Islamic Employment Law on Delaying the Payment of Wages to Staff

employment law

Question:

I work in a madrasah where the wages are supposed to be paid monthly but the wages are always delayed and paid on different dates.  At times, there is a few days delay and at times, one week into the next month passes and we still have not received our wages.  Is this against Shariah employment law?  Furthermore, we feel shy to ask for wages as we are told it is Khidmah thus evading discussions on pay?

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The Answer:

According to Islamic employment law, if the payment of wages has been agreed to at the end of every month, it becomes binding on the employer to pay the employee immediately at the end of the month[1]

Thus, if the contract stipulates payment of wages at monthly intervals, the employer must adhere to this and pay monthly.  To delay in paying wages without any justified reason is sinful.  The Qur’an has instructed the immediate payment of wages upon completion of the service or on the contractually agreed term:

“Then if they give suck to the children for you, give them their due payment” (Qur’an 65:6)

The Prophet ﷺ instructed employers to give the wages when they are due immediately in the following manner:

“Give the employee his wage before his sweat dries.” (Sunan Ibn Majah)

Commenting on the above, al-Munāwī rahimahullah states:

“It is prohibited to delay and postpone the payment of wages by the employer despite having the ability to pay.”[2]

Considering the above, it is totally incorrect for your employer to delay in paying you without justification.  Employees are further disadvantaged when the payment method is cheque which takes up to a further five days to clear. 

In the United Kingdom, we live in a society of direct debits, liabilities and constant cash inflows and outflows.  Every person has payments to make on fixed dates and liabilities to meet.  Delaying in paying wages has a ripple effect on a person’s financial duties.  Thus, the need to pay regularly at the pre-agreed interval is even more emphasised.

Moving on, employers should consider this their Islamic obligation to ensure their employees are paid on time.  The employers should seek advice from accountants to ensure efficient and timely payment of staff.

In respect to your second issue about Khidmah (service) in Islamic institutes, this is sadly exploited.  A scholar, Imam and anybody else who serves at a Masjid or Madrasah is serving Islam, however, his Khidmah and service is for Allah and between him and Allah[3].  Conversely, Between the scholar/teacher and the employer, it is not Khidmah; it is a contract of employment.  All the laws of employment govern the relationship between the employer and employee.  The employer has rights and dues just as the employee has rights and dues.  A Masjid or Madrasah cannot exploit the concept of Khidmah to over demand service, delay in pay and underpay. 

And Allah Ta’ālā Alone Knows Best

Mufti Faraz Adam al-Mahmudi,
www.darulfiqh.com

 

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[1]  (الْمَادَّةُ 476) إنْ كَانَتْ الْأُجْرَةُ مُوَقَّتَةً بِوَقْتٍ مُعَيَّنٍ كَالشَّهْرِيَّةِ أَوْ السَّنَوِيَّةِ مَثَلًا يَلْزَمُ إيفَاؤُهَا عِنْدَ انْقِضَاءِ ذَلِكَ الْوَقْتِ. أَيْ إذَا كَانَتْ الْإِجَارَةُ غَيْرَ مُطْلَقَةٍ بَلْ كَانَتْ الْأُجْرَةُ مُوَقَّتَةً بِوَقْتٍ مُعَيَّنٍ كَالسَّنَوِيَّةِ وَالشَّهْرِيَّةِ مَثَلًا لَزِمَ أَدَاؤُهَا إلَى الْأَجْرِ عِنْدَ انْقِضَاءِ ذَلِكَ الْوَقْتِ، وَلَا يُطَالَبُ قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ (اُنْظُرْ الْمَادَّةَ 474) إذْ الِاسْتِحْقَاقُ يَتَحَقَّقُ عِنْدَ اسْتِيفَاءِ جُزْءٍ مِنْ الْمَنْفَعَةِ تَحْقِيقًا لِلْمُسَاوَاةِ، وَالتَّأْجِيلُ يُسْقِطُ اسْتِحْقَاقَ الْمُطَالَبَةِ إلَى انْتِهَاءِ الْأَجَلِ (الْعِنَايَةُ) قَالَ فِي مَجْمَعِ الْأَنْهُرِ (إذَا بُيِّنَ زَمَانُ الطَّلَبِ عِنْدَ الْعَقْدِ يُوقِفُ الْمُؤَجِّرُ إلَى ذَلِكَ الْوَقْتِ لِكَوْنِهِ بِمَنْزِلَةِ التَّأْجِيلِ. انْتَهَى) وَالْأُجْرَةُ الَّتِي مَرَّ بَيَانُهَا فِي هَذِهِ الْمَادَّةِ هِيَ الْأُجْرَةُ الشَّهْرِيَّةُ غَيْرَ أَنَّ هُنَاكَ عَقْدًا شَهْرِيًّا أَيْ (مُشَاهَرَةً) وَلَا تَلْزَمُ الْأُجْرَةُ فِيهِ مُشَاهَرَةً. مَثَلًا: يَلْزَمُ أَدَاءُ الْأُجْرَةِ الْأُسْبُوعِيَّةِ فِي نِهَايَةِ الْأُسْبُوعِ وَالشَّهْرِيَّةِ فِي نِهَايَةِ الشَّهْرِ وَالسَّنَوِيَّةِ فِي نِهَايَةِ السَّنَةِ وَهَلُمَّ جَرًّا اُنْظُرْ الْمَادَّةَ (83) (مَجْمَعُ الْأَنْهُرِ) .(درر الحكام شرح مجلة الأحكام ج 1 ص 544 دار الجيل)

[2]  (أعطوا الأجير أجره) أي كراء عمله (قبل أن يجف عرقه) أي ينشف لأن أجره عمالة جسده وقد عجل منفعته فإذا عجلها استحق التعجيل ومن شأن الباعة إذا سلموا قبضوا الثمن عند التسليم فهو أحق وأولى. إذ كان ثمن مهجته لا ثمن سلعته فيحرم مطله والتسويف به مع القدرة فالأمر بإعطائه قبل جفاف عرقه إنما هو كناية عن وجوب المبادرة عقب فراغ العمل إذا طلب وإن لم يعرق أو عرق وجف وفيه مشروعية الإجارة والعرق بفتح المهملة والراء الرطوبة تترشح من مسام البدن

(هـ) في الأحكام (عن ابن عمر) بن الخطاب وفيه عبد الرحمن بن يزيد ضعفوه وقال ابن طاهر أحد الضعفاء (ع عن أبي هريرة) قال الهيتمي: وفيه عبد الله بن جعفر المدني وهو ضعيف وقال الذهبي: ضعيف بمرة (طس عن جابر) قال الهيتمي: وفيه شرفي بن قطامي ومحمد بن زياد الراوي عنه ضعيفان (الحكيم) [ص:563] الترمذي (عن أنس) بن مالك وهو عند الحكيم من رواية محمد بن زياد الكلبي عن بشر بن الحسين عن الزبير بن عدي عنه ذكر ذلك ابن حجر قال وأخطأ من عزاه للبخاري أه. وقال الذهبي: هذا حديث منكر وأقول: محمد ابن زياد الكلبي أورده الذهبي في الضعفاء وقال قال يحيى لا شيء وفي الميزان أخباري ليس بذاك وفي اللسان ذكره ابن حبان في الثقات وقال يخطئ ويهم وبشر بن الحسين أورده الذهبي في الضعفاء وقال قال الدارقطني متروك. وفي اللسان كأصله عن ابن عدي عامة حديثه غير محفوظ وقال أبو حاتم: يكذب على ابن الزبير أه وبالجملة فطرقه كلها لا تخلو من ضعيف أو متروك لكن بمجموعها يصير حسنا (فيض القدير ج 1 ص 562 المكتبة التجارية الكبرى – مصر)

[3]  ولأنّ القربةَ متى حصلت وقعت عن فاعلها؛ ولهذا تعتبر أهليَّتُه ونيَّتُه لا نيَّة الآمر وأهليّته إن أوقعت على الآمر بشرط نيّة الآمر وأهليته كما في الزكاة، وإذا وقعت عن فاعلها كان عمل الأجير لنفسه لا للمستأجر، فلا يجوز له أخذُ الأجرةِ عليه كما في الصوم والصلاة. (عمدة الرعاية)

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