Improper leasing or hiring out

Bahishti Zewar, Fiqh, Part 5-Principles of Business / Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

1. The following methods of hiring out are regarded as ijârah fâsidah (improper leasing):
(a) At the time of renting a house, the period was not specified as to how long the house will be rented.
(b) The rental was not specified. The person merely occupied the house and began living in it.
(c) The tenant made this condition that he will pay the costs for whatever breaks in the house.
(d) The landlord rented the house on the condition that whatever breaks in the house will have to be repaired by the tenant and that the repairs that he will undertake will actually be his method of payment of the rental. But if the landlord says: “You live in this house and undertake whatever repairs are necessary. There is no rental to be paid.” In such a case this is an aariyah (a loan). This is permissible.

2. A person rented a house saying that he will pay R500 monthly. This hiring out will only be valid for one month. At the expiry of one month, the landlord has the right to evict him. If the tenant stays for another month, this hiring out will be valid for one additional month. In this way, a new lease will continue each month. However, if the tenant specified a certain period of time by saying that he will be renting this house for six months or four months (or whatever the case may be), then the leasing will be valid for whatever period he specified. The landlord cannot evict him before the expiry of this period.

3. You asked a person to grind wheat for you and told him to take a certain amount (e.g. half a kilo) of its flour as payment. Alternatively, you asked someone to harvest the crops and told him to take a certain amount of grain from there as payment for harvesting. All this is fâsid.

4. The rule with regard to ijârah fâsidah is that whatever had been agreed upon will not be given. Instead, he will be given whatever payment is normally made for a particular job. If it is a house, the tenant will have to pay the normal rental. However, if the normal payment or the normal rental is more than what had been agreed upon, then the normal payment or rental will not be given. Instead, he will be paid that which was agreed upon. In short, he will be entitled to receive the amount which is less.

5. The hiring of singers, dancers, tricksters and all other types of frivolities is not valid. All this is absolutely bâtil. Therefore, no payment will be given for this.

6. A hâfiz was employed in order to stand over a grave for a certain number of days and recite the Quran and send the rewards to the deceased. This is not valid. The hâfiz will not receive any reward nor the deceased. Furthermore, he is not entitled to receive any payment for this.

7. A person hired a book in order to read it. This hiring out is not valid.

8. The custom of hiring a bull, male goat or male buffalo in order to enable your cow, female goat or female buffalo to fall pregnant is absolutely harâm.

9. It is not permissible to hire a cow, goat or buffalo in order to obtain its milk.

10. It is not permissible to give your fowls or goats to a person asking him to take care of them and thereafter if they give birth, half the young will be for you and the other half for him. This is not permissible.

11. It is not permissible to hire chandeliers, etc. merely to adorn and decorate the house. Even if one hires them, the person who hired them out is not entitled to receive any rental for them. However, it is permissible to rent a chandelier if it is for the purpose of illuminating the house (and not for mere adornment).

12. A person hired a rickshaw (car or any other vehicle). It is not permissible to load such a vehicle beyond its capacity or beyond the normal way of loading. Similarly, it is not permissible for more than the normal number of persons to sit in a palanquin without obtaining the permission of the palanquin-carrier.

13. A person lost an item of his. He announced: “Whoever can show me where this item is, I will give him R10.” If anyone shows him the place where it is, he will not be entitled to receive the money because this ijârah is not valid. However, if the person asked a particular person that if you can show me where it is, I will give you R10, then the latter will not receive any money if he showed it to him while he (the latter) was sitting or standing in that very place. However, if he took a few steps and showed him where the item is, he will receive whatever he was promised.

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