Laws of trade

If the investment is equal, is it necessary for the profit to be shared equally?

Question 1: What have respected Islamic scholars ruled on the following issue? If somebody enters into partnership with somebody else in such a way that they make an equal investment, but one of them works in the business and takes seventy-five percent (75%) of the profit and the other person who doesn’t work in it takes twenty-five percent (25%) of the profit, is it permissible to do this?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: Yes! In the asked situation, the person who works in the business can get a higher ratio in profit with mutual understanding. There is no harm in it. In Bahar-e-Shari’at, it is mentioned: ‘If both people have created a partnership such that both will invest in the business, but only one person will work and the profit will be shared by both and profit will be shared according to the investment or it will be equally shared or the one who works in the business will get more profit, it is permissible. And if the person who does not work gets more profit, the partnership is impermissible’. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 2, pp. 499)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Is it allowed to sell sacred texts as scrap?

Question 2: What have respected Islamic scholars ruled on the following issue? We buy notebooks, scrap papers and other papers etc. from a company at the rate of seventeen (17) rupees and sell it at the rate of nineteen (19) rupees. If we deposit fifty thousand (50,000) rupees with the company, we will get scrap papers at the rate of 12 to 13 rupees. In this way, we can make a very good profit. Is it lawful to do so?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: The first question is, ‘What kind of scrap are you buying?’ Islamiyat [Religious] books will have Ayaat (Holy verses) and Ahadees, similarly, Urdu books also have topics related to religion and a lot of material is comprised of religious texts; how can buying and selling of such material as scrap be permissible in Shari’ah? Many newspapers have Ayaat, their translations, Ahadees and other Holy sayings written on them. And it is such a great insensitivity that Muslims use these papers with Holy writings at places where they are not treated with respect, at all; although, even the letters alone are worthy of respect.

As A’la Hadrat, Imam of Ahl-e-Sunnah, Maulana Shah Imam Ahmad Raza Khan رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ says: ‘Our religious scholars have clarified that the letters alone are respectable even when separately written, as on a slate or tablet, even if they are used to write a bad name like Pharaoh, Abu Jahl, etc. The letters are to be respected, although, the names of these unbelievers are deserving of disrespect and disgrace. The alphabets are those Words of Allah that were revealed to Sayyiduna Hood عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام’. (Fatawa-e-Razawiyyah, vol. 23, pp. 336, 337)

In the above case, when it is clear that the scrap will be sold to fritter hawkers and retailers who will make a paper bag out of it and sell items in it, then there will be no respect for the writing there. There is a commandment of respecting even the alphabets, and if the writing is comprised of religious text, there must be even more respect for it. Therefore, firstly, consider what you do in your business and act on what has been said.

But let’s assume it is not about scrap paper; rather it is something else, even then it is not permissible for the buyer to deposit a large amount of money with the seller and to get the material at a lower price for this reason. The deposited amount is a loan and the discount given because of loan is interest. Therefore, this method is not permissible

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Is it allowed to take a wage in advance?

Question 3: What have respected Islamic scholars ruled on the following issue? I am an auto-rickshaw driver and pick up and drop off school children. We take the fee in advance. Is it lawful to take the fee like this?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ  ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: In the presented scenario, taking fees in advance is permissible, because the amount received as fare is your wage and fares and wages can be taken in advance. Therefore, if all the involved people [both parties] are agreed on it, there is no harm in it.

A well-known book ‘Hidayah’ in the Hanafi Fiqh states:

الاجرۃ لا تجب بالعقد و تستحق باحدی معانی ثلٰثۃ اما بشرط التعجیل او بالتعجیل من غیر شرط او باستیفاء المعقود علیہ

Translation: A wage does not become obligatory only on the basis of contract, rather, if any of the three conditions is fulfilled, the wage becomes obligatory; either it is stipulated  (in the contract) to pay the wage in advance or the wage is paid in advance without any condition or the work is completed. (Hidayah Aakhirayn, pp. 297, published in Lahore)

In Bahar-e-Shari’at, it is written: ‘There are a few conditions in which a person becomes the owner of wage:

The wage is paid right after an agreement is reached and the receiver becomes the owner of it, i.e.  the giver has no right to take it back,

If payment in advance has been set as a condition, the demand for the wage before the work is justified.

Or benefit has been derived, e.g.  there is a house and somebody lives in it for a specified time, or a piece of cloth was given to a tailor for sewing, and he has sewn it,

The thing is given to the tenant, if he wants to take benefit of it, he can, but if he doesn’t, it is his choice, e.g., the possession of house is given to him; or an employee is present at the workplace and is ready to work, but he is not called for work, even then he deserves the wage. (Bahar-e-Shari’at, vol. 3, pp. 110)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

If a person in debt dies, how will the debt be paid?

Question 4: What have respected Islamic scholars ruled on the following issue? If an indebted person [i.e. one who is in debt] dies, what is the command regarding the repayment of debt?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: If an indebted person dies and leaves behind belongings and valuables, his debt will be repaid from the inheritance left by him. When somebody dies, three things will have to be done using his belongings and valuables.

1 His shrouding and burial expenses will be paid. Generally, friends, loved ones and relatives arrange for this without demanding any compensation, this is fine too; however, if the wife dies and her husband is alive, her shrouding and burial expenses will not be paid from her wealth, rather it will be obligatory for the husband to pay these expenses.

2 Second, the debts of the deceased person will be paid from his/her belongings.

3 After deducting the expenses of shrouding and burial and after paying off the debts, if there’s a permissible will, it will be fulfilled from one third part of the inheritance. After this, the remaining amount will be divided amongst the inheritors, according to their  stipulated shares.

How important the payment of debt is can be realized by noticing that the inheritors will only divide their shares after the debts are cleared. Since the debt was a liability[1] of the deceased, the inheritance cannot be distributed before the repayment of debt. If the deceased has not left anything behind, it is not binding on the inheritors to repay the debts, but they are advised to do it by themselves for him.

On the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Sa’eed Khudri رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ, it is narrated that a bier[2] was brought before the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم asked: Does he have debt? People said, yes. He صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم questioned again: Has he left anything to repay the debt? They said, no. He said: You people can offer his funeral Salah. Sayyiduna Ali رَضِىَ اللّٰهُ عَـنْهُ said, his debt is my liability [i.e. responsibility]. The Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم led his funeral Salah. In another Hadees, it is stated that the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: ‘May Allah free you, just as you have freed your Muslim brother from captivity (of debt)! The Muslim who pays the debt of his brother, Allah Almighty will free him on the Day of Judgment’ (Mishkat-ul-Masabih, vol. 1, pp. 539, Hadees 2920)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم

Is it allowed to buy meat from a shop of Non-Muslim?

Question 5: What have respected Islamic scholars ruled on the following issue? Is it allowed to buy meat from the shop of a non-Muslim?

اَلْجَوَابُ بِعَوْنِ الْمَلِکِ الْوَھَّابِ اَللّٰھُمَّ ھِدَایَۃَ الْحَقِّ وَالصَّوَابِ

Answer: If the owner is non-Muslim, the Muslim cannot buy meat from his shop. Imam of Ahl-e-Sunnah A’la Hadrat رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْه was asked, in Fatawa-e-Razawiyyah: A Muslim, despite being advised, ignores a Muslim butcher’s shop, and, out of his old stubbornness, wants to buy meat from Hindu Khatkon (a caste); what is your ruling  on this issue? He رَحْمَةُ اللّٰهِ عَلَيْه answered: ‘Such a person is the consumer of Haram food, doer of Haram deed, deserving of torment from the Lord and deserving of punishment of fire.’ (Fatawa-e-Razawiyyah, vol. 20, pp. 282)

وَاللہُ اَعْلَمُ   عَزَّوَجَلَّ   وَ رَسُوْلُہٗ اَعْلَم   صَلَّی اللّٰہُ عَلَیْہِ واٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم


[1] Financial obligation

[2] A coffin like box with a deceased person placed in it.

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Laws of trade

Sign of the Day of Judgment

Every coming era is getting worse than the previous one. Now people are least concerned about Halal and Haraam in ‘monetary matters’ and the matters of ‘honesty and Amanat (trust)’. Near the hour of resurrection, while the notions and deeds will be badly flawed, there will also be another major concern that people will stop distinguishing between Halal and Haraam. They will devour the wealth through whatever means they will get it regardless of the fact whether it will be coming from Halal or Haraam sources. Pertaining to this, it is stated in a blessed Hadees: ‘A time will come upon people that a human will pay no heed to the source of his income whether it is Halal or Haraam’ (Bukhari, vol. 2, pp. 7, Hadees 2059)

It is stated in Fuyud-ul-Baari Sharh Bukhari: This blessed Hadees does not mean that a time will certainly come according to the prophecy of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم when people will not care about Halal and Haraam, trying to refrain from it is meaningless. Since but rather here this blessed Hadees means that when such a time comes and people, out of their greed and avarice, do not care about the purification of their means of income, even then, it is necessary to exert every possible effort to earn Halal living. (Fuyud-ul-Baari, vol. 8, pp. 30)

Greed causes to put a seal on heart

Today a large number of people are badly indulged in the greed of collecting money irrespective of whether it is earned through lawful or unlawful means. The Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: Seek refuge with Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ from the avarice which causes the seal (on heart). (Musnad-e-Ahmad, vol. 8, pp. 266, Hadees 22189)

Hakeem-ul-Ummat, Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه said: Sometimes apparent sins especially avarice of worldy desires cause to put a seal on heart and consequently a person does not distinguish between the good and evil and such a greedy person usurps all types of possession whether they be Halal or Haraam. This person is worse than a dog because a dog whiffs the thing before eating it, whereas a greedy person takes it without even thinking about it. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 4, pp. 64)

A difficult test in financial affairs

Nafs of a human being generally desires to get as much benefit as it can from anything using all tactics by ‘lying or speaking truth’ and ‘by hook or by crook’. The practices of adulteration, deception, deceit, selling fake and substandard drugs etc., are also committed due to being trapped by Satan whereas Shari’ah guides us that whether we have low or high business profit, it is Haraam and prohibited to earn livelihood through lying, deceiving and cheating. So, the toughest test of someone’s servitude and obedience is observed during his financial crises.

Who deserves success in this world and the Hereafter?

The Success in the worldly matters and the matters of Hereafter is for only those who control their desires of Nafs. One can never succeed unless he controls his greed and adopts permissible methods for earning his livelihood.  Allah Almighty says:

وَ مَنْ یُّوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهٖ فَاُولٰٓىٕكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَۚ(۹)

And whoever is saved from the greed of his own-self, so it is only they who are successful.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)](Part. 28, Surah Al-Hashr, Ayah 9)

May Allah Almighty save us from greed and bless us with the strength of earning sustenance through Halal means.

 صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ  عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّماٰمِيۡن   بِجَاهِ   النَّبِيِّ  الۡاَمِيۡن 

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