Participating in a Committee

Laws of trade

Mufti Abu Muhammad Ali Asghar Attari Madani

Participating in a committee[1]

Question 1: What do the scholars of Islam and the Muftis of Shari’ah say in relation to the following: Is it permissible to participate in a committee?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: Usually, a committee is formed by some people contributing a specific amount of money on a monthly basis, and someone is then selected to whom the collected money is given. Following this procedure, one after the other, all the members receive the money that they had contributed. Adhering to this method in forming a committee is permissible.

However, there are also some committees in which a bid takes place. In such committees, the person who bids the lowest amount receives the amount that he stated, and the rest of the money is then distributed amongst the other members. For example, if the total amount collected for a committee is £200,000, and the lowest bid is £180,000, the person who made this bid will receive £180,000, and the remaining £20,000 will be distributed amongst the other members. Moreover, the member receiving the money from the committee will have contributed £200,000 in total. This is a form of interest, and to participate in such a committee is Haraam and a sin.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

Giving a medical license out on rent?

Question 2: What do the scholars of Islam and the Muftis of Shari’ah say in relation to the following: I have a medical store license. Can I give it out on rent?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: No, it is not permissible to give out a medical license on rent. This is because, from the perspective of Fiqh, renting out a medical license is not the same as giving out a house on rent. Rather, the former is a right that is being offered out on rent so that you may gain benefit, and it is impermissible for merely a right to be rented out.

If all the legal requirements are being met in running the medical store, then the permissible avenue which can be explored is for furniture to be placed inside the store and to receive rent in exchange for that.

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

Receiving a wage for bathing the deceased

Question 3: What do the scholars of Islam and the Muftis of Shari’ah say in relation to the following: I bathe the deceased and charge a fee for this purpose. Is it permissible for me to receive a wage for this?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: If someone apart from you is also present who can bathe the deceased, then it is permissible for you to receive a wage for bathing the deceased. However, if nobody else who can bathe the deceased is present, then it is specifically compulsory for you to bathe the deceased. In this case, it will not be permissible for you to receive a wage for this purpose.

Note, the caveat of someone else being present who can bathe the deceased does not refer to an undertaker who bathes the deceased by way of his profession. Moreover, neither can it be said that the person who cannot bathe the deceased refers to someone who is uncomfortable or unwilling to do so, or someone who has not undertaken this ritual before. Rather, it refers to any healthy and sane person who is practically able to bathe the deceased.

The scholars have gone as far as saying that if there are only women present with the deceased and a child who can perform this task, then the child will be taught the method of bathing the deceased so that he performs it. Even in this situation, the duty of bathing the deceased will not be suspended. Hence, claiming ‘I have never bathed the deceased before. So, how am I supposed to do it?’ does not warrant such an individual being deemed incapable of it.

It is stated in Bahar-e-Shari’at: ‘Paying someone to carry the coffin and bathe the deceased is permitted when other people who can perform these duties are also available. If nobody else is present, then these duties cannot be undertaken for a payment. In the latter case, this individual is specified for this task.’ (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 3, p. 149) It is stated further on: ‘If a small boy is capable of bathing [the deceased], then he should be taught how and proceed in doing so.’ (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 1, p. 814)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

Is weight or quantity the standard for buying and selling?

Question 4: What do the scholars of Islam and the Muftis of Shari’ah say in relation to the following: Things are sold in different ways in different regions. For instance, bananas and oranges are sold by way of quantity in some areas and by way of weight in others. What does the Shari’ah say regarding this?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: The Shari’ah has permitted both parties [buyer and seller] to conduct the transaction by way of quantity or by way of weight. Therefore, orange and bananas can be sold by their quantity or weight. Weight has different measurement units, such as seer [former units of weight: approximately 2 pounds], kilograms, etc. It is permitted for both parties to agree upon a particular measurement in accordance with what the item is. If they wish to settle on a price based on one sackful worth of the item being sold in exchange for such and such price, then this is also allowed. Likewise, the same is applicable if they choose to specify a price for one full container or utensil’s worth of the item being sold. Nonetheless, whatever is used to calculate the weight should be made known. For example, if an item is sold based on a particular utensil, that utensil should be shown to illustrate how much of the item will be sold. Alternatively, the features of that utensil should be described, such as how many kilos [worth] it holds, etc.

In summary, whenever both parties are made aware from the beginning as to how an item will be measured by weighing or counting, then there is no harm in this.

‘Allamah Maulana Mufti Muhammad Amjad Ali A’zami رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه writes: ‘Although wheat and barley are sold by way of measuring [their capacity or cubic content], it is permissible to sell them in Salam [a type of transaction] by specifying their weight. For example, [to sell] one maund [approx. 37kg] in exchange for such and such rupees is permissible, as the amount has been specified here in a way that leaves no room for dispute; and this is what is considered in terms of [selling items] by weight. There is no issue if items that are sold by way of their quantity are sold in Salam in a specific measurement or weight. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, p. 799)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ عَزَّوَجَلَّ وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم



[1] A system of saving money in which every member contributes to a pool and gets the full amount on his or her turn.

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