I am an employee of Transport company. There were some scrap materials lying at our company and I was asked by my manager to sell them as scrap to anyone. Some persons came to check the materials and offered an amount to purchase.

In the light of Islam, is it Halal or Haram to keep and distribute some amount as commission (whatsoever you call it) from the total amount and distribute it between I and to same company's labors who have worked to segregate and load the scrap materials?

For example: If the materials were sold for amount 5000, and I kept 1000 from it and distribute it TO the labors and the rest amount I gave to my manager saying that the scrap were sold for amount 4000.

Taking that amount is Halal or Haram for us?


You have described an instance of embezzlement:

Embezzlement is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion (theft) of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes.

Moreover, the act you describe would make your workmates participants in this embezzlement.

The main difference between embezzlement and theft is that that the goods were entrusted to you (rather than taken without permission).

Embezzlement is haram in itself

I don't think a reasonable person could seriously consider embezzlement anything other than haram (it's very close to outright theft). Here's a fatwa on embezzlement:

To this end, Islam forbids theft, usurpation, embezzlement, cheating, Riba (interest and usury), bribery, etc ..., and it considers anything that is acquired without a legitimate right as wrongful acquisition of property. -- IslamWeb

Academic papers, such as

compare the Sharia punishment of embezzlement vs. that of theft. They thus assume embezzlement is not only haram, but punishable under Sharia.

Embezzlement is a crime, and committing crimes is haram

Even if embezzlement weren't directly haram, it's very likely illegal. And breaking the law (provided it doesn't violate God's will) is haram:

When one lives in a particular country, one agrees verbally, in writing or effectively to adhere to the rules and regulations of that country. This, according to Shariah, is considered to be a covenant, agreement and trust. -- Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam, DarulIftaa.com

who cite the hadith:

The 'Prophet said, "It is obligatory for one to listen to and obey (the ruler's orders) unless these orders involve one disobedience (to Allah); but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed, he should not listen to or obey it." (sunnah.com)

Embezzlement is breaking trust

As Muslims, there are high expectations on our behavior. It is inappropriate for us to break trust.

The Messenger of Allah said, "Four are the qualities which, when found in a person, make him a sheer hypocrite, and one who possesses one of them, possesses one characteristic of hypocrisy until he abandons it. These are: When he is entrusted with something, he betrays trust; when he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he acts treacherously; and when he argues, he behaves in a very imprudent, insulting manner." -- 'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin Al-'as (sunnah.com)

An AskImam.com fatwa (source: IslamQA.org) quoted this as "A sign of a Munaafiq is when he is entrusted, he embezzles".

One should measure in full weight

One could also interpret embezzlement as going against this ayah:

And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best [way] and best in result. -- Qur'an 17:35


If the materials were sold for amount 5000, and I kept 1000 from it and distribute it TO the labors and the rest amount I gave to my manager saying that the scrap were sold for amount 4000.

They weren't thou. That is called lying. You can tell your manager that you made 4000 out of them, but the manager should be informed of the breakdown.

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