`t permissible to accept them under any circumstances because they are suspicious. In this regard, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) had established a general principle for all employees, which is embodied in the rhetorical question included in the following Hadith: Narrated Abu Humaid As-Sa`idi: "The Prophet (PBUH) employed Ibn Al-Utbiyya to collect Zakat from Bani Sulaim, and when he returned (with the money) to Allah's Messenger (PBUH) the Prophet (PBUH) called him to account, and he said: "This (amount) is for you, and this was given to me as a present." Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "Why don't you stay at your father's house or your mother's house to see whether you will be given gifts or not, if you are telling the truth?" Then Allah's Messenger (PBUH) stood up and addressed the people, and after glorifying and praising Allah, he said: Amma Ba'du (then after) I employ some men from among you for some job which Allah has placed in my charge, and then one of you comes to me and says: "This (amount) is for you and this is a gift given to me." Why doesn't he stay at the house of his father or the house of his mother and see whether he will be given gifts or not if he was telling the truth by Allah, none of you takes anything of it (i.e., Zakat) for himself (Hisham added: unlawfully) but he will meet Allah on the Day of Resurrection carrying it on his neck! I do not want to see any of you carrying a grunting camel or a mooing cow or a bleating sheep on meeting Allah." Then the Prophet (PBUH) raised both his hands till I saw the whiteness of his armpits, and said: "(No doubt)! Haven't I conveyed Allah's Message!" [Agreed upon].

In addition, Mu'adh bin Jabal narrated: "The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) dispatched me to Yemen. When I had left, he sent a message after me, so I returned and he said: 'Do you know why I sent a message to you ? Do not take anything without my permission, for that will be Ghulul, and whoever commits Ghulul, he comes with what he took on the Day of Judgement. This is why I called you, so now go and do your job." [Ahmad]. And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.






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