White-collar crime refers to financially motivated nonviolent crime committed by business and government professionals. ...

Typical white-collar crimes could possibly include fraud, bribery, Ponzi schemes, insider trading, labor racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, and forgery.

Theft, for example, is punishable under sharia (hudud) when certain conditions are met (IslamWeb).

Question: Are white-collar crimes punishable under sharia?

  • 1
    AFAIK they count as فساد فی الارض , or lead to stealing/deceiving and yes are punishable. Hoarding, Usery are also haram and punishable. Having that said scholars argue that since there isn't a divine guider who teaches clearly and completely guides up to the same level of prophet, then the punishments can't be severe as of his time, but that's a different discussion.
    – Thaqalain
    Apr 2, 2017 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


There is something called Tazeer, where a state or court can declare a punishment for a crime that doesn't have a divinely sanctioned punishment. In practice most Islamic countries have legislation to deal with such crimes, and punishments may include imprisonment and fines.

Most of the listed crimes would come under harming another person's property, which is prohibited in:

Quran 2:188 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].

Quran 4:29 O you who have believed, do not consume one another's wealth unjustly but only [in lawful] business by mutual consent. And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful.

  • The link says: "Tazir [..] refers to offense mentioned in the Quran or the Hadiths, but where neither the Quran nor the Hadiths specify a punishment." Does this mean things like copyright infringement, money laundering, etc., basically crimes that or not mentioned in the texts, cannot fall under tazir?
    – G. Bach
    Mar 31, 2017 at 11:10
  • @G.Bach As per my understanding, Tazeer applies to punishment for an offence that does not fall under hadd or qisas. The way the prohibition of the act itself is derived is irrelevant, it can be derived from Qiyas or Ijmah, or simply the authority of a state. e.g Tazir for breaking traffic lights: islamqa.info/en/130222
    – UmH
    Mar 31, 2017 at 12:00
  • As I understand it, "tazir" refers to "discretionary punishment for a crime", i.e. qadi is free to set the scale and nature of the punishment within boundaries. What it does not address as far as I can tell is "is this act a crime" or "can the government under sharia criminalize this sort of behavior". For traffic violations it seems accepted that the state can issue tazir punishments. Could the caliph make drinking fizzy water from a turquoise colored cup a tazir offense? I doubt it. The category of "tazir" is independent of "what can the state criminalize" as far as I can tell.
    – G. Bach
    Mar 31, 2017 at 12:16
  • However, whatever behaviors are criminalized beyond what the texts say can probably only be tazir offenses; they could not be hadd since that requires textual evidence, and I doubt introducing new forms of qisas and diyya would be acceptable.
    – G. Bach
    Mar 31, 2017 at 12:19
  • @G.Bach The question is specifically about obvious offences against another person's property and not about a ban on fizzy drinks. With that said, a caliph has every right to impose prohibitions as he sees fit and can introduce punishments for violating them. For reference consider the caliphate of Umar, where he imposed strict austerity on his governors and had them punished and deposed for violating that.
    – UmH
    Mar 31, 2017 at 13:18

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