Ijarah is a contract made on the right to use and enjoy a particular property for a specific period in exchange for a fixed rent paid to the owner of the property.
It is permissible. The proof for this can be found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. From the Qur’an, Allah informs us, concerning the story of Prophets Mu’sa and Shu’ayb -peace be upon them when Shu’ayb said,
“I intend to wed one of these two daughters of mine to you, on condition that you serve me for eight years; but if you complete ten years, it will be (a favor) from you. But I intend not to place you under a difficulty. If Allah will, you will find me one of the righteous.” (Al-Qasas 28:27)
From the Sunnah, Al-Bukhari and Ibn Majah recorded on the authority of Abu Hurayrah – may Allah be pleased with him – that the Prophet related that Allah, High and Exalted, said, “I will be against three persons on the Day of Resurrection: One who makes a covenant in My Name, but he proves treacherous; a person who sells a free person (as a slave) and eats the price; and a person who employs a laborer and gets the full work done by him but does not pay him his wages.”
Practically, the Messenger of Allah and Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him -hired the services of an experienced guide from the clan of Dayl to lead them to a road to Madinah while they were emigrating.
What are the conditions of Ijarah?
The type of the property to be rented or the services needed must be clearly defined. For, it is a kind of sale, and it is a condition that the commodity must be known.
The property to be hired out must be lawful. Therefore, it is not permissible to hire a slave woman out for sexual intercourse or to hire a woman for singing or wailing, or to lease a land for building a church or brewery.
The rent must be known.
What are the main regulations of Ijarah?
1. It is permissible to hire a teacher to teach a science or vocation. The proof for this is that the Messenger of Allah hired some captives of the Battle of Badr to teach Muslim children reading and writing in exchange for their freedom.
2. It is permissible to hire the services of a person in exchange for feeding and clothing him.
3. If a person rents something to another and prevents him from using and enjoying that thing for a period of time, he forfeits the rent of that particular period. If the lessee fails to use the rented property on his own volition, then he has to pay the complete rent.
4. The renting contract is automatically cancelled with the perishing of the rented property such as collapse of the house or death of the rented animal. In this case, the lessee pays only the rent for the period he used and enjoyed the property.
5. If a person rents a property and finds it defective thereafter, he has the right to revoke the contract. If he has made use of the property before discovering the defect, he pays for the period in which he has used the property.
6. In a contract that involves a workman, such as a tailor or a blacksmith, who gets jobs from different people at a time and a customer, the workman will be responsible for the item given to him for sewing or welding, if it is damaged by his action. However, he will not be held responsible if the item gets lost from his shop for, in this case, he is a trustee, and a trustee is not held responsible for the lost trust if that is not due to his negligence. As for a specially hired workman (who exclusively devotes his entire time for the jobs from a particular customer), he is regarded as a private employee. Therefore, he is not responsible for whatever damage that occurs in the items given to him as long as that is not caused by his negligence or transgression.
7. The rent becomes payable as soon as the contract is signed, and it must be paid after the property has been made use of and enjoyed or at the completion of the contracted job, unless it is stipulated that it should be paid immediately after the contract is made.
8. The workman can confiscate the item until he gets his wages if his work is connected with the item such as a tailor, for instance. But if his work is unconnected with the item such as a person employed to carry a commodity from one place to another, he has no right to confiscate the item. Rather, he should deliver the item and then ask for his wage.
9. If a person gives medical treatment to a patient without knowledge of medicine and damages a part of the patient’s body, he must pay a compensation for that damage. This is due to the statement of the Messenger of Allah “He who practices medicine without knowledge should pay the compensation (if anything goes wrong).” (Recorded by Abu Dawood)