Q: We have signed an employment contract willingly even though the salary is small and we feel aggrieved. To our surprise, we have discovered that it is customary for traders and checkers or their authorized representatives assigned to receive the goods to give us five or ten riyals. (Part No. 23; Page No. 535) We take this money through three means as follows:1.
Money we are given willingly because of finishing their work properly without delay, counterfeit,
or giving priority to any of them.2. Money we directly ask for or give hints that we want.3. Money we take for the overtime we work after the usual working hours. For example, our work ends at nine P.M., but sometimes there are some traders and checkers whose requests are not finished at that time. They want to receive the goods before the following day fearing the consequences of delivering the goods late. They ask us not to leave work before finishing their work and they pay for the overtime. It should be noted that the department does not mind working for those people beyond the usual working hours.In short, we take the money with the full consent of the checkers, or due to our direct demand, or because of overtime.Are our earnings from this work totally or partially Haram (prohibited) or Halal (lawful)? If they are Haram, how can we dispose of them? Please explain in detail giving examples. (Part No. 23; Page No. 536) It is noteworthy that we mix our Halal salary with these earnings and pay 2.5% from it as Zakah on the money. It is difficult to give accurate calculations of these earnings, but we can calculate them approximately.
If you are a civil servant and receive money from the checkers for finishing their work, you are sinful. This act entails consuming people's money unjustly. It is authentically reported that
Ibn Al-Lutbiyyah, who was employed to collect Zakah, came to the Prophet (peace be upon him), he said, "This is for you, and this is a gift given to me." The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up, praised and glorified Allah, and said, "I appoint a man among you to do work that Allah has entrusted me with, then he comes and says, 'This is for you and this is a gift given to me.' Why does not he sit in the house of his father and mother and see if he would be given anything? By Allah, none of you takes anything unlawfully but he will meet Allah carrying it on the Day of Resurrection. I do not want to see any of you carrying a camel groaning, or a cow mooing, or a sheep bleating when he meets Allah.” Then, he raised his arm (so high that) his armpit could be seen, and said, "O Allah, I have conveyed the message.”
(Agreed upon by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
(Part No. 23; Page No. 537) Taking money when directly asking for it or giving hints about it is considered asking for bribes. The Prophet (peace be upon him) has cursed the briber, the bribe recipient, and the mediator between them.Furthermore, taking money from checkers for finishing their work beyond the usual working hours is not permissible. The payment for the jobs you do is entrusted with the department where you work; not with you or the checkers. You are employed in this department for a known salary, so it is not permissible to take money from the checkers for working for them beyond the usual working hours. Rather, you may ask the one in charge of the department for overtime payment to finish the work for the checkers.Accordingly, the means you have described above for taking money are unlawful and the money you have received through them is Haram. You may get rid of it by returning it to the persons from whom you have taken it, giving it in Sadaqah (voluntary charity) to the poor, or spending it in charitable activities. (Part No. 23; Page No. 538) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.