Answered by: Mufti Jamal Ahmed
Many years ago, I use to run an online forum. I wasn’t really good at handling the technical, and administrator side, so I would employ/hire a random person who knew the forum system better than me to take care of some ad-hoc tasks.
I know by gut instincts some of these people would over-charge me. I remember two transactions quite vividly. The first time, after a non-Muslim had completed all the tasks, I blocked him from contacting me and changed the credentials to the forum, so he could not access it anymore. I then chose not to pay him, what we had casually agreed because I had a feeling he was ripping me off. For the first few times, I did pay him in full reluctantly. This happened with two non-Muslims from what I recall. The second non-Muslim was sincere and honest, but I cut him off too eventually because I couldn’t be bothered to pay him anything. I know that’s harsh, but this is going back a few years. I didn’t know either in person, and I am not in contact with them. I have no idea where they are.
My question is does this require tawbah, or anything else I have to do to attain forgiveness?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Whatever the buyer and seller agree upon they are obliged to fulfil it. As long as a hired person has given his time and accomplished his job, he is entitled to full remuneration.
In your case, the hired person has completed his job but you failed to pay his wages furthermore, you have lost contact with them. So I will suggest that you give in charity whatever you owe him and repent to Allah.
(أو باستيفاء المعقود عليه) ، لأنها عقد معاوضة، فإذا استوفى المنفعة استحق عليه البدل.
(Lubab fi Sharhil Kitab, vol. 2, pg. 96, Al Maktabatul Ilmiyah Beirut)
وَأَمَّا شَرَائِطُ الصِّحَّةِ فَمِنْهَا رِضَا الْمُتَعَاقِدِينَ. وَمِنْهَا أَنْ يَكُونَ الْمَعْقُودُ عَلَيْهِ وَهُوَ الْمَنْفَعَةُ مَعْلُومًا عِلْمًا يَمْنَعُ الْمُنَازَعَةَ فَإِنْ كَانَ مَجْهُولًا جَهَالَةً مُفْضِيَةً إلَى الْمُنَازَعَةِ يَمْنَعُ صِحَّةَ الْعَقْدِ وَإِلَّا فَلَا………..وَمِنْهَا أَنْ تَكُونَ الْأُجْرَةُ مَعْلُومَةً.
Fatawa Hindiyah, vol. 4, pg. 411, Darul Fikr
Only Allah knows best.
Written by Mufti Jamal Ahmed
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham