2, "The best of those that thou canst take into service is the strong one, the faithful one" (28:26).
3. "Allāh commands you to make over trusts to those worthy of them" (4:58).
4. "Place me in authority over the treasures of the land, for I am a good keeper. knowing well" (12:55).
5. "He who acts unfaithfully shall bring that in respect of which he has acted unfaithfully on the day of resurrection" (3:160).
The word ijārah (from air meaning reward) signifies compensation for work done, or wages paid by one man to another for service rendered. The two basic rules laid down in this connection, both in the Holy Qur'ān and the Hadīth, are that the servant shall do his work faithfully and to the best of his ability, and that the master shall pay him fully for the service rendered (vv. 1, 2). The officials of the government are placed in the category of servants, however high their position may be. The trust spoken of in v. 3 relates to the authority placed in the hands of such servants as explained by the Holy Prophet (B. 3:2). Authority to rule must be placed in the hands of those who are fit to rule (v. 4). Unfaithfulness is severely condemned (v. 5).
Even such a service as the tending of goats is considered honourable, the Holy Prophet himself doing this work in his earlier days (h. 1), and his companions did not disdain the work of a porter (h. 2). The faithful servant carrying out the orders of his master is ranked with those who give charity (h. 3). As conditions of different kinds of service must necessarily be different, the broad rule is laid down that the master and the servant, as well as all those who make a contract, are bound by the conditions of the contract of service (h. 4). A Muslim can take a non-Muslim into his service (h. 5), and he can also enter into the service of a non-Muslim (h. 6). A man who renders a service in connection with the teaching of the Holy Qur'ān is entitled to remuneration, as is any other person engaged for any kind of service (h. 7), even a commission
agent (h. 8). The withholding of remuneration for service rendered is the gravest of sins (h. 9). Unpaid remuneration may be invested in some profitable business, and the servant is entitled to all profits accruing thus (h. 10). The greatest caution must be exercised in the choice of public servants (h. 11). Such servants are only entitled to the remuneration paid by the state and they cannot accent gifts from the public (h. 12). Misappropriation or dishonestly taking any part of the master's property is condemned in very strong terms (h. 13).
1 Abū Hurairah reported, The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:
"Allāh did not raise a prophet but he pastured goats."
His companions said, And thou?
"Yes! I used to pasture them for the people of Makkah for some carats."1
2 Abū Mas'ūd said, When the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, commanded us to give in charity, one of us went to the market and carried a load for which he got a
1. Qarat is the same as carat, but its weight is said to be four grains, a carat being 3 1/5 gr. It is in some parts a twenty-fourth. and in others a twentieth, part of a dīnār. The word ra'ā signifies both he pastured the cattle and he ruled. Looking after the welfare of animals is thus connected with devotion to the welfare of humanity.
mudd, and some of them are millionaires to-day.
3 Abū Mūsā reported that the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:
"The faithful treasurer who pays what he is ordered with a willing heart is one of those who give charity."
4 The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said:
"Muslims shall be bound by the conditions which they make."2
5 'Ā'ishah said,
The Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, and Abū Bakr employed a man of the Banī Dīl as a guide, a clever man, and he followed the religion of the
2. The direction contained in this hadīth is of a general nature and relates to all contracts, subject to the basic rule that no condition opposed to the law of Islām is valid. Bukhārī mentions this hadīth in the book entitled "Services" to show that the relation between master and servant is a contract in reality.
disbelieving Quraish, so they made over to him their riding camels and told him to come to them with their riding camels at the cave of Thaur after three nights on the morning following the third night.3
6 Khabbāb said,
I was a blacksmith in the days of ignorance, and I had a debt due from 'Ās ibn Wā'il. So I came to him demanding it. He said, I will not give it to thee until thou deniest Muhammad. I said, I will not deny even if Allāh cause thee to die and thou art then raised to life
3. The hadīth relates to the Holy Prophet's flight to Madīnah, and shows, along with h. 7, that either of the contracting parties in the relation of master and servant may be a non-Muslim.
7 Ibn 'Abbās said, reporting on the authority of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him:
"The most worthy of things for which you take a remuneration is the Book of Allāh."4
And Ibn Sīrīn said ...:
People paid remuneration for computing by conjecture the quantity of fruit.
8 Ibn Sīrīn saw no harm in the remuneration of the commission agent.
And Ibn 'Abbās said, There is no harm that one should say,
Sell this cloth for me and what thou obtainest over such and such an amount, it shall be for thee.
9 Abū Hurairah reported, The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, said
4. Service rendered, of whatever kind it might be, brought a remuneration, and it made no difference that the service was rendered in connection with the Book of Allāh. For instance, a person who taught the Holy Qur'ān was entitled to remuneration; so was a person who wrote the Holy Qur'ān or did any other service in relation to the Holy Book.
"Allāh says, There are three persons whose adversary in dispute I shall be on the day of resurrection: a person who makes a promise in My name then acts unfaithfully, and a person who sells a free person then devours his price, and a person who employs a servant and receives fully the labour due from him then he does not pay his remuneration.
10 Ibn 'Umar said,
I heard the Messenger of Allāh, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, say
".................... And the third man said, I employed labourers and I paid them their remuneration with the exception of one man--he left his due and went away. So I invested his remuneration in a profitable business until it
became abundant wealth."5
Abū Mūsā said,
11 I went to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, and with me were two men from among the Ash'arīs. I said, I did not know that they wanted to be taken into service. He said: "We do not or shall not appoint a man who desires to be so appointed."6
12 Abū Humaid said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, appointed from among the Azd, a man, called Ibn al-Utbiyyah, for the collection of zakāt. When he came, he said, This is for you and this was given to me as a gift. He (the Prophet) said:
5. This is part of a long hadīth, according to which three men were overtaken with a severe affliction from which God delivered them because of some good which each had done. The good in this case was that the man did nor allow the due of a labourer to lie idle, and made over to him immense wealth instead of the paltry remuneration which he demanded.
6. This simply shows that the Holy Prophet made the best selection from among those whom he deemed to be fit for service. and would not take a man simply because he approached him while another did not. As v. 4 shows, it is not forbidden to ask for a certain service.
"He should have sat down in the house of his father or the house of his mother, then he should see whether a gift is given to him or not ."7
13 Abū Hurairah said,
The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allāh be on him, stood up among us, and he spoke about dishonesty and he spoke of its enormity and spoke of the enormity of its commitment.
"I should not see any one of you on the day of resurrection, there being on his neck a goat bleating, there being on his neck a horse neighing, so he should cry out, O Messenger of Allāh! come to my succour; and I would say, I do not control aught for thee, I delivered the message to thee."8
7. A public servant cannot take anything as a gift. He is entitled only to his wages.
8. The mention of a horse is followed in the hadīth by the mention of a camel and that of gold and silver and billets in similar words. The condition described here relates to the resurrection, and hence it speaks of spiritual experience in physical terms, the significance being that every dishonesty, great or small, shall ultimately be brought to light and punished.