The reality of a tip

Q: I was a soldier whose job was to patrol the frontiers. Trucks loaded with goods crossed the station where I work. The owners of the trucks used to give us tips to help them pass the customs officers without paying duties. I receive about twenty thousand Riyals for this act. Adding the amount to my salary and the price of my father's sheep, we bought a Mercedes truck. Later, the truck was damaged in an accident. The repairs of the truck cost me twenty-three thousand Riyals. This money is a cause of worry for me, so I want to get rid of it. Please tell me how I can get rid of it. (Part No. 23; Page No. 564

A: The tips you took are considered bribery which is impermissible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) cursed the one who bribes, the one who takes bribes, and the one acting as a middleman between them. You must not return to this act, and you must perform Tawbah (repentance to Allah) and ask Allah's forgiveness. If you know the persons from whom you took the money, you may return it to them; otherwise, you may give it in charity to the poor and needy on their behalf. May Allah support and grant you and us success!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.