Answered by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
I have been unemployed for almost a year now. I need money for university, as I have left home, to study in Bradford (I normally live with my parents in London). I don’t want to take a loan out, because then I will have to pay interest on it. Is it permissible to do cabbing as I have a car, but I don’t have a cabbing license.
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,
Working as a cab driver without acquiring the proper license would not be permissible for various reasons:
a) It may entail lying to the authorities;
c) Violating the law of the country;
d) Presenting one’s self to disgrace and possible arrest, which is in itself prohibited.
However, if one did take up such employment, then despite the act being sinful, the wealth acquired on such employment will not be considered to be unlawful (haram). The income acquired will not be regarded in itself unlawful or impure due the cabbing without a license.
The reason being, that the work in itself is not something that is impermissible. If all the necessary conditions for a valid lease are fulfilled, then the income accumulated on such employment would be permissible, although the sin of not acquiring a license would remain.
It is stated in I’la al-Sunan:
“If one practised something that is unlawful, the income accumulated (or rent) would not become unlawful (m, as long as the work in itself is lawful), just as if one was to rent a house for residing, but the one who took it on rent used it to consume alcohol.” (Dhafar Ahmad Usmani, I`la al-Sunan, 16/210 & Ibn Qudama, al-Mughni, 5/450).
Then there is the aspect of being a cab-driver itself being detested, for it may entail carrying passengers to the pubs and clubs, especially on weekends. They may in a bad state of intoxication, half naked, etc. One will have to be very vigilant in lowering the gaze from semi-naked women.
Thus, the job of working as a cab driver is detested if not permissible (if one knows that one will not be able to avoid falling into the haram repeatedly). If the license is also not acquired, then it would be unlawful due to the reasons mentioned above, although the income gained on such work will not be impure or unlawful.
And Allah knows best
Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari
Darul Iftaa, Leicester, UK