I am an employee working in a government department. I do my work according to my conscience and I apply the laws, regulations and penalties to everyone. I do not compromise any of the rights of the institution for which I work, nor do I show favouritism, overstep the limits or show preference to any client over another. Everyone takes what is his right.
Is it permissible for me to deal with these companies in my private life, knowing that when dealing with them they will give me discounts and special prices that are different from the prices they give to others, but this is because of the personal relationship between me and them and has nothing to do with the nature of my work? Is there anything dubious in these dealings? Is it permissible or not?
Is it permissible to accept promotional material from these companies and institutions which we deal with, whether it is valuable or not, noting that accepting these gifts has no effect on letting anyone off or turning a blind eye to any transgression of the rules, or showing lenience to anyone who goes against the regulations?
What is the ruling on those in higher positions receiving valuable gifts from these companies, noting that they do not deal with them and there is no relationship between them, and neither party knows the other? Can these gifts be accepted with no shar’i reservations, noting that if this official leaves this position he will never receive such gifts and promotional material, because neither party knows the other? The new official is the one who will receive those gifts which are given to the person who holds that position, with no attention given to who he is. What is the ruling on people or individuals who do not deal with those companies but who get those gifts one way or another?
There is nothing wrong with dealing with companies on a personal basis, with nothing to do with work, even if one is given discounts and treated with special care because of that personal relationship.
Accepting gifts from clients is not permissible, rather it is haraam, as stated in the hadeeth. Gifts offered to an official because of his work belong to the work and not to him; it is not permissible for him to keep anything for himself and he must leave them for his work, because if he were to sit in his house he would not have received any of those gifts. The evidence for this is the saheeh hadeeth narrated about a man who was given gifts when he was working to collect the zakaah, and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) denounced him for that.