Forced Charity

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Q: Is it permissible to for an Islamic medical association to make it an obligation for members to deduct a fixed amount of money from their monthly income monthly to assist patients? I ask because it is similar to the obligatory monthly tax Christians give.

It is not permissible to force members to make a contribution towards any fund, even if it be a fund for the benefit of the poor. Any sadaqa or charity may only be taken with the consent and happy heart of the donor. The Medical Association may request its members to donate a certain amount towards this medical aid fund on a voluntary basis, but cannot make it compulsory. If anyone refuses to donate, he has the right to do so. However, they do have the right to exclude people from their association because accepting members into their fold is their right. Just as they cannot force members to donate money, they cannot be forced to accept certain individuals into their association. These rights work both ways.

Mufti Siraj Desai

Using Work Hours for Personal Matters

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Q: I have an office job at one of the Eskom Power Stations. I try and spend my time fruitfully in the service of Eskom however I make personal calls to family and elsewhere during business hours. I do this because it is quite late by the time I finish work and most of the business houses are closed. I also sometimes compare prices of items on the internet or look for personal items that I need to buy. I have the following question regarding the above:

1. Am I accountable and will I be questioned for the time that I spend at work, attending to personal matters?
2. If yes, do I need to give a portion of my salary equal to the time wasted as Lillah?

Please advise me in this regard.

The stipulated working hours belong to the company and that time cannot be used for any personal work except with express permission from the owner. In the case of Eskom there is no owner, so permission can be granted by the person above you only if he is authorized to do so. If he is not authorized then his permission is not valid.

The same applies with the company internet and phone.

The breaks (lunch, tea, etc.) can be used for the needs mentioned.

The money for that time has to be returned to the company. If this is not possible then give some money to the poor without making the intention of receiving Thawaab for that money given.

Allah Ta'aala knows best.
May Allah protect, guide and bless you, Aameen.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Dealing in Banned Items

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Q: If I am working for a person who deals in imported cigarettes whereas the government has put a ban on certain brands from certain countries, would my earning be Haraam?

A: It would not be Haraam. The ban is from the government and not from Shari'ah.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Interest for Satellite TV

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Q: Will it be permissible to use money obtained from interest to pay for satellite TV channels such as DSTV?

A: It is not permissible to view TV. So whether it is purchased from Halaal money or interest, it will still not be permissible.

Moulana Yusuf Laher

Serving Alcohol as Cabin Crew

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Q: Can I work as a cabin crew on a plane? My friends say that this is haraam because you have to serve alcohol in the flight. I'm not serving them alcohol with my wish; this is my duty in flight nor am I giving them from my pocket. I am confused in it. Is there any way that it will be halaal to do this work or is this Haraam? Should I work as a cabin crew or search for another job?

A: Any type of relation with alcohol is not allowed. The Hadeeth mentions ten types of dealings with alcohol that is accursed. (Ibni Maajah).  Although not from your pocket, it is not permissible to serve alcohol. You should seek another job.

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