Employee taking advantage

Islamic Rulings on Trade

Mufti Abu Muhammad ‘Ali Asghar ‘Attari Madani

Employee taking advantage

Q: What do the noble scholars say concerning the following matter: In our factory, employees are given 15 minutes breaks for Asr and Maghrib prayers. However, some workers take 45 minutes.  Please inform us: 1) Is it permissible to take longer than the time apportioned for prayer by the employer? 2) What is the ruling for those employees who do not fulfil their duties correctly?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ


1.   It is necessary for the employee to completely focus on his work during work hours and complete the tasks assigned to him. He is not even permitted to offer supererogatory prayers without the employer’s consent.

adr al-Sharīʿa علیه الرحمه writes:

The person who is bound to work solely under a particular employer or organisation during fixed timings cannot carry out his personal work during his stipulated working hours. He can offer the obligatory and emphasised Sunna prayers during the prayer times. However, it is not permissible for him to offer supererogatory prayers during his hours of duty.[1]

Therefore, those that take three quarters of an hour each time must repent from this behaviour, which is contrary to Islamic teachings. They should also calculate how much time they remained absent from their work beyond what is accepted customarily and have that deducted from their salaries or wages.  It is not permitted for them to take complete wages.

Imam Ahmad Raza Khan علیه الرحمه explains:

If he (the employee) falls short in committing himself ˹to his assigned work˺, for example, by taking leave without permission; or taking more days than the leave granted; or the madrasa (or any employer) ˹pays him for˺ 6 hours but he only worked 5; or goes to work but spends his time on personal activities, such as supererogatory worship or other people’s work, instead of his assigned tasks; or he spends his time socialising and then leaves; or the students attend but he doesn’t teach them; although the wage is not for the work, rather for the committing of one’s self, these actions entail withholding the self instead of committing it. In any case, to whatever degree there was a shortcoming in committing himself, commensurately there will be a deduction in the salary.[2]

2.   Those employees that do not carry out any work during their hours of duty or they work but their speed of work is slower than what is typically expected, and they do not complete the amount of work that should be completed, these people are answerable according to the Shari’ah. The ruling pertaining to them is that however much shortcoming there was in their work due to laziness and heedlessness, they have no right to take payment for it.  If they have taken it, they must return it to the employer or have it pardoned.

Imam Ahmad Raza Khan علیه الرحمه writes:

There are three modes of work, viz: sluggish, moderate, and very fast. During his stipulated working hours, if the employee works sluggishly, he is a sinner, and it is unlawful for him to take full wages for it. He can only receive the amount of wage according to this mode of work and must return the excess amount to his employer.  If the employer is no longer alive, he must return it to his inheritors and if he cannot locate them, he should give it as sadaqah to a needy Muslim.  For him to use it on himself or spend it on other than charity is unlawful, even if he is lazy in contracted work as well. If he works at a moderate pace when being paid for his time, his wage is halal even if by overburdening himself he carries out more work when he does contract work.[3]

Presenting an example of having one’s wages deducted proportionally in the scenario of shortcomings in time given to work, he says, ”For example, if he should have worked for 6 hours but he did not work for 1 of the hours, then 1/6th of that day’s wage will be deducted.”[4]

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم  صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

Renting a jointly owned shop to one’s partner in ownership

Q: What do the noble scholars say about this issue: Two brothers jointly own a vacant shop. One of the brothers now wishes to start a business in that shop. Can he rent his brother’s half from him?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

A: If a shop, which is a shared property, i.e., an undivided asset, jointly owned by two individuals, is rented out by both partners to a third person and they divide the rent between themselves according to their share of ownership, there is no obstacle in this and no juristic complication in it either.

However, if one partner wishes to rent out his share in such a jointly owned shop, then because it is common property in which there is no wall erected indicating that this is his share and that is the other’s, in this scenario he may rent out such a shop to his partner only. It will not be permissible for him to rent it out to other than him.  In the scenario asked about, because the jointly owned shop will be rented out to the partner, there is no obstacle in this.

Ibn ʿĀbidīn علیه الرحمه notes:

اجارۃ المشاع فانما جازت عندہ من الشریک دون غیرہ، لان المستاجر لایتمکن من استیفاء ما اقتضاہ العقد الا بالمھایاۃ، و ھذا المعنی لا یوجد فی الشریک۔ افادہ الاتقانی: ای: لان الشریک ینتفع بہ بلا مھایاۃ فی المدۃ کلھا بحکم العقد وبالملک بخلاف غیرہ

Meaning that according to Imam Abū anīfa رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ , giving jointly owned, common property on rent is only permissible to one’s partner in ownership to the exclusion of others. This is because the contract necessitates that benefit is attained from this thing, and the lessee will not be able to take benefit of it without agreeing to take turns. However, this matter is not found in renting it to the partner because the partner is able to benefit from it, without agreeing turns, during the entire term, due to the rental contract and his ownership, as opposed to someone other than him.”[5]

adr al-Sharīʿa علیه الرحمه states, “If a common property i.e. an undivided asset is sold, the transaction will be valid, and if it is rented out to the partner, then that is permissible but it is impermissible, to rent it out to other than him.”[6]

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم  صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم


The giving of excess goods by a shopkeeper of his own choice

Q: What do the noble scholars say regarding this matter: If a shopkeeper gives me some excess goods of his own choice, will they be lawful for me? For example, I bought 3 kilos of rice from him, but the shopkeeper, instead of giving me 3 kilos, gives me 3 kilos and 10 grams, i.e., 10 grams extra. Will these 10 grams of rice be lawful for me?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

 A: If the parties involved agree, Islamic law allows the customer to pay more than the agreed price and the vendor to give more product than agreed. Thus, in the questioned scenario it is lawful for you to take the excess rice.

It is mentioned in Bahar-e-Shari’at: “If the buyer gave excess in payment to the seller or the seller gave excess in produce to the buyer, this is permitted.”[7]

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم  صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

[1] Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 161

[2] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 19, p. 506

[3] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 19, p. 407

[4] Fatāwā Razawiyyah, vol. 19, p. 516

[5] Radd al-Mutār Ala Al-Durr al-Mukhtār, vol. 10, p. 98

[6] Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 3, p. 73

[7] Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 750




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