Subject : Ruling when an Employee Takes the Revenues that are Surplus to the Fund after Conducting the Daily Inventory
Fatwa Number : 1914
Date : 05-10-2011
Classified : Leasing
Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

I work at a gas station and I`m in charge of paying the wages of about thirty workers. At the end of each day, there is either a shortage or surplus in the revenues. I hold myself accountable for the shortage and pay it from my pocket. As for the surplus, the company`s owner tells me to provide the exact daily sale amount, however, the director tells me to give that surplus to him although he doesn`t pay in case of shortage. Do I have the right to take that surplus?

The Answer :

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

The surplus to the daily sales amount includes one of the following instances:

First: Surplus amount that an employee deducts and hides deliberately is unlawful money because this is eating up people`s wealth unjustly. Allah the Almighty says {What means}: "And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully." {Al-Baqarah, 188}. Therefore, this employee must make sincere repentance and give the money back to whom it belongs and in whatever way possible. However, if he couldn`t do so, then he must spend that money for the common good.

Second: It is unlawful for the employee of the government sector to accept any tips, be it small or big, as this is marked by corruption, bribery, and goes against the regulations which are originally established to preserve people`s interests.

Third: Tip paid by customer with a cheerful heart and without the employee asking or begging for it or being negligent in greed of it. This is because an employee is an agent, however, scholars have disagreed on the ruling of a gift: is it the right of the agent or the principal? Therefore, it is imperative that an employee seeks the permission of the employer in order to find a way out of the disagreement.

Fourth: If the tip was given because the employee or worker has asked for it then it is unlawful since the Messenger of Allah said, "You must not act oppressively, and a man’s property may not be taken except with his goodwill." {Related by Ahmad}. Another reason is that the employee is required to provide the service for which he is paid a salary and it is unlawful for him to fail to do his job until he is tipped.

Fifth: Money that an employee or worker takes by mistake or being oblivious. If he recognizes the owner of that money then he must give it back. If he couldn`t find him then he must spend that money for the common good of the Muslims.

As for the shortage in revenues, the employee is liable for it in case of negligence or misconduct. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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