Date : 15-09-2015

Question :

What is the ruling of Sharia when a taxi owner demands a specific amount from the driver as rent for everyday regardless of whether the latter went to work, didn`t or got sick?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. May His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Mohammad and upon all his family and companions.


There are different cases for working as taxi driver and each has its own ruling:

First: The owner of taxi asks the driver to pay him a fixed amount for each day, whether the driver went to work on that day or did not, and the rest of the earnings goes to the driver. This form is permissible because the car is rented to the driver in a valid manner.

Second: The owner and the driver agree that the latter takes a specific amount each day and the rest of the earnings goes to the owner. This form is also permissible because the owner hires the driver in return for a specific daily amount, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Or, the owner and driver agree that the latter takes a certain percentage of the earnings, a third or a quarter for example, and the rest goes to the owner. According to the Shafie doctrine and the majority of the scholars, this form is forbidden because the amount of daily earnings can`t be determined until after the end of each working day. On their part, Hanbali jurists have deemed this form permissible.

The evidence on this is that Al-Bahooti, Hanbali jurist, stated in [Al-Khinaa`, vol.3/pp.523]: "If he hired his animal, which carries loads, to a person in return for a certain portion of the earnings, then this is permissible. The same applies when giving fabric to a tailor or yarn to a weaver in return for a portion of the profit after the final product is sold. Al-Moghni said, "If he gave fabric to a tailor to make shirts and gave the latter half of the profit, after selling them, then this is permissible as stated in the version of Harb……This is because the value of fabric increases after it is sewed, and this is permissible. For example, in Musaqah {To give trees whose fruits are edible to somebody to water and take care of in return for a specific share of the fruits because it yields fruit} the value of the trees increases. The same applies to land in Muzara`a {To give a piece of land to somebody to cultivate in return for a specific share of the crops, be it half or one-third or so of the crops increase}."

His Eminence late Grand Mufti Nooh al-Qhodah has ruled that the the above is permissible as stated in the Hanbali doctrine, and We (Iftaa` Department) share this same view. In all cases, the driver shall pay for all operating costs, even if he wasn`t negligent or committed an act of misconduct.* And Allah The Almighty Knows Best.

*Based on a second revision of this Fatwa (25-2-2015), the esteemed Fatwa Committee decided deleting the phrase "The driver shall pay for all operating costs" as this is the customary practice in this line of business. This "deleted phrase" amendment is based on the Sharia maxim, which states: "What is stipulated by convention is as stipulated by text."