IslamQA

Demanding for Software Development fee

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DaruliftaaZambia.com

Question

There was a software development contract in which a conflict arose between two parties (Software House referred to here forth as developer) and (the Company that required the software referred to here forth as The Client)

The conflict was that the developer alleged that the client is increasing his requirements and that the client needs to pay separately for the new work. The client sent the representative who visited the developer and in the presence of 2 witnesses they came to an agreement that the developer will take the requirements from the client one last time and those requirements would be signed by the company as final requirements. Upon which the representative committed that he will get the second installment of the originally decided payment released within four days from the client as he had already convinced them into releasing the money on his call. But the developer requested it be released after the requirements have been taken which the representative agreed to in front of the witnesses.

After the demonstration of the previous work had been given, and the new requirements had been taken. Instead of signing off the document the client demanded that the work should be completed first and then the payment will be made as per the original contract. Upon which the developer protested that it was against what had been decided and refused to work on the new requirements. The client turned this refusal into the refusal from the complete project/contract which was by then nearly 80% completed and asked for their money back which was 35% of the original contract value.

Keeping in mind that the client alleges that the developer did not take the requirements accurately which resulted for the project to go into conflict.

Keeping the above in view please can you tell us in the light of the quran and the hadith.

Can the client ask for his money back?

The developer took loan from family and friends to complete upto 80% of the project as he did not have the resources as the project kept extending… is it his right that he be paid for the work he has done?

Your help in this matter will be highly appreciated

 

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

After carefully studying the agreement that you have provided, we were unable to ascertain the exact service for which the developer wishes to charge the client. The agreement does not outline whether the agreed fee is for developing the software or for providing the other services outlined in the agreement.

As such we are unable to advise on the correct Islamic position of your contract. Whilst you may be entitled to receive remuneration for your work, it is not possible to determine this from your agreement with the client. It would have been responsible of you had you presented your agreement to a Mufti to advise on its Shari’ah compliancy prior to starting the project.

We advise that you settle the matter amicably with the client and come to an agreement with him with regards to the payment. If this fails, then you may refer to us with a joint question that has been signed by both the developer and the client.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Mufti Nabeel Valli.

Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah
Lusaka, Zambia

 

This answer was collected from Daruliftaazambia.com, which serves as a gateway to Darul Iftaa Mahmudiyyah – Lusaka, Zambia.

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