Q: I have hired premises to do business. Due to the extremely difficult economic conditions, I am unable to meet my basic commitments of electricity and water. According to Shari’ah am I duty bound to honour the lease agreement and is it permissible for me to terminate the lease agreement?

A: It is permissible to terminate an Ijaarah (hiring) contract due to excuses valid in Shari’ah. (Aalamgiri vol.4 pg.458 Imdadiya).

Recess in the market economy is also regarded as a valid excuse in terminating a lease agreement. (Ibid pg.459). If the reason to terminate is expressly clear to all, in particular the landlord, the tenant may singularly terminate the contract. If it is not clear, he cannot singularly terminate the agreement. The tenant should approach the landlord and amicably terminate the agreement. (Ibid pg.458)

Q: If one changed his/her un-Islamic name to an Islamic one, must Aqeeqah be made again?

A: There is no Aqeeqah in changing the name of a person.

Q: A person employs a manager in his business at a salary of R2000 a month. The Manager is also promised an incentive of 5% for a turnover of R20,000 or more. Is this contract correct?

A: In a contractual agreement (Ijaarah) between the employer and employee, the salary (Ujrah) must be specified. The salary may be specified by a fixed amount, for example, R2000 and/or by percentage, for example, 5% for R20,000 or more. The contract mentioned by you is correct. (Shaami vol.2 pg.63; Karachi)

Q: What is the ruling of performing the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaats while on a journey?

A: A traveller (Musaafir) who intends undertaking a journey of 88 kms. or more is exempted from performing the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaats before and after the Fardh Salaats. However, should he wish to perform the Sunnats and Nafl, for example, having time at hand then it is desirable for him to fulfill the Sunnat-e-Muakkadah Salaats.

Q: As a motor-mechanic by profession, I had repaired a vehicle of a client and parked it in my garage. At night, the vehicle got stolen, who is responsible to pay for the stolen vehicle?

A: The vehicle of the client in your possession was an Amaanat (trust). The general principle of Amaanat is that the Ameen (entrusted person) will not be responsible for any loss or damage of the entrusted item if there was no negligence on behalf of the Ameen. After repairing the motor vehicle, if you kept it at a safe place on your property where there was no fear of theft, then you will not be responsible to pay for the stolen vehicle. (Shaami vol.5 pg.45; Kuwait)

Q: We have a business which we do not want to sell, but wish to hire it to somebody. Your advice is sought on the following proposal; a) we leave the business with stock as a loan which have to be returned to us at the expiry of the contract. Any extra stock brought in by the hirer will be for his own benefit. b) Can we charge a fixed rental monthly on the fixture and fitting only? c) The hirer will run the business for his sole benefit (the entire business will be registered on his name).

A: Hadhrat Abu Hurayra (Radhiallaahu Anhu) narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) prohibited contracting two transactions in one deal. (Mishkat pg.248; Meraj)

The proposed deal constitutes two transactions (hiring and loaning) which is dependent on each other, hence, not permissible. (Mirqat Ali ibn Sultan vol.5 pg.80). As an alternative, you may offer the fixtures and fitting at a higher fee – taking into account the value of the stocks. The stock may be given as an outright gift, it cannot be given as a loan.

Since the deal falls under the category of Ijaarah (hiring), it must comform to the rules and principles of Ijaarah, for example, to specify the fees and period of hiring. There should be no ambiguity in the deal that may lead to a possible dispute in future. (Raddul Mukhtaar vol.6 ph.5; HM Saeed).