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Ruling of Sharia on Taking Checks from Worker/`Amil in Ju`alah Contract

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Darul Iftaa Jordan
I have signed six checks for someone against merchandise; each for a thousand JDs. However, he tricked me and didn`t send the merchandise as agreed, so a close relative of his pledged to bring the checks in return for two hundred JDs. I stipulated that this relative signs a check for me with the amount of six thousand JDs as a guarantee. What is the ruling of Sharia on this?

Answer:

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.

Paying an amount of money in return for collecting checks is framed, according to Islamic jurisprudence, as Ju`alah contract (A specified compensation (Ju`el) offered to a worker/`amil against achieving a predetermined work, task or result in a period of time, whether predetermined or not). In this type of contract, the worker/`amil becomes entitled to receive the compensation (Ju`el) only upon achieving the work, task or result. Not only this, but  Maliki and Shafie jurist stated that if the worker/`amil stipulates that the Ja`il ( General offeror) pays the compensation (Ju`el) in advance and before achieving the agreed upon task, this Ju`alah contract is considered faulty.

However, it is permissible that the Ja`il pays the worker/`amil voluntarily without any condition from the latter. Nevertheless, Shafi jurists consider it unlawful for the worker/`amil to use the payment until after achieving the determined result.

As for the Maliki jurists, they have permitted the worker/`amil to use that payment if the Ja`il gave it to him voluntarily. They said, "According to the reliable opinion of the Maliki school of thought, it is permissible to pay the Ju`el (Specified compensation) to the worker/`amil voluntarily."

Therefore, we recommend that you (Asker) delay paying the two hundred JDs (Ju`el) until after the worker achieves the determined result.

As for your writing a check with the amount that the worker is required to retrieve, this is framed, according to Islamic jurisprudence, as Ju`alah contract where the worker is in a position of trust, so it isn`t permissible to stipulate that the latter presents this check as mortgage or surety. The AAOIFI's Sharia Standard No. (1/2/2. P.48) states: "In principle, it isn`t permissible to make the worker/`amil present mortgage or surety in trust deeds unless this was conditioned in the event of negligence and misconduct on the part of the worker." And Allah the Almighty knows best.

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

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