Fatwa ID: 02596
Answered by: Maulana Mujahid Hussain.
As-salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
Recently a brother in the community asked me a question regarding benefits and declaring how much he earns. He is a new brother from abroad and has full rights of stay in the UK. The situation is as follows: He has a job as a driver for a takeaway and gets his wages as cash in hand. He earns about £220 per week and works over 40 hours a week. The problem is that if he declares the hours he works on his claim forms for housing benefit and tax credit etc, that amounts to getting paid less than the minimum wage. If he does so, he fears that his employers might get in trouble – as it is illegal to pay less than the minimum wage. He wants to work for them as the job provides him the opportunity to pray all his prayers – his employers are Muslim. So, he declares the amount he gets paid on his claim form but puts the hours as 20 hours a week worked – which is not accurate.
What should he do in this situation as he feels that he may be cheating the system and his rizq and all the benefits he claims may not be considered halal? He has a family and two children and does not want to lose the benefits, as this would put him in great financial difficult, but at the same time he does not want to be in a position which could potentially jeopardise his akhirah. Please advise us what this brother should do.
The problem here lies with the employer and not your friend. Your friend is merely a victim who finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard place. The right thing here would be for the employer to pay the minimum wage. As Muslims our character should excel others and we should try to compete in carrying out good actions. One of the reasons why minimum wage is compulsory so situations like your friend's does not occur, so please inform your friend that his employer is the one who can potentially jeopardise his hereafter.
Only Allah Knows best.
Written by Maulana Mujahid Hussain.
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham