The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ruling 2197

The use of the property which is given on rent must fulfil the following four conditions [in order for the rental agreement to be valid]:

  1. the use must be lawful (ḥalāl). Therefore, if a property has only an unlawful (ḥarām) use, or, if a condition is stipulated that the property must be used for an unlawful purpose, or, if before the transaction (muʿāmalah) an unlawful use is specified and the transaction is carried out based on that, then in these cases, the transaction is invalid. Therefore, giving a shop on rent for the sale of wine or for storing wine, and hiring an animal for the transportation of wine, is invalid;
  2. [in the case of hiring someone for a service,] the service must not be something that Islamic law deems obligatory (wājib) to perform free of charge. An example of this is, based on obligatory precaution, teaching rulings (masāʾil) on what is lawful and unlawful, if they concern matters that are commonly encountered. The same applies to the obligatory rituals of preparing a corpse for burial. And, based on obligatory precaution, it is a requirement that people must not consider giving money for the service as being futile;
  3. if the item being given on rent is multi-purpose, the use that the lessee makes of it must be specified. For example, if an animal that is used for riding on and for transporting goods is given on rent, it must be specified at the time of the rental agreement whether the lessee will benefit from riding the animal or from using it to transport goods or from all its possible uses;
  4. the extent of the use must be specified. This will either be in terms of length of time, as with renting a house and shop, or in terms of action, as with agreeing with a tailor for the stitching of specific clothing in a particular manner.