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Is Employees Jam`iah a Form of what is Called “Lend me and I Lend you”?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
What is the ruling of Sharia on what is called "Employees Jam`iah"? This is when a group of employees agree on paying a certain sum every month to help each other financially. The total amount is given to one of them each month and in rotation. For example, there are ten employees and each pays (100JDs) every month for tenth months. At the end of each of these months, one of them takes the whole sum, which is (1000JDs). Is this a form of what is called "Lend me and I lend you"?


All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.

Maliki, Shafie and Hanbali jurists are agreed on prohibiting what is called "Lend me and I lend you." This is when the lender says to the borrower: "I lend you so and so under the condition that you lend me so and so later." They have based their argument on the fact that this condition provides benefit to the lender while, according to the juristic rule in this regard, every  loan which provides benefit to the lender is considered usury, which is forbidden.

Commenting on the statement "Or conditioned that the borrower lends him something else only for the sake of making a condition" Al-Bajirmi, a Shafi scholar, stated: "This doesn`t mean that the borrower lends the lender since doing so provides benefit to the latter, which is forbidden." {Hasheyat Al-Bajirmi Ala Shareh Manhaj Al-Tollaab, V.2:P.356}.

As for the employees Jam`iah, it doesn`t include this explicit condition, and it is usually run by one of the employees who collects the payments and sequences the turns without any explicit condition made by the participants themselves. Thus, the form "Lend me and I lend you" may not be applicable here.

Rather, Shafi books stated what indicates that employees Jam`iah is a permissible form. For example, Hasheyat Al-Qhaluobi Ala Shareh Minhaj Attalibeen, V.2:P.321, stated: "The famous Jam`iah amongst women is that each pays a certain sum, weekly or monthly, and the total is given to one of them each time, which is permissible according to Al-Wali Al-Iraqi." And Allah the Almighty knows best. 

This answer was collected from the official government Iftaa Department of Jordan.

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