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Holding employees responsible for theft

Nasihah (Advice): Forgiving a debtor
Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu reports that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said:“There was a merchant who used to loan to people, and whenever he saw a person (his debtor) in straitened circumstances, he would say to his employees, ‘Forgive him so that Allah may forgive us.’ So, Allah forgave him.” (Bukhari)
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Question and Answer:
Q. I am working as an HR at a company. The policy of the company is that if any theft takes place at the company, the employees are responsible for it and the cost of the losses would be deducted from their salaries. I was wondering if this is correct according to Shariah?
 
A. In general, if an employee is employed for specific duties and responsibilities, an employee will be responsible for it. If theft takes places and it was not the fault or responsibility of the employee, the employee will not be responsible for it.
Hence, it is unethical and unjust to include policies and clauses in an employee’s contract that make employees responsible for theft that takes place at the company that is not their fault and responsibility. In such cases, the responsibility of theft will be borne by the company or those responsible for it.
 
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ismaeel Bassa
Confirmation:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

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