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Search Fatawaa


Subject : Ruling on Taking Commissions Utilizing Electronic Portfolios

Fatwa Number : 3685

Date : 17-02-2022

Classified :

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa


Question :

I have an electronic portfolio (Zain Cash) through which I pay clients` different bills (water, electricity, traffic fines etcetera.). Is it permissible to take commissions against this service? For example, I charge one JD for a ten-JD electricity bill and five JDs for transferring one hundred JDs. Is this permissible?



The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

As understood from the above question, the owner of the portfolio acts as an agent of the clients who want to pay bills or make money transfers, and this agent pays the amounts directly without delay. In principle, according to Sharia, it is permissible for an agent to charge a specific wage from a client, be it a fixed amount or a percentage. However, if the client doesn`t pay directly, then this transaction involves Wakala (Power of attorney) and loan from the agent to the client; in which case it is forbidden for the agent to take commission-fixed amount or percentage-to avoid Riba (Usury/interest).

Deposit and withdrawal made by the agent on behalf of the client is called an exchange contract between the latter and the former. In this contract, the client gives cash amount to the agent so that the latter transfers it to the account of the former; however, it is forbidden for the agent to charge a commission. This is because, in principle, it is stipulated in an exchange contract that the amounts be equal. In other words, the amount that the agent transfers to the client`s account must be equal to that paid by the client to the agent. Any addition-except the actual expenses paid by the agent-to any of the amounts paid by each party is considered Riba(Usury/interest). Thus, it is forbidden for the agent to take commission from the  client. However, it is permissible for the client to pay for any actual expenses shouldered by the agent.

In conclusion, it is permissible for the agent to take a fixed wage from the client, when paying bills or making transfers to a third party-under the condition that the client pays him directly upon the exchange process or before it. Moreover, it is forbidden for the agent to take commission in return for making a deposit or a withdrawal in favor or the client. And Allah the Almighty knows best.

 






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