Praise be to Allaah.
This is one
of the serious problems that have become widespread nowadays, where many
workers do not hesitate to ask for a tip, and some of them think that it is
a right that is their due, and some of them will argue about the amount if
it is given to them. They may also be negligent in performance of their job
if they feel that they are not going to get a tip or they are going to be
tipped poorly, and they will work harder for one who tips more generously.
thinks about that will see that there are many negative consequences that
result from giving these tips. They may be summed up as follows:
1 – If the
worker is being paid by the one who sent him, then there is no point in
giving him a tip. Rather the apparent meaning of the Sunnah is that this is
haraam. Al-Bukhaari (7174) and Muslim (1832) narrated that Abu Humayd
al-Saa’idi (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) appointed a man from Bani
Asad who was called Ibn al-Lutbiyyah in charge of the zakaah. When he came
he said: “This is for you, and this was given to me.” The Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood up on the minbar and
praised and glorified Allaah, then he said: “What is the matter with an
agent whom we send, then he comes and says: ‘This is for you and this was
given to me’? Why doesn’t he sit in the house of his father and mother and
see if he will be given anything or not? By the One in Whose hand is my
soul, he does not take anything but he will come on the Day of Resurrection
carrying it, even if it is a groaning camel, or a lowing cow, or a bleating
sheep.” Then he raised his arms until we could see the whiteness of his
armpits and said: “O Allaah, have I conveyed (the message)?” three times.
difference between a haraam gift and a permissible gift is that if it is
given because of a person’s work, then it is haraam. The guideline
concerning this is to look at the person’s situation: if he was not in this
job, would he have been given this gift? This is what the Prophet
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) meant when he said: “Why doesn’t
he sit in the house of his father and mother and see if he will be given
anything or not?”
2 – These
bribes tempt the worker to favour the giver, so that he may give him
something that he is not entitled to, which will cause harm to the one who
3 – They may
cause the worker to resent others who do not give him anything, so he does
not do a good job for them, and falls short in his work.
4 – It may
make the worker audacious in asking and demanding, and make him expect tips
and hope for them, which is a bad habit which should be stopped and fought,
because Islam calls on us to have pride and self-respect, and not to look
for that which is in the hands of others. Rather Islam forbids us to ask
except in the case of necessity. Islam does not want a large majority of the
ummah to become beggars, even if it is in the form of tips.
negative effects may be weighed against the idea of being kind to the worker
and giving him something extra as a kind of charity if he is poor, or
responding to his request for more so as to avoid being unkind to him.
basic principle according to the scholars is that warding off harm takes
precedence over seeking benefits. Based on this, it is not permissible to
give so-called tips, except within narrowly-defined terms that are free of
these evils, such as if the worker has finished his work and is not expected
to do any more work for the giver of the tip, so there is no risk of bribery
or favouritism. In that case it is permissible to give him something by way
of honouring him or helping him, according to the fatwas issued by some
scholars, as we shall see below, but it is better not to do that, because
that may make him get used to asking for or expecting tips, and it may make
him resent those who do not give him anything.
scholars’ comments on this issue:
1 – The
fatwa issued by the Standing Committee (23/548): What is the Islamic ruling
on one who is given money when he is at work without him asking for it or
using any tricks in order to take that money? For example, the mayor or the
Shaykh of a village, to whom people come for certificates and documents
because they live in his village, and they give him some money for that. Is
it permissible to take it? Is this money regarded as permissible? Can we
take as evidence for it being halaal the hadeeth of Saalim ibn ‘Abd-Allaah
ibn ‘Umar, from his father ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar, from ‘Umar (may Allaah be
pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give me a stipend and I would say:
“Give it to one who is in greater need of it than me.” He said: “Take it,
for if any of this wealth comes to you when you are not hoping for it and
asking for it, then take it and keep it, then if you wish you may give it in
charity, but whatever does not come to you, do not seek it.” Saalim said:
‘Abd-Allaah used not to ask anyone for anything, and he would not reject
anything that he was given. Agreed upon.
the situation is as described, whatever is given to this mayor is haraam,
because it is a bribe. The hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with
him) has nothing to do with this matter, because that has to do with one who
is given something from the bayt al-maal of the Muslims by the Muslim ruler
without asking for it or expecting anything. End quote.
2 – Shaykh
Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: We have a banquet
hall in which there are cooks, and some of the cooks ask for tips in
addition to their salaries. Is it permissible to give a worker some money as
a tip, as he is used to taking from people?
If there is a worker who has a salary and is paid a set amount by the boss,
then it is not permissible for anyone to give him anything, because this
will make him resent others, as some people are poor and cannot afford to
give them anything. So doing this is a bad habit. End quote from
al-Muntaqa fi Fataawa al-Shaykh al-Fawzaan, vol. 3, question no. 233.
3 – Shaykh
‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Barraak (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: What is the
ruling on giving a restaurant worker a tip, knowing that bills include a
It is not permissible to give the worker this tip, because it is regarded as
a bribe from you to the worker, so that he will give you better service and
more food than he will give to one who does not give him this tip. The
worker has no right to single out anyone for better service, rather he
should treat all people in the same manner. But if there is no risk of
bribery or favouritism being involved in this tip, then there is nothing
wrong with it in that case, such as if you intend thereby to be kind to this
poor and needy worker, and you are not going to go back to that restaurant.
End quote from question no. 21605.