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Holding employee responsible for money shortages

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: I work for a wholesaler and my daily tasks are many. I open the store then I do daily counts of airtime. I am the cashier, take phone calls, take phone orders, respond to WhatsApp messages and orders. I also pay suppliers and buy stock when needed. I have to cash up customers and give them airtime and cigarettes.

I have to phone the boss while there are queues of people to get special pricing for each item for all the big customers. When I make a payout for either payment to a supplier or buying items, I have to make a note in a book. I must also make a note in a seperate book for COD customers. While doing all this, sometimes the boss will ask for money. Since he wants the money immediately and I am very busy, I don’t always get a chance to make a note of the money he takes.

When cash up is done, there are some occasions where there are shortages etc. Most of the time, it is found that something wasn’t noted down in the rush. There are cameras overhead which see that I don’t steal anything, and because of the rushed pace of everything, it’s not due to negligence on my part.

According to shariah, is it permissible for my boss to ask me to pay for the shortages that can’t be traced and hold me responsible for it? 


A: No. However, it is important for to you explain to them the nature of the operation and show them exactly where the problem is stemming from so that their trust in you is not broken.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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