The validity of the attorney appointed for collecting one's debts

Q: The Saudi Collection Company, licensed through the Ministry of Commerce, is an agency that specializes in collecting debts for others. Its business necessitates that it deals with banks in executing the issued rulings on the bank clients from the authorized institutions such as the Monetary Agency, Arab Bank, the Commercial Papers Committee, Statutory Committees in the Chambers of Commerce, the Ombudsman's office, and courts.The Collection Company is delegated to execute and follow up the resolutions taken by the aforementioned institutions, and to collect the debts payable under these resolutions, usually through peaceful means. We wish to seek the advice of Your Eminence about the permissibility of participating in such an activity - since it is considered a service for delivering rights to their owners under the system, instructions, and Shar`y (Islamic legal) and legal texts - taking into consideration that the company carries out this service in return for defined fees payable according to the terms of the contract with each bank.Sometimes, cases on which there have been no definite rulings controlling them are referred to us. We settle the dispute through peaceful means, or compromise by agreement on both sides. (Part No. 11; Page No. 153) We ask Your Eminence (may Allah safeguard you) for advice and direction in line with the principle of Sadd-ul-Dhara'i` (blocking the means leading to sins).

A: If the debts are the result of Mubah (permissible) transactions free from Islamically legal prohibitions, then there is no harm in collecting them and cooperating with creditors. But if they involve prohibited dealings, like Riba-based (usury) loans for instance, it is not permissible to deal with them, following the general meaning of what Allah (Exalted be He) says: Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Severe in punishment. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.