Date : 05-09-2012

Question :

A tour guide steers tourists to a certain shop , but the owner of that shop raises the prices in order for the guide to take a commission in return; what is the ruling on the money which the guide takes ?

The Answer :

Praise be to Allah, prayer and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah ,Prophet Muhammad and upon all His Family and Companions: The job of a tourist guide is a kind of brokerage discussed by jurisprudence (Fiqh) scholars within the category of Ijarah and Jo`alah, since they said that it is permissible for a tourist guide to take a commission (Jo`alah) from shops to which he steers tourists , but according to certain conditions : First: The matter should take the form of an advice on his part to the group in question i.e. he must steer them to stores or restaurants that offer the best goods and services in order for him not to be involved in cheating tourists or treating them unjustly. Prophet Muhammad(PBUH) said : “ He who cheats belongs not to us( i.e. not a true Muslim). “{ Narrated by Muslim}. The Prophet also said : “ A consulted person is trust-worthy .”{ Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi }. Second: The store does not raise prices to a level where it becomes clear cheating that goes beyond the boundaries of the acceptable . This is clearly stated in the Hadith which is narrated by Al-Baihaki and reads as follows: “ Cheating a person who does not know the real price is Riba,(usury).” Therefore, it is impermissible for the guide to take part in such deceptive act. Thirdly: The tasks entrusted to the guide must be authorized by the company in which he is employed, because an employee acts in accordance with the directives of his employer as well as what is in the latter`s best interest .And Allah knows best.