Money Laundering in Sharia’a

There is no doubt that the money laundering negatively affects the economy and development and opens the door for the Haram money that is significantly related to illegal activities such as the drug trade, prostitution, arms trade, smuggling of goods, terrorist activities, counterfeiting or money stealing.

Money laundering refers to a financial transaction scheme that aims to conceal the identity, source, and destination of illicitly-obtained money. Through the definition of money laundering, it is indicated that it is an act violating the ethics and human values that call for the Halal earning of money in non-compliance with the Holy Book of Allah “Qur’an” and the traditions of his Prophet-Peace be upon him. Therefore, it is deemed as a legal crime represented in the trial of making Haram “illegitimate” money as Halal “legitimate” money. There are many evidences from the Holy Qur’an and Sunna for the prohibition of this type of financial crimes.

In the Holy Qur’an

(1) Suart al Baqarah – verse 188 “And do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly or send it [in bribery] to the rulers in order that [they might aid] you [to] consume a portion of the wealth of the people in sin, while you know [it is unlawful].” The verse stated expressly the prohibition of illegal earning of money such as bribery and theft.

(2) Suart Al Maidah – verse 2 “And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression”. This verse refers to the prevention of cooperation with any individual trying to affect the society.

(3)  Suart Al Araf – verse 157 “who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them”. This verse indicates that the money laundering is deemed as a prohibited earning of money.

(4) Suart Al Nisa – verse 29 “O you who have believed, do not consume one another’s wealth unjustly but only in lawful business by mutual consent”. The verse includes a general legislation prohibiting invalid treatment and the circumvention of people’s money through the injustice and monument.

In the Sunna:

(1) The prophet Mohammed (PBUH) has stated in his last sermon “Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours”. The Hadith refers to the preservation of Muslim’s money and the prohibition of illegal earning of which. In general, it includes all of financial and economic crimes, including the money laundering. (Reference : Sahih Muslim 1218)

(2) Reference to Sahih Al Bukhari No. 2059 – The prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said “A time will come when one will not care how one gains one’s money, legally or illegally”. The Hadith expects the future of corruption of consciences and immorality. Therefore, people became indifferent to the source of money, whether it is Halal or Haram.


The money laundering is deemed as a legal crime and contrary to the Sharia. It is prohibited earning and all efforts should be unified for the prevention of such crime for its social, economic and political risks.

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