Subject : Ruling when Hired Worker Exploits Working Hours for Personal Benefit
Fatwa Number : 3706
Date : 25-05-2022
Classified : Leasing
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

There is an employer who doesn`t pay a hired worker the wages which he deserves considering his expertise and qualifications. Not only this, but he also forces him to return a portion of the wages approved by the state. Is this lawful? In addition, is it permissible for the worker to exploit the working hours and tools for personal benefit to make up for the above deduction?

The Answer :

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

An employee is hired in favor of the party for which he works and the employer must fear Allah in the sense that he isn`t allowed to deduct a portion from the agreed wages and it is forbidden for him to force the employees to give back a portion of their wages taking advantage of their dire need for the job. This is supported by the following Hadith: " Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said: "Give the hired worker his wage before his sweat dries." [Reported by Ibn Majah & Ibn Hibban]. It is the right of the employee not to give back to the employer any portion of the wages agreed on in the work contract, and whatever the employer takes back through compulsion and taking advantage for the employee`s need for work is considered ill-gotten money.

On the other hand, it isn`t allowed for the employee to use working hours for his personal benefit under the pretext of making up for this deduction. This is because rights should be taken back with the consent and choosing of the person liable for them. However, if the latter refused to give them back, resorted to procrastination or denied them altogether, then the right holder can go to court. However, rights can`t be taken back based on alleged claims for evidence must be produced. This is because on the authority of Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Were people to be given everything that they claimed, men would [unjustly] claim the wealth and lives of [other] people. But, the onus of proof is upon the claimant, and the taking of an oath is upon him who denies." {Bukhari}. Therefore, it isn`t allowed for individuals to get rights back on their own without going to court since doing so leads to unspeakable evils, trials or harms where the right holder could get accused with treason, theft, or vice.

It is worth reminding that right has to be known and inalienable; not imagined. This is because many people decide that they have rights and seek to get them. For example, an employee or a hired worker who has convinced himself that he deserves more than what is agreed on, thinks that he deserves wages for a work on which no agreement was reached, or a buyer who thinks that the seller charged him more than the actual price of a commodity . In fact, it isn`t allowed for a Muslim to justify deserving what he doesn`t deserve in the first place. Feelings of injustice or doubt aren`t solid ground for justifying eating up people`s wealth unjustly. So, whoever leaves unclear matters to protect his religion and his honor, then he will be safe.

A true Muslim doesn`t reciprocate a wrongdoing with a wrongdoing since the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Place trust in him who trusts you, but do not cheat him who cheats you.” {related by Tirmithi}.

In conclusion, the employee/hired worker can either claim his right through lawful methods or leave the job if he has feelings of injustice, and he isn`t allowed to exploit the working hours and tools for personal benefit. And Allah the Almighty knows best. 




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