I joined a company (Laybuy) that provides a buy now pay later service for customers/ Merchants. The service is that customers use our application to purchase an item from a store like JD Sports, we pay off the merchant and take on the default (which is basically us dealing with the customer now to ensure they pay us for the amount of the goods they bought) and the then the customer can spread the cost over 6 instalments. The way the company makes revenue is through 3 different products, within these 3 products the merchant gets charged 4% for each transaction the customer makes buying the merchants product through our application.
The reason I joined the company was because compared to its competitors they provide an interest free based product. Which made me think it’s all halal and It’s ok but I didn’t know late fees count as riba.
They make more money from their services than the late fees. The aim of the founder is to improve the product so that there’s little made by the late fees and the trajectory is that the money produced through late fees is declining year by year. Again it’s meant to be a deterrent and not a revenue generating source.
What I would like to know if it’s permissible for me to continue working here and if my income is haraam ( which is my biggest worry).
Please if I could get your advise inshallah I would really appreciate it.
You are correct in stating that late payment fees on loans are unlawful and fall into riba. As for whether or not it is permissible for you to work for this company, then this would depend on two factors. The first is regarding your job role. The tasks you are required to carry out must be lawful such as an administrative role.
The second factor is the source of income. If your income falls within the lawful income of the company then your income will be lawful. For example, if the company’s income from unlawful fees is £10k and income from service charges are £15k. If the staff wages are within the £15k lawful income then you can assume that the staff are all being paid from the lawful income of the company.
If both of these factors are satisfied, it will be permissible for you to continue working at this company.
فقه البيوع 1038:2
الصورة الرابعة: أن المال مركب من الحلال والحرام، ولايعرف أن الحلال مميز من الحرام أو مخلوط غير مميز. وإن كان مخلوطة فكم حصة الحلال فيه. والأولى في هذه الصورة التنزه، ولكن يجوز للأخذ أن يأخذ منه بعض ماله هبة أو شراء، لأن الأصل الإباحة. وينبغي أن يقيد ذلك بأن يغلب على ظن الأخذ أن الحلال فيه بقدر ما يأخذه أو أكثر منه. وهو محمل ما جاء في العبارات الآتية: ١- قال الإمام محمد رحمه الله تعالى في كتاب الآثار: “أخبرنا أبو حنيفة، قال: حدثنا محمد بن قيس أن أبا العوجاء العشار كان صديقا لمسروق، فكان يدعوه، فيأكل من طعامه ویشرب من شرابه، ولا يسأله. ” قال محمد: وبه نأخذ، ولا بأس بذلك، مالم يعرف خبيثا بعينه، وهو قول أبي حنيفة رحمه الله تعالی
Ifta Research Fellow
Checked & Approved by:
Mufti Abdul Rahman Mangera
Mufti Zubair Patel