Honesty in Business Transactions

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

My friend works for a company (Muslim, overseas, engineering) and is one of the head engineers developing a certain product for a client. The dilemma is that the company knowingly made a product that does not meet the specifications and requisites of the client – but in such a way that the client would not find out. The part of the project my friend worked on met the requisites, but then when he was asked to approve the other parts of the product, he found them to be deficient. It seems as if everyone knew beforehand and is not willing to do anything about it. My friends question is, what is the right thing for him to do: Should he inform the owner who may be unaware of this (although he doesn’t know him very well)? Should he inform the client?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Wa alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuhu,

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

This follows the fiqh of commanding the good and forbidding the evil:

a) it is obligatory to do something when one has reasonable hope of a positive outcome;

b) it is recommended when one does not have such hope, but there is no harm (or when the harm returns to oneself alone);

c) it is not permitted when it makes things significantly worse.

If the individual in question did not themselves cheat, their earnings would be halal.

Faraz Rabbani

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